What makes for a good book? I mean, what makes for a really good book?
You know there’s a difference — but have you ever been able to pinpoint what differentiates the good books from the really good books — for you?
- Is it the writing style of the author?
- Is it the way they incorporate personal stories?
- Or maybe it has to do with the level of research and statistical information that is included?
- Maybe it has to do with the author’s ability to help you as the reader to find yourself in the text? Or see why the subject matter actually matters?
- Or could it have to do with the book’s capacity for sharing practical life application?
Or maybe it’s something else all together.
You have probably guessed by now that I’m fishing for something — your help!
I’m in the process of working on my next book — and I would love to get your insight on how best to shape it.
This next book is geared towards students and inspired by Richard Foster’s quote:
In contemporary society our Adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry, and crowds. If he can keep us engaged in “muchness” and “manyness” he will rest satisfied.
Foster penned these words back in 1978, in his book Celebration of Discipline, but boy does it sound like he’s talking about our current North American culture. And even more so the North American college and university campus.
In addressing these issues of noise, hurry, crowds, and excess, I plan to introduce spiritual disciplines that I believe correspond directly: silence to noise, sabbath (or slowing) to hurry, solitude to crowds, and simplicity to “manyness” and “muchness.”
It will be a book on the spiritual formation of students — or how they (can) grow in their relationship with God.
But knowing that spiritual disciplines, and how they might be regularly practiced, are as foreign to most students as a language they’ve never even heard of, I want to provide some simple examples of how they might begin to engage these different disciplines in their everyday life. Think “stepping-stones.”
Beyond these few elements, however, I’m still trying to bring shape to how exactly this new book might look.
What are the elements that you have seen impact the lives of your students? What captures their attention and causes them to feel compelled to read on? What challenges the way that they think AND they way that they live their life?
As a person who works with, and invests in, the lives of college students — what would you hope to find in a book like this (as vaguely as I have defined it)?
Feel free to leave a comment or send me a message via Facebook or email.
Thanks in advance for any wisdom or insight you might offer!