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49 Responses

  1. Duane Arnold says:


    ‘The Gospel and the Catholic Church’ by AM Ramsey

    ‘Sound Pictures: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, The Later Years, 1966-2016’ by Kenneth Womack

    The Book of Common Prayer (1928)

    TV Shows

    Netflix – ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

    Netflix – ‘Bobby Kennedy for President’ (four part documentary)


    ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (forget the critics and have fun…)


    The Beatles, ‘The White Album’ Super Deluxe – 6 CDs, 1DVD

    Lake Street Dive, ‘Free Yourself Up’ (‘Good Kisser’ is outstanding)

  2. Michael says:

    Good list, Duane…a couple of those books would be on my list… 🙂

    I think the whole country should read “Fear” by Bob Woodward…

    While I’m at it I want to do another plug for these online sites that give you free access to books, audiobooks, music, and some movies with your local library card.

  3. Paige says:

    We don’t watch ANY television or movies. Only our cats watch Cat Games on YouTube. IMV, network television, particularly the news, are The Source of much of the angst, fear and division in both society and personal lives. Movies too. They lead to a distorted perspective of life and a continual sense of dissatisfaction.
    We particularly avoid the political sewer–both sides–as IMV it’s entirely poisonous. Our hope is in the Lord and His Sovereign Government & Savior.

    For music, my husband listens to European techno while working (IT programmer), and old time radio shows while working in his shop or driving. I listen to calming piano while working (as a massage therapist), techno while exercising and praise music in the car while driving.

    We are doing a Read The Bible In One Year together, nightly in addition to my every day reading of Psalms, Proverbs and Gospels…. staying ‘grounded’ in the Word, my deepest love and anchor in life. The Only Hope.

    My husband reads books on programming and antique radio schematics. A Nerd.

    We go outdoors daily to ‘read’ the ‘other Bible” for inspiration to worship God.
    I listen to podcast sermons of my beloved young preacher ‘sons’ in the Lord. I love their zeal and dedication to their ministry and the Lord. I’m their spiritual mom, and continually remind them to not let the church usurp home life. I’m a poster child for what can happen if they don’t. So proud of them. So proud of them.

  4. Dan from Georgia says:

    My recommendations (pick what you like, leave the rest, as they say)…

    Movies: looking forward to seeing “Bohemian Rhapsody”…being the life-long Queen fan that I am. I love older classics, so of course I recommend Casablanca and Gone With The Wind. I also love some musicals, of which one of my favorites is the 1945 version of State Fair.

    Music: I listen to hard rock/metal and trance quite a bit…for uplifting trance I recommend Aly and Fila and Solarstone. I listed to Megadeth and Blue Murder a lot while pushing weights in the gym. For something more light, earthy, and accessable, my wife and I love and recommend a singer named Yuna…kind of a mix of pop and “singer-songwriter” vibe. And I always recommend Gordon Lightfoot.

    Books: Looking forward to reading “Art and Fear” by ???….as an artist who put down his brushes some time ago I think I need this. My most common reads are Art and Science books…not art criticism books or general/light science books.

    TV: I don’t watch TV other than catching Vikings and Twins games at the local Sports Bar/Restaurants.

  5. Dan from Georgia says:

    I know I probably will have to surrender my Good Evangelical Christian card with a few of those recommendations, but I gave up trying to please some people long ago.

  6. Michael says:


    Whenever we do this we find that folks have very eclectic tastes…

  7. Josh The Baptist says:

    Music – Lake Street Dive is good (Duane is right 🙂 ) Marc Broussard and Mike Farris both put out absolute classics this year in the old school soul vibe. Lauren Daigle may have put out the best CCM album…ever. Florence and the Machine have a new one out that I’ve been liking so far too. John Mark McMillan put out an interesting record, but its a little hit and miss. I’m sure there’s some great stuff I’m forgetting.

    Movies – Spiderman into the Spiderverse was better than I imagined. I wasn’t bored for one second watching that movie, which is rare.

    TV – Ehh, nothing really.

    Books – Mostly read stuff for seminary, and most people don’t want to read that stuff. Been reading lots of CS Lewis stuff again. Have skimmed back through Experiencing God recently, and have re-read Ragamuffin Gospel 2 or 3 times this year.

  8. Em says:

    My list of books would be banned here. LOL
    TV? My attention span is too short and most of the commercials agitate me.
    But i decompress watching the Dutch vet Dr. Pol and crew or Highway thru Hell… ?
    Movies? It is an hour’s drive in to town , so…
    Music? Totally mood, cd and car radio dependent

  9. Rick says:

    Book: Love Big, Be Well, Letters To A Small Town Church by Winn Collier.

    The conversational nature of authentic Christian community is expressed beautifully.

  10. Xenia says:

    Books: Working through The History of Middle Earth, 12 volumes, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

    Reading through a chronological Bible.

    Stuff for school.

    TV: Great British Bake-Off
    Working through all Star Treks; currently in Voyager.

    Favorite TV show of all time: Lost

    Movies: No recent movies. If it doesn’t haves elves or Vulcans I’m not interested.

  11. Xenia says:

    Music: Celtic ballads & jigs, Old Church Slavonic hymns.

  12. Xenia says:

    To add to Michael’s freebie suggestions, I love which offers readings of zillions of older books. I belong to a Dickens book club and if I don’t get to the month’s assignment in time, I listen to it.

  13. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    TV = Wheel of Fortune & Jeopardy & old comedies. Currently going through The Odd Couple. Waiting for the next season of Bosch on Amazon Prime.

    Books = rereading my Perry Mason books – I have 60. I also read westerns and baseball biographies.

    Movies = only saw one this year – A Star is Born. I now love Lady Gaga.

    Music = I like Queen, the Bee Gees, and Showtunes.

  14. Duane Arnold says:


    Whoa! The 12 volume set! I’ve thought about it, but not sure I have the courage! ?

  15. Jean says:

    I began the New Year for the sixth straight year, reading through the Bible using the Canonical plan. It’s about 4 chapters per day; I highly recommend it for every Christian. In order to set yourself up for success in completing the plan, I recommend getting a translation that matches your reading level and a font size that matches your eyesight. If you are technological, YouVersion offers plans for free that come with a daily reminder. Remember, blessed is the man who delights in the Word of God.

    I am reading for the third time through Martin Luther’s Commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. This time, I’m reading it as a devotional. Haroldo Camacho’s 2018 translation is superb. He brings Luther’s seminary lectures right into your living room in contemporary English.

    I read last year and plan to re-read this year, Luther’s The Bondage of the Will, translated by J. I. Packer and O. R. Johnston. I highly recommend this book for any anyone having questions about the nature of grace, the free will, and/or the sovereignty of God. In this book, Luther takes on no less than Desiderius Erasmus, a humanist and arguably the greatest scholar and rhetorician of that period in Europe. Unfortunately for Erasmus, in Luther, he more than met his match.

    I am currently looking for the best translation and format of Luther’s lectures on Genesis. The last years of Luther’s life were spent lecturing through Genesis. The themes in Genesis are of great interest, and I look forward to reading Luther’s exposition of this book.

  16. BrianD says:

    What books are you reading or have recently read that we you think we all should read?
    –I second Michael’s recommendation of the Woodward book on Trump.
    I’m also slowly working my way through all of the Star Trek-verse novels, set after the Nemesis movie.
    I am interested in taking up DDP Yoga to help myself get back in shape, and increase flexibility and strength, so I’m reading a book called Yoga For Regular Guys by the founder of DDP Yoga (Diamond Dallas Page) to get caught up on the basics.
    I’m looking for a good introductory book to Shakespeare. I want to learn about the Bard’s works and learn to appreciate them. I hope it’s not an acquired taste.

    TV Shows we all should watch?
    –I’m waiting for the new season of Star Trek: Discovery which I think starts next week. Not a lot of TV, not even sports (too much time committment). I’ve been working my way slowly through Babylon 5, Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: The Next Generation and…
    …Monty Python.
    I’m saving NCIS, NCIS LA, NCIS NOLA, Magnum PI (remake, which the first few episodes were pretty good), Hawaii FIve O (really good), The Orville, etc. for the spring and summer.
    I need to finish Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime and Luke Cage on Netflix. Bosch and Man in the High Castle on Amazon Prime were excellent.

    Movies we all should see?
    Bohemian Rhapsody was pretty good. Aquaman was really good: it started out slowly and ended with a bang; it’s basically an introduction to the character, his origin and how he becomes King of the Seas.
    If you are interested in Woodward’s Fear book, I endorse Vice. Christian Bale is fantastic as Cheney, and it has some good insights on Cheney’s views on the Presidency as an entity that can project power without the Constitutional checks and balances from the other branches and without any real accountability to the people.

    Music we should listen to?
    CCM 🙂
    My Spotify playlist is packed with the best hits of the late 70s, the ’80s and a few hits from the ’90s and the ’00s.

    How about the same stuff we should avoid?
    –WWE. Boring, mind-numbing, corporate bastardization of professional wrestling.

  17. Michael says:

    I’m coercing Trey to go to Aquaman with me…I’ll wait until Vice is on streaming…

  18. Dan from Georgia says:


    -1000pts for the DDP mention! Never thought I would see Diamond Dallas Page’s name on this blog…I respect him alot…he’s helped out many wrestlers deal with drug and alcohol abuse problems.

  19. Dan from Georgia says:


    I really like this blog post because it is putting more humanity on all of us…getting to know each other and realizing that we are all human and have some simple (or not so simple) likes, dislikes, passions, novelties, etc…and it makes each of us look less like blank, empty, faceless people who occasionally shout at each other across the interwebs on this blog!

  20. Michael says:


    We used to do stuff like this often…it does help people understand each other and relate to each other.
    We’ll do it again, soon.

  21. The New Victor says:

    Spiderverse was really good, a fitting tribute to Stan Lee. I took my kids to see it. I liked the Spiderman Noir voiced by Nic Cage. I didnt think I’d like it. They didn’t want to see Mary Poppins, though I wanted to. They hasnt seen the original, thus not having context.

    I really liked Bumblebee. It’s what the other transformers movies should have been. The coming of age story wasn’t eclipsed by the robots, it felt like an 80s movie (great soundtrack!), and they didn’t sex up the actress (though the character was 18) unlike the Bay movies.

    As for books… I plow through military sci-fi thrillers as my guilty pleasure rather than watching tv. Nothing to recommend to this crowd.

    We celebrated Posadas this week, 3 Kings in Mexican culture. My son got one of the figurines when he cut the Posadas pastry. I picked him up from school later in the week. I noticed he had the figurine and I asked him about it. He told me, “I like to carry it because it reminds me that Jesus is always with me.” So thumbs up to my son, turning 9 in two weeks.

  22. Book: What if Jesus Meant what He Said? by Nate Bramsen

    Music: David Bowie box set Loving the Alien

    Movie: Planning to see “Glass” tomorrow.

    TV: Better Call Saul

  23. Matthew says:

    I’m reading “The Sermon on the Mount”, Martin Lloyd Jones sermons on the topic, and I’m enjoying it very much.

    “Silence: A User’s Guide Vol.1 — Process” by Maggie Ross. Interesting and complex, a slow read. I find it fascinating how “mindfulness” and silence are being written about, it’s as if a counter-revolution of media is taking place.

    For music, I’ve become entrance by Miles Davis “Electric Years” of the 1960’s, exciting stuff!

  24. Josh The Baptist says:

    Matthew – Miles Electric stuff is the best! Purely brilliant!

    Forgot that I’ve been reading 1984 in my break. Never read it before. Cool book.

  25. bob1 says:

    Book: Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance by
    Reggie Williams

    Music: The Essential Paul Simon

  26. Michael says:

    Books: Fear by Bob Woodward
    Empire of Illusion by Chris hedges
    Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall
    Assorted Anglican studies
    Assorted comic books

    Music: Jerry Lee Lewis and country music and blues pre 1990.
    I’m sure there’s new stuff out there, but I don’t care.

    Movies: Trying to get to Aquaman…

    TV: I’d rather have hives…

    Podcasts: The RFK Tapes.
    Football stuff on The Ringer…

  27. Josh The Baptist says:

    I have listened to a lot of podcasts this year. Forgot about those. Crimetown is really good.

  28. Michael says:


    The guys from Crimetown did the RFK Tapes…which was amazing…

  29. Josh The Baptist says:

    Will definitely check it out!

  30. Outside T. Fold says:

    Currently reading:
    Waging Nonviolent Struggle (20th Century Practice and 21st Century Potential) by Gene Sharp
    (includes 20+ nonviolent struggles, worldwide, in the 20th c, + analysis)

    Written by Herself, Vol II, Jill Ker Conway, Editor
    (an anthology of women’s memoirs from Britain, Africa, Asia and the U.S.)

    My 2019 Reads:
    • Just arrived: Gandhi Autobiography, Gandhi Reader
    • Ordered, awaiting for:
    Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? by Martin L. King, Jr.

    Previously read: Good and Mad, by Rebecca Traister.

    Escape reads: Jane Austen. I am excessively diverted by her stories.

    Movies (Documentary) A Force More Powerful.
    Available on YouTube (ICNC site).
    Ep 1 has stories of Indian Independence, Nashville Sit-Ins, South African freedom struggle. Ep 2 has WW2 Denmark resistance vs Nazis, Polish Solidarity movement, Chilean peaceful overthrow of dictator.

    • Echo Great British Bake Off recommendations.
    • Civilizations (was on PBS, now on Netflix). The end of Ep 1 was devastating; saw it last month just as the news came out about death of 7 year old Jackeline Caal, the Mayan girl who died in custody of the U.S. Border Patrol.
    • Oh, and “The Ascent of Woman” It also has that grand historical sweep similar to Civilizations, featuring women in history.
    • Just watched and loved “Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story.” Delightful story of a married couple that worked (and thrived!) in Hollywood. He: Storyboard artist, She: Film Research Librarian.

  31. McGarrett says:

    Books: Killing Kennedy, as the “innocence of hope”, or whatever you want to call it, died, IMO, on Nov 22, 1963.

    Music: My wife and I love everything from Beethoven (slows down my Adult ADD, and allows me to think with some clarity), Instrumental Praise Music, Jack Johnson, Eagles, Cecilio and Kapono.

    Movies: Anything Clint Eastwood, as we will not dole out bling bling for most of the trash which Hollywood produces. Mole is good, but nothing like a round of “Dirty Harry” movies.

    TV: Hawaii Five O, Deal or No Deal: Was concerned that the sequel to the original Five 0 would flop, but on year 9, and a terrific show, and of course, the background beauty cannot be beat.

  32. Outside T. Fold says:

    Michael, thanks for creating this thread.

    Very interesting to see recommendations, and, as Dan from Georgia says, it’s good to see another side of people. (oh, and Dan, I’ve read Art and Fear and I gladly recommend. Hm. Might have to pull it off the bookshelf and look through it again.)

    Bob 1, your Harlem Renaissance Theology book looks interesting. (yet another reason why I need to get an alum library card at my local seminary, because I did a lookup and discovered they have it in their library.)

    Two more from Netflix: Ken Burns Roosevelts documentary, and a documentary about Chicago, the band.

  33. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks OTF! I’ve been really enjoying seeing people’s responses here!

  34. bob1 says:


    I haven’t startd reading it yet — got it for Xmas from my son — but it looks fascinating.
    Apparently DB spent a lot of time at (at least) one Harlem church and it affected his
    ideas on resistance…very timely today, too.

    I’ve never been to sem but I do have a library card to an Episcopal seminary that’s within driving distance.. Lots of goodies there…

  35. Jim says:

    I was immersed in LCHF/Keto videos for the last 4 months. Finally removed the distraction of the bro science dudes and focused on scientists doing clinical trials and Drs treating patients. Hit my goal just around the time I figured it out.

    My wife and I binge watch netflix and amazon series like Ozark. We like the long form story lines, which so different than network TV, where the cops solve a case in 45 minutes.

    I really messed up and read Mark Cuban’s book last Saturday. I stayed up late that night writing three business plans. On Sunday I remembered that I’m 60, run a successful business, and started a second 2 years ago, and owe my CPA $3200 by the end of the month. I vowed to never read another business book.

    My wife got me a guitar for my birthday last month, so I’m relearning with a focus on the blues. I was a scream and growl player and now only want to learn to make it cry. I’m not sure I have the heart for the blues because I’m too happy.

    Call me crazy, but my wife and I are enjoying the NFL much more than last season. I blame Andy Reid and his new alien kid.

  36. Outside T. Fold says:

    Bob1, whoa! I DID do a little hunting around to learn more. I’m all the more intrigued. Bonhöffer spent time in Harlem? (Then again, when you think of how A.H. was inspired by American slavery and Jim Crow*, there’s a certain fearful symmetry in the resistance to AH and the Nazis being informed by the life experience of those who’ve had to deal with the Jim Crow’s foot on their necks; from a distance I can certainly appreciate how they mighta had a thing or two or three to tell Dietrich B.

    (and yes, in the hunting, I learned that the author got his degree conferred from that same seminary where I need to get my credentials updated so I can get alum library checkout privileges. Ah, the world, it is small.)

    BTW, since we’re talking about similar stuff. One of the inspirations for my reading list is that for the last two years I’ve been attending monthly nonviolence workshops taught by Rev. James Lawson. The workshop is much inspiration for my reading and viewing (see, for instance A Force More Powerful on YouTube. Lawson was the strategist for the Nashville sit-ins, so you see him on screen, both in 1960 footage and in 70s or 80s footage where he’s interviewed recalling the events.) In Dr. King’s “I’ve seen the mountaintop” speech, given the night before he was assassinated, he said of Lawson ” I want to commend the preachers, under the leadership of these noble men: James Lawson, one who has been in this struggle for many years; he’s been to jail for struggling; he’s been kicked out of Vanderbilt University for this struggle, but he’s still going on, fighting for the rights of his people.” It’s an incredible privilege to learn from someone whom Dr. King called “the greatest teacher of nonviolence in America.” (still hunting for the exact reference when and where King said this.)

    *as well as the the Armenian genocide. I’d mention it in the text but wanted to keep the parallel construction to a nice, neat little thing.

  37. Jerod says:

    Books: I’ve never read Aldous Huxley.
    I might.
    In the meantime I have to read Northouse’s Leadership, Dewey’s
    The school and society/The child and the curriculum.

    Music: Hour and fifteen commute to work and home.
    Google Play serves my classical in the morning before I hit the Cambodians up for a coffee and doughnut.
    Then I listen to Graveyard, Ghost BC, Tool, Agalloch et al going home before I hit the mountain pass (have to chill out before I hit those curves). Switch to Yacht Rock -Huey Lewis and such. Back to classical down the hill.

    TV: Binging Godless, but I think Jeff Daniels is a bit hammy as the villian. They have the obligatory identity politicking going on as well.

    The whole series is odd, sometimes god awful disgusting, but there is an episode of Black Mirror called Nosedive that is perhaps some of the best television in the last decade.

    Movies: Infinity Wars was surprisingly deep for a comic flick.
    Watchman is both a great movie and a great graphic novel.

    You and I should probably avoid all the above…

    especially yacht rock.

  38. Jerod says:

    Nouwen is also a very engaging writer. Though the end of Adam leaves me wondering how he is so passionate and yet so distant from his passion. Kind of like, “…then there was Death and some nice moments. The End.”

  39. Em says:

    There are more good books out there than one can read in a lifetime… My academic cousin, not a Christian, looked at my bookshelves and said, ” If anyone read all these, they’d have the equivalent of a masters degree in liberal arts. ” i didn’t bother to tell her that i had read them all. Forgotten most of what i read now anyway…. ?
    That said, Michael mentioned Tucker Carlson, so i will recommend his latest, “A Ship of. Fools.”. I think his warning is factual and timely….

  40. Captain Kevin says:

    Jim: “I’m not sure I have the heart for the blues because I’m too happy.”

    So nice to hear that there’s someone left in this world who is happy! As far as blues, try playing it for the sheer beauty.

  41. Em says:

    Jim’ s wife got him a guitar and he’s practicing blues guitar? Could my daughter come live with you? She’s doing exactly the same thing… ? her way of decompressing….

  42. Captain Kevin says:

    Books: Our Great God and Savior by Eric Alexander

    TV: (Mostly short shows as Fibro has really messed with my attention span, which is the same reason there’s only 1 book listed above. Anything longer than 30 minutes I watch On Demand so I can pause whenever needed.) The Good Doctor, New Amsterdam, lots of cooking shows, Last Man Standing, Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon (the last two because the characters remind me of my gifted nerds…umm…geeks…umm…students).

  43. Captain Kevin says:

    Movies: Mary Poppins Returns, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, Spiderverse, Ralph Breaks the Internet (It wasn’t my choice to watch Ralph, and I was prepared to hate it. It is brilliant!!! If it’s out on DVD before the end of this year, I’m gonna have my students analyze it.)

    Music: Classical, especially piano; Updated or solo instrumental covers of
    classic pop/rock, some country, some worship (there’s a lot of great worship songs out there if you have the stomach to sift through the loads of crap that accompany them). Listen to old Neil Diamond songs when feeling nostalgic. Love when my girls are home from college as they’re constantly singing Broadway showtunes around the house. Been hooked on BJ Thomas lately and excited that he’s doing a concert in Phoenix in March.

  44. London says:

    Books: I’m following the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge again this year. It’s a good way to be pushed to read outside my comfort zone and to learn from those I don’t normally .
    Last year I discovered the Three Pines series from Louise Penny on audio books. LOVED THEM!

    Music: Classical, and music of the 1940s

    TV: This Is Us, Blue Bloods, Survivor and stuff on Netflix like Bosch, Travelers and Dr. Who

    Movies: Don’t really go to many movies but I’m looking forward to Aquaman, Mary Poppins and On the Basis of Sex (Ruth Bader Gingsberg story)

  45. Jim says:

    Em, no. 🙂

    Capt K, the beauty is what attracts me. I’ve played forever, but put it down for the last decade. I can copy riffs, as anyone can learn to do. I’m really at a point where I just want to improv sing with my hands.

  46. Darrell says:

    Even In Our Darkness by Jack Deere
    Irresistible by Andy Stanley
    West of the Revolution (An Uncommon History of 1776) by Claudio Saunt
    D Day thru German Eyes

    anything by NeedToBreathe

    Travelers Season 3
    The Man in the High Castle Season 3

  47. Babylon's Dread says:

    How did I miss this thread? Late better than never perhaps …

    Movies : Breathe – True story of Robin Cavendish quadriplegic movie made by his son Jonathan who also produced Elizabeth:The Golden Age — Also, the wonderful film Green Book, which has come under fire but I found quite inspiring and powerfully ironic in how it depicted an era that I lived both historically and geographically.

    Books: Well – 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson who I am calling the accidental apostle. Peterson is giving a lot of hope to men in an era of anti-manhood.

    Truth Aflame – Larry Hart because I am a theology and systematic theology reader/teacher his book is accessible to all and a very decent survey.

    I read P T Forsyth like it is a religion – because he is my lifelong theological voice of relevance in that he wrote to and about his times provocatively and cogently. And also because he is nearly incoherent to the casual reader. His entire library is here and you absolutely SHOULD try to read him.

    I am engaging the Russians this year Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Solzhenitsyn – ask me later about that. I need their critic of marxist ideology and Christendom’s failure (as an antidote to the whining culture)

    TV: Sports, Enfotainment news in doses, and almost NO shows because I cannot stand the social engineering that has taken over. However I have discovered the joy of YouTube and free education. Go online and engage voices that challenge and inform.

  48. Outside T. Fold says:

    London, thank you for calling attention to Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge. That looks to be a very worthy effort.

    (In other [?,?]news, my copy of Dr. King’s Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community has arrived.)

  49. Josh The Baptist says:

    Finished the RFK Tapes podcast. Very interesting!

    Sirhan did it, but he was a weird little dude for sure.

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