I’m participating in Callipidder Days’ Spring Reading Thing, and I’ve gotten more done than I’d have thought. That is, thanks to a humdinger of a cold I’ve had for 3 days. Hubby is taking care of the kids, bless him. And I’m in bed. Sleeping most of the time, and reading just a bit – between naps. Anyhow, I thought I’d post a few thoughts on the books I just finished.
First off, The Persecutor by Sergei Kourdakov. Non-fiction, autobiography. It takes a little while to get used to Sergei’s way of writing. He actually didn’t live long enough to see the manuscript through lots of editing to perfect it, and his style of writing didn’t really ‘gel’ with me. But, the story he tells is truly amazing. He was an orphan in the Soviet Union, and through the years he was groomed into becoming a military officer, communist youth leader, and KGB agent. In his work with the KGB his job was to persecute Christians. In doing his job, he started to see things that didn’t make sense to him. He started to realize that his government was lying to him. He began to look into Christianity, in large part because of the faithful witness of the Christians he attacked. And he began planning his escape from the Soviet Union. The story really is great, if you can get past the encumbered writing. Really, Sergei was killed (most likely by a Russian organized crime unit, operating on the request of the KGB) right after he turned in his copy of the first-draft manuscript of this book. So the publishers – it seems – chose to publish it with very little editing. It’s now out-of-print, but I came across it in a little used bookshop in Chattanooga and I’m so glad I did. It was a great read.
And secondly, Too Much of a Good Thing, by Dan Kindlon. Honestly, it’s written for wealthy, indulgent parents. Not the likes of me. But it really is a good parenting book, even for the non-wealthy. The principles behind it are just what’s in the title. There is so much as too much, even of a good thing. It speaks against overindulging children, both materially and otherwise. It talks about the ‘7 deadly sins of parenting’ and about our inner parent as a reaction to our own childhood. It talks about what will truly bring happiness to a child, and that happiness has little to do with how much we indulge them. It’s a great parenting book, especially for someone struggling with when to say no, or for someone trying to be the exact opposite of their own parents. I recommend it thoroughly.