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ezz

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Good stuff, I'll be checking out that site, Christian.

Anyway, I just finished THEM: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson. I really recommend it! It's pretty funny and fascinating.

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I bought The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling to read to my 2 1/2 year-old son. Silly me, I thought that it would be similar to what Disney had made out of it.

Think of the animated film (and other adaptations) as the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The book is the Marianas Trench.

It's depth is so vast, and it is still a wonderful read - very adventurous and noble and thrilling. Mowgli is nothing like his Disney counterpart. Neither are any of the animals. It won't take long to get the Disney voices out of your head as you read.

I'm probably enjoying it more than my son is, but he loves it too.

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Wow, you guys are so well-read it reminds me I have some serious catching up to do ...

But ezz, if you're still looking for suggestions and enjoyed Flannery O'Connor's short stories, check out her novel Wise Blood . Very powerful ... brutal stuff, like most of her stories, but wonderful reading.

Also, if you're interested in any other Philip Yancey suggestions ... have you read Soul Survivor ? I'm reading it now, and it's a great book for anyone who has struggled with the dissonance between Christian ideals and practices. He devotes each chapter to a role model who helped him through a particular challenge in his faith life.

And now for something completely different ... for sports and non-sports fans alike, check out a novel called Tyrus by Patrick Creevy. It gets inside the head of Ty Cobb in the period of time when he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers and his mother was awaiting trial for killing his father. Fictionalized, obviously, but it reads like a suspenseful psychoanalysis of one of baseball's most hated characters.

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I just finished Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. It's nothing short of fantastic. The author spends the time telling his entire spiritual journey through Christianity as he's experienced it. It really comforted me to see someone else who struggles with his Christian walk in the same ways that I do.

Another good author is Harold Best. He only has two books, Music Through the Eyes of Faith and Unceasing Worship, but both are so mind bending that you have to put the book aside and think about what he's written.

I just finished Blue Like Jazz too. It is an amazing book. I recomend it to everyone.

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I just finished Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.  It's nothing short of fantastic.  The author spends the time telling his entire spiritual journey through Christianity as he's experienced it.  It really comforted me to see someone else who struggles with his Christian walk in the same ways that I do.

Another good author is Harold Best.  He only has two books, Music Through the Eyes of Faith and Unceasing Worship, but both are so mind bending that you have to put the book aside and think about what he's written.

I just finished Blue Like Jazz too. It is an amazing book. I recomend it to everyone.

yes. i am about halfway thru it. i love it. two words: 'penguin sex'. two more, 'sexy carrot'. smile.gif

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Yesterday on Fresh Air, I heard an interesting interview with Tony Hendra, author of Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul. Sounded like a very interesting spiritual memoir. I haven't read it myself, but Hendra sounded sincere.

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Hendra's book is on my must-read list - a couple of weeks ago, the New York Times' Sunday book reviewer gave it a glowing review.

Even higher on my list is Heidi Neumark's 'Breathing Space' - her memoir of 17 years as a Lutheran pastor in the South Bronx.

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Yesterday on Fresh Air, I heard an interesting interview with Tony Hendra, author of Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul. Sounded like a very interesting spiritual memoir. I haven't read it myself, but Hendra sounded sincere.

I just read a review by Andrew Sullivan and was wondering about this book, too.

http://www.andrewsullivan.com/main_article...artnum=20040601

Sounds like it could be wonderful, although it might also fall into the "feel-good spirituality" trap ... has anyone read it?

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Christian, I was troubled by exactly the same stuff. Andrew Sullivan writes in his review,

"You've done nothing truly wrong, Tony dear. God's love has brught you here before any real harm could be done. The only sin you've committed is the sin of ... s-s-selfishness." Tony's sin was not the groping or the lust as such but the subjection of a "hungry, trapped, unhappy woman" to his own narcissistic pleasure and needs. Father Joe, in one swoop, both undermines the current hierarchy's obsessive horror of sex itself and illumines the real point of Catholic sexual ethics: the respect and love for another human made in the image of God.

That's a lovely thought, but shouldn't there be some mention that adultery is, like, really bad? Or that this "hungry, trapped, unhappy woman" should be held to some accountability herself, or at the very least needs some serious counseling?

Still, I'd like to read it. Maybe some of this is explored more deeply than the reviews indicate.

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I remember that i finished it in a park by a little pond, under a clear blue sky on a lazy, quiet Sunday afternoon.

i read the end of life after god in a swimming pool in florida surrounded by screaming kids and water splashing everywhere. which felt a little rude considering the intimacy of the scene....

i read coupland's most recent one this year -hey nostradamus- which i can really recommend. its really moving, incredibly spiritual and very disturbing in the best possible way...and actually quite different to his other stuff....

becca

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I just finished THEM: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson. I really recommend it! It's pretty funny and fascinating.

i read that too...and it scared me how easy all that is to believe.

the bit that really scared me was how the Al Queda guy in Finsbury Park really didn't realise why people might hate him!

becca

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Here are some of my favorite works of strong Christian fiction:

Mariette in Ecstasy by Ron Hansen

Diary of a Country Priest by Georges Bernanos

Therese by Francois Mauriac

The Vipers' Tangle by same

Woman of the Pharisees by same

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The "Adultery Trilogy" of novellas by Andre Dubus: "Adultery", "We Don't Live Here Anymore", and "Finding a Girl in America."

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

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This one sounds good. Description from A Common Reader, which is a bookseller with almost unerringly good taste (forgive the shameless plug):

> Nancy Malone's "Walking a

> Literary Labyrinth A Spirituality of Reading," which reveals, in Elie's

> words, how reading is "a lifelong adventure, a drama in which the self

> is lost and found." Charting her reading life through the works of

> Virginia Woolf and Patrick O'Brian, Saint Augustine and Sue Grafton, e.

> e. cummings and George Eliot (to mention just a few of the authors she

> attends to in these pages), Malone, a Catholic nun, has composed a sort

> of spiritual autobiography that examines -- and celebrates -- the

> intimacy and soulfulness the act of reading nourishes.

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Mariette in Ecstasy by Ron Hansen

Nice choice. I'm partial to "Atticus," also by Hansen, but I loved "Mariette in Ecstasy."

"Hitler's Niece" was a crushing disappointment, but I'm hopeful Hansen will return with something better next time.

HOLY SMOKES! Anyone read it???

Edited by Christian

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I guess I need new writers or underrated writers I've yet to discover!

"The Little Friend" by Donna Tartt

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Silence by Shusaku Endo.

The Undertaking by Thomas Lynch.

Les Murray's Collected Poems.

Larry's Party by Carol Shields.

By The Lake (UK title That They May Face The Rising Sun) by John McGahern.

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Christian, I was troubled by exactly the same stuff. Andrew Sullivan writes in his review,

"You've done nothing truly wrong, Tony dear. God's love has brught you here before any real harm could be done. The only sin you've committed is the sin of ... s-s-selfishness." Tony's sin was not the groping or the lust as such but the subjection of a "hungry, trapped, unhappy woman" to his own narcissistic pleasure and needs. Father Joe, in one swoop, both undermines the current hierarchy's obsessive horror of sex itself and illumines the real point of Catholic sexual ethics: the respect and love for another human made in the image of God.

That's a lovely thought, but shouldn't there be some mention that adultery is, like, really bad? Or that this "hungry, trapped, unhappy woman" should be held to some accountability herself, or at the very least needs some serious counseling?

Still, I'd like to read it. Maybe some of this is explored more deeply than the reviews indicate.

I'm in the middle of reading this (audio book), and I think that the comments that sound very troubling are actually not all that troubling within context. His "adultery" never went past "2nd base" (not that that makes it good), and the dynamics of the situation, how he was lured, why he fell in, and Hendra's own agony during and after this experience make the "s-s-selfishness" comment make perfect sense. Not that it makes it good.

I'll be happy to share my thoughts after I complete this read. In the meantime, may I say that the first half of this book is one of the best reads I've read in a long time.

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Since this is the only thread on Father Joe, I note that I'm about 1/2 way through it and am finding it very interesting. Like Hendra, I immediately took to Father Joe, whose intuitiveness in his pastoral role is superb. Right now I'm in Hendra's falling away period as he reaches great success, but at what spiritual price? Looking forward to see how Father Joe will save him again.

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Finished the Hendra book a while back, very good. Hendra has a great sense of humor. (I really like him talking about sitting behind Stephen Hawking in science and math classes.) It's a tracing of Hendra's spiritual life from an early desire to become a monk, to losing faith, to finding a new way of having faith.

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