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Thursday, April 07, 2005

What I'm Reading

One of my flaws (some would say, "one of his 'many' flaws") is that I can never just read one book at a time. So here are a few of the things percolating in my brain lately:

"State of Fear" by Michael Crichton - One of my favorite sci-fi authors. Also one of the most successful authors of all time. Did you know he created the TV show "ER?" His newest book is a story that takes you from the courtrooms and boardrooms of Los Angeles to the jungles of Indonesia to the glacial plains of Antarctica. Crichton's book is fiction, but it addresses real issues. The baddies are eco-terrorists and ... lawyers. So you think you know what global warming is? Crichton's research and footnotes may give you something new to ruminate.

"Son of Laughter" by Frederick Buechner - A novelization of the biblical story of Jacob, the patriarch. I am usually pretty cautious toward novels based on stories from the Bible. A lot of the time, they introduce too much speculation, interpretation, and revisionism. But this one is exceptional. I find that Buechner is very respectful of the subject matter and the authority of Scripture, while at the same time fleshing out these familiar characters and stories in fresh and interesting ways.

"The Fire and the Staff" by Klemet I. Preus - The subtitle of this awesome book is "Lutheran Theology in Practice." I sincerely wish this new tome from CPH had been available while I was still a seminarian. Pastor Preus writes about Lutheran doctrine and practice in a very down-to-earth manner, sprinkling in a healthy dose of illustrations and personal anecdotes. He is also quite humorous at times. But this isn't just a book for pastors. Nosireebob. I wish everyone would sit down to relax with a nice glass of Pinot Noir in one hand and "The Fire and the Staff" in the other.

What I wish I were reading right now:
"Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by Lynne Truss - I just keep on checking this out from the library but just never seem to get around to it. The reviews have been intriguing, including my wife's. I enjoy these kind of books. Books about language, grammar, and punctuation. Sounds dry, but there are some lovely texts out there.

Along a similar line, I recommend "Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose" by Constance Hale.

So many books, so little time. It grieves me that our culture is becoming a-literate. We can read, but we don't.

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