The BEST Book of 2009 by Bill Dahl - #1
I read about 100 books a year. 2009 was no exception. These are BEST books I read in 2009. Perhaps this section will assist you in selecting your next book. I hope so. I read EVERY word on EVERY page of the books I review. If I don't particularly care for a book, I don't review the book publicly, unless I make a unique exception. All my reviews should be on Amazon associated with the title.
# 1. Selmanovic, Samir It’s Really All About God – Reflections of a Muslim Atheist Jewish Christian, Published by Jossey-Bass – A Wiley Imprint, San Francisco, CA Copyright © 2009 by Samir Selmanovic.
Sorry --- this award for Samir Selmanovic's book is simply, well --- No book I read in 2009 even came close to the blessings contained in this work...Samir's story, message, heart and voice are treasures that I pray will infect you --- as they certainly have infected me. I am NOT going to go into a review here. Believe me -- trust me --- Buy this book, carry it with you in 2010, buy 6 for friends and colleagues, leave them in coffee shops and restaurants. Meditate on the truths that Samir shares.
Congratulations to Sheryl Fullerton and her staff at Jossey-Bass in San Francisco, CA for, once again, for identifying an important new voice with a fantastic story and deeply disruptive insights that invigrate our appetites for the God who yearns to reveal new dimensions of His love, mercy and grace to us. A Priceless Treasure!
This book made me glow!
What would hope say, after silently holding its breath?
The book begins with the following insight:
"Our children are looking at us, holding their breath in silence. Their unspoken accusations and mute hopes are not only about the physical environment of the world we are leaving them; they are also about the spiritual environment they are inheriting."
In this phenomenal work of the heart, Samir Selmanovic exhales and breathes life into words, capturing the essence of what millions have been silently hoping, holding their breath, unable to speak. This is a work of faith, as defined by Selmanovic; "to set one's heart on and forge a working relationship with a mystery."(p.270).
It is a profound invitation to reconciliation for all human kind. Samir weaves his own personal faith journey into the story that adds tremendous texture and legitimacy to the invitation he is extending. The writing is superb. The story-telling is tremendous. The prejudice piercing truths will rearrange the composition of your heart.
Over the past several years, my wife and I have had the opportunity to invite Muslim high school students from other countries to live with us here in our home for the school year. Our objective in doing so had nothing to do with proselytizing another. It was acting on a sense that perhaps "the other" might somehow change us. It was an act of opening our lives to embracing the living mystery of what God may have for us to learn, to grow, to understand, to change. Samir Selmanovic captures the essence of our experience when he writes: "When God visits us through the other, we are awakened and begin to feel what we could not feel before, we see what we could not see before, and we think what we could not think before. In the presence of the other, everything changes." (pp.260-261).
This book is an invitation to experience the beauty of celebrating this life God has bestowed upon us as a gift - together. It is call for action dedicated to intentionally discarding the illusions and breaching the artificial boundaries that continue to separate us from "them." It is a heart rendering summons to live the next dimension of human existence by embracing the beauty offered through how our faith persuasions "complement and illuminate one another." (p.XVII).
This book made me glow with hope - a fresh, new hope: A hope worth living.
My Top Book for 2009. Buy it. Bask in it.