Book Talk: “Too Busy To Read” Edition

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I haven’t been “too busy to read” since…well. It’s been a while. And it’s KILLING ME.

It’s killing me, in part, because there are SO MANY GOOD BOOKS waiting for me. And they’re books I want to read (or, in at least one case, finish).

All this snow, all this stuck-insidedness, all this frothy coffee, and I am plugging away at other projects. Ahhhh, well. Tis the season…

In any event, here’s what I have read and what I’m planning to read and finish…sometime. Go ahead and chime in with what you’re reading. I might as well live vicariously… :)

Recent Reads

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Momnipotent: The Not-So Perfect Woman’s Guide to Catholic Motherhood, by Danielle Bean (advance copy) (Ascension Press, expected publication May 2014)

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars (though I’m tempted to say 6!)

Go ahead, mark May 2014 on your calendar. You not only WANT this book, you DESERVE it. How do I know it? Because I haven’t yet met a mom who doesn’t need the straight-talking, smile-wearing, common-sense-toting wisdom that Danielle Bean shares whenever she opens her mouth or writes a book. Maybe you’ve heard everything in this book already. But have you heard it lately? Have you believed it? And hey, what about y’all who haven’t heard it? I’m telling you: GREAT BOOK. Best of 2014, indeed!

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The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton (fiction, audio courtesy of Craftlit) - Free on Kindle and in many other places

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I always want to want to read the classics. You know what I mean? But…there’s all these NEW books coming out! And…well, I have a whole list of excuses.

So Craftlit is all kinds of goodness. Hostess Heather Ordover has this smooth voice that, well, makes me listen. And, get this: she was a literature professor and teacher. So I skip past all the crafty stuff, which makes up a chunk of the podcast, and let her talk to me about the book.

She has professional readers narrate the books or she uses the audio from Librivox (which, if you don’t know about it, is an awesome resource).

I wasn’t sure I would enjoy this book, to be honest, but I think where I might have put it down left to my own devices, I kept tuning in because I had Heather to point out significant things I would have missed and keep me thinking about the larger picture and implications.

One of the great reasons to read classics is that, so often, they are classics for a reason. But sometimes the reason eludes me. While I really liked this book, I think it was as much because of Heather Ordover being the English teacher I needed as because of the quality of writing or storytelling.

Current Reads

Called to Love: Finding Your Path as a Gay Christian, by Eve Tushnet (advance copy)

Oh my word. This is quite a book. I quite thought I would curl up with it over the weekend, but alas, I wasn’t able to. I think this may be a book that will not only shake people, but will also inspire them. It’s raw and, frankly, very good.

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The Hobbit or There and Back Again, by J.R.R. Tolkien (fiction, read-aloud with my nine-year-old daughter)

A few weeks ago, my husband and I went to see the second Hobbit movie. Our nine-year-old was asking about it, and the conversation naturally led to how the movie was based on one of our very favorite books/series. And when she found out we had it in the house? It was all I could do to keep her from staying up to read it all.

We started reading it aloud to each other. We’re not very far. It’s very gratifying, though, that within two pages she was exclaiming, “Mom! This is GOOOOOOD!” Ah, yes, my dear, it IS.

Up Next

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Three Gifts of Therese of Lisieux: A Saint for Our Times, by Patrick Ahern (Image Books, 2014)

I’m looking forward to this book which, though it’s not very long, looks to be the sort of jumpstart I can always use. Here’s the blurbage:

Transformation in our lives happens when we live with the confidence that “God is nothing but mercy and love.” In this inspiring book, beloved author Patrick Ahern looks at the teachings of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, through the lens of his own personal experiences in which this  “saint for our times” played such an important role for more than seventy years.  With honesty and humility, he delves into the transformational love that infused her faith, led her to be named one of only four female Doctors of the Catholic Church, and gave Ahern’s own journey direction and meaning.

Ahern focuses on what he calls the three gifts of Thérèse:  her universal appeal, her conviction, and her little way. Echoing Therese’s recognition that bureaucracy, penances, rules and commandments miss the message of love that she knew to be true, he says, “She convinced me that someone as ordinary as I could aspire to the love of God, which filled her heart to overflowing.” He hopes the same for his readers.

What have YOU been reading lately?

*Are you on Goodreads? I’ll see you there!

Curious about what my ratings mean? Here’s an explanation of what the stars mean to me.

Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.

Copyright 2014, Sarah Reinhard

6 Comments
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