books i’ve read in the last couple months

one of the things i’m hoping to do with this blog is document (for myself) books i read and what they’re leading me to think about. i’m a “fits-and-starts” reader. some months i’ll read 5 or 6 books; and some months i won’t get through 1. it seems tied to the amount i’m traveling in a month, as planes are consistently my best place for reading. i’m not much of a “before bed” reader, or a sit on the back porch with a cigar and a book reader (i do that, but without the book!). so, planes, the occaisional hotel room, it is.

    Persepolis: the story of a childhood (by Marjane Satrapi). a wonderful illustrated book of a girl growing up in Iran amidst the revolution. as insightful into the thoughts and feelings of a pre-teen girl who wants to be her own person (much like my daughter liesl) as it is an interesting history.
    The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: a hmong child, her american doctors, and the collision of two cultures (by Anne Fadiman). one of the best books of non-fiction i’ve read in a long time. tells the story of culture clash between displaced hmongs living in the central valley of california and the culture that surrounds them (specifically, the medical community).
    Beyond Belief: the secret gospel of thomas (by Elaine Pagels). i’ve tried to read this book on three occasions. can’t get into it. found it boring. didn’t finish it.
    Hurt: inside the world of today’s teenagers (by Chap Clark). a truly excellent book for anyone who cares about teenagers. i like to think i know a good bit about teenagers; but i learned a wad of new stuff about what’s really going on in the lives of kids today. this book gave me wording for much of what we’ve all been observing in adolescents over the last few years. every youth worker must read this book.
    Eleanor Rigby: a novel (by Douglas Coupland). i love coupland’s stories.
    This I Believe!: tom’s 60 TIBs (by Tom Peters). ooh. perfect “bathroom break at work” reading. any page, gives me something to think about. download free from the link.
    Blink: the power of thinking without thinking (by Malcolm Gladwell). wow. a brilliant read for any leader. about intuition and first-impressions, when to trust them, and when not to. great research, fun stories, cool insights.
    Practicing Passion: youth and the quest for a passionate church (by Kenda Creasy Dean). halfway through it right now. some big words for me, which means i have to choose to keep reading on some pages. but loaded with (truly) brilliant thoughts, and, finally, suggesting a new (better!) way to think about youth ministry. another must read for all youth workers. i’ll by blogging more on this book in the days to come.

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