Thursday, April 26, 2012

ONE WORD 365 // Week 14, Book 14

OK, life became crazy. The month of April might not see as many books read as the other 11 months but I am in the midst of closing on my house and moving all my belongings out! Still, I finished this book in week 14 and LOVED it!

Just Kids
By Patti Smith
New York: Ecco, 2010

I bought this book at Strand Bookstore in NYC while on a visit last year. It was one that I kept wanting to read and wanting to read but was never in the reading mood. Then I took on this book-per-week challenge and knew this would be near the top, especially after hearing Smith's interview on NPR.

Once I picked it up and started, I couldn't put it down! I loved this book. I loved that it was part art history, part prose, all enchantment. Patti Smith's storytelling was so good that I was sucked into her life, into her relationships, into the sites and people of NYC in the 60s and 70s, etc.

I found this New York Times review and pretty much felt the same way as Tom Carson. If you love music, photography, New York City, or just really good storytelling, pick up this book. I'll be walking by the Chelsea Hotel when I visit NYC in a couple weeks, just to pay homage to the story.

Monday, April 2, 2012

ONE WORD 365 // Week 13, Book 13

My book for this past week was written and just recently released by my friend Dan Portnoy. I met Dan while living in Pasadena, thanks to a mutual friend having a birthday party.

The Non-Profit Narrative: How Telling Stories Can Change the World
By Dan Portnoy
PMG Press, 2012

Not only did I want to purchase and read this book in support of my friend, but I thought it could be helpful for my some upcoming contract work that I have (tax deduction!).

Dan gives easy-to-read and easy-to-understand thoughts on developing your non-profit (or even personal) story, finding your audience and telling your story via the appropriate channels (website, social media, blogs).

I'm actually really glad I read this last week so that I can use the "take aways" and "next steps" that Dan lists at the end of each chapter as I dive into some new projects for a missions organization. I have a clean slate to start this project, and this book will be a great handbook for this from-the-ground-up website.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

ONE WORD 365 // Week 12, Book 12

This was a re-read. It's been a couple years and I need to brush up on my study of Christianity in American culture today, especially as it pertains to the differences between generations. Plus, I want to read The Next Christians but I wanted a refresher on the research that David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons published earlier.

By David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2007

This book is just handy if you have any inkling to study or work with church and culture in America. Granted, after a couple years any research becomes dated but this book is foundational to understanding faith and culture in America today. It's a first glimpse into how "Busters" and "Mosaics" think.

The Barna Group conducted the research. It's thorough, eye-opening and thrilling, in my opinion. The comprehensiveness of the research will give any reader a good starting point in understanding what Busters and Mosaics think about Christianity and Christians. Some will be surprised. I wasn't so much but I'm a Buster and I have friends that would be considered what the books calls "outsiders" and those "inside" the church that think/believe like outsiders.

Man, I love this book. But I'm kind of junkie for this type of talk. I find it so fascinating and I love the research that goes with it. I hope in the future to work more closely with church and culture study -- to help churches understanding their own personal culture and how they can research the cultures found in their community.

Also, I found a recent article (links to research included) from The Barna Group that goes along the information and purpose of this book: Top Trends of 2011: Millennials Rethink Christianity.