Saturday, January 18, 2014

Books Almighty

I am a rabid reader. A book-hound, if you please.
I read like crazy. I shelf books only to tackle them again and again and again.
My books collapse along my bedside, exhausted from the fight.
Everything I know or will ever know, everything I've learned or will ever learn has come from reading. It's how I learn best.
I've committing myself to keeping track of all the books I read in 2014 and this is the best place for me to hold them (and myself) accountable.
Let the insanity begin...

Attica Locke writes the way I always dreamed of sharing a story.
There is no mental pressure or second guessing. You are absorbed into the story. You can almost hear the mosquitos hum and smell the tire scars on the highway and feel the heat wave on the hairs of your neck.
The Cutting Season is a book that absorbs you the minute you open it.
Locke welcomes you into the time, setting, and characters before you turn the first page of the first chapter. What author does that very well?
Attica Locke does. She does it very well.
And you keep reading because you care.

The Cloud of Unknowing is the one book I would suggest to anyone needing spiritual guidance.
It was written to a soul who was on a spiritual journey and its wisdom spans the years and cultures and languages. The author is unknown which probably explains why it so mysteriously speaks to each soul who reads it without leading anyone to look over their shoulder or at the roadside alongside of them. This book is by a soul who teaches our souls how to live life while keeping our eyes on our own mission.
It's a treasure.

My guardian saint for 2014 is St. Francis de Sales.
I've always admired him and his message to housewives and our work within the home, especially his one-on-one mentoring to St. Jane de Chantal who was a personal favorite of Venerable Zelie Martin.

Thy Will be Done

Letters of Spiritual Direction

Introduction to the Devout Life

We've had Lidia's Christmas picture book (Nonna Tell Me a Story) on our Christmas shelf the past couple of Christmases so I was delighted to find this new one. It's a book that smiles a message, a life, and an understanding of what I want life at MayMay's house to be like for my children and grandchildren.
And have I mentioned that I collect picture books that share recipes at the very back?
This treasure holds 19 various recipes that intersect with the 4 seasons of the year.
"Nonni Lidia smiled. 'Ingredients are like members of a family,' she said. 'Each one is unique, and together they can make something quite special.' "
The messages Lidia shares at the book's beginning are messages all women of the home should share...with one another, with our daughters and daughter-in-loves, and our grandchildren.
It's a passing of much wisdom and much love. 
(And did I mention the illustrations are by Renee' Graef---gotta love it)

This book that got me through my 20's and 30's, my cycles, my fertility, my five full-term pregnancies and my one miscarriage, the things I ate and the things I avoided, as well as understanding my body's language.
I saw it yesterday on our Christian bookstore shelf and it was like running into an old, well-loved mentor who I hadn't seen for a very long time.
Freshly made-up and a little thicker around the waist but it made me smile with recognition at my own thickening waist line and how well it counseled me through those very fertile years...that were really too short afterall.
Fertility, Cycles, & Traditions by Marilyn M. Shannon

What a sad story. What an empty life.
And I do love the mysterious side of life.
I was able to get through the first couple chapters of this one before having to walk away.
It seems to be extremely well-done and I'm biting my nails to read more.
It instantly went on my want-to-buy kindle list.
A belated Christmas book appeared on our table this month as it set up a discussion regarding a desired mission trip and administering to orphanages. It also recalled the oft-heard stories from Opa and MawMaw Red about a sweet orange being their most favored (and flavored) Christmas gift and memory.
(goes arm in arm, so well, with the Christmas Mosaic book An Orange for Frankie)
And remember the benefits of picture books are ripe, even for older children:
(give your child 15 minutes a day)


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