I’m stealing this idea. It’s debatable if I love to read or to write more. Neither is my strongest innate talent but they are certainly the skills I have practiced the most. So what’s better than writing about reading?
What are you currently reading?
The Bible This is an ongoing thing. I used to be in the good habit of reading a few pages every morning. But to be honest it got to be too much of a pain to have to beg for a few minutes of quiet and I lost the habit. These days it’s a few pages most evenings in bed. Both those habits formed long ago. There might be something wrong with an 11 year old who set out to read the Bible. I was hungry and it was all I had so I ate it up as best I could, bite by bite. There are still parts I don’t chew very well or find I skim over and scrape to the side of the plate. Luckily now I have both the internet and trusted people who are willing to answer questions to help. Twenty years ago I was on my own.
Red Letter Christians – Tony Campolo. While I’m enjoying this book I think I liked God’s Politics by Jim Wallis slightly more, although it was ten years ago I read it and that opinion might be clouded by time. Or perhaps by that God’s Politics was the first hint I had that someday, somewhere I might find my way back to church.
NA-It Works, How and Why – I haven’t been spending as much time as I should with this book and it is starting to show in my relationships. I used to think staying clean was just about not using drugs and that working the steps was all about me. Was I ever wrong. No, when they say it’s a spiritual program they’re on to something. It’s more of a simple guide for living right with God and fellow human beings. God’s a lot more forgiving. Staying right with people is hard. The steps address the issues that led to using. It does work, despite my skepticism I have found them to be incredibly useful tools for honoring God and taking care of myself and living a response-able life. But tools are only useful for me if I pick them up and get busy.
Open Secret – Rumi. I love poetry. I pick this up and savor a page here and there.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Treasury. Shh. My love of Chicken Soup books has been one of my little dirty secrets for several years. Some of these stories make me cry. Some make me laugh. Some inspire me to try to live better. A few make me roll my eyes. They are short, uplifting stories I can easily read in a few minutes in the bathroom when the kids are underfoot. I am an expert at squeezing in every reading minute I can find.
What did you recently finish reading?
Codependent No More – Melody Beattie. Informative and useful. I don’t always maintain my boundaries very well. But I also learned I’m not a very good codependent. There’s this still a very strong part of me that senses when a situation is wrong or unhealthy and gets stubborn about it. I might let my boundaries get pushed but once the most important ones get stepped over I’m good at defending myself and my kids. I do have a pattern of relationships with other addicts and it is true that my insistence that somethings will not happen around my kids and that some behavior will not be tolerated in my house has led more than one to decide to bail. I can do better but in fairness to myself I do better than I thought.
Love Wins – Rob Bell. I loved this book. Go read it. Best birthday present I’ve ever been given.
NA Bluebook – I clung to this my first weeks clean. It offered hope and sanity and a path to a brighter future.
A Woman’s Way Through the 12 Steps – Stephanie Covington. A lot of recovery literature is fairly male-centric. Partially that is just a problem with English pronouns, partially because even today women sometimes don’t get an equal voice. And frequently I notice that we are under-represented in meetings. It was nice to get another perspective and validation that some girl-specific issues aren’t only in my head or me being ‘too sensitive.’
The Birth of Venus – Sarah Dunant. A lively and entertaining novel. Also an interesting historical fiction piece addressing Christianity in renaissance Italy and women’s place in society and religion. One of the influences that pushed me toward wanting to go back to church.
The Great Gilly Hopkins and Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson. Actually I read these aloud to my kids. They are beautiful, if sad, stories about kids’ grief and situations. It’s hard to find books for kids that deal with raw, real emotion sensitively and without being patronizing or preachy. Recommended reading for grown-ups too.
What do you think you will read next?
Good question. I have a few hundred books on my To Read shelf. And another pile a friend lent that all look good.