Tuesday, 7 August 2012


The package came in the afternoon.

From an unknown person in Hyderabad.

It was compact - but heavy.  Delivered to the door by a courier man.  Duct-taped (hint of something American - only Americans apply their silver duct-tape willy-nilly).

We knew it would have to be books.

But what kind?

Some dry directory that we had ordered and forgotten?  Some unsolicited paper-weight (literally) that would do good at the old-paper shop?

Nothing of the sort.

This is what was in the package:


Such excellent books.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas is a hefty tome (almost 600 pages) which explores the life of a man who stood up against the Third Reich - and whose following of Christ has inspired so many.  You just can't control yourself with a book like this - both Sheba and I have dived in and are working our way through Bonhoeffer's childhood at this time - and rise of the Nazis.

The Monster in the Hollows is the third book of a series-in-progress - fantasy fiction by Andrew Peterson - song-writer extraordinaire - and writer of fiction that kids and their parents can enjoy reading aloud.  We read through the first two volumes - and this has now been written while we were reading the earlier two.  Its the first time I will be reading a book that was written after I read the initial ones...  But we have exercised extreme restraint on cracking this open (despite pleadings from the kids) - the unit tests for Asha and Enoch are in full swing - so we will have to wait for a holiday break to crop up somehow before we get down to finding out what Janner, Tink and Lillee are up to next.

Finally Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.  I have read this elegaic book about an aging pastor and his young wife and son - and consider it and its companion book Home as quite simply the best fiction I have read in the last 5 years at least.  Another copy of a gem like this is always, always welcome.  Our copy has already done a few rounds - so having another will only widen the circle it can roam.

So who has sent us this joy?

Our dear friends Ben and Krystal Davy of Omaha Nebraska.  Ben did a rotation with us at Jeevan Sahara Kendra in the run up to his Masters of Public Health.  His amazing mother has come out regularly to South India to volunteer with a local school in Hyderabad.  And she brought these tomes - and gave them to a local friend to post to us.

What wonderful friends to bless us with the joy of reading!  These happy volumes will remind us of Ben and Krystal for many a day...

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