Tow trucks and child prodigies

I’ve mentioned on Facebook and elsewhere that I’m really enjoying my new Kindle, which arrived yesterday, and that I did some reading last night while in Murfreesboro.

What, you might ask, is the first book I’m reading?

Well, there are several books on the device already: the two Jules Verne novels that I managed to finish on my smartphone before the Kindle arrived, the free Bible that I downloaded while trying to figure out which Bible to buy, and The Siege of Washington : The Untold Story of the Twelve Days That Shook the Union, which I discovered on sale through the terrific web site Ereader News Today, which spotlights whatever books Amazon happens to have on sale (or free!). Today, caught up in Dickens bicentennial madness, I downloaded A Christmas Carol, which like the Verne books is a public domain work offered by Amazon for free.

But – other than looking up a couple of Bible passages – the first book I’m actually reading on my Kindle is kind of unexpected: God Drives a Tow Truck, an inspirational book by Vicky Kaseorg. The book is normally $2.99 in the Kindle store, but when I stumbled across it the other day, during my fevered week of Kindle anticipation, it was free. I can’t recall whether I saw it on Ereader News Today or somewhere else.

I’m not usually a “Chicken Soup For The Soul” kind of guy, but the reviews on Amazon were favorable, saying that Kaseorg’s autobiographical stories were frank and funny. It just seemed like it might be something worth reading, especially at the no-risk price of zero. (The Kindle holds 1,400 books, and even if I were ever to delete some of them to free up space, I can always re-download any book I’ve purchased.)

I have to say, it’s an easy and enjoyable read. Yes, it’s upbeat, inspirational, and a little predictable at times, but the stories are well-told, Kaseorg has a sense of humor about herself, and the sentiment seems genuine, not manufactured. The stories cover various periods in the author’s life, many of them taking place when she hadn’t yet come to the Christian faith. Some deal with her love of animals, others with her family life or with people she’s encountered along the way. Kaseorg is also an artist, and each chapter has an illustration; that’s the one drawback of the Kindle’s otherwise-wonderful black-and-white e-ink display.

There are some of the stories that I can probably use in the future as sermon illustrations when I lay speak. (I always attribute stuff like that, by the way. I will never forget the time when a previous pastor of mine used Walter Wangerin’s story “Ragman” from the pulpit without saying where it came from, as if he had made it up. I was furious, “Ragman” being one of my favorite stories.)

Anyway, even though it’s not free anymore it’s still a good buy, an inspirational book that actually is inspirational.