Welcome! We’re glad you’ve joined us to discuss all things books. Here and in the Facebook group (click the button on the right and we’ll add you) we love to make a cuppa and talk about the latest books we’ve read – why we liked them, what we gained, or why we wanted to throw them across the room in disgust.

Each month in the magazine, I choose a book or two and tell you how they captured me. I also interview a Christian author about their love of books. And I choose five top reviews from you – and those women receive complimentary copies of my selection and the latest book from the author I interview.

Join in and let us know what you’re reading. We benefit from the lively banter and interchanges. And come on over to our Facebook group, where along with our discussions we often have extra book giveaways.

I look forward to hearing what you’re reading!

Amy Boucher Pye

This month I'm reading ...

The Wired Soul by Tricia McCary Rhodes
(NavPress, ISBN 978-1631465123)

Recently I finished a novel that a couple of friends adored. When I checked out the online reviews, I read one in a national newspaper saying it’s “easily one of the best books written so far this century.” I wondered if we’d read the same book, for I skimmed large swathes of it in boredom, wondering what would happen next. As I considered the difference in opinion, I mused that reviews are subjective. And that any review (or book!) I write will not meet with universal agreement – and that’s okay.

In terms of this month’s review, The Wired Soul, did you know that neuroscientists have discovered that our brains are plastic, that they can change? Actions that we repeat create neural pathways in our brain, meaning that we form habits that we follow unconsciously. For instance, ever find yourself scoffing a handful of crisps and not remembering that you’d even eaten them?

Tricia Rhodes knows that our technological lives are not going away – we spend increasing amounts of time in front of various electronic devices. As a result of surfing and clicking and liking, our brains are being shaped and morphed as our attention spans decrease. She says that many experts believe that the way we interact online hampers our ability to reflect and think deeply. But the plasticity of our brains isn’t all bad – we can make good habits and incorporate the spiritual disciplines into our technological lives. How to do so is the focus of her book.

She uses the four steps of lectio divina, an ancient form of sacred reading, to explore how we can incorporate spiritual practices into our lives, including our online life. Through them she explores various ways of being present in our lives, and to God – through reading prayerfully, meditating on the words of Scripture, hearing God through our reading, learning to refocus our attention, and intentionally becoming prayerful when engaging online.

I found her writing thought-provoking, especially as one who loves interacting with people on social media. I agree with her about the dangers surrounding technology, and how we can get addicted to the buzz of lots of ‘likes’ on our posts, but I wish she would have included more about the positive benefits we can find online. For instance, I have developed deep friendships online, especially in small groups where we share our hopes, fears, frustrations and joys.

But she has much of value to say, and I especially liked her exercises at the end of each chapter for how to take what she was saying and incorporate it into our lives.

Depending on how much you love technology, one to read and consider – or one to give to your nearest digital native.

What are YOU reading? Tell us!

See the magazine for reader reviews and our author interview

CPO - Inspire magazine
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