Adventures in Time to Read…

I had thought that 4 1/2 weeks of vacation with no plans to go anywhere might get a little dull. Not at all! I’ve had some time to get some “Gee, I should do that sometime” things done, and I’ve had lots of time to read – with no pressure to put the book down and turn out the light at an appropriate bedtime. I polished off a paperback novel at 1:40 Monday morning – forgetting of course that I had committed to a Superbowl Breakfast at 7:30. Not to worry, I’m on vacation, and went back to bed after breakfast was over.

Having been immersed in entertaining rubbish for a couple of days, I switched to non-fiction. I now have 3 books on the go, and can’t decide which to focus on. I’m 1/2 way through Out of Poverty and Into Something More Comfortable by John Stackhouse. It’s an interesting read, looking at the remarkable difference in results between multi-million dollar aid schemes and grass-roots micro credit. It’s also nice to get a Canadian perspective on what some of CIDA’s money has funded. Hmm, describing it that way makes it seem a little heavy, but it’s not. It’s full of very human examples at each end of the spectrum; however, I’ve read it before, so I might put it aside until I’m done the others.

The others: The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne, looks at a radical alternative for Christians seeking to live like Christ commanded; not like wealthy suburban churches suggest. I’m impressed by his compassion and fairness. It’s not a tirade against the rich for not sharing with the poor, it’s a compelling reminder that Christians were never expected to settle in and get comfortable with the status quo. The second book I’m working on is The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs. I just got it in the mail yesterday, so I’ve only read the forward (by Bono!), the introduction and a little bit of the first chapter. As a bigwig in the world of Economists (I can’t believe I bought a book about global economics) he says that it is possible to eliminate extreme poverty (ie put an end to 20,000 people dying EVERY DAY from extreme poverty) by the year 2025. I got the book because I agree with him that ending the war on terror would be a bi-product of ending extreme poverty. Since I have absolutely no evidence to back that up, I thought I’d read something credible that might provide some.

Well, I’ve rambled long enough, and it’s time to go to the gym. Enjoy your day, and if you happen to see any of those titles in your friendly neighbourhood library, bookstore or friend’s bookshelf, please look through them.

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