I picked up There's a War to Be Won at a book sale for 50 cents or something. Geoffrey Perret is a great writer, and his emphasis on the building of the American army in the run-up to WWII is fascinating. The other thing is, I'm just fifty pages in and I want to strangle Douglas Macarthur.
I just finished John Piper's Let the Nations Be Glad. This was a bit of an obligatory read (with my pastor's strong encouragement). The beginning and end of the book is incredibly inspiring, but the large middle gets tedious as Piper piles up his Bible citations in order to drive his points home so that they will never be un-driven.
John's son, Barnabas, has a post on the value of reading fiction here. I don't think many people who don't already read fiction will change their reading-habits because of B. Piper's reasoning, but he's right on all counts. I find, though, that people in the church want to read for self-improvement, or out of a sense of obligation (i.e., a church-wide reading assignment . . . see above), and those kinds of motivations are simply improper, even undermining, where fiction is concerned.
By the way, I am always bemused by the typical reaction of many men to reading assignments in church. There's the inevitable question -- how many pages? -- and the inevitable complaints about how the author uses too many big words, too many complicated sentences, etc. It's as if, where reading is concerned, we've never got past the 4th grade.
A while back I lost my Kindle. Sheesh! So I deactivated the thing on Amazon and hoped it would turn up around the house (having looked for it in all the likely places, of course). But turn up it did not, so last week I got myself a new one. Opening the thing for the first time, I found myself at the very page where I left off on my old Kindle, months before! That's pretty cool, as I never would have known where to start. The book, by the way, is Exalting Jesus in Matthew, by David Platt.
Of course like every reader I have an extensive backlog of books I intend to get to someday. Nate Spencer forced me to move The Silmarillion up closer to the top of that list by writing an excellent reading help.
Finally, wife Laurie has discovered a new favorite author. She's reading everything by Kate Dicamillo. Indeed, I may just join her in this reading project!