I have been doing a lot of reading since leaving the church I served for eight and a half years and searching for a new call. (You didn’t ask but that process is going very well. Truthfully, I’m fascinated by it but I’ll save all that for another post.) It’s such a gift to be able to sit on the couch for an hour or two and just read without any other care in the world. Right now I’m reading my second Thomas Perry, Jane Whitefield book. The Face Changer is a book I’ve read once before but I’m reading it again. The main character, Jane Whitefield is of native American decent, Seneca maybe because she spends a lot of time in New York state. She helps people who are good, yet in danger, to disappear. The stories are fascinating, well written and exciting.
I also love Connie Willis, a Science Fiction writer. She writes time travel books and I got hooked on her when The Doomsday Book was assigned in my Church History class. It takes place both today and in the Middle Ages when the plague was taking so many lives. I’ve read it twice and will most likely read it again as soon as my husband finishes with it.
I’ve been catching up on the church leadership books that have been piling up on my nightstand too. Real Good Church by Molly Phinney Baskette is one of the most liberating books I’ve read of that church revitalization genre. It’s full of great and effective ideas for making a church more welcoming and gives the reader permission to do all sorts of crazy, wonderful things in the church.
I just happened to finish The Emergent Church a few weeks before receiving the sad news that Phyllis Tickle died. It provided such great explanation for the course our churches are on, considering where they’ve come from. I’d heard her speak at conferences and, of course, I’ll be reading more of her books.
Pope Joan is another book I loved. Based on the myth that one of the early popes was actually a woman who managed to pass for a man most of her life, Joan is educated during a time when women simply aren’t and she proves herself to be of astounding intellect. This is one of the books I reported on at my book club a few years back.
One more, for good measure, and this is also a bookclub book. Places Left Unfinished at the time of Creation by John Phillip Santos is a book I’ve wanted to read again. Of the books I’ve mentioned it might have the most that could well be worked into a sermon. It is the amazing story of the Santos family history as they leave Mexico to settle in Texas. It is a book that opens our eyes in a very important way.