Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Current Book List

" You can never get me a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."-- C.S. Lewis

I meant to post my book list in January, but time has not been on my side. I love to read, and I always have. My passion for books almost died a few years ago as a result of too much career related reading. These days, I cannot be without a book. Here are 13 books I'm going to be working through during the remainder  of 2014: in no particular order.

1. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other by: Sherry Turkle
As I think about our culture, one of the most alarming trends I'm seeing is the loneliness and lack of community we all experience to some extent. In this book, Sherry Turkle, a psychologist who studies our culture's relationship with technology, argues that technology is taking us to a place that we don't want to go. It allows us to control our interactions with others. We end up presenting the self as we want to be-- not as we really are. Listen to her TED Talk on this topic to get a better idea of what's in the book.

2. Help, Thanks, Wow by: Anne Lamott

I read my first Anne Lamott book, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, for an English class assignment in 9th grade. I loved it! She has this earthy and realistic grasp on faith that I so enjoy. Her life isn't perfectly packaged (which I can certainly relate with). Lamott's candor and wit about the questions and contradictions she faces read like a breath of fresh air. I want to read every book she has written.

3. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by: Susan Cain
I bought this book for my husband last Christmas, and it has been sitting on the shelf collecting dust. So naturally, I'm going to dust it off and digest it. We live in a world that seems to value extroverts to the extent that introverts are often taught and encouraged to behave like extroverts. I'm interested to see what Cain has to say in defense of the way that introverts think and operate.

4. After You Believe by: N.T.Wright
I love the Bishop Tom Wright. I listened to this lecture he gave on some of the topics he covers in After You Believe, and knew I had to pick up this book. It's already blowing my mind. He's basically talking about how Christian character is different from both legalistic rule following and living spontaneously "from the heart". He lays out a beautiful vision of the kingdom of God and the Church's participation in it. This one is not to be missed!

5.Going Public by: David & Kelli Pritchard
I purchased this book a week ago and I'm tearing through it. It is so good! I have heard every possible argument about why I ought to avoid sending my children to public school. I wanted to read something from the other point of view, and this book fit the bill.  My husband and I have been wrestling with the decision to homeschool or to send our kids to public school. The Pritchards are a Christian family in Washington who send their eight children to public school. They contend that public school can be an excellent way to train your children to live in today's cultural moment. I'm very interested; we'll see how it goes.
6. I Invented the Modern Age: The Rise of Henry Ford
 I picked up this gem at my local library and had to return it before I was finished. It's an easy and interesting read that chronicles the life and influences of Henry Ford. So far I have enjoyed the author's account of Ford's wife. Ford called her "The Believer"  because she believed in him and his work so much. The automobile and its innovative assembly line ushered in the modern age. I'm excited to learn more about this titan of industry.

7.The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by: Rosaria Butterfield
I've had several friends recommend this book. It's the story of a lesbian college professor who becomes a Christian while reading the Bible in order to form a case against it. I listened to a lecture she gave about her experience and was really moved. What struck me was her love for the homosexual community. In her lecture, she addressed the Church's need to love. I can't wait to read this one.

8. Divergent by: Veronica Roth
I am a sucker for futuristic science fiction-ish stories. I loved The Hunger Games, and I've had several friends recommend this book. I wanted to read it before it came out in theaters, but who am I kidding? I have three small children, and I'm not going to the movies anytime soon. I'll catch it on Netflix!!

9. The Truth About Style by: Stacy London
Does anyone else love What Not To Wear? I do! If you've never seen it check it out on Netflix. The show takes someone who is frightfully out of style, and over the span of a few days completely transforms their wardrobe and style. The thing I love so much about the show is that it brings out real issues behind why people stop taking care of themselves. What can I say? I love the stories. This book promises to be chock full of them.

10. The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door by: Jay Pathak, Dave Runyon, and Randy Frazee
When my family lived in Montgomery, AL we had some great friendships with our neighbors. Since we've moved away, it has been much more challenging to know and love the people who live around us. Maybe its because we lived in a downtown neighborhood and now we live in a more suburban area? Or maybe its because our neighborhood in Montgomery was more socioeconomically diverse and people felt like they needed each other more? Whatever the cause I am in need of some help loving my neighbors.

 11. Steve Jobs by: Walter Isaacson
This is another title that has been sitting up on our bookshelf unread. If you don't know (though I don't know how you could not know) Steve Jobs is the recently deceased co- founder and CEO of Apple, Inc. He is known for his incredible success, energy, drive and vision. I'm very interested to learn more about his life.

12. The Pilgrim's Progress by: John Bunyan
This indeed is a Christian classic, an allegory My mother read an abridged version to me as a child, but I'm excited to sink my teeth into the larger story.

13. Orthodoxy by: G. K. Chesterton
This is one of my husband's very favorite books. I can't believe I've made it through almost five years of marriage to him without reading it. In honor of my husband (the mathematician and software engineer), here is the quote from this volume that he's most likely to share at dinner parties. "The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits."

What are you reading?

Have you read a book recently that you can't put down?

 I'm always looking for new books to read so leave me some suggestions!