The first book I finished in 2024 was, appropriately enough, a book about books — more precisely the odd and idiosyncratic vocation of selling rare and collectible books, via a venerable London shop.
I am not one for collecting physical books at the moment, but in recent years I have been enjoying reading through authors and series, piling them up on my virtual shelf. I said goodbye to the LoveHain readalong this month; meanwhile, the Ozathon continues! It’s lovely to see a number of blogging friends joining in. I also read a spin-off novel which provided an interesting take on the story of both movie and book from the point of view of Maud Baum, a fascinating women who deserves more attention.
Another project I’m starting this year is the Nonfiction Reader Challenge, which I hope will push me to read more nonfiction on different topics. For my first topic I took on one that I find scary — The Future — and found myself both challenged and reassured. I know there are no easy answers to what lies ahead, but as long as there are books, I have hope that I can learn something worthwhile, possibly even essential.
What did you learn and discover this month?
Books read in January
- Once Upon a Tome by Oliver Darkshire
- Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann
- The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum – Reread, Ozathon
- The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock by Edward White
- Skating Shoes by Noel Streatfeild – Reread
- Life After Doom by Brian McLaren – Nonfiction Reader Challenge
- Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts
- Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum – Reread, Ozathon
As I continue to try to read books in German, I dropped The Wall (which was very slow going) and picked up Emil und die Detektive (more my speed at present). Soon I may be ready to take on some adult novels, but for now I’m happy with the classic children’s books.
Coincidentally, a new English student turned out to be a fan of the Oz books, and was impressed to hear I’ve also read the whole series. It seems that’s quite unusual, although it feels very normal to me. My student has only read the books in Chinese translation, so I’ve encouraged her to try the original. I’m looking forward to sharing these with her.
On the blog, I looked back at 10 years of blogging, picking out one post from each year. It truly has been a wonderful journey and I’m so thankful for it.
Looking toward the future, my Spiritual Direction training has started up again, this year with actual practice sessions … an exciting and humbling new step into the ministry of sacred conversation. My book, When Fragments Make a Whole, will be published soon, and that is also very exciting, of course.
Writing more and submitting more for publication is a goal of mine this year. I’ve started meeting with another writer for some inspiration and support, working through exercises in the book One Year To a Writing Life by Susan Tiberghien. You can see a sample above.
Please share what’s going on with you!