The Red Couch: Second Quarter Books



We may not have finished reading our First Quarter Books yet but I want you to have plenty of time to get your hands on copies of our next batch of books.

As we’ve discussed the last few selections, readers have wondered how we go about choosing the books we read together. I’ll tell you this much: a good deal of thought goes into each selection. We want to read books that stretch us in some way, that open our eyes to other possibilities, and above all, that will help us to better love others.

As the editor of The Red Couch, I have notebook pages filled with possible contenders. I’m a big reader myself and so I usually start with what I’ve read and what’s on my To Read list. Then I ask the rest of the team for feedback and suggestions. When we started talking about books for 2015, I ended up with a list of almost 50 books!

From there, we consider what themes are especially important and pressing, what will lend itself to discussion, and what we sense our community (you guys!) needs. We also want to have a mix of voices and backgrounds. Somehow this all coalesces into a list of 12 books, which we announce to you three at a time. Here’s what’s coming up.

Second Quarter Books:

In April, we’ll read Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit legal practice dedicated to serving the poor, the marginalized, the downtrodden. The book is part memoir, part treatise on the state of the legal system. We follow the story of Walter, a man on Alabama’s Death Row who proclaims his innocence, and meet Stevenson’s other clients as he built his practice in the 1980s and the good work they continue to do to this day. Watch his TED talk and be inspired. We are all more than our worst mistake.

In May, we’ll read The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything by Brian McLaren. Some of our SheLovelys are going to the Simply Jesus conference in April and this book will introduce us to some of what they’ll hear, speak about, and learn. With this book, McLaren invites us to have a new experience of Jesus. We’ll explore the transformational power of the Gospel and what that means for us today.

In June, we’ll read Embracing the Body: Finding God in Our Flesh and Bone by Tara M. Owens. How often do you meet a woman who is completely content with her body? Women are more likely to focus on their body’s flaws or ignore their body altogether. The start of summer makes this book a timely read. Owens invites us to see our bodies in a new light and to consider how our bodies can help us draw nearer to God. It will be good practice for us to see how the physical and spiritual are irrevocably intertwined.

Come back next Wednesday, February 25 for our discussion of The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East.

Any questions?  Which book are you most looking forward to?

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