A good day in the book biz

It has been a good day. Of course there have been troubles, shipment problems, ordering problems, customer problems, issues with finances, paperwork, computers. Things often seem to go wrong around here (probably just about like your workplace and home.) And there are our health issues (Beth is doing just a bit better, by the way.) Still, with all the hassles of small business life and the nearly insurmountable obstacles for entrepreneurs, today, I think you should know, has been a good day.

Today we got to set up books for a lecture on Harry Potter, by the fascinating Orthodox Latin scholar and Hogwart fan, John Granger (who must tire of the inevitable Hermione jokes.) He wrote the excellent Looking for God In Harry Potter (SaltRiver) and Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for the Serious Reader (Zossima Press.) He also co-edited the remarkably thorough, speculative collection, Who Killed Albus Dumbledore?: What Really Happened in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? Six Expert Harry Potter Detectives Examine the Evidence (Zossima Press.)
At the display at Derry Presbyterian we offered other books on theology and culture, on Christian views of the arts and literature, a few things about the need to raise children with imagination and discernment. If youÕve been in our shop or been to places weÕve had book displays you may have seen Terry GlaspyÕs lovely book, Your Child’s Heart: Building Strong Character and a Lasting Faith (Cumberland House) which is very much about nurturing a childÕs moral imagination, in part, through great literature. Honey for a ChildÕs Heart (Zondervan) by Gladys Hunt is a classic in that area, too, and we are grateful for an updated edition. And, there is a brand new book on play therapy and children, just released by Eerdmans, called: Beyond Deserving: Children, Parents, and Responsibility Revisited by Dorothy Martyn.

Something else that made me happy was that I got to feature the new book by H&M supporter and often-mentioned youth culture guru, Walt Mueller. His new book is a must for older youth workers, parents, pastors, teachers or anybody that needs a clear and authoritative guide to the latest trends, the hip stuff kids are into, and ways to think faithfully about the meaning of all that. Check out Youth Culture 101 (Youth Specialties.) You may recall that I’ve reviewed his insightful and important study, Engaging the Soul of Youth Culture: Bridging Teen Worldviews And Christian Truth (IVP) which I still insist is a must-read for any youth worker or parent.

But it is a great day for another reason. My very good friend, Derek Melleby called me. The book that he and mutual friend Don Opitz (of Geneva College) wrote for Christian college students will be out within a few weeks. Derek had gotten his authorÕs first copy and it was a sacred moment. I scooted home by another way, met him at some rural intersection, and he gave me one. That I have an endorsement on the back (along with very prominent and thoughtful Christian leaders) is pretty nifty, but the important point is that The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness: A Guide for Students is now in hand. What a fun and upbeat and radical call to take faith seriously, to allow our primal convictionsÑthe core of what we most deeply believe as people of the Biblical tradition—to color and shape our thought life, especially in the college classroom. I will review this at greater length later, but to hold this little gem, standing by the roadway with cars blowing by, was fabulous. Way to go, Derek, Don & Brazos. What a great day!
And, I got word that an article I wrote for Comment, the extraordinary Canadian e-zine, is now on line. They have been doing a series with established Christian thinkers offering bibliographies for summer reading, each on a specialized topic. These lists are astounding; just great! You will want to read them all—on the arts, on urban design, or politics, on business and finance, on novels. Mine is a season-ending bit of basic Christian growth, cultural analysis, and the outrageous idea of developing the Christian mind, especially for students. And then a fun batch of memoirs. I hope you read my playful little essay, as well as the other great pieces there. (PLEASE DO!) The Ã’hard copyÓ version of this colorful magazine will be out before long, too, and we will surely have some to sell later in the summer. It is the best-kept secret of the magazine world and I can’t believe I get to write for them.
Thanks for caring about what goes on around here, for your prayers and support.

One thought on “A good day in the book biz

  1. Say hi to Don, Byron– we attended staff training together, then he lived with Scott in the world’s most amazing bachelor house, not too far from here. I’m excited to hear about his book.

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