Wednesday, March 04, 2015

February reads

This year is the year of the nonfiction book (mostly an attempt to decrease the backlog on the kindle, as you will recall). The goal: two books per month. Read in January: one.

Goals are supposed to be "aspirational", right?

I've made up for it in February.

Bread & Wine: A love Letter to Life Around the Table, Shauna Niequist - There is a difficulty in attempting a review of this book. It's not strictly about entertaining, nor a collection of recipes woven in among a story. Instead, it's about what happens around the table. As she says:

The impulse to feed is innate. Food is a language of care, the thing we do when traditional language fails us, when we don't know what to say, when there are no words to say. And food is what we offer in celebration - at weddings, at anniversaries, at happy events of every kind. It's the thing that connects us, that bears our traditions, our sense of home and family, our deepest memories, and on a practical level, our ability to live and breathe each day. Food matters.

I can't explain why I liked this book so much, as it's really not my kind of book - too girly, too emotional, too woo-woo. But not only did I enjoy it, it made me stop and think about the connections that can be made over the table, the way we were made for community by God. Excellent read.

The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life, Melanie Shakle - Another "why did I download this?" book. I think it was recommended by another author I really enjoyed (and it was free). This is a great book, but the subject - marriage - is not immediately applicable to my life as it stands right now.

As always, though, subject matter seems to bleed over and apply to other things in ways you did not expect. Compromise is something needed in many areas, both in personal and business relationships.

Clutter Free, Kathi Lipp - This one was started in January, but finished in February. It's a bit of a different take on learning to live clutter free. Ms. Lipp deals with the causes of clutter - most specifically, the spiritual side. As she says:

God has entrusted some things to us. I believe we are to use those things to not just bless our family but those around us as well.

I love organizing and decluttering books, and this one is an excellent example of that genre. Along with the discussion of the "why" of clutter, she offers some easy, gentle ways to start ridding yourself of extra "stuff", including 50 things to get rid of today, and 50 ways to reduce the stuff coming into your life.

The Company We Keep: In Search of Biblical Friendship, Jonathan Holmes - I really, really want to like the books put out by Cruciform Press. The subjects are timely, the prose is generally accessible. But there is a reason the Reformed sector of Christian denominations is often called the "frozen chosen". While the book is well written, with some wonderful quotations on friendship, it ends up leaving the reader rather...cold. This is an intellectual treatment of what is at its base an emotional as well as spiritual subject. The information presented is all to the point, accurate and Biblical, but is laid out more as a textbook than an invitation to community.

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