Be careful what you read. It may change your life!
Franz Kafka wrote that books can “wound and stab us… wake us up with a blow on the head… affect us like a disaster… grieve us deeply.”
As we move, over the next month, into the Spring, a time of renewal…and this week as we contemplate the Resurrection…think about the books you plan to read the rest of the year.
What is on your to-read list? Is there a book with which you know you will disagree? Is there one that could rattle your cage a bit more than usual? Could we spend this year reading dangerously?
Tell us your book plans below. It will be “fun” to see what you come up with.
I don’t consciously have a book plan, though I do have an idea of what books I’d read in a year. I’m seeing ‘You can do it’ by John Mason, ‘Become a better you’ – Joel Osteen, and ‘Daniel’s fast’ on my reading list. And as many novels that comes my way, as long as they do not stand on the opposite side of my faith.
In this hurry up world, while I love to read, there seems to be little time to actually read. In the last few months I’ve discovered Overdrive (an app for my phone hooked to the public library). I’ve been reading (really listening) to much more biographies, memoirs, history books and others that I probably would not have “read.” Overdrive is a simple way I can download audio books to my phone, hear the same book in my car (thanks to blue tooth) and add to my regular reading. It’s been amazing and something I highly recommend to others. There is a bit of a learning curve with Overdrive (like anything new) but it is way worth it.
The Writing Life
At the moment, I’m making my way through Nadia Bolz-Weber’s “Patrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint.” Her thoughts (and language) rattle my cage yet I am learning much from her perspective. I need a strategy for the rest of my book stack and Kindle downloads. Next on the list is Margot Starbuck’s “Overplayed: A Parent’s Guide to Sanity in the World of Youth Sports.” Then…maybe a lovely novel for balance!
Hey, it’s resurrection, not ressurection. I’m currently rereading The Hobbit because being immersed in another’s adventure helps deal with mine. Just finished the book, Evicted by Matthew Desmond–read it over a couple of days and have a rough draft of my review which will be ready in a day or two. Gives a great look at the problem of stable housing in the US. After The Hobbit I plan to read The Lord of the Rings trilogy and whatever else comes my way. Or maybe I should finish reading the stack of books I pullled together from my unread books of the last couple of years: biography, poetry, and non-fiction and reread a couple of Dallas Willard’s books because he influenced my life greatly and it difficult knowing that I will never again have the opportunity to hear him speak.
Sorry for the horrid typo. Wrote the post during the Mt. Hermon writers conference (still ongoing) where internet and cell coverage is spotty at best. Poor excuse, but then, I’m a terribele porfreader…
For as much of a planner as I am, I don’t usually plan my reading. Right now, I’m reading a few books for a contest. I probably should make sure I’m intentional about reading some nonfiction this year too. I like being challenged by what I read. Perhaps finding some nonfiction on audio will spur me toward “reading.” 🙂
I’m working through the second Lord of the Rings book with my sons, and enjoying that.
My reading for the next few months will be mostly building resources for the science-and-theology site I’m working on. The site will provide a place for anyone interested in understanding the intimate relationship between science, theology, and faith in Jesus as a personal savior. It will be a place to ask questions for any person with a logical approach to life and an open mind willing to consider facts and reason.
There are many books by fellow scientists and engineers and a few lawyers and journalists that prove the necessity of a creator and what he has done so we can know him. I’ll be rereading many of the best I’ve found and adding to my collection.
If you want to read one that will give you unbeatable arguments for God directly inspiring the Bible, there is a short one, “Hidden Treasures in the Biblical Text,” by Chuck Misler (an engineer). Among other things, it describes the precise patterns of words and letters in the original Hebrew and Greek of the Old and New Testament. It’s filled with info you don’t need to be mathematically inclined to appreciate and easy-to-understand examples that destroy any possible arguments that the Bible was merely written by a collection of humans. Misler has written a longer, more detailed version that is very much worth reading as well.
Last year I started working my way through the classics. Right now I’m finishing up Jane Eyre and next up is Little Women. I read the classics in conjunction with where my kids are in history and have them read the junior version.
At the recommendation of a friend, I just completed The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier. I’ve been studying crossover books by different authors–those tales where the protagonist is in a contemporary setting and she identifies with someone she discovers in the distant past.
My friends would probably not like the book for its language and graphic descriptions, but I found the telling of the conflict between the Huguenots and Catholics during the 16th century compelling. What a way to teach ugly history so that the contemporary crowd can identify with it.
I have found an author I just love and keep ordering all her books on Kindle. Catherine Ryan Hyde’s work is so moving, and her writing is exceptional – real and down to earth. Although she is not a Christian author, she is inspirational. I have not found anything offensive in the eight or so books I’ve read so far. Maybe an occasional slang word, but always in an appropriate situation. For now, that’s my reading plan – to devour all of her books.
Reading “The Wrath and the Dawn” to escape. “Looking Through the Eyes of Trauma and Dissociation” by Sandra Paulsen and “Trauma and Memory” by Peter Levine for research for my book.
I can’t believe you wrote a blog post during the conference … I’ve been part of a bookclub for the last 5 years or so, and we loosely follow a reading cycle: a classic, a best selling contemporary everyone’s talking about, and a spiritual. We are 5 Christian women, but we read “outside the box” and include decidedly secular content in our monthly fare. (Though we do draw the line at constant language or sex, demonic themes, etc. For instance, we read “The Power of One” but not “50 Shades of Grey.”) One book that stood out to me was Jhumpa Lahiri’s, “Interpreter of Maladies.” Very well written, albeit a bit depressing in its lack of hope. But then, that made for a great discussion… 🙂
Usually I try to write ahead of time and schedule a post’s delivery. That didn’t happen this time, so I did indeed write that during the conference. Probably one reason for the typo and the quick nature of the topic!
I’ve been away at the Mt. Hermon writers conference (a fantastic event every year!). So I came back to the office today and pulled six books from my “to read” pile to illustrate the above post…”Reading Dangerously.”
THE BIBLE DOESN’T SAY THAT by Joel Hoffman – a non-conservative Jewish perspective on the “40 Biblical Mistranslations, Misconceptions, and Other Misunderstandings.”
MR. JEFFERSON’S HAMMER by Robert Owens. A biography of William Henry Harrison who was the 9th US president but for only 32 days.
MOONWALKING WITH EINSTEIN by Joshua Foer. Subtitle “The Art and Science of Remembering Everything.” In other words, mental tricks to help your memory…like forgetting to pre-write a blog post before going out of town.
NINE ESSENTIAL THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT LIFE by Harold Kushner. A rather humanistic approach to life from a famous Rabbi and author of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” I find reading this type of book ends up taking me to Scripture to find the Biblical truth reflected in the humanistic truth… Because I believe that all Truth (with a capital T) is God’s Truth.
THE DAY ALTERNATIVE MUSIC DIED by Adam Caress. A look at rebellious music that struggled with the inevitable commercial pressures created by its success. I hope it will help illuminate the constant struggle between Marketing and Ministry in all of Christian publishing.
A SENSE OF THE MYSTERIOUS by Alan Lightman. Essays on science. He is a lyrical writer and can make some heady stuff accessible and beautiful.
Fiction is another pile for another day.
I really enjoy reading Oscar Wilde because he has this way of capturing the dark and light in humanity without telling it to you. I want to learn from his writing so I’m currently working through his public domain material on my kindle!