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Literary Chaos

18 July, 2009

PhilAndAlisiaAfter reading T. David Gordon’s fantastic Why Johnny Can’t Preach: The Media Have Shaped the Messengers (see this previous post), I went to the library and got busy with English literature. I sifted through a lot of books and discovered a few good books that I’ve been recommending to others, especially those interested in preaching, teaching, and practical theology. Check these out:

Max Atkinson, Lend Me Your Ears: All You Need to Know about Making Speeches and Presentations

This book comes recommended by Clinton’s speech coach and Reagan’s speech writer. I read it over and over. It has super helpful chapter summaries. C or C friend Shane Lems is now reading this one and says it’s ‘stellar!’

Kevin Clark, The Mind’s Eye: A Guide to Writing Poetry

A step by step sort of thing for writing poetry. It discusses things like words that paint pictures, sound, conflict, plot, structure and more. It’s hard to put down.

Mardy Grothe, I Never Metaphor I Didn’t Like: A Comprehensive Compilation of History’s Greatest Analogies, Metaphors, and Similes

A classic collection with commentary, and an explanation of the difference between these three crucial literary (and rhetorical) devices.

I’ve found these really helpful, and they’re super easy and enjoyable reads. Enjoy!

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  1. 19 July, 2009 11:22 am

    Glad to hear you liked my book ‘Lend Me Your Ears’ and thanks for giving it a plug. But not so glad to hear that you might be lending it to friends, as I’d much rather you got them to buy a copy for themselves! If you’re interested in knowing more, I now have a blog where you can see lots of video clips and other posts relating to speaking and communication at

  2. 19 July, 2009 11:30 am

    cool. Thanks for these references.

  3. Darren permalink
    24 July, 2009 12:59 am

    Heh wow, you attracted the attention of Atkinson himself đŸ™‚

    Haven’t gotten around to it yet, but this is on the reading list.

  4. 1 August, 2009 6:25 pm

    Hi Max. That was poor communication on my part. Actually, I haven’t given anyone my copy but I have been telling my friends to buy your book. I asked Dr. R. Scott Clark to send my recommendation to the Pastoral Theology branch of Westminster California Seminary faculty. Sorry about the misunderstanding….but at least now you can see how much I need to re-read and re-read your book đŸ˜‰ Thanks.


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