Over on my facebook page I use an application to keep track of the books I'm reading. Sadly it seems to NOT work about as often as it DOES work so I don't have all my recent books listed.
It is interesting to compare my list with the lists of a lot of other youth ministers. As near as I can tell I'm letting the side down because I don't read "Christian" books (however you choose to define that) exclusively. Now it's possible that they only show the faith based books but why? To be honest I have trouble with most of the faith based books I've tried to read. Some are badly written (apparently we're willing to forgive crappy writing in the pursuit of the divine. Count me out). Some seem to be talking about some world I don't live in (and often wouldn't want to). For most of the rest I just want to say "Stop talking about it and go do it. Stop trying to find the "magic bullet" in some book and just go live a life in faith".
It's not easy but it's really not that complicated.
So in addition to boring you to tears with my movies I'm now going to inflict my books on you. I'm not choosing any of these books to impress you. To be honest I'm far too egotistical to concern myself with whether or not I'm reading the "right" books. One of my favorite buttons reads "I Read Banned Books". Yep, sometimes just to tick people off.
My reading is both fiction and non-fiction. I'm actively trying to read authors and books from the last 100 years or so that I've never read before. The intention is to bring a little more depth to my background. As part of that I've read "Old Man and the Sea" by Hemingway and "Ragtime" by Doctorow. Liked 'em both.
So here's the current list, just got them today at the Library:
Making Money by Terry Pratchett. Pratchett is a seriously demented writer who I enjoy immensely.
Stalin's Ghost by Martin Cruz SmithDon't know anything about this author, first book I've read. It's a mystery.
Post-modernism 101 by Heath White Yes it's a "Christian" book. I'm interested in what PoMo means and this looks like an interesting place to start.
God & Empire by John Dominic Crossnan Another "Christian" book (though I bet some of you just snorted in derision) Crossnan is an interesting guy and this looks like an interesting book.
The Third Man by Graham Greene I love Greene's stuff, got started on it a couple years ago.
So I'll let you know what I think as I roll along. If it's my usual pace I'll be through these books in the next two weeks. Yes, I'm serious. 5 books in 14 days? Easy, besides two of them are quite short.
As for the rest of you. Read. Read regularly. Read widely.
That's enough for today.
Oh, book suggestions old and new are certainly appreciated.