Monday, January 01, 2007


With the turning of page 207, it has just been confirmed…

I am a person of slightly unusual literary taste. After all, over vacation, while my spouse settled into Michael Crichton’s Next, I sipped tea near the tree with Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength: An Anecdotal History of InterVarsity Press, 1947-2007.

The book came in a Christmas packet from IVP. I didn’t actually expect I’d read it, but the first page quoted Leszek Kolakowski. “We must absorb history … to know who we are and how we should act.”

That’s a rich statement, don’t you think?

Not that it would induce you to read to page 207, including all four appendices. But, it might set you to thinking about your own past, your history, or the history of the nation or the world… and it might invoke some interesting thoughts about consequent actions...


Blogger Martin Stickland said...

Hello from soggy old England!

I wish you a great 2007 L.L and I hope you had a well earned break!

Back to work now.....Boooo hooooooo

9:44 AM  
Blogger Craver VII said...

Was there something important on page 207?

Imagine all the messes we could avoid if we gave regard to lessons already learned (a.k.a. history).

11:06 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Craver... you mean you haven't read page 207? What am I going to do with you?

11:11 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I'm all into history, but the history of a specific press? I might have to draw the line there. After all, that nagging line is just asking to be drawn.

11:54 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Martin... hey, thanks! And don't get too soggy from your tears either :)

Heather... I totally get your point... I probably wouldn't have read it if they weren't my publisher, and if they hadn't sent it in my Christmas pack. However, after reading it, here's what I think....

-They probably wrote it as an exercise in Kolakowski's quote to celebrate their 60 years, and I'm betting they don't expect to sell many.

-Writers might want to read it if:

a) they want to understand the inside scoop on a major press (I remember interviewing someone from Harvest House who said about writers at conferences, "They shouldn't ask me about Harvest House. That's the worst thing. I want to know that they know something about us already.")

b) they want to understand the mysterious world of publishing... especially how writers get "in"

c) they want to laugh (it was actually quite humorous)

d) they have any designs on being an IVP writer

All this being said, I wish another prominent house like Zondervan would publish something like this. I'd read it in a minute.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Craver VII said...

"...I wish another prominent house like Zondervan would publish something like this. I'd read it in a minute."

Wow! You're a fast reader!

1:38 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Craver, Craver... to quote a famous blogger (ahem), "In the pursuit of brevity, I sacrificed perspicuity." :)

1:54 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I bought and read the book, Hidden Treasures: Searching for Masterpieces of American Furniture, by Leigh and Leslie Keno (those twins on Antiques Roadshow that always get so excited when someone brings in an old crock for appraisal).
Yes, yes, a book about... FURNITURE.
Guess what- I LOVED it!

Actually, I'd be drawn to this book just because of the cool cover art. I have no will power when it comes to neat fonts and cool visual imagery. Like a moth to the flame...

1:56 PM  
Blogger Charity Singleton said...

This quote on history could have been pulled straight from the NPR commentators' mouths this morning as they talked about the influence of Gerald R. Ford before, during and after his memorial service. They were talking about being a "Ford Republican," which no one ever says, and how understanding his place in history has very much impacted us today.

The quote is wonderful, even if it emerges from a book that feels a little narrowly focused.

I think I'll add it to my list!

Happy New Year!

3:06 PM  
Blogger Inihtar said...

I make it a point to not read any books I own--because I figure, I have them, I can read them anytime. So I have books I bought years ago, sitting on my bookshelf, unread. So good on you for making it to page 207, appendices and all! And speaking of books, maybe my book review blog will come into existence at least this year! Happy New Year!

5:14 PM  
Blogger Ted Gossard said...

Surely good history is good story telling. And in that, we learn to see our own story and history. And from that, hopefully we begin to find our identity and place. And learn to do well in that. Interesting....

And President Gerald Ford did seem to do that well, as is pointed out above. (I live here in Grand Rapids, and reflecting on his life is a big part of what's going on here now)

7:51 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Ok, I just looked up Kristin Lavransdatter and you were right- Norwegian. (I am shocked that my library actually has some of the books. We ain't too polish'd er forwerd thinkin' here in the kuntry. But ahm gonna check out them books eenyhow.)

What I find pathetic is that I know who J.Lo is, but I had no idea who the NOBEL PRIZE WINNER was. Oy!

10:32 PM  
Blogger Irish Church Lady :) said...

Just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year as well. I hope you had a good Christmas vacation.

Check out one of the blogs I read, Bellezza, on my blog roll. I think you may like her style and what she writes about in her blog postings.


1:01 AM  
Blogger eph2810 said...

I love reading history. Not much time to read a good history book -- but maybe I will just make time this year.

Happy New Year to you and yours, LL.

1:22 AM  
Blogger The GateKeeper said...

Hey, it's cozy in here. And speaking of history, I'm researching my parents' past--both were POWs as children in WWII. It's a bear getting info from them. It's all in pieces. Anyhooo, hope everyone is having a great start to the new year.

And Martin, thanks for explaining Boxing Day. My kids and I had a pretty good conversation about that. Later.

3:45 AM  
Blogger Rauf said...

Richard Dawkins comes to my mind.
History repeats itself even if we choose to ignore it. Knowing history hasn't really helped as we keep repeating our blunders. That does not mean I advise you not to know our history. I have written a post on 'who we are'
in the environment series, the concluding post is due next.

Thank you Mr. Barkath for visiting my blog, let's keep exchanging our views on different subjects in the future I am looking forward to your contributions.

Happy New year, Wish you and the family all the joy and peace in the world. Hope you enjoyed your holidays.

5:26 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Erin... great! You'll fit right in here, I think. :) And, uh oh, I don't know who J Lo is!!

Charity... I guess in some ways all books are narrowly focused. The key is taking that and bridging a gap into universal meaning.

Ini... oh, I can relate. There are plenty of books just languishing to the right of my bed.

Ted... good story telling can make even the dullest history interesting, yes!

ICL... I'll check it out. Thanks!

Eph28... history. I used to think I didn't like it. Now I know better, as you seem to. :)

Gatekeeper... I'll be reading your notes! Hey, what's this about Boxing Day? I missed something, I did.

Rauf... excellent point. My little daughter always looks at the sad repetition of history and says, "ohhhh... it's the story of the world." I look forward to reading your environment post.

12:29 PM  
Blogger The GateKeeper said...

Hi L. You said you liked my collage and I should use it as a signature piece for my blog. Xplain. Give me some more suggestions please. Blog needs overhaul. Thanks.

And ask Martin about Boxing day. He's very good at explaining things. It's a wonderful idea, boxing day, yep, 'tis.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

History! I LOVE IT! We can learn so much from it. Sounds like a great book to me. Hugs!

7:32 PM  
Blogger Llama Momma said...

Ah...our small world colides again! Linda Doll is another dear friend of mine! She will be thrilled that you're enjoying this history, written before her retirement a few years back.

8:51 PM  
Blogger khileman said...

What other books were in the pack?

11:13 PM  
Blogger khileman said...

I did it!! And,I love the quote! You def. couldn't escape thinking about history this past week if you watched any reports of Pres. Ford's death and discussions about his act of "forgiveness"..which the nation didn't understand or appreciate..possibly being the thing that ultimately led to its healing....alternating with reports of Saddham's execution. Ironic.
Also, in regards to maintaining our spiritual passion (how's that for a transition?)...ok. I'll talk about that some other time with you but it does relate to the quote. Since this is my very first blog anything, and I am not a writer, hopefully you'll forgive the rambling and length of this which I'm sure must be some kind of blog faux paux. By the way, I've got all my new Christmas books going at once, including 2 of Abbie's YA novels! I'll let you know which ones you need to read. Love you

11:35 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Kathleen M... great to hear from you... yes, history is something to learn from... I wish I did that more... learn from it, that is.

KIM!!!!! .... wow, you DID IT!! Feels like homecoming here now. :) And, hey, don't worry about brevity. Though some people may skip over your entries if they're long, I'll happily read every word of them. And, I'll happily read your book recommendations too. (Glad you got your Christmas wishes.)

7:50 AM  
Blogger David A. Zimmerman said...

For the record, IVP isn't selling Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength. It's an anecdotal history written to ensure we maintain a corporate memory as a publishing house. Authors like you get it because we like you authors. Anybody else will have to buy your copy off of e-Bay.

That being said, I'm sure Andy and Linda will be tickled to hear that they're being marketed virally.

3:49 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Dave... thanks for the heads up... (heh, heh, heh... now I can make big money on E-bay, from my free, vintage copy of HSMS!!! :) Can. Not. (sorry all you other readers out there... this last bit is a private joke... well, unless you want to slip over to DZ's blog.)

4:02 PM  

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