Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Who's coming to Dinner?

I sometimes do market research surveys for cash. If you pass screening they often ask you questions just to hear you talk. I guess to make sure you are able to complete full sentences (which I can do on a good day!) Anyway, one of the questions that they frequently ask is, "If you could have dinner with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be?" Would it surprise you to know that A LOT of people say Jesus of Nazareth. Not me. Think of all the wisdom and insight you could gain! All the questions you want to ask....

This is the premise of the book Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory.

The mysterious envelope arrives on Nick Cominsky’s desk amid a stack of credit card applications and business-related junk mail. Although his seventy-hour workweek has already eaten into his limited family time, Nick can’t pass up the opportunity to see what kind of plot his colleagues have hatched.

The normally confident, cynical Nick soon finds himself thrown off-balance, drawn into an intriguing conversation with a baffling man who appears to be more than comfortable discussing everything from world religions to the existence of heaven and hell. And this man who calls himself Jesus also seems to know a disturbing amount about Nick’s personal life.

"You’re bored, Nick. You were made for more than this. You’re worried about God stealing your fun, but you’ve got it backwards.… There’s no adventure like being joined to the Creator of the universe." He leaned back off the table. "And your first mission would be to let him guide you out of the mess you’re in at work."

As the evening progresses, their conversation touches on life, God, meaning, pain, faith, and doubt–and it seems that having Dinner with a Perfect Stranger may change Nick’s life forever.

The follow up novella, Day with a Perfect Stranger chronicles a day in the life of Nick's wife, Mattie, who is struggling with her feelings toward her husband.

When her husband comes home with a far-fetched story about eating dinner with someone he believes to be Jesus, Mattie Cominsky thinks this may signal the end of her shaky marriage. Convinced that Nick is, at best, turning into a religious nut, the self-described agnostic hopes that a quick business trip will give her time to think things through.

On board the plane, Mattie strikes up a conversation with a fellow passenger. When she discovers their shared scorn for religion, she confides her frustration over her husband’s recent conversion. The stranger suggests that perhaps her husband isn’t seeking religion but true spiritual connection, an idea that prompts her to reflect on her own search for fulfillment.

As their conversation turns to issues of spiritual longing and deeper questions about the nature of God, Mattie finds herself increasingly drawn to this insightful stranger. But when the discussion unexpectedly turns personal, touching on things she’s never told anyone, Mattie is startled and disturbed. Who is this man who seems to peer straight into her soul?

David Gregory is the author of the best-selling books Dinner with a Perfect Stranger and A Day with a Perfect Stranger, and coauthor of two nonfiction books. After a ten-year business career, he returned to school to study religion and communications, earning graduate degrees from The University of North Texas and Dallas Theological Seminary. A native Texan, David now devotes himself to writing full time.

If you would like a copy of the novella Dinner with a Perfect Stranger please leave a comment telling me who you would like to have dinner with (alive or dead) and why you picked that person. I'll randomly select a winner on Tuesday, March 10th.


Lisa said...

Aside from Jesus, I think dinner with Kurt Vonnegut or Dr Suess would be pretty interesting.

Heather @ Sugar N Spice Mostly Nice said...

Wow that's a tough question. I think my Grandpa who passed away a year and a half ago. I have a thousand things to say and a million hugs to give still.

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Ohhhh...that's a hard one. I think my first choice would be one more moment with my baby son who passed away at birth. A lifetime is a long time to wait. This momma would probably spend the whole time smothering him with kisses and cuddles!

If I don't win, I will absolutely buy these 2 books. They sound amazing and beautiful! Thanks for the review.