1. One book that changed your life: (We’ll assume the Bible is asssumed) Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life, by Henri Nouwen. It continues to do so.
2. One book that you have read more than once: Well, Reaching Out, of course. But since I already used that one above, I’ll offer these (one non-fiction and one fiction): Dimensions of Prayer, by Douglas Steere, and The Old Man and The Sea, by Ernest Hemingway. Both are wonderful to reread. Both are short and easily readable in one sitting, but both have more and more to share each time one reads them too. Ok, one more: In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership, by Henri Nouwen. Same reasons–easily readable in one sitting if you want, and always worth pondering over. I read this one annually during the week of our United Methodist Texas Annual Conference meetings.
3. One book you would want on a desert island: (Again assuming the Gideons have left a bible in the drawer of my desert island hut) The Boy Scout Handbook… But for “non-practical” purposes, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, by J. R. R. Tolkien. I haven’t read them, but would love to. I’m working with the assumption that I’ll have some time on my hands on a desert island, so maybe that would be a good time to read them.
4. One book that made you laugh: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne LaMott. Raw, honest, hilarious. Just fantastic all the way around.
5. One book that made you cry: Yes, Old Yeller, by Fred Gipson. Although it wasn’t fair. It was on audiobook and the reader was really good.
6. One book you wish had been written: The Definitive Catalog of Answers to Moral and Ethical Questions (including detailed and exhaustive appendices addressing all conceivable contexts and scenarios)
7. One book you wish had never been written: Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy, by Rene Descartes. If we had been spared Descartes’s “proof” of individual existence and reduction of human identity down to “I think, therefore I am,” perhaps we wouldn’t have the radical individualism that shapes so much of Western culture today (and for the past few hundred years).
8. One book you’re currently reading: The books I’m currently reading are: Boundaries, by Cloud and Townsend; Honor, Patronage, Kinship, and Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture, by David deSilva; The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini; and Love Talk: Speak Each Other’s Language Like You Never Have Before, by Les and Leslie Parrott.
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: Dozens. I buy books way faster than I can read them. But to pick out just one: A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life, by Parker Palmer.
10. Tag 5 others: (see links in side column)
Abby Williams (wife)
Mindy Standlee (sis)