ISBN 978 1 5140 0524 8
230 pages

I love books like this. The author teaches English at Calvin University in the United States, and writes out of the conviction that: “Humans are story-shaped creatures.”

She shares something of the story of her life as a teacher thorough the stories that form her reading lists, to her observations of life around her. I have always felt that life works best when we pay attention. Nourishing Narratives is a great example of an intelligent Christian paying attention to what she has read, heard, seen and experienced in life.

The book is brimming over with great stories that inform and delight as they join the dots between the author’s Christian faith and her day job of teaching English. She provides a model of how to think Christianly about our culture, helping the reader to reflect on how to filter our cultural experiences so that they nourish our faith, imagination, and our own creativity.

The first story in Nourishing Narratives relates how the author learned the power of story and memory from her fifth-grade teacher and her grandmothers. The book concludes with her own aspiration as a teacher:

“In the classroom then I want to practice incarnational pedagogy, making sure that what I say matches what I do.”

I think that the next generation will have some stories to tell about what they learned from Jennifer Holberg.

John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is Director of Training at the School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia.