Friday, July 1, 2011

reading recap: june.

June was a relatively light reading month, but what I did read, I chose to read slowly and deliberately. These books deserved to be chewed on, so I did.

Book: Traveling with Pomegranates
Finished: Mid-June

I don't think I ever would have picked this book up on my own; I'd never heard of it until seeing it featured on Olivia's blog a few weeks ago. It's written by the same woman who wrote The Secret Life of Bees, which I did read, but honestly can't remember very well. Anyway, I may not remember The Secret Life of Bees, but I won't be forgetting Traveling with Pomegranates any time soon. Told from the perspective of both Sue and her daughter Ann, this book offers insight into two separate milestones as they travel the globe together: turning 50/growing older and graduating from college/entering the real world. Both Sue and Ann do a pretty exquisite job of describing their various destinations. I thought that would my favorite part of the book, but I found myself really loving the ideas about feminism and femininity woven throughout, specifically as they relate to modern culture and religion. I'm tempted to read Sue's The Dance of the Dissident Daughter next. This is one I'd highly recommend, particularly if you're a woman who finds herself in either Sue's or Ann's shoes. They're lovely travel companions. 


Finished: Mid-June

I first was introduced to Shauna Niequist last fall, when I picked up Cold Tangerines and fell in love (see my original recap here). Maybe it's because I wind up reading her books at exactly the moment I need them the very most, but I always manage to discover such applicable truths in her writing. That, and her writing comes off as the confessions of a dear friend. And I like that. Her writing inspires me and brings me back to enjoying the life I have right here: making it better and becoming better myself. Plus, both Bittersweet and Cold Tangerines are written as collections of essays, making them easy to pick up and put down. (As I recall, I read Cold Tangerines slowly and one story at a time -- thank you, grad school -- but Bittersweet I pretty much devoured. And now I want to read it again.) I can't stop telling everyone I know about these books. Have you read them? What do you think?



Book: The Supper of the Lamb
Finished: Mid-June

If you follow me on Twitter, then you've no doubt heard me wax on and on about how wonderful The Supper of the Lamb is. I'm pretty sure I came across the book on Cory's blog, but when my brother told me he was purchasing a copy, I knew I had to get on the ball. We kind of read through the whole thing together, which was fun, trading quotes and ideas back and forth. (You can read his take on the book here.) I've shared the book with Jordan, with fellow blog readers, even with members of my small group. It's just so chock-full of theological truths, and even though I'm not exactly the world's best or most creative cook, I fell in love with Robert Capon, an Episcopalian priest who finds something sacred in the sharing of a meal. Some chapters were incredibly practical -- I practically highlighted everything he had to say about throwing a dinner party -- while other parts were so deeply spiritual I found them taking my breath away. You've heard me talk before about my Great Books education, and I can safely say that this should be on that list. Really. I highlighted and underlined and laughed and got ink all over my hands. I asked questions and took the book into my small group's reading of the gospel of John and shouted out quotes to Jordan from the bathtub. If you're at all interested in cooking -- or really, eating in general -- or if there's a deep part of you that knows there's something sacred about the secular parts of this world... read this. Then email me. Because there's so much to be said. 


Annie said...

i LOVE bittersweet! i'm halfway through cold tangerines now and loving it. fantastic books. all of your books this month look amazing. i'm definitely going to have to look for traveling with pomegranates when i go to the library next.

Elizabeth Dean said...

I've seen/heard good buzz about The Supper of the Lamb as well. I'll make a note to try and pick it up.

sherri lynn said...

I have been needing book recommendations! Now I want to go get Bittersweet and Cold Tangerines!

Brittany said...

I love you so much for posting your recommendations. I'm going to pick these up today!