DECEMBER 2009 - JANUARY 2010 READS
Steven M. Cahn: From Student to Scholar: A Candid Guide to Becoming a Professor
I read this in one night. It gives a quick overview of how to make it through grad school and ascend the academic ladder. It strongly emphasizes writing and publishing. A great read.
Sonja Foss and William Waters: Destination Dissertation: A Traveler's Guide to a Done Dissertation
Foss and Waters have a formula for writing your dissertation quickly and steadily. They also give lots of great tips for getting along with your supervisor. (I haven't finished this book yet).
Christian Smith with Patricia Snell: Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults
My friend Chris tracks young people from his previous study on teenagers and reflects on other quantitative data to profile what is going on with young adults today. (I haven't finished this book yet).
William H. Willimon: Conversations With Barth on Preaching
Willimon shows what Barth can bring to practical ministry. Willimon is remarkably savvy about pastoral ministry and his knowledge of Barth is outstanding. (I haven't finished this book yet).
Malcolm Gladwell: Outliers: The Story of Success
This is such a short and jolting read I would recommend it to everyone. I thought this was even better than Tipping Point and Blink. Gladwell's anecdotes about habit, practice, culture and intelligence are fascinating. He is a great writer and I think he is pretty close to being right theologically as well even though he is not a Christian.
Michael Lewis: The Blind Side
This nonfiction book chronicles the life of Michael Oher who this year will probably finish second in the NFL in the Rookie of the Year voting. He is a left tackle and Lewis explains why left tackles are the second highest paid players after quarterbacks. It is a great story. You can read the book before or after watching the film. Lewis is a great writer. If you love baseball, you must read his 2003 book Moneyball--about the revolution in baseball strategy as a result of better statistical analysis.
Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore: In the Midst of Chaos: Caring for Children as Spiritual Practice (The Practices of Faith Series)
Miller-McLemore reflects on the difficulty for parents of finding time for solitude and silence. She wonders whether children might actually help one's walk with God even though life with them is chaotic. She has also written Also A Mother: Work and Family as Theological Dilemma and Let the Children Come: Reimagining Childhood from a Christian Perspective both of which give people with young kids like me (Ryan 4 and Jacob 2 and baby girl coming May 12, 2010) a helpful different perspective. Miller-McLemore is more theologically liberal than I but I really appreciate her deep reflection on the goodness of children. (I haven't finished this book yet).