Reading and I have long had an “interesting” relationship. I struggled with it in school until I fell in love with story telling the summer before sixth grade. My mother shooed me out of the house one day in frustration, telling me to “go to the library or something!” in exasperation. That was funny to me as she knew reading was a struggle. But, since I couldn’t come up with a better idea, that’s where I went. Wandering the aisles, I hit upon the idea of reading something about the Pacific Campaign of WWII, the area my father and uncle fought in. I wanted to learn more of what they had experienced and maybe round out some of the stories I had heard. I found a few books, chose one, and took it home to read. If I recall correctly, I believe it was Run Silent, Run Deep by Edward L. Beach, later to become a movie staring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster. It was that kind of story and it hooked me on reading. I dove into it and followed it with others. By the end of the summer I was reading at an advanced level and could describe in great detail the key battles and personalities of the Pacific war. That summer is when I taught myself to read, and I haven’t stopped since.

Usually, my reading fare is a balance between history, fiction, and in recent years a growing emphasis on faith. I usually have a backlog of books on my shelf waiting their turn. Here are my current books in waiting.

The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien – Having read the Hobbit while touring New Zealand last fall, this seems like a natural.

The Unseen Realm, by Michael S. Heiser – The supernatural is deeply embedded in contemporary pop culture and literature. I am interested in learning more about its scriptural basis and what I’ve been missing because I have not recognized what is hiding in plain sight.

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, by Norman Doidge, M.D. – Science is teaching us that our brains are more resilient than we’ve given them credit for. Maybe I can rewire mine and take up that classical guitar concert career I’ve always wanted.

Battle: The Story of the Bulge, by John Toland – Surprisingly, I’ve never read a definitive history of the Battle of the Bulge and this seems like a good one to start with. If it is as good as Toland’s The Rising Sun then I will have two of his books on my all-time favs list.

How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe, by Thomas Cahill – I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland and have a vague notion that it may actually happen as our next big adventure. I’d like to be prepared when it does.

Come Up Here, by Aaron Smith – In the last few years my faith has undergone radical changes, due in part to personal experiences that caused me to challenge what I believed and seek the fullness of intimacy with my Savior. I am still on the journey, diving deeper into ancient truths that are alive today.

Reading, the gateway to discovering old truths, understanding new discoveries, and exploring human history. What’s on your reading shelf?