Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Three little books

Well I haven't. And I'm dying to.

I have three new books and only one set of eyes. What to read first? How can I choose among a famous work on writing, a classic fiction novel I've always wanted to read, and John Piper's take on what the Bible says about marriage? All so great!

Check them out:

First up is Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by renowned author Anne Lamott.
This book, from what I skimmed in the store, is super witty, smart, and helpful if you love words as much as I do and want to learn how to use them even more gooder. That was a joke.

I love this excerpt:

"The core ethical concepts in which you most passionately believe are the language in which you are writing. These concepts probably feel like givens, like things no one ever had to make up, that have been true through all cultures and for all time. Telling these truths is your job. You have nothing else to tell us...There will need to be some kind of unfolding in order to contain it, and there will need to be layers.  We are dealing with the ineffable here - we're out there somewhere between the known and the unknown, trying to reel in both for a closer look. This is why it may take a whole book."

Second is Watership Down, a fiction tale about rabbits. Yes, it is, and it is a world famous classic. The introduction was completely charming: this author used to tell these tales of adventure to his children while they went on road trips through the English countryside. Something about his relating telling such stories and how his girls adored them made me long for the days when cars did not have DVD players.

Finally, this was a impulsive purchase. This Momentary Marriage, by pastor, teacher and modern-day theologian John Piper. Upon flipping through, I discovered that unlike many books on marriage, this one has zero fluff. He is clear and concise regarding all Scripture pertaining to marriage and our corresponding responsibilities. There is no psychology, personality assessment or any addressing of our unique bents (which, in the right context, are really helpful to read about also). This book is simply straight truth without apology, and a call to obedience. His tone appealed to (first-born) part of my brain that longs for order and instructions to follow. It seems a refreshing contrast to the usual kinds of marriage books I prefer.

So. I don't jump on the modern fiction bandwagons (though I'm fine with the wagons, they're just not my thing). It's not The Help, The Hunger Games, or anything to do with vampires. I know these books are more obscure. But, by chance, have you read any of them? Tell me I'm not the only nerdy one.

Any votes on which I should read first?



  1. Great list! I was given Watership Downs by a friend that LOVED it, but I've only gotten through the first chapter. So far, it's great. The other two look very interesting as well (adding them to my list!) so good luck deciding where to start :)!

  2. I've read another Anne Lamott book and liked it, I may look for Bird by Bird at the library.

    Oh my goodness, Watership Down is one of my favorite books, I've read and re-read it several times. Those rabbits! The drama! And I'm serious. :) Can't wait to hear what you think.

    Happy reading!

  3. I loved Bird by Bird. It was my first Lamott and I felt like I had found a fairy godmother for my creative side. Enjoy!

  4. I haven't read them, so I can't say anything about that. I just wanted to say how wonderful it is to see someone reading things other than modern fiction. I have tried The Hunger Games and Twilight. I didn't enjoy either one and I didn't finish the series of either one. Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, and Victor Hugo still have my heart. Happy Reading!

  5. Haven't read it personally, but our Sunday school teacher loves (LOVES!) Piper's Momentary Marriage so much, he bought a case of them and routinely hands them out to people. He quoted from it a lot a few months ago when we were doing a series in marriage and I was always challenged or convicted by what I heard. Happy reading!

  6. I haven't read the Piper book (yet!) but can heartily recommend the other two books!

  7. I have read Watership Down only out of the three books, but I HIGHLY recommend it. The Help and The Hunger Games are both really good too.

  8. i've not read any of these, but i've read both anne lammot and john piper. enjoy and am challenged by them both.

  9. This Momentary Marriage is exactly what you fluff. I loved it. It was refreshing, challenging, and not only grew my heart for my husband, but for the church, as well. I'm looking forward to reading your review of the book!

  10. I recently saw a review of Momentary Marriage....

    Sounds like a great read. In the new year, I've challenged myself to read some Christian books that are shall we say "substantial" and this site has helped me to identify some books of questionable theology versus solid reads. This book looks great.

  11. I read "This Momentary Marriage" almost two years ago by accident. It couldn't have come at a better time, right before my marriage was to be tested greater than I had ever imagined it would be. It was a God send, and something that I credit as saving my marriage. Even if it's not something your personal marriage needs, good truth in it for friends or those you counsel.

  12. momentary marriage is a great book. watership down is good too, i just never finished it :) just discovered your blog and excited to read more!

  13. momentary marriage is a great book. watership down is good too, i just never finished it :) just discovered your blog and excited to read more!