Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April "Twitterature"

Today I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy's monthly "Twitterature" post to share what I've been reading.




It was my 50th birthday last week and I received many books as gifts:
- An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor
- Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
- The Thorny Grace of It by Brian Doyle (I reviewed that one in my March "Twitterature" post)
- Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Peanuts
- Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey

I'm looking forward to getting through this awesome stash! I've started with the Downton Abbey book and am enjoying it for all the interesting background details and sumptuous photographs.




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For our book study group last month I read Parker Palmer's To Know as We Are Known:  Education as a Spiritual Journey.  This is one of Palmer's earlier books; in it he hasn't quite developed the comfortable personal voice that characterizes his later books like Let Your Life Speak.  Some parts of the book are too abstract for my taste (for example, the epistemology section, which for some of my book group's members was the best part); but it contains some very profound reflections on how our education system has become objectified and how the classroom should be a free, safe space to seek truth within relationship.  I would certainly recommend this book for any person or group interested in education and the quest for truth.




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I also read Evolving in Monkey Town:  How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions by Rachel Held Evans.  Held Evans grew up in Dayton, Tennessee (home to the Scopes "monkey trial," hence the title), a conservative town where being a Christian meant being an expert in apologetics with a doubt-proof world view.  But when her own doubts started creeping in, she realized her faith needed to change:  she had to face those doubts and start asking the questions she'd always been afraid to ask.  I loved this book.  Held Evans is so frank and open about her journey from confident certainty to a more humble acknowledgement that being a Christian didn't mean she had to have things all tied up in a neat package.  "God's ways are higher than our ways not because he is less compassionate than we are but because he is more compassionate than we can ever imagine." 

(Note:  this book has been re-released under a new title, Faith Unraveled.  Good call.)



10 comments:

  1. Happy birthday! Great recap of the RHE book. I like that quote. I might check it out.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by -- and I'd definitely recommend RHE's book.

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  2. These look like so much fun! That Downton Abbey book looks fabulous!

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    1. Yes, it's so interesting! Now that we're between seasons we need a Downton "fix" of some kind and books like this are great. (There are 2 or 3 other DA companion books, I think.)

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  3. These look great as I love hearing about inspirational new authors. I'm curious about the Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Peanuts as I was just gifted Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book which was such fun.

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    1. I just googled that one and it looks quite similar: the Peanuts one has a heading/phrase on one page (e.g. "How to tell if a relationship is going nowhere") and then an appropriate cartoon on the opposite page. Really fun -- brought back some memories of long-ago Peanuts comics. I still read some Little Golden Books to my son and they are timeless.

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  4. That Rachel Held Evans book sounds very intriguing (totally agree with the title change). I loved her "Year of Biblical Womanhood". I may have to pick this one up :)

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    1. This was the first book of hers I'd read; I'll have to read "Year of Biblical Womanhood" next!

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  5. I've had Let Your Life Speak on my list to re-read, but maybe I should start with this one--I've never read To Know As We Are Known.

    And I agree with your take on Rachel's book. I enjoyed it, but "Unraveled" sounds like a great title to me.

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    1. You might also like Palmer's A Hidden Wholeness: it's more similar to Let Your Life Speak, I think. (It's about creating "circles of trust" -- intentional communities/relationships in which the soul is freed to find its way.)

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