Books Read in 2014

  1. Willow Wilson’s Alif The Unseen
  2. Art Spiegelman’s Maus 1
  3. Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Through the Evil Days
  4. Al Gore’s The Future
  5. Peter Steinke’s A Door Set Open
  6. Mary Oliver’s Dog Song
  7. Denise Spellberg’s Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an
  8. Flannery O’Connor’s A Prayer Journal
  9. Roger Nicholson’s Temporary Shepherds
  10. Mary Piper’s The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in our Capsized Culture
  11. Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep
  12. Anne Lamott’s Stitches
  13. Patricia Cornwell’s Dust
  14. Jill Lepore’s Book of Ages: The life and Opinions of Jane Franklin
  15. Chris Pye’s Wood Carving: Projects and Techniques
  16. Charles Biederman’s The Beginner’s Handbook of Woodcarving
  17. Katherine Howe’s The House of Velvet and Glass
  18. Marie Dennis’ St. Francis and the Foolishness of God
  19. David Janzen’s Fire, Salt, and Peace: Intentional Christian Communities Alive in North America
  20. J. Tangerman’s Whitling and Woodcarving
  21. Helene Wecker’s The Golem and the Jinni
  22. Anna Quindlen’s Still Life with Breadcrumbs
  23. Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction
  24. Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit
  25. Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath
  26. Hans Kung’s Can We Save the Catholic Church?
  27. Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods
  28. Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings
  29. Alexia Salvatierra’s Faith-Rooted Organizing
  30. John Kotter’s Our Iceberg is Melting
  31. Bruce Holsinger’s A Burnable Book
  32. Alexandra Horowitz’ On Looking
  33. Bill McKibben’s Oil and Honey
  34. Richard Louv’s The Nature Principle
  35. Susan Hill’s Howards End is on the Landing
  36. Jo Walton’s What Makes this Book so Great?
  37. Nick Hand’s Conversations on the Hudson
  38. Rosamund Zander’s The Art of Possibility
  39. David Haskell’s The Forest Unseen
  40. David Orr’s Earth in Mind
  41. Rob Hopkins’ The Power of Just Doing Stuff
  42. Terry Bisson’s Fire on the Mountain
  43. J. Cherryh’s The Pride of Chanur
  44. Django Wexler’s The Forbidden Library
  45. Rumi and His Sufi Path of Love
  46. Nevada Barr’s Destroyer Angel
  47. Walter Bruggemann’s Sabbath as Resistance
  48. Barbara Brown Taylor’s Learning to Walk in the Dark
  49. Robert Wilson’s The Chronoliths
  50. Rob Hopkins’ The Transition Handbook
  51. Andrew Zolli, Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back
  52. Octavia Butler’s Kindred
  53. Kim Robinson’s The Wild Shore
  54. Louise Penny’s Still Life
  55. Louise Penny’s A Fatal Grace
  56. Elizabeth Warren’s A Fightng Chance
  57. Louise Penny’s The Cruelest Month
  58. Gail Caldwell’s New Life, No Instructions
  59. Thom Rainer’s Autopsy of a Deceased Church
  60. Katty Kay’s The Confidence Code
  61. Deborah Harkness’ The Book of Life
  62. Suzanne Clothier’s Bones Would Rain From Heaven
  63. Patricia McConnell’s The Other End of the Leash
  64. Lev Grossman’s Th Magician’s Land
  65. Louise Penny’s A Rule Against Murder
  66. J. Cherryh’s Chanur’s Venture
  67. Lewis Dartnell’s The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch
  68. Louise Penny’s The Brutal Telling
  69. Louise Penny’s Bury Your Dead
  70. Jason Czarneski’s Everyday Environmentalism
  71. David Levithan’s Every Day
  72. Alan Dershowitz’ The Case for Israel
  73. IPMN’s Zionism Unsettled
  74. Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land
  75. Katherine Howe’s Conversion
  76. Stephen King’s Revival
  77. Robert Lupton’s Toxic Charity
  78. Louise Penny’s The Long Way Home
  79. Lillian Daniel’s Tell it Like it Is
  80. Mark Wallace’s Green Christianity
  81. Pico Iyer’s The Art of Stillness
  82. Margaret Feinberg’s The Organic God
  83. Margaret Feinberg’s The Sacred Echo
  84. Barbara Ehrenreich’s Living with a Wild God
  85. Cynthia Bourgeault’s Encountering the Wisdom Jesus
  86. John Grim’s Ecology and Religion
  87. Jeremy Ben-Ami’s A New Voice for Israel
  88. Desmond Tutu’s The Book of Forgiving
  89. Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything
  90. Tim Jackson’s Prosperity Without Growth
  91. Jenny Jones’ All Roads Lead to Jerusalem
  92. Bill Evans’ Banjo for Dummies
  93. Pete Seeger’s How to Play the 5-String Banjo
  94. BK Loren’s Animal Mineral Radical
  95. Mary Oliver’s blue Horses
  96. Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow

Friday Five: Guilty Pleasures

Over at RevGalBlogPals, it’s time to play Friday Five. This week it begins with the paragraph:

guilty-pleasure

“It happened again this week. In a social setting, during a conversation with people that included some I had just met, I made a reference to the church I serve. “Oh!” one of the new acquaintances exclaimed, “I shouldn’t have said hell!” Sigh. This kind of projection can be so tiring, as can the general need to be mindful of how our words and actions are perceived as appropriate (or not). In light of that, I relish moments to myself when I can shed all such perceptions and projections and just be. Occasionally this involves what might be known as a guilty pleasure.

For this week’s Friday Five, share with us five “perception be damned!” pleasures in which you indulge. We promise we won’t judge, or tell. What happens at RevGals stays at RevGals.”

In my ministry, for good or for bad, I try very hard to be “what you see is what you get” rather than “playing minister”. When I used to fill out PIFs (clergy resumes), in response to the question about what I was looking for in a congregation I’d put that one of the things I wanted was a congregation where each member of staff (including myself) can be a total person, not just a role. And when I was in a congregation, I’m pretty sure members of the congregation knew all of me—the rough and the smooth places in my life. I thought that was a good thing, since I hoped it would also give each of them permission to also bring all of themselves to the congregation’s life together.

Having said all that, do I have guilty pleasures? I do, even though they’re not connected with the parish. So here are five:

  1. I love books—academic books, books for ministry, novels, poetry, sci fi, mysteries, books in other languages, old books, new books—and, while I do go to the library for books I’m sure I’ll never read again and do get some books in e-format of one kind or another, I also love owning books. The owning is the guilty pleasure.
  1. Peanut M&Ms. I’ve had to give up most candy, including M&Ms since my soy allergy has become so bad, but peanut M&Ms used to be a guilty pleasure of mine. I loved the combined salt and sugar. I could always find a way to justify eating them since the peanuts were a source of protein.
  1. Instruments and time to play instruments. One of my favorite things in all the world is making music—singing (which makes me feel guilty if anyone else is around because I’m so tone-deaf), playing flute, playing guitar, playing mountain lark, playing uke. I’m not very good at any of these instruments, but I love making music and especially playing with others. In the ideal world I would make music of one kind or another two to three hours a day, seven days a week—and then listen to music for a few hours more. Working three plus jobs, my life really doesn’t allow me much time for music-making and there’s always something that should be done in place of it, so when I play music I usually feel like I’m stealing time from something that has a more legitimate claim on it.
  1. Non-work-related travel. Travel is a guilty pleasure for me because I know that it increases my carbon footprint. I don’t do most of my travel by foot or by bike or by public transportation. I do it by car (or if I’m lucky enough to be going somewhere farther away, by plane). I struggle with how to balance my desire to see something new or participate in something that isn’t in my neighborhood with the environmental cost of my doing so.
  1. Whenever I’ve had an opportunity to step away from noise and connections with the world, I have so loved the silence. By silence I don’t mean the lack of natural noise, I mean having to be connected, to speak, to be “on” and reachable by others. When I was in my twenties, my mother used to give me the gift of watching my (then one) child for a long weekend once a year, so I could go away to a cabin in the woods and soak up the silence, hike the nearby trails, and not have to speak or respond to anyone. I didn’t feel guilty being away from it all. Instead, it was heaven. For a variety of reasons I’m not at a place in my life where these kinds of opportunities for long periods of total silence are possible and I’d probably feel very guilty if given the chance.