Dear fellow reader,
Reading is a solitary act. For many of us it is a form of retreat—a welcomed silence and deserved rest from our demanding routines. We have our favorite spot in the house: the unmade bed, the couch long enough to doze on, or maybe the off-limits living room. Wherever it is, when we are there with book in hand and maybe our favorite cup of tea (my favorite is anything peach) all who encounter us know to "shush." It's reading time.
But when you read a really good book, aren't you just dying to talk about it? Halfway through or maybe even in the introduction, who comes to mind? There's always someone we can't wait to share our newfound knowledge with, or tell of our disbelief of an author's opinion. We can agree or disagree with the author, and he or she is none the wiser. But our dear fellow reader is always eager to hear our perspective. Or at least we hope so.
In reading groups we don't have to hope someone wants to hear our opinions—it's expected! And even better, the idea or concept that we missed in our reading is often what our fellow readers will discover and share with us. Our "aha" moments are multiplied in conversation. Even in disagreement—maybe especially when we disagree—there is opportunity to learn from one another as we seek to understand different points of view.
In the end, our shared conversation becomes another welcomed respite as we glean wisdom and receive understanding from one another. My hope is that the diverse assortment of titles in this first volume of Read Up will provide you and your group with books that lead to both stimulating reading and meaningful conversation.
Whether you're looking to read contemporary issues, history, fiction, memoirs or even humor, Read Up has you covered, with descriptions, discussion questions, author conversations or excerpts for more than 30 thoughtful books. Bring Read Up to your next book club and get the conversation started.
Editor, Read Up
P.S. Visit ivpress.com/readup to view our new Reading Group page.
"John Stott said, 'Books are a means of grace.' It's true! Authors distill years of study and experience into each book, and we receive it (if we are wise) as a gift from the Holy Spirit. Reading groups help us mine these gifts thoroughly, thoughtfully and joyfully. Take and read in community--for your own sake and for the sake of the world."
"When we sit down to read a book, a world opens up before us. The same thing happens when we sit down with friends for conversation. These selections will help Christian readers do both. In a time of deprived imaginations and relationships, we need guideposts like this to enrich our minds and lives."
"If you want a group that is more than another social club, choose a good book to take the discussion deeper."
"There are many reasons I have loved my community reading groups down through the years. The reading group experience not only expands the mind but exhilarates the soul while creating a bond with other group members. If you enjoy the discovery of new ideas and learning along with other readers, this tool will help you find those very special titles."
"As a lifelong reader, I am always looking for books that will challenge me, provide me with fresh ideas and stimulate great conversations with others. On my bookshelves are several dozen InterVarsity Press books that do precisely those things. I am grateful for the ideas and communities those books have engendered."
"In this age of media sound bites and online browsing there is something very special--even intensely, urgently so--about the wonderful experience of talking together around good books. . . . These wise and enjoyable selections are ideal for your group--highly recommended for a time such as this."
Descriptions, discussion questions, author conversations or excerpts for:
Breaking Old Rhythms
Coffee with Jesus
Courage and Calling
Disunity in Christ
The Easy Burden of Pleasing God
Eat with Joy
Exposing Myths About Christianity
A Free People?s Suicide
The Girl in the Orange Dress
The Global Public Square
God Behaving Badly
The God-Shaped Brain
Holy Is the Day
In Search of Deep Faith
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The Language of Science and Faith
A Mind for God
Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes
Reconciling All Things
Surrender to Love
Table in the Darkness
An Unhurried Life
The Unkingdom of God
Wanting to Be Her
A Week in the Life of Corinth
The World Is Not Ours to Save
Leading a Book Discussion
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