Book to Book

First I read A.J. Jacobs’ The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, just a seemingly random selection John picked up at the airport.

Next was The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University. Unlikely author Kevin Roose was Jacobs’ intern in Living Biblically, and the two books cross-reference each other kinda — Roose is mentioned in Living Biblically and Jacobs’ review is quoted on the cover of Unlikely Disciple.

When writing my blog post about Unlikely Disciple I looked around on Roose’s blog. In an old blog post from 2009 Roose mentioned the blog Stuff Christians Like was giving away copies of Unlikely. I followed the link to SCL and very much enjoyed the posts there — humorous and light but very spot-on with truth. In addition to adding SCL to my Google Reader I started following on Twitter the man behind SCL, Jon Acuff, aka @prodigaljohn. And some days his tweets are just what I need, especially his takes on the psalms.

The book Stuff Christians Like comes out in April, and I like the blog and the tweets enough that I’m sure I’ll like the book. I’ve pre-ordered it to be delivered to my Kindle. Around this time it struck me that I was bouncing from book to book with one book leading me to the next. Hmmm. Living Bibically lead me to Unlikely and now Unlikely had lead me to SCL. I wonder where this goes next.

It goes to Hear No Evil, as it turns out. On SCL a while back Acuff mentioned Matthew Paul Turner’s blog Jesus Needs New PR and his new book Hear No Evil. Cool, I thought, this book thing has kinda taken on a life of it’s own. This could be fun to follow it wherever it goes. So I ordered Hear No Evil (on my Kindle) and started reading it this past week when it came out.

So what next? What book will Hear No Evil lead me to?

Well, a few weeks ago another blog I follow posted a link to Read It Forward for a chance to get a free book. I followed the link, read the descriptions of the books and chose Secrets of Eden as the one that, of the five, sounded most interesting and best suited for me. I didn’t think too much on it. It was going to be a free book so if I didn’t like it I could just donate it to the lunchroom library at work. It didn’t matter because I didn’t win. I received a polite email saying thanks, try again next time. Ok.

The following week I got an email from Amazon about new books coming soon on Kindle, and scanning the list I recognized the cover of Secrets of Eden as the book I didn’t win. Oh, so sad, right. Thanks, Amazon, for reminding me of the book I didn‘t win.

So this week, in the Visual Bookshelf app on Facebook I changed my “now reading” title to Hear No Evil, and as it was saving my update it pulled up one of those “If you like this book you may look this book” suggestions. And the book that was there? You guessed it. Secrets of Eden.


Year of Living Biblically
Unlikely Disciple
Stuff Christians Like
Hear No Evil
Secrets of Eden

And that’s as far as the chain has gone (so far). This may be the end, it may all be coincidence. But kinda cool, don’tcha think?


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