Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Reading up (through?) a Storm

So, the fact that I currently have about 20 books on hold at the library, 5 of which are available the next time I go (I tried to go tonight power at the library) and 1 of which is currently in my possession but is a sequel to another book I own but haven't read yet, combined with the fact that I had an actual day off this weekend combined with the fact that the crazy crazy storm of craziness, with its 75mph winds, knocked out power to basically everywhere except Panera, means I've been reading a lot.

The storm damage around town is insane. Trees are down everywhere (including in my backyard). The wind was ridiculous--it looked like a hurricane, with full trash cans (full!) being hurtled through the air, tree branch flying, recycling fluttering about...basically anything that wasn't in a garage was airborne. My power was out only 26.5 hours. There are some people still out, 36 hours later, though most people have had theirs restored by now. The ComEd people have been working like crazy, and utility workers from other states have come to help out--nearly 900,000 people were without power at the height of the outage. Driving around, you can see why. Trees have been toppled from the roots, power line poles are down, trees are on power lines, lines are just broken and hanging

So...reading. In the past few weeks, I've read...

The Meaning of Night (A Confession)--a book I didn't want to put down because I kept being surprised by plot twists and character revelations, though the writing style was sometimes tedious.

The Lace Reader--a book recommendation I saw on someone else's facebook page. It was pretty good. Outside my normal genre. The ending was a total surprise to me! I especially enjoyed the "quotes" at the top of each chapter, and how grief played out in the main character's life. And there was a pretty funny (and scarily accurate) quote about how Presbyterians have been trying to live down the PR disaster that is the label "Calvinism" for...ever.

Searching for God Knows What--I was sad that this was not as good as Blue Like Jazz. I really enjoyed BLJ and this was...not it. disappointing, overall, actually. A few worthwhile tidbits, but not enough for me to keep thinking or writing about it. I almost put the book down halfway through, but powered on...I wouldn't say that was a *bad* decision exactly, just that I wish I could have read the second half even faster than I did, because I have a lot of books to read right now and this one didn't top the list of things to spend time on.

Oh God Oh God Oh God!--a re-read for my awesome new book group. This time around I noticed that there aren't any single-young-women essays in this book, which made it feel odd. We had a really great discussion in book group, which cannot be summed up on the blog, so...y'all need to get your own awesome book groups and talk about these things too.

What's the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?--we are doing an online book group for church, and this is our first book. We're still in the first half (things we do not have to believe) and I find most of the things fairly obvious. I don't know if other people do, though--it's possible that some of these things are revelations for some. The second half of the book is things we apparently do need to believe. I can already tell from skimming the second half that I'm going to have some things to say about that half.

The New Interpreter's Bible--Luke volume. We're re-envisioning the confirmation class experience, and this year we'll be focusing on the gospel according to Luke. So, naturally, being a crazy overachiever, I decided that instead of *just* reading the gospel and the footnotes in the NIB Study Bible, I should read the commentary and reflection in the whole volume. um, this has turned out to be an unreasonable expectation of myself, and I had to abandon it only a couple chapters in. Now I'm only reading the reflections on each chapter, and will return to the commentary as we prepare for each individual lesson throughout the year.

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