Saturday, April 07, 2007

What I'm Reading: Book Hunt

I went on a book hunt today. I'm always losing my books (read my lost books post here).

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, Donald Miller. On the garden shelf. I think I was reading this one in the sky-blue hammock and probably set it on the shelf so that I wouldn't lose it. The book is lovely to read, challenging, thought-provoking. It's hard to read at times, for me, because it makes me think it's nearing time to enter one of those parts of my life when it's time to dig deeper, think harder, work more. I don't necessarily agree with Miller's ideas or direction wholeheartedly, but he makes me think and his committment and passion for Christ are inspiring.
The Good Earth, Pearl Buck. On the kitchen counter next to my purse. I took it to kindergarten gent's gymnastics class to read while I waited. I bought The Good Earth because I thought I should read it. I thought it was going to be inspiring, the all-too-earnest kind of inspiring, and stilted and boring. Instead it is lovely. Buck's story of pre-revolutionary China in the 1920's is compassionate and honest and clear. I'm reading now about wrenching grinding poverty and starvation, with families literally eating dirt in order to survive. I've not even read half the book and I know that this will probably go on my list of top reads for the year.

Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis. On the top of my school basket, I have no idea how it got there. I finally finished The Screwtape Letters, and moved on to Mere Christianity. I've barely begun, and I may set it aside for a while, at least until I finish Blue Like Jazz.

Wild Days: Creating Discovery Journals, Karen Skidmore Radcliffe. On the buffet next to the science and nature tray, accompanied by our butterfly book and our book on seeds. It's nature time of year. I've already read and reviewed this one, but I've been paging through for ideas. Along with Wild Days, I've borrowed a page from Nina at Painted Rainbows and Chamomile Tea and we're choosing 2-3 books each week to re-read throughout the week. This week we've got some seed experiments, and caterpillars for our butterfly garden on the tray, so we're reading Where Butterflies Grow, Joanne Ryder and Lynne Cherry, and How a Seed Grows, Helene Jordan and Loretta Krupinski.

Puppies for Dummies, Sarah Hodgson. On the chair outside with the puppy stuff. This book wasn't actually lost. I carry it around with me like the puppy bible. I thought, "Gee, I wonder if I should get a puppy book? I mean, how hard can it be?" Puppies for Dummies has been so helpful. I don't follow it to the letter, but just understanding a little about dog world has helped. The information is clearly presented and easy to follow.

The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, Maxine Hong Kingston. On the nightstand next to the bed. When things get chaotic, it's always nice to pick up an old favorite. I've loved this book since I read it in college. A memoir of growing up Chinese-American and listening to her mother's stories of China, it's beautiful, haunting, mesmerizing.

I've put Mere Christianity away until I've finished Blue Like Jazz. Wild Days is back in the nature backpack, and the gents made off with the two picture books after we looked at the seeds and caterpillars this evening. Puppies for Dummies is on the mantle next to Poppy's crate. That leaves me with three books to read...and three locations to remember. Oops, I just realized that Blue Like Jazz is still outside. I'd better go get it.


Lesley said...

I LOVE The Good Earth! Although I have to admit, it is painful to read.

nina said...

I loved the Good Earth. It was my high school english teacher's favorite book. I didn't read it until years after high school and I am glad that I waited. It is a great book to read as an adult. There is a part where the father shares a bean with a child that still makes me weep if I think of it.

Focusing on a handful of books each week really has improved our reading life. We still read whatever Citcat brings to me but I am finding so many great opportunities for learning by rereading books each week.

Goodness you have been writing a lot lately. I'm having a hard time keeping up!