Here are the five winners of the book “Seven” by Jeff Cook.
If your name is on this list, shoot me an email at email@example.com with “Seven Winner” in the subject line and your mailing address so I can hook you up.
Thanks for sharing all the great books you’ve read.
I was going to answer with We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates, because it showed me that sometimes, there just isn’t redemption possible in families. Guess I’m not the only one whose family dysfunction is permanent.
Then I read the comments and realized you meant a book about Christian living. I don’t know if my selection counts, but I’d go with Rapture Ready! by Daniel Radosh. His book is about (American) Christian subcultures, and besides opening my eyes (I had no idea there were so many Christian versions of so many secular things!) it also made me more mindful of the fact that just because it’s Christian, that doesn’t make it better, but sometimes Christian subcultures are good. (does this make any sense at all?) Anyway, Radosh is a journalist, and the book has a lot to do with Christian culture and not so much with God, but I thought it funny and thought-provoking anyway.
And the real reason I’m commenting on it is that I learned of your blog through Radosh’s blog (he linked to #228 Bible Wars told via G.I. Joe) and I’ve become an avid reader ever since.
The last great book I read was Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. I’m aware from the outset that this could injure me in any competition of this kind, depending on the judge’s opinion of Austen books, but I thought about it and honestly couldn’t say I’ve recently read anything better. I discovered Pride and Prejudice when I was thirteen and it was like a whole world opening up, where authors were clever and where you could read a story with a pretty standard plot that rose above the standardness, and prodded and poked you. I hadn’t read it for a very long time until I picked it up recently, and when I read it this time I was suddenly feeling the joy I felt when I first read it, aged thirteen. New aspects of the book were opened up that I’d never noticed or considered before and yet the same joy (in the characters, in the little ironic voice of the narrator hidden behind the story, in the pleasure hidden in the voice of the narrator at her work) remained.
Justin Steinhart said…
Hitler’s Cross by Erwin Lutzer
First off, I never thought that I would ever read a book with Hitler and Cross right next to each other. Secondly, when I read it in public and on an airplane, people looked at me like a Skinhead (I think this alone should get me into the top 5). Lastly, because my politics and religion have never been challenged together in one book like this one did…
omg, my two favorite things coming together. stuff christians like and pioneer woman! my universes have collided.
anyway. the last great book i read was proverbs.
i was trying to think of a last great book i read that wasn’t in the bible, but there are so many great books i’ve read to choose from and honestly, the last thing that blew my mind was proverbs.
i always used to page through it, glancing over the one-liners of practicality for living, never really taking any of it to heart or seeing its importance.
it wasn’t until this winter, after making some horribly foolish decisions and hitting rock bottom in a lot of ways, that proverbs found a new, deep meaning within my soul.
i don’t even know how i ended up there. but one day, i found myself in proverbs, reading through beginning to end, underlining nearly the entire book.
the painted portrait of wisdom is just so beautiful and attractive. the importance of discipline, purity, obedience to the lord – these qualities are so counter-cultural in our day, and yet so at the heart of our lord.
i am very much a fool. but this is something that i’ve realized and now, my pursuit for the wisdom of god has taken me above and beyond places i ever thought i’d be able to reach. proverbs slapped me in the face and picked me up. who would’ve thought
it’s a toss-up between the return of the prodigal son by henri nouwen and the practice of the presence of God by brother lawrence.
i consider the former a great book maybe only because i’m in a season of my life where i see myself both as the prodigal and the elder son and nouwen articulates it all so eloquently yet concisely. then he shared how he was challenged to look at the father of the two sons and grow into a father-figure role.
the latter is also great, in my opinion, because it’s a compact yet packs a punch – like dynamite. granted, i didn’t jibe (jive? it’s one of those words i always hear people use but never see written) with all his points but i do appreciate that he takes something that seems complicated and lofty and explains it simply, he demystifies what it is to practice God’s presence without removing the mystery entirely – kinda like decaffeinating coffee, i guess.
i don’t even know if this free book biznatch is still a valid offer, but free book or no, this was a nice little writing exercise. so, uh, thanks?