I attribute my love of reading and of language to Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, so before I go any further, I say if you want a picture of my ideal literary text, Gilead is it and I will tell you why in a concise list:
The woman knows what she is doing and has profoundly shaped my lens as a reader and lover of language. (Disclaimer: There are many people who have taken the recommendation, tried, and did not succeed in reading through the text — and that’s okay. Learning what you don’t like is still learning.)
I can go on and on about all the books that I’ve come to love, but it would be too hard. My mind would have to come up with some sort of scoring metric, a format for comparison — do I talk about nuance of language, rhetoric, theme, genre? — the list goes on. So instead, just like the plant chronicles, I think I’ll just document my current reads as they are finished or about to be. So here it goes…
Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
Most of my reads (Christian & YA) actually come from recommendations from my good friend Eunice, and this one was something that she actually hadn’t read, but suggested based off of references from DeYoung’s blog. I had never encountered anything by DeYoung and was pleasantly surprised and refreshed by his candid approach. As I read, I continued to get to know DeYoung, and when he explicitly mentioned that he was an ESTJ, full bias kicked in – and I felt: man, he gets me. If his declaration as my Myers Brigg kindred didn’t do it, his reference to LOTR and the Eagles’ “Hotel California” within the same paragraph surely did.
The ideas that DeYoung presents about the problems with busyness are ones that I think many of us know deep down inside our hearts. What DeYoung is able to do is bring scripture to expose the root of our sin, while also redeeming the meaning of busyness in our lives. The intent of the book is clear, and it all points to Christ, which is why I find the book to be effectively challenging. At the end of the book he asks us,
“out of all the concerns in our lives, can we honestly say and show that sitting at the feet of Jesus is the one thing that is necessary?” (113).
One more thing about Crazy Busy – the footnotes. Look at those footnotes because I think I’m about to buy almost every book he references. I love that DeYoung is able to provide the reader that luxury of learning from where he’s learned.
So I say read. It’ll take you an afternoon at most.