I spent most of February finishing the books I was working on at the end of January and the rest reading another 700 page monster. I’m thinking I may need some lighter books for March, or at least some shorter ones.
Finished this month, started in January:
In Sunlight and Shadow by Mark Helprin
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies by Ben MacIntyre
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (audiobook)
I also read the following:
Shakespeare’s Tremor and Orwell’s Cough by John Ross
Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie- I’ll probably post a more complete response to this one in the next few days once I’ve had a chance to digest it. In a nutshell it’s Rushdie’s memoir of the years he lived under the fatwa. I found it interesting and for the most part a good read.
Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott. I like Anne Lamott and usually really get a lot out of her books on faith even if she’s decidedly more liberal than me. (In theology as well as politics.) This slim book contains short essays that expand on Lamott’s idea that there are really only three necessary prayers: Help. Thanks. Wow. Overall, I was disappointed with this one. I don’t mind slim (at 102 pages I read it in about an hour) but it also just felt shallow.
Lamott starts with a discussion of what prayer is. Her definition is that prayer is a conversation with “a higher power”. According to Lamott it doesn’t really matter if you call this power God or Howard or Love. You can pray to the nearby mountain just as well as you can pray to Jesus. The problem with this is that I think it does matter who you pray to. This is akin to people who say to “just believe”. Well, it matters what you believe in. Without that someone to pray to and believe in it all just becomes kind of squishy and vague sentiments.
No new fiction this month, although I did start another audiobook, and it’s another long book: 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I haven’t read King in a long time. I went through a phase of loving his books back in high school. I’m reminded in this book how much he does like gore (it’s not really a horror book but he doesn’t shy away from descriptions involving body fluids) and by how well he can write.
With the kids:
Ruth and I are finishing up Charlotte’s Web. David and I finished his special book, Sword Mountain and John and I just finished The Two Towers. We’re also almost finished with our lunchtime book, Voyage of the Dawn Treader. In the car we’ve been spending time with the Melendy family as we listened to The Saturdays, The Four-Story Mistake and now And Then There Were Five on audiobooks.