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I was out and about the other day, and got a text message from my wife, asking me if I would write a post listing the books I’m currently reading, with some recommendations tossed in for good measure. I replied, “Hmm. Sure.”
So, this will give you a bit of a glimpse into my life. In no particular order, I’ll share with you each book that I am currently reading, it’s context, a link where you can check it out, and what I think…at least so far.
But before I do, a few comments.
Like most folks’ reading lists, mine is sometimes weighted heavily in one direction or another. As it happens, I’m not reading any finance or fitness books right this instant, though I could be. I’m not always reading a novel, but happen to be doing so right now. This is a snapshot, and snapshots only reflect a moment. But I’m usually reading a variety of books, and am working through half a dozen to a dozen books at any given time, so in those senses this list is a fair representation.
Good books lend themselves to multiple readings. How many times have you revisited a book for a second or third time only to come across something for (what seems like) the first time? Many folks far smarter and wiser than I am have made this point before, but I’ll echo their sentiment: being shaped deeply by a few good books is better than a shallow but broad exposure to multiple good books, let alone multiple bad books.
With that said, I’ve given up being discouraged that I don’t remember everything I read. Doug Wilson has helpfully described the brain as more of a muscle to be exercised than a box to be filled. This makes sense. Can you clearly articulate all of your influences? Of course not. Our influences include people, books, experiences, sermons, songs, classes and on and on. The reality is that we are perpetually being shaped by what we read (or listen to, or whatever, but I’m talking about books right now, so yeah…), whether you can recall an author’s three main points or not. So read. Read deeply, broadly, for fun, for mental exercise, and more. Read modern fiction, theological commentaries, comic strips, letters to the editor, classic novels, New Testament epistles, and milk cartons. But I must say one more thing, before I go on.