Category Archives: books

My 2012 Book Shelf

The 2012 Book List

In 2011, I don’t think I finished a single book completely. Maybe one or two. And as a former 5th grade Book-it! Champion, that just won’t do. So my goal this year is 12 books. One a month. Shouldn’t be very hard. So far I’m on schedule. Three books down, and I’m on schedule for April.

So, without much ado, here is my list of books that I intend to read in 2012. Enjoy.

  1. Fire in the Belly
  2. by Sam Keen.
    Finished in January. Amazing book.

  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
  4. Finished in time to catch the movie premiere! Awesome as well.

  5. The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield.
  6. Finished a few days ago. Life-changing. Thank you Jordan Rippy.

  7. Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger.
  8. About a hundred pages in. Whiny and narcissistic so far.

  9. The Money Answers Book by Dave Ramsey.
  10. Crazy Love by Francis Chan.
  11. Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster.
  12. All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren.
  13. Subversive Orthodoxy by  Robert Inchausti.
  14. Father Fiction by Donald Miller.
  15. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  16. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.
  17. This is a re-read for me. Gotta keep the focus on getting out of debt.

How is your progress on your 2012 reading? Get on it! I’ve gotten so much out of sticking to my reading so far this year.

But you don’t have to take MY word for it!

The 2010 Earle Awards

Presented by Drew Allen.

Better late than never.

Album of the Year

Kanye West: My Dark and Twisted Fantasy

Runner Up: The Roots: How I Got Over

This was a super tough call. I think that the emotio-moral dichotomy these two albums thematically represent is very reflective of the same dichotomy that existed in my life in 2010.

Film of the Year


Runner Up: Black Swan

SO many good movies came out this year, but in the end these were such all-encompassing experiences to Behold. The King’s Speech is definitely just behind these two for me.

New Artist of the Year

Mumford & Sons

Runner Up: The Black Keys

I think this is indicative of the rise of both meaning and groove in my musical tastes this year. Mumford is such a perfect sacred in secular example. Awesome.

TV Show of the Year

Mad Men

Runner Up: Community

Mad Men is a beautiful, dark, character-driven study of a broken man and his struggle to regain a sense of morality, purpose, and identity. Community is a uniquely written, simply hilarious look at a group of misfits learn to like and love each other. Both are amazing.

Author of the Year

Jeff Wilser

Runner Up: George Orwell

Maxims of Manhood was a great example of hilarity colliding with plain, good things that men should hear. And thanks to George, I’m afraid of my iPad.

Store of the Year


Runner Up: Publix

I’ve made the switch from a generally corrupt and uncaring big box store to a clean and more socially aware one. Plus, there’s nothing like having your own place to enjoy shopping at Publix all the more.

Man of the Year

Ricky Kendall

I don’t really feel the need to say too much here, as his songs speak so much better of him than I can. Authentic, honest, wise passion roaring from his heart, mind, voice and guitar.

Lifetime Achievement Earle:

George Clooney

No explanation necessary.

“He’s Just Not That Into You” or “If he’s not absolutely perfect, you deserve better.”

I wanted to really like this book. I really did.
The motive I think behind the writing of the book, was good and well-intentioned.
The target audience was women who think they are undate-able and terrible.
They need to be encouraged that they can find love, and don’t deserve to be mistreated.
I have no problem with a book that attempts to do that.

The problem is this: I would venture a guess that less than a third of the women who champion this book, need to live by it.

The rest of the women have taken away from this book the following:

1. All women are absolutely perfect.
2. As such, they deserve similar levels of perfection in all areas from man.
3. The instant a man makes ANY mistake at all, DUMP him, because you obviously deserve much better.

Some of the problems described are worth leaving over. He’s married. He’s abusive. He’s an alcoholic.

Others are ridiculous. So he called on Tuesday instead of Monday. He’s perfect in EVERY other way. And yet, for this one faux pas, he should be thrown away like garbage.

I don’t want to sound condescending or anything, but Men are not the only gender that have shortcomings.

Women aren’t perfect either. I know, shocking and controversial commentary. But it must be said.

Are women amazing? Often. Witty, Intelligent, Beautiful? Yep, Yep, Yep. Completely disarming with only a smile? All the time.

But without ANY flaws? Nope. No one is.

There’s this concept called Grace. It’s really swell. It’s actually a big component of Love.

But not according to this book. There is room for grace. Strict one-strike policies on ALL shortcomings.

It’s very discouraging to think that a whole generation of women found this book informative enough to make it a #1 best seller.

Try this maxim:

“He’s just not completely flawless, whether or not he is that into you; And to be fair, you’re not perfect either.”

Love is about loving and putting another person first and overlooking their shortcomings.

One decent book says “Love keeps no record of wrongs.” It’s a best-seller too.

This is one rare instance where the movie was, in fact, WAY better than the book.

On the first essay in “Love and Living” by Thomas Merton

Disclaimer: I don’t disagree with Merton, nor is this an attempt to bash him at all. Merely my thoughts on the essay…

He seemed to make two points…

First, He likens the university experience to a monastic one, and I would concur. He also talks about how those two experiences are more about self-discovery than learning things, which I also agree with… but he describes self-discovery using a LOT of vague ambiguous philosophical terms like, [my very loose example/paraphrasing]:

Finding yourself isn’t finding yourself but finding the self that finds your self, and really that’s God finding your self for you and that you don’t actually “live” until that moment occurs unless you would describe that moment as yourself discovering you, which negates the self-discovery. And the whole finding yourself thing is really a single spark, a single moment in time, [which i actually do disagree with; I feel it's a process]

Also, the whole success thing he touches on… He stresses that we should reject success, but fails to define it, really. It seems the idea of “success” that he is rejecting is that which was allegedly put forth by some of his university experience, which was to get a high-paying job and be seen as very important to society… which in most respects I agree is not important to pursue in one’s own life as success. However, “success” is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”, which paints a very apathetic view of life wherein he is intentionally “running away from any success” as
I believe he puts it. To work toward failing every aim or purpose you ever have in life. Keep in mind the unhealthy definition of success I described earlier, he really never mentions or gets into, only stressing that he doesn’t want and even avoids “success.” He also tries (poorly, I feel) to stress that he is not saying that his unsuccess idea is his way of undermining the success concept (“winning by refusing to keep score”). I guess he spends a lot of time stressing what seems to be a fairly recognized truth among anyone who would be reading his book anyway. That being, “success” in life should not be about this ambitious, capitalistic, self-aggrandizement.

It wasn’t bad. Just, for the verbosity he chose to use, I expected more truth.
I am confident his subsequent essays will have more to learn, love and live from/in them.