Below is the reading list we enclosed in our 2009 Christmas letter (our first as the Kruse family!).
Three Cups of Tea: An amazing tale of perseverance and sacrifice, but we couldn’t help but to feel bad for his lonely wife and kids who seem to play second fiddle to his quest to help the children and the and people of Afghanistan. UPDATE: This guy has since proved a fraud in a pretty major way.
Blue Like Jazz: A well written, thoughtful, frank and honest story about one man’s journey for meaning in his life. Buy this one and read it this year!
Water for Elephants: If you ever wondered what circus life was like during the depression era, check out this quick read. And what a great movie this will be!
Love and Respect: This book should be mandatory reading for all married or soon to be married couples. From a purely analytical aspect, it hits at the heart of the issue most important to men and women.
The Shack : Yes, this was on all the best-seller lists, but most importantly this is the first book that Emily and I ever read together. Beautiful imagery and relatable metaphors peripherally addresses the issue of why bad things happen. I say peripherally because in reading the book you realize that you will never get an answer to this question because it’s the wrong question to ask in the first place.
The Hakawati: A loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooooong book (over 500 pages) that is really of loosely connected conglomeration of old Persian folk tales. This book took us months to read.
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter: While heart wrenching, this novel about the dangers of buried secrets fails when the author refuses to take a stand on any of the character’s flawed decisions.
My Sister’s Keeper: A tear-jerker to be sure, but a little too convenient in the ending (although Emily disagrees with my own all too convenient one line synopsis of the book).
Ballistics: Poems: Do yourself a favor, put down this letter, go over to your computer, type in Amazonand find this book, order it. This is the most accessible book of poetry published in the last ten years.
Babylon by Bus: An incredible true story, but one whose second half turned out to be a yawn, bogged down by a narrator infatuated with himself.
Time Traveler’s Wife: A heartbreaking story that addresses both the complexities and strength of love. Time travel hasn’t been this interesting since Michael J. Fox hopped in the Delorean!