Book talk

It seems like we’re in a bit of a holding pattern these days. Mike’s busy with school things, and that makes it feel like we’ve got big changes coming up for some reason. I think we do have a lot to look forward to this summer – vacation and a Patty Griffin concert and Harry Potter all come to mind. But I don’t want to be waiting for those things. I want to be enjoying life, too.

At times, I have said that I think my posts are boring when I am not reading (which is usually because I am in the middle of a book I’m not enjoying, so I don’t pick it up). I am wondering lately if my posts are sometimes boring when I read too much. At the beginning of the year, I set a goal for the number of books I would like to read this year, and while it’s not unreasonable, flying through books just to be through with them is not necessarily the best thing. I get caught up, too, in the fact that there are so many books I could be reading. I see books I’d like to read pretty much every single day. I haven’t talked much about books lately, partly because some of the things I have read have really hit home for me, and partly because I’ve been getting through books just to be getting through them. And I wonder if I haven’t been using reading as escapism from the mundane, like I talked about not so long ago.

Regardless, there have been two books lately that I really enjoyed, and would like to recommend. The first is Real Sex by Lauren Winner. I am no good at book reviews, so I’ll just say that I appreciated her discussion of the importance of discussing sex in the Christian community as well as her own vulnerability in talking about these issues. I thought that she had some very good insight. I’ve actually asked Mike if we can read it together this summer, and I would especially recommend it for people working with youth or singles. When I was coming up in youth group and stuff, True Love Waits was all the rage. I signed the card, but that wasn’t what helped me make the right choices. My parents and their commitment to answering any question I had are what helped me make the right choices. Scaring people with STDs isn’t going to keep them from having sex. It can’t be about, “How far can I go?” We have to learn how to convey more than just rules. We have to convey why purity is so important. I don’t think that’s easy, but I think this book is a start. And so, my girl crush continues.

The other book that I highly recommend is Glittering Images by Susan Howatch. It was recommended to me back in the fall, and I checked it out but never started it. Eventually I returned it, only to see it recommended again by Kristen. I think part of my problem is that the cover here at the library is seriously unappealing. However, the book was very good – it deals with how easy it is to get tied up in projecting the right kind of image, and how we can let those images control us. I honestly wasn’t sure where the story was headed, because some of the things I expected to happen happened early on in the book, which left room for all kinds of other interesting things. I have checked out the second book in the series, Glamorous Powers, and I’m looking forward to it.

I’m currently reading The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. Also on my desk? The aforementioned Glamorous Powers and a copy of Shelf Life.

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