January was a difficult month in many ways. The disintegration of the so-called United States reached a new peak with the attack on the Capitol. And terrible things (unrelated to politics) have been happening to people I love. There is so much uncertainty and disruption in the world, and so many questions about how to meet it.
I do not talk a lot here about such events, and it might seem that I focus mostly on my reading life as a form of denial or distraction. That may be partly the case. But I also feel strongly that “reading” is not just about words on a page. It’s about the events in our lives, and finding a meaning in them that does not present itself at first glance, a meaning that is always about evolution and further development.
Reading good books helps me to practice that activity. For me, it’s a declaration of hope. And so I share with you my hopeful moments from this month. I’d love to hear about yours.
- I shared my Reading and blogging goals in the New Year.
- I announced a new event coming in March, Reading the Theatre, and posted a list of favorite books about the theatre.
- I signed up for the Back to the Classics Challenge.
- For Top Ten Tuesday, a list of nonfiction books I want to read.
- Another list of my favorite books from seven years of The Emerald City Book Review.
- My discussion question for the month was Do you write about every book you read?
I read a lot of excellent books this month! I posted two reviews, of Act One by Moss Hart and Malafrena by Ursula K. Le Guin. I have also kept up with my new resolution to post at least a short note about each book I finish on Goodreads. We’ll see how long that lasts, but so far I’m finding it a good exercise.
- Beyond the Miracle Worker by Kim E. Neilsen
- A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
- Malafrena by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Listening for Madeleine by Leonard S. Marcus
- Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault
- La Femme au Carnet Rouge by Antoine Laurain
- Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching translated by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Planet of the Blind by Stephen Kuusisto
- The Heart of Centering Prayer by Cynthia Bourgeault
- Nobody’s Family Is Going To Change by Louise Fitzhugh – Reread
- The Wounded Healer by Henri J. M. Nouwen
- The Meaning of Mary Magdalene by Cynthia Bourgeault
I finished another book in French (La Femme au Carnet Rouge) and enjoyed it, but in the next few months I really want to concentrate on German. I’m kind of getting along in most daily life situations, but I still have large gaps in comprehension and my accuracy is pitiful. Here’s hoping I can discipline myself to make some real progress.
I feel so fortunate to live in such a lovely place. Every day there is the gift of seeing some natural or human-built form of beauty. It is a very real and important form of medicine.
Whatever this next month may bring, I’m glad to have the chance to share it with you. Take good care and find what hope and beauty you can, wherever you can.