Thursday, October 16, 2008

blue like jazz

Maybe you've noticed the Library Thing over there in the margin. Well, there's one book I've read recently that I would like to recommend (particularly to FTN & Desmond): Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality. The title sums it up nicely.

Talk about church and religion around the neighborhood (sorry, I'm not going to include any links) has been so very, um, heavy that I thought maybe we should lighten up a bit. Blue Like Jazz is a wonderfully refreshing compilation of essays of one man's spiritual journey. Here's a little excerpt:

There is something quite beautiful about the Grand Canyon. There is something beautiful about a billion stars held steady by a God who knows what He is doing. They hang there, like stars, like notes on a page of music, free-form verse, silent mysteries swirling in the blue like jazz. And as I lay there, it occurred to me that God is up there somewhere. Of course, I had always known He was, but this time I felt it, I realized it, the way a person realizes they are hungry or thirsty.

What I liked most about this book is that it made me think about my own relationship with God without making my brain hurt. It revealed things that I need to work on in my own life without making me feel unworthy of love. It reminded me that Jesus is a personal friend of mine.

Let me know if you read it.


Cocotte said...

I did read it a few years ago, upon the recommendation by others. It was kind of heavy for me. I read a Philip Yancey book afterwards and found that to be easier for me to relate to.

I know many people who came away with a lot after reading that book though.

FTN said...

I have multiple friends that have read it and recommended it to me. It's somewhere on my "to read" list, which gets longer much quicker than I can actually read books.

I'm in the middle of Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne, if I haven't mentioned it. (Okay, I *have* mentioned it, I'm just mentioning it again.)

Anonymous said...

I am reading it now and enjoying it very much. We could have some great conversations about the topics.

Desmond Jones said...

I've seen this book, and had it recommended to me a few times. I don't have enough time right now to do the reading I want to do, but I could put this on my list. . .

Jeff said...

I am befuddled by Cocotte who says Blue Like Jazz was heavy but Philip Yancey, lighter. It has to be an IQ thing. I must not be as smart, because I have to be in a certain mood to read Yancey. Just like I have to be in a certain mood to watch a Woody Allen movie.

Maybe it's the "bohemian" style of Miller that relates to my lower brow sensibilities. Or maybe it has to do with where we each find ourselves in relation to God and the Church.

ftn, if you're reading Shane Claiborne, you need to bump Miller's books up higher on your list.

Phyllis, read Searching for God Knows What as soon as possible. It's Miller's next book after Jazz.

Cocotte said...

Well, no one would ever call me "bohemian." Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "heavy" for the book. It was just unrelateable to me and in a writing style that was not enjoyable to me. So, in that sense it was heavy reading for me.