Ahhhh, September. Not only do I get my fill of school supplies, but I also get breezes worth opening the windows to and a hint of other color in the trees. The corn fields have that September smell to them and now my husband and I can't help but note the progress of the bean fields in their turning during every drive. (We're farmer types, can you tell?)
And the fall book lines are coming out...and that means spring books aren't far behind. Our own Lisa Hendey has a book being released soon as do many of my other favorite Catholic (and non-Catholic) authors.
40 Days, 40 Ways: A New Look at Lent, by Marcellino D’Ambrosio (Servant Books, expected publication 2015)
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I'll admit it: I was DREADING reading this book. I mean: COME ON. It's just on the cusp of FALL. I DO NOT WANT TO THINK ABOUT LENT.
And yet, this book was exactly what I needed. I found myself appreciating that I was reading it now, because when Lent rolls around, I'm going to have this book beside me for round 2. (And I'm not a big re-reader of books.) What D'Ambrosio has crafted is part treasury, part practical toolbox, and part kick in the pants. He's tapped into his experience as a normal guy and his expertise as a theologian-type, wrapped it up into a book that's both digestible and good reading, and then shared it with all of us.
This book was a gift to read, and I plan to craft a thank you note. I fail at Lent pretty much every year (and I guess that's how I know I'm succeeding, to some extent), and this year, I plan to fail with this book in hand. And then I'll get back up, dust myself off again, and try again.
Because this book makes me want to. It makes me want to try. And then try again. And then, because I know I'll have to, try yet again.
What a book. Go on. Consider it my gift to you: a book you can have in hand for Lent that will impact the entire year.
Insurgent (Divergent #2), by Veronica Roth (YA fiction, Katherine Tegen Books, 2012)
So why, you wonder, am I still reading this? I assure you, I WANTED to be reading it. But that D'Ambrosio book above OWNED ME. (This is NOT a normal state. Let that speak to the quality of said D'Ambrosio book!)
Now I'm back into it, plotting whether I really need sleep and what work can just plain wait. I'm annoyed with the main characters, a bit curious as to whether there will actually be plot movement, and basically enjoying the ride. This feels less significant than the first book...why do I so often feel that way about sequels and books in series?
The American Catholic Almanac: A Daily Reader of Patriots, Saints, Rogues, and Ordinary People Who Changed the United States, by Brian Burch and Emily Stimpson (Image Books, 2014)
I've only read the introduction, but it was enough to make me realize that this, THIS is a book that I shall read cover-to-cover. I'm bound to read the one chapter I have to write about. And I thought about just doing that and not reading the whole thing...but I found myself so entranced by the authors' introduction that...well, here I am. Fully committed.
The Way of Perfection, by St. Teresa of Avila (for the Catholic Spiritual Direction book club) (available free as a text file at EWTN and in a few electronic formats (including mp3) at Christian Classics Ethereal Library)
I'm feeling a little dramatic about this book, as in "Why in the WORLD am I attempting to read it?" Oh yes, it's because those friends of mine at the Catholic Spiritual Direction book club picked it and I have to write about it on alternate weeks. In the first six chapters, my head spun so many ways I think maybe I passed out. I just reread chapter 6 this morning and found something else.
But here's the thing: it's still good. I'm sure I'm not understanding even a portion of it, but maybe that's a mental block on my end. (Other people seem fine with it.) I'm going to keep at it. (In part because there's no way out.) And if you want to join me (or offer your wisdom), I'd love to have you along...
What have YOU been reading lately?
*Are you on Goodreads? I'll see you there!
Curious about what my ratings mean? Here's an explanation of what the stars mean to me.
Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.
Copyright 2014, Sarah Reinhard
About the Author
When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.