Monday, March 4, 2013

Book reading update

It's been months since I've updated the "What I'm reading" Amazon widget off to the right, so I'm setting about doing that today and I'll make a few comments here.

First, I finally finished reading Chris Marshall's excellent book, Compassionate Justice: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue with Two Gospel Parables on Law, Crime, and Restorative Justice. In some ways it was the perfect book for me, blending my "theology and peacebuilding/restorative justice" background from grad school. Late last week I submitted my book review to the reviews editor at Political Theology, so that won't see the light of day in published form until late this year or early next. But there was so much richness in the book that a 999 word review couldn't cover, I'll likely draw on it in coming months in a variety of ways.

Next, even though it's been listed to the right, I haven't opened it since last fall - but I'm getting started again on Michelle Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. I'll be reviewing this book for Brethren Life and Thought, but it's also been high on my list because of the splash its making in restorative justice circles. The critique she offers of the current criminal justice system in the US has a high degree of relevance for RJ practitioners working in and around the criminal justice system in this country. I'm only a chapter or two in, but the historical narrative she offers on the institutional forms of racism in this country is compelling.

Finally, I've realized that I need to read way more fiction that I had through my four years of grad school. When I was finishing my undergrad in English the few years before that, I had a mountain of novels I was reading regularly, and I miss that. So per some recommendations from a lit nerd friend of mine, I just got in the mail Freedom by Jonathan Franzen and Zone One by Colson Whitehead. They might have to sit on the shelf for a bit as I finish nerd fiction piece, Lucky Wander Boy, which had been on my wish list since 2003! On the nonfiction front, I also received in the mail D.T. Max's new biography of David Foster Wallace, Every Love Story is a Ghost Story - which I've heard is fantastic.

What books have y'all been into lately? Academic, fiction, nonfiction, or otherwise?

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