Thursday, January 3, 2008

What I'm Reading (or not)

Mrs. Sal is getting frustrated, and rightly so, at my being an invalid. The worst part about crutches is not the loss of a leg, it's the loss of both hands. I feel like Larry the Cucumber from Veggie Tales ("Sorry, Bob, but I don't have any hands!"). As I recall, Long John Silver used ONE crutch to get around, which left his right hand free for swordplay. Well, old Long John must have been more coordinated than me (which probably 90% of the US population is).

Anyway, she's running errands, and I decided I'll clean up a bit, which is a no-handed adventure. One of my mini-projects is to clean off my bedside table. That's where the books I'm reading tend to pile up. Once the stack of books gets about a foot tall (or, like now, morphs into two or more stacks), it's time to re-shelve. Today's project involved multiple trips with a canvas bag full of books hung over my shoulder. And here, in no particular order, is what came off of the bedside table:

  • The Track & Field Coach's Survival Guide. The season is coming, and this resource never gets old. Dropping off to sleep at night while reading sample workouts for the 400 hurdles---ah, that's the life!
  • Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Church. A friend and I were discussing this book, so I checked it out from our church library. I skimmed the parts that pertained to our conversation. It's better that Purpose Driven Life.
  • Another Christian book called Maximized Manhood, from back in the 60's. The same friend told me he had re-read the book and it had convicted him to get his spiritual act together. Needing a similar kick in the pants, I borrowed the book.
  • Pat Conroy's My Losing Season. This one was due back in the local library yesterday, so I owe somebody a quarter. I really wanted to read this one over the break, but got too busy. I'll check it out again later.
  • The Richest Man in Babylon, a short financial book by George Clason. Disguised as Babylonian fables, some of the best personal-finance advice ever written. The short version: live on less than you make, pay yourself first, have a budget, and don't be afraid of hard work. Everybody should read this.
  • Richard Hooker's MASH. This is the novel on which the movie was based, from which my favorite TV show spun off. This was a great Christmas gift from Tommy and Becky. Zipped through it in just a couple of days.
  • Steven Covey's First Things First. That's the 3rd habit of the "7 Habits of Highly Effective People." I usually review my time-management library around new year's as I get excited about my new DayTimer. Besides that, Pete was asking on this blog a couple of weeks ago about good TM books, so my interest was piqued. I grazed through the parts I wanted to refresh.
  • Hyrum Smith's The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management. Smith is the inventor of the Franklin Quest Day Planner (now merged with Covey's company into Franklin Covey). The first half of this book is the 2nd-best time-management resource I've read (the first is out of print).
  • Another book from the people at Franklin Quest called To Do, Doing, Done. It's a smiliar time-management book, but with a focus on project management.
  • Joe Biden's political bio, Promises to Keep. That one is a loaner from Matthew. I started it with the best of intentions, but couldn't muddle through. I already know that I like and respect Biden personally, and disagree with pretty much every political position he holds. Having that confirmed for 300 pages wasn't my idea of fun. (I do think, however, that he would make a great running mate for Obama if Obama wins the nomination).

All those either went back on the shelf or in various piles to return to their real homes. There are only two books still there, both of which I hope to get through in the near future:

  • Hardball, by Chris Matthews. Hard to believe I've never read this book in all my years of being a politics junkie. I really don't care much for Matthews on TV, but the book is one of the fundamental works of modern poli-sci, so I'm going to read it.
  • Letters to Malcolm (Chiefly on Prayer), by C.S. Lewis. I'm thinking a lot about prayer and Chrsitian disciplines right now, and Lewis is my favorite author.
  • And we can't forget The One Year Bible, which is actually not on my bedside table, but on the table by my cushy chair in the living room. I'm 3-for-3 on getting my reading done so far this year, which will mark the 8th time I've read through (if you forgive me skipping the major prophets last year).

So that's it. Notice some never got read, some got skimmed, some I read parts of, and some were used for reference. Don't think for a minute that I had a dozen books going at the same time all at a high comprehension level. But this is how I roll. I'll bet my Mom's bedside table looks pretty much the same.


Philip Murphy said...

Purpose Driven Church was the best book I read in the 90s. The Simple Church seems to be this decade's en vogue book. Although I liked PDC more as a book, The Simple Church has a better message.

bekster said...

Glad you liked the book. :) You are a really hard person to buy for, at least to get something meaningful.

Oh, and thanks, Larry, for the lecture today. It was very informative, and you have such a good way of making complicated things interesting and simple enough to understand.

Speaking of "simple," Philip, what is the "Simple Church"? I haven't heard of it. What is the gist of the message?

Goode Design said...

hey, y'orta read the book No Excuses by Kyle Maynard. Really great book on perseverance.

i'm waiting to hear the Sal report on the Iowa Caucuses. Since we don't have cable, i'm having to rely on the internet and news stations on what happened and was said.