Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Supporting an indie bookstore

I got these books from a local independent bookstore.

Our Only May Amelia ~ Jennifer L. Holm, 1999. YA fiction (Washington), 8/10
It isn′t easy being a pioneer in the state of Washington in 1899, but it′s particularly hard when you are the only girl ever born in the new settlement.  With seven older brothers and a love of adventure, May Amelia Jackson just can′t seem to abide her family′s insistence that she behave like a Proper Young Lady.  She′s sure she could do better if only there were at least one other girl living along the banks of the Nasel River.  And now that Mama′s going to have a baby, maybe there′s hope.  The story was inspired by the diaries of the author's great-aunt, the real May Amelia.
The Silent Boy ~ by Lois Lowry, 2003, YA fiction, 9/10
Katy Thatcher was the bright and curious daughter of the town doctor.   She was fascinated by her father’s work, and even as a child she knew that she too wanted to be a doctor.  She wanted to know about people.  Perhaps it was this, her insatiable curiosity, or simply the charm of Jacob’s gentle intimacy with animals large and small, that fueled their friendship.  Although Jacob never spoke to her or even looked at her directly, Katy grew to understand him from the moments they spent together quietly singing to the horses.  She knew there was meaning in the sounds he made and purpose behind his movements.  So when events took an unexpected and tragic turn, it was Katy alone who could unravel the mystery of what had occurred, and why.  I've already reviewed this one, here.
Honest to God: 40 Years On ~ edited by Colin Slee, 2004, religion
This is the edited collection of papers given at the recent symposium called "Honest to God, Forty Years On."  The symposium was held to discuss how far the issues raised in Honest to God by John Robinson, published 40 years earlier, had impacted the church and Christian thought. The book reflects discussions of four main areas:  how the original text tried to relate doctrine to contemporary thought, God language then and now, whether religion been reduced to ethics, and the meaning of Jesus then and now.
The Gospel of Jesus: A Historical Search for the Original Good News ~ by James M. Robinson, 2005, religion
Robinson scours ancient sources to discover what Jesus actually said and did, his childhood and youth, his family, his education and sex life, his conversion and message, his Jewishness and mission to the Gentiles, his relationship to Mary Magdalene, his view of himself, his trust in God, the horror of his crucifixion, and his followers' faith in his resurrection.  The church has domesticated the gospel of Jesus, focusing on Paul's narrow interpretation of his message and burying the truth under layers of historical conflicts, political stratagems, and theological interpretations.
The New Creation: John Wesley's Theology Today ~ by Theodore Runyon, 1998, religion
Having studied under Professor Runyon at Emory University's Candler School of Theology, I'm curious about what he says here.  The summary says he "sets Wesley's own discussion of the "way of salvation" in the larger context of Christian doctrine, beginning with the Creation (and the Fall) and moving through the drama of salvation towards its eschatological fulfillment in the 'new creation' of all things."
Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why ~ by Bart D. Ehrman, 2005, religion
From the Introduction:  "This book is about ancient manuscripts of the New Testament and the differences found in them, the scribes who copied scripture and sometimes changed it. ... It is written for people who know nothing about textual criticism but who might like to learn something about how scribes were changing scripture and about how we can recognize where they did so."
Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew ~ by Bart D. Ehrman, 2003, religion
The early Christian Church was a chaos of contending beliefs.  Some groups of Christians claimed that there was not one God, but two or twelve or thirty.  Some believed that the world had not been created by God but by a lesser, ignorant deity.  Certain sects maintained that Jesus was human but not divine, while others said he was divine but not human.  Ehrman these early forms of Christianity came to be suppressed, reformed, or forgotten.  All of these groups insisted that they upheld the teachings of Jesus and his apostles, and they all possessed writings that bore out their claims, books reputedly produced by Jesus's own followers.  Archaeological work has recovered a number of key texts, revealing religious diversity that says much about the way history gets written by the winners.
Eternal Life: A New Vision: Beyond Religion, Beyond Theism, Beyond Heaven and Hell ~ by John Shelby Spong, 2009, religion
God, says Spong, is ultimately one, and each of us is part of that oneness.  We do not live on after death as children who have been rewarded with heaven or punished with hell, but as part of the life and being of God, sharing in God's eternity, which is beyond the barriers of time and space.  Spong argues that the discovery of the eternal can be found within each of us if we go deeply into ourselves, transcend our limits, and become fully human.   By seeking God within, by living each day to its fullest, we will come to understand how we live eternally.  Spong takes us beyond Christianity and religion to arrive at the affirmation that the fully realized human life empties into and participates in the eternity of God.  The pathway into God turns out to be both a pathway into ourselves and a doorway into eternal life.
The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love ~ by John Shelby Spong, 2005, religion
The Bible contains many passages that believers and nonbelievers alike would recognize as appalling theology.  Whether these texts are used to discriminate, oppress, or condemn, they distort the truth of Christianity and cast doubt upon the love of God.  Spong addresses these passages, shattering our misconceptions and delivering a new vision of how Christians today can use the Bible.
Resurrection: Myth or Reality? : A Bishop Searches for the Origins of Christianity ~ by John Shelby Spong, 1994
Using approaches from the Hebrew interpretive tradition to discern the actual events surrounging Jesus' death, Bishop Spong questions the hitorical validity of literal narrative concerned the Ressurection. He asserts that the resurrection story was born in an experience that opened the disciples' eyes to the reality of God and the meaning of Jesus of Nazareth. Spong traces the Christian origins of anti-Semitism to the Church's fabrication of the ultimate Jewish scapegoat, Judas Iscariot. He affirms the inclusiveness of the Christian message and emphasizes the necessity of mutual integrity and respect among Christians and Jews.
This Hebrew Lord: A Bishop's Search for the Authentic Jesus (new edition) ~ by John Shelby Spong, 1988, 1993, religion
"In this study I found a Lord, a center for my being.  Behind the supernatural framework of the first century ... I discovered a life I wanted to know; a life that possessed a power I wanted to possess; a freedom, a wholeness for which I had yearned for years."  Illuminating the "figure who stands at the center of all the Christian Church is," Spong explores Jesus under the light of the Hebrew tradition into which he was born.  Candid, personal, and soundly argued, this is Spong's spiritual and intellectual pilgrimaged to the Christ he discovered in Jesus of Nazareth.
Living in Sin? : A Bishop Rethinks Human Sexuality ~ by John Shelby Spong, 1988, religion
Is celibacy the only moral alternative to marriage?  Should the widowed be allowed to form intimate relationships without remarrying?  Should the church receive homosexuals into its community and support committed gay and lesbian relationships?  Should congregations publicly and liturgically witness and affirm divorces?  Should the church's moral standards continue to be set by patriarchal males?  Should women be consecrated bishops?  Bishop Spong proposes a pastoral response based on scripture and history to the changing realities of the modern world.  He calls for a moral vision to empower the church with inclusive teaching about equal, loving, nonexploitative relationships.


Helen's Book Blog said...

I just love the feel of our independent bookstore here in Santa Barbara! I think my daughter read My Only May Amelia...

Ryan said...

That's some heavy reading right there. A few of those look really interesting.