got through 2 and a 1/4.
the 1/4 was another 1/4 of Hip: The History. really intesting reading. lots of stuff for youth workers to mull over, since “hip” and “youth culture” flirt so openly with one another. i have a little over half-way to go (and it’s a long book!).
read an amazing fiction book, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by jonathan safran foer. it’s one of those laugh one minute, cry the next, ponder the next, kind of books. narrated by a brilliant, but eccentric, 9 year-old who’s dad died in the world trade center on 9/11, it’s really a winding romp through grieving. since i’m still somewhere in the process of grieving yac’s death, and watch it so closely in karla every day; and since one of my most significant memories of time with him was the 4 days my wife and yac and i spent stranded in st. louis on our way home from argentina (we landed in chicago, from buenos aires, on the morning of sept 11, took off for san diego, got re-routed to st. louis, spent 4 days there), there were some unique connections for me. oof. great, great, great book. i so highly recommend this to anyone who likes fiction, or just fantastic story-telling.
and last, but not least, doug pagitt’s new Preaching Re-Imagined: the role of the sermon in communities of faith. yes, ys published this book (in our soon-to-be-gone emergentYS line); but i hadn’t read it yet. i highly enjoyed it. one thing — not minor, really — is that doug’s writing is getting very engaging (maybe it’s the work of his brilliant developmental editor and solomon’s porch church attender, carla barnhill; but let’s be nice and assume it’s doug’s good writing). it’s a seductive book. here’s what i mean: it’s easy to read, but the ideas are unavoidably disequilibrating. there’s no way to just read it and dismiss it. an absolutely must read for anyone who ever preaches, or gives youth talks, or communicates to people in a church context in any way. scot mcknight is posting a series of reflections on the book with a preaching (speaching!) friend of his: here, here, and here (with more to come, i think).