Thursday, March 15, 2012

Books, books and more books...

I have a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head. I’ve been on a very eclectic reading spree lately; actually let’s say an attempt-to-read spree. It started with a quest to study the idea of church membership which inspired me to read Stop Dating the Church by Joshua Harris. Then I borrowed a few more from the library, this time regarding not just church membership: The Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love by Jonathan Leeman, Bitesize Theology by Peter Jeffery and Desiring God by John Piper (the last two suggested by our new pastor). These three are in the waiting-to-be-read pile.

In my continuing quest to read or watch items placed on Reserve by professors, I read the Rough Guide to American Independent Film by Jessica Winter which I found interesting and inspired me to also read the Rough Guide to Chick Flicks by Samantha Cook which was even more interesting. It led to me making a list of about 90 films that I’d like to see – at some point. :) I’ve also been reading through the book The Soul of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by Gene Veith which has inspired me to attempt to re-read the Narnia series. This book and my goal entered a conversation with a friend last night which inspired her to lend me the audiobooks of The Magician’s Nephew and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe which I intend to start listening to in my car on my commute to and from work.

Additionally I just finished a wonderful book called I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers by Tim Madigan. I am a huge fan of Mister Rogers and if you have received a card or note from me in the past few years you already know that I love to include his quotes (if you haven’t received a card from me with a quote, let me know and I’ll see what I can do :)). Anyways, this book was so inspiring and though it is not a long read it took me quite a long time (by my standards) to read because almost every other page had something I wanted to highlight, write down or simply made me cry my eyes out. It is a lovely book and I will be purchasing a copy for myself soon. It only added even more depth to my already considerable appreciation for the much beloved Mister Rogers and it was such a blessing to have the honor of reading the honesty put forth by the author. I highly recommend this book.

It served, however, to create a new topic of interest – the Catholic priest and writer Henri J. M. Nouwen. I’d read and loved a few quotes from him before, but I discovered he was a dear friend and mentor to Fred Rogers. I found that our library has several of his books and I’ve begun reading one of them this week. It’s called Seeds of Hope: a Henri Nouwen Reader edited by Robert Durback and is basically a collection of Nouwen’s writings under the headings of particular topics. Already I have been encouraged, brought to tears and felt the prick of recognition in just the first few chapters. I’ve been inspired to also read some of his other books – The Inner Voice of Love: a Journey through Anguish to Freedom, Reaching Out: the Three Movements of the Spiritual Life, The Return of the Prodigal Son: a Story of Homecoming, and Bread for the Journey: a Daybook of Wisdom and Faith.

Finally, I’ve been re-inspired in my love for all things Wuthering Heights. I’m almost finished with H.: The Story of Heathcliff’s Journey Back to Wuthering Heights by Lin Haire-Sargeant. It is a very intriguing take on what may have happened to Heathcliff during his absence and it includes some semi-distracting yet also interesting additions of the writers Charlotte and Emily Bronte and the story of Jane Eyre. I haven’t finished it quite yet, but have to admit that it’s a well-written story and would be a though-provoking addition to the classic. It definitely keeps true to the character of Heathcliff and though he is a terrible, selfish, evil and passionate character – I do love his character and the love/hate between him and Cathy. Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite stories of all time and this was an appealing glimpse back into the story. I next intend to read a character analysis and critical essay collection called Heathcliff edited by Harold Bloom. It should be a very fascinating and thought-provoking read.

This is some of what I’m reading…what are you reading?

No comments: