Sunday, August 2, 2009

recent readings

The reading here has been rather spotty and unsatisfying of late. Not sure why that is, I just haven't been able to settle on books and stick them out. I have done a small bit of sewing but my stacks of things to make has been growing until my sewing room is at the over-flow stage of needing to work through some things before I plan anything new. I did sew Anna and I each a summer top, a skirt for me, a tablerunner,a couple of bibs for Eli, appliqued some "silly sister" tank tops for Leah and Madison. I am working on a handful of small embroidery projects that I plan to "frame" in an old window sash and hang in Madison's room- I think it will be very cool when finished, started a new block-of-the-month quilt class in July, finished up my Mystery Quilt top- I plan to quilt that this week, Lord willing. You see I have plans enough, just a little short on time.

Back to the reading. Here are some of the highlights from July:

The Voice of Matthew, by Lauren Winner. A sort of translation/paraphrase of the book of Matthew, with extras. I liked it.

The Disciple Making Church, by Glenn McDonald. In the book of Matthew, Jesus says, "go and make disciples..." this book encourages the Church to do just that through a set of "redemptive relationships" and teaching the "six marks of a disciple". Very good, inspiring ideas- and it's a good thing I like it because I am reading/studying through this book with two different groups.

Intercessory Prayer, by Dutch Sheets. This is a powerful book on prayer. Two chapters(The Necessity of Prayer and The Substance of Prayer- I think, it was a libray book and I don't have it here to check) specifically impacted me, I will most likely re-read this book down the road.

The Zookeeper's Wife, by Diane Ackerman. Subtitled "A War Story". It's a biography of, well, the zookeeper's wife and the zookeeper- Jan and Antonina Zabinski, during the German occuaption of Warsaw in WWII. The author's note begins, "Jan and Antonina Zabinski were Christian zookeepers horrified by Nazi racism, who capitalized on the Nazi's obsession with rare animals in order to save over three hundred doomed people. Their story has fallen between the seams of history, as radically compassionate acts sometimes do. But in wartime Poland, when even handing a thirsty Jew a cup of water was punishable by death, their heroism stands out as all the more startling."
It is a moving story- unbelievable in the same way that everything that people experienced in Europe during WWII is unbeleivable. When the "inhumanity of man" appears to rule the day, the actions and convictions of the righteous among nations inspire hope. One more quote from near the end of the book:
"Intrigued by the personality of rescuers, Malka Drucker and Gay Block interviewed over a hundred, and found they shared certain key personality traits. Rescuers tended to be decisive, fast-thinking, risk-taking, independent, adventurous, open-hearted, rebellious, and unusually flexible- able to switch plans, abandon habits, or change ingrained routines at a moment's notice. They tended to be nonconformists, and though many rescuers held solemn principles worth dying for, they didn't regard themselves as heroic. Typically, one would say, as Jan did: 'I only did my duty- if you can save somebody's life, it's your duty to try.' Or: 'We did it because it was the right thing to do.' "
Aren't you glad there are people like that? Don't you want to be one of them?

And, finally, To Kill a Mockingbird audiobook while cooking suppers

So, it wasn't a lot of reading,(nor near as much sewing as I'd planned), and I guess I did enjoy all of it, but now what? What to read next?


JenLo said...

I heard an interview with the author of the Zookeeper's wife...I bought and started the book but haven't finished it. I need to dig it back out!

mrsbeaver said...

Really? Where did you hear the interview? Obviously, I really liked it but it isn't one of those compelling reads right off the bat. Let me know what you think when you get a chance to finish it.

Janet said...

I love 'To Kill a Mockingbird.' One of my all-time faves! I even liked the movie version with Gregory Peck.

mrsbeaver said...

Mine too. I love the movie and I'm not too into movies. I realized in listening to the audio book that I had forgotten how much more story there was in the book(of course)