Category Archives: Christianity

Top Ten Tuesday – My Spring TBR (March 14)

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.

This week’s topic is ‘Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR.’ I have so many books waiting to be read, that it might be hard to narrow it down to just 10, but I’ll try my best! I have started some of these, but I really need to get them read, nonetheless.

  1. Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren
  2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  3. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  4. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
  5. Wenjack by Joseph Boyden
  6. Silence by Shusaku Endo
  7. Daddy Lenin and Other Stories by Guy Vanderhaeghe
  8. Grounded by Diana Butler Bass
  9. Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
  10. The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida

WWW Wednesday (March 8)

www-wednesdayWWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Here is what you have to do to participate:

Answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments section the host page for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

I currently have the following five books on the go:

  1. Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I have neglected this one lately, but I intend to get it finished soon.
  2. Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren. This is the current book for the Renovaré Book Club and I will be reading it over the next couple of months or so.
  3. Lent With St. Francis: Daily Reflections by Diane M. Houdek. I haven’t read this one before, but it is the one I’m reading during Lent this year with my wife. It’s working out well so far.
  4. Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter (various authors). This is one of my favourite books to read during the Season of Lent. It contains writing from many of my favourite authors and is one that I have enjoyed many times before.
  5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I have barely started this one, but I hope to read more of it next week during some time off we will be taking for March break.

Recently Finished:

brain campThe only book I finished this week was  Brain Camp by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, and Faith Erin Hicks. It was a disappointing graphic novel that I borrowed from the library. It wasn’t awful, but I have read ones that I enjoyed a lot more. Fortunately, I was able to count it towards one of my reading challenges.

 

Up Next:

With all the books I currently have on the go, I haven’t really given much thought to what I’m going to read next. I have plenty to choose from, but I’ll see how the current reads go first.

WWW Wednesday (March 1)

www-wednesdayWWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Here is what you have to do to participate:

Answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments section the host page for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

I have the following three books on the go at the moment:

  1. Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I didn’t get any of this read during the last week, but I’m getting back to it now.
  2. Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter (various authors). This is one of my favourite books to read during the Season of Lent. It contains writing from many of my favourite authors and is one that I have enjoyed many times before.
  3. Lent With St. Francis: Daily Reflections by Diane M. Houdek. I haven’t read this one before, but it is the one I’m reading during Lent this year with my wife.

Recently Finished:

I finished the following two books this week:

  1. Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J.M. Nouwen. This was the second book for this year’s Renovaré Book Club. It was enjoyable being able to read it over an extended period of time, which gave the opportunity to reflect slowly over what was written.
  2. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. This book, along with nine others in the series, was sitting on my shelf unread for too long. It fit in well with one of the book challenges I have signed up for this year. I really enjoyed it and will hopefully get round to reading some of the other books in the series eventually.

Up Next:

I’ll be hopefully starting the following couple of books soon:

  1. Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren. This is the next book for the Renovaré Book Club and I’m really looking forward to starting it soon.
  2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. My wife bought this for me at a book sale a few years ago, but it didn’t appeal to me at the time. She read it instead and then proceeded to read all the other books in the series. She’s told me for ages that I should give it a try, as I’d probably enjoy it. As it fits in with the theme for one of my book challenges, I now have a reason to try it.

Lent 2017

dscf0601With today being Ash Wednesday it means that we have now entered the Season of Lent. It is a period of 40 days, not including Sundays, leading up to Easter, and can be seen as a time of reflection and preparation. People observe Lent in may different ways and for a variety of reasons, but it is often seen as a time of giving up or self-denial, although it can also be seen as a time of taking things on. There are lots of resources available in print and online to help people on their journey through Lent. The above three books will be my companions on the journey this year.

The following quote (which I have shared on a number of occasions before) is something I read this morning and is from the introduction to Bread and Wine, one of the books pictured above:

First popularized in the fourth century, Lent is traditionally associated with penitence, fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. It is a time for “giving things up” balanced by “giving to” those in need. Yet whatever else it may be, Lent should never be morose – an annual ordeal during which we begrudgingly forgo a handful of pleasures. Instead, we ought to approach Lent as an opportunity, not a requirement. After all, it is meant to be the church’s springtime, a time when, out of the darkness of sin’s winter, a repentant, empowered people emerges. No wonder one liturgy refers to it as “this joyful season.” (page xvi)

Over the past week or so I have been reflecting on what I would do this year for my own personal observation of Lent. Sometimes it is difficult to come up with things. Previously I have given up things like coffee or meat, but neither of those are part my daily life anymore. After some prayer and consideration I came up with the following:

  • Fast for 12 hours each day following my evening meal. This is something that has become standard for me during Lent for a number of years now. It has been a help in previous years and I’m sure it will continue to be so.
  • Look for the positive in all situations and cultivate a better attitude of gratitude. I tend to be quite negative at times and I also am not always good at demonstrating my gratitude to people, especially in the daily small things that are done for me.
  • Get back to praying the Daily Office. This is something that I have been able to do our the years, but in a more sporadic fashion than I would have liked. I have plenty of resources to help me in this, so I really have little excuse for not being able to do this on a regular basis.

I’ll see how this all goes and, if I can, I may even post a few updates here.

How are you observing Lent this year? Feel free to leave a comment if you like.

Teaser Tuesday – Liturgy of the Ordinary (Feb 28)

tuesdayTeaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers for this week:

liturgy-of-the-ordinaryI’ve always loved food. I like to make it, to eat it, and to read and talk about it.

From page 62 of Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren.

WWW Wednesday (Feb 22)

www-wednesdayWWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Here is what you have to do to participate:

Answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments section the host page for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

I have the following three books on the go at the moment:

  1. Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J.M. Nouwen. This is the second book for this year’s Renovaré Book Club. This is the final week for this book, so I should be finished it later in the week.
  2. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. This book, along with nine others in the series, has been sitting on my shelf unread for too long. It also fits in with the theme for one of my book challenges this month, so it’s a good opportunity to get it read. I’ve neglected it for a few days, so I should get back to it so that I can finish it and count it toward one of my challenges for February.
  3. Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I finally started this book and have really been enjoying it so far.

Recently Finished:

I finished the following two books this week:

  1. Han Solo (Star Wars Disney Canon Graphic Novel) by Marjorie M. Liu (Goodreads Author), Mark Brooks (Illustrations). This book, that I borrowed from the library, was a bit disappointing. The story just didn’t seem to live up to the character, Han Solo.
  2. The Marvels by Brian Selznick. This was a great book. It is a combination of pictures and words, and contains two separate stories that come together well in the end. If you’ve read any of his other books I highly recommend this one. Even if you haven’t then check out this one as well as his others!

Up Next:

liturgy-of-the-ordinaryLiturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren. This is the next book for the Renovaré Book Club and I’m really looking forward to starting it next week.

WWW Wednesday (Feb 15)

www-wednesdayI didn’t post a WWW last week as I had been sick for about a week and had barely done any reading, so it wouldn’t have been worth it. Now I’m well again and able to get back to this.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Here is what you have to do to participate:

Answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments section the host page for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

I have the following three books on the go at the moment:

  1. Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J.M. Nouwen. This is the second book for this year’s Renovaré Book Club. I’m almost at the end of this one and I will be soon moving on to the next book the club has chosen.
  2. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. This book, along with nine others in the series, has been sitting on my shelf unread for too long. It also fits in with the theme for one of my book challenges this month, so it’s a good opportunity to get it read.
  3. Silence by Shūsaku Endō. This is another book that has been unread on my shelf for too long. With the movie out now, I need to read this before seeing it.

Recently Finished:

I finished the following three books (all which I borrowed from the library) since my last post:

  1. Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices by Kirstin Cronn-Mills. I read this towards one of my reading challenges. It was a fairly short read, but had plenty useful information on the subject, along with some personal stories.
  2. We Stand On Guard by Brian K. Vaughan, Steve Skroce (artist), Matt Hollingsworth (artist). This was a fairly enjoyable graphic novel, set about 100 years into the future where the US has invaded Canada after an attack on the White House.
  3. The Last Message Received by Emily Trunko. This book was inspired by the Tumbl of the same name and is a collection of last messages received by people who contributed to the Tumblr. It was a moving and thoughtful book to read, leaving one to wonder about how life can be cut short at any moment and the things that we say (or fail to say) to those who are close to us.

Up Next:

stardustI’m still hoping to get to Neil Gaiman’s Stardust soon. It has been on my shelf for far too long a time, but other things keep getting in the way. Maybe I’ll read it during March break as we will be going away for a few days then.

WWW Wednesday (Feb 1)

www-wednesdayWWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted at Taking on a World of Words. Here is what you have to do to participate:

Answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments section the host page for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

I have the following three books on the go at the moment:

  1. Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J.M. Nouwen. This is the second book for this year’s Renovaré Book Club. I’m only reading small portions each week, but it’s a good way to read Nouwen.
  2. Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices by Kirstin Cronn-Mills. I borrowed this from the library and am reading it for one of my reading challenges.
  3. Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus by C. Christopher Smith, John Pattison. I bought this one on Kobo a long time ago and never got beyond the introduction. Last week I listened to an interview with one of the authors about this book on the Renovaré podcast and was inspired to pick it up again.

Recently Finished:

orkney-twilightI finished one book in the last week: Orkney Twilight by Clare Carson. It was a decent read and I enjoyed the many references to places I grew up with in Orkney. It had enough twists to keep it interesting and I just found out it’s part of a trilogy, so I may need to look for the other two books some time.

Up Next:

stardustI’m still hoping to get to Neil Gaiman’s Stardust soon. It has been on my shelf for far too long a time.

WWW Wednesday (Jan 25)

www-wednesdayI missed out on posting this last week, so this will cover the last two weeks. WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted at Taking on a World of Words and I have decided to give it a go again. Here is what you have to do to participate:

Answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments section the host page for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

I have three books on the go at the moment –

  1. Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J.M. Nouwen. This is the second book for this year’s Renovaré Book Club. I’m only reading small portions each week, but it’s a good way to read Nouwen.
  2. Orkney Twilight by Clare Carson. I’m half-way through this one and it is starting to get intriguing as things are starting to come together. I’m enjoying all the references to many of the familiar places I grew up around.
  3. Silence by Shusaku Endo. I want to read this before seeing the movie, but at the rate I’m going I’ll end up having to watch it on DVD!

Recently Finished:

I finished the following three books in the last couple of weeks:

  1. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris. I had started this one a while ago and figured it was time to finish it. Lots of great stories, any of which made me laugh.
  2. Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism by Deborah Jian Lee. This was one of my Christmas gifts this year and it was a great read, with plenty to think about afterwards.
  3. The Case of Alan Turing: The Extraordinary and Tragic Story of the Legendary Codebreaker by Éric Liberge, Arnaud Delalande, David Homel (translation). I borrowed this graphic novel from the library and it was an short, but engaging, read.

Up Next:

stardustI’m thinking that I’ll probably try Stardust by Neil Gaiman. It has been on my TBR list for too long.

Top Ten Tuesday – Unread (Jan 24)

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.

This week’s topic is ‘FREEBIE’, which means I can choose anything. I checked out the list of previous Top Tens and decided to go with ‘Top Ten Books on my Shelves tat Remain Unread.’ I buy a lot of books with good intention, but unfortunately there are some really good ones on my shelves that for some reason or another I haven’t got around to reading yet. By listing these ones here it may give me the inspiration to actually crack them open and get them read. We’ll see! In addition to this, one of the challenges I signed up for this year is The 2017 Mount TBR Challenge, which I’m also hoping will inspire to get some of these unread books read.

dscf0589

  1. Magnus – George Mackay Brown
  2. Stardust – Neil Gaiman
  3. A New Kind of Christianity – Brian McLaren
  4. The Living – Annie Dillard
  5. The Ragamuffin Gospel – Brennan Manning
  6. A Life of Jesus – Shusaku Endo
  7. The Silmarillion – J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. In The First Circle – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  9. The Last Crossing – Guy Vanderhaeghe
  10. Heretics/Orthodoxy – G.K. Chesterton (I guess that this is technically two books, but it is still a volume that sits unread on my shelf)

Quite a few of these have bookmarks in them, which means that I did start them once upon a time, but for some reason I never got back to them. I’ll have to start them from the beginning again, as I can’t remember much about any of them. The Solzhenitsyn one seems the most daunting, whereas the Gaiman one looks like the easiest of the pile. I should choose one of them soon and get started. Check my Reading Challenges page for my progress, of which I hope there will be some at least.

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