2012 Faculty Favorite Recommendations
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Recommended by: Frank McCown
Why would you recommend this book to others?
"In Outliers, Gladwell asks the question that both students and faculty often ask: 'Why do some people succeed and so many others fail?' He answers the question with a rigorous analysis of the available evidence, from studies of hockey players to an examination of the American education system, and come up with conclusions that are often at odds with popularly held beliefs. He also discusses at length the '10,000-Hour Rule' which holds that greatness can only be obtained by putting in an enormous amount of time into practicing. For example, Bill Gates was poised for success in the computing industry as a young man because he had put in 10.000 hours of time programming a computer before his freshman year in college. I think anyone interested in being a success in their career would find this book fascinating and insightful."
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Recommended by: The Fabulous student workers of Brackett Library!
"Yay!! Our entire suite read this book, one after another. I loved how the author matched her writing to the spirit of Souther womanhood. The book was by turns hilarious, sobering, catty, or wholesome. By the time it was over, I felt like I had just stepped out of Aibileen's kitchen. I'm so glad this is our book pick for the month." -- Kate Schere, Student Reference Assistant.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Recommended by Lisa Burley
The Poisonwood Bible is a beautifully written account of one family's missionary adventure in the Republic of Congo, Africa during the time of political revolution in the 1960's. Although the family's patriarch, Nathan Price, is a central character in the book, the entire novel is narrated by his wife and four daughters, each in her own voice. Poisonwood Bible spans several decades, and explores the effects of life in Africa on each member of the Price family.
Kingsolver also raises important questions regarding the lines between faith, religion, politics, and culture. Do our missionary methods seek to connect the unchurched with God or with Western cultural values? Is Democracy always the best form of government for a people? How involved should one culture be in deciding what is best for another? Kingsolver's lyrical prose and ability to create authentic voice for multiple characters combine to produce a strong work of fiction. Her firsthand knowledge of Congolese culture and the politics of the era also provide an education for readers. Each time I've read Poisonwood, I find myself staying up late at night and letting the dishes sit in the sink. Unlike my first experience, I know what to expect, yet I'm still drawn into the story and cannot wait to turn each page."
The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel
Recommended by Dr. David Cole
“The Case for a Creator” provides multiple lines of scientific evidence that indicate the universe, the world, and life did not just happen, but were brought into existence by a purposeful creator. When so many voices are saying it is all here by random chance, it is important that the physical evidence that points to an intelligent creator also be known. A person, particularly a person in the sciences, does not have to park his brains to believe in a Creator.
Lee Strobel is a journalist. So, the book is well-written and reads easily. It might even be described as “captivating” – even for a person who does not have a strong science background. Strobel begins as an atheist, or at least an agnostic, and writes like he is on a quest for truth and describes searching out evidence that flew in the face of what he had always believed. The book is not a collection of cold, hard facts, but is filled with Strobel’s own struggle with the evidence.
It is an excellent beginning into what might be called “Christian evidences.”
Dr. David Burks selected the books featured on this month's READ poster. On Friday, September 21, he introduced his choices to the students and faculty in a chapel speech titled, "I Believe Because." The entire presentation can be seen in the University's iTunesU collection.
- Make It As Sure As You Can by William Brodie Crouch
- Undenominational Christianity by J.N. Armstrong
- David: A Man of Passion and Destiny by Charles R. Swindoll
- The Applause of Heaven by Max Lucado
- Give to Live: How Giving Can Change Your Life by Douglas M. Lawson
- For Freedom by L.C. Sears
- The Things Which Matter Most by Cal Thomas
- Slouching Towards Gomorrah by Robert H.Bork
- The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith
- Good to Great by Jim Collins
- Life with Lord Byron by Peggy Nelson
- Pilgrim Heart: The Way of Jesus in Everyday Life by Darryl Tippens
- I Believe Because…by Batsell Barrett Baxter
The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard
Recommended by Michael McGalliard
"The Spirit of the Disciplines sheds light on how God works with us and in us to enact real spiritual transformation in our lives."