If anything demonstrates just how poor a reader I am, it would have to be the dichotomy of how much I have enjoyed these books vs. how long it has taken me to read them.
Well over a year.
I mean it's not as if I've spent some of that time on the other side of the world is it? Well obviously I have, but I took volume one with me, specifically to finish reading it.
And these are both even really really easy books to read. They're compilations of various short quirky articles that vicar Jeff Lucas has written over the years about instances in his life that, for whatever reason, are genuinely interesting. Usually that reason has a lot to do with being funny. So with the best part of a hundred of these things, you would have thought that I could just take the easy way out and read one a day.
Alas, I had no free slot in my day for reading. Funnily enough my Bible-reading has suffered a lot in the last year too…
So in the end I mainly read book one in just a few sizeable chunks. This obviously worked well enough that I eventually made it to the end of the book, however I do think that I did most pieces a disservice by diluting them so. Early on there are even several items that retell the same events, which stands out when you're reading them together, and makes you wonder why they haven't been redacted together.
This year I've read book two, and taken my own advice by generally making it a daily activity. Most stories in here are hugely involving, and Jeff clearly has an axe to grind about what what he sees as religious extremism. Anecdote after anecdote berates certain brands of Christianity for losing sight of God, and the freedom that he proffers in its place is nothing short of inspiring.
Towards the end, both books become a bit serious. The final few entries of book one (admittedly therefore the ones most prominent in my mind as I type this) are powerful witnesses to God's interest in Jeff's life, and as such offer the sort of encouragement that I think all Christians wish they heard a bit more often. By comparison, the final few entries of book two are more teaching orientated, and as such found it harder to hook me.
I'd like to quote a few examples of the sort of thing that the bulk of these books contain, but to do that I might just have to spend next year reading them all over again.
Which probably wouldn't be such a bad thing…
Book one is available here.
Book two is significantly harder to track down. I guess they shouldn't have reused the same cover. :)