Monday, March 25, 2019

Books in March

I found this little gem, Living Life Backward by Gibson, sitting in the stack of books I unpacked upon our return to Spain. It's an expositional journey through the book of Ecclesiastes. Apparently, a friend gave it to David while we were home. (Thanks, John:) Since this is, after all, what we've frequently referred to as the "Year of Mid-Life Crisis" in our home, Ecclesiastes seemed a particularly compelling read for me. Haven't I walked around quoting "meaningless, meaningless" for six months now? I'm taking this book slowly, plodding through a few pages at a time to let myself steep in the wisdom of it. I also dowloaded The Village Church app and have been working my way through Matt Chandler's excellent (2006) 16 part series on Ecclesiastes. I highly recommend both the book and the sermons to you. I hope I'll be pondering the wisdom in both all the way through mid-life:)

"We are fundamentally active creatures. We are what we do. But Ecclesiastes says that we become more human when we are what we receive. Life is a gift, and God's Word is the most precious of gifts, to be honored and loved and treasured above all others. Ecclesiastes is one long meditation on the need to use our ears for God's Word alongside our eyes in God's world." - Gibson, Living Life Backward

In the fiction arena, I just finished Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan. While it is a fictional work, it's based on the relationship between C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. I found truths and intriguing ideas tucked all through it. While the story was certainly more complicated than I previously thought, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read and one that did not shy away from the very complicated nature of real life. It kept me up way too late at night too, I could hardly put it down. It's a story I'm sure I'll ponder for months to come, which in my judgement is a book worth it's salt.

I did also read Marilla of Green Gables this month. While I'd like to heartily acknowledge that it was well-written, historically researched, and undoubtedly intended as a tribute to the Anne stories, I personally did not find it a compellingly realistic picture of the Marilla created by L.M. Montgomery.  Montgomery painted a picture of a staunchly religious household where puffed sleeves would have been nonsensical and a Matthew who rarely spoke. Anne broke into their world, not as a long-awaited dream, but as a mishap that changed them. As an avid Anne fan, I perceived the liberties taken in re-creating the Cuthbert household to be too far fetched and adventuresome. I found myself annoyed throughout the book with story lines and character development that seemed particularly foreign to the characters I envisioned when reading the original work.

But I also acknowledge that it was an entertaining and enjoyable read, though perhaps as an entirely separate story.

As a sort of penance, I'm reading Kilmeny of the Orchard, a lesser-known work by Montgomery that I've never read.

After all this "female" fiction, I'm probably going to need to go pick up a war book just to balance my senses. 

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