Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Whale Caller and other books

I've been enjoying this holiday time. I think this is because although it has been fairly laid back year time-wise, it has been difficult in other ways. At the beginning of the year I decided to 'volunteer' at the church office to try to see if there was useful stuff I could do and maybe find other places to serve. What I can't believe is that I actually lasted a whole year. I know that this will be something I look back on and I will wonder how I ever managed it. I learnt a lot. About running a church. About readjusting to an office environment rather than working from home. About the sort of people that I would like to have work with me, if and when I have a choice. That I don't do well sitting in an office for extended periods.

I always read, but I am enjoying it more with more space to read in. I read 'Are We Yet Alive' by Peter Storey. A South African book that tries to remind South African Methodists of what Wesleyanism is all about. I was inspired by the commitment that John Wesley had to the poor.

I read The Whale Caller by Zakes Mda. What powerful book. But how depressing. Why do 'arty/cultural/African' books have to be depressing? I am glad I am a Christian. I am glad that I understand grace and forgiveness and that there is always hope and that love is worthwhile. But nonetheless a powerful book and I did enjoy it. I think I will rewrite the ending for myself. By the way, it is about a love triangle consisting of the whale caller, a whale called Sharisha and the village drunk (a woman).

I am also reading 'Let's Both Win', a book on marriage by Arnold Mol (another South African book). My husband and I are reading it together, something we haven't done for a long time, and we are enjoying that. It almost doesn't matter what the book says! But so far, so good.

I'm also reading 'Re-Imagine' by Tom Peters. He's a business motivational guru guy. I am finding the book amusing. I tend to have an automatic antipathy to 'hype-masters', but he makes me think.


Gareth said...

hey Jenny (again)
you are into emergent church stuff? hooray! i enjoyed your blogroll. Jen Lemen is actually a good friend of a friend of mine (adam at pomomusings.com). It's interesting how inter-linked this web world is.
well, keep reading those holiday books! I'm adding you to my bloglines account now.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

It is a small world. I used to read Adam's blog too, but I got impatient because it loaded so slowly!

Thanks for visiting!

John van de Laar said...

Hi Jenny,

I began reading Re-imagine, but found the hype and the chaotic layout of the book eventually got to me. I try to dip back in from time to time because Tom Peter's thinking really does challenge me.

BTW - I just found out today that you had left a comment on my blog. I didn't get an email alerting me to the comment, so I thought the conversation had gone quiet. I only found out today (in conversation with another reader) that you'd left a comment. I am so sorry for not responding before, but I have written a response now if you're still interested in my answers to your questions.

Have a great Christmas.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Hi John. Thanks for the comment. I know what you mean by chaotic layout, I find the same. I'll respond to the comment on your blog! Thanks.