People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity by an acclaimed and beloved author. Called “a tour de force” by the San Francisco Chronicle, this ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in fifteenth-century Spain. When it falls to Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, to conserve this priceless work, the series of tiny artifacts she discovers in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—only begin to unlock its deep mysteries and unexpectedly plunges Hanna into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics. I have always been interested in ancient history and am captivated by Brooks’ storytelling. She simplifies complicated historical topics and makes me feel as if I am discovering the beauties of the Sarajevo Haggadah with her! I recommend this book to anyone who desires to discover historical treasures.
To Read: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren
From the first chapter, I was completely captivated by the beauty and simplicity of what Warren describes – a life of everyday moments viewed through the lens of liturgical worship. The Liturgy of the Ordinary is a journey through a typical day where each moment—such as making your bed, eating leftovers, losing your keys—is related to some aspect of sacramental worship. The admonition is to begin viewing your life, even the mundane pieces, as sacred opportunities for worship. Each chapter is a theological exploration that ends with practical ideas for application. Waking up in the morning becomes a sacramental act. I can reflect on the grace of the God bringing me into new life at the point of baptism, and the grace of bringing me into another day at my moment of waking. When I brush my teeth, often bemoaning the frequency of this boring act of maintenance, I can reflect on the incarnation—that I inhabit a body just as Christ did. My savoir too had dental hygiene to maintain! The concepts are simple but profound. If you are looking for a way to more easily see God at work in the everyday, read this book.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
After hearing my wife gasp at the end of reading Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, I knew this had to be the next book I read. The story takes you aboard a train in 1934 with private detective Hercule Poirot. Try to solve this murder mystery along with him with the most unexpected twists and turns. I don’t know how this story will end (and please don’t spoil it for me), but I’m looking forward to reading more Agatha Christie in the future, and checking out Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation in theaters now.