While we’re talking of books, here are a few I’ve fallen in love with recently.
by Wendell Berry
Wendell Berry is one part farmer and one part poet. I love his writing—slow, earthen, and timeless. He writes about small town America, and the land, and love, and prayer, and what it means to be human. This is his best book, of the ones I’ve read to date. When I finished I wanted to turn back to page one and start all over again. Ryan says I should warn you that there’s occasional language.
The Mysterious Benedict Society
by Trenton Lee Stewart
I’m endlessly indebted to my friends Travis and Wendy Zook for introducing me to the Mysterious Benedict Society. My 9-year-old son Aarick and I raced through it, and were equally charmed. It’s witty and puzzling and exciting and clean, with likeable characters, great words, and surprising twists.
Now we get to start on the sequels…!
The Lord and His Prayer
by N. T. Wright
I bet you can’t guess why I’m reading this one!
I came to a phrase in the Lord’s Prayer that utterly baffled me, so I asked three good men (Bible scholars) (including my husband) what in the world to make of it. The next week at church, one of them handed me this book. I’m loving it!
Mr. Wright is direct and insightful. I enjoy his high church backdrop, his gentle language, and his passion for Jesus and truth.
Stopping at Every Lemonade Stand
by James Vollbracht
I stumbled on this book at our local library. The subtitle caught my eye, both as a mother and as a pastor’s wife—“How to create a culture that cares for kids.” Mr. Vollbracht lectures across the country on community life and the positive development of teens. He believes there are six interconnected circles of culture (the individual, the family, the neighborhood, the community, business and government, and our elders), and if we’re going to do well with our young people we must find ways to connect them into each one. We value their contributions, listen to their voices, and maximize their strengths. Wow! Now I want to start a campaign.
“Our kids are a very important barometer of how we all are doing, and if they are in crisis, we as a culture and community are in crisis as well.” —Vollbracht
Jon Klassen’s books are amazing! He builds a perfect interplay between words (only a few of them) and illustrations (understated and hilarious). He leaves lots of room for childish imagination and problem solving to figure out exactly what happened. These two stories make me laugh out loud.
The strangest thing happened to me while reading this collection of books. On Sunday I finished Stopping at Every Lemonade Stand and picked up The Lord and His Prayer to begin reading. In chapter one, I came to a full stop at this quote from T. S. Eliot: “And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
Whoa. Major déjà vu. I just read that somewhere!
Sure enough—in the final chapter of Stopping at Every Lemonade Stand. Now how weird is that?
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What have you been reading lately? I’m always up for more suggestions!