These past six weeks havenâ€™t been my most productive times of reading. Too many nights spent emailing preschools and watching the Olympics and worrying about things I shouldnâ€™t be worrying about. But I have been reading. And here are my ruminationsâ€¦
Iâ€™m still readingÂ Kristin Lavransdattar. It’s a long one and I’m really loving it, but I decided once I got to Book II that I’d save the next section for the trip to Italy. And, as I recently learned from this amazing article, I’m a classic “promiscuous reader.” I always have a few books going at once. I’m so bad at commitment!
I just finished reading Anne Lammott’s Some Assembly Required: A Journal of my Son’s First Son. As always, Anne Lammott is witty and endearing and irreverently worshipful. But (you guys are going to hate me) I just can’t bring myself to love her that much. I can read her or not read her. I’ve started many of her books and put them down (Read: Promiscuous Reader) and never felt the need to go back to them. Maybe it’s that I really long for more narrative arc in her nonfiction and I want more beauty in her language. I always feel like she has more in her and she’s not giving it to me. (So there, I’ve confessed my mixed feelings for Anne. Did you throw your computer at the wall in rage??? Please discuss in the comments.)
Now with me on my trip to Amarillo (I forced myself to bring only one book!), is Madeleine L’Engle’s A Circle of Quiet, the first book of three in the Crosswicks Journals series. Sarah Bessey first mentioned the books months ago in her amazing post “In which these are the tired thirties” and since then, I’ve been waiting for a good reason to return to Madeleine (Whom I do love! A Wrinkle in Time changed my life in sixth grade. And Walking on Water changed all of our lives when we were twenty, right? Please discuss!).
So, going with the “Promiscuous” theme, here’s what’s flirting with me from the bookshelf:
For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts, which is edited by David O. Taylor has been sitting on my shelf far too long. Chris heard him speak at our church a couple of months ago, just days after we had gotten the news of our move, and everything David said was amazingly profound for Chris. Good tears.
Also, back in April, I bought my husband a copy of The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting and FastingÂ toward God. I had this amazing lunch at the Festival of Faith and Writing where I got to sit on the carpet and eat a really bad turkey sandwich while writers read their own pieces from this collection. My favorite essay came from the editor, Leslie Leland Fields. It was stunning. And when she wrote about baking bread and compared it to the great heavenly feast, it felt wrong to be crunchingÂ sun chipsÂ at the same time. (Next time I hear that essay read aloud, I want to be eating lobster and drinking champagne. Please discuss!)
Also, Iâ€™m really taken with The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom but I havenâ€™t picked it up yet.
Chris just read Status Anxiety and he canâ€™t wait for me to read it so we can discuss.
And, A Place Apart: Monastic Prayer and Practice for Everyone, was recommended by my friend Tamara Murphy at her blogÂ ThisÂ SacramentalÂ Life.Â (Itâ€™s by M. Pennington O.C.S.O.)
So what about y’all? What have you been reading? What do think about my choices?Â