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Take And Read: Spiritual Reading -- An Annotated List [Paperback]

Peterson Eugene H. Peterson Eugene H.
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 14 1995
Spiritual reading has fallen on bad times. Today, reading is largely a consumer activity, done for information that may fuel ambitions or careers -- and the faster the better. Take and Read represents Eugene H. Petersons attempt to rekindle the activity of spiritual reading, reading that considers any book that comes to hand in a spiritual way, tuned to the Spirit, alert to intimations of God.

Take and Read provides an annotated list of the books that have stood the test of time and that, for Peterson, are spiritually formative in the Christian life. The books on this list range from standard spiritual classics to novels, poems, and mysteries, and include an equally broad spectrum of authors -- from Augustine and C. S. Lewis to William Faulkner and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Annotations following each entry offer Petersons own significant insights into the power of each work.

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Review

Books & Culture"A fine gift for students and for new Christians."Christian Century"Keep Spiritual Reading within arm's reach. Readers will consult this not only to shape personal reading lists but also for help in pondering predicaments such as what to recommend for a parish retreat."Clergy Journal"For Christians who wish to deepen and broaden their understanding of their own religious tradition, this book is like a map to the best reading available to pursue this goal."Library Journal"A rich resource for pastors and general readers."Publishers Weekly"Peterson's choices range from the expected to the delightfully different. His wide-ranging definitions of what is spiritual and his book-lover's zeal encourage readers also to befriend books and enjoy their deep spiritual rewards."

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This list is necessarily arbitrary-it consists of my basics, not yours. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joyous adventure! Aug. 16 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If you are a Christian interested in growing deeper spiritually, and you view that not as an arduous task but rather a joyous adventure (and if you are not afraid to challenge yourself intellectually as well as emotionally), I highly recommend this book! Reading the previous two reviews, it seems that some misunderstanding about the book's intent led to a measure of frustration. Put simply, this is not a "book" per se. Rather, it is a "book ABOUT books". But what a book!
My church experience has been that contemporary laypeople are not often challenged to embrace the idea of reading (aside from the Bible) as an ongoing spiritual discipline; those of us who do try often have little idea where to begin, particularly in the area of Christian "classics". From what I have seen in some Christian bookstores, "Christianity lite" abounds, and books of questionable value jostle for shelf space along with the gems.
This book was a refreshing entry into a deeper world. To reap its benefits, time, patience and attention is required of the reader, both to search out the books and to immerse oneself in the wisdom they offer -- all of which goes against the culture of "busyness" in which we live.
I have already derived much joy from the books I have purchased upon the author's recommendations. The books are arranged by chapter theme, and cover numerous areas of Christian life and thought. I have given this book over the years to numerous friends and relatives, both pastors and laypeople. Everyone has loved it! Two long-time and highly knowledgeable Bible study teachers "stole" my book and kept "refusing" to return it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A continual source of worthwhile reading June 29 2004
Format:Paperback
I don't think I have ever read this entire book, but every time I pick it up I discover new writers and their books, each with fascinating insights into human nature and the relationship of Christian faith to living. It is especially helpful in introducing the reader to authors and subjects that one is not always even aware of. It's like browsing Peterson's library with him there, commenting on what he enjoyed and was challenged by in each book or what he appreciates about each author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile Advice Jan. 11 2011
Format:Paperback
If you are looking to expand your library or looking for a place to dig a little deeper this book is a helpful place to start. Peterson organises this book along a number of important topics and disciplines and points you to the good stuff. This is particularly helpful in a world where it is sometimes difficult to find the nourishing and good food in the midst of the fluff that is offered.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joyous adventure! Aug. 16 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you are a Christian interested in growing deeper spiritually, and you view that not as an arduous task but rather a joyous adventure (and if you are not afraid to challenge yourself intellectually as well as emotionally), I highly recommend this book! Reading the previous two reviews, it seems that some misunderstanding about the book's intent led to a measure of frustration. Put simply, this is not a "book" per se. Rather, it is a "book ABOUT books". But what a book!
My church experience has been that contemporary laypeople are not often challenged to embrace the idea of reading (aside from the Bible) as an ongoing spiritual discipline; those of us who do try often have little idea where to begin, particularly in the area of Christian "classics". From what I have seen in some Christian bookstores, "Christianity lite" abounds, and books of questionable value jostle for shelf space along with the gems.
This book was a refreshing entry into a deeper world. To reap its benefits, time, patience and attention is required of the reader, both to search out the books and to immerse oneself in the wisdom they offer -- all of which goes against the culture of "busyness" in which we live.
I have already derived much joy from the books I have purchased upon the author's recommendations. The books are arranged by chapter theme, and cover numerous areas of Christian life and thought. I have given this book over the years to numerous friends and relatives, both pastors and laypeople. Everyone has loved it! Two long-time and highly knowledgeable Bible study teachers "stole" my book and kept "refusing" to return it. They finally returned my copy, filled with penciled notes about how excellent many of the recommendations were, and they ended up working some of Peterson's comments in the chapter introductions into their lessons. Another pastor, one who did not lightly give compliments, wrote an extremely appreciative note thanking me for the "remarkable" book. Yet another recipient told me she anticipated that working through these books would be a pleasurable journey for a lifetime -- my sentiments exactly! Do try this book, and see if you agree!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A continual source of worthwhile reading June 29 2004
By O.Chemist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I don't think I have ever read this entire book, but every time I pick it up I discover new writers and their books, each with fascinating insights into human nature and the relationship of Christian faith to living. It is especially helpful in introducing the reader to authors and subjects that one is not always even aware of. It's like browsing Peterson's library with him there, commenting on what he enjoyed and was challenged by in each book or what he appreciates about each author.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take and Read this Book Aug. 11 2008
By Chad A. Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Eugene Peterson, noted Christian author, preacher, professor, and translator of the Bible paraphrase "the Message," compiles a categorized and annotated list of recommended reads. A wide variety of categories are covered from the normal pastor/preacher/theologian ones such as commentaries, prayer, Jesus Christ, pastoral ministry, spiritual formation, spiritual direction, worship and others but also surprising ones such as classics, history, poetry, novels, and mysteries.

Peterson is not giving a list for academics and scholars, no, not at all. He is leading us through the books and authors that have shaped him in every area of his life. And Peterson loves words and literature so it seems that he is really enjoying just talking about the books he loves. I wish more recommended reading lists were like this because so many (that I've read) focus only the theological / biblical categories of reading but we all know that pastors/preachers don't read just commentaries and systematic theologies (they'd better but that's not all). So what else is good reading? I certainly don't agree with all Peterson's choices but I like this book because it gives a full-plate of reading for all the literary "food groups" of the mind.

If you're looking for academic bibliography this is not it, but if you're a bibliophile that's thrilled with the passion of another book-lover's tales then this is for you. The excitement is infectious and may your wallet be warned!

Happy reading!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Reading - rediscovering the missing jewel May 15 2001
By Matthew Westerholm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In this excellent book, Peterson provides a great guide to getting into the sometimes overwhelming world of spiritual classics.
However, a lot of frustration will be avoided if you see this book for what it really is - an arrow pointing toward the books themselves! If you want to see Washington D.C., you'll be very dissapointed if you only study a map of it! This book is simply a map through the overwhelming stack of spiritual classics.
Especially helpful is Peterson's recommendations of specific translations and editions. I'm enjoying the fruits of the time I spent with "Take and Read"!
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich resource, great Kindle version, too! June 24 2014
By grace is enough - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wished I'd have read this sooner, but tracked down a kindle copy after Peterson mentioned this book in Eat This Book. Take and Read is a compilation of Peterson's recommendations of resources on the psalms, prayers, hymnals, commentaries ...but it is not just a list. (after all, this is Eugene Peterson! hooray!) One may wish there were more titles or perhaps different titles, but this is Peterson's list and he explains how each has made their mark on his life with God. A sweet little treasure that seemed to transition well into a Kindle version - easily maneuvered and complete.
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