2013 Booklist. Read or reading:

JAYBER CROW, by Wendell Berry, 2000

If you could do it, I suppose, it would be a good idea to live your life in a straight line – starting, say, in the Dark Wood of Error, and proceeding by logical steps through Hell and Purgatory and into Heaven. Or you could take the King’s Highway past appropriately named dangers, toils and snares, and finally cross the River of Death and enter the Celestial City. But that is not the way I have done it, so far. I am a pilgrim, but my pilgrimage has been wandering and unmarked. Often what has looked like a straight line to me has been a circle or a doubling back. I have been in the Dark Wood of Error any numbers of times. I have known something of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, but not always in that order. The names of many snares and dangers have been made known to me, but I have seem them only in looking back. Often I have not known where I was going until I was already there. I have had my share of desires and goals, but my life has come to me or I have gone to it mainly by way of mistakes and surprises. Often I have received better than I have deserved. Often my fairest hopes have rested on bad mistakes. I am an ignorant pilgrim, crossing a dark valley. And yet for a long time, looking back, I have been unable to shake off the feeling that I have been led – make of that what you will. (page 133)

THE SCHOOL OF CHARITY,  by Evelyn Underhill, 1934

We must accept the world’s worst if we are to give it of our best. The stinging lash of humiliation and disillusionment, those unfortunate events which strip us of the seamless roe of convention and reserve, and expose us naked to the world in the weakness of our common humanity, the wounds given by those we love best, the revelation that someone we had trusted could not be trusted anymore, and the peculiar loneliness and darkness inseparable from some phases of the spiritual life, when it looks as though we were forsaken and our ultimate hope betrayed: all these are sufficiently common experiences, and all can be united to the Cross. Here again Christ remains within our limitations. He hallows real life, and invites us to hallow it by the willing consecration of our small humiliations, sacrifices and pains; transmuting them into part of that creative sacrifice, that movement of faith, hope and charity in which the human spirit is most deeply united to the Spirit of God.  (page 59)

THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWNING, Late 14th century (Evelyn Underhill Translation)

“For although it be good to think upon the kindess of God, and to love Him and praise Him for it, yet it is far better to think up on the naked being of Him, and to love Him and praise Him for Himself.” The Fifth Chapter

ESSAYS of E.B. WHITE, 1934 – 1979

I love reading E.B. White. Reading his essays is a journey into the pleasure of reading. Not just words and information, but an actual enjoyable experience of the act of reading. I was given this book in 2009 and pick it up again every few months to enjoy the cadence of beautiful imagery and accounts of history, life and humor. “Anything written by E.B. White must be cherished by writers and readers.” – THE NEW YORK TIMES

Imago Dei Community Authors:

THIS BEAUTIFUL MESS, by Rick McKinley, 2006

THE INVISIBLE GIRLS, by Sarah Thebarge, 2013

As I watched them file down the stairs, I didn’t cry and I wasn’t afraid. But I couldn’t tell if it was Jesus or the gin. (page 74)

DISCIPLE, by Bill Clem, 2011

2012 Booklist. Read or reading:

BUILT TO LAST, Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins, 2002

“A visionary company doesn’t simply balance between idealism and profitability it seeks to be highly idealistic and highly profitable.”

NO IMPACT MAN, by Colin Beavan, 2009

“The adventures of a guilty liberal who attempts to save the planet and the discoveries he makes about himself an our way of life in the process.”

ESSAYS AND JOURNALS of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1968

“To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men – that is genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost, and our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgement.”

EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert


THE VERTICAL FARM, by Dr. Dickson Despommier, 2011

GOODBYE TRANSYLVANIA, by Samuel Bistraian, 2009

MY NAME IS HOPE, by John Mark Comer, 2011

COME SUNDAY, by Isla Morley, 2009

TOUJOURS PROVENCE, by Peter Mayle, 1991

DEAD END GENE POOL, by Wendy Burden, 2010

“The great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt takes a look at the decline of her wealthy blue-blooded family in this irreverent and wickedly funny memoir.”

THE GEOGRAPHY OF BLISS; One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World by: Eric Weiner



Starting January 2011, here is what I am reading….

SOLD by Patricia McCormick, 2006

“An unforgettable account of sexual slavery as it exists now.” – Booklist

Free verse, page by page, inviting you into the story, hinting and walking along beside you, bitter and heart-wrenching, hopeful and full of questions – a well crafted account and story.  I cried my way through many of the pages.

MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie, originally published in 1981

A historical tale of Saleem Sinai, one of India’s Midnight Children, born at the exact moment of India’s independence and destined to be tied to the nation throughout life and in unexpected ways.

DISAPPOINTED BY HOPE, 30 days of prayer, 2010

The plight of refugees is so often misunderstood and feared by those looking in. This guide takes you deep into the heart and soul of those looking for a better life and, from day one, your heart can not help but engage and dig deep. This is my second trip around with this (after acquiring a new copy when my was “borrowed” for the long haul). 30 days and, again, my heart will never be the same.

JULIE AND JULIA by Julie Powell, 2005

It is a true talent when an author can write with humor, love and tell a story that is both unique and, yet, somehow, so perfectly understood by the reader. Julie Powell does this as she chops, slices and hacks her way through a year of cooking, living and dreaming.

THE ELEMENTS OF JOURNALISM by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, 2007

I admit this one is for class, but I was likely to pick it up on my own anyway, so it counts.  “Ten years ago, the Committee of Concerned journalists gathered some of America’s most influential newspeople to ask the questions, “What is journalism for?”  Through exhaustive research, surveys, interviews, and public forums, they identified the essential elements that define journalism and its role in our society.”


“Is journalism the ‘first draft of history’ or the dumbing down of our culture and a glorification of the trivial and intrusive?”

LOVE WINS by Rob Bell, 2011

Intrigued by the pre-release controversy, I couldn’t help but pick it up. I am loving it. Here is a favorite piece:

The gospel Jesus spreads in the book of Luke has as one of its main themes that Jesus brings a social revolution, in which the previous systems and heirarchies of clean and unclean, sinner and saved, and up and down don’t mean what they used to. God is doing a new work through Jesus, calling all people to human solidarity. Everybody is a brother, a sister. Equals, children of the God who shows no favoritism.

To reject this new social order was to reject Jesus, the very movement of God in flesh and blood.


  • Nelson Mandela
  • Gandhi
  • Woodie Guthrie
  • Elie Wiesel
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Saint Augustine
  • Harriet Jacobs

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