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Winter Reading

Ian David Philpot

While it's not officially winter yet, December is a winter month, so it's time to consider Winter Reading. Usually I set very lofty goals for myself that I rarely achieve, but I think my winter reading is much more attainable than my 2009 Summer Reading list. It may help that I've already started reading both.

Love Without Agenda: My Journey Out of Consumer Christianity by Jimmy Spencer Jr. Some of you may remember that I mentioned Love Without Agenda (LWA) twice before--once about a wedding and once announcing that Jimmy Spencer had just released the first chapter of his LWA book online for free. Well, not the whole thing is available in eBook form. For free.

It's not just free though. It's honest. The first creative words that Spencer gets on the page, even before the preface, are, "I didn't write this book to prove to you that I'm right. I wrote this book to share with you are valuable and beautiful just as you are." Immediately after that, Spencer introduces himself and the book very matter-of-factly. You know what you're getting into before the first chapter. I like that.

Oh, and it's interactive. The eBook has links to discussions, videos, and other websites. It's truly a book for the 21st century.

To download it for free, go to

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger Everyone talked about this book when the movie came out. I did see the movie and thought it was good, but there was a close friend who kept urging me to read the book. And so I started it last week. And it's incredible.

What's been surprising so far is the amount of conversation about God. I'm less than 100 pages in, but there has been a lot of discussion between the main characters about free will and the role that God plays in the universe. Niffenegger seems as if these are all thoughts she's had in the past, and it reads as if she really has no answer for any of the questions that arise, only a series of steps that allow the reader to make his or her own conclusion.

Follow Up Be sure to expect a follow up blog when I've completed my reading. With my Winter Reading list so much shorter than usual, I will also see if there is more I can do with the books I have read. So expect to see a Relief Recommends in the near future along with a possible interview with one of the authors. (And by "one of the authors" I mean Jimmy Spencer.)

So what books are on your Winter Reading list?

Ian David Philpot is the Web Editor for ccPublishing and the Web Content Developer for Willow Creek Community Church. He recently receive his Bachelor's in English at Northern Illinois University and spent one year in Columbia College Chicago’s Fiction Writing program. He writes fiction, poetry, and music. Ian prefers black to white, vanilla to chocolate, and only eats yellow cake.