I have always been an avid reader, from the time my chubby hands could barely hold the book that I had memorized and was now “reading” to anyone who would listen, and it amazes my husband how I can read multiple books at the same time. It amazes me how he can not read multiple books at the same time! Here is a peek into my current bookshelf.
The Art of Slow Reading by Thomas Newkirk.
Bought for me by my principal as a “professional development” tool, this book surprised me in the first few pages. It graduated almost immediately to a “reading for fun” book. (Shhh — don’t tell my principal — I don’t think we’re supposed to enjoy “professional development.”) Newkirk begins with the premise that when it comes to reading (and many other things), speed is not necessarily an advantage. He proceeds to demonstrate in voice-laden exposition six practices that help readers to literally wallow in good writing. If you are a reader or a teacher of reading, this book will inspire you!
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
I’ve enjoyed reading several accounts of life in Afghanistan and have been amazed by its troubled history and the immense personal strength of its citizens. This story, told by an American journalist, displays the beauty of bravery in the most powerless citizens as the Taliban conquered the country. This book courageously lays bare the facts but weaves a thread of compassion throughout the narrative. I am still early in the book, but I am looking forward to developing a relationship with it as I continue to read.
The Gospel According to Moses by Athol Dickson
This is my second attempt to read this tangled mass of exposition and narrative. I had to get about fifty pages in before I could sense the rhythm of the book, but now I am determined to finish this time. Dickson tells the story of his visits to a Jewish Torah study (Chever Torah) and the insights it provided him about his faith. Although the prose is clumsy in places, I applaud his open mindedness to questions and ability to tie together the threads of Judaism and Christianity.
Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness by Nan C. Merrill
This book makes me a bit uncomfortable in a sense, but I figure that in discomfort there is growth, so I push ahead anyway. This is not the Psalter, and I cannot read it as such. But there is beauty in what it is — a reimagination of the Psalms from a certain point of view. I take issue with certain key phrases that Merrill uses, like “ego,” which I feel has no place in poetry. However, she does manage to capture much of the rhythm of the original psalms with a certain contemporary flair. Not a read for the faint of heart or even for people whose roots are deep in fundamentalism.
So there you have it — a tiny taste of what I’m reading. What are you reading this week?