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I’m taking a semester off from university studies at the moment because of a family trip to Turkey and Italy in little over a month now. We’ve been dreaming of a family trip for years, and I certainly don’t want to spend my time in Istanbul writing essays!

Since I’m no longer studying, I have time to rededicate myself to a lapsed hobby of mine. Reading.

I used to read veraciously when I was younger. But then, I consumed everything of immediate interest to me in the house and in our small country library, and I didn’t go looking for ways to find new books. I still read a lot, but it was a lot of re-reading old favourites, rather than a busy regime of new books.

Now I have discovered, that with my own debit card and a part-time job, I can afford to buy my own books. Mum would have bought me books, but there is something about having your own card and your own money which gives you the freedom, if only in your own head, to go and buy stuff yourself. It’s easier, so you actually get around to doing it.

There are so many books out there I would like to read!

I bought this one from The Book Depository on something of a whim. Jesus strikes us as the social worker and revolutionary healing the sick and subverting culture, while Paul seems more interested in authoritarian dogmas and moral codes. In short, Jesus and Paul seem to have two very different teachings. Coming from maybe a more “emergent church” perspective, Kirk attempts to show that Pauline theology fits in with Christ by taking a “narrative” approach to Paul’s teachings. Looks interesting, but I’m not sure if I’m going to fully agree with it’s more “emergent” aspects or language.

I love military history, not only as a dramatic story but also as an insight into human nature, leadership and the influence of ideas. From Hitler and Stalin’s own megalomanical leadership to the very reason Hitler wanted to invade Russia in the first place (his infamous lebenschraum), to the horrifically brutal street warfare in Stalingrad to the massacres on the Steppe, the Eastern Front has all of that.

Winchester claims that had Germany defeated Russia Germany would have won World War Two, and explores this savage conflict. I’m going to buy it (if I buy it) from Osprey.com– I get a 20% membership discount for $4.50 a month!

Also from Osprey.com, this book’s a hobby buy. I love wargaming and railway modelling and both hobbies are meant to be visually attractive hobbies, with lots of eye-candy. I’m hoping this book will provide me with some inspiration to make some basic terrain myself. I see so much inspirational scenery on websites like Angus Konstam’s fabolous Edinburgh Wargames Journal or model railroading magazines, and I’d love to provide some of my own creations with that visual jazz.

Now this is a pleasure read. I actually only picked up fiction again this January at my grandmother’s; and it’s been really good for me to just read books “for fun”. I’ve been hearing some very good things about Mantel’s series about a powerful courtier, Thomas Cromwell in Henry VIII’s court. It’s historical fiction, but telling a true story. By the sounds of it the book is not only very well written but explores the changing times from the days when the warlords ruled to the dominance of bankers and moneylenders like Cromwell.

Other than “Jesus I Have Loved” I haven’t actually bought any of these books. I just want to. I need to get through some of my current books before I do though!

Maybe I should set myself a goal of having them all read by the end of our world trip in August. I’d imagine international flights give you a lot of reading time.

Travel brings up another question for me- hardback or Kindle versions? Kindle versions are cheaper and the only serious option if I’m to take it travelling for six weeks, but there is something wondrous in getting a real book in the mail and holding it in your hands. Not sure on that count yet.