Saturday, July 05, 2008

A Pretty Pile of Books

I have this pretty pile of books on my shelf. They are recent gifts and loans from friends and each comes highly commended. When I glance at the pile, they all seem to straighten up in their places. It's as if each one is quietly saying, "Pick me! Pick me!"

I sigh a little when I see them because I would really like to plow my way into that pile but the days are busy and, so far, I've been making some pretty pathetic progress.

Let's see--

I'm just about done with Alan Jamieson's slender little book Chrysalis (The Hidden Transformation in the Journey of Faith.) This has been a helpful book that puts words to many things I have seen and felt.

Then there's Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love. I confess to being a little bogged down in India with her right now. This second of three sections in her book has become a little boring to me but I do want to finish the book since it has been wildly popular AND I promised Tait I would.

I'm dying to get into Lisa McKay's My Hands Came Away Red. I like Lisa. I like the essays she sends me and I like her quirky sense of self. (Maybe because I can relate to the quirk-producing life of one who has lived in many different countries.) Plus, the subject matter of struggling with faith in the face of trauma and evil is pretty darn relevant in this big ol' world. It's her first novel and it's doing very well so I'm excited to take it in.

Jesse brought me 2 books that I have been strictly instructed to read. (Are your kids allowed to enforce good reading on you?) His summer assignment for me includes Shane Clairborne's Jesus for President (A Book to Provoke the Christian Political Imagination.) The second book is Steven Bouma-Prediger's For the Beauty of the Earth, which deals with our responsibility to care for Creation. This book, I am told, will be removed from my shelf and taken back to California with him at the end of August so I'm supposed to make sure I've completed it by then.

I know less about the other books... Some Anne Lamott to catch up on... Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss. My sister sent that one and I've always loved anything she sends me.

For the great delight of it, I look forward to The Good Husband of Zebra Drive. This is #8 in a series of charming, insightful and clever little stories set in Botswana. I could devour that one in a free afternoon but free afternoon's are hard to come by.

And Rilke's Book of Hours is like chocolate. One little piece at a time, snuck in here and there, I will let the little poems bring me pleasure. Better than chocolate, they also bring me revelation. Thank you, Nelly, for the gift of your very own copy.

So I'm not getting to them very quickly, but they do fill me with a happy anticipation as they sit there so patiently on my shelf.


Baba said...

Shane Clairborne's" Jesus for President" must be nice...I heard about it recently too and I read "the irrisistible Revolution" , his previous one which I loved...I posted on my blog about it actually..a real "quick in the but" (correct my spelling if you know what I mean:-)...)

anyway, for me summer is not good for reading...too much things to do and appreciate :-)

anyway , just dropped by to send you my love and say how much I miss you...
big hugs to all... is all the family together now?!!
I wished I could be there... when would that happen?!! hmmm...

josephjen said...

Anything by Shane is great...and For the Beauty of the Earth is one of my all time favorites :) I can see why Jesse is urging you politely...haha. Hope you all are well, I love catching up on your blog :)

nelly said...

I feel the same about the chocolate. That is a very accurate word for Rilke.

In college, an older sister-type-wonderlady named Kristin ripped a page from her chocolates and mailed it to me. (The one that goes "fan up like flame and make big shadows I can move in.") Then she gave me "Letters to a Young Poet" when I did my semester in Rome. That's the only book apart from scripture that I've memorized bits of, accidentally.

I encourage the chocoholicism.

Tehur Simmons said...

You should add The Shack by William P. Young to that "little" pile is awsome!!!! I miss going down to your house to borrow books and read Silver Pennies poems to Heather...Miss you all so much. I also love catching up with you here on your feels like you are close, not so far away.

lisa said...

oh, comments from baba, jen, nelly and tehur! I miss you all!