Spring Break: A couple of giveaways

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It’s Spring Break around our house. You know what that means? Plenty of free time to read books I want to read, instead of books I need to read.

Here’s the thing I think people need to understand about reading – the reason so many people come to hate reading is because reading becomes the chore they don’t want to do.

When reading feels like a chore, I put the book down.

There was this novel everybody was raving about not long ago. So many people made such a fuss over it, I bought it. Then I tried to read it. And I have kept trying to read it. Maybe it gets good in the middle. Maybe I’m just too unworthy of a reader to appreciate it. Either way, I haven’t been able to get beyond the first five chapters and five chapters is all I give a book before I quit it. (I can’t tell you the book title least you think less of me for not liking it).

Books are more of a courtship, than marriage. If you get into the courtship and figure out that you aren’t a good match for one another, you ought to get out while the getting is good. Too many other options out there to waste time with a book that doesn’t have the fire, as my friend Rick Holladay says. Of course, Rick was speaking about people courting, not books, but still the fire part holds true.

You ought to quit any book that doesn’t interest you, and find one that does. There are plenty to choose from.

I’ve got a couple I want to recommend.

I’ve been reading Chad Gibbs’s latest – Jesus Without Borders. You may remember Chad from his God and Football: Faith and Fanaticism in the SEC book.  Chad is a funny, funny fellow. He makes me laugh out loud. Chad keeps me from taking myself too seriously, which I do all the time. Chad traveled the world, literally, talking to people about Jesus. But before he gets to the Jesus convo, he has to figure out the mass transit systems, where to eat, which tourist sites to be sure and see, and a few professional soccer (football) games.

I about fell out when Chad describes his visit to an Eastern Orthodox Church in Russia. Seems he and his traveling companion offended the elders of the church by sitting cross-legged on a bench. It is an absolutely hysterical moment, except for the part where Chad is actually getting yelled at by the priest. I’m sure that was scary when it happened. It’s funny in the retelling, however.

But Jesus without Borders isn’t all silliness,  it’s a quirky look at all the ways Christians raised up in the Bible Belt think wonky about people who weren’t raised up like them. (Or that should be us, since I was one. Or is it “am one”? Oh, I’m confused!)  It’s also a great resource for how to travel cheaply.

I chided Chad for eating at McDonalds (see travel cheaply remark above) in Italy, but when I told my Facebook friends about that, they chided me for chiding Chad. (I always wanted to write that sentence.) Apparently, a lot of my friends eat at McDonalds in foreign countries. I had no idea. It seems that I am friends with a lot of Big Mac connoisseurs. I’m not sure what that says about me. Or them.

If you need a laugh, you might check out Chad’s book. Or leave your name below. I’m giving away a free copy.

The second book I’m recommending is for C.S. Lewis fans everywhere. It’s a memoir by newcomer Ryan T. Pemberton. (Isn’t Pemberton just the greatest name for an author? It looks so official in print).

I heard about Ryan through a mutual friend, author Michael Morris. He met Ryan at one of those literary events for Jesus people. This is one of those invited only events. I never get invited to things like that. I think it’s because people assume I can’t keep a secret. Or maybe it’s because they don’t consider me literary. Or maybe it’s just because I’m the wrong gender. Anyway, I hate being left out of fun things. If you are doing something fun, be sure and send me an invitation.

Unless, of course, you are going to go sit cross-legged on a bench in a church in Russia. In that case, I think I’ll just stay home and read about it.

Anyway, back to Ryan’s book, Called: My journey to C.S. Lewis’s House and Back Again. 

(Oh, man, don’t you wish C. S. Lewis would call us and invite us all over for supper? I do. I wish I could sit down with Lewis and O’Connor and Welty to talk books and Jesus.)

Called is the story of the unexpected adventures God takes us on, and how even in the midst of living out a dream come true, we anticipate and work and plan for the dreams yet unrealized.

If you are a C.S. Lewis fan of any sort, you will want to read Pemberton’s book. Leave you name below. I’m giving away a copy.

What book did you read lately that felt more loathsome than enjoyment?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.

17 Comments

Diane

about 5 years ago

Just trudged through Goldfinch for book club...made it through 660 pages waiting for the good part...speed read the last100+ pages....there never was a good part...don't know what the criteria is for a Pulitzer prize...but I wouldn't't have given it any accolades other than maybe the "booby prize!".

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 5 years ago

I will admit to not reading it. So many of my friends who read it said the same thing as you. My particular feeling on the matter is that it takes an indulgent author to require a reader to invest so much time. It had better be a great book. And, yeah, I don't know what made it award worthy, unless you just consider the years it took to write it.

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Jane Wilson

about 5 years ago

Putting my name in for Chad's new book. Just read God & Football and enjoyed it. The C.S. Lewis book sounds good, too, if you want to put my name in for that, too.

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Tim Thurman

about 5 years ago

I can't believe that you do not get invited to those "literary events for Jesus people." It's an outrage! I am intrigued by the Pemberton book. Thank you!

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LeeNJ`

about 5 years ago

I just finished CSL's Letters, Vol III and am now nearing the end of a new (2013) bio of CSL by Alister McGrath. "Called" is calling me!

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 5 years ago

Lee: You have won a copy of "Called". Please send me an address at zachauthor at gmail dot com where I can mail the book too. Thank you for entering and I hope you enjoy Pemberton's book.

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Sean Miller

about 5 years ago

I want Chad Gibbs' book!

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James Haynes

about 5 years ago

I'd love the copy of Chad's book. Thanks so much for the offer!

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 5 years ago

James: You have won yourself a copy of Chad Gibbs book. Shoot me over an address at zachauthor at gmail dot com. Thanks for entering. Hope you love the book!

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Mark Roedel

about 5 years ago

I really enjoyed Chad's previous book, but both of them look interesting enough that I'd be delighted to receive either one.

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Ellen Tew

about 5 years ago

Karen...I'd love a copy of either book. I usually enjoy whatever you recommend. In my "golden years", I've finally given myself permission to quit reading a book if it's dull or predictable or if the writing sucks. There are too many other great books just waiting for me to try! My book club loved the Karen Karbo book about Coco Chanel...great discussions and disagreements. ( I showed them the photo of the 'two Karens' - thanks for sharing that.) I'm starting on her Julia Child book and will probably read the others in her Badass Women series.

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Thomas Alford

about 5 years ago

Hello and thank you for the reviews. I'm looking for a good book to read and wanted to leave my John Henry on your post. Happy reading everyone...

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James Williams

about 5 years ago

Karen, I'd love to read Chad's book. To answer your question, I read a book I felt was more of a chore than a joy, but I'd rather not name it here. Might hurt some feelings.

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Mitch Marlowe

about 5 years ago

Thanks for the recommends!

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Cathy

about 5 years ago

I tried to get through Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking." I knew I could relate, but I couldn't quite get close to it...some prose is awesome, but not all at once. I left it and picked up the new one by one of my favs...Marilynne Robinson, "Lila." Gilead is my favorite book.

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Don Brady

about 5 years ago

Small world. I'm friends with Mike Kinsey down in Georgia.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 5 years ago

I always say it's a small world until you drive it. (Or walk it). :)

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