RevGals Friday Five Meme: Books!

(photo by Jan)

Jan over at RevGals is thinking about books today and offers this Friday Five Meme:

1. What books have you recently read? Tell us your opinion of them.
I’ve read several books by Julia Spencer-Flemming. I started with the third book in her series and moved on to the fourth. I find the books compelling even though they are filled with, in my opinion, significant errors about the Episcopal Church. For example I have NEVER heard of a deacon, even an Archdeacon on Diocesan staff, being called “Father.” Deacons are called Deacons, by title, so it would be Deacon N.N. We do the same thing with Bishops, Bishop N.N. And, some think we should do the same with priests….but so far we tend to call priests, “Father.” I’ve had people call me, a woman priest, “Father.” Father in this regard becomes less about gender and more about role….although of course it is still about gender for some.

I also think the lead character, a female Episcopal priest and former military helicopter pilot, would NEVER be able to spend so much time investigating crimes and being away from congregational needs.

The books are light and easy reads and compelling even with my critique.

I’ve also read Jennifer Wiener, and Steig Larrsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), a number of poetry books (ee cummings, Mary Oliver, Billy Collins), Amanda Eyre Ward, and probably a few I’ve forgotten.

2. What books are awaiting your available time to be read? The two newest books by Karen Armstrong, “A Case for God” and “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.” Both are checked out of the library and I’ve put in a request for them. I also want to read the next two books in the “Girl with the…” series.

3. Have any books been recently recommended? “An Altar in the World” by Barbara Brown Taylor and Armstrong’s “Twelve Steps”….

4. What genre of books are your favorite, along with some titles and/or authors you like best? I like to alternate between fiction, mystery, religious resources, and poetry.

5. What have you read lately that you have a strong urge to recommend? (or to condemn?) I tend to recommend the Steig Larrsson books…the rest are just ok. I do think I will like the Armstrong books and will probably find something to appreciate about BBT’s book, even though her book “Leaving Church” made me feel sad for her, since no one seemed to help her understand the importance of balance and self-care when doing parish ministry, or risk “burn-out.”


About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
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16 Responses to RevGals Friday Five Meme: Books!

  1. altar ego says:

    When people ask me what they should call me I tell them "Anne," or "Father Anne." The first person to call me Fr. was a woman in the Bahamas–that's what she called her priest! As you say, title as opposed to gender. It's endearing to most people, some refuse to call me that. I hate being called "Mother." Good book choices!

  2. RevDrKate says:

    Spencer Fleming's on my list too. She has a new one coming in the Spring. I've had quibbles here and there with Clare and the details, but agree, a pretty good read. Ditto on BBT's Leaving Church. My list of reads sounds a lot like yours overall. Like the Larrssons a lot!

  3. Sharon says:

    You put a finger on what I felt after reading Leaving Church — sad for her. I haven't tried the Steig Larrsson books yet, even though I know they are wildly popular. Maybe I will now.

  4. angela says:

    Ahh, it was you who got me started on Spencer-Fleming. I thought that was weird too but do understand the supposedly familiar 'father' term as my mom's family is all Catholic. But instead of me thinking that was a trust thing, it made me afraid of them. Hmm. Perhaps I should not read Leaving Church until I am out of the winter and have already talked with the Candidacy Committee again.And, just noticing your blog quote and love it, had to write it down to ponder more. Always feels like you are in a warm place when I come to visit. 😉

  5. Jan says:

    I am impressed that your library has the Armstrong books to lend out. I haven't looked at our local library, as I've just been looking for mysteries lately. In the past, I could never find theology books I wanted and that's when I started buying them. . . . now I am overloaded with books. We're reading "A Case for God" in the book study I facilitate weekly, and it is good. Only a few days ago, I heard about her newest book on compassion, which makes sense as Armstrong helped to create the Charter for Compassion with the TED awards.

  6. T says:

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is on my "to read" list. Glad that you enjoyed them which makes me excited to read them now too! 🙂

  7. Barbara B. says:

    I have never read anything by Julia Spencer-Flemming. I'll have to check her out!

  8. Now I have MORE books to look into…

  9. Wendy says:

    It is sometimes a problem to know too much about something. It's all in the details. May have to check out Girl With… I've been avoiding it, but it keeps coming up in good places.

  10. Pastor Julia says:

    I totally agree about Leaving Church. Reading it made me feel discouraged, sad for BBT and totally colored my ability to hear her preach.

  11. oh living & serving in the boonies is one thing in real life… in a fictional setting much different. maybe that's it, i should be a crime-fighting-detective in my spare time huh? bwaa haaa

  12. Muthah+ says:

    Teri, have you read any Mark Schwiezer liturgical mysteries? They are a hoot for us Piskies. I will pick up Spencer Fleming.

  13. Muthah+ says:

    BBT, is in a part of the country that the fierce battles have been the greatest. When I read Leaving Church, I realized what a toll this church fight has cost us as a denomination. @Angela, this is not a book to read while going through candidacy. It is for us old broads who have been a bit chewed upon in the ministry and have perservered. Keep the faith and the excitement of your call fresh and energizing.

  14. glad I'm not the only one irked by the Spencer Flemming confusion about deacons and archdeacons! Although I find much to relish in the books, maybe especially the voices of her Aunt and her Master Sgt. in her head!

  15. I really liked Karen Armstrong's "the Battle for God", also read the "Great Transformation" liked parts of it. She has two tendencies – one is to get side tracked by lots of details and over reach in scope but then she also kind of simplified complex issues like – it's just all about the golden rule …or Muslims were always tolerant, Christians, never.

  16. so glad you popped in for tea today! in returning the visit i find one of my fave topics was yesterday's meme! so now to do a new post a day late :))so glad you've a hand warming cup for tea if your cold weather is anything like mine :))

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