Books Reviewed Elsewhere [19 January 2012].

January 19, 2012


Haven’t done one of these columns for awhile…

Here are three recent reviews of note…

Barbara Melosh reviews two books on stuff for The Christian Century:

Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee
Paperback: Mariner, 2011.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Objects of our Affections.
Uncovering My Family’s Past, One Chair,
Pistol, and Pickle Fork at a Time

Lisa Tracy
Hardback: Bantam, 2011.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

We have become a nation of rich fools. Although the average house size has nearly doubled since 1970, self-storage units, once nearly nonexistent, are a booming business, comprising more than 45,000 facilities with 2 billion square feet of space, most of it full. As cheap goods become more available and our living spaces get bigger, we spend more and more time managing our possessions. “We may own the things in our homes,” Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee observe, “but they own us as well.” Or as the sage of Concord, Ralph Waldo Emerson, put it a century and a half ago, “Things are in the saddle, and ride mankind.”

[ Read the full review … ]

Andy Holt reviews Len Sweet’s newest book on Scot McKnight’s blog:I Am a Follower: The Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus
Leonard Sweet
Paperback: Thomas Nelson, 2012
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

The Church has a leadership problem. So argues Leonard Sweet in his new book, I Am a Follower. The problem, however, is not that we don’t have enough leaders, or that our leaders have lost their way.

The problem is that we have become enamored with leadership culture, obsessed with leading, and supremely focused on raising up the next generation of leaders. The trouble is, Jesus never told us to lead. He told us to follow.

[ Read the full review on Scot’s blog ]

Aaron Belz reviews three new book of poetry for Books and Culture…

Sixty-one years ago, Adrienne Rich’s first book, A Change of World, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. W. H. Auden selected it—he later also would introduce such poets as W. S. Merwin and John Ashbery via the Yale Younger—and wrote in the introduction: “Miss Rich, who is, I understand, twenty-one years old, displays a modesty not so common at that age, which disclaims any extraordinary vision, and a love for her medium, a determination to ensure that whatever she writes shall, at least, not be shoddily made.” Auden writes that if reading a poem can be compared to “encountering a person,” Rich’s poems “are neatly and modestly dressed, speak quietly but do not mumble, respect their elders but are not cowed by them, and do not tell fibs.”

[ Read the full review on Books and Culture ]