Building a Better Bookshelf

Pro of marrying an English major:

  • You get her books. All of her books. All eight hundred and seventy-two thousand of her books.

Con of marrying an English major:

  • You have to build a giant bookshelf to fit all of her books in your house, and maybe you don’t quite have exactly the right length screws when you install it, and a month later this happens: 

Sigh.

It’s all good though, because the pros far outweighs the cons here. (Haha! Get it? Outweighs? Like, cause, the books were heavy. And the bookshelf broke.) It’s great to have so many new reading options, especially as we’re getting ready for Urbana in December. I’ve always been an avid reader, but I’ve never actually made a reading list and/or stuck with it, so I’m gonna give that a shot here, for several reasons.

First off, I’d really like to be familiar with as many of the speakers as I can be before sitting down to hear them talk. A lot of their names are already familiar to me, but I know very little about what their backgrounds are or what they’ve written in the past. I think I’ll get a lot more out of hearing David Platt speak if I’ve already read Radical. On top of that, though, I think that I’ll just get a lot more out of the conference as a whole if I start actively pursuing some of the issues that have been bugging me lately.

So here’s what I’ve got so far. Some of this is from Rebecca's (repaired) bookshelf, some is from Urbana’s speaker list, some is just from digging around online.

  • Crazy Love – Francis Chan. Rebecca’s been wanting me to read this one for a while, so I’ll start here.
  • Radical – David Platt. Another Urbana speaker I’m not familiar with.
  • The End of Sexual Identity – Jenell Williams Paris. I grew a lot in college in terms of acceptance of other people’s different sexual behavior, but I haven’t done much study of it from a Christian perspective.
  • The Martian – Andy Weir. Completely unrelated but it’s a phenomenal book and the movie comes out in two weeks. SO STOKED
  • Shaping a Digital World – Derek C. Schuurman. Definitely open to suggestions on a good book about Christianity in the tech industry, but this looks like a good place to start.
  • Back to the Jerusalem of the East – Luther H. Martin. A look at the underground churches of North Korea. I’ve been obsessed with North Korean defector biographies lately, but nothing from a Christian perspective. It will be really cool to see what God is doing in one of the world’s most repressive regimes.

I’m also going to try to take the Matthew Challenge, an Urbana reading plan to work through the Gospel of Matthew. If I can get at least half of this read, I’ll be pretty proud of myself, but we’ll shoot for 100%. I'll be coming back here with my thoughts whenever I finish a book, so hopefully that will help keep me accountable.

Anything I’m missing? Let me know!

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