Earbud Lit: How audio makes familiar books strange

Originally posted on The Stake:

by Forest Lewis

One summer I listened to Moby Dick five times in a row. At only twenty-one and a half hours long, I could finish it over the course of about three working days. Concluding those five times through, however, I had reached my Moby Dick saturation point. I knew Moby Dick backwards and forwards and was tired of it. With supercilious fatigue I thought to myself: all right, Melville, I get it, you have nothing new to say to me, I will never listen to this book again. Then I happened to open the physical book to a random chapter and read it to myself. The performer’s voice still haunted certain turns of phrase, but as I read it I found that I was reading a new book—the words bloomed into an un-familiar sense and Moby Dick was once again strange. Why is this?mobydickcover

Frank Muller performs this…

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Debbie Blue Reading from Consider the Birds Tonight

Friday, Sept 13, 7pm at Groundswell Coffee House (corner of Thomas and Hamline in St. Paul)

My co-pastor at House of Mercy is reading from her new book tonight. There will be live music from the Bird Songs CD (all songs inspired by Debbie’s book) and the captivating wood cut prints created for the book will be on display (and for sale). You could walk out of that coffee shop tonight with a deep sense of contentment, having just heard provocative and longed for words, in your heart, a song on your lips and a Signed Book, New CD and a Framed Print.
I’ll be on the left side, come over and say hi.

Celebrate the release of Debbie’s new book Consider the Birds, A Provocative Guide to the Bible (check out this interview) and House of Mercy Recordings Bird Songs CD.

Live music from Professor Page Burkum, Brett Larson, Angel Sanchez, Dewi Sant, Jon Rodine, Doug Trail Johnson and Johnny hermanson. Jim Larson’s woodcuts from the book will be on display (and for sale). Great food, coffee, beer and wine. Oh and Debbie will be reading from her book! Not to be missed.

“a singular work of devotion and beauty that will make you fall in love with that which you may have never bothered to notice before. I cannot recommend it highly enough.” (Nadia Bolz-Weber, author Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint)


From Publishers Weekly

Blue, founding minister of the emergent congregation House of Mercy in St. Paul, enjoys a reputation for interpreting the Bible in new ways (From Stone to Living Word: Letting the Bible Live Again). Just as the subtitle promises, she takes a provocative look at ten birds mentioned in Scripture. She combines meticulous research, personal experiences, biblical passages, and humor to challenge and broaden our understanding of our relationships with God and the life lessons to be learned from paying attention to our feathered friends. Realizing the negative connotation associated when we think of vultures, for example, might just get us thinking about how we apply labels to fellow human beings. Considering the cock leads to a discussion of competition and politics; the pelican’s symbolism segues into concern for the environment. In fact, birds can be found anywhere, much like God’s grace, Blue says. This in-depth exploration of the creatures that figure so predominantly in the Bible and in various cultures throughout the world is sure to delight bird watchers. It might ruffle the feathers of those who don’t care about the sexual habits of the ostrich or pigeon, however.



On the Road Out West with Rex

On the Road Out West with Rex

On the Road Out West with Rex

On the Road Out West with Rex 2

On The Road Out West with Rex

On The Road Out West with Rex 1

Headin’ out to the West Coast….

A sizable bit of my sabbatical will be spent on the West Coast. I will drive out to Portland, where I will hole up in my parents spare bedroom and write, while Sally and Rex (15 and 11) will master the Max and the bike paths, wait in line at Voodoo Donuts, and pinball between countless food carts and thrift stores. My bride, Mary, must stay behind earn money–thankfully her nephew, Andrew, who just came back from his second tour in Afghanistan, will be staying at the house to keep her company while we are gone.

It is about a search for the possibility of a real connection to each other, to God, to our environment as a way to find ourselves –Google Search


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