Even with a hectic schedule, I always find time to read. Â That’s a non-negotiable for me. Â I can usually work in a chapter or two before bed, depending on how tired I am; usually, on a weekend morning, I can read a bit over coffee, while the boys are entertained with an episode of “Curious George.” Â I think it helps that I’ve always been someone who maximizes any reading opportunity that comes her way. Â (As a kid, I used to read while brushing my teeth, which always drove my sister crazy.)
I tend to have several books going at once, too, which may sound totally disorienting, but which actually works well for me. Â That way I can read heavier stuff when I’m more alert, gentler stuff at night before bed, and spiritual books during my little moments of prayer. Â Here are the titles I’ve got going at the moment, all of them fabulous.
Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor by Rosina Harrison is a totally engaging Â memoir by the woman who worked as Lady Astor’s personal maid for over thirty years. Â She gives an insider’s view on what it was like to be in domestic service to the upper crust, and even though I already knew a lot about this from all those episodes of Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey, I’m learning a lot that I never knew before. Â The book is a totally engrossing look at a way of life that rarely exists anymore, and if you’re a Downton fanatic like me, you’ll eat it up.
Comfort: An Atlas for the Body and Soul by Brett Hoover offers a fascinating look at comfort: what it means, the many ways we pursue it, the sacrifices we make to achieve it, and the spiritual implications of a life lived in avoidance of suffering. Â Brett Hoover is a Paulist priest (and, long ago, was my very first editor at BustedHalo.com), and I love how he weaves together so many different ideas in such an effortless, engaging way. Â The book provides much food for thought.
I was recently sent a review copy of God Will Provide by Patricia Treece, and it’s a wonderful aid to my prayer life. Â Treece discusses the “radical faith” of many saints and other giants of spirituality, and gives tips for developing our own ability to trust in God’s goodness. Â Check back later for a full review.
This weekend, my mom brought over a copy of Christina Katerina and the Box by Patricia Lee Gauch. Â I adored this book when I was a kid, and it’s a joy to re-read. Christina Katerina takes an empty refrigerator box and turns it into a castle, then a clubhouse, then a racecar … her ingenuity knows no bounds. Â It’s a totally delightful hymn to childhood imagination.
Also a re-read: the cozy Over Hill and Dale by Gervase Phinn. Â This is the second book in his series of memoirs about his adventures as a school inspector in Yorkshire, charged with visiting rural and urban schools. Â Phinn has been called the James Herriott of education, and that’s a great description. Â Like Herriott’s books, this series has lovely countryside, touching and funny stories, and lots of heart. Â It’s a great read-before-bed kind of book.
That’s me! Â What about you? Â What are you reading these days?