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Summer Reading Challenge: Les Miserables

Les Miserable

So your summer plans have been canceled (or severely limited)? Now what do you do with all those extra hours? 

Well, you could study up on aeronautical engineering (definitely not me...); or maybe build a chicken coop (guess what's in my backyard right now...). But I have one suggestion that you might try: Read.

I know, Michael is always recommending reading. But, hey, now you have the time! 

First and foremost, read Scripture this summer. Read large chunks of Scripture or whole books. You will be surprised at how nourishing it is to read entire books of the Bible in one sitting.

After that, I encourage you to pick up a good book. There are lots of good books - perhaps too many for the time that we have. If you are looking for some good books, don't worry the annual summer book sale will be happening soon (albeit, creatively this year; more on that later). 

Summer Reading Challenge

If you are unsure of what to read this summer, let me invite you to read along with me a classic novel that many choose not to read simply because of its length. The book? Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. Hugo's novel is one of the most powerful novels written in the history of literature. The book bleeds with distinctly Christian themes of mercy, grace, love, redemption, etc. 

But it is long. I mean, really long. 

In fact, my current copy is 1,330 pages! This is unfortunate, for it causes many to pass it by without reading.

I want to challenge you to read it, however. And read it with me this summer. Everytime I've read Les Miserables, it has always been with a reading group - you need the encouragement to persevere through such a long work! But believe me, it will be worth your time. 

The first time I read Les Miserables, I was changed. It was like the novel reached in and grabbed me and pulled me out of myself. No, I don't think the book is on par with Scripture...but I must honestly say that God deeply affected me when I read this book. 

If you want to join me, email me or leave a comment below. Let me recommend what I think is the best translation available (trust me, there are some really bad ones out there): Julie Rose's translation available here. Buy it and start reading! And for whomever joins this reading challenge, maybe we will try to meet as a group a couple times to share how we are responding to the book. After all, we have to keep encouraging each other to get all 1,000+ pages read!

So, go ahead. Do something hard this summer: read a really long book.

You won't regret it. I promise. 


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