Lost Book: If found, please read

You know that frustration when you’re looking around your house for a certain book, and instead you find a million other books you’d like to read, or re-read, but never the actual book that sent you on the great book search? It drives me crazy– but I’d miss it if it ever stopped happening.

A related frustration is embarrassingly discovering you’re not the exquisite house-cleaner you thought yourself to be as your hands unsettle dust-bunnies right and left.

I realize this may not apply beyond my little house o’ dreams, and some of you in the Internet cosmos may actually keep your books organized– Dewey-style, even?– and thus never spend precious minutes searching shelves, dressers, car trunks, and under the bed for missing tomes. So, graciously, I’ll let you live vicariously through the fruit of my frustration.

Below is the list of books that drew me in with either the compulsion to re-read them or to experience them for the first time. My favorite thing about a “found-while-looking-for-something-else” booklist is the miscellany of it.

  • Surprised by Joy, by C. S. Lewis
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg (a re-read)
  • Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas (we were assigned to read it in our pre-marital counseling class, but, full disclaimer: I didn’t finish it. The chapters that I read blew my mind when I was still single, so I’m anxious about the post-wedding effect.)
  • Cosmicomics, by Italo Calvino (a re-read– I skimmed through his book If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler last night at B&N. So, of course, when I picked up this one to look beneath it in a dresser drawer, I didn’t return it to the drawer.)
  • The Knowledge of the Holy, by A. W. Tozer
  • Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte (a re-read… if we can really count my rushed approach to high-school required reading as a first-read)

Most of these books can be found on Amazon.com or Christianbook.com, or alphabetized by author’s last name, labeled by genre, on your impeccable bookshelves.

And at the library.

Or the used-book store down the street, unless it recently changed names and owners and you’re too nostalgic and intimidated by change to cross its threshold.

You know, unless that’s the case.

By the way, the book that launched this post is G. K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy. I’m still on the search for my copy. (I think it still has a pencil marking my place from when I set it aside for something work-related a year or two ago. I also think it might actually be frozen in time somewhere.) If you or someone you know has information regarding its whereabouts, please call the lost-book hotline. I promise the information you share will not be held against you– unless you borrowed it and lost it in the trunk of your car.

How do you organize your books? Do you hang onto them or keep a cycle at your local used-book store– or have you converted to Kindle, Nook, etc…?

[Check out more (and maybe less random) booklists at Reccomended Reading: Booklists from the New York Public Library, National Endowment for the Arts “Summertime Favorites“, TIME Magazine’s Best English-Language Novels (starting in 1923), Christianity Today’s Books and Culture webpage.]

“Hipster Christianity” (and lots of parenthetical asides)

I read about Brett McCracken’s book Hipster Christianity a few weeks ago on Justin Taylor’s blog, “Between Two Worlds” (one of my hub’s favorites), and read the (free) sample available in “.pdf” format. (Find it here.) Seriously, I can’t resist the word free. (My graduate thesis included an analysis of the word freedom… “free-dom”)

Tom's are cool, right?

I was pleased to find that McCracken wrote a cover article along the same theme for the most recent issue of Christianity Today. You can read the article, “Hipster Faith,” at the magazine’s website.

After working for a year at the local Baptist Collegiate Ministries, and spending a lifetime as the perpetually un-cool older sister of a perpetually cool younger brother (note to my two younger brothers: you’ll never know which one of you I’m talking about… that’s such a mean, older-sister thing to do– and yeah, you’re both cooler than me), I’ve had the privilege of watching from the fringes (not the cool fringes, it’s really more like the boundary) as the hipster Christianity trend took hold. All that’s to say, this is a trend/movement worth noting, and while all things are easily manipulated by our human nature, there is definitely merit in the ideas and actions coming out of the hipster Christian crowd.

Additionally, anyone with the name “Brett McCracken” is going to be cool. That’s just the way it is.

Great book on consumerism– but can I buy it?

I’m adding another book to my “to read” list. Alicia Cohen at Her.meneutics.com wrote a great review of the book Unsqueezed: Springing Free From Skinny Jeans, Nose Jobs, Highlights and Stilettos by Margot Starbuck.

Unfortunately, after learning about the book’s central challenge, I’m not sure if spending money to read it is another selfish expenditure. (Maybe the library will pick it up, or buying the book can substitute for one of my more trivial reading material purchases!)