I am done rereading "The Hiding Place" and am about a third of the way through "The Cost". The first is a reread and I suppose since it has been 20 plus years since I first read it, I would say it is worth rereading more often. Anna and I talked about it and agree that this book and "A Day in the Life of Ivan D" are pretty similar. It is astounding and scary to read the potential for sick, cruel hatred and also humbling and inspiring to read of people capable of loving and forgiving their tormentors.
"The Cost of Discipleship" is definitely humbling as well. Some phrases are perhaps a little confusing to this bear of small brain but I am enjoying reading it. I cannot put my thoughts down in bloggerdom quite as poetically as some but this book lays it on the line what it means to love our neighbor and exactly what cost there is to the Christian who lives out their faith in this world in service and love for their neighbor. I am sure I am not stating that exactly right but my brain at least knows what I am talking about. I am looking forward to discussing this book with my class and hopefully a pastor or two.
Another book I really enjoyed last year related to WWII was "The Book Thief." This is a new publication and what I especially enjoy about this book is it shows the war through the eyes of German citizens and helps the reader understand how many people were caught in a state where resistance was not tolerated and that there were people who quietly resisted, loved one another and did what they could for all people who were suffering and dying during the war. It is mainly about the life of a young girl who is taken in by a German family and explores her relationship with that family and the people in her neighborhood. The characters may seem harsh at first but the author reveals their frailties and fears, and their hidden qualities that are more caring then first appears on the surface. It reminds me of situations like going to church and only knowing some people on the surface but if you were able to spend more time with them you would grow to appreciate them far more. The surface relationship is so deceiving and lends itself to fast judgements. Not everyone is flamboyant in their lives with other people and what they live out in reality can be far richer than that quick judgement or ignoring of the quiet, ever present people who are all around us. I guess I especially enjoy books where the characters are well developed and you form a relationship with the characters as their stories progress. I especially enjoyed this aspect of this book.
Most of my reading has been for the classes I teach in our co-op so there won't be too many for fun books on my list.