It feels like a long time since I have posted anything here, and looking back at my posts, it has been a long time! Life has been busy for the past several months, and I haven't been able to keep up with my reviews. That doesn't mean that I haven't been reading though!
Over the summer, I did a lot of "fluff" reading. Last year, I mentioned that I had found my latest guilty pleasure when I discovered the first Southern Vampire Mystery book (a.k.a. the first Sookie Stackhouse book), Dead Until Dark. In the second part of August and into September, I read books 2-6 in the series (there have been 12 published so far with one more expected). They continued to be easy and enjoyable reading, but I started to lose interest in reading one after another at that point. Friends have loaned the rest of the series to me - I will probably pick them up at some point in the future to keep reading - just not right away.
Since September, I have also been reading the next set of books for the Lay Worship Leader course that I am doing. I'm not going to write full reviews here, but will write a few sentences about each of the books I have read for the course.
We were told to pick one book on preaching from a list, and I picked this one because the title appealed to me. I loved the juxtaposition of the word "sermon," a word with connotations of dullness; with the words "dancing" and "mystery." The book did live up to my expectations, and I have found that it has really changed the way that I think about sermons.
This book was required reading. He defines "smaller churches" as anything with an attendance of fewer than 100; and so most of my worship experiences (in English!) fall into that category. I did find that he provided a strong argument for the value of smaller churches, but I found him to be a bit prescriptive at times.
This book was my elective from this time around. It was very interesting reading - it looks at the way that the three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) have perceived God over the past 4000 years. I had no idea that there were so many ways of perceiving God, and my own perspective has been broadened. I think that the most valuable insight that I gained is that while God remains the same, each time and place views God through it's own cultural lens.
Over the summer, I also discovered free e-books for the Kobo and Kindle app on my iPad. The problem with free e-books is that you get what you pay for. The advantage of free e-books is that they are free. I am still opposed to e-books (I much prefer reading traditional paper books) and refuse to actually pay money for them, but when they are free.... I have been reading them at the gym on my iPad which has the distinct advantage of staying open on the ledge of the Elliptical machine (unlike a paper book), and you can make the font size large which is an advantage whilst reading. But since they tend to be trash, I won't waste space here with reviews!
I have read a couple of other books, which I will write full reviews of in the next couple of days.