Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Review: A Travelogue of the Interior

A Travelogue of the Interior: Finding Your Voice and God's Heart in the Psalms. Karen Dabaghian. 2015. David C. Cook. 274 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I enjoyed the premise of A Travelogue of the Interior, the idea that believers should open up their hearts and minds and be willing to write bad poetry as they journey slowly but surely through the book of Psalms. I liked the concept of reflection and connection as you are reading the Word of God. It would require you to slow down and engage more. The book does encourage readers to commit to journeying through Psalms: to take one psalm at a time and really connect with it and write their own poem in response. For readers who follow through, I think there is some benefit. The benefit comes not so much from reading someone else's journey through the book of Psalms and not even so much from taking someone else's idea about how to read the Bible, but, through the reading of the Word itself. Journaling, I believe, can also be a good thing. (I won't deny the spiritual benefit for those that practice it.)

The book is both about understanding the psalms and laboring to sing them back to God--that is relating our own lives and experiences to the Word, making a personal connection in other words. It's a personal book in many ways. The author is sharing her stories, her beliefs, her methods, her journey, her poems. Yes, she's inviting you to go on your own journey, to experience it all for yourself, to create your own poems, etc. But the focus is always on her. The book doesn't so much examine the psalms or the life of David as it examines one particular journey through part of the book of Psalms.

If the book has a message beyond 'read the Psalms' it would be: BE VULNERABLE, LEARN TO SHARE, DON'T BE AFRAID TO FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL.

The book isn't without a couple of strengths. But overall, it wasn't quite for me. Her beliefs didn't always mesh well with mine. I found some to agree with to be sure, but, it wasn't quite enough for me.  I have read more beneficial books on the psalms.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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