What I’m reading just now

Photograph of my Currently Reading bookshelf
Photograph of my “Currently Reading” bookshelf.

In my study I have a bookshelf dedicated to what I’m currently reading, or what’s up next. One of my problems is that I tend to have numerous books on the go at the same time. Some books are things that I’m referencing only a couple of chapters from, or are books that I keep coming back to; others I start because I need the background on something quickly; while still others I want to read just for the pleasure of it. At the moment I’m focusing on simply finishing a couple of books before I get started on any others.

You may be able to make out from the photograph that there are thirteen books there, currently. A mixture of Christian prayer, spirituality and mission interspersed with books about Information Technology.

Here’s a quick jaunt through the books there just now, from left to right:

  • Celebrating Common Prayer — This is the order of daily prayer from the Society of St Francis which I use every day. Okay, most days!
  • Orthodox Prayer Life by Matthew the Poor — A wonderful collection of writings and thoughts about prayer. It’s the kind of book that I dip in and out of rather than read in a systematic manner.
  • Sabbatical Journey by Henri J. Nouwen — This is is taken from Nouwen’s journal during a year’s sabbatical he took not long before he died. I usually read a day’s entry at Morning Prayer.
  • The Inner Christ by John Main — A book that sat on my shelves unread for about five years until recommended by my Spiritual Director. It is a wonderful introduction to silent prayer and meditation. A lovely, lovely book.
  • A Churchless Faith by Alan Jamieson — Investigation into why Christians leave the Church which reveals that a good number leave the established Church not because they have lost their faith but to save their faith! Essential reading.
  • Tentmaking: Perspectives on Self-Supporting Ministry edited by James M M Francis and Leslie J Francis — “essential reading for all those concerned with the development of non-stipendiary ministry, ministers in secular employment, and local ministry.” No prizes on guessing why I might be reading this!
  • You’re an Angel: Being Yourself and Sharing Your Faith by Peter Neilson & David Currie — my father-in-law’s latest book about how to share your faith in everyday situations.
  • Information Architecture for the World Wide Web by Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville– Yet another superb book published by O’Reilly. I can see this one being used a great deal more in the next few years!
  • Beyond Bullet Points by Cliff Atkinson — A great introduction to unlocking the potential for PowerPoint using more imaginative ways than simply relying on templates littered with duller than dull bullet-points. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who has to use PowerPoint.
  • Web ReDesign 2.0: Workflow That Works by Kelly Goto and Emily Cotler — Another reference book that I keep coming back that outlines the most effective and efficient way of planning websites. I can see this coming in handy too in the next couple of years.
  • Microsoft Office Project 2003 Inside Out by T. Stover — Having found that the equivalent Step by Step series title was like trying to become an expert on London by just having done a tourist sight-seeing tour by bus, I spent my £10 Borders voucher on this mighty tome. This is my kind of reference manual.
  • Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill — A fascinating insight into how men and women differ when shopping, and how best to arrange shopping layouts to acheive maximum selling potential. While this refers to real-life bricks-and-mortar stores it also has implications for our online shopping experiences too.
  • Weaving The Web: Origins and Future of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee — I wish I’d read this sooner. It gives a fascinating insight into how and why TBL invented the World Wide Web in 1989. But more than a simple history TBL also shares some of his hopes for the future of the Web. Exciting stuff, and only two chapters to go…

… and I daren’t even list the books sitting on my To Read After My Currently Reading Shelf Has Been Cleared shelf!

Owen in hospital again, please pray

Baby Owen asleep in Gareth\'s arms

Dear lovely praying people of the internet, please could I ask you to pray once again for my brother’s son Owen, as well as Rebecca and Eddie.

Last night we got a telephone call from my Mum to say that Owen was rushed into the Sick Kids hospital by ambulance having had breathing troubles after which he turned very pale and then blue.

We got praying straight away and began texting other friends and members of the family to get them praying too. Mum kept us up-to-date with goings on.

At about 03:00 am Jane woke with a start as a text message came in from Eddie to say that Owen had bronchiolitis caused by a Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), that he was on oxygen and lots of TLC and would probably remain in hospital for a few days yet.

I looked up RSV on the internet, when I realised that it didn’t mean Revised Standard Version. Here’s what a US site called Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says:

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia among infants and children under 1 year of age. Illness begins most frequently with fever, runny nose, cough, and sometimes wheezing. During their first RSV infection, between 25% and 40% of infants and young children have signs or symptoms of bronchiolitis or pneumonia, and 0.5% to 2% require hospitalization. Most children recover from illness in 8 to 15 days. The majority of children hospitalized for RSV infection are under 6 months of age.

All of which makes sense. Owen has had a cold for a couple of days, which he seemed to be fighting quite well, but bless him it obviously got too much for him. He’s in the best place just now and we’ll keep praying for him and his lovely parents Rebecca and Eddie.