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Thursday February 17, 2022
From my office chair, I can look up and see a an eight-foot shelf filled with books I helped to publish. I recognize every title. I know every author. I remember delving into every subject.
I had a hand – or at least a pencil – in every one of those books.
And then, abruptly, the authors, the subjects, the textual content, are all strangers. They’re still good books. Still worth reading. But they’re not mine anymore.
In serious discussions of faith and doctrine, a friend frequently ventures something like: “I’m not sure that I know what I’m talking about, but isn’t this all about ego somehow?”
Yes it is. It’s almost always about ego.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: God, books, ego
At year end, many columnists share their reading recommendations. My recommendations are quite short. Just two books.
I’ve read more than that, of course. But these two left a lasting impression on me: A God That Could Be Real, by Nancy Ellen Abrams, and The Righteous Mind, by Jonathan Haidt.
I like the Abrams book because it takes a totally different approach to discussing the reality — or not — of a divine being. I don’t recall her ever quoting the Bible. Or the doctrines of any church. Or the theories of any theologian.
Instead of starting with whatever people already know and assume about the nature of God, she starts with science. With what we already know, and we can know, about the universe we live in.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: books, Jonathan Haidt, Nancy Ellen Abrams
I want you to read this book. I hope you find it as depressing and painful as I did.
The book is Every Note Played, by Lisa Genova. You may have read some of Genova’s previous books, particularly Still Alice,which leads you through the life of a woman as she chronicles her decline into dementia.
This book chronicles a similar decline, but into ALS -- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, often called Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or “what Stephen Hawking had.”
But where Still Alice led readers through the gradual loss of a university professor’s memory and reasoning, it stopped before Alzheimer’s Disease ended her life. It was sad, but not shattering.
Every Note Played pulls no such punches. It takes you through to the end, and beyond.
Tags: dying, death, Lisa Genova, books, ALS, Every Note Played, caregivers