Saturday, May 31, 2014

May Reads

Like I predicted last month, May just flew by and I had less room for reading. I did end up going through a few of my magazines waiting in the wings, which also lessens the list. I have a few magazine subscriptions I love and read cover to cover, and then pass on when I'm done, and they had been piling up.
I snapped this photo of the kids early one morning when I could hear them softly speaking together and laughing, and I popped in my head to check on them and this is what I saw. They love reading (especially comics) and I got a growly face from Ani and a tongue-shot from Lu for breaking up the fun.

*Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor was the first book I finished in May. This book was a well- defined philosophical walk through the dark, and what that means throughout our life, and our culture. If that doesn't give you an adequate description, I'm not sure that I can help you. This book has memoir of childhood darkness, essays on fear, moon cycles and exploration of caves. And somehow it works together for good. Each chapter begins with a phase of the moon, and I loved the quotes she pairs with each beginning. I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone, it's definitely a niche book, but if you're in the mood for a spiritual memoir, or a book about juxtapositions like night/light mean biblically and culturally, pick it up.

*Heaven by Randy Alcorn was our bible study's book for this semester, and we just finished the near-500 page honker. I don't know that my study group loved this book, partially because of it's size. It probably weighs at least 5 lbs, and is incredibly detailed. Every question Alcorn has ever been asked, and every detail he's researched, was in this book. The appendix alone is about 100 pages. I think it was a bit too long, possibly too much theology for the group, but I think individually, everyone enjoyed and learned from the conversation. It's a book I'd read before, and I thought it was really interesting. If you've ever wondered what will happen when you (or a loved one) passes away, this book is a great read.

*I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai was a book I really learned a lot from this month. I first heard about the 'girl shot by the Taliban' on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I thought her book would be a great read, and it was. I did have a bit of trouble with names, so if you get mired by details, but are interested in the book, I'd suggest listening to it on audio. I learned a lot about the history of the area Malala lived in (she is currently in England), and how her culture was before and after 9/11. The Swat region is a Muslim area of Pakistan, that was known for it's beauty. It was a tourist location and now it's a third world, war-zoned area. Malala writes about her passion for education for all, including girls, and she also writes about her early childhood and her family's background, which helps the reader understand why she has taken on this in the first place. This is a great memoir and I felt I gleaned a lot from understanding the region that Bin Laden was found in a few years ago, which I had very little knowledge of.

*Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker was a random library pick-up. I had seen it on a couple blogs I follow, but I didn't want to read another blogger- mommy -how- to. I'm glad I picked it up and gave it a chance, because I really enjoyed it. I finished this short (200 pg) memoir in three days, and only three because last night I was too tired to read the last 10 pages! This memoir was about Lisa-Jo's upbringing in South Africa, and loosing a parent as a young woman. This, along with growing up during apartheid fueled her decision to become a civil rights lawyer and dismiss family life. She  never wanted children (spolier: she has three now). It's a story of the harsh edges softening and beautiful imagery and unique descriptions.

*The Story of Charlotte's Web by Michael Sims is my current read this month. It's the biography of E.B. White, who wrote the beloved children's classic Charlotte's Web.

Magazines I caught up on this month were my two Mental Floss issues laying around, the newest Relevant, and Living

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