Wednesday, May 06, 2015

5 favorite reads from February - April [from the book pile: 2015]

5 top reads February - April

-- 1 --

6  The Practice of Homefulness by Walter Brueggemann (Cascade Books, April 2014.)

Reading challenge category*:  a book by an author you've never read before (I might add that I own books by this author -- just haven't read them yet!)

I sheepishly admit I thought this book title meant something other than what it, in fact, means. But the actual meaning resurrected my dry and thirsty self far more than any ideal I'd erroneously projected onto the title, thanks be to God.

I could include countless meaningful excerpts from this series of essays and sermons written and spoken by Brueggemann.  Here's a concluding paragraph from the opening essay and it comes after the author exegetes several Old and New Testament passages that speak to the covenant Yahweh makes with his people to provide homes of peace (as well as the commitment Yahweh makes to break up the homes of those who violate that covenant).
"The church is invited to see itself set in the world with a priestly role, to proclaim and practice God's mighty acts, to be the mode of mercy that orphans receive from God. Preaching is a chance to let the practice of mercy touch the reality of God's displaced orphans. 
I conclude with four questions that may haunt us as we do the awesome work of preaching: 
1.  Is it true that some lack a home because some have too much house? 
2. Is it true that we seek too much house at the expense of our neighbors, because we ourselves are deeply homeless? 
3.  Is it true that one cannot care deeply about homes for others until we find our true homefulness? 
4.  What did he mean when he said this [Matthew 6:25-32]"

-- 2 --

7  Our Town: A Play in Three Acts by Thornton Wilder

Reading challenge category*:  a play

Full disclosure: I read the book while watching a movie version.  I found that method to be thoroughly enjoyable, thank you very much.

-- 3 --

8  Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet by Christian Wiman (Copper Canyon Press, September 2007. 240 pages.)

Reading challenge category*:  a memoir

Continuing my education on Christian Wiman. I need to own this book so I can re-visit it.  Very, very good.

-- 4 --

Every Riven Thing: Poems by Christian Wiman (Mulholland Books, June 2014. 464 pages)

Reading challenge category*: a book of poems (don't think that's a category, but it should be!)

Poems both joyful and sorrowful, written in the middle of the poet's suffering with cancer.  Beautiful and good.  Need to own.

-- 5 --

10  The Former Hero by Jeffrey A. Mays (2014. 189 pages)

Reading challenge category*:  a mystery or thriller

I'm so proud of my friend Jeffrey for the commitment and passion he put into writing and publishing his first novel.  I first really met Jeffrey by stumbling into him time and again in the coffee shop where he wrote a good amount of this book.  I'm also proud of his wife Trina for supporting him so well in this endeavour.  (We're also celebrating the 2015 Book Award for Suspense/Thriller from the Texas Association of Authors.)

Here's the book summary:  
"When a train-wreck, single-mother wakes from an afternoon nap to find her little girl gone, she launches on a frantic search through the dark city streets to find her. Fearful that the girl has been abducted by the burgeoning sex trade, she solicits help and protection from an outcast loner on a Harley. But when they raise a clamor in the city offices seeking police aid, they draw the suspicion-and malice-of corrupt city barons. One sour veteran detective might help them, if they can just find him. Meanwhile the superhero Omni-man lies in a hospital hoping that doctors can find a cure to restore his lost superpowers. But he soon realizes he will face life as an ordinary man. When he joins one last adventure to help find the missing girl, the former superhero begins a psychological journey that leads him farther down the rabbit hole of self-discovery than he was prepared for."
You can purchase the book on Amazon (Kindle or Paperback) or through Jeffrey's website here

*This year, I'm using a fun challenge checklist with a Facebook group of friends (and sisters!).  You can find the checklist here:  Take Our Ultimate Reading Challenge  If you'd like to join our Reading Challenge 2015 group on Facebook, let me know and I'll send you an invite! 

*Go to my Book Pile page to see my reading lists from 2014 and previous years.*

What are you reading right now?

*Linking up with Rachel today

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