My reading list is growing and growing and I'm almost at the point of being overwhelmed by it. New things just keep begging for my attention even though there are a few I haven't been able to get to.
I am pretty prone to wandering around the 200s section in the library. As I did so, I found A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life by Parker J. Palmer. It became my New Year's read, leading me into 2011 with a new purpose: "How do we change those deeply embedded habits of fixing, saving, advising and setting each other straight?" My hope is that I'm a better listener this year as a result.
I wanted to look into the life of someone who lives out compassion. This Is a Soul: The Mission of Rick Hodes is just such a life. His work in Ethiopia came to my attention as my friend, Eisley, was headed there herself (with my luggage full of things for her "adopted" child's family). So, I thought I'd enjoy a look into where she was headed and found an extra helping of inspiration as well. It's back at the library if you want to check it out.
Something about this story plays into my overactive sense of justice. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is about THE woman whose cells have been used for just about anything science has done and discovered in the past 60 years -- and yet her family can't afford health insurance. It's intriguing and heart breaking at the same time. It's a bit of a tangent from my usual repertoire, but I'm diving in.
I'm leading a little Bible study group and we've taken on the task of the whole book of Mark this session. As it turns out, the study guide we're using relies on Mark for Everyone for it's "answer key." I'm a bit disappointed that the guide uses leading tactics, but reading this commentary is worth the frustration of encountering the unanswerable question.
I am helping to plan a retreat for newlyweds and as we've prepped our content and purpose I discovered that Great Expectations: An Interactive Guide to Your First Year of Marriage, by a new friend of my husband, happens to be hitting all the topics we'll hit on the retreat. I'm going to speed through this one so I can pass it on because I think it will be very useful. BTW -- click on the button on my sidebar to follow the progress (praise God!) Joanne is making as she recovers from her stroke.
This is on my Must Read List for the year. I have One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are on my Kindle and I'm reading it slowly because I never, ever, ever want it to end. It's quite possibly the most beautiful book I've ever read. My friends who are reading it concur. It's that amazing.
I haven't read anything by Tim Keller before but everyone I know who has says it's completely worth the time. The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith was another birthday gift.
The books that popped up since New Years.
I see a little unit study of my own in these three: telling and hearing the story of our lives. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life one has been on my "B" list since it came out, but when my mother-in-law gave me Storycatcher: Making Sense of Our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story book for my birthday and when I finally was able to locate The Rock That Is Higher: Story as Truth (one of my "must reads" for this year) it seemed appropriate to put them all together for some concentrated thought.
Books to toss in when other stuff gets too heavy.
I'm saving a couple for a time when I just need to stop thinking and read something for fun. A friend gave me Stuff Christians Like for my birthday for my new Kindle. I've laughed at the blog so I expect it will be truthfully amusing. Churched: One Kid's Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess is another chapter in my personal quest to read all-things-by-disillusioned-church-kids. I hear it's funny. We'll see.
From the used vortex.
Our libraries all have "used" sale sections and I swear it's a dangerous forced vortex. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books showed up in my hands and I neglected to put it back, though I have no idea when I'll get to it. An Altar in the World: Finding the Sacred Beneath Our Feet is by an author that I've grown to appreciate in the past few years and I didn't know she had anything new out. I'm looking forward to fitting this one in.
See. It's ridiculous, right?