With textbooks closed for the summer, some college students may be looking for light reading to enjoy in between jobs and vacations. Here are three suggestions that focus on love: God's love for us and our love for each other.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
This New York Times bestseller may be classified as a children's book, but this story of a lost china rabbit illustrates the pains of love and the cost of abandoning it in a way that will enchant adults and children alike. Edward Tulane, the china rabbit, cares only for his own pride and dignity, discounting the love of his owner, Abilene. One night, Abilene's grandmother tells them the story of a princess who "loved no one and cared nothing for love" and was transformed into a pig. When Edward is accidentally lost at sea, he slowly learns the parallels between himself and the princess, passing through several owners as he learns how to love. Delicate illustrations and short chapters relate Edward's adventures, from the bottom of the sea to a lonely hobo on the road. Much like The Velveteen Rabbit, the story is a beautiful example of love's transforming power, a mixture of fairy-tale and fable for all ages.
Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff
At the beginning of his junior year in high school, Bob Goff decided to move out to Yosemite National Park and spend his days climbing cliffs. When he told his friend Randy about his plans, Randy agreed to come with him and support him. It took less than three days for reality to hit, and Bob decided to go back and finish school. The kicker? Randy had just gotten married, and Bob didn't even know that Randy was giving up the first few days of married life to support him.
This story sets the tone for the whole book. Instead of the "traditional" Christian life of semiweekly services, this book describes "ridiculous" choices made in obedience to Christ. It's a shame the word "radical" has been so overused in modern culture, because it leaves it empty for those stories that really deserve it. The author challenges believers to invest in others and engage with the world.
He Chose the Nails: What God Did to Win Your Heart by Max Lucado
"Jesus loves me, this I know," is a common theme in the church, but the familiarity can breed apathy for this startling truth. He Chose the Nails focuses on the details of the crucifixion, presenting them as gifts demonstrating God's love. Max Lucado's writing style is engaging, easy to read and rich with details. Each chapter opens with a true story, then goes on to discuss an element of Jesus's death and what it means to us today. It felt like a series of movie close-ups, each shot focusing on a different detail-the vinegar-soaked sponge, the torn robe, the crown of thorns. The frequent references to Bible verses helps ground the book in Scripture, as well as show how all of Scripture points to redemption. While a dedicated reader could finish the book in a few days, the chapters should be savored and read slowly, to let the images sink in.
Editor's note: This is the second in a series of summer reading recommendations from World on Campus writers. Each writer chose a few of his or her personal favorites to share with readers who might be looking for something new, or old, to dive into before class starts next semester. Don't miss the other reviews in ourSummer Reading series. Enjoy!