Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Much Shorter Than Reading The NYT Book Reviews

Recent reading + mini-reviews... doesn't waste much of your time (or mine!) and helps you make those all-important "what book am I going to buy so I have something to do while I drink my over-priced coffee at my local B&N?"

Jump In! Even If You Don't Know How To Swim by Mark Burnett

Yep... this is the Mark Burnett who created the Eco-Challenge, Survivor and The Apprentice, which means if you like reality TV, you kinda like the guy, and if you can't be bothered with reality television, he may well be related to the anti-Christ. Either way, this book doesn't have enough "behind the scenes" stuff to be really enjoyable for fans of the shows; instead, he tries to draw "life lessons" from his own life which are mostly cribbed from Robin Williams in "Dead Poets Society". (For a really GREAT book on what carpe diem looks like in the context of following Jesus, check out Erwin McManus' Chasing Daylight: Seizing the Power of Every Moment.)

Book Rating: 3

Look Cool While Drinking Latte Rating: 3 (it looks like the cheesy leadership-lite/self-help book that it is)

Stand Against the Wind by Erwin Raphael McManus

Speaking of Erwin, this is a nifty "gift book" version of his longer Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul. I'm actually finding this one to be easier to read for inspiration, which is a good thing. (I actually don't think Erwin has written a bad book, so you may need to take this review with a grain of salt.)

Book Rating: 7

Look Cool While Drinking Latte Rating: 7 (it's one of those "art & text books")

Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity by Laura Winner

One of the two best books on sex from a Christian perspective I've read. (She references the other one - Lewis Smedes' Sex For Christians.) This is NOT a how-to book (no diagrams, pictures, or long passages of purple prose) but a introspective rumination on what sex means and how we can make the choices as individuals & communities to enjoy this God-gift in a proper way. (Her spiritual autobiography, Girl Meets God: A Memoir, is also great reading.)

Book Rating: 7

Look Cool While Drinking Latte Rating: 8 (it says "sex" right on the cover, but it doesn't look like you're reading something published by Larry Flynt)

Tick... Tick... Tick...: The Long Life & Turbulent Times of 60 Minutes by David Blum

A colorful history of Don Hewitt, Mike Wallace, Dan Rather, Andy Rooney & all the other folks who made "60 Minutes" what is is today. It's interesting reading, though these guys cuss like sailors & undercut each other at every turn. A book I'm glad I read... and am glad I checked out from the library rather than paid for.

Book Rating: 6

Look Cool While Drinking Latte Rating: 3 (Does anyone under the age of 40 still watch 60 Minutes?)

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