Tuesday, March 25, 2014

5 Books to Beat the Is-It-Really-Still-Snowing Blues

Use Grammarly's plagiarism detector because plagiarism is such a waste of mind!

One of my favorite ways to keep from sinking into a mental sludge during these gray winter months (it is supposed to snow again tonight!) is...to read. Surprise?! My favorite way to deal with anything is to put a book between me and whatever that anything is. This year especially, during the never ending line-up of sun-absent days these books have been my balm.  

This book hushed some insecurities that have been whispering in my ears lately about the choices our family is making regarding our use of time and energy. Tsh Oxenrider author of the blog,The Art of Simple writes in an authentic voice about what intentional living looks like in her world.  Focusing on topics that are important to her, Oxenrider visits travel, education, food, work, and entertainment in the books short chapters. This work is not a how to guide but rather an inspirational peek into a life lived intentionally.

I'm grinning abundantly at The Antelope in the Living Room and have been ever since I read the books endorsements just inside the cover page...the funny began even there. 

Author Melanie Shankle picks up the heart and the humor where she left off in her debut book Sparkly Green Earrings and delivers it again here in chapter after chapter.

A book I finished earlier this year is a memoir called Little Black Sheep by recording artist Ashley Cleveland. 

Of this book Michael Card says: “Little Black Sheep is not really about my friend Ashley in the end. It is not about her life as much as the One who gave her life and redeemed its brokenness. That she could tell such a complete and compelling story in so few pages is a testimony to a gifted writer.”  

I’m reading slowly through Kathleen Norris’ rich words in her book The Cloister Walk. Her theology and mine match on few points but there is something compelling about her experiences as a Protestant living in a Benedictine monk community. 

Some of my favorite words thus far...

"In our culture, time can seem like an enemy: it chews us up and spits us out with appalling ease. But the monastic perspective welcomes time as a gift from God, and seeks to put it to good use rather than allowing us to be used up by it."
"The monastic discipline of listening aims to still a body and soul so that the words of a reading may sink in. Such silence tends to open a person..."
"It is impossible for us to be surrounded by worldly honor and at the same time to bear heavenly fruit...to keep bearing fruit one must keep returning, humbly to the blank page, to the uncertainty of the writing process, and not pay much heed to the 'noted author' the world wants you to be."
As for fiction I've been reading a highly touted book from 2013 called Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter which is described by Amazon.com as the author's "funniest, most romantic, and most purely enjoyable novel yet. Hailed by critics and loved by readers of literary and historical fiction, Beautiful Ruins is the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962...and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later." 

Beautiful Ruins is my current treadmill book and it's making the miles much more enjoyable.

Up next in my queue are:

The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger

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