Monday, March 14, 2016

What I'm reading this week (3/14/16)

Last week was a rough week. My work life was turned on its ear, I lost a beloved friend and mentor, and I was dealing with lingering headaches for most of the week. It was like a bad dream; I kept looking for a quiet corner of my life to decompress, and every corner I found was occupied by another change. I tend to go from zero to overwhelmed quickly, and last week I hovered around overwhelmed all week. I was able to come down a bit this weekend so I'm beginning the week on more of an even keel. Reading was good therapy, too.

Last week, I finished:

When Breath Becomes Air was a good read. I was not astonished by it as so many were. In fact, I wondered when I'd finished what the point was? It's a book that meant something based more on the fact that Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon, died, than anything else. That felt manipulative to me. There is deeper meaning there, of course, and I enjoyed his lifelong quest to find where life, meaning, literature, and death intercepted, but I don't feel that I learned anything by reading the book.

I hadn't intended to read two books about neurosurgeons in a row, it just sort of happened. A Doctor in the House is written by Ben Carson's (former neurosurgeon and presidential candidate) wife, Candy. It's a gentle, quiet book, much like Mrs. Carson herself. She tells about her life with Ben, about raising her boys, and the sacrifices and joys involved by being married to a renowned neurosurgeon. The Carson family is one of deep faith, and I enjoyed reading about that.

There is a book that I read every day and when I finish its 700 pages, I begin again. This marks my second (perhaps third?) time through Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. (Not to be confused in any way with Scientology or other denominations of a similar name.) This book is our companion book to the Bible and serves with the Bible as the clergy in our church. The day after I finished it, I began it again.

This week I'll finish:

Finally. I lost my love for The Longest Trip Home fairly early on, but when I reached the heartrending death scene at the end, I became very emotional. It didn't help that I reached that scene the morning after I lost a very dear friend of mine. Also, if you've lost a parent recently, skip this book. My goodness, I'm still recovering from that chapter.

This week I'm continuing with:

It's quite possible that Appleblossom the Possum will be on my "best of" list at the end of the year. It's that good. It's odd that I'm learning so much about possums from a children's book, but there you go. The writing is excellent, the little possum characters are likable (even if they do eat garbage), and I think most kids and parents alike would love this one. Disclaimer, I'm only about 100 pages in (not halfway), and I don't read a ton of children's books, so take my pre-review with a grain of salt.

I'm also enjoying She Walks in Beauty. I tend to do much better with poetry collections with multiple poets than collections by single poets. This one is quite good.

This week, I'll be reading:

Am I the only one who thought The Remains of the Day was an old book? I'd always thought it was a classic from the Victorian or Edwardian period, but it was actually from the 1990s. I have a definite soft spot for books that are light on plot and heavy on well-fleshed characters, so I'm looking forward to this book.


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