I’ve had a love affair with books for as long as I can remember. I taught myself to read watching Sesame Street re-runs in the early 80s. Growing up, I had my nose in a book for hours on end. As the years passed and children came along, I read less and less. And then when my life started to fall apart, I turned to words again. I read voraciously. Whatever I could get my hands on. I was starving for truth. for encouragement. for something to help me feel less alone in what I couldn’t begin to understand. And truth carried me through.
When life began to resolve itself, I found myself seeking out books less and less. Until without even realizing it, I ceased reading almost completely. As with most things in life, if you aren’t purposeful, they won’t happen.
Last year, I determined to change that. Without much of a goal or plan or clue when I would read, I just decided I would when I could and began. Because, isn’t just starting something so much of the battle? I began checking out books that struck my fancy or were recommended over social media feeds. And so, my love of the library was rekindled (thank you library online holds), and I started reading again. And I found a whole host of new friends.
There are book stacks all over my kitchen couch and bedside tables. They are ready when I find a moment to pick them up. I’m seeking out my phone less and I’m glad for that. My head feels clearer. I’m thinking more. And it’s been so so good.
Here are a few of my current favorite reading and recently read…
THE WHOLE BRAIN CHILD
This book was a timely recommendation from a friend on instagram. We have a household full of “feelers” which often mystify me, and I feel like I was given a window into the workings of their brain here, which was fascinating. This isn’t necessarily a parenting book. It’s a “learn how your child’s brain works and what is going on when they are freaking out” book. That said, we did come away with some very practical helps for our day-to-day interactions with the kids that have been really beneficial. I’m seeing my impatience and desire to get a quick fix more than ever. These methods take time, not gonna lie. But so worth it.
“A child can be much more receptive once the left brain is working again, and discipline can therefore be much more effective. It’s as if you are a lifeguard who swims out, puts your arms around your child, and helps him to shore before telling him not to swim out so far next time.”
WALKING ON WATER
Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time series was one of my favorites growing up; but I wasn’t familiar with any of her non-fiction writing. Another friend posted a quote from this book on instagram, and I picked it up on Amazon for $8. One of the reviewers on the flyleaf summarizes it so well : “L’Engle has the unique ability to look at her faith, her art, and her culture in an open-minded yet wholly biblical manner.” This is a book for artists, yes; but really it is a book for anyone who creates and is searching for meaning in doing so. It was a beautiful read.
“We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it”
My sister gifted me this book for Christmas and I devoured it over break. It is a beautiful window into the complexity of grief and marriage and loving again. Perhaps it was especially meaningful to me because I have walked through all three, and it was as if Berry put to words the deepest aching and thrills of my heart. His insights into the tender beauty of marriage especially are profound. This is one that I meeting with again and again, like a dear old friend.
“The living can’t quit living because the world has turned terrible and people they love and need are killed. They can’t because they don’t. The light that shines in darkness and never goes out call them on into life…
And so I began to trust the world again, not to give me what I wanted, for I saw that it could not be trusted to do that, but to give unforeseen goods, and pleasures that I had not thought to want.”
What are you reading and loving lately?