Swimming to the Surface – Kristin Billerbeck

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I think I like Kristin Billerbeck – but I’m not sure. She’s one of those authors I find difficult to pigeon hole. This is the 4th book of hers that I’ve read.

I really enjoyed What a Girl Wants. I found it refreshingly down to earth and honest, and I’ve re-read it a couple of times. I then bought the two sequels to it, and they didn’t impress me so much.

What I love about Billerbeck is that she writes about real-life issues in a down to earth, honest and often humorous way. What I find difficult, is that she manages to combine that with something superficial and cliché, almost reminiscent of a television drama. These things are somewhat paradoxical, which is why I find her hard to pin down.

This novel, Swimming to the Surface, deals with a real and somewhat confronting issue: A woman who has become disillusioned with the Church because of the way in which they dealt with her in the breakdown of her marriage to her legalistic, mentally unstable, and, as it turns out, homosexual husband. These are heavy topics that do make for a fascinating story. But, somehow, Billerbeck still manages to give the plot a sense of story-book perfection, with many scenes that, to me, seemed unrealistic and cliché.

From what I’ve seen, this book has had quite good reviews, but to be honest, I’m not a fan.

Oh, and it’s the first book I read as an e-book. Probably didn’t help!

The Case for Christ – Lee Strobel

Photo Credit: Book depository

Having completed a self-imposed challenge to read 52 books last year, I’ve slowed down a lot this year and hardly read any. I have, however, finally got around to reading this one.

As a high school teacher in a Christian school I often get teenagers asking me questions about faith – and they’re not stupid either. Some of the deepest questions I ever hear come from students amidst the flurry of essays, lessons and lunch-breaks.

While I may ‘know whom I have believed,’ these kids have genuine questions that need genuine answers. And I believe that this book gives them. From the historical and scientific accuracy of the Bible, to the legitimacy of the claims of Christ, to the medical, historic and circumstantial evidence of the resurrection, legal journalist Lee Strobel takes us on the journey that he took as an atheist attempting to discover if there was any legitimacy to this man who has changed the world.

It’s easy to read, academically and scientifically thorough, and builds an indisputable case that not only did the man Jesus live, but that He was exactly who He claimed to be, and that He still lives today.

Definitely worth a read, no matter what your faith-stance is.

Among other places, this book can be purchased at http://www.bookdepository.com