What I'm Reading - Spring '15

3/12/15

(doesn't it feel good to say/see/hear/read the word spring?)

I thought it would be fun to check in every once in awhile (possibly every season 'cuz you know how I love them but we'll see) with my reading list.  I have two motives here.  The first is that maybe just maybe you're like me and enjoy hearing about good (or not so good, we shall see) books that other people are reading.  I'm a bit of a media hermit so often the only book recommendations I get are from the blogs I read or real-life friends' bookshelves.  The second motive is that I'm hoping it will give me some sort of accountability to actually read these books.

If book lists ain't yo thing, I'm not offended.  Click away to something more exhilarating and check back in tomorrow for 7 Quick Takes from our trip to my grandparents' farm.  Ex-hil-ar-rat-ing.  ;)

For the rest of you, I march onward.

(you can click on the book cover image to find out more about it on Amazon...  these are affiliate links, and Alyosha thanks you for the 50 cents to buy gum)

Just Finished Reading

Beginning to Pray by Anthony Bloom

      
I read this one as part of the virtual book club at Liturgy of Life, and I mostly enjoyed it.  Bloom was an Orthodox priest and this is a book that's been loved by Protestants, Orthodox, and Catholics all.  From time to time I found myself zoning out (which is not unusal for me + nonfiction) but he also had some really good food for thought as well.  I appreciated what he had to say about crafted prayers, as that's relatively new territory for me.  He also puts forth a pretty hard challenge to sit in silence for 5 minutes a day.  Not in prayer, particularly.  Silence.  In this day and age, that is pretty hard to do and I haven't yet succeeded.  But soon! (?)


Currently Reading

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens



I love Dickens.  A Tale of Two Cities is one of my favorite books ever.  And I want to like this one, really I do, it's just so long.  I've been working on this one for 2 years (and by working on I mostly mean looking at and thinking about opening it, so that by the time I actually do open it I have no idea what's going on in the plot, who the characters are, what on earth they're talking about, or why I am still so convinced that I'm going to overcome my lower inclinations, rise above, and actually finish this one day.)  Have any of you read it?  Anybody able to give me a little "push through, it gets sooooo good!" encouragment regarding ol Nick?  On a positive note, I have decided that the name Newman Noggs is among the greatest literary creations ever and will one day be bestowed upon an Evans dog.  Just wait.


Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table (with recipes) by Shauna Niequist



I ordered this one from the library at the recommendation of every Evangelical woman in America.  The reason I ordered it was not its popularity (I have a tendency to eschew popular things, for whatever reason that maybe I should be in therapy over) but because I am so stinking SICK of cooking.  I feel like I should enjoy the creative aspect, I should enjoy nourishing my family, I should enjoy making stuff that tastes amazing and is pleasurable to eat.  But the stress of meal planning, grocery shopping, trying to cook during the witching hour when my children just need need need me... it just does not work in my favor.  I do it anyway (most days), but wanted inspiration to really enjoy it.  I'm not sure if I found any kind of magic wand here, but I do enjoy the author's stories and it's a fun and light read so far.  Also it heavily emphasizes the importance of community, which is right up my alley, and I find that inspiring.  I will admit that this lady loves food in a way that baffles me.  If ever I was in doubt about my foodie status, this book has kicked my backside solidly in the NOPE camp.  (don't get me wrong, I sure like to eat, but this is passion that I previously only guessed existed)


Will Be Reading

The Rule of St. Benedict by St. Benedict



Can you believe this book was written 1500 years ago?  My mind is just blown by that.  This book is typically used for those joining a religious community (becoming a monk, nun, joining a lay order, etc) but apparently it is highly valuable for those just seeking to live a simple, meaningful life as well.  I have no idea what to expect, but here goes!  This is another one I'm reading alongside Liturgy of Life friends.

Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris



I've never read any of Kathleen Norris' writings (most notably Amazing Grace), have you?  I believe this one falls in the memoir category, and I love me a good memoir.  I'm really expecting to like this one, which of course means it should get saved for last.  But I might let her duke it out with Dickens.


So that covers me for awhile... what about you?  What are you reading these days?  I need to start compiling a "to be used later" list and I need recommendations!







5 comments:

  1. I can't believe it! I've read a book on this list! You could probably guess which one...Bread and Wine. MC gave it to me for my birthday one year, and I really liked it! Yes, she has a huge passion for food, but it actually inspired me to cook. I think I even tried a recipe of hers once. I was inspired to have wonderful community dinner parties like hers, but alas, that never really happened....

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  2. Haha, awesome! Look at us having coinciding tastes ;)

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  3. Erica Giavasis JarrettMarch 25, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    Hey I just saw this post. Thanks for the links to our reading group. Also funny, I just read bread and wine too. I hadn't even heard of it, a friend just gave me a copy thinking i would like it, and then it turned out to have so much overlap with my blog, I was thrilled. Excited to read Kathleen Norris next month.

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  4. Not gonna lie, I'm struggling for real with St. Benedict. I love your latest post on it though. I might do better if I just read your posts instead of the actual book ;)

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  5. Erica Giavasis JarrettMarch 25, 2015 at 2:55 PM

    Just skim it. It isn't so much about learning the details, in fact it isn't really about the details, except for knowing that the details exist and do matter for the people living under that rule, It is more about the ideas of a rule of life, authority, making lifestyle choices etc. I'm struggling too though I have read Beginning to pray before so had a lot of thoughts on it going into it. This is my first time in St. Benedict too and it is hard to get my head together to write on it. I'm going to get a jump start on Norris's book soon. Also she has a conference at the HEB camp near here, it is full but if they do it next year we should try to go, i guess that is, if we like the book.

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Someday, the light will shine like a sun through my skin & they will say, 'what have you done with your life?' & though there are many moments I think I'll remember, in the end, I will be proud to say, I was one of us.

(Brian Andreas, Storypeople)

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