Thursday, January 15, 2015

Quick Lit: starting the year off right

Today I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy's monthly "Quick Lit" post where we share what we've been reading.  I've begun my year's reading with two very different but very good pieces of nonfiction:

  An Altar in the World:  A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor.  Her focus in this book is how the spiritual is found not just in church but in the everyday, earthly things of life:  coping during an ice storm, experiencing physical pain, getting lost, saying no, and other topics that we might not, at first, think of as carrying spiritual meaning.  I had read a few of Brown Taylor's essays before, but this was the first complete book of hers I've read, and I enjoyed her unique and personal observations about the integration of the sacred and the mundane.



When We Were On Fire by Addie Zierman.  As a teen in the 1990's, Zierman was immersed in Christian culture:  attending prayer rallies, going on youth outreach trips, making vows of chastity, and trying to be everything she thought God (and her boyfriend) wanted her to be.  After marriage and a year teaching in China, Zierman returned disillusioned with Christianity and desperately seeking friendship and community.  Her struggles to to find meaningful connections and her problems with alcohol and depression are depicted honestly and unflinchingly in this book; at times it's tough to read about someone in so much pain.  But there's a lot of hope, too, and she writes with humility and with grace for others and  herself. 

What are you reading right now?  Did you get any good books for Christmas?

9 comments:

  1. I'm reading The Brothers K, and it is a well written, LONG piece of fiction!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm embarrassed to admit that when I first heard someone mention "The Brothers K," I thought they were referring to "The Brothers Karamazov" in a show-offy way (like referring to "Anna Karenina" as "Anna K" or something) -- I didn't know they were 2 separate books! I've never read either one; is it helpful to have read the Dostoevsky one before reading this one?

      Delete
    2. Ha ha! I think this is a common misunderstanding so you are not alone! If it is helpful to have read the Dostoevsky one first, I wouldn't know because I haven't read it (yet! Bucket list)! :) My husband said he has a friend who read The Brothers K (by David James Duncan) and told him it was loosely based off of the classic. The Duncan book reminds me a LOT of Prayer for Owen Meany - just really detailed and rich storytelling. It's helpful to be a fan of baseball or religious discourse, since those are the two main themes of the book.

      Delete
  2. I've read some really great blog posts by Zierman. I think it's time that I read her book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you'll enjoy it, Sarah -- I thought it was just excellent. Thanks for dropping by.

      Delete
  3. These sound interesting; thanks for sharing! Reading through the comments, I had to laugh when I came across the reference to The Brothers K -- I thought the same thing when I first heard that title! The Dostoevsky novel is one of my favorites, so maybe I need to check out the other:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really glad it wasn't just me, Teresa! :-)

      Delete
  4. Now, I am curious as to how her year in China affected her faith. Going to have to check this one out sometime. Thanks, Jeannie! Oh, and I got Bird by Bird for Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved that one, Anne! Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete

Please leave a comment. I love to hear from readers, and I always reply!