book reviews

August 3, 2008 | 3 Comments

Earlier this year, I became an Ooze Select Blogger. Now I’m sure that sounds quite glamorous, but its pretty simple. Publishers partner with the Ooze to send me free books, and I tell you what I think about them on my blog. How can I turn down free books?

Here are some of the books I’ve had a chance to read the past few months:

We the Purple: Faith, Politics, and the Independent Voter, by Marcia Ford – I struggle to care about politics…there is too much to keep up with and I often wonder whether I can make a difference. That made this book difficult for me to stick with, though it was easy to read and informative enough to be interesting to even me. The very name independent makes for a hard group to define, and Ford undertakes the task of doing just that. In an election year where there is more and more press about how Evangelicals aren’t confined to the right, this will be timely and worthwhile read for many.

Holy Fools: Following Jesus With Reckless Abandon, by Mathew Woodley – I pretty much wrote this book off when I pulled it out of the package. That was a mistake. The front cover proclaims: “A spiritual jolt for when your respectable faith becomes deadly dull.” How many book covers have made a similar promise? I anticipated another trite and shallow book on Christian living that tries to tie up the messy Christian life into simplistic tips. What I’ve found instead is that it is a thoughtful book filled with the depth of study and life experience of the author. I can tell this is the kind of book that cost Woodley something in the writing process. This is one I will consider for some kind of a book reading group in the future.

Hokey Pokey: Curious People Finding Out What Life is All About, by Matthew Paul Turner – Turner has been publishing books like crazy. He seems to have found a writing groove because the narrative style of his writing is pretty easy to stick with. That was about the only thing I found appealing about this book, because it didn’t connect with me. It might just be that the general theme of the book — finding God’s call on your life — is one that I’ve spent a lot of time with in recent years. For me, the book just didn’t have anything new to say to pull me from page to page.

  • Matt Woodley

    Hi John,
    Thanks for reviewing my book, Holy Fools. I read the following line in your review and nearly wept: “I can tell this is the kind of book that cost Woodley something in the writing process.” Wow, that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said about this book. Actually, I’m still paying the price. I’m trying to let God close the gap between “where I used to think I was” in the spiritual journey and “where I really need to be” in my life with Jesus. I had no idea the gap could get so large; those “annoying” holy fools helped show me how to close the gap – and why I needed to close it. Anyway, thanks for noticing the book. I loved your Blog by the way.
    Matt Woodley

  • John, mind if I add you to the Ooze Select blogger list?

  • feel free to use the Select Blogger badge as well