Friday, January 25, 2008

Recent Reads...

Thought I'd put a few of these out there for your perusal - I've been on a pretty "sad," and desolate way as of late (as far as the reading goes). When I say "sad," I'm speaking more about content (really, about the first two books listed under "What I've read").

Although, it may also be sad that the double edged sword of Oprah's Book Club is usurping more and more books (double edged that it's getting more people to read good books while also labeling me as a "book club" reader when people see her ever present "O").

Currently finishing up:
Spiritual Leadership
When Sinners Say I Do

What I've read:
The Road

Coming down the pike
possibly, Into the Wild
Love in the Time of Cholera
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Some stuff on "Gospel Communication," and "Pastoral Counseling"

So, I've been on a bit of a reading frenzy lately (which is definitely better, I suppose, than playing games - at least more productive than). With The Road, the question may obviate towards, "Have you seen no country for old men?"

My answer: "No, but I want to."

In any case, I'm going to attempt throwing up some reviews here (one at a time so as not to overwhelm both you and myself).

The Road; The Review
The road is the ubiquitous experiential path that all men walk - that same place that causes you to hate life and mistrust others. Cormac McCarthy describes this metaphorical place by taking us through a post-apocalyptic world where happiness is hollow and hope scarce. At the end of the book, you're left wondering, "Who were the, 'Good guys,' and why is evil so rampant?"

Here is where McCarthy really connects with us on a gut level as at the end of the day, I think a lot of us are asking the same question.

We, however, do not live in a post-apocalyptic world.

At its very core, The Road compels us (or at the very least, me) to really confront themes of trust, hope, peace, and justice within our day to day goings. The Road is certainly a glimpse at how merciless and self serving man can be when driven to the point of dire self-preservation.

I don't want to ruin it all for you, but I would say that the end of the book really reveals a lot of grace and goodness that's hard to see through the father and son interactions throughout the course of their wanderings - it was (without any hesitation) a great relief.

Apart from the nature of the text, this is a very easy read (I read it on a round trip bus trip to NYC from Philly). McCarthy has a style that can be quite disarming on the one hand, and quite confrontational in another. There are no chapters, there are few breaks, and the prose is written is a sort of stream of consciousness style while still retaining the composure of being logical in what the writer is communicating.

While not for the feint of heart, it is worth the read for those who are willing to have their own assumptions about the goodness of self challenged.

This is definitely a brief (I may post it to Amazon as well), but I hope it whets your appetite enough to want to read it yourself (and then to call me so we can talk about it).