Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Reading, Summer Camp

I have a stack of books I'm presently reading--it is the summer after all. I just picked up The Brothers Karamazov today at the library. I usually try to read one or two classics each year. Last year I read Huckleberry Finn and Moby Dick, both on audio book, by the way. With all the driving I do, it is the best way for me. I really enjoyed Melville's description of the pulpit at the sailor's church in the first few chapters of Moby Dick, and also the winding, encyclopedic steeping in all things whale. As to the narrative of that book, it is spellbinding and rich, and equal to the task of keeping the reader engaged over close to 2000 pages. As to Huck Finn, it was great enough that I was lobbying for Huck or Finn to be considered for boy names had Julianna been a boy. (My first choice, Atticus Rex, was gaining some traction I think with the mother shortly before we found out she'd be a she after all.) Mark Twain's characterization of a revival in Arkansas was so funny I found myself literally slapping my knee in the car. The book also had me obsessing over the word "corn pone." The pictures these two greats painted in my mind are treasures to me now.
I'm also in the middle of Eugene Peterson's Christ Plays in 10,000 Places. I've actually already read Eat This Book, but I don't think you have to read any of his Spiritual Theology books in order. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm trying to get that one finished before I'll be sitting at a table with him taking writing suggestions in 3 weeks. I recently read Oliver Sacks's (is that right? Sacks's?) Musicophilia on audio (great reading by the way) to give me some insight for my own writing project. I'm also enjoying Mary Roach's Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife. I really enjoyed Stiff: The Curious Lives of Cadavers, and think it is a bit more funny than Spook, but still Spook is thuroughly enjoyable. She tends to use footnotes as I'm prone to do. Speaking of the way I use footnotes, my own chapter contribution to a Chalice Press book, Oh God, Oh God, Oh God: Young Adults Speak about Sexuality and Embodiment in Faith Life is going to be out in January of 2010. I think the editors were going for knee slapping or eye catching or something with that title, but I'm not too thrilled about it. I let them know, but I think it was someone's pet. My chapter title is called Like A Wild Ass at Home in the Wilderness: Sexuality Fidelity in a Hypersexualized, Consumer Driven Culture. That is, if they don't change it to Getting Ass at Home and in the Wilderness or something like that because they think that will appeal to the edgy postmodern type.
Since I'll be deaning Muskogee District Youth Camp at Camp Egan next week, I guess I've also been reading the curriculum for camp and preparing for that. Our plan for the worship services is going to be cool, I think. I'll take photos and post that later. I'm also going to lead a group of teenagers in teh creation of a Cretan labyrinth. We'll have to gather river rocks for it on the Illinois river, and I've scoped out a good spot. I'm looking forward to it, and hope it turns out like or better than I'm envisoning.

I'm also preaching a sermon series this summer on David, so I'll be spending the whole summer in 1 and 2 Samuel. I think this is the first time I've done an extended sermon series solely on a Hebrew Bible text...I think I did one on Isaiah before, but that's a bit easier. So, it will be a storytelling sermon series this summer. I picked up a couple books I thought might be of value in preparing for it, Tales of the Hasidim, by Martin Buber, and Wise Men and Their Tales, by Elie Wiesel. Anyone have any suggestions for good books, either Biblical Study or contextual stuff, on 1 and 2 Samuel and the character David?

Oh, and Wesley has taken a shine to the Berenstein Bears recently, so I've been reading a bunch of them too. :)


  1. Anonymous12:49 PM

    I love Oliver Sacks. And it took me two tries before I could get through Moby Dick. Well done.

  2. Oh my gosh, your alt title for your essay made me laugh out loud. I wouldn't put it past 'em... ;-)