Non-UU authors / Meaningful books

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Non-UU authors / Meaningful books

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dec 19, 2006, 9:04am

I realized that, for better or worse, most of the books that actually have spiritual meaning for me are not by UU authors. For instance, I'd look at pretty much the entire body of work of Richard Powers as an example of deeply spiritual writing--writing that makes me consider what it means to be human in this world today, while connecting me to all aspects of life, the universe, and everything.

Right now, I'm in the midst of reading Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, and it has overtly religious thematic material, with the narrator being a minister, the son and grandson of ministers.


jul 3, 2007, 7:39pm

Hi David,

Based on your reccomendation, I looked at some of Richard Powers' work and it appears quite interesting. I thought about fiction books that are spiritually meaningful to me, and recently I read Kazuo Ishiguro's book Never let me go. It brought up the question wha does it mean to have lived life well, how essential to life is art, as well as to what extent is facing one's mortality helpful in living life well?

Though I liked Gilead I wasn't that deeply moved by the book, more that I found it intellectually interesting.


PS - just got back from GA in Portland did you go?

jul 5, 2007, 5:34pm

Nope, I didn't get to go to GA--too much else happening in June, including a trip to Portland in early June for my father's military honors funeral at Willamette National Cemetery. We did get to go to the Portland church, and heard Marilyn Sewell speak. Fabulous!

And you know what? After posting about Gilead, I never actually made it all the way through the book. Hmmmm.

I read one book by Ishiguro--Remains of the Day. Excellent.

Best book read recently: Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union.

aug 10, 2007, 9:50am

I read Yiddish Policeman's Union last month and thought it was incredibly inventive and potentially prophetic. As a non-Jew, I probably missed many of the cultural illusions and double entendres in his story and language but I got enough to realize how clever Chabon is. My husband is having a tough go at it. Your thread topic made me realize that I have been unintentionally reading around the issue of food, food sourcing, preparation, history, sustainability, etc. This summer I read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miricle about her family's year of living on locally produced food. I have Michael Pollen's Omnivores Dilemma and intend to reread it. I am also reading Cod by Mark Kurlansky. On a lighter note I am also reading Heat about a journalist attempt to learn how to be a professional cook. I am concerned about our casual attitude towards our food sourcing and its quality and as a horticulturalist and garden/landscape historian, the topic is key to my continual investigation into the primal human attachment to the land.

aug 15, 2008, 6:39pm

Might I recommend Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and the Celestine Prophecy and its sequels. Both are amazing books and well worth reading, though definitely not by UU authors.

jan 11, 2009, 8:19am

Our book group read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and I found out a great deal about the importance of local foodsources, and it even changed my mind about vegetarianism (I avoid meat because of the nasty hormones antibiotics they put in). During the fall our church had a local food challenge, where we were invited to learn about who produces our food (learn about the farmer), ask about local food sources at a restaurant, harvest our own food - we capped this off with a fall harvest supper, from mostly local foods - and it was verrry tasty, even for folks like myself on a restricted diet (no milk, no sugar, in addition to no meat).

apr 1, 2009, 6:19pm

Just finished a book that I think will have a huge influence on my life: Peter Singer's The Life You Can Save. Odd that Singer doesn't show up in the "touchstones."

Meanwhile, the book is about the responsibility of individuals to give a portion of their income or wealth to alleviate poverty, and Singer makes a highly persuasive ethical argument. He's a philosophy prof. at Princeton, and is also the author of Animal Liberation, and a number of other books.

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else in the group who has read the book!