Most Wednesdays (or thereabouts) I’ve been recording a Curiosity Journal to recap the previous week using these tag words: reading, playing, learning, reacting and writing. Sometimes I mix up the order, just to keep you on your toes.
The High Calling is hosting a book club discussion featuring Karen Swallow Prior’s Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me.
You can visit this post at The High Calling and scroll down to the comments to find links to posts that people have written in response to the first three chapters. Also, over at her Facebook author page, Jennifer Dukes Lee launched some fun creating pintograms (or whatever they’re called) highlighting quotes from the book.
Though I, like Karen, would have had permission to read widely without much censorship from my parents (at least that I knew about), I did not go wild choosing extremes. Instead, I read through Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden and The Hardy Boys. I read books by Marguerite Henry and Beverly Cleary. I favored Richie Rich comic books and carefully turned the pages of Mad Magazines borrowed from my brother. In the midst of this unsophisticated, simplistic reading material, I also read My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George and Kim, by Rudyard Kipling.
Karen describes her approach to books as “indiscriminate, disorderly reading.” I don’t know how indiscriminate I was in my childhood selections, but I was certainly disorderly. Many times I showed up at the library eager to learn a new skill, so I would carry armloads of nonfiction to the checkout desk, intending to satisfy my curiosity about anything from the care and keeping of tadpoles to crocheting, sewing, origami, and sketching techniques. These books did not contribute specifically to my spiritual or moral growth nor develop my deepest beliefs or understanding of Truth, but nonfiction did prepare me for life creatively and practically.
Meanwhile, I did read an occasional classic such as Pride and Prejudice and Frankenstein.
I think I read some popular fiction of that time, but I don’t even remember it. I think that may serve as evidence supporting Karen’s premise that “the best way to counteract falsehood is not by suppressing it, but by countering it with truth.” I don’t even remember the meaningless books.
The essence of Milton’s argument is that truth is stronger than falsehood; falsehood prevails through the suppression of countering ideas, but truth triumphs in a free and open exchange that allows truth to shine. (19)
The best way I saw truth triumph in my life was by beginning to read the Bible. Around the age of ten or eleven, I did so all on my own, at first understanding only a fraction of what I read from my King James Bible. Over time, thanks to that slow, steady diet of Scripture—its meaning brought to light by the Holy Spirit—created a foundation of truth that helped me discern falsehood both then and now.
I caught up on a couple of articles for Get Organised and Tweetspeak Poetry, and have been working with writers on final edits for their pieces to be published at The High Calling. You should check out today’s family article by Kimberly Coyle entitled “Lazarus Moments.”
After a particularly busy Christmas season that included the fun of hosting out-of-country family, I am learning that I need a long break.
Also, I learned the necessity of menu planning when responsible for feeding eleven people.
One of the joys of hosting is the fun we can have with extended family.
As December gives way to January, I usually devote time to reflecting on the previous year and seeking vision for the year ahead. This time, I was so tired, I just rested. This is important, as well, for how can we reflect or seek vision without at first finding rest?
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Images by Ann Kroeker.
Patricia (Pollywog Creek) says
“the best way to counteract falsehood is not by suppressing it, but by countering it with truth.”
Just this morning I was thinking about this – the power of truth to change hearts and minds. Some years ago I was asked to be part of the leadership of a national group of women working for renewal in the women’s division in our denomination. The women’s division had wandered far from biblical, orthodox Christianity. Because I know the power of Scripture to turn my own life around, I was convinced that the way to win the hearts of women back to the truth of Scripture was NOT to protest the women’s division and point out their errors, but to offer alternative studies that were rich in Scripture to the women in our denomination and allow the Holy Spirit to bring renewal.
I’m glad you took the time to rest, Ann. A new year begins every day.
Patricia, your approach with the denominational straying was wise and brilliant.
And I love your last line. His mercies are new every morning. And we begin again.
Patricia (Pollywog Creek) says
I don’t know about “wise and brilliant”…I just knew the power of Scripture in my own simple life to renew my mind and give me a new heart.
Megan Willome says
Yes, rest comes before vision.
Looking forward to reading “Booked” when I finish my current read. I cannot multitask when it comes to books.
I can multitask, but I don’t remember much when I read too many at once. 🙂
Sandra Heska King says
I *love* those family-playing photos!
I read Nancy Drew, too. In fact, my very first story was set on our lake ala Nancy Drew (with me, of course, as the heroine.) I submitted it to the newspaper like Jo of Little Women used to do. They rejected it–they didn’t even print stories. So I burned it. Sigh…
Sandra, that was a super fun day, if I do say so myself (I’m not a fan of snow!). Do you see our very French French relative? He donned a beret to make sure his identity was clear! 🙂
So sad about that story rejection. That stings. They don’t know brilliance when it’s staring them in the face.
I’m so pumped over our selection of “Booked” at The High Calling. I didn’t have much censorship from parents either.
(Thanks for the shout-out on the picture-thingys! I don’t know what they’re called either!)
I might have to make one myself!
I’m enjoying our discussion on Booked so far and I’m so glad your voice will be chiming in, Ann. I felt that same tired at New Years, for different reasons. I find that as the years rack up, rest is very, very important to me. Love these snow fun pics! Looks like you needed a rest after that! Or at least some hot cocoa.
Susan DiMickele says
It sounds like you and I read the same books growing up! I love this selection at THC!