4.17.2012

Ten on Tuesday: Book Extravaganza Edition

All sorts of exciting things are happening now that Any Day a Beautiful Change is actually shipping and people are actually reading it! Amazon says they are out of stock again, but Chalice is shipping boxes as fast as they can pack them up.

So, here's a special Book Extravaganza Edition of Ten on Tuesday.

1. I had a very busy weekend. I did a reading and book signing for Moms in Faith, the moms group I coordinate at church. I can't tell you how extremely cool it was to share the book with these mothers. They are my parishioners and my village. I read "Take and Eat," the chapter about breastfeeding and communion. Definitely a little nerve-wracking, and I did end up blushing a few times, but really wonderful. From there I dashed to Chicago Theological Seminary to moderate a panel called "The Book that Changed My Life/My Church." My selections were Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott (of course), Unbinding the Gospel by Martha Grace Reese, and From Stone to Living Word by Debbie Blue. Celebratory sushi on Saturday night, and then another reading and book signing at church on Sunday morning.

2. I've received a handful of extraordinarily kind messages from church members and friends who have started (and even finished!) the book. Traci K., who was my eighth grade confirmation teacher and is now my dear friend, posted this on my Facebook page:
Big sigh...and WOW! There is a very short list of books I've read more than once. And even shorter list of books I immediately started to read again when I finished...Any Day a Beautiful Change is on the short list. I do not even have words to say how your words have sunk into my heart and stirred up so much love and beauty and memory and joy...♥
Traci is totally biased - did I mention she knew me when I was thirteen? I BABYSAT HER KIDS! - but there is definitely something to be said for totally biased reviews.

3. There is also something to be said for rave reviews by people who have not known me for most of my life. Chad Thomas Johnston, a writer who I encountered when we both posted links on The Innocence Mission Facebook page, wrote a great review on his blog:
Pershey’s prose is a mix of elegant and colloquial at the same time, and this approach keeps her pastoral musings earthy and intelligible for the layperson. Throughout the book, she proves herself to be a grounded pastor whose beliefs find traction in everyday life. She is not in the business of inflating theological hot air balloons and floating away on abstract, academic voyages. She is a human being, and she is well-acquainted with her faults, but also with her triumphs. Above all, she is grateful for who she is and who she is becoming.
 Read the rest here

4. The Kindle version is available now on Amazon, and e-PDF and e-PUB versions are available at Chalice Press. {ETA: Kindle version is temporarily unavailable, but will be up on 4/19.}

5. Speaking of the Kindle version, Ben is a little bit CA-RAZY about my stats over there. He sends me emails with updates - "you're #12 in the clergy category for the Kindle store!!!" Ben is just a little bit CA-RAZY about the whole book thing in general, which is so sweet and supportive and wonderful, isn't it?

6. Nearly eight years ago, I named this blog after a lyric by The Innocence Mission. I don't think I could have imagined a cooler scenario than getting to send them a complimentary book by the same name.

7. Sarah Lund posted the first Amazon review: "More than once I laughed out loud, shed a few tears, and just paused in awe. Reading this book will not disappoint you. It will bless you with the beauty of ordinary things made extraordinary, leaving you with many things to ponder in your own heart." If you read the book and have a moment, please add your two cents!

8. On May 3rd I'll be doing a reading and book signing at Last Exit Books in Kent, Ohio. It's co-sponsored by the Jawbone Poetry Festival and the Wick Poetry Center. Elizabeth made this altogether BEAUTIFUL poster for it.

9. THIS weekend I'll be at the Calvin College Festival of Faith and Writing, doing a panel with Bromleigh McCleneghan, Erica Schemper, and Jenn Moland-Kovash:
How can a writing group serve both to spur individual growth and to en­courage its members to respond to the call to write—a call that serves as a means to glorify God, inspire others, and work for justice? Just as Christians are nurtured and challenged in sacred community, so, too, are writers of faith. A group of four women—who view writing as part of their vocational calling—discuss how a writing group may function as a communal spiritual practice, from formation to fruition.
 10. Things are going to get really exciting around here in May... keep your eyes peeled for Any May a Beautiful Change. :)

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