Thursday, February 11, 2016

(Not) Chick Lit

My taste in books tends toward old men who have won prestigious awards. Good reading on the beach? Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls. Want to read something romantic? Anna Karenina. Want to contemplate youth and love, written from the pen of a female author? My √Āntonia. I prefer literature and nonfiction on the serious side, and this is what I've been reading lately:

This one is a healthy dose of perspective. You read this book and start thinking about all the small pleasures you have every day, at every moment. Hot water. Cold water. Clothing. Clothing that is clean. Without holes. Without arctic winds. Boots. The lack of a need to even wear boots. It’s wonderfully written, and has an ending just how I like my endings. Read it to find out what I mean by that.

This next one surprised me, because I do not think of myself as a leader. I think “leader” and think public speaking. My last job involved some of that, and I would be up half the night (for about a month) before the presentations, thinking about them and worrying about them, and wanting to throw up. So. Don’t think of myself as leadership material. But a friend lent some Alexandre Havard books to my husband and I read them, because they were books and they were in the house, so I had to.

The book was about a sense of mission and growing in virtue, about cultivating good habits. And it was Catholic. And every mother has a vocation (whether she knows that or not), and a mission given to her by God. This book reinstated a sense of purpose into my day, which sometimes looks like a whole lot of wiping baby bottoms and cleaning smashed eggs off the carpet.