Sheila’s Next Five

Sheila is our other resident classicist and customer service representative. She teaches dead languages and is writing a thesis about the resurrection; make of that what you will.

cyril

Lectures on the Christian Sacraments by St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Sheila is about to start this book on the sacraments. She reads extensively on sacraments as seen by this book, also near the top of her to-be-read pile:

thursday

Thank God it’s Thursday by William H. Willimon.

Remember that thesis on the resurrection? That might explain the next two books in Sheila’s pile of reading.

theodeath

The Theology of Suffering and Death by Natalie Kertes Weaver

dying

Theology, Death and Dying by Ray S. Anderson

Finally, to assist in Sheila’s reading of Karl Barth on creation (again for the thesis) this book:

karl

Saving Karl Barth by D. Stephen Long

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Alain’s Next Five

Alain is one of our classics scholars. He works in customer service at Crux, but will, sadly, be leaving us later this summer to start his Ph.D studies. These are the five books he might have time for before an advanced degree takes over his life:

came

Getting What you Came For: The Smart Student’s Guide to Earning a Master’s or PhD by Robert L. Peters. There’s no mystery around why Alain might make this book a priority in the next few months!

simple

Simple & Direct: A Rhetoric for Writers by Jacques Barzun

9780520280410

Augustine of Hippo: A Biography by Peter Brown. The definitive Augustine biography.

9780674165311

Constantine and Eusebius by Timothy D. Barnes.

9780300091281

Faith, Science & Understanding by John Polkinghorne

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Cindy’s Next Five

Our fearless leader, Cindy, thinks she might get to some of these books this summer.

Rome

Rome & Jerusalem by Martin Goodman was recommended by Terry Donaldson for summer reading in 2013. Cindy has her eye on it for this summer’s reading.

bonhoeffer

Bonhoefer: Paster, Martyer, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. Cindy plans to read this on the dock at the cottage some long weekend.

men

7 Men and the Secret of their Greatness by Eric Metaxas.

contemporary

The Contemporary Christian by John R.W. Stott.

seeds

Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants by Jane Goodall. Cindy’s farm family roots are showing in this selection. She looks forward to reading the wisdom and wonder of the plant world, especially as Jane Goodall wrote the book.

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Carolyn’s Next Five

Carolyn is our local philosopher. She works in customer service and shipoing. These are the next five books she thinks she might read when she’s not writing her thesis this summer.

planet

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

dark

 

Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor

brothersK

The Brothers Karamazov by Fydor Dostoyevsky

human

Becoming Human by Jean Vanier

bread

Take this Bread by Sara Miles

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The Next Five Books

Here at Crux, the staff members have put together lists of the next five books we might read. All of us have the habit of drifting off into what looks interesting at the moment, so these lists may not actually reflect what we read over the summer. They do reflect books that are on our current reading horizons and in our To Be Read piles.

Dr. Heather’s Next Five:

jesus

Jesus and the Victory of God by N.T. Wright

This is the one book on my list that I am confident that I will finish this book this summer. I’ve already started reading, and am into the second major section. I once had a discussion with a colleague about whether Wright’s big books are actually serious scholarship because they are readable. I argued that the readability factor makes them Very Serious Scholarship because more people may actually understand what Wright is saying, thus his ideas have a better chance of intelligent acceptance, or intelligent rebuttal.

reading

The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs

This is my book about reading for this summer. The one I read last summer was a great disappointment, and it has taken a while for me to pick a book about books again. We’ll see how this one goes.

soldier

One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming

I need at least one mystery to read in the summer. I’ve enjoyed Spencer-Fleming’s series featuring the detecting duo of an Episcopal Priest and the local Police Chief, and this is the one I’ve not read yet.

faces

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

People keep telling me that this is the best novel Lewis wrote. I haven’t read it yet. I’ll let you know if I agree with my friends.

Lewis

C.S. Lewis, A Life by Alister McGrath

I’ve had this book on my to-be-read pile for too long. I hope to actually read it this summer. I’ve heard good things about it. I’ll let you know what I think after I’ve read it.

 

The Next Five next post

May Staff Picks: Relaxing Reading part 4

Alain:

paradise

A Preface to Paradise Lost by C.S. Lewis

Alain appreciates this book as a work of general literary criticism, particularly on the epic poems. Before Lewis even begins to talk about Paradise Lost he sets the poem in the contexts of its genre. Alain read this long before attempting Milton, and recommends it highly.

(Has anyone else noticed that Crux staff have a fondness for Lewis no matter what he writes?)

Ed:

church

May part 3 Monthly Staff Picks

May Staff Picks: Relaxing Reading Part 3

Cindy:

harvard

Homeless at Harvard by John Christopher Frame

While the author was a student at Harvard, he decided to spend one summer living on the streets with the homeless people that he had become acquainted with through his volunteer work.  He became “homeless” becoming part of the Harvard Square community.  This book is the story of that summer and the stories of three individuals who befriended him, taught him how to survive and shared their lives with him.

Sheila:

wrinkle

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

There is a great joy in rereading a beloved book from one’s childhood.  You are transported through time to remember again the awe and wonder such tales invoked and, simultaneously, are brought to realise how the work has shaped and reshaped your thinking and your imagination from the first encounter.
Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time offers to its readers first and foremost an excellent story.  The characters are engaging, the writing evocative and at times even lyrical.  Without giving away too much, we encounter, through the characters, a cosmic battle between good and evil.  The dangers of conformity and the importance of standing on the side of truth even, and perhaps especially, when it costly are unfolded.  This is a book for adults and children alike.  If you have not read it before, please do.  If you have, try re-reading it.  I promise you that you will enjoy it still more.
May part 2 Monthly Staff Picks May part 4

Staff Picks for May: Relaxing Reading Part 1

Here in the Crux-world, the winter term is over. This means we can do some relaxing reading! Hammock! Sun-glasses! Relax! Here are the first couple of relaxing reading recommendations. Look for more in the next few days.

Rev. Heather:

9781579990619

A Wee Worship Book

As we head into the summer months and things start to slow down, it is a perfect time to get creative in worship. Maybe you’re planning a contemporary service at night with a jazzed up Liturgy, or perhaps a campfire prayer service at a summer camp, this book can help you plan those services ans many more! From special prayers for creation, peace, and healing to liturgies broken down by the time of day of the service, this book has something for any priest, pastor, or worship leader looking to try something new!

Andrew:

9780449213445

The Chosen by Chaim Potok

This is a great read. It has baseball, biblical studies, fathers and sons, and friendship. What more could you want in a relaxing summer read?

April Monthly Staff Picks May part 2

7 tips for Difficult Reading

Sometimes it is difficult to read scholarly books. Language and concepts can both be dense and tangled, but only one of the two need be obscure for difficulties to arise. (See what I mean?)

We (Crux Staff) have read our share of difficult texts. Here are 7 strategies (see what we did there?) we use to wade through and find meaning when things get tangled and twisted.

  1. Fling the book in question across the room and against the wall. This releases the tension caused by obfuscation and may allow you to move on with reading. This also works when you find the argument vacuous or ridiculous. We have flung authors from Hegel to Harris across rooms. You can decide which of those is obtuse and which ridiculous.
  2. Use a dictionary or other reference tome that may shed light on the text. Regular English Dictionaries are very helpful, as are specialized dictionaries of theological or philosophical terms. Maps and diagrams can be helpful depending on the subject.
  3. Read slowly and in small sections. Sometimes summarizing a paragraph helps decode what happened in that block of text. Active reading includes taking notes and sitting at a desk or table, not sprawling on a couch or bed. Some difficult books must be read on hard chairs, no cushions allowed.
  4. While cushions are not allowed, breaks are allowed, and even recommended. Breaks help the brain digest the heavy rich food found in difficult books.
  5. Talking about a book with a study group can help untangle the threads of an author’s point. Of course, class discussions and professors can also make things plain, but the work of decoding a text yourself is far more rewarding in the long run. Really.
  6. A summary or précis can be helpful. Some authors realize this and produce their own summaries. Other times we resort to notes and summaries written by others. Be Selective in the summaries you use though!
  7. Speaking of selective, help yourself out by being choosy from the beginning. Pay attention to which English translation you use. Translators make a difference — are you reading the King James Version of a work or is it more like The Message?

Ask the Crux Staff — we sure do. We are here to help in any way we can, even when the reading gets tough.

January Staff Picks

Now that January is more than 2/3 over, here are the staff picks for the month:

Ed – The ESV  Bible black leather with a zipper. Handy for travel!

 esv zip

CindyMy Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.

utmost highest

Heather W: The Radical Disciple by John R. W. Stott, his last book, and one of HW’s picks of 2013

Radical-Disciple1

Alain: The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy by Thomas E. Woods Jr.

alain

Sheila: Becoming Human by John Behr. Sheila says “It is a beautiful book, a meditation on what it is to be human with images and quotations woven throughout to give the reader much to ponder.  In lyrical prose, Father Behr invites us to look upon Christ, God and Man, and through Christ, to understand our calling to be human.  It is a lovely book to read especially ‘in the bleak midwinter’.”

9780881414394

Conner: Simple and Direct: A Rhetoric for Writers by Jacques Barzun.

9780226038681

Carolyn: A Secular Age by Charles Taylor. Carolyn thinks this is a book that everyone should have in their library.

taylor.php

Andrew: Charity: The Place of the Poor in the Biblical Tradition by Gary A. Anderson.

9780300181333

Heather L: A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis

GriefObserved

Monthly Staff Picks February, 2014