Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Reading

Delicious thunderstorm outside today—the kind where the sky provides a dark blue backdrop to the budding trees whose new leaves look almost neon green and the pink buds fuchsia; thunder growls and lightning answers in broad flashes.

If I weren't at work now, I'd be in bed, resting a hot mug of coffee on my sternum and using the other hand to hold up one of the following books against my knees (I'm currently reading/starting the following books):

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance: A Memoir —Elna Baker

This book is like the Mormon answer to Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz, only cheekier. I haven't laughed out loud at a book in a long time but Baker has cracked me up multiple times with her funny memoir. A lovely little chick lit romp (but it's a memoir so it's okay).

This Is Where I Leave You —Jonathan Tropper
Don't know, haven't started it but I'm very excited about this dysfunctional family dramedy. And it already has two things going for it: it starts with a sex scene (so my other book clubbers have told me—I think they were trying to warn me as I'm perceived as the most naive member of the group (rightly so)) and I like the cover design.

The Orthodox Heretic: And Other Impossible Tales —Peter Rollins

Peter Rollins' talks have been rocking my world. He's a self-termed pyrotheologian promoting the idea that what we need is more doubters of God and fewer believers of God. He makes the point that one can fill stadiums with "believers" but getting people to doubt and ask intelligent questions about their faith rather than following their feelings is what will fortify and grow individual and corporate faith. Anyway, this is a tiny book of parables he wrote and I've only read one so far and I plan to read them slowly (which he encourages in the introduction of the book).

The Holiness of God —R.C. Sproul

Mum made me read a chapter out loud to her the other day. I had just used three curse words during a work vent and I think she was worried about the well being of my soul. I flipped through the chapter and saw that it was a good 15 pages. I said "no way, we'll read a few pages then you can read the rest yourself." Fifteen pages later I set the book down and told her "we should do this more often." I forgot how much I appreciate Sproul's noncondescending take on theology and how much he crams into a page. Plus, discussing faith with my Mum is the best. She brings the angsty 20-something feelings I have together with her years of study and wisdom to make for great discussion.

Moby Dick —Herman Melville
Harry selected this read and we're both going to read it before the end of 2011.
I'm going to finish it first.
That's not saying much though because he basically reads as many pages (600+) easily in a week or two of studying philosophy so I have a clear advantage. We'll see how far it gets me. But can I just say that it's hot to have a boyfriend who suggests we tackle classic literature together?

Disappointment with God —Philip Yancey
A.K.A. most depressing title of a book ever. However, this book is asking three questions that have tortured me for some time:
Is God unfair?
Is God silent?
Is God hidden?
Yancey doesn't sooth with platitudes, misapplied Bible verses, or "remember that time when God was nice to you? That's how you know he's fair, present, and listening..." Rather, Yancey intelligently and critically addresses the three questions above and doesn't ask the reader to agree with him necessarily. He asserts himself confidently through his writing but gives you that lovely author-to-reader trust that says "so there you have it, take it or leave it but thanks for listening."

I also have The Help and The Hunger Games on my bed stand since I'm not above purchasing these books under the pretense that they're for Mom then adopting them as my own once she's read them. The one good thing about popular fiction is that it's fun to share them at the office, among friends, etc.

Read on and feel free to ask for or give recommendations.

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