I wrote a little last week about how Samuel Rodriguez's Be Light is different from so many books about Christianity. It's nondenominational, though I'd say it's still best fits mainstream Christians. It doesn't spend time on "thou shalt nots" and focuses on one "thou shalt": Be Light. His premise is twofold: God is light and light always wins. But what makes this book so different is that in each chapter he examines all kinds of human and corporeal light (eg. the light bulb, fire, stars, lasers, etc.), explains the physics behind them, and then explains how we can use this information in our spiritual lives. It's a very smart book. It's inspiring, challenging, and insightful. No negativity. No heavy-handed talk of sin and repentance and damnation. I didn't realize until I was several chapters in that it's really designed as a 30-day devotional. It might be best read this way to get the most of the book. And although I'm not of the same religion as Rodriguez, and we differ in theology, I was able to apply many things he said to the spiritual lens of my own beliefs. And I'm still thinking of the question he asked near the beginning of the book, what is it that's keeping you from being light? I recommend this to anyone looking for a different kind of book on Christian living, something to challenge them this time of year or any time. My rating: 4 stars.
I adored Short. And I truly adore Holly Goldberg Sloan. Although I haven't read her most famous book, Counting by 7s, and I'm unsure of its tone, I know her from Appleblossom the Possum, which I couldn't shut up about last year. The tone in Short is the same as Appleblossom: friendly, warm, and hilarious. Julia is short (although she won't utter that word), and she doesn't really think about it until she overhears her parents talking about it. But she learns to love being short when she's cast as a munchkin and winged monkey in the community theatre's summer production of The Wizard of Oz. The people she meets and the role she plays change her outlook on being short. It's a heartwarming, funny book. Goldberg Sloan really nails the voice of young Julia; I couldn't not love her. I highly recommend this one. My rating: 4 stars.
Last week I read:
I hadn't really planned to follow Be Light with another Christian book, but the fluke was a nice surprise. My April chunkster is We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, vol. 2, about the life of Mary Baker Eddy, written by her students in the late 1880s through the early 1900s. Mary Baker Eddy is the discoverer and founder of Christian Science.
I also began:
I also started Garrison Keillor's Good Poems, a re-read. It's truly wonderful.
And 50 Artists You Should Know, which is good, too, although the font is so small it's maddening.
And Juana & Lucas, the winner of the 2017 Pura Belpre Award.
I'm annoyed by The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, but not enough to stop listening. I hate that feeling.