It’s been a couple of years since the last time I published a “cool stuff from 20**” blog. It’s actually been some time since I’ve blogged in any shape or form, now that I think of it.
2017 was an eventful year. Marriage, career growth, therapy. All exciting and good, yet heavy and significant. Hence the silence. I have missed writing quite bit. At one time, I thought it would be my bread and butter. And I do write every day still, if writing software counts. But I’d like to start dabbling in English alongside Ruby again.
Reading’s been a constant through this time. I think this post will mostly focus on books I enjoyed reading this past year. Listed in roughly chronological order.
Here and Now: Living in the Spirit - Henri Nouwen
Henri Nouwen’s words are like medicine for the soul. I’ve read a few of his books, but Here and Now remains an excellent introduction to his work, in my opinion. Short, digestible sections make for material that’s comprehensible and perfect for pondering. Nouwen’s applies the life and words of Christ to the reader in a gracious and profound way.
Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
I could have sworn that I read this late 2016, but my Goodreads account says otherwise. A fantastic memoir that’s both epic in scope and intimate in its revelations. Springsteen goes beyond giving the reader a simple narrative of his musical career, meditating deeply on families, fatherhood, and masculinity.
Mistborn - Brandon Sanderson
I’m just going to give the whole series its own entry. Although I’m still working through the third novel in the initial trilogy (The Hero of Ages), Sanderson’s fantasy writing is some of the most original and engaging I’ve ever read. His action scenes are quick, descriptive, and gripping. Any of fan of Tolkien, Jordan, Martin, Rothfuss, etc. etc. ought to give Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn books a shot.
The Mindful Twenty-Something - Holly B. Rogers
I know, I know. The title. I know. Damn millennials should just toughen the f*** up. I know.
But something marriage has been teaching me is that the one of the most important things a man (or woman) can do is swallow their damned pride, admit that they are not okay, and pursue health and wholeness for the sake of those they love. I came to grips with the fact that I have an anxiety problem after much prompting from Jenoa, and, after receiving a proper diagnosis, pursued therapy. Part of this has been exploring the currently trendy practice of mindfulness meditation. I commend this book to you in large part because of how it demystifies mindfulness and gives practical instruction for implementing it.
Silence - Shusako Endo
I received this as a gift last Christmas and finally came around to reading it this December. If you’ve seen the Scorsese film, then you’ll be familiar with the plot; the adaptation is remarkably faithful. Yet, Endo’s words are still worth reading for their own sake. The notion that God’s presence can be most deeply felt in his apparent absence, that he speaks loudest in silence, that grace is still present in even the most barren spiritual wilderness, points to a theology of the cross through and through. Even if you’re not a believer, the historical novel’s narrative of tenacity through suffering is moving and worth experiencing.
That’s all I have for now. There are a number of possible entries that I’ll probably kick myself later for not including. I hope to share with you more frequently this coming year.