Tag Archives: books

failed christian book titles

the first couple of these randomly popped into my head a few weeks ago, so i kept a running list. all in good fun, of course. and just wonderfully, horribly insiderish, right? please, feel free to add to the list!

Imago Doh!

Waterboarded by Grace


Blended: An Allegory of Lowest Common Denominator Worship

The Gospel According to Justin Bieber

Amazing Taste: All Aboard Cooking With John Newton

Once Bitten, Thrice Reformed: The New Trinity of MacArthur, Piper, and Driscoll

Passing the Piece: Wife-Swapping in the Church

Watchu Talkin’ ‘Bout Willard: Dallas for Dummies

Let’s Grohl: Uncovering the Surprising Thread of Airline Vigilanteism and Spirituality in Foo-Fighters Songs

Crazy Glove: Uncovering the Surprising Connection Between OJ Simpson and Francis Chan

I’ll Be Back, by Kate Gosslin, with a foreword by Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Five Love Languages for Pets
Boundaries for Pets

The Little Series of Pastoral How-To Books:
How to Appear Homespun Like Rick Warren
How to Cry Like Bill Hybels
How to Finger Point Like John Piper
How to Sidestep Like Joel Osteen
How to Deadpan Like Andy Stanley
How to Pace the Stage Like Rob Bell

Refsubmission Rev

Take This Bread, Please: The Eucharistic Humor of Henny Youngman

Under My Thumb: The New Pastor’s Guide to Staff Relationships

Found in the Baptismal: A Scratch ‘N’ Sniff Book

hospital reading and joey ramone

creative former youth worker kevin winningham (one of those guys who clearly has the gift of encouragement in a way i never will) sent me some reading suggestions while i was in the hospital over christmas. having been treated for cancer years earlier on the exact same hospital floor and unit i was staying on (they had me in the oncology unit only because that’s where empty beds were!), he suggested i could find these in the “hospital library” at the end of the hall. funny stuff (though full of inside jokes you may or may not get):

1. “Physicians Bedside Manner 3.0 – a Manifesto of where they’ve been, where they are and where they need to go”

2. “HELP! I Am A Volunteer Candy Striper: 50 Ways To Survive & Thrive While Seeing Old Men’s Butts While They Walk Down The Hall”

3. “Messy Colonoscopies”

4. “Wild Hospital Stories: 12 Wild Stories From The Oncology Unit”

5. “Dares From Nurse Margaret: 50 Truth And Dare Challenges For Hospital Patients Who Would Rather Be Home On Christmas Eve”

Kevin also wrote: They are all published by GS … Geriatric Specialties!

oh, and my buddy dan kimball sent me a facebook message with the oddly appropriate lyrics of a joey ramone song (who else, considering it was from dan?), i got knocked down, but i’ll get up

Sitting in a hospital bed (4x)

I, I want life
I want my life (3x)
It really sucks (2x)

Sitting in a hospital bed
Frustration going through my head
Turn off the TV set, take some drugs so I can forget

I, I want life
I want my life (3x)
It really sucks (2x)

I got knocked down, but I’ll get up

I got knocked down
[ I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up)

the best of 2008: books

i’m planning on posting 7 “best of 2008” posts, on books, music, tv & movies, ministry moments, family stuff, blogs, and ysmarko posts. i only have two written so far, though, so time will see if i get them ready to go live daily, as i plan.

i read about 45 books in 2008 (give or take). scanning back over them, these are the ones that really stood out as exceptional books, imho. i read books in plenty of other categories (youth ministry, general fiction, general non-fiction), and enjoyed many of them. the links are to my reviews of the books.

young adult fiction
donorboy, by brendan halpin
feed, by m.t. anderson
Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature, by Robin Brande
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

spiritual memoir
sin boldly, by cathleen falsani
my beautiful idol, by pete gall

the great emergence, by phyllis tickle
the blue parakeet, by scot mcknight
the new christians, by tony jones

general fun
the book of general ignorance, by John Mitchinson and John Lloyd

christian fiction
christ the lord: the road to cana, by anne rice
my name is russell fink, by michael snyder

next up: best blogs of 2008

my two newest books

the last two books in the middle school survival series just came out this week. i’m pretty stoked about them. i wrote the first four books (my faith, my family, my school, and my friends) with kurt johnston; but these last two i co-authored with scott rubin. we had a great time doing them together.

so, here they are:

my changes
my future

yellow leaves

The Yellow Leaves: A Miscellany, by Frederick Buechner

the number of people on this planet who can write like frederick buechner are a tiny, tiny lot. seriously, the dude can put some words into sentences! so, in a sense, i don’t care what buechner writes about — i’ll read it, and enjoy it. fiction — yup. non-fiction — sure, bring it.

the beek (ah, that’s my little pet name for him) hasn’t written a full length book in a while. and, as he writes in the forward of this collection, he guesses that ability has left him (i sure hope that isn’t true). in the mean time, buechner says he could pull together a collection of essays, scraps of fiction, poems, and family memories, with a sprinkling of faith and church thrown in. somehow, it works.

the best parts of this collection, in my opinion, are the first few pieces — little memoirs about family members (buechner’s mom and brother-in-law, in particular). the whole thing is a bit voyeuristic, looking into a period of time and slice of society that is not my own. buechner comes from east coast, private school, intelligencia, with old money thrown in (buechner’s wife is heir to the merck fortune, and his own family, while experiencing some rough times during the depression, did pretty well).

reading often felt a bit like sitting with mr. b in an old but fancy sitting room, somewhere in an old money neighborhood in new england, listening to him tell stories while sipping tea. with milk.

it’s a quick read, really, but just lovely. intimate and brilliant.