And the winner is...

The winner of the free copy of Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me is comment #4, also known as Drumszee! I hope you enjoy the book. Thanks to all who commented. I hope to be having more giveaways in the future.

I don't know about you, but on crazy, hot days like this, there is no place I would rather be than curled up on my Roots chair at home with a good book.

What are you reading these days?

Review: Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me by Ian Morgan Cron

When you have been waiting for something for as long as I have been waiting to read this book, there is always the chance that the pages will not live up to the expectation.

From the very first chapter, this book far exceeded all expectations.

In Ian Morgan Cron's second book, Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A Memoir of Sorts, the author takes us on an unforgettable journey through his life, his quest from childhood to become a man without the true north of having a present, sober father in his life.

The discovery of a black and white photograph of himself as a child begins the author's story, and serves as an anchor of sorts through the book. Mr. Cron takes us from that blonde-haired little boy, through a childhood with a larger-than-life, alcoholic father, who skewed not only the author's self-esteem, but also his relationship with God.

The main characters, those who have had the most impact throughout his life, are people that I will not soon forget. Most notably, his Nanny, whom in such few pages, I grew to love, and want to hug when I get to heaven, simply for her kindness to this little boy needing love.

One of my very favorite parts of the book are the brilliant ways that Ian ends each chapter. So many last sentences or paragraphs left me speechless, or in simple amazement at the beauty of it. My favorite is the last paragraph of chapter five, which Nanny features predominantly...
Minutes after Nanny died, my mother removed her cat-eye glasses and gave them to me. I've kept them in the top drawer of my bedside table for twenty-five years. I suspect they will remain there for the rest of my life. (pg. 58)
I could go on gushing about this book, as well as Mr. Cron's first novel, Chasing Francis, a work of wisdom literature, a balance of fiction and historical fact. But let me simply say, even if you do not usually read biographies and memoirs, get this book, and read it. Let yourself feel the purity and heartbreak of a child, and the unrelenting love of a God who, while at times is seemingly silent, but never stops loving and pursuing His children.

* * * * *

Win a copy of Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications have awesomely provided me with a copy of this book to give away to one reader. All you need to do to win the book is leave a comment on this post, answering the question below, then shoot me an email at misunderstood {at} sympatico {dot} ca so I will know how to contact you if you are the winner. Here is the question:

If you were to write a memoir, who is one significant person
your story would not be complete without?

Of the comments received, I will randomly pick a winner at 6:00 pm on Saturday, July 16, 2011.

Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson.

The 25 Books of Summer

Yesterday on my Shards of Light blog, I shared with the interwebs my plans to survive this summer. One of the six is to catch up on my reading for the year. As you can see to the left, as of today, with the two books I have just finished, I am still behind on my goal of reading 60 books this year.

With what I am calling The 25 Books of Summer, I am a bit closer to my goal. Two down, 23 to go. Here are the first two I have finished...
  1. Harvesting Fog, by Luci Shaw
  2. Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me, by Ian Morgan Cron
The first, Harvesting Fog is a beautiful book of poetry. Lucy Shaw has a magnificent gift of seeing and expressing life in a way that is healing to the soul. Even though I have turned the last page, I cannot bring myself to put it on the bookshelf yet. There are poems there that I need to go back and read again. Perhaps this is one that will never make it to the bookshelf...

The second I finished only minutes ago. I will be posting a review of Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me, but it is still too fresh, still too close for me to do justice to it at this point. This is one of those rare books that actually make you feel like you are reading on holy ground. Brilliant is not a good enough word as far as I am concerned right now. {As an added bonus, I have a second copy of the book that I will be giving away when I post the review. Stay tuned.}

So here we begin. As far as I am concerned, we couldn't have had a better start to the summer.