Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Couple Books


Quick college students....before you break is over, go get you hands on Strength in What Remains, the newest book by Pulitzer Prize winning Tracy Kidder. Susanna and I discovered Kidder when our book group in Oklahoma read his Mountains Beyond Mountains, another MUST READ about the life and work of Dr. Paul Farmer. This new book is a real page turner. See the description of the book here. Sus got this for me for Christmas. We've been reading to each other while driving from each of our holiday spots and are now almost half way through it.


I've had an interest in the 20th century ever since I read The Birth of the Cool: Beat, Bebop and the American Avant-Garde. In that book Lewis McAdams surveys the art movements of everything from Charlie Parker to Bob Dylan to Jackson Pollack and Andy Warhol. Some said that while Washington D.C. may have been the capital of the United States, but New York was the capital of the world--at least in the first half of the 20th century. So much shifted in the world during this century and Paul Elie's The Life You Save May Be Your Own traces how four people felt and responded to those changes: Dorthy Day, Walker Percy, Thomas Merton and Flannery O'Connor. The book's title comes from a short story of the same name by O'Connor which you can read here. Not only are these very important authors worth their own attention, but Elie manages to bring them together into a deep conversation about who and what America has become and how we as Christians should interpret the life of Christ into our contemporary circumstances.

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