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Sunday Salon: Biblically Literate

Posted by Sherry on 8/24/2008 in General, Projects |

Back in April, I started a book club. Well, at least I tried to start a book club. But what with one thing and another, mostly my lack of follow-through, the book club languished over the summer and became absorbed into Eldest Daughter’s summer book club project. And that was fun.

However, Eldest Daughter is now in Nashville, and my motto is, “If at first you don’t succeed, rise again.” Or something like that. So even though I don’t believe in reincarnation, this fall will see the second iteration of the Biblically Literate Book Club. The idea is the same. I’ll be focusing on one regular book and one book or portion of a book of the Bible each month, September through November, and anyone is welcome to read along, comment here, review there and get linked, or appear in person at the monthly meeting of the Biblically Literate Book Club at my home in Houston, TX on the last Saturday of the month. Email me (sherryDOTearlyATgmailDOTcom) for directions to my home or to be added to the email list for updates.

I set up a separate blog for Biblically Literate, and back in July when I had blog troubles, it got deleted. Now I’ve decided to just post here about the book club and the books and the Biblical passages, and I’ll title the posts “Biblically Literate” so that you can focus on or skip those posts as you see fit. The books for the next three months are the same as they were when I first began back in April:

September:
1 John
A Bell for Adano by John Hersey. “An Italian-American major in World War II wins the love and admiration of the local townspeople when he searches for a replacement for the 700 year-old town bell that had been melted down for bullets by the fascists.”

October:
1 Samuel 24-31.
So Brave, Young and Handsome by Leif Enger. “A stunning successor to his best selling novel Peace Like a River, Leif Enger’s new work is a rugged and nimble story about an aging train robber on a quest to reconcile the claims of love and judgment on his life, and the failed writer who goes with him.” (If you’ve never read Peace Like a River, you should. I loved it.)

November:
2 John and 3 John
Creed Without Chaos: Exploring Theology in the Writings of Dorothy L. Sayers by Laura K. Simmons.

In December, I plan to have a Christmas/New Year’s party for all who can come, we’ll discuss the book selections for next year. If you have suggestions via internet, feel free to email me or leave a comment. I would like to include the following in our reading for 2009: a mix of fiction and nonfiction, at least one Shakespeare play each year because I like Shakespeare, one Pulitzer or other prize winning book for adults, and one Prinz or Newbery or other prize-winning book for children or young adults. I’m looking forward to discussing specific, selected books with some of you, both online and in person.

7 Comments

  • Wisteria says:

    I like this idea of coupling the regular book with a book from the bible. Have you selected the passage specifically to coincide with the book? I have the Enger book and it might be a good time for me to read it. I’ll have to remember to check back.
    Thanks.

  • Sherry says:

    I didn’t really select the Biblical passages to interact with the books, although I hope they will, because I haven’t read the books. So I don’t know what Bible passages would be a good reflection. We’ll see what the Holy Spirit and serendipity can do about that.

  • John says:

    Interesting notion,assume it links to a wider narrative theology My Holiday from Hell and Books from Heaven post.

  • Rachel says:

    I just finished Peace Like a River today, sitting on the couch with tears running down my cheeks. I was wondering if Enger had other books–I can’t wait to check it out!
    I’m also in the middle of a collection of Dorothy Sayers essays. What a brilliant mind.

  • […] Last Sunday I wrote about my book club, Biblically Literate, and this Sunday I’m starting my Bible study for the book club in 1 John. I read through the book, only five short chapters long, this afternoon, and the first thing I noticed was all the contrasts that John draws in his letter. It’s a message full of stark contrast: love vs. hatred, light vs. blindness, life vs. death, truth vs. lies, righteousness vs. sin, forgiveness vs. condemnation, true worship vs. idolatry, confidence vs. fear, real vs. counterfeit. […]

  • Deanna says:

    I really like this idea. I am going to follow along and just requested the first two books from the library (inter-library loan…gotta love it!). The November selection looks like it is not on any local library shelves. Guess I will need to buy that one.
    Look forward to this journey!

  • […] White Darkness was a selection for last year’s Semicolon’s Biblically Literate Book Club, and I think that The Pirate’s Son would be another great selection for such a club.  […]

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