Um, it’s almost March and I’ve finished only 2 books on my 2015 Reading Challenges (and they were just children’s Newbery books). Too many unexpected books popped up. How does that happen?
But the unexpected ones have been outstanding! Once a month we share the books we’ve finished reading and are reading now at 5 Minutes for Books. Here is my list for February.
BOOKS I’M READING NOW
by George Eliot
This novel is a picture of English community in the 1800s. Eliot develops the characters slowly and richly (i.e., it’s long!), but it’s interesting, so in this case, long is good. It’s my pick for the category “A Classic by a Woman Author” for the Back to the Classics Challenge.
2. Pray, Write, Grow
Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together
by Ed Cyzewski
If you write and if you pray, you’ll appreciate Ed’s newest book on both. It’s short but full, and it’s only $.99 if you pre-order now (I don’t know how much longer). I’m reading a review copy; the real thing comes out March 11. All Ed’s books are well worth reading.
3. A 10-Week Journey to Becoming a Vessel God Can Use
by Donna Partow
A study book for small groups or individuals, this has been on my shelf for years. So I added it on my TBR Pile Challenge this year to either read or get rid of. (But I confess I’m not taking 10 weeks as recommended….)
4. Fever 1793
by Laurie Halse Anderson
This award-winning novel is about the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia in 1793. It’s making me anxious—who will die next? Another book from the 12 on my TBR Pile.
5. Abandonment to Divine Providence
by Jean-Pierre de Caussade
Written in the 1700s (published in 1861), this classic is about abandoning ourselves to God in the present moment—a holy moment—with God’s will guiding all things. It’s important reading for my One Word “now” year. It’s also my “Nonfiction Classic” pick for the Back to the Classics Challenge.
BOOKS I FINISHED FROM JANUARY’S LIST
1. Mr. Popper’s Penguins
by Richard Atwater
This novel is a cute, short children’s book (made into a movie) about a family being gifted a penguin and the havoc and joy it brings. It was my 1930s pick for the Newbery through the Decades Challenge.
2. 40 Days with the Holy Spirit
Fresh Air for Every Day
by Jack Levison
This is a devotional but with depth. I’m re-reading and praying through it slowly with Holy Spirit for the 40 Days of Lent.
3. Deep Down Dark
The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free
by Hector Tobar
Read this one! It’s a great story, it’s true, and it’s well-written. You remember the mine collapse in Chile in August 2010, right? This is the official behind-the-scenes look from the perspective of the men trapped as well as their families and rescuers. It’s being made into a movie so read the book first. I doesn’t matter that you already know the ending.
4. The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
Love, love, love the story-telling by Markus Zusak. He’s an artist. The story is of course marvelous too about a young girl and family in Nazi Germany, but the writing—oh my.
The Art of Living
by Richard Rohr
I haven’t read any books by Richard Rohr that I haven’t liked yet. This is one of my favorites so far. It’s about many things spiritual, and he lays it all out plainly.
“I’m convinced that we have transformed the Gospel into self-control. On the other hand I’m convinced that the Gospel itself is about self-surrender. But self-control is a masculine way of thinking. And self-surrender is perhaps rather a feminine form of thinking. We haven’t allowed God to teach us to surrender.” – Richard Rohr
6. Falling Upward
A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life
by Richard Rohr
Another excellent Rohr book about participating in the divine life even more, the older we get.
“True religion is always a deep intuition that we are already participating in something very good, in spite of our best efforts to deny it or avoid it. In fact, the best of modern theology is revealing a strong “turn toward participation,” as opposed to religion as mere observation, affirmation, moralism, or group belonging. There is nothing to join, only something to recognize, suffer, and enjoy as a participant. You are already in the eternal flow that Christians would call the divine life of the Trinity.” – Richard Rohr
7. Simply Open
A Guide to Experiencing God in the Everyday
by Greg Paul
This one is about paying attention in the midst of the busy world to the presence of the Spirit of God, using the avenues he’s given to all of us: our eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, hands, mind, and heart. Within each sense, Greg Paul focuses on these four areas: releasing, receiving, becoming, and doing. It’s good, especially if you want to live more contemplatively.
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What are you reading this month? Please share here.
- Jesus’ gloves
- Simply open to God