Sunday, November 15, 2015

November 2015 "Quick Lit"

Again today I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy for "Quick Lit," where we share what we've been reading.   

I notice that for some reason I've been reading much more nonfiction than fiction in the past few months.  Here are the two latest books I've read:

10% Happier:  How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works -- A True Story by Dan Harris.  The title of this book pretty much says it all, so I hardly need to describe it.  Harris is a news anchor and reporter who was relying on drugs and denial to cope with stress, until an on-air panic attack showed him he needed to make some significant changes.  He was initially skeptical about meditation but is now a staunch advocate of its physical and emotional benefits.  Interesting and entertaining book chronicling his personal journey.

Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women by Sarah Bessey.  I've been hearing about this book for a couple of years now and have finally read it. It isn't a militant diatribe about the evils of patriarchy, nor is it a dry treatise on how to correctly translate every Bible verse that mentions women. Rather, it's a call to women to bravely follow the Jesus who knows and loves them, and a call to Christians to participate in God's "redemptive movement" by which He is moving His people forward toward justice and freedom. In her warm, intimate style, Bessey tells her own faith story and those of other women she's encountered in North America and elsewhere. And with the intensity of a prophet, she urges the church to drop the pointless debates about gender roles and instead focus on the work of God's Kingdom. Here is one of my favourite passages:

"One needn't identify as a feminist to participate in the redemptive movement of God for women in the world.  The gospel is more than enough. Of course it is! But as long as I know how important maternal health is to Haiti's future, and as long as I know that women are being abused and raped, as long as I know girls are being denied life itself through selective abortion, abandonment, and abuse, as long as brave little girls in Afghanistan are attacked with acid for the crime of going to school, and until being a Christian is synonymous with doing something about these things, you can also call me a feminist."

This book was a breath of fresh air -- and I look forward to reading Bessey's just-released second book, Out of Sorts.


  1. I read 10% Happier this month as well. I found parts of it interesting, but didn't like sorting through his personal stories to get to the "self help" stuff. I just started Jesus Feminist, and am loving it so far. I enjoyed reading your review of it, thanks for your thoughts.

    1. Hi Kendra - I see what you mean about Harris's personal stories: I wondered if he had to recount every. Single. Second. of his time at the retreat, for instance! But seeing how it played out in his work and relationships was interesting. Neat that you are reading Jesus Feminist now, too. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

  2. I heard about Dan Harris from Gretchen Rubin's podcast. How awful to have an on-air panic attack. It sounds like you liked his personal stories amongst the self-help stuff. Reviews are mixed for this one! I've never read anything by Sarah Bessey. :) Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Anne - yes, I did enjoy his book, on the whole. It was pretty funny at times, and he didn't hold back in sharing his mistakes and foibles.


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