I feel like I've hit a milestone in my blogging life...I've finally been tagged, thanks to Jenny!. This one's about books, so I have to offer a disclaimer or two early on. Almost all of my books are packed and stored in the garage, so I have to answer this without benefit of perusing my collection. And I simply haven't had as much time to read A.J. (after Joshua) as I did B.J., so I hope my answers aren't too lame.
1. One book that changed your life.
The Preaching Life by Barbara Brown Taylor. More than anything it changed my vocational understanding. Her wisdom about what it means to be an ordained minister helped me clarify my own call.
I actually think there are some books from seminary that probably had a profound effect on my life than that, but I simply can't remember that far back right now without being able to look at them.
2. One book you've read more than once.
I was much more guilty of this when I was a pre-teen and couldn't get hold of books fast enough. I don't think I've read it all the way through twice, but I certainly go back and read parts of The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg quite often, and even more frequently when I was preaching every week.
3. One book you would want on a desert island.
Easy. 1,001 Crossword Puzzles from the New York Times. I usually stay up way past my bedtime anyway finishing them. Why not have them with me when I actually have time to do them?
4. One book that made you laugh.
I'm going to cheat on this one. In my life, a book that makes me have to turn my head toward the window while riding the bus so that other people don't see the tears running down my face counts as a book that "made me laugh." I can think of three right off the bat. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel, and Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. Actually, anything by Anne Lamott makes me laugh.
5. One book that made you cry.
I don't usually cry while reading, but by the end of A Prayer for Owen Meany I was a big blubbery mess.
6. One book that you wish had been written.
Jesus' Autobiogaphy. It would take away a lot of the guesswork, don't you think? But I suppose when the guesswork is eliminated, so is the fun.
7. One book you wish had never been written.
I don't suppose there's anything I wish hadn't been written, but one book I wish I hadn't felt obligated to finish is Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I realize that many people find this a brilliant book, but I didn't get it. And I wanted to get it. So I kept reading. And I was sorely disappointed at the end. Maybe that's more of a reflection on me than on the book, but those are hours I will never get back.
8. One book you are currently reading.
The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America by Bill Bryson. He makes me laugh, as I mentioned before.
I'm also still trying to finish listening to Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. I started listening on the move down and just haven't finished it yet.
9. One book you have been meaning to read.
When I was working at the Presbyterian Church, the pastor was leading a morning study on A History of God by Karen Armstrong. He really enjoyed it. I've been meaning to read it ever since.
10. Now tag five people.
Josh. Might this be his debut at Life Actually?