#4–Hunting Magic Eels by Richard Beck–2021 Best Reads

No book was better at giving voice to things I was feeling about our contemporary landscape than Richard Beck’s Hunting Magic Eels. The title was catchy, referring to an ancient Welsh pilgrimage site that featured prophetic eels who could predict the prospects of your love life. But the whole book worked a kind of magic.

Beck writes to help us rediscover an “enchanted” faith in a world that is starved for something beyond ourselves. He effectively describes our current fascination with prescriptive political moralities on the left and right and how dulling and deadly such a fascination is. He plots a course back by outlining an inchoate “Ache” that sits in the place where our sense of God’s presence used to be.

I have been giving this book to everyone this year. I think it makes an accessible guide to the essential work of ministry in these days. It’s also a balm for folks who otherwise might believe they’re going crazy along with the rest of the world.

Read my full review here.

#5 — A Burning in My Bones by Winn Collier

#6 — The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr

#7 — Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry by Ted Loose & Jim Harrison

#8 — Saint Agnostica by Anya Krugovoy Silver

#9 — Across the Airless Wilds by Earl Swift

#10 — On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed

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