August 5, 2019

what I've been reading lately, part 2

I hope next time I don't wait until I have months of reading and a big stack of books before I sit down here to remember my favorite parts of each of the books. (I'm learning my lesson today.) But I do like to take time to do this because books have such an influence on me and recording my favorite gems from each of them helps me to remember and appreciate. And I just think it's really fun...I'm a book nerd in that way.

My favorite book that I have read so far out of the 27 books I have read this year:

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

Beautiful. And powerful. I don't think I would've really appreciated it if I had read it in high school, but life's experiences and the beauty of his writing and now this book has become a new all time favorite of mine.

"I am not kind. I am a selfish and sinful man, but God put his hand on me, that is all."

Chapter 9

"But there is only one thing that has power completely, and that is love. Because when a man loves, he seeks no power, and therefore he has power."

"Who indeed knows the secret of the earthly pilgrimage? Who indeed knows why there can be comfort in a world of desolation? Now God be thanked that there is a beloved one who can lift up the heart in suffering, that one can play with a child in the face of such misery. ..."

"For a moment he was caught up in a vision, as man so often is when he sits in a place of ashes and destruction."

"My friend, your anxiety turned to fear, and your fear turned to sorrow. But sorrow is better than fear. For fear impoverishes always, while sorrow may enrich."

"It seems that God has turned from me, he said.
That may seem to happen, said Father Vincent. But it does not happen, never, never does it happen."

"Something deep is touched here, something that is good and deep. Although it comes with tears, it is like comfort in such desolation."

"But I have learned that kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering."

"Kumalo began to pray regularly in his church for the restoration of Ndotsheni. But he knew that was not enough. Somewhere down here upon the earth men must come together, think something, do something."

"But all this was not done by magic. There have been meetings, and much silence, and much sullenness."

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

If I had to pick a second favorite book so far this year, this would be it. I love reading historical fiction and this one was well done. At the end of the book there is a quote by Professor Julius Lester that  sums up well why I think it is so important to read books like this: " History is not just facts and events. History is also a pain in the heart and we repeat history until we are able to make another's pain in the heart our own." We are reading this one for a book club this month and i'm looking forward to the discussion.

"If you must err, do so on the side of audacity."

"You do your rebellions any way you can."

"Mauma's legs would walk again same as ever, but she never was the same inside. After that day, it seemed part of her was always back there waiting for the strap to be loosed."

"The sorry truth is you can walk your feet to blisters, walk til kingdom-come, and you will never outpace your grief."

"He said that was the coward's way, pining for life in the hereafter, acting like this one didn't mean a thing."

"Be careful, you can get enslaved twice, once in your body and once in your mind."

"...Is it so wrong to write a letter?...Is it so wrong to put feet to our prayers?"

"She used to say you got to figure out which end of the needle you're gon be, the one that's fastened to the thread or the end that pierces the cloth."

Silent Souls Weeping: Depression--Sharing Stories, Finding Hope By Jane Clayson Johnson

I listened to this one, but I skipped over some of the chapters. But I think everyone should read this book, especially church members. Mental health needs to be addressed and understood and not feared or shamed. I have people really close to me who suffer from depression and anxiety. It's hard to know what to do or say. This book is helpful. It also spoke to me because it brought some light into ways that cancer has affected my own mental health.

New and Selected Poems, Volume One by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver makes me like poetry. A lot. I could share poem after poem with you. But, Today, just one.

"When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world."

Parenting With Love and Logic by Foster W. Cline

This was a skim read because I've learned the concepts of this book through trainings, conversations, and other parenting books. It wasn't new information for me, but it is a really great parenting book.

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

This was a book club book. And not my favorite one. It was interesting in the fact that the main character was an author so there was a book inside a book. I couldn't get into it though and had to make myself finish it--I think it was just partly dry with history, partly unbelievable about how she was writing it, and partly too much love story for me. But everyone else seemed to really like it so don't take my word on it.

King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green

I was excited to read these stories. But I think Merlin the tv show messed that up for me. This book was not like Merlin. Haha. I had a hard time focusing on these stories so I abandoned the book. And I decided if I ever start watching TV again I will go back and rewatch Merlin.

The Infinite Atonement by Tad R. Callister

This book has been sitting out waiting for me to pick it up for years. Years, I tell you. Why I waited so long, I am not sure. And I wish I hadn't. I felt the writing was a little bit roundabout and repetitive, but there were many important things to think about so I still think it is essential for everyone to read. It was a good jump start for me on a personal study of the atonement.

"One does not speak lightly of the Atonement or casually express his appreciation. It is the most sacred and sublime event in eternity. It deserves our most intense thoughts, our most profound feelings, and our noblest deeds. One speaks of it in reverential tones; one contemplates it in awe; one learns of it in solemnity. This event stands alone, now and throughout eternity."