Monday, May 22, 2006

Reading Lists

I am about to enter a period of life where I will have to read many books on the same subject. I thought I'd let that world when I left university many years ago. I can remember the wonderful joy I felt when I opened a book I wanted to read rather than one I had to read! Yet... our staff has committed our lives and efforts to evangelizing our corner of Michigan and beyond and we have come to the conclusion that we need to know a great deal more about multi-site churches. Some of us have already traveled to visit multi-sites such as Napierville and all of us have found some books that all of us should read. So... starting next week I will be reading about missional churches and multi-site churches exclusively.

For now, I'll enjoy the books I'm reading. I am loving John Stossel's new book "Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity." It is a very easy and quick read loaded with common sense defusing of media and cultural myths. Alexander Webster and Darrell Cole's book "The Virtue of War" is a wonderful introduction to the Orthodox Church's view of just and justifiable wars (two different classifications). It is an important message from a rarely heard segment of wider Christendom.

Bill Bryson is one of my favorite authors and one of just a handful who can make me laugh outloud. His latest isn't his best, but I am still enjoying "A Brief History of Everything." Get the standard version. The extra special coffee table version is just too unwieldy.

Of course, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, so my thriller of this week is the latest novel by Lee Child in which he brings back former CID and MP Jack Reacher. "The Hard Way" looks to be another winner in the series.

I just finished "The Undercover Economist" and "South Park Conservatives" along with two of Ian Rankin's latest books, one starring John Rebus and the other Gordon Reeve. Good Scottish settings, genuine mysteries, and lots of thrills.

What books are you reading for fun or for study? Don't try to impress everybody -- just share what's good and what's not so good. When I come out from the cave after reading all the multi-site/missional church stuff I'll need some suggestions to bring me back into the mainstream world!


  • At 5/23/2006 04:42:00 AM , Blogger That Girl said...

    I just saw a review of Cooper Anderson's book, have you read it?

  • At 5/23/2006 04:49:00 AM , Anonymous Danny Gill said...

    I recently finished "For Men Only" by Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn, the sequel to "For Women Only". Both quite good.

    "Risk", by Kenny Luck was challenging to me, and I think it's right down your alley.

    For fun, I just finished re-reading "The Anubis Gates" and "Drawing of the Dark" by Tim Powers. (I tend to read several books by one author when I get rolling.) I know you're not a science fiction (or fantasy?) fan, but these are well-written, clever, and fun.

  • At 5/23/2006 05:24:00 AM , Blogger reJoyce said...

    Yay! Book recommendations. I've got a huge list of books to look for thanks to the blog world, and you just added to it.

    Too bad you aren't a fan of fantasy. I'd recommend Terry Pratchett. He's one of my favorites. I guess technically he'd be classified as Humor/Fantasy. Does that help any?

    I'm listening to an audio book called March right now. It's by Geraldine Brooks. It is a book about the father from Little Women and takes place during the time he was at war (though it flashes back to other parts of his life, too).

    I just started Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

    I've heard that the two books by the Feldhahn's are good - I've got the one for women on hold at the library, but other folk must think it's good too, because it's taking a long time to come.

  • At 5/23/2006 08:20:00 AM , Blogger heidi said...

    Since I'm not impressing anyone. :)

    I'm reading R.A. Salvatore's The Legacy.

    I will be starting the Eldredge's book "Captivating" this week. But that's for work and I'm not excited about it at all. Even though I have heard,indeed, that it is 'captivating".

  • At 5/23/2006 12:27:00 PM , Blogger Laurie said...

    Well, in all honesty, I just finished reading Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Along with that several text books and Killer Smile by Lisa Scottoline. One of my favorite authors is Greg Iles. He just can't write fast enought for me. I must also confess to reading James Patterson who has quite a variety at this time. I have too many authors to mention here.

    Be Blessed today!

  • At 5/23/2006 01:46:00 PM , Blogger CrazyJo said...

    I'm reading Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keiller. It was a freebie, and I'm enjoying it. The guy has a way with characters.

    I loved Bill Bryson's A Walk In The Woods. I'd love to read more of his stuff.

  • At 5/23/2006 05:20:00 PM , Blogger Dee O'Neil Andrews said...

    I just picked up "For Women Only" by Shaunti Feldhahn at my son and daughter-in-law's Sunday afternoon and have barely started it, so can't tell you whether it's good or not. It looks like some of your other commenters know of it, so hopefully it's a good one worth the read.

    For the most part, I figure at this stage of life and after having known Tom for about 27 years (and being a very intuitive woman to begin with) there won't be much, if anything, new I will learn (and maybe fortune will smile on me and I WILL learn even more about the ever elusive male), but that maybe I can pass the word along to other younger women to read the book.

    My son and daughter-in-law highly recommended it. I'm asking Tom the questions as I go through it to see how he compares to the "average" male. Much higher, of course! ha! He's definitely "unique," but then I knew that way before I married him!

    Another book I read not too long ago that I was completely taken with was "Letters From A Skeptic" by Edward Boyd and his dad that I would highly recommend to you all. I think (and my 84 year old mom, who is the best Bible scholar I know, thinks) it is the best book I've ever read on the pertinent topics it covers.

    I would highly encourage you, Patrick, to read the book (I got it on advice from our minister, Tod Vogt) and the rest of you, too. It will give you a whole new perspective in your own life and in dealing with others who have trouble with their faith.

    Meanwhile, here from Katrina Zone - Cheers! It's got to be easier where you all are than it is down here. Dee

  • At 5/24/2006 08:26:00 AM , Blogger Lee Hodges said...

    Presently reading, "Life On The Vine" by Philip Kenneson. It is a very practical look at the Fruit of the Spirit. Excellent section in the beginning about the cultural influence on our application of scripture.

    I also just started N.T. Wright's "Paul". Wright's works are not quick reads for me, but always filled with great stuff.

  • At 5/24/2006 09:05:00 AM , Blogger PatrickMead said...

    I recently read "For Women Only" and thought it was well done. I agree with Lee that NT Wright isn't a quick read, but he is always worth reading. I just got my multi-site/missional churches package so tonight and tomorrow I will work on Mark Driscoll's "Radical Reformission" and Surratt, Ligon, and Bird's "The Multi-Site Church Revolution."

    TL, Haven't seen or heard of Anderson Cooper's book yet. The Stossel book was a lot of fun.

    Greg Iles is a very good writer as is James Patterson. Good thriller stuff there.

    Heidi, I loved Eldredge's "Wild At Heart" and have heard good things about "Captivating." We expect a full report from you!

    And who wouldn't like Garrison Keillor?

    I read the new book "Torn Asunder" by Ben Brewster this last weekend. It is about the division in the CoC tribe in 1906. It is a very quick read and quite well done. College Press has picked it up to reprint it so get a copy.

  • At 5/24/2006 08:25:00 PM , Blogger Matt said...

    I'm a huge SF/Fantasy fan, so I won't bore you too much, but I will mention Orson Scott Card. He's one of the best at characterization ever, so if you give him a try, you will enjoy him, in spite of the SF. "Ender's Game" It's the bomb.

    Freakonomics by Steven Levitt. Very cool. See the world through and economists eyes. Every thing comes down to incentives.

    Deep Survival by Lawrence Gonzalez. "Who lives, Who dies and Why" is the tagline. Amazing stories of people who've gone to the very edge of and made it back.

    The next book I plan to read is "Between a Rock and Hard Place" by Aron Ralston. Aron is the guy who got his hand trapped under a boulder in a a canyon, and after 5 days, made the hard choice, that's right, he cut his own hand off. That's guts.

  • At 5/24/2006 09:11:00 PM , Blogger salguod said...

    Currently, nothing. I’m not as big a reader as I maybe ought to be.

    The last good book I read, though, was F.W. Faller’s Lonama’s Map. It’s the second in his ‘Portals of Tessalindria series’, which he calls ‘visionary fiction’. It’s similar to the Lord of the Rings in that it’s a fictional world that roughly resembles our own, but is profoundly different as well. It’s Christian in its themes, but not directly in that you can see Jesus in any of the charcters like in Lewis’ Aslan. It does have a redemption story line, though, and a heavy emphasis on seeing the spiritual reality that is behind the veil of the physical.

    The main character in this book goes through a spiritual awakening throughout the book. It’s chock full of deep spiritual concepts that challenge the core of his soul. I found that the main character’s thought process, wonderings, doubts and faith mirrored my own as well, which may be why it resonated with me so much. It makes you think about deep concepts and the consequences of not thinking about them. I can’t recommend it enough. I think it’s available in some Christian bookstores as well as through the publisher’s web site (linked above).

    The first book (A Sword For the Immerland King) was good as well, but it didn’t hit me like this one. Faller has an epilogue on to Lonama’s Map on his site that’s good too. Read it after the book though, or it won’t make sense.

  • At 5/25/2006 12:11:00 PM , Blogger David U said...

    I just finished "The Secret Message of Jesus" by Brian McLaren.
    I am now reading a nonfiction account of a Peace-Corp worker who spent time in Togo. It's called "the Village of Waiting" by George Packer. My next read will be "Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson.

    I am ADDICTED to reading! :)

    Good luck in all of your readings, Patrick!


  • At 5/26/2006 10:21:00 AM , Blogger reJoyce said...

    In addition to his SF, Orson Scott Card does have some biblical fiction that I've enjoyed. The series is called Women of Genesis.



    Rachel and Leah

  • At 5/26/2006 02:32:00 PM , Anonymous extremist said...

    I'm just finishing Brave New World.

  • At 5/27/2006 10:10:00 AM , Blogger Jim MacKenzie said...

    You'll like this one Patrick: How The Scots Invented The Modern World by Arthur Herman. It's a grreat read, absolutely brrilliant. Hey, and it's about the homeland.

    Jim MacKenzie
    of the Clan MacKenzie

  • At 5/29/2006 06:39:00 PM , Blogger DEL said...

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 5/29/2006 06:46:00 PM , Blogger DEL said...


    Just finished "Washington's Crossing" by David H. Fischer about the Revolution in 1776 (a better read than "1776", I think), and am working on "Becoming a Prayer Warrior" by Elizabeth Alves.

    I ran into Karl McLarty yesterday.... he and his family are on their way to Searcy, Arkansas today....a new church for him.

    Don Lohr

  • At 5/30/2006 08:55:00 AM , Blogger Soren said...

    Just started reading Kenny Luck's "Risk." Also "No Perfect People" by John Burke. And "Searching for God Knows What" by Donald Miller.

  • At 5/31/2006 01:33:00 PM , Blogger Eric said...

    I am also an avid reader who enjoys this blog and it was a thrill to meet Patrick back in October. I thank Patrick for bringing up this topic and hope he will revisit it from time to time. It is interesting to read what others are reading.

    What am I reading right now? Well, thanks to this blog and Patrick I have recently read Donald Miller's, "Blue Like Jazz" and am currently reading another book by Donald Miller titled "Searching for God Knows What." I identify with that title immensely. But more on that some other time. I enjoy Miller's wit, thoughtfulness and stories. If you want an sample of some of Miller's writings check out his website.

    Another recent book I enjoyed was "Jack" by Douglas Gresham. It's a nice short and very interesting biography of C.S. Lewis.

    I've got a pile of others ranging from business to baseball and back to Searching for God Knows What..

    Keep up the good work. God Bless you all!

  • At 5/31/2006 03:16:00 PM , Anonymous greg said...

    recently finished McLaren's Secret Message... as well.

    currently reading 3 - The Myth of a Christian Nation by Gregory Boyd, The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan, and Church History in Plain Language by Bruce Shelley.

    For those reading Don Miller's books, I recommend them every chance I get. I read both Jazz and God Knows What a couple of years ago, and in my "to read" stack is his newest (To Own A Dragon). Also, a couple of N.T. Wright books as well.

  • At 6/01/2006 11:12:00 AM , Blogger Chalmers said...

    I recently completed Wild at Heart (excellent). I am reading three books right now: The Barbarian Way by McManus (excellent), On the Damned Human Race by Mark Twain (interesting) and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (I have a thing for banned books).

    I am also reading Conspiracy of Fools, an interesting read about the Enron meltdown.

  • At 6/02/2006 08:31:00 AM , Blogger PatrickMead said...

    This is fun, guys and gals. We'll revisit this in a couple of weeks.

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