Sunday, June 25, 2006

What I'm Reading...Here at Summer's True Beginning

I know summer feels like it's been underway since Memorial Day, but on the calendar, it officially began this past Wednesday. I've had cause to remember it as the Boop was very excited about the first real day of summer, and we counted down to it for pretty much the last week of spring. Now that the season has arrived, she keeps reminding us how many days have passed, as in "today's the fourth day of summer...!" The other evening she prayed "And thank you Jesus for a good second day of summer," which made my heart almost burst with grateful smiles.

I've not done a "reading round-up" in a while, and probably should...though this casual posting will likely take the place of that. I had good intentions when the year started about keeping an official LIST of everything I'm reading, but it just isn't happening. So here, in no order except the order of how they come to me, are a few rambles on where my reading attention's been focused of late.

Current church events/theology. I'm mostly reading blog posts and journal articles on the recent General Convention. Kendall Harmon has the best blog at "titusonenine" -- it's an amazing repository of analysis from all perspectives, which keeps me grounded in both charity and clarity. I'm also busy plowing my way through the 34 page docoument on Trinitarian language recently written/distributed at the Presbyterian General Assembly. There's been a big brouhaha over some of the reommendations made there, and I decided I neded to see for myself what the fuss is about. It's interesting reading thus far, more orthodox and worth chewing on than I expected (at least they're still doing theological reflection in that denomination!) but with some problematic areas.

I'm also reading Brian MacLaren's Generous Orthodoxy (good, thought-provoking read, though not quite as radical as I expected, at least in the first few chapters).

Mysteries. My biggest fiction time lately has been spent with mysteries. I think I've now read every Dorothy Simpson novel I can reasonbly get my hands on, barring inter-library loan. I haven't bothered listing them all here because their names are all alike (and most have "death" somewhere in the title!). After awhile the books begin to run into each other and blur a bit too - she really stuck to a formula but it's one I like so I don't mind. They feel like comfort food. I'm also reading the second Ian Rutledge mystery by Charles Todd. Good stuff, but much harder to get into and stay into than the Simpson, though perhaps more rewarding in the end.

Kate DiCamillo. I love her work. All of it. And I'm especially in love with The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane which I just finished on Friday -- and finished reviewing for Epinions today. Score two for DiCamillo -- this and Because of Winn-Dixie are two of my favorite juvenile novels/stories from the past decade. What beautiful writing. She's up there with Katherine Paterson and Patrica MacLachlan for me now.

Have almost finised Dear Genius -- Ursula Nordstrom's letters. The final third feels like I'm slogging through molasses, which is really weird because the first 2/3 went like lightning. I was staying up late at night to read those letters. I don't know if it's me or the book (I have a theory, which I'll try to work out when I review it) but my interst is waning a bit. Of course it's a lengthy collection.

Devotionally, I'm tackling Tom Wright's Hebrews for Everyone -- trying to read one passage from Hebrews followed by his reflection each day.

Also reading some stuff on homeschooling...but it's late and I just realized how tired and stiff my back is. I work in the morning, which means more hours at a desk. I'd really better call it quits and get some rest.

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