In these uncertain times, I’ve given myself permission to just wander the shelves at will and pick up whatever strikes my interest, one thing often leading to another. This month, that meant reading everything from a classic consideration of gnosticism vs. orthodoxy to an in-depth presidential biography to light fiction set in the Swiss Alps to children’s historical fiction inspired by the legend of Scheherezade…and much more! An odd, but wonderful (to me) assortment.
- My son contributed a guest review of three of the Carey novels from Slightly Foxed.
- As a valentine to the bookish community, I was pleased to share Ten book blogs I love.
- Another list of Top ten books published the year I was born.
This month, I quite enjoyed keeping up my resolution of writing short notes in Goodreads on each book I completed. I wouldn’t call these “reviews” exactly, they’re not considered enough for that, but they capture my first impressions and what struck me the most strongly after I finished reading. Some of these may get more in-depth reviews later (I’m scheduled to review Featherweight for Shiny New Books, so that needs to be given some thought, for sure), but if they don’t, at least I have some record of my immediate reaction.
Links to my notes:
- Dance to the Piper by Agnes de Mille
- Lilith by George MacDonald
- The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made by Patricia O’Toole
- Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher
- The Swiss Summer by Stella Gibbons
- Swinging on the Garden Gate by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew
- Sometimes You Have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh by Leslie Brody
- The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
- A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
- Featherweight by Mick Kitson
I’ve been making headway slowly in German. I try to listen to a podcast (Slow German with Annik Rubens is about my speed) and read a little bit in a graded reader every day. I am pleased that I can understand most of both of these, and they provide interesting content that keeps me engaged while adding to my vocabulary. I wrote a post about overcoming some of my fears that have held me back in the past, which I’m glad have abated somewhat in middle age.
- Post: What am I afraid of?
As life has become more and more hectic, confusing, and often painful, I’ve strengthened my commitment to doing some inner practice every day. After a couple of years of fairly regular practice, I can say that it makes a real difference to how I meet the challenges of life. I feel less pushed around by outer influences and more grounded in my soul. This is a source of great comfort for me and a daily cause for gratitude.
I wrote a little poem about an object that sits near my writing space and symbolizes for me something of this inner activity — the space that can open up and the treasures within.
- Post: Geode – a poem