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October 31, 2008

Open book thread

Open_book_2 Rob Stennett's The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher isn't your typical novel. The characterization shows little depth and the plot and style are deceptively simple. But there's a reason for that. This story of an unbeliever who finds fame and fortune by starting a megachurch is really more of a fable than a novel -- a fable about the state of the Christian church in America in the twenty-first century. As such, it works as a devastating satire of the consumerization and Oprah-fication of contemporary Christianity (even echoing Flannery O'Connor at certain points). And yet it leaves ample room for grace, compassion, and understanding . . . even for its clueless huckster of an antihero. For all these reasons, this unusual tale is worth a look.

What are you reading these days?

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Mary E. DeMuth

I've had the privilege of meeting Rob. He's a smart, thinking guy. And I loved his book. He captures some of the oddities of church culture, subtly shining light where light needs to be shed.

Jason Taylor

I am reading all kinds of stuff from my Kindle.

This is one:

Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance--and Why They Fall by Amy Chua.

This is showing the similarities and differences between a number of great empires. It is the writers thesis that successful states are those that are open to outsiders, but that they must have some commonality. Not really original but fairly well presented.

Jewish Holidays: A Brief Introduction for Christians
Author: Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky,

Title explains itself

Title: Hunted through Central Asia: On the Run from Lenin's Secret Police
Author: Paul Nazaroff, Peter Hopkirk

This one is quite good and well worth the bother. It is about a White Russian
fleeing the Communists during the Revolution.

Author: T.E. Lawrence

This is one of the most famous "There I was books" ever written

Vulcan's Forge
Author: Susan Schwartz
Category: eBooks

This Star Trek is an unpretentious gem and well worth your bother. It has great characters and a wonderful tale of friendship.

The Steel Bonnets: The Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers
Author: George MacDonald Fraser

This one is a classic about the border clans.

And a number of others.

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