I realized it’s been a bit more than two months since I posted one of these – and when people started to ask me what I’ve been reading these days, it was a sign for me to share what is now long overdue. Here is my condensed list of what I’ve been into these past 2 months:
I’m going to start off with my guys-you-gotta-read-this recommendation:
The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski
I picked this gem up for $4.99 at my local Christian bookstore. I usually never buy books, due to the very generous McGill library and the librarians that take care of my numerous Interlibrary loan requests. But, the minute I saw this book (and I would say I have quite the intuitive feel about whether I will like a book or not), I felt like this was a write-in-the-margins-make-it-your-own kind of book.
This book did not disappoint. It’s the narrative of a Christian speaker who is jaded with the outer appearance of “changing the world for Jesus” while his inner man was crumbling away. So, he embarks on a journey to re-discover the ancient monastic practices – studying an apple for an hour before eating it to learn attentiveness, engaging in the Daily Examen of St. Ignatius of Loyala, purging his closet to pursue simplicity.
Many times when I read Christian books, I feel like I can summarize in a sentence what the author has used a few paragraphs to explain, but this book has me highlighting phrase after phrase as it feeds my soul and jotting down in the margins the ways I am going to start implementing these monastic practices in my own life.
The gospel comes with a house key by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
I’ve read her other memoirs – the secret thoughts of an unlikely convert and openness hindered – but I thought this was definitely her best work. It was ultimately due to the radically ordinary hospitality of a Christian family that Rosaria, a lesbian professor of English literature, came to know Christ, and she now writes about how opening our homes to strangers is one of the most visible manifestations of the love of Christ.
Saturate by Jeff Vanderstelt + Total Church by Tim Chester
I grouped these two together because they mostly carried the same message of what missional community should look like. Reading them (suggested during our church leaders’ meeting) helped me to get a better sense of the DNA of my church and excited for our newly-planted city group 🙂
Braving the wilderness by Berne Brown (8/10):
I had heard a lot about her through Elizabeth Gilbert and the famous TED talk she gave, but never actually read her books. On vulnerability and having the courage to stand alone, this is an encouraging read.
Strengthen the soul of your leadership + Silence and Solitude by Ruth Haley Barton (7.5/10):
I mention them both together because I find there was quite a bit overlap, with ‘silence and solitude’ speaking to me more. The book emphasizes the importance of the inner life while being a leader, and ends each chapter with practical ways to implement practices of silence and solitude in your own life.
Blue like Jazz by Donald Miller (7/10)
Honestly, based on the raving reviews I heard about how life-transforming this book is, I expected it to be better. But it was on the whole intriguing and slightly amusing to hear the unfiltered thoughts of Donald as he ponders issues of faith.
Cooking for geeks by Jeff Potter (7.5/10)
I’ve always been been curious as to what would happen if I substituted baking soda for baking powder for example, and what exactly the science was behind rising bread, or caramelized onions. This book breaks down the science for you – it’s my lunch read while I’m sitting at my office desk between experiments, the perfect cross between science and food.
Speaking of cooking, I did a little deep dive into Indian cuisine this past month. This involved visiting a tiny tucked-away Indian grocer, where I bought paneer for the first time, and fenugreek leaves! (for my saag paneer of course).
I was absolutely delighted with how my saag paneer and sourdough whole wheat naan turned out, while the butter chicken was a little less successful. My Indian lab mate later told me that the secret to butter chicken is cooking the sauce so long that the sauce thickens and starts to pull away from the pan.
Here are the recipes:
Store these cashews in an airtight container and sprinkle them over salads or simply have them as a snack!
A beautiful piece by Carolina Hinojosa Cisneros featured on “On Being” on our hands being instruments of service in the daily rhythms of life.
Fatima introduced this video to me during interfaith dialogue one week, and I thought it was a deep, thought-provoking comparison on the three faiths
I’d always consulted bible.org as a resource for more in-depth Bible study, but in trying to answer Fatima’s question on how the concept of the Trinity began, I found that Bible.org also provides theological teaching on these issues. For when you feel like engaging in deep theological thought 🙂
Crazy Rich Asians
Went to watch Crazy Rich Asians in theaters and man, all the feels, seeing the place I grew up on the big screens. The movie made me laugh and cry all at the same time – can’t wait for the sequel!
Here Again by Elevation Worship – that bridge (!!)
Hope you all are having a great weekend – and to all the Canadians out there, happy Thanksgiving 🙂