Reading and listening

1. This post could accurately be titled "A Monday list" but I'm feeling a little rebellious this afternoon.

2. A few days ago I just finished listening to the podcast "S-town." It's a seven episode podcast by the producers of Serial and This American Life. It's like listening to a short novel, or creative memoir. I saw it described somewhere as a "true life Southern Gothic," and I think that's applicable. If you like stories about people and how we're all a little more complex below the surface, then you may enjoy this story. I say may, because unlike most novels, "S-town" doesn't wrap up in a nice tidy package. It starts out as one story, and turns into something else. But it is fascinating, and creative, and you'll want to talk about it.
3. Right now I'm reading Good Faith, by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. It's a thought-provoking look at how to navigate those the intersections when Christian beliefs collide with opposing beliefs. It's goal is to give people insight into how to hold fast to convictions, while still loving their neighbors and treating people who disagree with respect and kindness. In a culture where it seems that disagreements always lead to fighting, and where everyone is divided into "us" and "them," this book seems exceptionally timely. So far, I'm really enjoying it. Some of the things they talk about aren't rocket science (listen to people before speaking, for example), but it's presented in such a way that makes it resonate and sink in just a little more. And there are a few ideas that create a bit more of an "a-ha!" moment.

4. We've got a date night planned for this month. Nothing too exciting: dinner and a movie. BUT, we're trying out a restaurant called Q-shi, a barbecue/sushi fusion, that we randomly saw featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives . Sounds a little weird but also a little awesome. Then, of course, we'll be headed to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

Happy Monday!