"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." George R.R. Martin
"There are two kinds of writers: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder." Brian W. Aldiss
"The word that is heard perishes, but the letter that is written remains." Latin Proverb
"Fiction was invented the day Jonah arrived home and told his wife that he was three days late because he had been swallowed by a whale." Gabriel Garcia Marquez
When I was at Annual Conference in June, at least half a dozen colleagues asked me two questions. One, do I still share a list of books I read and pass out every year? And two, what am I reading now? Well, the answer to the first question was after nearly 30 years doing a synopsis on each book I read, which helped me retain a lot, I stopped keeping the list about 10 years ago. And the second question I answered, with certain particular books that spark my varied interests.
In one conversation, I said I was reading a new biography on Muhammad Ali, "Sting Like A Bee," by Leigh Montville. It is riveting with new insights on his life I was not familiar with. For instance, the years he was not the beloved hero he had become to the American people but the protestor to the Vietnam war, the change of his name and conversion to the Black Muslims in the years 1966-1971. I write and speak about courage all the time that comes from the core of our hearts. Ali demonstrates such, and I hope I can be that way if called upon to manifest that quality. I said in a message not long ago, it is good to make that decision before we are in that situation; to make that in the solitude of our own closet where we pray or meditate.
The second book I mentioned to a few who asked was, "Kennedy and King" by Steven Levingston. The subtitle, "The President, The Pastor, and the Battle over Civil Rights." I had read only a chapter or more when I was asked, but this beginning was fascinating. These are the books I named off right away, when I was asked.
One of the reasons I have read 100 books a year for many, many years is, I love to read many books simultaneously and in many areas, from religion, to novels, to history. However, my favorite reading outside of the religion/spirituality category are biographies. You read the two I said I was reading when I was asked, but what about that quote from Nobel Prize winner Marquez on Jonah? I love it!
My final thought about reading is, I hope I read books which speak to my heart and mind that I can also speak from both when I preach the word. "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it" (Proverbs 4:23) and there is "For as a person thinks in their heart so are they." (Proverbs 23.7) Our heart and mind, and let's add our soul and spirit!