Guest Post: Madelyn Cutrone & Joshua Anderson

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Today I am proud to present my first guest post that is actually not for a blog tour. Funny, how I actually haven’t done a guest post like this before. So I’m really happy to give you Madelyn and Joshua from Literary Cafe (Go check out their site, it is really cool.)!!!

Madelyn and I have read through quite a few books in our time. But some books are promptly forgotten about, and others never leave your mind.  This is a list of the books that impacted us the most, the ones that we will always carry in our heart.  The first two are from her, and the last three are mine.

Madelyn’s List

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While I don’t endorse all the methods used in this book (because, to be honest, some of them are rather strange) the concept and basic teachings are stunning. This relatively small book presents a cleaning technique that surpasses all other organising tips and helps clean out cluttered spaces such as attics, kitchens, even your bedroom that isn’t cluttered, and, importantly, makes sure you don’t relapse to collecting useless items again. I threw away over 15 garbage bags full of junk, just from my already-clean bedroom. Three months prior I had gone through without this method, and didn’t have near the results. Most of all, it’s helping me look past sentimental value and see what truly counts – it’s not the items, it’s the memory of them. I used to have boxes and boxes of random birthday cards and such, pamphlets from vacations, LEAVES (YES, I KEPT LEAVES), and you honestly wouldn’t believe what else. It’s been almost 5 months now, and my life has completely changed due to KonMari’s teachings. One thing that many of my friends find it increasingly hard to believe is that I have less have less than 20 pictures on my phone. Although that specifically was never addressed in the book, it’s the mindset of keeping your life de-cluttered, more than anything.

Ooo, I’ve never heard of that book before. But that sounds like a really helpful book. I love to organize, but I don’t do it enough.

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When I first started reading Not a Fan by Kyle Idelman, I was expecting a book like Radical by David Platt. An ultra-serious, difficult-to-read, takes-a-long-time-to-finish type of book. It was anything but. I was literally laughing out loud many, many times. I finished this book in a four-hour car drive, I didn’t want to put it down. The humor kept you incredibly interested, and the words deeply changed your heart-it was profoundly new. You probably read the words “not a fan” and thought “But… I want to be a fan of Christ”. Throughout the book, Kyle goes past that and teaches that we aren’t to be fans of Christ, but followers. It’s a deep and powerful message that I won’t soon forget. 

The picture below explains things a little better.

Note: For everyone 14 and under I would recommend the teen-version. Even I was on the verge of saying some of the material and things discussed were a little out of my zone.

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I have been meaning to read this book forever. I have only listened to a little bit of the audio version and it sounds so good. I read Radical by David Platt and I really enjoyed it, though it took me a long time to get through it too.

Joshua’s List

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Where do I start?  The emotionally raw writing?  The convincing portrayal of a brilliant kid, who just wanted to survive, be loved, and not hurt people anymore?  The callous cruelty of adults and government officials, who missed the tree for the leaves, and happily wrecked a child’s life?

Or perhaps that Ender is a survivor above all else.  Both desperately courageous and vulnerable, Ender is unforgettable.

This is a story of a boy being trained to bear the weight of the world on his soldiers. A world that would follow a boy into combat, against an enemy that hailed from a planet less kind than our own. You might not be able to put it down. I will warn that this book is intense. It has some language as well. But it’s also one of my favorite of all time. Plus, it is the beginning of a long series, that I hope you savor as much as I did.

“Perhaps it’s impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be.”

I read this book so long ago. I don’t know if it made that much of an impact for me, but I do remember that is it one of my favorite science fiction novels. I read it so fast last time (which might be the reason why it wasn’t as impactful) that I really need to reread it. It has been too long. And I’ve been meaning to read the rest of the series.

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Yes, there are countless asinine books with dragons on the cover.  No, this is not one of them by any means.  This is an epic tale of betrayal, war, peace, romance, brotherhood, love, and the deep, intimate bond between Eragon and his dragon. Yes, that’s quite a list.  But this is quite a series. The books are really just segments of a story. The first one is named Eragon, after the ignorant farm boy that is the main character. But he doesn’t remain clueless for long. Instead, he’s plunged into a world full of ancient magic, sturdy dwarves, noble and aloof elves, honor seeking Urgals, and blood-thirsty Razac, and of course, dragons. I could not recommend this series more highly. Its prose is beautiful, and it is constantly thought provoking. I only wish that I could look out my own window, and joyously see a waiting sapphire dragon.

“The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.”

“Keep in mind that many people have died for their beliefs; it’s actually quite common. The real courage is in living and suffering for what you believe.”

“I believe, Eragon, that you are full of love and that you are looking for one who will reciprocate your affection. No shame exists in that.”

Oh, great quotes. Those sound so…powerful. I read Eragon and it is definitely one of my favorite books ever.

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I’m actually re-reading through this book right now, because it is just so wonderful.  I could go on and on about just about anything written by Lewis.  This book, like any other wonderful theology book, doesn’t have any striking new principles, or new revelations.  It goes back to the basics of the faith, in a strikingly simple and deep way.  If you are a new Christian, this book is a great one to help lay a solid foundation for your faith.  It’s not going to replace the Bible, of course, but it helped make many concepts far more clear to me.  If you’re a more mature Christian, you’ll get even more out of this guide to the faith, and learn how to explain and defend Christianity to others.  And if you are seeking the truth, Lewis excels at slicing away misconceptions, and exposing them for mere ropes of fog. No matter who you are, I think you’ll find that this book is absolutely wonderful.

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice.”  

“..fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms.”

I got this book for Christmas! I’ve been wanting to read it for a long time. I hope to get to it soon! C.S. Lewis is an amazing author.

I hope that you love all of these as much as we did.

-Joshua

Thanks Joshua and Madelyn for doing this guest post! This was so much fun! I’m so glad to have had you guys on my blog!

Well guys, what did you think of this guest post? Did you enjoy it as much as I have? Let me know in the comments!

-G. Paige

 

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