Sunday, 21 June 2020

Ninety Eight Days of Being Closed - Books to read in Lockdown

Ok this lockdown is getting frustrating. Everyone is getting fed up and the end does not yet seem to in sight. But there have been good things that this crisis has brought. A time to rest and recover from the endless cycle of busyness that abounds in normal life. The opportunity to reassess what is really important to us, what really matters. This has been surprising in its intensity. It's not been easy being stripped of all the distractions and trappings of our working identity.

There has been the chance to fiddle with the pieces of lots of jigsaws, go for long walks along the seafront and to binge watch box sets through the apps button. We've managed to get through a few series of classic TV shows. They've helped to create the routine that we have so desperately needed. There's the comfort factor of watching well loved characters in well worn plot lines.

There has also been the chance to read some books. This is my list of books read since lockdown started. They fall into three categories Church and leadership, non-fiction and novels to enjoy. This was helped by a trip to Waterstones with a big book token just before the shops closed.

The Power of Belonging by Will Will van der Hart & Rob Waller: discovering the the confidence to lead with vulnerability.
Reappearing Church by Mark Sayers: looking for hope for the church in our post-christian culture.
Story Bearer by Phil Knox: how to share your faith with friends by connecting up the stories of our lives with God's story.
Good to Great by Jim Collins: great read on how to turn the trajectory of an organisation around.

The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle: a look at the secrets of highly successful groups.
Passchendaele, A New History by Nick Lloyd: just after we visited the battlefields in Belgium pre corona crisis as a way to put our present crisis into context with 500,000 men killed or wounded.
Traflgar by Roy Adkins: a biography of the battle with which our city is so closely linked.
The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf: the adventures of Alexander von Humbolt the lost hero of science.
A Fistful of Shells by Toby Green: a story of West Africa from the rise of the slave trade to 1850.
The Plague by Albert Camus: interesting account of a plague in a North African city, helpful in understanding some of the phases of lockdown.
Wilful Behaviour and also Uniform Justice by Dona Leone: wonderful relaxing reads as Inspector Brunetti solves crimes in the beautiful city of Venice.

But the book I've read the most is Bible. Every morning for around fifteen minutes to start the day. There is nothing that compares to God's word. I've been through John's gospel into Acts, the lives of Samuel, Saul and David and the psalms of the 60's and 70's. God's word will feed you and keep you on the right path. Make space in your day and see the benefits that result.

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