National Year of Reading

2012 … depending on your preference, it could be the Year of the Dragon, the Year of the Farmer, the International Year of Cooperatives, the Year of Sustainable Communities, or, for the liturgically minded, the Year of Mark!  All well and good, but my vote is for the National Year of Reading.

Hey, we all have our bent!

In our most recent eLetter at Collins Street, I said this:

‘Historically, we Baptists are a people of the Book. The written word has always been a central part of our Christian experience. Of course, the Bible is a unique means by which we hear from God. But other books—books of theology, science, spirituality, history, biography, story and memoir— can also play a key role in the development of faith.’

With that in mind, I’ve issued a challenge:

‘Apart from the Bible, what books have been formative in your understanding of God and the world? What books have marked a change in your thinking, sparked a new insight, challenged you to a new devotion, or perhaps stirred up new struggles with faith and spirituality?’

I am hoping that we can get a whole swag of brief but personal reviews circulating in time for the Melbourne Writers Festival later this year.

To encourage things along, I’ve promised to share here on the blog some of my own reading highlights from the past few years.  Our encounters with books are always wonderfully subjective and often deeply personal.  What touches me can leave you cold.  But the good thing about putting our responses into words is that it prods us to identify more clearly for ourselves what a particular book has done for us or how it has shaped our thinking or feeling.  The added bonus is that others get to see this too.  And that’s gotta be a good!


  1. Robin, Is that the same Chan who wrote Crazy Love? Haven’t read it but it’s certainly sold well. As for this one, any book on the Holy Spirit has gotta be a dangerous read!! Let me know what you think,


  2. Take this Bread: A Radical Conversion by Sara Miles – a story of a life and a radical ongoing conversion that has lots in it about food, restaurants and feeding the poor as an act of communion.


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