Archives For books

You know that feeling, right? Of reading a book, how it gets down into the very marrow of your bones, becomes a part of your soul? You don’t want it to end, but rather go on and on.

Or at least have the decency to have a sequel.

What are follows is a list of books that, IMHO, are desperately in need of sequels.

Blue Like Jazz came out, what? Thirteen years ago. We got a quasi-sequel in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. But not really. Miller needs to at least update it, bringing it into the disco age:

BLJ2: Electric Bluegaloo It will be the story of how young Don not only continued to come to terms with God, but how he embraced the interpretive dancer locked within his soul. While living with Eskimos.

‘Salem’s Lot is easily one of the preeminent vampire novels of the last forty years. And yet no sequel has been forthcoming from the pen of the King. He’s given us other nasties, other creepy-crawlies. But no vampires! What he needs to do is pen the tale of defrocked priest on the run, Donald Callahan, set it in modern Detroit, and adapt it as a feature film starring Liam Neeson. It would be called Callahan: Taken With Vampires.

Surely you know of C.S. Lewis adult novels, Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength, and Til We Have Faces: A Myth Retold, right? I’m not here concerning myself with the first three, as they’re already a trilogy. But that last one? It screams sequel. The story concerns what happened that fateful night when Cupid and Psyche ate too much choice food, and what thereafter ensued. It will be titled Til We Have Feces: When Your Pants Explode.

I’m told that the Farrelly brothers, architects of Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary, Kingpin, and the forthcoming Dumb and Dumber To have optioned the rights to Steinbeck’s classic East of Eden. It will be titled Easter of Eden, and will star Woody Harrelson as Nimrod of Nod, champion flatulator. Nimrod pits his mighty gaseous powers against Chinese Lee (played by Jackie Chan).

A Prayer for Owen Meany. What a serious, wonderful, funny, sad, heartbreaking book! One of Irving’s most beloved. Yet he has yet to pen a sequel. What he needs to do is a mashup story: Between Here and There: the tale of how a raspy-throsted, armless, midget zombie chases the ghost of T.S. Garp in the afterlife. While wearing drag.

That’s all I’ve got.

What books do you think need sequels? Share in the comments.

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Shawn Smucker co-wrote a great book, Refuse to Drown. It’s the story of a dad coming to grips with an awful choice, faith, and family in the midst of a terrible tragedy. The title, Refuse to Drown, is a metaphor about how that man, Tim Kreider, faced the circumstances which threatened to sink him: he refused to drown. He would not washed overboard, or swamped by the tides of life. His is a story of hope in the midst of terrible times. And this book is well worth yours. Because if Mr. Kreider–like Noah, Joseph, Jeremiah before him–can trust God through the hard times so can we all.

As it says in the Scriptures, “weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” And God is our morning–our perpetual morning. Especially when it’s dark, and we don’t understand. He will be the eye of our hurricane if we let Him. It’s a paradox I don’t understand, but surrender seems to be the only antidote to a life spiraling out of control. The more we try to control, the more things slip out of our hands. Kreider learned, in the most heart-wrenching way possible–that there were indeed things he couldn’t control. He couldn’t bargain his way out.

His only recourse was surrender.

He could well have surrendered to:

Drink

Sex

Drugs

But he chose to, despite his lack of understanding, and his inability to control (and protect), surrender to Christ. Let that be a lesson to us: surrender is the answer, but it’s all about Who we surrender to. We may cede our rights to all manner of things (some of which are listed above), but while those things medicate they don’t give us the one thing we’re all looking for:

LIFE.

Only God can do that–give us life.

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As I mentioned above, Shawn Smucker co-wrote this book with Mr. Kreider. I’ve read a number of his books, and I felt his deft touch on every page bringing the words of Kreider’s journal to life. There’s a vibrancy, a potency, and immediacy to the narrative as it unfolds. I as a reader felt as if I was there–down in the valleys, and back out again. This book will break, and re-make, your heart in the best way possible.

And all while pointing you to the Giver of Life. Which is why, in the post title above, I said this is not a book review. Because, ultimately, refusing to drown isn’t so much a book, as it is a way of life.

Get your copy: Refuse to Drown on Amazon You won’t be sorry.

Because this is the Monday of the week of the American Thanksgiving holiday, I would like to share something I’m very thankful for. Apart from the gift of salvation found in Jesus Christ, having a loving, drop-dead gorgeous wife, two wonderful kids, a great job, a nice house, etc., one of the things I’m most thankful for is that I’m a reader. Stephen King has said that books are a special kind of portable magic.

This is true.

For by them, I have lived a thousand lifetimes, visited strange and wonderful places, met people whom I may never have otherwise encountered. And all by the cracking the covers of a book. I’ve been Middle Earth, Narnia, Perelandra, Christmasland, etc. I’ve visited the darkest corners of Africa, been beneath the catacombs of Europe, seen the splendor of a thousand sunrises…

I’ve been with Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect when the Vogons destroyed the Earth to make way for an interstellar bypass. I was there when the Earth was newly remade.

As I said, I’ve lived a thousand lifetimes. And all without every leaving the confines of my own skin. There are unaccountable wonders, thrills, chills, splendors to be encountered between the pages of a book (or in your favorite e-reader).

Why not pick one up today, and see where it takes you?

You’ll be glad you did.

What’s your favorite book?

I Aim To Be Scarce

randomlychad  —  November 5, 2012 — 11 Comments

Folks, if you happened to drop in last week, you may have seen an excerpt from my memoir-in-progress. In it, I grapple with who my dad is, the forces that shaped him, and the watershed moments in my own life. While it does tread through some heavy territory, it is ultimately a tale of grace and redemption.

Or it will be.

If I can get done. Along with the memoir, I’ve also taken up the mantle of NaNoWriMo, or national novel writing month. Which means I’m now not just working on one book, but two. Or maybe I’m just crazy.

Time will tell.

In any case, what this means is that I’ll have little time for this blog for the foreseeable future. In truth, I’ve been feeling called in this direction for some time, but have resisted it out of fear.

What will happen to my platform?

I’m not sure. What I do know is that “he who seeks to save his life shall lose it,” and “unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone.”

All of which is to say: I aim to be scarce for awhile.

This is not goodbye, but rather goodbye for now.

See you in the coming weeks, and months.

All my best,

Chad

First, a question:

What are you reading? I ask because I love books, and am always on the lookout for new reads. So keep that question in mind for the comments, ok?

Now, since I’ve let you go first, allow me to make some recommendations for books that will knock your socks off:

In the category of “Best book about Jesus I’ve ever read” is:

John Eldredge’s Beautiful Outlaw. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Once you read it your view of Jesus will never be the same. Promise.

As a free plug, and if you’re at all interested in a closer walk with Jesus, I highly recommend you check out some of the resources on the Ransomed Heart webstore. Lifechanging.
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In the “Best New Book About Sports and Jesus” category, we have:

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My My Internet Name Rival’s new book, Love Thy Rival, about what sports’ greatest rivalries teach us about Jesus’ command to love our enemies.

Coincident with the release of this book, Chad has partnered with Samaritan’s Purse to build a clinic in Haiti. Check out the campaign, and support your team against its rival.

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Last, but not least, in the category of “Best Book About Jesus and Zombies,” is Clay Morgan’s new book, Undead: Revived, Resuscitated, and Reborn. Professor Morgan has his finger firmly on the pulse of pop culture (well, technically zombies don’t have a pulse, and will eat you if you try to take it. But I digress), while being firmly rooted in history, and scripture. Don’t miss this book!

So there are three books I’m reading (expect full reviews in the coming days) right now. Again: what are you reading? Share in the comments.