have been one of the most important
factors in my life. An old friend and I
used to call each other,
to report our latest find:
“This is the most important book I’ve ever read!”
When we realized how often we did this,
those moments became much more
than occasions for predictable laughter,
another experience of deep sharing around
insight and growth.
We recognized how critical
and beauty
and discovery
through writers’ incredible gifts
are for us.
I was thrilled, when one seminary professor
affirmed this experience
by giving it a name:

I might imagine
that, in my sixth decade,
I might have learned
from books. My grandmother,
on her death bed, affirmed
I would never know enough.
Now I understand what she was telling me:
I hope I can
My old friend
died some years ago,
as did my grandmother.
Now I share book discoveries
with a group of friends
who have been meeting weekly
for years now
to discuss the books
we read together. It is an honest
sometimes challenging,
sometimes riotous. Always
loving and affirming as we watch
each other grow in insight
and understanding.

img-book-1There are so many
I recommend books
often to friends
and people I sit with
as a spiritual companion.
I haven’t recommended
lots of books here,
but do want to now:
Naomi Klein’s
This Changes Everything.
Klein is a journalist
and this book is the third
in her trilogy
about systems in our culture.
This one focuses on systems
that affect our environment.
It’s a daunting amount of information.
As a former journalist, I am in awe
of her ability to gather this research
and communicate it clearly.
I am reading it slowly,
and have not finished it yet.
But I can’t wait to recommend it.

While the labyrinth of influences
that affect the planet
is astonishing,
facing the facts is only part of her story.
The other part is the chronicle
of what can be done—
and is being done by some—
to change
toward the health of life on the planet.

The book reviewer in the New York Times
wrote this of Klein’s book:

To change economic norms and ethical perceptions in tandem is even more formidable than the technological battle to adapt to the heavy weather coming down the tubes. Yet “This Changes Everything” is, improbably, Klein’s most optimistic book. She braids together the science, psychology, geopolitics, economics, ethics and activism that shape the climate question. The result is the most momentous and contentious environmental book since “Silent Spring.”

Give me a call,
send an email, message,
if you want to discuss this book.
(Or if you want to know about a group
discussing this book weekly in Oklahoma City
beginning January 20.)
It’s one of the most important books I’ve ever read!