The moving charges were based on weight; the estimate approximated by the number of rooms in the house. We had forgotten to add Matt’s work office where he kept most of his books. The actual charge was much higher than expected!
I guess that is a positive aspect of Kindles and Nooks; they make moving less expensive! But I really enjoy a paper and ink book. The smell of new pages, the crispness of breaking the binding (don’t tell my husband!), the weight of the book pressing against my thumb as I hold my breath in sweet anticipation are all part of the joy of reading.
The part I don’t like about reading is finding a good book. I don’t want to waste my time reading something that passes time but leaves it empty. I want reading to fill me up like a Thanksgiving feast saturating my soul with warmth and satisfaction, desiring to eat more but waiting because I still need to digest the first helping.
Last year I decided I would read a book every two weeks, even if no one had recommended the book to me. I would plunge into that new dish with only a cursory glance at the recipe and hope for the best. Here is what I read and what I decided, in case you prefer your books be served as “Chef’s Choice”.
Devotions of a Gerbil: Yes, I read my own book- to a group of elderly people at the nursing home. They didn’t know it was mine and they spent many mornings laughing and nodding. Try reading it with a group and discussing the questions. This one actually does come as a “Chef’s Choice”! ; )
The Good Earth: I read it every few years just to remind me that there is nothing new under the sun. A great book portraying Chinese culture in the early 1900s. Definitely recommend.
The Wizard of Oz: It’s not like the movie! Take it or leave it.
The Red Badge of Courage: Growing up doesn’t end when you become an “adult” and lessons in living and dying hide behind each tree. Have to be in the mood for this one.
The Giver: OK I have read this so many times I’ve lost count. Just go read it!!
Son: The sequel to The Giver; it isn’t as good, but still a worthy read. I mean, really, does anyone have two fabulous, all-time classics living inside of them? Lowry is a terrific author, though. Worth reading.
Jane Eyre: Hadn’t read this since high school but remembered I liked it. I still do. Age makes you read it with new eyes. An oldie but still a goodie, which means it has a lot of butter but that’s what makes it taste so good!
Frankenstein: I admit I had never read it and saw no reason to, but it was one of those “I’m teaching it so I guess I better read it” books. SO GLAD I DID! It’s deep, people.
Animal Farm: Another one that improves with age. I got it in high school; I felt it as an adult.
The Kite Runner: Shocking. Scary. Frustrating. Angry righteousness. I recommend it but I didn’t like it.
The Tempest: If you are into Shakespeare but don’t have much time, this is the one of choice. Imagine all of your mistakes meeting you on a seaside cliff and smacking you in the face. Good read.
Centering: Non-fiction book that examines life as clay on a potter’s wheel. It took me a while, because I was busy and because it needs time to digest, but it was worth it, though I didn’t care for the poetry portion.
The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay: I know I’m behind the times. They came out when I was busy raising children. If you didn’t get to read them earlier, there’s no time like the present. I mean it! Go NOW and get them. You will stay up all night reading. Guaranteed. Chef’s Choice!!
Loves God, Likes Girls: Autobiography. Easy read. Quick read. Made me think, but didn’t answer any questions. Good place to start if you are wondering about Christian homosexuals. It’s a salad so don’t expect too much.
When God Talks Back: Still working through this one; I’ll add my final response to next year’s list, but so far it is heavy and filling. It is non-fiction written by a social anthropologist looking at why evangelicals believe God hears and talks back. I’m reading it slowly because I have to think hard about it, but so far I feel impressed.
The Book Thief: One of my favorites this year! Definitely will read it again. It will make you sob from the vast beauty of the human plight to live and love no matter what. Chef’s Choice!!
The Wide Sargasso Sea: After reading Jane Eyre I decided to try this one about Mr. Rochester’s crazy wife, Bertha. It’s ok. Not a complete waste of time, but if you want sweet potatoes and peas are offered, you might be disappointed.
Anna Karenina: I’m not sure what all the hype is. Labelled a classic by those who know, but crossed off my menu.
Night: Autobiography. I liked it. If you are into the Holocaust genre you’ll enjoy it.
The New Testament NIV: Menu staple here. It won’t be cut; depend on it.
How To Win at College: Read it to get the boy ready for moving on. It had some good suggestions; I agreed with some of it, disagreed with other parts. The boy read it as part of an agreement to send him away to school and he seems to have taken away several bits.
Lent Guide: It was just that. Though it was helpful, I will look for a different one next time.
Home to Harmony: Second time reading this one. This time I read it to the old folks and we all enjoyed it. A light read for when you want a chef”s salad.
40 Days to the Joy-filled Life: The owner of our restaurant liked it better than the chef, but it was ok. If you are looking for a self-help book that still has some traces of Christianity, this is a good one.
God’s Great Blessings: A daily devotional book. Each week has a topic to explore. Good, not great.
A Year with Jesus: Another daily devotional. Anything by Peterson is thought provoking, but if you want something with substance, this is a little scarce. Good addition to other studies, not enough on it’s own. I guess it is a good appetizer, but order something else for the main course.
Around the World in 80 Days: Easy read, mind candy, weird ending. A cheeseburger and fries, nothing fancy.
Hope’s Boy: Autobiography of a man who grew up in a foster home and in the system of the 70s. Heart-wrenching and eye-opening. Good read.
The 21 Most Effective Prayers of the Bible: I enjoyed this book because it gave a biblical example of a prayer and then a modern example of the same prayer at work. Good read.
Marriage Matters: I read this to prepare for a class Matt and I were teaching. I’m not one for marriage self-help books, but this one actually had some meat to it. If you are looking for a little encouragement and insight, it’s a good one.
1000 Days in Siberia: Autobiography I found at a library sale. Worth the money and time! I have read many WW2 books over the years, but never one by a Japanese POW. It was interesting to see the war from a different perspective, and to learn the culture that got this man where he was. . . just amazing. I enjoyed the story and was surprised like a little twist of lime in the rice.
Infidel: Another autobiography, but very difficult to read because of the events. An African Muslim woman retraces her life and explains her commitment to dispelling any myths about the way women are treated. Brutal. I had a hard time reading it, though I feel more informed and think it is good I did read it in the way that an anemic person eats the liver because they know it will help.
Riding the Bus with My Sister: Autobiography that was actually quite interesting. If you know anyone with a mentally handicapped sibling, read this and see what types of issues your friend faces. Worth the time to read.
As you can see, I read more than a book every two weeks. It was like chocolate, once I got started I was hooked. At least I didn’t gain any weight from it! Enjoy a good read on me, and let me know if you have anything to suggest for me. I have already started my new list!