A Weighty Book on a Weighty Subject

Cover for The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark Noll, originally published in 1994 by Wm. B. Eerdmans, now available in several formats, including audio. (If you follow the link and purchase the book I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

“The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.” So begins this monumental work by the well-respected theologian and historian Mark Noll. The rest of the book is simply amplification of that one statement. Whatever your interest in Christianity, the Bible, science and the Bible, or why some churches are so fixated on the “end times,” you will find the answers in this book. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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Mindful vs. Mindless Eating

Book cover for "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver with her husband, Steven L. Hopp and her daughter Camille Kingsolver, originally published in 2008.

I’ve just started listening to a great audiobook by Stephen C. Meyer, but I won’t be ready to post about it this week. So I was reminded of a great book I read some time ago, well before I started this blog. It won’t inspire you to move out in the country and start raising vegetables and turkeys any more than it did me, but it’s well worth reading for a number of reasons:

1. It’s a charming family story, with a husband, wife, and two daughters working together to fulfill a goal, that of relocating and then limiting themselves for one year to food grown within a predetermined distance from their home. The younger daughter is a special joy: we learn all about the ins and outs of her egg business, for example.

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Don’t Be a Pushover!

multiple arrows against oneIf you follow this blog much you’ll know that I’m a great, great fan of the blogger, podcaster and author Gretchen Rubin. I was thinking today about how my own blogging and book writing was kicked off by the simple act of my reading a review of her first book on happiness, The Happiness Project (Revised Edition): Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, which came out in December 2009. 

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Slobs Unite! You Have Nothing to Lose but Your Clutter!


How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your Home’s Dirty Little Secrets by Dana K. White of the “A Slob Comes Clean ” website and blog.  Title link is to the sale page on her website and is not an affiliate link.  I will be honest and say that the only reason I ran across the book (in its audio form, read by the author) was that it showed up in the “recommended for you” section on Hoopla, the public library app that I use quite a bit. Hmmm. Did Hoopla know something about me? I don’t really remember downloading any housecleaning books from them, but you never know.

And by the way, before I go any further (or farther–I never know which one to use): the word “slob” is her word, not mine.

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A Clear-Eyed Look from the Inside–and the Outside

How the Right Lost Its Mind by Charlie Sykes, 2017, available in hardback and Kindle fomats.

This book is the third one I’ve read since last fall about our current political landscape. I wrote a post about the first one, Matt K. Lewis’s Too Dumb to Fail: How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections (and How It Can Reclaim Its Conservative Roots), in August of last year and have since read Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle by Sen. Jeff Flake. Both are excellent, both cover roughly the same territory, and now I’m adding this one to the list. I think that’ll do it for now.

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More Pre-Holiday Food Thoughts

artistic plate of fettuccine and mushroomsWell, I had a nice post planned for today, something about the difference between self-awareness and self-absorption. Instead, I’m writing about food again, this time quoting from another book, Born Round: A Story of Family, Food and a Ferocious Appetite

I mentioned this book in another post, over a year ago, and I was reminded of it by a little phrase that popped into my head: “one tiny chop.” I knew the words were from this book, and I was determined to find it and put it into 

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The Holidays Are Upon Us–Prepare by Reading this Book!

The Skinny: How to Fit into Your Little Black Dress Forever by Melissa Clark and Robin Aronson, Meredith Books, 2006.

Well, Thankgiving is next week. Kind of crept up on me, to be honest, as I’ve been somewhat consumed with all the other food events in my life going on right now. I don’t even know what my responsibilities are going to be for next Thursday, as my dear mother-in-law will be in charge of the meal and I’ll just do what she tells me to do. It’ll be our first TG here in the new space. Have to tell you, by the way, that this past weekend was the second retreat rehearsal of the year for the Cherry Creek Chorale and also the second one I put together in my beautiful little kitchen, and it again performed flawlessly. So nice and compact! And I still love my stove.

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Food Fads Debunked

The Gluten Lie and The Gluten Lie book b Alan LevinovitzOther Myths about What You Eat by Alan Levinovitz, Ph.D., originally published in 2015 by Regan Arts, now available in a variety of formats. (Book image and title are both affiliate links; if you click through to the Amazon page and buy the book there I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

I first became aware of this book because its author was featured on the Freakonomics Radio podcast, to which you should subscribe and faithfully listen. (And then you should read the Freakonomics book, Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything.

Anyway, the author of this book, Alan Levinovitz, was interviewed not too long ago on the show, and since I’m a total fan of any author who wants to punch a hole in our society’s various food fads and manias, I made sure to get hold of his book.

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A Blind Woman Sees Choice Clearly

The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar, available in several formats and through many outlets; both text and image links are Amazon affiliate links.  Visit the author’s website at sheenaiyengar.com. She is a powerhouse on her chosen subject of choice–how we choose, how we can choose more wisely.

It’s a little unfair to characterize Sheena Iyengar as a “blind woman”–she would never refer to herself in that way. Her blindness (caused by retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited degenerative eye disease) is a tiny part of who she is. I couldn’t resist the title for this post, though. She is indeed someone who thinks, writes—and sees—clearly.

Sheena’s mark was made by her famous “jam study,” which I mentioned in yesterday’s post and have probably noted before. The research project, which she conducted as part of her doctoral studies, aimed to figure out where the sweet spot of choice fell: at what point does “enough” become “too much”? The magic number turned out to be around seven. More than that and people started getting confused.

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Yet Another Book about Personality Types

Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel, available in several formats, published Sept. 2017. Link is to the Amazon page; I mistakenly said in an earlier post that I could not include direct Amazon links in my reviews. Anne also has a very popular website, Modern Mrs. Darcy, which deals with, well, how to be a modern Elizabeth Bennet.

So last week’s book pick was the new Gretchen Rubin opus on her Four Tendencies framework; I hope you’ve read it by now. It is really, really good. I promise. And this week’s book was brought to my attention by Gretchen’s interview with its author, Anne Bogel. I am very sorry that I didn’t get in on the pre-order bonus that would have allowed me to get the audiobook and the paperback versions together for the price of one. Since I had an Audible.com credit available I used that, but I wish I’d just bought the paperback or Kindle version.

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