My New Favorite Author

Gloria Gaither, in her infinite wisdom, introduced the Family Fest audience to yet another incredible author and speaker this last weekend– Ian Morgan Crone. I say ‘Gloria’ instead of ‘Bill and Gloria’ because even though Bill LOVED Ian and was thrilled at how wonderfully he was received, by his own admission he tends to err a little on the side of safety when he puts together programs for large quantities of folks… And Gloria is more like, “BRING IT ON!” (She’s probably still getting crank emails from having William P. Young, the author of “The Shack” speak at FF a few years ago. And if you’re one of the ones who think that book is heresy? Keep it to yourself– it was life-changing for Russ, and I absolutely loved it. Hello? It’s called METAPHOR, people! Now get off my lawn.)

Not that Ian Crone is controversial or anything– he’s not. But he’s a little off the beaten path for the Homecoming crowd, as he is an Episcopal priest and completely unfamiliar with Southern gospel music– he’s more of a liturgical choral music/15th century monastic chant kind of guy. Anyway, a lot of the people I am crazy about are crazy about Ian Cron, though this was the first time I was able to hear him and meet him. I am now firmly among the smitten. Russ, the girls and I had a wonderful talk-filled lunch with him the day before he spoke at Family Fest. He is not easy to describe because he is marvelously complex, a contradictory conundrum with a heart for God, an agile intellect and a wicked sense of humor. His latest book is “Jesus, My Father, the CIA and Me,” which I devoured in two sittings and highly recommend. Here is just a little taste of his personality– this is from an event called “An Evening of Stories” that was held at the Country Music Hall of Fame last year, where he shared the stage with two more of my very favorite friends, Rev. Becca Stevens and Amy Grant. I missed that event, but was able to find this little snippet on youtube– it ends rather abruptly, which hopefully will encourage you to run out and buy his book so you can finish the chapter!

Enjoy… (And let me know in the comments what YOU have been reading and loving lately!)





11 Responses

  1. Barbara M. Lloyd

    I sure enjoy his delivery…can’t imagine reading the book being half as entertaining as listening to him read it. Hoping they have it on tape at my library because…yep, you pulled me in on this book.

    Reading books on tape has introduced me to several books I would not have chosen; but they are sent to my home through the mail. So I have thoroughly enjoyed a few books like, “The Majesty of Law,” the life story of our first woman supreme court justice, Sandra Day O’Conner.

    I will call the library and see if his book(s) are on tape. And, thank you, because I just love recommended books….most of the time they are great.Now, about some of those books they send to me, I don’t even take them out of their case….even their titles are not inviting.

    I sure wish I had been where this fella was speaking. I love the way he enjoys his own humor.

  2. Phyllis S

    I am with you, his delivery makes you laugh along with the audience. I down loaded the book on my Kindle quickly and now have to finish the book I am reading, so I can do this one. I too would like to hear him live.

    I have a book suggestion if you have not read it. “GI Joe and Lillie” by Joe Bonsal of the Oak Ridge Boys. This is a real heart warming story of his parents love, devotion and struggles…It is a must read!
    Thanks for sharing this, you probably made several of us a new friend in the literary realm.

  3. itsvikki2u

    Yes, yes I have 2.. First, you’ve got to read “Same Kind of Different As Me”, it is THE best book you’ll read. The fact that its a true story makes it even better! Second, “When I Lay My Isaac Down”… another great one. Let me know what you think! Love ya!

  4. auntie

    This has been around for a while, but I just finished John Grisham’s “The Testament”. Who knew John Grisham was a committed Christian? Not me till I read this and did a little internet sleuthing. This is a perfect novel, beautifully written with a captivating story. A different kind of suspense than “The Pelican Brief” or “The Firm”. I would also classify “The Swan House” by Elizabeth Musser as a perfect story. It is truly amazing.Anyone in the south would love it, as it is named after a real place in Atlanta.

  5. jonny

    Well, you had me at “he is an Episcopal priest and completely unfamiliar with Southern gospel music.” = ) Enjoyed him enjoying reading from his book. Thanks for the heads-up and the YouTube clip !!

    For better or worse, my life the last month, and more, has involved getting one of my band’s songs ready to be fully released on the public at large next week !! Starting with recording it, I have little to no experience with this sort of thing, but have been the one carrying the ball to make sure we end up with a final version of the song the whole band is more than happy with. Fortunately, God seems to favor the song, so it’s been a wonderful, at times beautifully humbling, experience. If anyone is interested, here’s a two minute little preview of the song I put together and put up on YouTube the other night. Hope it works for some of you = )

  6. jonny

    Oh, and think I now may be more interested in William P. Young’s “The Shack,” though. As near as I can tell, the only ones using the ‘heresy’ word in the New Testament were the religious leaders and experts, and they were usually throwing it around at Jesus. So, the book is probably in good company, and one I should get to at some point !! = )


  7. MostlySunny

    I’ve been reading history and Washington, DC stuff since I’ve been guiding tours with 8th grade munchkin’s throughout the city since March! I’m almost done!

    Just finished Clint Hill’s “Mrs. Kennedy and Me” (he was the secret service agent assigned to Mrs. Kennedy when her husband became President.)

    Before that “On Hallowed Ground” by Robert Poole – all about Arlington Cemetery.

    And before that “Killing Lincoln” by Bill O’Reilly – about the kidnapping plot and eventual assassination. All excellent books – not very “cheery-O”.

    Once I’m done guiding for the season I’ll jump into something fun!

    Auntie – “The Testament” by John Grisham is one of my all-time favorites. I read it every couple of years even though I know all the twists and turns. It really gets you in the the first couple of pages and you might as well do nothing else until you’re done! I get nervous every time at the part where he’s crossing the stream/river and trying to hold his legs out of the water so the alligators don’t get him! it’s one of his best.

    itsvikki2u – “When I Lay My Isaac Down” was very good. I heard Carol Kent at Praise Gathering several years ago telling the story of her son. It was quite wrenching at the time. She’s since written a follow-up book called “Between a Rock and a Grace Place”.

    I’ve never read “The Shack” but I know a multitude of people who absolutely loved it. I’ll get to it someday.

    Never heard of Ian Cron but I will definitely get to him one of these days! Isn’t Gloria a hoot – these amazing people she brings and they just WOW you! I always think, “Now, where have I been all this time reading fluff?”

  8. chillybean

    I am putting this on my book list. I am also interested in a book called The Pope’s War – but Nathan is cautioning me on this one for some reason….

    I tried The Shack after several students recommended it. Blech. Just didn’t work for me and seemed too far-fetched. I only got about 1/2 way through and had to give it a rest.

    I love a John Grisham novel once in a while. Just not too many in a row or they get predictable.

    I also re-read To Kill a Mockingbird! If you haven’t read this one in a while – do it! It is amazing as a second/third/fourth read. I loved it more now than as a teen!

    I am currently reading a great book. It is interesting and sad. It is called Little Bee by Chris Cleaver (yikes, hope I got that name right. I am not running upstairs to check!) It was on the ‘staff favorites’ shelf at the library, so I took a risk. It is about a Nigerian refugee and also a English woman who met in Nigeria one fateful day and are not reconnected. I just got to the good part yesterday as they haven’t quite said what actually happened in Nigeria yet.

  9. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Currently I’m reading Billy Graham’s last book and it is good. I have waiting to read next “Killying Lincoln” and I’m anxious to get into it. And I’ve made a note of several books y’all here have recommended, besides Tori’s recommendation…..I’m hoping I’m able to get all of them on tape.

    Many years ago I was desperate for a book to read so I reluctantly raided my then teenage son’s personal library. Knowing absolutely nothing about football, I surprised myselfchoosing Jerry Kramer’s book, “Instant Replay” and I loved it! So much so that I recommend it. So I decided to go to the library and get a baseball fella’s book, “Foul Ball,” which was lousy…no more than a glorified gossip manual. I’ve noticed that the writer of the baseball book never gets invited back to be seen with a group of old timers on special occasions.

    Another book I didn’t think I would like but I really enjoyed was “Travels With Charlie,” by John Steinbeck…or is it Steinback? Anyway he and his standard poodle traveled all over the united states together and it was a great book. Of course, in my opinion, Mr. Steinbeck could write about someone going to the mailbox and make it interesting.

  10. MostlySunny

    chillybean – I read “To Kill A Mockingbird” again a couple of year ago. I forgot how good – and how funny in parts – it really was. A timeless classic.

  11. tori

    I’m writing down all of these! You guys have some great recommendations, thanks for participating!

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