Randy Greenwald

Concerning Life as It Is Supposed to Be

The (Book) Lives of the (Not So) Rich and (Marginally) Famous

I’m preparing this post on a Thursday night. Tomorrow morning I will meet my friend, Dr. Rook, at our local Starbucks. He will be sitting at the same table he always sits at. He, like me, is a man of routine. He will be drinking his morning coffee and he will have a stack of books in front of him. One of them will be a novel by Philip Dick and another will be something on Zen Buddhism, unless he has left that for the time being to return to exploring the biblical book of Job. I know this because we talk about these things. When we meet, I will ask him about his books, and he will ask me about how I’m doing with the Joyce Carol Oates book I’ve been laboring through. I will tell him that contrary to my tendency to dutifully plow to the end of any book I start, I’m abandoning her after giving her 400 pages of my time. We’ll talk about other things, of course, but since books are a part of our lives, we’ll talk books.

And that is as it should be. Reading, though a solitary endeavor, is still a communal affair. Books are meant to be talked about, and some of that conversation has been going on here in the comments to the recent posts. I have decided to extend that conversation.

Over the next few weeks, perhaps longer, I am going to share with the readers of this blog interviews that I’ve conducted with a number of people known to me and known to be readers. Some of these will be people others know well, and some not. But as I’ve conducted these interview and gotten a variety of replies, I believe all will find these of interest.

I’ll begin shortly by sharing the responses of my friend Dr. Rook. Though he has taught literature at both the high school and college level, his reading habits and recommendations don’t read like a syllabus at all. As well, I look forward to introducing you to the reading recommendations of a fellow pastor and those of a home school mom / part-time engineer, both of whom read surprisingly and widely.

Steve Brown

Eventually we will hear from those who write books as well as read them. Steve Brown, former pastor, current author, and founder and director of the radio and on-line ministry of Key Life will reveal what’s on his night stand.

Wesley Hill

We will get a chance to look over the shoulder of Biblical studies professor and acclaimed author Wesley Hill. There will be others to surprise us along the way.

I hope there will be encouragement here, as well as fun. We never read alone.

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4 Comments

  1. Adrianna Espino

    Wish I could join you – or at least sit at a nearby table and just happen to overhear your discussions.
    I’m nearly finished with OATH OF OFFICE, a medical thriller by Michael Palmer. (For Shores book club.) I never would have chosen it; it’s creepy and frightening in some parts. The kind of thing scary nightmares are made of.

    • The point in posting these online is to let you join me. And the book you are finishing sounds just like one that my wife would eat up in a heartbeat. [Note the medical thriller allusions there….]

  2. Looking forward to this!

    My friend Rebecca (I think you met her years ago when she visited us in FL) was with us last week. She is a PhD student in American Literature, ABhD. Part of our discussion during her visit included Wesley Hill’s writings, the Church community, and singleness.

    I hosted the local book club while she was here so she could join us. The book club here sometimes engages me, sometimes disappoints me. . . I’m looking forward to this series, and especially your interview with the part-time engineer/full-time homeschool mom. *eg*

    • Sounds like you and Rebecca had stimulating conversations! And your book club experience I’m sure is typical. Glad that engages at least part of the time.

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