Catching Katy

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Turn the Page – Funny

I’m so glad I finally got to read this book after multiple recommendations. It really is one of the funniest books I have read with most of the book that I was actually laughing out loud! LAMB: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore, is a great laugh. You have to have a decent sense of humor, though… does kind of poke fun at the Bible…hey, it’s a satire. I grew up in the church and could see how some may find it offensive, but I thought it was hilarious. The story chronicles the life Jesus for the first 30 years of his life that are not mentioned in the Bible from the perspective of Jesus’ best friend, Biff, who is far from Christ (morally speaking). Jesus and Biff grow up together, with Jesus trying to figure out how to be the Messiah and Biff trying his best to help. You don’t have to have a background in Bible or church or anything, but it helps to understand some of the puns and references.

One of my favorite passages that really got me hooked in the beginning is the start of Chapter 2, when Biff, having been raised from the dead in the modern era to write this new gospel, speaks of his task (he is being held hostage by an angel in a hotel room to write the gospel):

LAMBThe angel wants me to convey more of Joshua’s [Jesus] Grace? I’m trying to write about a six-year-old, for Christ’s sakes, how much grace could he have? It’s not like Joshua walked about professing that he was the Son of God every day of the week. He was a pretty normal kid, for the most part. There was the trick he did with the lizards, and once we found a dead meadowlark and he brought it back to life, and there was the time, when we were eight, when he healed his brother Judah’s fractured skull after a game of “stone the adulteress” got out of hand. (Judah could never get the knack of being an adulteress. He’d stand there stiff as Lot’s wife. You can’t do that. An adulteress has to be wily and nimble-footed.) The miracles Joshua performed were small and quiet, as miracles tend to be, once you get used to them. But trouble came from the miracles that happened around him, without his volition, as it were. Bread and serpents come to mind.

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Turn the Page

The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

My mom told me I HAD to read this book. Most of the time we have fairly similar taste in books, but not always. I was a little skeptical because religious fiction books are a big hit or miss for me. However, I was very surprised that a) a NY Times Bestseller book is a very strongly religious book and b) that it stirred up so much thought and so many questions in my mind. One huge question that is addressed and has been long-engrained in my mind is why does God let bad things happen to good people? It was sometimes hard to follow the author on this point, though. To me, it seemed that at one point he is saying that God does not personally allow things to happen, but then says that all things happen for a reason. There are times when the author seems to say that God does not interfere because of free will. Maybe the author is just suggesting different possibilities, since obviously no one knows for sure why things happen to certain people.

Having had a blood disorder for almost 12 years with no end in sight, it is hard for me to believe that it happened/is happening still for a reason. I have learned a lot, yes, and see the world differently because of it, but I foresee ever being able to understand why it happened in the first place and continued to cause problems for years. I am lucky because I can live a normal life, but there are people living with things who cannot. I don’t believe God would want his children to suffer, but it seems like we would see more miracles and people getting well. It is impossible to even imagine ourselves in God’s shoes (also addressed in the book), but just can’t imagine that someone would go through something horrible just to learn to be a stronger person. I know this topic/debate can go on forever, but any thoughts??

I really did (surprisingly) love the book and think it would be an excellent book club book for great discussions!