Monday, June 11, 2007

a brief foray into fiction

I've been contemplating lately what my next few book purchases should be. I sort of had a plan but wanted to scour a few pages before spending the money. So I went to the local Barnes & Noble, got a cup of coffee, and headed over to the religion section.

I had been planning on another fun/inspirational read (likely an untouched Anne Lammott or Donald Miller) and another text on theory and practice of current day ministry. But as I was looking for my texts my desires changed, my mind changed, and my original plans fell through.

I was standing there looking over the four aisle of books in the sections labeled "Christianity" and "Christian Inspiration" and I realized what a confusing place this is. I looked and saw stacks of books by one author whose purpose is to negate the author in the adjacent stack. There was also a "Religious Fiction" section. I am a person who can really appreciate the presence of diversity and the attempt to carry out serious dialogue, but I stood there the whole time thinking of those people who are confused about our faith or who are at a distance from our faith. What a confusing section this must be! I hope they don't form opinions about our faith based on the titles they see in that strange section of the store.

So I decided instead to take a brief foray into fiction. I picked up a novel that seemed interesting and funny from a scanned preliminary reading. And I picked up another Thomas Merton book of texts for contemplation, as well. You can't go wrong with Merton.


NoVA Dad said...

I agree with your appraisal of the religion sections at larger bookstores. One of the things I like most about having several Borders stores nearby is that I can do all of my research on line to see what looks interesting, and then do an electronic reservation on-line. Then, I can just walk straight to the checkout line and pick up my purchases without thinking too much about what else I might be getting.

What fiction did you get? I've been reading some Cormac McCarthy and Don Delillo, and have a sizeable stack still in my room -- and my den -- and my office; it just goes on and on:-)

Dan said...

I got a Richard Russo ("Empire Falls") book titled "Straight Man." I'll let you know how it goes. I do like some Cormac McCarthy. Though I haven't yet read "The Road". What do you think of it?

Doug Jones said...

"you can't go wrong with Merton." AMEN!!!

Great stuff. Did you get the latest, "Praying the Hours" or some other wonderful tome?

Dan said...

I wound up getting the original "Seeds." Believe it or not I haven't read it yet.

Doug Jones said...

I have the "New Seeds" demands to be read s-l-o-w-l-y!!!

NoVA Dad said...

I read "The Road" and actually posted a mini-review of it over on my blog. I would highly recommend it; it's an easy and quick read, but it's a powerful story.