2021 Reading List

Photo by Emily on Pexels.com

Man, this year’s reading list is sad.

The best laid plans of mice and men and parents of toddlers oft go awry, yeah? This year’s reading round-up is short and shallow–and the list of books I started and could not finish seems almost as long!

Here we go, for better or worse:

January

>>The Words Between Us – Erin Bartels

>>The Practice – Seth Godin

>>Conscience – Andy Naselli and J.D. Crowley

February

>>A Hard Thing on A Beautiful Day – Ted Kluck

>>The Burning: The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 – Tim Madigan

March

>>One by One – Ruth Ware

>>Pastors and Their Critics – Joel Beeke and Nick Thompson

>>Comfort The Grieving – Paul Tautges

>>Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury

May

>>Fault Lines – Voddie Baucham

July

>>Corporate Worship – Matt Merker

>>How to Eat Your Bible – Nate Pickowicz *skimmed the last few chapters*

>>A World without Email – Cal Newport

August

>>She Did What She Could – Don Karns

>>Wolverine: Old Man Logan (trade paperback) – Millar / Bendis / Lemire / Brisson

September

>>Confessing the Faith – Chad Van Dixhoorn

November

>>The Invisible Man – HG Wells

>>Hawkeye Vol 4: Rio Bravo – Matt Fraction / David Aja

December

>>Invincible (TPB Vols. 1-3) – Kirkman / Walker

>>A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

=====

A few comments on the preceding:

This is by far the closest fiction/non-fiction ratio I’ve had in 10-15 years (8 fiction to 12 non-fiction). I wonder if that’s a statement on where my mind’s been at this year. Also interesting to note that most of the fiction was read in the last few months–possibly as a means of escape?

More than half of these books are fewer than 300 pages. Some of ones that were longer took multiple tries to get through. This is also the lowest book total I’ve had, possibly since I started counting and posting to a blog. Again, none of this is surprising considering what all I have had going on, but it’s interesting how I’ve struggled with focus/time when it comes to reading this year.

I’m currently “in-progress” with about 6 books, but most actively with another volume of Invincible and a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro called Klara and the Sun. I just downloaded a library e-copy of Erik Larson’s Devil in a White City, so clearly I want to go light to start 2022.

My mostly-fiction DNF list (books I got at least a chapter or two into before stopping early) included, but was not limited to, the following:

  • Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep – just a bit too seamy/grimy to be enjoyable – I won’t be coming back to it.
  • Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – definitely will return to it, but never got locked in enough to persevere when other shiny distractions arose
  • Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers – another one I may get back to at some point.
  • Gregg Hurwitz’s Orphan X – I definitely will come back to this; it looks like a fun series.
  • Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life – okay, controversial take: it’s just not that good. It’s full of obvious observations but it doesn’t really say anything new or meaningful. Admittedly, after the first chapter, I skimmed a bit, but I just don’t see the appeal. Apologies to those who think he’s the second coming of Socrates.
  • Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca – I didn’t get very far into it, but I definitely want to come back to it when I’m in the right frame of mind.
  • Franz Kafka’s The Trial – Meh. I gave it a shot, but it was a bit too pretentious to be enjoyable or even interesting. I’ll go along with some avant-garde writing, but at some point you have to ask, “Am I actually enjoying this?” If not, boot it. There’s no point in reading Important Novels that don’t actually bring joy or greater human understanding.
  • Ernest Cline’s Ready Player Two – What a disappointment. I adored RP1, and I feel like he spoiled it a bit with this second volume. I got so fed up with the protagonist that I bailed after just a few chapters. From what I gather from others, that may have been a smart move.

My top-five reads from 2021 (in no particular order):

  • The Burning, by Tim Madigan – This is a riveting account of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. It seemed only appropriate to read it on the year of its centennial. It was a heart-breaking glimpse into a moment of American history that is still so often passed over without comment.
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury – I read this in high school, but it was almost a different book to me as a middle-aged man. I would recommend revisiting some of the classic works you read in your youth; it’s quite eye-opening. Anyway, Bradbury has long been one of my favorite storytellers, and this one is a wild ride.
  • Confessing the Faith, by Chad Van Dixhoorn – This was given to me as a birthday present in late 2019 and it just took me a while to get through because it needs to be read slowly. Dr. Van Dixhoorn exposits every point of the Westminster Confession of Faith and provides theological arguments for why each element was written the way it was, and what implications these doctrines have on daily life. This is helpful both as a volume on Christian history and as a book for devotional reading and meditation. Excellent on all counts.
  • A World Without Email, by Cal Newport – This one took me a few tries, because it is dense and heavily-researched, but it argues a somewhat controversial or counter-cultural premise: What if businesses and organizations found other ways to accomplish what we claim to accomplish using email? Further, does the universal, constant reliance on email improve or actually hamper true productivity? This is Newport’s most “out-there” thesis, but I think he makes some really strong points.
  • A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens – Seriously, every time I read this short book, I’m blown away by the depth of emotion and understanding. More than that, I’m again surprised by all of the references to Christian faith and thinking throughout the volume. While Dickens wasn’t observably a professing believer, his cultural context was so immersed in Christian thinking and worldview that it is inescapable in his writing. As a Christian, I am delighted and encouraged by every glancing reference and thoughtful aside.

=====

Your Turn: What was the best book you read in 2021? What should I add to my TBR list in 2022? Comment below!

Here comes #Booktober!

Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com

I had the idea a few weeks back that I’d do another month-long run of blog posts, like my #30ThankYous series in November 2018, but I wanted to keep things simple, since I’m pretty busy these days.

So I decided to try something that, admittedly, is probably more suited to Instagram, if I had an Instagram account: #Booktober.

Every day for the month of October, I’m going to post a microblog (less than 200 words) featuring a different book that I’ve enjoyed or benefited from, with a short post about what it is and why you should read it. That’s it–that’s the concept.

Honestly, I just wanted to produce something fun, easy to write, and non-political (mostly), because man, I need that kind of content. Maybe you do, too. And who knows, it might inspire you to add a few of these books to your library hold list or Christmas shopping cart!

So, starting tomorrow, you’ll see 1 post every day for the next 31 days, featuring a book I like and recommend.

=====

Now, the caveat: In putting together this list last week, I realized pretty quickly that the authors are predominantly male and white. I hate how this has become a point of contention these days, but so it goes. I figured I should at least acknowledge that up-front.

Nevertheless, my list is my list. These are books I’ve read in recent years that I’ve enjoyed, and my recommendations have nothing to do with the sex or race of the authors. I recognize my reading list isn’t as diverse as other folks. That’s not intentional. I’m not seeking to avoid any group or subset of authors. I just read what intrigues me and what people I trust recommend. That’s it. My goal is to read good books, no matter what the author looks like. (That said, if you know of good books by authors of more diverse backgrounds that I may not be aware of, toss those recommendations in my comments! I’ll take a look, and see if the stories/ideas interest me.)

I guess I just wanted to acknowledge it up-front and get it out of the way, in case anyone feels the need to try to tag me or shame me later. Let’s just accept it and move on. #BooktoberSoWhite #BooktoberSoMale

And yes, if it sounds like I’m a little salty about it, it’s because internet bickering and cancel culture are asinine and I’m fed up with a lot of it.

…I said I was going to try to be apolitical, didn’t I? Okay, starting tomorrow!

=====

You’re still reading? Wow, thanks! Sorry about *gestures upward* all that.

Have any thoughts on #Booktober? Want to share your own recommendations? Throw some links down in the comments.

*pops in, waves*

Hey friends! I apologize for the radio silence. This week has been a doozy, and the weekend won’t be any easier. I’m hip-deep in sermon prep for tomorrow (in other words, shamefully behind!). But I hate letting so long go without saying hello.

I have one post scheduled for Monday, so far. Hoping I can knock out a couple more this weekend so we can get back to a steady schedule.

I would appreciate your prayers through the weekend. Just too much going on to spell it out, and it would be boring anyway! God has given me a lot to take care of in this season of my life, but He also gives grace. Pray that I will rely on that grace.

Thanks for reading. See you Monday.

I hate not posting.

 

grayscale photography of people walking in train station
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

There was a time when I would go for weeks without posting anything and feel only a twinge of guilt.

These days, I feel kinda anxious when I can’t hit three posts a week.

Life has been super complicated and full and challenging and good lately. I’ll tell you about it sometime soon. In the meantime, you’ll need to bear with me.

So, in lieu of new content, a question for you, dear reader:

What’s one positive thing from your 2019 so far? Big or small, share your joy in the comments below and let us celebrate with you!

I’ll be back on Wednesday with more short-story talk and hopefully a return to regular posting!

#30ThankYous: Lightning Round Part 2!!!

Let’s go with another lightning round of #30ThankYous posts! Today, I’d like to highlight 4 writers whose work has deeply affected me creatively, emotionally, and/or spiritually. (And please forgive the seemingly-random numbering–I’m trying to keep track of the days I skipped this month!)

=====

#19 – Ray Bradbury

Ray,

I don’t remember when I first encountered your work–it may have been a short-story that was given as part of a reading assignment for school. But from the first time I read your prose, I was hooked. I loved your imagination and the way you highlighted the enchantment and magic of everyday things, the mystery hiding just behind the ordinary. I think most people know you just as the Fahrenheit 451 or Martian Chronicles guy, but you had so much more to offer. Books like Dandelion Wine and The Illustrated Man captured my imagination even more, and made me want to be a short-story writer. Even now, I love the short-story format, and I find myself drawn back to it every time the writing bug bites. Thank you for sharing your magic with the world and inspiring a generation of writers who came after you.

#20 – John Bunyan

Brother John,

Your testimony is powerful and convicting, and your passion for the truth, no matter the cost, humbles me. But I want to thank you most for The Pilgrim’s Progress. Your little book has had a mammoth impact on me. Every page drips with Scripture, and every scene reveals truths about human nature and the Gospel. The stories of Christian and Christiana have become more and more affecting to me in recent years, and each time I read them, I am gripped again by the power of grace and the faithfulness of God. This is a book I encourage every Christian to read because it reveals a vault of wisdom and a treasure trove of insight with each reading. I praise God for your ministry, your witness, and your words.

#25 – Tim Challies

Tim,

It’s hard to think of another Christian writer or blogger today who has as much influence as you do and uses it so well. Your book reviews have become a trusted resource for me, and your frequent blog posts full of links and recommendations are helpful in directing my attention to edifying and insightful content. Your books, like your blog, are written in a clear and compelling style, full of humble exhortation. I was particularly helped by The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment and have used it more than once to prepare for Sunday School teaching. Even when you had to shift mediums due to your recent physical challenges, you have still kept your focus on serving your readers (and now, viewers) well. Thank you for honoring the Lord by striving for excellence and consistency in your use of the written and spoken word. Your contribution to the Church should not be underestimated.

#26 – Charles Spurgeon

Pastor,

It’s unavoidably trendy for a young (or, I suppose, now middle-aged) Calvinist to be an admirer of yours. Frankly, it’s almost become a cliche. I’m sure the surge of “Spurge” fandom would be embarrassing, if not infuriating, for you. But if you will allow me a moment (and how can you not, since you’re in heaven, enjoying the presence of God, so why would you care?), I want to express my gratitude for your writing.

Your preaching ministry is renowned and rightly so, but your writing has made a huge impact on my spiritual walk. Lectures to My Students and your articles in The Sword and the Trowel have been challenging to me both as a preacher and teacher and as a follower of Jesus. Books like All of Grace have brought me comfort and hope. Your handling of the “Downgrade Controversy” demonstrates a constancy and perseverance few in my day could muster. No doubt, the opposition you faced wore you down all the way to the end of your life, but while your candle burned, brother, you shined brightly, and generations who have come after you have seen your good deeds and praised your Father in Heaven.

Thank you, pastor, for your faithful pen, and for your faithful heart. You have strengthened multitudes with your work.

=====

Okay, that almost catches me up! Four more “Thank You’s” to go! See y’all tomorrow!

Go See “Gosnell” This Week.

Gonsell_Facebook_Banner_820x462One of the descriptors that is thrown around too often when describing a work of art is “Important” (with a capital “I”). But I saw a movie on Tuesday that I would argue deserves that capital-letter descriptor.

Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer is an independent film based on the harrowing true story of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortion provider in Philadelphia who was responsible for the death of at least 1 pregnant woman, along with the brutal death of at least 8 babies born alive during abortion procedures. This is a sensational news story that you may have never heard about, because as these true events were discovered and prosecuted, national media outlets were very slow to cover the details of the story.

And let me quickly add here: this isn’t simply a movie “about abortion” or merely an “anti-abortion” story. This is a story about women’s health, about the dignity of patients in a time of crisis, and the callous indifference of bureaucratic inaction in order to avoid controversy.

The film production is top-notch, especially considering the size of their budget. Some of the CGI effects were a little unrealistic, and a few of the minor performances were wooden, but on the whole, the acting and production values were excellent. As writer/producer Ann McElhinney stated in a recent interview, this movie is meant to have the feel of a Law and Order episode, so that the viewer is caught up in the story. I can confirm this; even knowing how it ended, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

I have to admit, though: while it’s not as graphic as it could have been, not by a long-shot, it is a hard watch at times. So use your judgment, if you are sensitive to the subject matter or have concerns about PG-13 language. And this is probably not a good movie to take younger kids to, though teenagers should be fine.

The film is an adaptation of McElhinney’s bestselling non-fiction book of the same name, covering the discovery of Gosnell’s crimes and the details of the case. Some of the names are changed, and some of the scenes are dramatized, but the most chilling, unbelievable details of this story are all actually documented and verifiable. Kermit Gosnell is, by all accounts, a legitimate sociopath who practiced abortions in Philadelphia for decades. He violated dozens if not hundreds of health and safety regulations and risked the lives of his adult patients, all the while under the protection of a Pennsylvania statehouse and health department that refused to enforce its own regulations against the abortionist.

Other writers have noted how the movie has fared in terms of media coverage (not much better than the actual case, to be honest). NPR refused to run advertisements unless the filmmakers removed the word “abortionist” from the ad copy. Facebook has removed advertisements and blocked posts for “offensive” and “political” content. Some have documented theaters suddenly pulling the film or randomly cancelling screenings. Nevertheless, the film brought in $1.8 million in its first week, good enough for #11 in the box office (despite showing on fewer than 700 screens).

More movies are opening in theaters every weekend, so if Gosnell doesn’t do a brisk business, it will be gone from the theaters very soon. It’s ironic that a cineplex currently full of make-believe monsters and Hollywood hauntings is crowding out a true story of actual human horror that has been largely ignored.

So here’s my challenge for you, dear readers: Go see Gosnell this week–tonight, if possible. And take your friends.

If you don’t see it soon, you’ll probably have to wait until it reaches home video. If you think this story deserves to be heard, support it with your dollars and your feet by heading to your local theater over the next few days.

In a world full of noise and “fake news,” this story about the dignity of human life and the darkness of the human heart is truly Important.

You can check out the trailer here. You can buy tickets through Fandango (not-sponsored) here.

Addendum: If you went to see Gosnell after reading this post, please comment below and let me know what you thought! And if you’ve seen the film already, I’d love to get your take on it in the comments, as well!

#FridayFive: 7/27/2018

Five blog posts about writing and work to take you into the weekend!

My 500 Words: A Writing Challenge: The blogs I’ve written over the years are documentary evidence of a push-pull within me when it comes to writing. I swing wildly from not writing much at all to cranking out post after post. Sometimes these shifts happen on a dime. (Wasn’t it just two weeks ago that I said I would start posting less often? Well…) After reading this post by Jeff Goins, I’ve decided to take the challenge and begin writing 500 words a day. (For the record, today is Day #3, and you, dear reader, are looking at my 500+ words for the day.) Not all of it will be published, and not all of it will be here, but I do expect a bump in activity here.

Why you Should Write for 182 Days: Dovetailing with the first article is this piece by Chomwa Shikati detailing so many good reasons why you should write every day for 6 months. If you’re like me, and you find that the love of the craft sometimes isn’t quite enough, this post may perhaps give you a bit more inspiration to sit down with a notebook or keyboard and do the work.

Library Rules: I work in an “open office plan” office, and frankly, some days it’s a miserable experience. The goal (presumably) is to “help encourage collaboration and creativity” but what it really encourages is distraction and irritation (at least in our experience). I spend my day with headphones in, trying to drown out the partial conversations and speakerphone calls that drift up and down the hallway. You tell me: would it be too passive-aggressive to email this link to everyone in my department, with no commentary attached? Yeah? Okay, fine. I’ll just stew about it a bit more.

5 Easy Ways to Build Your Writer’s Personal Brand: Okay, first, ugh; I hate the title, because I hate both “5 easy ways” posts and cheesy “branding” discussions. However, as I’m really starting to read about and think about how I want to move this platform (blergh) forward and use it to promote my online writing (here and on Medium, check me out!) along with any future book projects, I need to take my “brand” a bit more seriously. Suffice it to say, I’m going to be doing more reading, thinking, and likely writing about this in coming months.

“…Every Revolution Begins with Words”: Another Jeff Goins post, this time reminding us of how truly powerful well-crafted, passionate words can be. This is both an encouragement and a challenge to us. The landscape of social media and the Internet in general is pock-marked with the mortar blasts of heedless speech and hateful hearts. If we want to make a difference in people’s lives, we should consider very carefully what we say and how we say it.

=====

There you go, friends. Five articles for your weekend reading and edification.

You may have noticed that this site has undergone a bit of a face-lift, as well as a change in address (yay!). You’ll see more changes in the near future as I start to set up some new ventures. Don’t worry, I’ll still be posting book reviews and bullet-lists and a whole bunch of other fun posts on this site. I’m excited about what’s coming down the road, and I hope you are, too.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

“Guess who’s back…back again…”

“Good grief, Dave, the first post in 2 months, and you lead with a 20-year-old Eminem reference?”

Shaking the rust off, dude.

“What about all those promises to post reviews of books you read this year, remember that? Regular content, you said. I assume you *have* been reading books. So where are the reviews?”

Yeah, about that…

“You have talked frequently about spending less time on social media and more time ‘creating.’ You even wrote a Medium post about that. And that was it–just talk. Are you still on Twitter and Facebook?”

I deleted the apps off my phone.

“What about the browser? Are you logged in to them on your phone’s browser?”

“Look, man, I don’t mean to come at you so hard, right out of the gate. But you keep telling me that you want to write consistently. You have interesting ideas to explore. You wanted to do a whole series of posts about The Federalist Papers, remember? You wrote 4 or 5 posts before stopping. That was 16 months ago. And it was an interesting idea. You should follow up on that at some point.”

Yeah, I keep thinking about that.

“There are book reviews to write, sermon manuscripts to share, maybe even some short stories or poetry. Remember? You used to write poetry, too.”

That’s true. My wife really enjoys when I write poetry.

“See? All I’m saying is, it may be time to start delivering on the promises and good intentions you’ve been carrying around for all these years. How old are you now, 38?”

I’m 37. Birthday’s in October.

“Okay, then, 37. How about this? We start now with some regular content. Start flexing the ol’ creative muscles. And then we start working on the manuscript to your NaNoWriMo novel, Good Shepherd, and get that baby done before 40 comes around.”

That’s…not a bad idea. I still really like that story.

“You’re right, it’s not a bad idea–it’s a great idea. That story should be told. But we gotta baby-step this one. It starts with writing consistently.”

Okay, I’ll do it. Starting today, I’m gonna–

“STOP. Stop making promises. No more resolutions. Just do it. Don’t tell me about it. Just do it.”

Okay. Today, then.

“Today.”

Done.

#FridayFive: More Medium Meanderings!

Happy Friday, friends and readers! I’m back (finally!) with another 5 Medium posts I’ve read recently that I thought you might find interesting!

“It’s Time To Stop Feeling Guilty About Everything”–Stephen Altrogge gives us a great reminder about the difference between godly guilt (conviction) and fleshy/worldly “guilt.” It’s helpful for me to be reminded that some of my “guilty feelings” are not from God, but are self-imposed and dumb.

“One Year Without A Smartphone”–I’ve been reading a lot of posts lately about the pros and cons of pulling back from technology/social-media, and I found this post by Noah Lekas to be pretty thought-provoking, particularly the idea that intentional “boredom” is a boost to creative thinking. I’m not getting rid of my smartphone anytime soon (especially since I’m still paying it off, which galls me, but that’s another issue), but articles like this help me to regard this tech a bit more suspiciously.

“This is the ONLY Thing You Need To Do To Become a Multi-Millionaire”: Okay, I’ve read more than a few Medium posts, and many of the productivity/rise-and-grind/go-get-em posts seem like they follow a template, or at least fall into a series of cliches and tropes. Well, Luke Trayser nails the tone and ridiculousness of such posts with this great satirical piece. Worth a look…unless you don’t want to be MEGA-SUCCESSFUL!!!

“How 2,000+ random coffee dates changed our company culture”: I found this piece thought-provoking, particularly with how it may be transferred to a church context. Obviously, you would make adjustments for the sake of wisdom and propriety, but in larger churches, it might be an intriguing way to introduce people and families who don’t know each other.

“Forget Atticus: Why We Should Stop Teaching ‘To Kill A Mockingbird'”: Normally, I would put such articles into the “this is why we can’t have nice things” pile, but this one caught my attention. At the risk of sounding dismissive, the author’s issue with TKAM is not that the troubling language and content is offensive, but that the book’s protagonist isn’t “woke” enough. Again, I have a tendency to shake my head at “revisionist interpretations” of classic (or at least much-beloved) literature, but I was interested by the author’s argument: Atticus Finch, forever heralded as a beacon of progressive color-blindness, still holds the experience of black people at arm’s length. By teaching children to emulate Finch, this author posits, children learn to be paternalistic, classist, less opposed to racist language and thought as much as mildly disgusted by and dismissive of it. FWIW, I don’t agree with the author’s overall premise, but I think his reasoning is worth considering as we take another look at this literary figure.

Bonus Video: Cal Newport is a smart guy. Here’s a TED talk from him, arguing why you and I should stop using social media:

Feeding Habits.

I noticed a couple of things recently about my online reading habits that I thought might be helpful:

One:

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a tendency to bookmark a lot of blog posts and news articles but can never keep up with them. Almost immediately, I develop an ever-growing backlog of posts, and the thought of catching up on all this material that I was (at least at one point) interesting in reviewing becomes too daunting to consider.

I went through my Feedly bookmarks list, which at that point was over 500 links strong, and started deleting stories that I wasn’t interested in reading anymore. As I did so, I noticed that much of what I was deleting were news stories and hot takes about “current events” that, up to a year later, now don’t seem very pressing or even informative. So many breathless responses to political events or online squabbles, so many “five results of the latest decision by X” that didn’t pan out the way the author thought (or at all).

I was reminded of a truth that everyone knows but that hides in plain sight: much of what we consider “urgent” and “newsworthy” won’t matter in six months, or a year, or ten years, or eternity. They are blips and shadows, made of nothing and gone.

The more I think on this, the fewer times I hit “bookmark.” I find myself now, scanning what might amuse or inform, and saving what I want to ponder that may actually matter.

I’ll get around to it all someday, I’m sure.

Two:

Speaking of feeds, I was looking at my Medium bookmarks again. (Remember when I said I wanted to do a weekly round-up of things that were interesting? Yeah, I’m gonna try to get back to that this week.)

You can tell a lot about the state of your heart/mind by what stories draw your interest. I would encourage you (even dare you) to try it, just to see what it is that draws your attention these days.

(And there is also the question of curation: we can limit or expand what stories we search and see on such sites. Mainly, I’m pulling from the few topics I’ve marked as interests for the site’s algorithm [that’s a whole ‘nother discussion] as well as sites I follow. I think the idea still fits, though.)

In the interest of authenticity, here’s a sampling of what my Medium bookmarks reveal about my heart interests:

  • I haven’t given up on the idea of writing novels, even if I’m not following through by actually, ya know, writing.
  • I’m interested in procrastinating less / producing more; having a killer morning/evening/lunchtime/workday routine; sleeping more; sleeping less; drinking lots of coffee; leveling up my life in a host of potentially contradictory ways.
  • I’m feeling politically orphaned, and want to read other people who agree that being conservative doesn’t necessarily mean riding the GOP bandwagon all the way down the line. I’m also interested in hearing about the experiences of people I disagree with politically, but only as much as it doesn’t annoy me greatly.
  • I want to quit social media. Badly. But I can’t seem to do it.
  • Yeah, I really want to be more productive, it seems. So many #LIFEHACKy things.
  • I’m curious about self-publishing my books, and have been collecting all sorts of tips and tricks.
  • I like thinking about storytelling in film and books, and how those things speak to cultural and spiritual discussions.
  • Posts about fitness and fatness, about food and exercise, about healthy self-image.
  • No surprise, an up-tick in articles about fatherhood at the end of last summer.
  • “Social media is terrible! Let’s read 300 articles about it.”
  • Posts about Christianity and about marriage are coming up more frequently in recent months.
  • Morning routines! Habit-building! Do more! Make more! Ship more! Ugh.
  • …And after you finish working out at 5 a.m. like all the #LIFEHACK #WINNING people are, isn’t it time to start working on that book, Dave?

There ya go. I…I’m gonna go take some time to ponder my life. I’ll catch ya later.