What a great year for books. I've been enjoying some new ones and some old ones lately. Here are a few in various categories.
Jerome Berryman's Godly Play  and Children and the Theologians . I continue to feel that we need a revolution in kids ministry, and I think people like Jerome Berryman, Tom Boomershine, and John Westerhoff are saying what we need to hear.
Kathleen Koch's Rising from Katrina  chronicles the devastation of the hurricane on the Gulf Coast -- and the hard work of recovery in its aftermath. It's fascinating as an eyewitness story, but it also offers a window into a CNN journalist's engagement with a story that touches her own life -- and a window into the gritty reality of faith struggling and triumphing in a tragic situation.
This summer I read Frank Schaeffer's trilogy -- Portofino , Saving Grandma , and Zermatt . I laughed out loud more times than I have reading any other fiction, except maybe Candide . The three constitute a coming of age story, but also a comic/tragic window into the kind of American fundamentalism I know from my own background. Portofino captures love of place, Saving Grandma is poignantly hilarious, and Zermatt captures the simultaneous, furious, sexual angst of adolescent boys and adult fundamentalists.
Brian McLaren is an author and speaker whose new book is A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith .