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Take and Read: Spiritual Reading (An Annotated List)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  171 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Spiritual reading has fallen on bad times. Today, reading is largely a consumer activity, done for information that may fuel ambitions or careers -- and the faster the better. Take and Read represents Eugene H. Peterson's attempt to rekindle the activity of spiritual reading, reading that considers any book that comes to hand in a spiritual way, tuned to the Spirit, alert ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published December 14th 1995 by Eerdmans (first published October 31st 1995)
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Tamara Murphy
Because I not only like to read books about books, but I also like to make lists about books, I took it upon myself to create a bookshelf on my Goodreads page that holds all the titles Peterson recommends in Take & Read:

I consider it my lifetime goals bookshelf.

"Spiritual reading, for most of us, requires either the recovery or acquisition of skills not in current repute: leisurely, repetitive, reflective reading. In this we are not reading primarily fo
Carol Bakker
I'm a bit overwhelmed —in a gladsome way— after finishing Take and Read. Eugene Peterson's gift to readers is the cumulation of a lifetime of reading and studying. With twenty categories he lists the books that have most influenced and shaped his thinking.

This is an "Annotated List"; his notes besotted me. I liked perusing his lists, but I loved Peterson's commentary. For example, on Calvin's Institutes Peterson writes, This is some of the keenest theology ever written, but written, every word o
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Obviously, Eugene Peterson was brilliant, but this book brought his brilliance to the forefront. I know that wasn’t his intention at all, but his book choices in this book are impressively scholarly. I’m not sure how many of the books I’d actually read on some of the book lists, but his insights on the books he chose are well worth reading. I love that he takes the Christian life utterly seriously—our faith should touch every single part of our life. And yet he also writes about the importance o ...more
Demetrius Rogers
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite resources for good reading! Highly recommended.
Nathan Albright
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: challenge-2019
Having read many of the books discussed here before, I must admit that I did not think about who was writing the book until after I read it.  I would have been spared more than a few puzzled moments when the author promoted the works of some hack named Eugene Peterson [1], whose works have been nothing if not uneven with some of them great (A Long Obedience In The Same Direction) and some of them terrible (The Message).  This book is neither, but it is a thoughtful example of spiritual reading a ...more
Wes Martin
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, life
Eugene Peterson is someone I trust. He’s had a formative effect on who I’ve become through his writing. So, when I saw that he had a book of annotated reading recommendations AND that the ebook was on sale, I had to have it and read through it ASAP.

This book was written 25 years ago, which is both good and bad. Peterson acknowledges at the outset that his list is primarily books which have survived a couple of generations. Meaning, these books were old 25 years ago. That’s good because I appreci
Kate Meyrick
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology-reads
Appreciate Eugene’s thoughts, grateful he acknowledged that most of these are classics for western theology but do not reflect the importance of African American, African, Middle Eastern, or Asian voices. This is an older list that can probably be updated now. I found this helpful for identifying reading I won’t get to in my seminary classes but can access on my own and in my independent studies.
Matthew Webb
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A annotated book list

It is exactly as described in the title an annotated reading list for spiritual reading. I would recommend especially for those interested in classic Christian writings.
Philip Tadros
A book about books, the best kind. I keep thinking to myself, "Take and Eat." So much here to partake of, to enjoy, to enter into what Christians profess: "the communion of saints."
Gavin Breeden
Aug 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Peterson's annotated lists of books that have been spiritually important to him. It's a personal list, which means we'll all find things we love and dislike throughout. Peterson acknowledges this and encourages us to make our own list. Peterson's comments were often very intriguing. Can't tell you how delighted I was that he had lists on Novels, Poetry, and Mysteries. But I must admit that including a final chapter devoted to his own books was a bit curious. Also would've liked that opening essa ...more
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a book I am happy to own because it has served me well. It is, as the subtitle suggests, an annotated list of books. What makes this list wonderful, is that Eugene Peterson did the listing. This is someone who has shaped my understanding of the pastoral vocation, and a voice I trust. With this book, the veil is pulled back and I see the glory of all those voices which have fed him and his understanding. Certainly if I made my own list, there would be differences in content and in categor ...more
Adam Shields
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Book Review - Take and Read: Spiritual Reading -- An Annotated List by Eugene Peterson - if you ever wanted to peruse Eugene Peterson's book shelves, this is the a book for you. Peterson has organized just over 100 pages of books divided into subject areas with descriptions of why he thinks the book is worth reading.

This isn't a book for everyone, but I read it on my kindle, highlighted the books that interested in me, logged into my notes and created a wishlist of books to read in the future.
Aug 18, 2015 rated it liked it
I like Peterson and so I like this book because I get it (or get him), but I can imagine a better guidebook. Even though he recommends few contemporary books at the time of writing (1996 I think) it still feels oddly dated. This is true of the chapters on commentaries, novels, "place" and a few others. Or maybe I would just pick different books than Peterson. Who knows?, but I don't think this book has aged well.

However, the chapters on/for pastors, classics, prayer, basics and a couple others
Duke Revard
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Peterson's comments about Wendell Berry are worth noting (i.e. where Berry writes "farm" read "parish" and most of his insights are of utmost help to ministers of the Gospel). I read this and almost shouted out loud "Yes." I always experienced this reading Berry and felt a special kinship with Peterson thereafter.
Apr 12, 2007 rated it liked it
A list of books Peterson recommends for Spiritual reading. Doesn't sound like much, but I actually read through it twice, I enjoyed it so much. His annotations are helpful as well as interesting, and I have added many great works from his list that I would have likely never found otherwise. Not for everyone, but for those interested, a great find.
Steve Penner
I can't say that I have read even half of Peterson's recommended books, but I agree that the ones I have read belong on the list. Peterson's recommendations have impacted what I have chosen to read over the past 20 years. A great resource and reference.
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
I spent a good 15 minutes with this book this morning and flipped through Peterson's recommendations. I really enjoyed his recommendations & the personal flavor of his lists. This would be an excellent book to own & refer back to. ...more
Tim Rippstein
Dec 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful resource for sifting through the volumes of books on spirituality and spiritual topics.
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I wish I was better read than I am.
Dec 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian-living
Just an interesting list of the author's favorite books, each with a mini review
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
A book about books - and a good one! Flavoured by Eugene Peterson's priority on the contemplative aspect of the Christian experience.
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uborrow
This is a good reference for spiritual reading in many areas including the classics, the Psalms, spiritual formation, mysteries and place. I would like to purchase this for my own bookshelf.
Feb 19, 2016 added it
Shelves: reference
good ideas for books
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Eugene H. Peterson was a pastor, scholar, author, and poet. For many years he was James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He also served as founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland. He had written over thirty books, including Gold Medallion Book Award winner The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language ...more

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