Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Wrap-up on books for 2007

I had good intentions -- keeping a running list of books that I've read in any given year -- but I fell behind.

I'm the kind of person that reads constantly. You can go into just about any room in my house and find some book that I am currently reading. It's one of my great passions in life, and some days the only thing that keeps me sane.

Remembering to keep track of them, however, proved to be difficult. I hope to do better in the coming year!

There's no way to remember all of them, so I'll just hit some of the highlights:

Till We Have Faces (C.S. Lewis). I brought this to the hospital with me when I had Grace. It is a retelling of the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche, written by one of my favorite authors of all time. I must admit, though, that my timing for this book was a little off -- just giving birth via c-section, and dealing with intense sleep-deprivation and panic attacks, is NOT the time to try to read something deep and meaningful on so many levels. I will have to re-read this one when my mind is a bit more focused. Just taking it on surface level, however, it is still a wonderful story.

Mystics and Miracles: True Stories of Lives Touched By God (Bert Ghezzi) Wonderful, wonderful book if you love to read about the lives of the saints!

Swimming With Scapulars: True Confessions of a Young Catholic (Matthew Lickona). I had read this book once before, but it was so good it deserved a second reading. Sometimes funny, sometimes dead serious, Lickona faithfully chronicles the trials, struggles and "little victories" about his life of faith as a 30-something year old Catholic. He is painfully honest about his spiritual life, and I found reading this book to be incredibly encouraging as I see, once again, that I am not alone. Others have asked the same questions I have, and have had to come to terms with a spiritual life that is often messy and confusing. He is a fantastic writer and I highly endorse this book!

Plenty: One Man, One Woman, And a Raucous Year of Eating Locally (Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon) Those who remember my anti "made in China" posts should not be at all surprised by this book! This is a story of a couple who decided to eat ONLY what was grown within a 100-mile radius of their home (and yes, that includes spices as well). While they got off to a slow start (potatoes, anyone?), they soon connected with local farmers, local hunters/trappers, and learned how to grow/harvest their own food. While I could never restrict my diet quite this severely, I found the concept utterly fascinating. As one of the authors noted, he was constantly asked if eating only what was in season was "boring." He found that, rather than being boring, he was now exposed to a whole world of fruits and vegetables not found in traditional supermarkets. A quick scan of the fresh produce section of any local grocery store will find one, maybe two, kinds of tomatoes... one or two kinds of cabbage... one variety of yellow onion... a few varieties of apples... and so on and so forth. As he became acquainted with local farmers who grew heirloom vegetables, he found hundreds of different varieties of vegetables that he never knew existed.

As I read this book, I had to stand back amazed, once again, at how our God truly provides for us abundantly. He didn't just create ONE kind of tomato, or fish, or tree, or berry, but THOUSANDS! And yet most of us are completely unaware of the rich banquet that surrounds us, or that in spite of the miraculous progress that has taken place in food growth/delivery, we have unintentionally impoverished ourselves.

They have a website -- The 100-Mile Diet -- that talks a bit more about their desire to eat locally.

That will have to be the last book review for 2007. I will try to get myself better organized for 2008!

Here's the "final" list for 2007:
  • By What Authority? An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition (Mark P. Shea)

  • No Price Too High (Alex Jones)

  • The Authentic Catholic Woman (Genevieve Kineke)

  • Padre Pio: A Man of Hope (Renzo Allegri)

  • The Catholic Mystique (Jennifer Ferrara)

  • A Return to Modesty (Wendy Shalit)

  • The Thrill of the Chaste (Dawn Eden)

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snicket)

  • Three Tales of My Father's Dragon (Ruth Stiles Gannett)

  • The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis)

  • Snowflakes in September (Elizabeth Sherrill))

  • Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis)

  • The Weight of Glory (C.S. Lewis)

  • Miracles of John Paul II (Pawel Zuchniewicz)

  • The How-To Book of the Mass (Michael Dubriel)

  • Reasons to Believe (Scott Hahn)

  • Good Omens (Neil Gaiman)

  • The Great Divorce (C.S. Lewis)

  • Swear To God (Scott Hahn)

  • No Wonder They Call it the Real Presence (David Pearson)

  • The Shadow of His Wings (Gereon Goldmann)

  • Left to Tell (Immaculee Ilibagiza)

  • The Bad Catholic's Guide to Wine, Whiskey, and Song (John Zmirak)

  • Till We Have Faces (C.S. Lewis)

  • Mystics and Miracles (Bert Ghezzi)

  • Swimming with Scapulars (Matthew Lickona)

  • Plenty (Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon)

    Meredith said...

    Wow, that's a pretty big list for a lady who had a baby :) I always find good things to read from your lists, thank you! Some of us are joining goodreads, I'll send you an invite and see if you like it, it's pretty neat! Love,

    Lisa said...

    I love lists, and book lists by people whose taste and discernment I trust are the best!

    SuzanneG said...

    I just ordered a couple of the Scott Hahn books from the library. Thought maybe I'd read the book and then I ordered the book on tape for dh.....maybe that will work....we'll see.

    Great list.....can't wait to spend some time clicking on the links....I always love hearing about your reads.