Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Books: recent past, present, and near future

The good way to do this would be to comment on each book and talk about what it said to me, but that would take an eternity. Besides, I'm still digesting content. Ideas from these will be showing up (have been showing up) in my other writing, I'm sure.
  • Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. I got pointed to it yesterday when I was trying to find writing about the Christian theology of the body and desire. Besides, I've been meaning to read this book (and all of Lewis's other stuff) for ages. As befits C.S. Lewis, this book is deeply insightful and surprisingly practical--or perhaps "relevant" would be a better word. At any rate, it is shedding light on the emotional ecology, shall I say, of a number of relational environments. . . I'm about half-way through, having just finished the section on Affection.

  • Hopefully I'll make some headway in Holy Trinity this break. I've been hiking through this book for, what, 4 years now? If I had realized it was a seminary textbook when I first picked it up, I don't know if I would have bought it...

  • Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner. I read it New Year's Day, en route from St. Louis to JFK. I really liked this book: meditations on living intentionally, on structuring your life and thoughts around God, on living ritual and tradition.

  • Hearing God by Dallas Willard. Finally finished it, two nights ago! I started that book in August and I kept reading it in really small increments because it does take a lot of, hm, chewing. Definitely worthwhile. I intend to go back and reread the section on the "still small voice," to properly absorb. (Does that make me a cow, if I chew the literary cud?)

  • Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. I finished this around Christmas, and I think I'm going to go back to the beginning of that book, too. (Thanks so much, Finney!)

  • A Wrinkle in Time and A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle. It had been a long time since I read those books, and I am so glad I reread them. I hate describing things in superlatives, so I'm just going to tell you to READ THEM if you haven't already. (And read the middle book too! I just couldn't find it on my bookshelf!) One of the major themes, painted beautifully, is the interconnectedness of all things, from the stars down to the mitochondria. We all need each other, L'Engle says.
As for what I'm reading next, here are 3 from the top of my mental stack:
  • Adger's Core Syntax, because sentences are fascinating!

  • Kingdom Without Borders from Urbana, about the church around the world. I'm excited to learn about different cultures and how God works in different places.

  • A commentary on Hosea, lent to me by the pastor at church, in preparation for Bible study next semester.

There is a lamentable lack of fiction on this list, despite the glorious exception of Madeleine L'Engle. Any suggestions for novels for me to read?

1 comment:

sarawr said...

madeleine l'engle's books are so amazing! haha, of course =) a wind in the door is really good too. it's been so long since i've read those books--now you've got me wanting to reread them...

fiction suggestions... well, my favorite book and the on i always recommend is we the living by ayn rand. a lot of people i've talked to have really mixed feelings about it and her philosophies are.. well, you'll see if you read it. anyway, i think it's really good AND it was an intj who recommended it to me ;)