Here are just some of the books I have read this spring:
- "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley - It's sad I took this long to read this classic, a favorite of Dan's and more than a few of my friends. It was heavily thought-provoking, unsettling and insightful in its view of a sterilized, futuristic world.
- "Serve it Forth" by M.F.K. Fisher - Long heralded the master of culinary writing, being introduced to Fisher was like meeting an old friend and kindred. Yes, she is the truest of all "Foodies", writing about her passion for food and travel in the early to mid part of the twentieth century. But she is also a gifted, humorous writer whose spark for life shines through in each delightful essay. I can't wait to read more of her.
- "The Early Diary of Anais Nin, Volume 2: 1920-1923" by Anais Nin - Speaking of kindred... For a bi-sexual, wild bohemian who pushed the boundaries from the 1930's and beyond with her erotica and experimentation, I did not suspect to find a kindred soul whose extensive journaling, dreamer's spirit and sensitive heart so resemble my own. In countless passages I feel as if I am reading myself... it is eerie.
- "The Jane Austen Book Club" by Karen Joy Fowler - Popular bestseller with a fun premise and layout but in the end, lacking, as most bestsellers, literary as they may be, are for me. Had its moments but wasn't ultimately worth reading.
- "Interior Castle" by St. Teresa of Avila - Ben got me this book for Christmas, which was nice since I've long meant to read it. Though written in the 1300's, her honest, frank approach is every bit as applicable today to the spiritual journey of the mystic. Soul searching and remaining steadfast are themes of this journey through the many varying levels of faith. When I first began reading, I thought I'd have reached 'castle three' at best, but as I read the entire book, I surprisingly found that 'castle six' most described where I am at in my spiritual journey.
- "Blue Like Jazz" by Don Miller - A quote on the back of the book hails him as "Anne Lammot with testosterone", which is ambitious but not accurate. Her skills, craft and humor are much more focused, honed. But his honesty and straightforwardness are vauguely reminiscent of her. On his own, he wrote a simple book which immediately connects, presenting a refreshing, real Christian in today's postmodern age.
- "Diet for a Dead Planet: How the Food Industry is Killing Us" by Christopher D. Cook - Frightening expose on the production, farming and manufacturing of food in the past fifty years. Directly linked to much of the disease and sickness we know today, the way food is farmed, sprayed and grown is chilling, leaving little room for most of us to escape disease or worse without serious changes... soon.
- "Status Anxiety" by Alain de Botton - His "Art of Travel" is by far his best book, but I still enjoy his philosophical, artistic, historical approach to a subject. In this book, he deals with the meaning of status, respect and power in societies throughout the ages.
- "God's Politics" by Jim Wallis - The message of this book is desperately needed in today's Church and world, especially among evangelicals. I so wish I could have most people I know read it. Finally (!!!!), a balanced voice in politics concerned with actually following the teachings of Christ and with real issues from a GLOBAL, social justice standpoint, not a nationalistic, naive American one (though still clearly an American, he has invested much of his time in forming worldwide relationships). The book can bog down a bit, but this is easily overlooked in light of the message's vast importance.
Never let your mind be squashed by the limits of ignorant, simple pop culture or spirituality. Read on, my friends, read on.