a dirty job, by christopher moore. i fell in love with moore’s fiction writing with lamb: the gospel according to biff, christ’s childhood pal. one of the most-fun reads in the last few years. wonderfully reverent and terribly sacriligeous at the same time; almost devotional and side-splittingly, laugh-out-loud funny the next. but that wasn’t this book. so… i’ve become a bit of a chris moore junkie. i read ‘the stupidest angel’ (one of the best christmas books ever), and followed that with ‘fluke’, while i was in hawaii. a dirty job is moore’s newest. it’s the story of a ‘beta male’ (rather different than an alpha male) who’s wife dies in childbirth, and somehow he spots the “death angel” who shows up in the process, and becomes one himself. yeah, that sounds reallly weird. and it is really weird, as are all of chris moore’s books. he’s one of the very few writers who i can count on to make me laugh out loud (awkward on a plane, where i do much of my reading) every few pages.
the first 90 days: critical success strategies for new leaders at all levels, by michael watkins. um, not quite of the same genre as chris moore’s writing, to say the least. this book was recommended to me as i move into my same role/new boss relationship with zondervan. it was written by a harvard business school prof, and — well — it reads like it was written by a harvard business school prof. yes, it’s a bit dry. and the author makes some lame assumptions (in my opinion) about what intrinsically drives or motivates today’s leaders (i think he assumes “advancement” is one of the only motivators). however, while i wouldn’t call it a great read by any stretch, there are a few gems in it. and reading it from a ministry perspective, i thought it wouldn’t be a bad read for a youth worker (or any church worker) moving into a new church. I AM NOT suggesting that we continue adopting business answers to ministry applications. frankly, i’m getting pretty stinking tired of the church’s obsession with business writers and leaders. but, with a heavy dose of translation to minsitry-world, this book has thinking-fodder worth the time to plod through the pages (and skim or skip a few).
in cold blood, by truman capote. on my recent trip to tahoe with a bunch of guys, we rented the movie capote one night. it seems everyone on earth has seen this movie except the 8 of us who were up there. it’s the story of truman capote writing this book — in cold blood. i loved the movie, so thought it made sense to read the book, a staple of american literature. wow — i can see why this was so groundbreaking when it came out in the 60s. no one was telling non-fiction stories like this at that time. i’m glad i saw the movie first (rather than the other way around), because it gave me an interesting insight into the author and his motives and quirks (which don’t really come out in the book at all).