Each week (give or take one or two here and there) I share three things I like – It could be a book, a movie, a podcast, an album, a photo, an article, a restaurant, a food item, a beverage, or anything else I simply enjoy and think you might too. You can find a whole pile of things, especially books, I like and recommend HERE.
I think I have a new favorite shoe brand. Yes, they’re popular. Yes, they’re green and eco-friendly. Yes, their ads pop up in your instagram feed all the time. And none of that matters to me at all. Allbirds are unbelievably comfortable, almost like slippers you can wear in public with dignity. They’re good for active people or business casual people. They breathe well enough you don’t even need to wear socks yet at the same time they are warm and relatively water repellent, unlike any other sporty shoes I’ve encountered. I have two pairs, and only massive, incredibly impressive self-control stops me from buying more.
Sometimes a friend start podcasts and you wish them well and share it on social media and then never listen because it’s just not for you. Other times a friend starts a podcast and three episodes in it rises to the top of your “Why Don’t They Release Episodes More Often???” rankings. Uncommontary is in the latter category. Marty Duren, the host, and I worked together for about five years and became friends. I learned quickly to respect his curiosity and cultural insights to appreciate his dry understated wit, and to go to him for book recommendations. He brings all that to bear wonderfully in this podcast through conversations with guests Kevin Kruse, Qasim Rashid, and Karen Swallow-Prior (so far). He asks excellent questions and builds good rapport with his guests so their expertise and personalities shine. And they are experts. I soaked so much historical, cultural, religious, and literary knowledge in the first 3 episodes. For curious people eager to learn this podcast promises to be a goldmine.
3. Two Funerals, Then Easter by Rachel Joy Welcher
I occasionally get asked to endorse books, and it’s not hard to find things to praise about most of them. But it’s a rare thing when I get asked to endorse a book and instead of finding things to praise I have to remind myself an endorsement has to be kept short. Two Funerals, Then Easter was that kind of book. It’s a collection of poems that it stunning in its honesty, simplicity, depth, artistry, craft, and truthfulness – all of which are key ingredients to the poems I resonate with most. And resonate I did. I made the mistake of opening this book at my daughter’s swim meet. Opening it wasn’t a mistake—quite the opposite—but doing so when I wasn’t in a place to sit and think and feel and grieve and hope was. Rachel’s poems draw all that from me – mind and soul. They’re beautifully crafted and beautifully true and are portraits of feeling and place and people and God – the stuff of real, true life.