Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Want to read a book with me?

There's this new book coming out soon by Rob Bell. If you're not familiar with him, he's a guy who likes to challenge Christians to think in new ways (at least some might describe him as such, and I'm all about and feel we need more of it) but sometimes I feel like he must enjoy smirking at the way he gets his points across more (this is just my opinion, and I've not read or listened to close to everything this guy has to say - it fits with what I've seen/read). To be sure, he's very deliberate about the way he chooses what he has to say, and I can appreciate someone who spends time thinking about not only what he has to say, but also how he wants to say it.

Anyways, the book is called
Love Wins (link at amazon). In certain circles, it's started quite the conversation about the afterlife and Bell's theology in general (example 1, example 2). Some commenters, with varying degrees of familiarity with the upcoming book, have said The book doesn't hit shelves until March 29th, but I'm interested in reading it for a couple of reasons.

1. There are too many books that are easy for people to read without ever having to think. If a book is talking about that which you value most, it should make you think about, not just agree with, what it has to say.
2. Rob Bell's delivery/arrogance/confidence/whatever else you want to call it places him in some sort of magical middle ground that seems to make a startlingly high percentage of people who encounter what he has to say think about what they really believe about the potentially outrageous things Bell has just said (and while sometimes this results in polarization in his crowd, few of those, at least in my experience, just find themselves in one crowd or the other... for the most part, they've thought about what they believe, thought about what Bell's said, and decided from there... That result of the conversations he initiates I happen to really like...).
3. The folks who may have spoken out of turn (let's face it, it's not always wise to make sweeping comments about hot topic issues and notable personalities without reading everything that's been said, i.e. the whole forthcoming book) about what's allegedly in Bell's book seem to be motivated by a desire that resonates with me: not only are there are things that are right and things that are wrong, but those things are worth talking about and in many ways demand that we talk about them (or at least if we're not talking about them, we have something to say about them that's rooted in more than what we've heard).

So here's the part where I'm going to pretend that I'm somebody famous and people will actually do this... Heh... I like to entertain myself...

Here's a "book trailer" for Love Wins. After I've read the book, I'll be better prepared to say whether or not it's a solid intro or not, but for now, it's what's there.

While I don't always agree with his answers, I'm often intrigued by many of Rob Bell's questions. This book is no exception.

If you're interested in reading this book, talking about these things, thinking about these things, let me know. I'm going to read the book and be thinking about it, but the more people who help that along with conversation, the better.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I read these books

For the first time ever, I kept track of the books I read throughout an entire year. I'm sure this is as many books as I've ever read in a year, and I'm pretty pleased with the list I came up with. In no particular order (because of the infuriating way this thing makes me insert and adjust images), here's what I read.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Matterhorn and Lemuria Books

It's when I'm reading something else that I'm most often inspired to write something of my own. Unfortunately, there's not much I can add to this post over at lemuria's blog. Matterhorn should be on your list of books to read this summer.

Also, if you haven't seen this bookstore (which is likely given that I live something like 10 hours from it...), you should check out their website. Their first editions club has guided me to several books and new authors I wouldn't have found otherwise.

Also, check out the little border that exists at the top of their pages. So much that's good there...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

book talk: Beatrice & Virgil

Yann Martel's new novel, Beatrice & Virgil, is rather fantastic. However, it's a "the less you know going into it, the more fun you have figuring things out on your own" type of novel, so no lengthy chit chat here.

Fans of Life of Pi will enjoy seeing animals at the center of the storytelling again. The novel is worth your time, and it shouldn't take too much of it to complete. However, while the novel is just short of 200 pages, it promises to be a conversation starter. I'm looking forward to discussing the novel and figuring out what I missed on my first read.

That's all I'm saying. Well, that and this: do NOT go looking through the reviews and such that are out there already. Some of the reviewers have no concept of what spoilers are...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What I should have chosen first...

A while back, I posted a few books that I was considering reading at the time. Let the Great World Spin fizzled out about 80 pages in. I enjoyed Plainsong but not enough to go out and buy Eventide immediately. Tonight, (or this morning or whatever) I found myself hooked on this fantastic novel by Jeffrey Lent, In the Fall.

Before I continue, here are two facts you need to know about me. After something like 8 or 9pm, books make me sleepy. Really sleepy. Also, books that come highly recommended or with loads of unbelievable praise don't so well with me. I like to find things on my own instead of refinding what someone else just found... Whatever...

Now that you know that, know this: In the Fall has me up reading until 4am. I've not read nearly as widely as many of my friends, but I can count on one hand the books I've been this excited about recently. Seriously.

Do yourself a favor - grab a copy of this book.

Fair warning - The novel doesn't have some sort of earth shattering opening. (well, the prologue has me thinking still, but that's not the point...) The first of the three "books" brings the narrative that's been picking up steam over 150 pages to a full boil. If you agree to pick up this book, you agree to read through the end of the first book. Also, apologies to those of you who have read this book and are much better suited for writing this sort of endorsement... Feel free to fill in any cracks I've left/correct any mistakes or places I may have misled people...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Future of Publishing

As a Kindle user, I've had the thoughts about if in X amount of years, all my students will walk into class with something like that.

In some ways, that would be great.

In others, well... I'm not so sure.

I like the feel of a book in my hands, and that sensation is definitely lost during the Kindle (or any ebook) experience. This video takes an interesting look at some of that future.

The clip is likely to have some place in a classroom about making snap judgements or assumptions about others. Be sure you watch it all.

Also, to be fair, I found this video at Lemuria's blog (here). Lemuria books is a fantastic little independent bookstore in Jackson, MS which, one day, I will have the privilege of entering. Until then, I visit here. Thanks to them for the video.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

McCarthy Covers

I know there are a few people who read this who are also big Cormac McCarthy fans. This link, shown to me by a good friend, is all about the new set of covers that McCarthy's books are being reissued with (maybe just in England? I'm not so sure...).

I tend to agree with the some of the commenters who voiced concerns about dropping the subtitles for Blood Meridian, and the covers are far from perfect; if nothing else, they're something pretty to look at and tempt you to rebuy copies of books you already own.

Also, I tend to like the covers more for the books I've not read. Not sure what that means, but it's something to think about.


Edit: I like this cover for The Road better than the eventual design...