May & June Books (2009)

I failed to do a post for May, so here are the books that I completed reading in May & June of 2009:

May Books

Why Johnny Can’t Preach: The Media have Shaped the Messengers by T. David Gordon:   Gordon is a professor at Grove City College and he wrote this book while he was undergoing treatment for cancer.  As a result, he indicates that his tone may come off as direct as blunt, but he hopes no less heartfelt.  In reading this book, I found that both were true.  It is clear that Gordon loves the preaching of God’s Word and laments its current state within the church (“ordinarily poor”).  In reading this book and Gordon’s lament, I reacted on a couple of levels:  personally and professionally.  On the personal side, I was a little offended and wanted to defend my preaching and that of others I know.  Professionally, I know that Gordon is largely right and that my own preaching suffers from some of what is described in this book.  I am glad I read this book and has made me think seriously about my communication and how our current culture hinders that.  My one concern with this book is that I feel Gordon may have very specific and limited view of what might constitute good or great preaching (e.g. preaching that would be right at home in the 19th century, but might be foreign in the 21st).  That said, so much of what Gordon says is right on and I believe he proves his point with regard to the state of preaching (and of communication in general) today.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield:  This book is something of a literary mystery and was an excellent. The books centers around a famous author and her book-shop worker turned biographer.  The mystery lies in the author’s true past and the events, people, and forces that shaped her life.  One of my more recent favorite quotations comes from this book:  “to see is to read.”  Those were the words of the biographer in describing her love and need for reading.

July Books

Interred with their Bones by Jennifer Carrell:  Another literary styled mystery (and in this case, a thriller complete with murder and mayhem).  The mystery of this book centers around the identity of Shakespeare and a lost play.  Apparently, there is some debate about who Shakespeare was and the true identity of the author of the works we know as Shakespeare’s.  This book builds off of that premise.  It wasn’t as much of a page-turner as it suppose to be, at least for me.  Slow in spots and the entire premise seemed a little far-fetched.  Maybe, due to my slow pace, I had too much time to think about the plot.  Good, but not great read.

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