Not My Father's Son - Alan Cumming. This engaging memoir explores two interesting threads of actor Alan Cumming's family history. The first is the mystery of his maternal grandfather's disappearance and death during World War II; the second is Cumming's own upbringing as the victim of his father's physical and emotional abuse. When his father, whom he hasn't spoken to in years, reconnects to share a secret from the past, Cumming is forced to confront that past, and his father, in order to heal and move on.
This book has some dark, tough parts, yet what comes through most is Cumming's joyful, almost childlike personality. The fact that that was preserved in spite of the suffering he endured as a child is a testament to the support and love of his brother, mother, partner, and friends, and his own determination to become more than just "his father's son."
Bold Love - Dan Allender. I took this book out of our church library because it looked intriguing. Published in the 1980's, Bold Love unpacks many of our Christian misconceptions about what love really is and explores how to love courageously and redemptively even in the midst of conflict. I found much of this book helpful and thought-provoking. Allender's style is idiosyncratic, though: he is a passionate writer who uses a lot of metaphors. When he talks about loving "an evil person," "a fool," and "a simpleton," I find the distinctions contrived, and sometimes his logic seems a bit convoluted. Yet the honest, un-airbrushed examples are great, and the ending of the book is moving and inspiring.
What have you read this past month? Please share in the comments!