Literature Wednesday!??! This is getting out of hand…

I really, really like books. One of my favorite things to do in the evenings is to put on some good, lyrically limited music (e.g. Sigur Ros, Hammock, Eluvium, EITS, etc), turn on my lava lamp and read my current book of choice. This week, I started reading The Children of Hurin, the recently published unfinished novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. So far, I really like it. It has a much different feel to it than the LOTR trilogy; less narrative. But more engaging than The Silmarillion.

Books are an investment that I’m very willing to make. For me, books age very well. I’m the type of person who doesn’t mind re-reading a good book over and over again through the years (The Chronicles of Narnia come to mind), so purchasing a book could result in years of enjoyment. A few months back, my wife and I joined the B&N Club to take advantage of the discounts. So far we’re putting it to good use. I purchased the above mentioned Tolkien book (in hardcover) the day it was released for $10! Crazy.

Today, I was shopping at B&N for a Biblical Commentary on an Old Testament minor prophet (after being shot down at Northwestern Bookstore) and stumbled across a book I’ve been searching for for about 6 months: The Dust Off Their Feet by Chris Seay. This book is part of a new project called The Voice. Similar to The Message, the people behind this project are seeking to paraphrase the entire Bible to engage the reader in new ways. This installment is a re-telling of the entire book of Acts.

The process behind it is very unique: authors tackle the text first and craft a re-telling of it, then Biblical scholars go over the paraphrase to make sure it is consistent with the original intent of the Word. The thing that really caught my attention was the fact that they intended to ask poets to work on the books of poetry and musicians to work on the Psalms (they intend to release a number of CDs containing Psalms).

So far, the project has yielded six books and two albums of music. I bought the CDs through Waterdeep’s website (where they were made available since Don Chaffer produced the discs), but I had a hard time finding the books. I was hesitant to blindly order them online since I didn’t know exactly what to expect. Would I get my money’s worth? I was very pleased to find a copy of one in a store so I could get a look at it. I was glad to find that not only was it cheap ($9), but it looks very promising. I’m excited to finally crack the cover on this.

The Voice is just getting started. The introduction to this book states that future books will feature authors such as Donald Miller, Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, Don and Lori Chaffer, and others. Check out their website and read some sample chapters of the books here.

Now today I hear that the 2007 installment of The Best American Non-Required Reading will feature an introduction by Sufjan Stevens. I have the 2006 volume and have really enjoyed it. The series is edited by Dave Eggers (who is great), who compiles essays, excerpts, articles and other random writings from the last year that are “off the beaten path”. They can be anything from a column by Kurt Vonnegut to a list of the best headlines from The Onion. I’ll be interested to read Sufjan’s intro and see random tidbits make it in this year.
Good thing we’re buying a house, we’re going to need the space for our library.

2 thoughts on “Literature Wednesday!??! This is getting out of hand…

  1. I happen to LOVE the book Blankets by Craig Thompson. I read it today. Geez, I was laughing out loud when he and his brother were peeing on each other and I freaked out at him when he ended it with Raina. What a beautiful tragedy of truth expressed through script and art.

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