Thursday, March 02, 2006


Misleading title, as I am enjoying multiple books at the moment. I tend to read four or five books at the same time, ranging from the intellectually deep (Batman graphic novels and Dilbert cartoon collections), to serious non-fiction (Dave Barry, Mark Twain) to the occasional light reading (St. Augustine, Shakespeare).

Some books take longer than others, usually because I want to spend more time in them. I'm still working my way through BEHIND THE SCREEN; using it as a weekly devotional. Some books are quicker, especially if they have a deadline, like my book club books. (TRISTAN AND ISEULT, or as my wife calls it ENGLISH PATIENT FOR THE MIDDLE AGES.)

One that I am taking my time and savoring is FLASHBANG: HOW I GOT OVER MYSELF, by Mark Steele. Why I'm loving this book:

-It is a book dealing with theology that in no way takes itself too seriously. G.K. Chesterton said, "I've often thought that the gigantic secret of G-d is mirth." I agree, and have trouble taking seriously anyone that doesn't find mirth in their world view.

-Mark has a running dialogue with himself throughout the book. Dialogue may be the wrong way to describe it. He heckles himself. He provides his own Statler and Waldorf, sitting in the balcony mocking the author's performance. Witty stuff.

-The book is practical, not a "lets get in a classroom and debate this stuff, then go out in the world and forget we ever read it" book.

-The book contains sentences like: "Speaking only for myself, the assumption upon meeting someone impressive is that I must become more impressive than I actually am -- somehow matching my impression of their impressiveness, which is often an inaccurate impression." Gold, pure gold.

-Mark is involved in film making, and devotes an entire chapter to the shooting of a film for a Japanese car company and getting caught in a tornado in Oklahoma. Hey, if you've survived shooting a film while literally being swept up in a tornado, you deserve to have someone read your book.

-The book makes me laugh, and entertains, and convicts, and makes me stop every once in a while, put the book in my lap, and stare at the ceiling wondering.

It is a book that I am enjoying so much, that I actually CAN wait to see how it ends.

Just my thoughts,


1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I had to get past the text layout to actually read the book, but once I did it was worth the ride. It was the subtitle that originally sold me. I'm still learning how to get over myself.