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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Read

Are you a reader? Do you read a lot? Do you have favorite authors or genres? Do the local librarians all know you by your first name? Do they know your tastes so well they automatically set books aside for you, knowing you will stop in one day this week to refresh your stock?

I used to read a lot of books. Fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, biography; they were all companions I loved to spend time with. Having served twenty-three years in the publishing industry, perhaps that was to be expected. As a former children’s book salesman, my children’s library was also well supplied. Richard Scarry, Mercer Mayer, Robert Munch, and many others were wonderful family friends.

I still like to read, and usually have a couple of books on the go, but I don’t seem to have near enough time for it any more. Finishing a book may take days if not weeks.

What I read has also changed. Even when I lived in California, I was a devoted reader of Canadian fiction authors. It was there I discovered the revealing Vincent Lam and his title Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures. Lately, however, I only seem to find time to read books I hope will help me in my ministry. Much as I value the insights gained there, I miss reading great and innovative authors like Yann Martel and his clever story The Life of Pi.

But Christmas is coming! Surely there will be time to take a few days off and just curl up with a good book! In particular, I think it is time to read a couple of works of fiction again!

So let me ask you; read any good books lately? Would you care to recommend an author or a title or two? What about your ministry list; read anything there you really liked recently? Let’s have a good conversation about the books we enjoy! Care to start it off?

14 comments:

  1. Wow! Either everyone is too busy or no one is reading! (Or perhaps no one is reading this blog!)

    In any event, let me mention a few books I have liked recently.

    The Life you Can Save - Peter Singer
    Stillness Speaks - Eckhart Tolle
    God Is. - David Adams Richards

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  2. I posted something on Monday using my name, didn't think there was anything inappropriate in it, but it's not here :-(

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  3. I'd love it if you could post that again. Monday was not a normal day for me and I may have accidentally lost it. I'm very sorry for that.

    Nothing "inappropriate" has been shared--ever! but we do have a Moderating step built in. We're loving the conversations that emerge out of our postings. Be patient as we take the time we need to ensure things get added to the Blog
    Marion

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  4. We so appreciate all the comments we receive on the blog. Please do post again.

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  5. Mel,

    It is always such a pleasure to read the comments of a book lover. I remember reading I Heard the Owl Call My Name many years ago. It was a great treasure.

    The title of Five Smooth Stones reminds me of the autobiographical Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. It is a remarkable story of an American who built more than 50 schools for girls in the mountains of Pakistan. When I hear of the bombing and fighting in that area now, I often wonder about the fate of those children and their new schools.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  6. In the last 10 years I have become a big fan of audiobooks (purchase them through Audible.com and download them to my iPod touch) -- many hundreds of hours of driving (and flying) have been made so much more productive and enjoyable by listening to books.

    I highly recommend:

    Miracle in the Andes (Nando Parrado)
    Crashing Through (Robert Kurson)
    Banker to the Poor (Muhammad Yunus)

    and just about anything by Bill Bryson (especially A Short History of Everything, A Walk in the Woods, and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid).

    Excellent marketing (think evangelism!) type books include

    Made to Stick (Chip Heath and Dan Heath)
    The Long Tail (Chris Anderson)
    FREE: The Future of a Radial Price (Anderson)

    and anything by Seth Godin (All Marketers are Liars, The Big Moo, Tribes, Small is the New Big, ...)

    Lew

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  7. The Bible is a pretty good read...

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  8. Wow! I don't think I will have any trouble filling up any spare hours over Christmas break now. I'm not sure I will get much of a shot at fiction, however.

    Lew, thanks for the marketing suggestions.

    Paula, always a favorite.

    One book I should have mentioned in my list is as follows.

    I Refuse To Lead A Dying Church (Paul Nixon)

    I especially recommend this one for Pastors and Priesthood members. It is the best book I have read on church growth for a long time; simple, easy to read and very doable.

    Good conversation! More suggestions are still welcome, friends.

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  9. Carman:

    Five smooth stones was one book I've read that has stayed in my thoughts for more than 30 years, it plays on the 5 smooth stones used by David in his slingshot. It is written by no other than a very white, very aristocratic southern belle, about life in the south as a black person, covering 5 generations. You will never catch a better understanding of the inner thoughts of someone who is faced with discrimination, than as portrayed in this book.It will live with you forever. Another that lasts a lifetime is Rage by Wilbur Smith written about the MauMau uprising in Africa, with very fair representation of the two rage felt by both sides at the sensless loss of life and dignity. Again, never to be forgotten.

    Mel

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  10. Look at all you guys talking about books without me!
    Most of you have had book recommendations of one sort or other from me. But I'd like to offer some of my fiction reads--the stuff I read "just for fun"
    My genre of choice is mystery and I choose women authors. I like the kinds of details that the women I read tend to include.
    Right now I'm reading Kate Atkinson (no relation). I first read "Case Histories" and I was well and truly hooked. Since then I've read her Human Croquet and her collection of short stories It's Not the End of the World. Just now I'm reading One Good Turn which I'm also loving (although I haven't opened it in more than a week).
    Other favourites are PD James, Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell.
    Not mystery, although often very mysterious, is anything, anything at all by Alice Munro. What a treasure she is!

    Enough for now.

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  11. Oh, and Elizabeth George! I can't believe I forgot her in my list.

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  12. Marion, welcome back!

    What a perfectly enjoyable conversation this is. I have a feeling we are adding to people's Christmas or library lists!

    For those who have thought about adding a title or two, or just a comment, there is still time. Tell us what you are reading and what books have touched you.

    Thanks to those who have already shared. Happy reading! :)

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  13. One of my favourite authors at the moment is Frederick Beuchner. A gifted writer and theologian, he has a concept of God and Jesus that is real, inspite of or perhaps because of losing his father to suicide at a young age.

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  14. Aart,

    I have not read Beuchner, but have now looked him up on the internet. He sounds like a very interesting author with a fascinating perspective. He seems to have a particularly delicious way of turning a phrase. The following is a quote I came across in looking him up.

    “The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you.”
    Frederick Buechner quote

    How lovely!

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