The Bookshelf

Welcome to the Bookshelf, where I will post commentary on the books I'm currently reading. I have over 150 books at home and on my Kindle that I haven't even begun yet, so this page will give me motivation to get through them - eventually - hopefully.  Would love to hear your thoughts on these. It'll be like our own little book club, except I get to pick the books every month. Isn't that every book lover's dream? 

Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint

“Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint” is Bolz-Weber’s recently released memoir about how she went from being a cursing, tattooed, alcoholic stand up comedian who rebelled from her conservative upbringing, to a cursing, tattooed, sober Lutheran (ELCA) pastor who now leads a welcoming congregation in Denver that straddles the line of orthodox and relevant.

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Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View on Women

I’ve been reading Sarah Bessey’s blog probably for a year or so now. She is one of those writers who makes you want to be a better writer… or worse yet, she makes me want to write like her. Bessey has a way of using prose to sound like poetry. Her voice emanates genuine compassion, humility, humor and love. So when I heard she was writing a book about being a “Jesus Feminist,” I thought this is something I need to read. Thanks to NetGalley, I was able to review her book prior to its release date.

The book weaves in and out of discussing the difficult parts of the Bible that evangelicals have used to paint women as less than men, along with moments in her life that helped her developed a sense of self as a female Christian.

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Instant Mom

A review of Nia Vardalos's new book, "Instant Mom," about her journey to adopt her beautiful daughter. A funny, honest, sentimental, and wonderful book, especially for those who are looking to become mothers or already are.

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Love Does

Have you ever read a book and been so moved by the emotions it stirs up in you that you want to share it with everyone you know? For me that book is “Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World” by Bob Goff. 

I was first introduced to Bob through Donald Miller’s “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.” He was portrayed as Don’s inspirational friend, “the best real life storyteller,” who helped Don see the joy in life when you live your life like a story. I remember back when reading A Million Miles: “this guy Bob knows what love is all about.”

Well actually, Bob believes “Love Does” and wrote a book about just that, how we do love. It’s anchored in our behavior and how we treat one another.  “Love Does” is a series of stories from Bob’s life, simply put, about how loving others is all about just being with people and doing things for one another out of pure joy.

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Barefoot Church and Interrupted

I discovered Jen Hatmaker in the Christian section of Barnes & Noble, when the singular symbol 7 – my favorite number – caught my attention. Having never heard of the book before, I was immediately intrigued when I realized it was a story about how a woman and her family attempted to simplify their life and reduce their consumerism by limiting themselves to seven items each month (food, clothes, places to shop, etc.). This was an area of my life with Rich that we’ve been addressing off and on over the past few years. We’ve sold albums, books, TVs, CD, DVDs and anything we didn’t mind parting with for a few bucks, partly to try and pay off debt so we can eventually be “cash-only” people and partly so we would just have less stuff weighing us down, and time, space and money to focus on more important things.

The book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, had such a strong impact on me; I’ve already pawned it off on a friend and have told several others about the project. I was especially inspired by Jen’s ability to wear seven pieces of clothing over the course of a month. After spending way too much on clothes last year, I decided this year to place a moratorium on buying any new clothes unless it’s absolutely necessary (such as replacing worn out shoes).  

Next up on my reading list was one of her previous books, Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith, about how she and her husband started a missional outreach church in Austin, TX.

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Coming soon...

Currently reading "Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture" by Brandon Hatmaker, after just finishing "Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith" by Jen Hatmaker, his wife.  Stay tuned for a combo review.  In the meantime, you can check out what other people have to say about these books on Amazon.