I have three books still checked out from the Cincinnati library that I want to try to finish before I take off for Asbury. The first of these is God on the Quad
: How Religious Colleges and the Missionary Generation are Changing America, by Naomi Schaefer Riley. Riley describes her travels to several different religious (not just Christian) colleges in the US and the impact that these schools and their students are having on society. Obviously I find this particularly interesting as I am about to attend such a school. Colleges discussed in the book include (as far as I've read) Brigham Young University (Mormon), Bob Jones University (fundamentalist Christian), Notre Dame (Secular-ish Catholic), and Thomas Aquinas College (Orthodox Catholic). I understand that the next three chapters are on Jewish, Buddhist, and Baptist colleges. Riley herself is Jewish, but she does a very good job of presenting each school in an unbiased light. She notes both the schools' "extreme" aspects and the positive effects of their unique environments. Surprisingly (to me) I have found that Thomas Aquinas is the school that intrigues me the most. If I were Catholic and the school were not so far away, I may have looked into going there. (As it is, one would have to pay me an awful lot of money to get me to go anywhere besides Asbury.) The final chapters of the book are more specifically about the effects of religious schools on this country. I am looking forward to reading Riley's overall assessment.
The second book I picked up is The Barbarian Way
: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within, by Erwin Raphael McManus. I reserved it at the library after hearing someone raving about it, but I had to wait for it so long that I now cannot remember who. I have a general aversion to most 'Christian living' sort of books and devotionals (one notable exception being My Utmost for His Highest
, by Oswald Chambers), but every now and then I find one that I like. Hopefully this will be one of them.
The third book, Night
, by Elie Weisel, I picked up on a whim after seeing it mentioned in several different places. When I looked at it I discovered that its sudden popularity is thanks to the help of Oprah, who named it as one of her book club books. The Holocaust has always interested me and I was particularly intrigued after reading an excerpt describing a man playing a Beethoven concerto on his violin as he died. I was going to post a link to that passage, but I can't seem to find it again.
Nine days, three books, little reading time...