What I’ve Read Recently
When I first read Chaim Potok’s The Chosen, circa 2010, I was bowled over. (Katie and I were dating long distance at the time and she recommended it; her taste in books is one of the first things I loved about her.)
While I didn’t know anything about what it was like being a Jewish teenager in Brooklyn during the Second World War, I felt every page of the novel. Strong memories of those feelings have stayed with me for nearly a decade now, so last month I opted for round two.
Curiously, though the feelings had remained, as I read I realized I hadn’t actually remembered how the story would end. So it was a gift to experience it all over again. It’s not a happy book, exactly, but it sure is rewarding.
What I’m Reading Now
In 1992, an indigenous activist from Guatemala named Rigoberta Menchú won the Nobel Peace Prize. She had risen to global notoriety during Guatemala’s civil war in the early 1980s, when her life story was published in I, Rigoberta Menchú.
Turns out, parts of that story were less than 100% true. Menchú herself has conceded as much, though she maintains that the story she told was at the very least representative of the experience of her people, a claim that’s mostly beyond dispute.
David Stoll, an anthropologist, garnered his own share of controversy with the publication of Rigoberta Menchú and the Story of All Poor Guatemalans, in which he brought these inconsistencies to light.
I’m not very far into Stoll’s book (I read Menchú’s account years ago), but it’s been interesting to note that Stoll actually affirms the broad contours of Menchú’s testimony (as well as some key particulars) and does not believe her Nobel should be rescinded – something that was hotly debated at the time of publication twenty years ago.
What I Might Read Next
Last month I enjoyed attending the book release party for The Symphony of Mission: Playing Your Part in God’s Work in the World by Michael W. Goheen and Jim Mullins.
Jim is a friend of mine who serves as a pastor at a church here in Tempe. Anyone who knows him can tell you Jim is constantly dreaming up ways to infuse meaning into the smallest, most mundane parts of life. Mike Goheen is a serious theologian who’s probably best known as the co-author of the consequential book The Drama of Scripture. Jim and Mike work together at the Missional Training Center here in town.
So what kind of book do you get when a dreamer teams up with a thinker? I guess I’m about to find out.