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Thursday, September 27, 2007

RevGalBookPals announces upcoming books!

Ask the Matriarch will resume next week. Until then, we announce the upcoming books that RGBP will be discussing. Purchase these from these links and RGBP will benefit. Check them out from your local library, and you will save a tree and increase the book circulation (which your local librarian will say THANKS!)

Folks, here are the upcoming books for our book discussion in the RGBP Amazon Store (notice the widget on the side? Yup, that's it!)

So.... here we go....


October, we will discuss Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle: A Year of Food Life

I don't know a soul who doesn't eat --- but how can we be better stewards of the food we eat and how can be love our neighbor as we do it? This book looks at food as we eat it today, with recipes to boot. Not only that, Kingsolver's husband looks at the food industry and its relationship with the government, along with one of Kingsolver's daughter, who shares her perspective to changing their eating habits to eat locally and seasonally. Mary Beth and Cathy will be leading the discussion.


November will bring the book Thirst: Poems by Mary Oliver - led by Diane of Faith in Community

A new chapter in Mary Oliver's illustrious career, this collection takes us inside the poet's grief and her discovery of faith Thirst, a collection of forty-three new poems from the Pulitzer Prize-winner Mary Oliver, introduces two new directions in the poet's work. Grappling with grief at the death of her beloved partner of over forty years, she strives to experience sorrow as a path to spiritual progress, grief as part of loving and not its end. And within these pages she chronicles for the first time her discovery of faith, without abandoning the love of the physical world that has been a hallmark of her work for four decades. In three stunning long poems, Oliver explores the dimensions and tests the parameters of religious doctrine, asking of being good, for example, "To what purpose? / Hope of Heaven? Not that. But to enter / the other kingdom: grace, and imagination, / and the multiple sympathies: to be as a leaf, a rose,/ a dolphin."


As many of you know Madeleine L'engle recently passed away and entered into God's Kingdom. Many of you know her from her children's books, with the most notable being A Wrinkle in Time. We thought that a collection of her writings would be lovely during the month of December and the seasons Advent and during the Christmas season, so we will be discussing and reading Wintersong: Christmas Readings by L'Engle and her friend Luci Shaw. It will be led by Revhrod of You Don't Have to Listen, I Just Like to Talk.


We bring in the 2008 year in with Listening For God: A Ministers Journey Through Silence and Doubt by Renita Weems. Led by Mompriest of Seeking Authentic Voice.

Throughout the past two decades, Renita J. Weems has been noted and praised for her writing, galvanizing national speaking, and pioneering scholarship in the field of Old Testament studies. Yet in the midst of her celebrated work, she was experiencing a profound spiritual crisis permeated by a hollow, painful silence that seemed, at times, to mark an irreparable rupture in her communication with God.

In this deeply affecting book, Weems addresses the believer's yearning for God through periods of inconstancy, vacillation, and disenchantment. Her own spiritual disquietude will be familiar to all who struggle to maintain faith while the details of daily life -- negotiating with children and spouses, caring for ailing parents, living up to professional expectations, developing hobbies, managing finances, and planning for the future -- compete for energy with one's relationship with God. In sharing her own strategies for redefining mundane rituals so that they contribute to reverence and devotion, Weems offers a beacon of light for all believers struggling to listen for God amidst the din of worldly demands and distractions.


Since Ask the Matriarch has taken a brief break this Thursday, I thought I would pose questions to you about the book discussions.

1. What books would you like to discuss in upcoming discussions?

There are several things we look at, accessibility and availability are certainly a priority, along with affordability.

2. Does your church have a book club or book discussion group? If so, what does the group read?

3. If we were to have a movie discussion, what movies would you like to discuss? Those already on DVD or the ones just released?


  1. Thanks Cathy. I had just been asking Songbird what's coming up as I'm soon ordering books again so this is a very timely post for me.

    I'll definitely get the L'engle one. I'm not into poetry so I'll skip November.

    I think it's great that the books have been easy to purchase - I'd prefer that they were available in paperback (makes a big difference to cost here in Europe) and we need to know at least 2 months in advance. Libraries here don't stock these kinds of books very often.

    You asked what books.
    I've liked that there's a wide range here. The discussion I liked the most was Velvet Elvis -

    two possibles:

    Organic Church (Neil Cole) "In an age where millions are saying God yes, church no! most of us instinctively feel that church as we know it prevents church as God wants it" -- it's provocative and not fluffy at all

    I could possibly lead this discussion ... in April (March will be the big meet up .. and Easter) if you wanted ...

    2. (I haven't read this yet but it looks interesting)
    The Christian and the Pharisee (Kendall and Rosen) "two outspoken religious leaders debate the road to heaven"

    Sometimes a novel would be fun too - especially one dealing with an ethical question for example.

    I don't watch many films - (tv or at the cinema) so I'll skip any discussion on that -but it might be fun to read what others watch and think about :)

  2. Thanks, Lorna, for the feedback. I look forward to hearing others and their recommendations.

    Y'all keep the conversation going today--- I'll be at work and the school system has blog stuff blocked (I can see RGBP blog, but can't see pictures or comments!)

    Anyway, see you all later!

  3. If we do a movie, it would be helpful perhaps to get one that's already on DVD. I usually can find a couple of hours to look at a DVD -- finding time to get to the movie theatre? Almost never. Newly released would be good, as it would be fresh in people's minds -- and Amazing Grace would be a nice place to start (when it's released). Older films: Shawshank (of course), Green Mile, Unbreakable, The Village, 6th Sense, etc. Luther is and oldie but goodie. Chocolat = wonderful. Babette's Feast = Ditto.

    More recent releases: We Are Marshall, Two Weeks, Gracie (sorta sticky sweet though), Georgia Rule (sometimes really yuck, but good discussion fodder, esp on Mormonism), The Wind that Shakes the Barley (leads to discussions of violence, war and the big "why" question.)

  4. I love the book discusions, but I also love the idea of movie talks! There are so many avalable on DVD/VHS and even online. The movies reverend mommy mentioned are great. So are Lorenzo's Oil, mona lisa smile, Happy Feet, Star Wars (hubbie's personal fav!) and so many others. I think it would be a great thread to add! Blessings!

  5. If we do movies, definitely DVD. theaters are hard to get to and expensive (at least where I live) and they don't often show anything besides Big Budget Blockbusters out here anyway.

    My book suggestion would be to have another novel sometime soon! Not all novels are fluff.

    For short stories, I might suggest Throw Like a Girl. I haven't finished them yet, but they're all about women and their experiences at different ages and in different situations. I have to admit that so far they've been kind of depressing, but very well written and covering a lot of important themes for women in western culture.

  6. Thanks for all you's a plug and book, Take This Bread, will be coming out in February in paperback (just in time for Lenten study.) If anyone's interested in organizing a reading group, I'd be happy to participate in online discussions....
    thanks and blessings,

  7. Sara, I Just read a review of your book on a blog yesterday, and I look forward to reading it! I do hope we have a bookclub discussion on it.

    In terms of books, I would also recommend "Speaking of Sin" by Barbara Brown Taylor. I read this book with our adult forum years ago and I am still referring to it, often. (Might make a good Lenten study?)....

    And movies, DVD's are great, I'd enjoy that. I haven't seen many movies lately but years past I saw a lot. Freedom Writers starring Hillary Swank would be an interesting choice. I also like Chocolate and Shawshank. Also, The Count of Monte Cristo (with that actor who played Jesus in the Passion by Mel...). There are probably lots of films we could watch and discuss...

    I am busy reading my "assigned" book (Listening for God) and taking notes. Looking forward to my debut in Jan. as a conversation host on Revgals (and guys)...

  8. Not sure if this would be up folks' alleys or not, but I was just checking out Real Live Preacher's blog and noticed that his EXCELLENT book of essays, "Real Live Preacher" had been remaindered. He's selling the rest of 'em out of his home for $11 each. With promises of surprises (little notes, pressed flowers, etc.) in each one. Might this be a chance to support a fellow blogger, read an INCREDIBLE book together AND maybe have some fun surprises for those who order books from him?

    From what he says on the blog, he should have an order button ready by the weekend, so it should be pretty easy to order from him (even though it wouldn't be the RGBP Amazon link).

    Just a thought. =)

  9. I'm finally home from work, and so glad you all have shared your thoughts. I think the DVD/movie recommendations were very good. Looks like we could have one a month already!!!

    I do like the idea of reading books when they come out in paperback (even though the one I am leading is not). I find them easier to handle. However, I won't turn down a large print one either since they are so easy on the eyes.

    We have a book group at our church and as this group, we have a variety of books. We just finished a Thousand Splendid Suns and this month will be doing the same book as RGBP! Next month we will be discussing Plain Secrets: An outsider among the Amish by Joe Mackall. We have read bestsellers, fiction, nonfiction, classics, etc. And we eat too-- try to cook something that is mentioned in the book or of the culture of the book's setting.

    Sara, I am curious as to what you mean by a reading group. How would that differ from the book discussion. Sounds intriguing!

  10. Sara, I went back and read your comment you wrote. You are the author of "Take this Bread" -- I have this on my nightstand -- I believe I purchased after hearing you on an interview, but don't remember where.


  11. I'd like to read Sara's book when it comes out in paperback.
    also, a movie discussion would be great, but I go for movies that are already out on DVD. How about Ratatouille, when it comes out?

  12. also, I hope some people like poetry. :)

  13. Hi Friends, I need major help, and figured if I'm as internet- and software-literate as I think I am yet still having major problems with Amazon, someone who has experience shopping in Amazon from RevGals' store and onto the main store maybe could assist me. At one point I had 8 browser windows open...

    Finally I tried copying the address of the RevGalsBookStore, closing that window and then signing into Amazon from another window; after that I pasted the RevGals' address into that same window and added October's and January's books to my shopping cart. Then I clicked "continue shopping" and proceeded to my Amazon wish list and added one item to my shopping cart, clicked "view cart," and despite having been signed into my account all the time, the books from the RG's store weren't in my cart. I'd really like the RGs to get a cut from the other books and the bracelet I plan to purchase, but I also want October's book in time for the discussion. Anyone out there who can help? Thanks!

  14. I'm liking the idea of doing RealLivePreacher's book -- he's selling the remainders on his website and perhaps he would participate in the comments of the day.....

  15. I'd like to discuss RLP's book, too--he even promises to autograph each copy and include a unique surprise!


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