2009 Faculty Favorite Recommendations
Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller
Recommended by: Daniel Adams, Professor of Art
Comments by Professor Adams: Miller gets to the heart of Christianity . . . it's about the heart and community, not about checklists and rules. Doctrine is important, because it impacts human lives, not because it is there as a rulebook for its own sake.
. . .as harsh as some of Jesus' words are, they are also beautiful and comforting. No more worrying about what an audience thinks, no more trying to elbow our way to the top. We have Him instead, a God who redeems our identity for us, giving us His righteousness." p. 175, Nelson Books (c) 2004
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
Recommended by: Jo M. Goy, Assistant Professor of Biology
Comments by Ms. Goy: Silent Spring is among the most influential science books written for the public. With this book, author Rachel Carson played a pivotal role in the environmental movement initiated in the '60's. She challenged the trust placed in mankind's technological prowess. Often, with the best of intentions, humans have manipulated the wild -- we have altered species diversity, transported organisms around the world into novel geographic distributions and even manipulated the chemical composition of the environment. But have we improved on creation? As you read this book you cannot help but ask, "What impact am I personally having on the environment?" . . . You will also ask, although less enthusiastically, "How am I being affected by the havoc resulting from man's alteration of the natural world?" Is it possible our arrogance and attitude of dominating nature will be the demise of the human species? This book is thought-provoking at the least.
The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster and Chris Rashka
Recommended by: Dr. Betty Watson, Distinguished Professor of Education
Comments by Dr. Watson: The Hello, Goodbye Window is a happy book and in today's world our young children need to hear comforting, joyful stories. This book is a recent Caldecott winner which elevates it as one of the best picture books published for young children. Bothe the words and the pictures perfectly display the thinking and drawing abilities of a pre-school child and this allows them to happily identify with it.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Recommended by: 2008-2009 Library Student Workers
Elyssa Doom (Interlibrary Loan): "It is a powerful story of war, betrayal, vengeance, and love. Once you pick it up, the story's adventure makes it so that it is almost impossible to put it down until the dramatic ending."
Kayla Anderson (Circulation): "The Count of Monte Cristo is a captivating story with lots of twists to keep you interested and entertained. I highly recommend reading the book as well as seeing the move."
Maggie Hayes (Circulation): "The Count of Monte Cristo was such an entertaining book that it even pulled me in at a young age. The story never ceases to entertain me even though I am older now. This book is highly enjoyable."
Lisa Wagar (Director's student assistant and Book Searcher): "An amazing book! The characters leap off the page, the reader is living the adventures with them. Every twist and turn brings a new emotion and the conclusion is very powerful. If you've seen the movie, take your experience to a new level by reading the book!"
Lauren Caldwell (Circulation): From the first page, you are transported into a book full of sword fighting, betrayal, revenge and romance that never slows down. It's a great book!"
Lauren Dickerson (Student Reference Assistant): "It's a book full of surprises! Not only is it an emotional roller coaster, but it doesn't have the typical ending."
The Spiritual Man by Watchman Nee
Recommended by: Dr. Jim Nesbit, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy
"I was given this book to read at a time when I had many questions about what it meant to walk in the Spirit. At the time, the answers I received were generally the standard responses which were very unsatisfying to me. In light of what I was reading in the Scriptures, I had trouble believing that Holy Spirit did not operate in all believers. At the same time, I equally had problems with many of the canned charismatic evidences that seemed more like "entertainment" than born of the nature of Christ. This book is the clearest, most thorough and most compelling treatise about walking in the Spirit that I have ever read. It broke down many of my preconceived notions about what it meant to be "spiritual" and it enlightened me as to the possibilities of how the Spirit works. I have never been the same since reading it. However, it is not a book you get through, it a book you survive by being transformed in the process. This is a book that will either turn a person's life upside down or it will kill you...or maybe both."
Let the Hurricane Roar by Rose Wilder Lane
Recommended by: Henry Terrill, Professor, Brackett Library
"This little volume was recommended to me by my Junior High School librarian just after my father died when I was 14. The story of courage in the face of life's adversities made a difference at a trying time of my life."
Shaping a Christian Worldview by David S. Dockery and Gregory Alan Thornbury, editors
Recommended by: Bruce McLarty, VP of Spiritual Life
"I came across this book in working on my dissertation this year and was delighted by how much it engages the major issues we seek to address here at Harding. In it the faculty and administration of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, wrestle with how to build a Christian worldview in the hearts and minds of university students. The first section of the book deals with the big questions of biblical authority and the nature of a Christian worldview. The bulk of the work is made up of chapters written by professors in different disciplines, asking what it means to teach their subject matter in a way that helps to build a Christian worldview."
Finish Strong by Dan Green
Recommended by: Ronnie Huckeba, Head Football Coach
"The concept of "finishing strong" is a valued Christian character trait as illustrated by the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7. It is also, in my opinion, a must for those who intend to be high achievers."
The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall
Recommended by: President Burks
A great message about what is important in life. The book is even better than the movie released a couple of years ago. -- Dr. David Burks
Copyright 2001 Cook Communications Ministries. The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All Rights Reserved.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Recommended by: C. Robin Miller, MFA
The Dickens story of A Christmas Carol has become a part of our culture. It has been adapted many times for film and for stage. Performers from George C. Scott to Patrick Stewart to the Muppets have played Ebenezer Scrooge. Yet, often in these variations on the novel, the gem of pure storytelling that is Dickens work becomes lost.
The novel tells a story of a hurt man who is trying trying to make it through this life. Over the course of the story we see him in the present as well as watch him as he sees the past he has experienced. To deal with all the pain in his life, he often makes poor choices. The result is that he becomes lonesome, bitter, resentful and self focused. That is, he is self focused until he is forced to confront not only his past, but the way his choices then and now affect others.
It is at the moment of recognizing how his life is affecting others that he chooses to live life differently. To live it better. To live for others. For me, that is the core of the story. He sees that no matter what has happened in his past to him and no matter what actions he has taken, he can start today to live life differently. Change in behavior, change in attitude and change in thought for the better are all possibilities that can be achieved today. Regardless of what he has done that has hurt others, he can now begin to live for others.
Although this story never quotes scripture, it effectively preaches a sermon on how to live. Dickens uses the craft of story telling to reveal a truth of how a life can be well lived. And he does it in an extremely entertaining way. This is the best of art. It is engaging, entertaining and reflects the reality that is God's world. I highly recommend this become a part of any family's holiday traditions.