Friday, June 15

Read it Again

My summer reading theme this year is "Re-Reads."  Last year I caught up with various sub-cultures a bit as I read through some of the most influential books from the past 10 years.  This year, I'm catching up with my former self and standing her back-to-back with my present self, measuring the distance between.  I'm re-reading those books that had significant influence on me, maybe left me breathless, and asking the question, "Does this book still hold its place?"

These books are attached to moments and experiences.  When I read them I endured a hard/interesting season of life, pondered a question, sought out a perspective.  As I re-read the books, I'm looking back to where I was the first time, seeing where I've changed, how life took turns I wasn't expecting.

The list is significant.  But the moments re-lived may be more overwhelming.

East of Eden
East of Eden
To begin I've picked up the book that began my love of Steinbeck, East of Eden.  I took it along on a roadtrip with my husband up California's Highway 101 through Steinbeck country. Three years into marriage.  One church down.  Seminary educations in full swing. Childless and idealistic.  This story gave me a dose of reality I couldn't relate to and yet couldn't shake.  Have I seen and understood more of this reality in the time in between?  And just when I had my Steinbeck collection all in matching orange spines, why did Penguin go and change the design?
The Pursuit of God
The Pursuit of God

Secondarily, I've re-opened The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer on my Kindle.  This is one that I read during our impossible journey years ago.  When we were packing up everything to put in storage for an undetermined amount of time, I kept this book out knowing I needed what it had for me.  While waiting, praying, crying out to be heard, hoping, sighing, living without a home, without a job, or a purpose  I'd put our two kids to bed in our borrowed rooms at my parents house and go out on the arbor swing and just let Tozer teach and calm my anxieties.  Our current season is the opposite of that one.  Will Tozer still give clarity toward a fuzzy future?

The rest of the list:
Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle
Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright
Men and Women in the Church by Sarah Sumner
Working the Angles by Eugene Peterson
Gift from the Sea by Ann Morrow Lindbergh
Night by Elie Wiesel
Entering His Presence by Don McMinn
The Skilled Helper by Gerard Egan
Native Son by Richard Wright
Sacred Companions by David Benner
Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist

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