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...