One of the reasons I'm so happy to be done with the manuscript for Improvising with God is the chance to consume art, and read books, and generally get the tank filled up after expending so much energy writing. I also realize I've had my head down so much I haven't had a chance to promote the really great work that's already out there, written by friends and colleagues. In no particular order, here are some recent books you should know about:
My friend Elizabeth Hagan's memoir Birthed: Finding Grace Through Infertility dropped last month! You got to meet her here at the Blue Room in her Q&A, but check out her book, which is not just for people struggling with infertility--the story is much broader than that and resists easy answers.
Elizabeth was a member of my Writing Revs group, as was Ruth Everhart, whose memoir Ruined is her harrowing account of a sexual assault that took place in college and the healing that occurred in the long aftermath of that trauma. I got to read both of these books in earlier stages of the process, and it is heartening to see them both loose in the world.
I had the chance to read Lee Hull Moses's More Than Enough: Living Abundantly in a Culture of Excess and is a great companion for anyone who's tried to live more lightly on the earth, only to discover that simplicity is anything but simple. Lee is a trustworthy companion on this journey, offering just the right blend of deep wisdom and disarming authenticity.
Bromleigh McCleneghan is stoking the fires of controversy with her faithful and provocative book Good Christian Sex: Why Chastity Isn't the Only Option-And Other Things the Bible Says About Sex. I've started this one and it's accessible and honest. A friend of mine likes to say that you know you're doing good work when you have all the right people mad at you, and judging from the nature of the one-star reviews on Amazon, Bromleigh is shaking things up in just the right way.
On the topic of love and relationships, I haven't picked up Katherine Willis Pershey's book Very Married: Field Notes on Love and Fidelity, but it's also making a big splash. Eugene Peterson has called it the best book on marriage he's ever read. Holy endorsements, Batman!
And finally, looking ahead, Carol Howard Merritt is another Writing Rev who has gone on to do prolific work for the church. Her book Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting with a Loving God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church will be out next year. Have you pre-ordered your copy yet?
Now, who did I miss?