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On My Table:
Life & Books with Brian Douglas

This month’s On My Table comes from Brian Douglas, Associate Pastor at All Saints Presbyterian Church in Boise, Idaho and chaplain at the Wyakin Foundation. He was previously a teacher, sold books and outdoors gear, and was a security guard. He grew up near Miami, but his mom raised him to love Detroit Tigers baseball.

What book(s) are you currently reading?

Throughout 2017, I’ll be reading Calvin’s Institutes with a bunch of friends. Wilbourne, Union with Christ. Soren Kierkegaard, The Present Age. Re-reading Keller, Reason for God in anticipation of reading Making Sense of God. And I’m slowly cooking my way through Peláez & Silverman, The Cuban Table.

Next in the queue: Taunton, The Faith of Christopher Hitchens, and Gjelten, Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba. I read whatever I can find on Cuban history and culture.

What was the last book you left unfinished?

García’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. I was 150 pp. into the book when my wife stole it & read it. For the second time.

Is there a book you feel guilty for not reading?

Wallace, Infinite Jest, because I’ve started it four times, I think, but haven’t finished it yet.

Is there a book you wish you’d written?

I very strongly wish I could write poetry. Ideally something like Hopkins or Millay, but at this point I’d settle for any decent poetry at all. Maybe someday I’ll have a book of beautiful, thoughtful, readable poetry.

What was the last book you gave as a present?

I just sent Backhouse, Kierkegaard: A Single Life, to my friend, Claire.

Best biography you’ve ever read?

The one that impacted me the most was probably Edith Schaeffer, L’Abri.

What 5 books would you take to a desert island?

Potter, 3 Theories of Everything
This tiny book makes my brain think hard and well.

Reymond, A New Systematic Theology
He was a family friend growing up, so I was literally raised on this material. It’s a book I revisit often.

Hemingway, The Complete Short Stories
Best short stories ever written.

Anything by Rudyard Kipling
He’s just a fantastic storyteller. I especially love “The Man Who Would Be King.”

Wallace, Infinite Jest
Because it’s entertaining, and it would take me years to finally finish reading it.

What book has most frustrated you?

Probably what I’ve read by Richard Dawkins.

What is one book (apart from the Bible) you’d encourage every Christian to read?

Currently Wilbourne’s Union with Christ is pretty high on my list. It’s fantastic. Please read it!

How does reading fit into your life?
And what does your routine look like?

It’s far more haphazard than I’d like. When I’m reading well, it happens mostly in the morning and evening, as the day is starting and winding down. But I don’t often read well.

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Published inOn My Table