Monday, October 11, 2010

What's on Your Bookshelf?

My wife has noted my tendency to go immediately to the bookshelf any time I enter a new friend's home. I maintain that you can tell a lot about a person by what they read.

The idea of this blog was inspired by my blogging friend Eruesso over at A God-Sized Puzzle.

I presently have three books out from the library. I just finished Losing My Religion (excellent), am in the middle of Me of little Faith, and I hope to get to the Dali Lama before my time runs out.

I am enjoying Me of Little Faith immensely. I love hearing Black's commentary on Faith.  I have been drawn lately to hear what people have to say about God when they do not feel bound by their religious group to give the "right" answer.

The various pics of my bookshelves cover most of what I have.  Some of those shelves are two deep, and I wasn't motivated to pull all the books down... the pics give a good flavor.

What isn't depicted, for the most part, is fiction (usually science fiction). I got rid of much of my collection when I moved to Utah from Michigan. We downsized on the house, so we needed to trim down. However, the theology and comics stayed.

The authors who have influenced my life most in the past couple of years have been Brian Mclaren, Richard Rohr, Thich Nhat Hanh, Philip Gulley, and Marcus Borg.  Brian because he gave space for me to address how I saw Christ and God, Hanh for challenging me on the path of love, Rohr for helping me see the third way, Borg for giving me permission to take the Bible seriously but not literally, and Gulley for expanding my idea of God and officially converting me to Universalism.

So I highly recommend:

A Generous Orthodoxy - Brian Mclaren
Everything Belongs - Richard Rohr
Teachings on Love - Thich Nhat Hanh
If Grace is True - Phillip Gulley
Reading the Bible Again for the First Time - Marcus Borg

I also have to mention No Greater Love by Mother Teresa. My wife and I did this book as a small group with our church a number of years ago. It had a profound effect on how we view the world and each other.

I will probably think of books later that escape me at the moment; but how about you?

What are you reading?


Redlefty said...

For theology I'm reading David Dark and George MacDonald. Fiction is young adult fiction trilogy by Suzanne Collins (at the request of my wife, and I like it so far). Normally I'm a sci-fi guy like you!

For my career I'm reading True Leadership and You're Better Than Your Job Search.

Usually I'm a one-at-a-time reader but not these days!

curmudgeon said...

Right now Arts Marketing Insights, The Art of the Turn Around: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Arts Organizations. I am also reading The Purity Myth.

Recently read Dan Barker's Godless and Christopher Hitchens God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

Next Richard Dawkins The Greatest Show on Earth and several scripts for next years fheatre season.

Sammy said...

I just finished reading the autobiography of the Dalai Lama and am about to start his book The Universe in a Singe Atom. I'm also reading Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde.

Most of the fiction books I have are sci-fi. I especially love books with a dystopian theme. My favorite sci-fi author is Vonnegut, but I also love Asimov and Douglas Adams.

Non-fiction is mostly religion and theology (especially universalism)or science, mixed in with some philosophy. I greatly enjoy books which attempt to mesh religion and science in some way (Finding Darwin's God, The Language of God are two good examples).

Also, I must say that I absolutely love Lewis Black! He is my favorite comic, and I did not know he wrote a book on religion, so I promptly ordered it on Amazon.

Eruesso said...

Great collection! Now I've got more books to add to my Amazon Wishlist. I might need to ask Santa for a new bookcase this year.

Don said...

Alrighty then....You & Eruesso given me a challeng. I will picture my own library soon. My problem is they are not shelved....Is that a word? As I've stated before, the wife and I don't see eye to eye on theology or spirituality...So I keep my books in a cabinet. I will take up the challenge however.

Bob said...

Thanks for asking! Loved your list. I need to purge my bookshelves a bit as some do NOT reflect who I am as much as my wife's decorative scheme (she removes the book jackets and color-coordinates!). I have tried to quit buying books as much as possible except for those I can't find at the library or those I can pick up cheap at used book sales.

I put my most recent reads on the Shelfari bookshelf on my blog page My reading preferences are much like my tastes in music -- quite varied. I love good writing, period. I try to read at least a couple of classics a year. Don't know if The Maltese Falcon would be included it but read it a couple of months ago.

I have read most of Philip Gulley's and heard him speak a few years ago. Don't agree with much of his theology but love his writing. Same with Borg and have also heard him speak

I think you would like Wendell Berry. Just finished one of his and reading a book of his short stories now.

Not a Sci-Fi fan -- maybe I'm not intelligent enough?!

Look for a blog post from me in the next day or so about an author I just met.

Anonymous said...

I am reading the last book in Eugene Peterson's series on spiritual theology. It is called Practice Resurrection and is centered on the letter to the Ephesians. Wonderfully engaging as usual for Peterson. - Mark D

Jon said...

I love the bookshelf pictures. My shelf is like a biography as I find it really hard to get rid of books - so there are books from my childhood (even some from my parents' childhood), books from our brethren days and books I love now. Also, if you only read things you agree with you never learn, so lots of stuff there that I don't agree with.

Current book - Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. previously, The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand, Rogue Economics by Loretta Napoleoni, Quarantine by Jim Crace. Part way thorugh Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes, by Kenneth Bailey - fantastic book - and lots of others waiting for me to get to them.

Don said...

Mine is up as is a list over at my blog.

societyvs said...

Not reading much lately, doing a lot of music stuff but I am reading on Human Resources right now and Staffing (how fun - lol).

Andrew said...

Thanks for the comments everyone... I feel like I have a new stack to check out or buy.

I am debating buying a few ebooks now that i have an Ipad. I wish stores would offer a bundled price - buy the book and get the other version for an extra couple bucks.

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