Tuesday, July 14, 2015

So Many Rambling Thoughts

For thus hath the Lord said unto me,
Go, set a watchman,
let him declare what he seeth.
Isaiah 21:6

Boxes were opened at midnight; sales began today. 
 No book, in my lifetime, has been awaited with greater excitement or skepticism as Go Set a Watchman.   I had a "what was I thinking" moment yesterday when I realized I wouldn't have my own copy on the day of it's release.   There was a reason behind my madness when I walked into Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, last March, and ordered my book, which now seems silly and a little embarrassing.  Today, I'm having a few regrets, as I would love to have this book in my hot little hands tonight.   

Will Harper Lee's new work be as impactful as To Kill a Mockingbird?  Will Atticus keep his hero status, or will we discover he is human, fallible and an ordinary man of the time?  When we return to Maycomb, Alabama will we be able to put the events (though not a reflection on Alabama or isolated to the south) of the past year aside, and remember this book was penned decades ago.  Or will today's temperature alter our reading? 

When I ask "what is your all time favorite book?", so many reply To Kill a Mockingbird.  I wonder if this is because of Lee's near perfect prose, or is there that little piece of something in us that wants to be the brave one who stands up against the masses, popular beliefs and all odds, and just does the right thing.  Or, is it simply a good story told by a great storyteller.

 Yes, To Kill a Mockingbird is a favorite of mine.  To be honest I can't tell you how old I was the first time I read it, but I remember the sadness, the heaviness of heart, it brought.  I am sure I was quite young because it opened my eyes to the meaning of having  two entrances to the movie theater, why there were different schools and churches, and why there were two sides of the railroad track.  It was the first time I understood things were not just different, but wrong.  This may have been my "coming of age" book, the one which forced me to see my small world in a different light.  

I always wanted my dad to measure up to Atticus Finch.  Daddy was a fair man.  He believed a person should be judged by merit.  I never heard him talk down to anyone, and he was always willing to step in to help someone in need.  But, I also know he was a man who grew up in a certain time and fought his own battles with ideas he was taught.   He was a man who kept his opinions to himself and out of other's business.  I've read we will see a different side of Atticus in this book.  We may find him not to be so noble, but more vulnerable to the temperament and thoughts of the time.   Perhaps I'll find my dad and Atticus nearer alike than I thought, and I am okay with that. 

So here I sit awaiting the delivery of my copy of Go Set a Watchman, I think I might reread To Kill a Mockingbird while I wait.

Is it on your "to read" list?
Are you reading it now?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wednesday's Quotation


"Much more surprising things can happen to anyone who, 
when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable, determinedly courageous one.
Two things cannot be in one place."

Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Garden

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Summer Reading

"One benefit of summer was that each day 
we had more light to read by."
Jeannette Wall,  The Glass Castle

This morning in church I sat with a friend, a fellow teacher.  I ask her how her summer was going.  (We have a four week summer program the month of June, so we've actually only been out a week.)  She said she hasn't slowed down, and asked what I had been up to.  I answered with one word...reading.

There is nothing I enjoy more in the summer than sitting outside and reading.  Oh, I keep up with the day-to-day chores, but when those are accomplished, and no one is calling my name,  I am ready to grab a glass of iced tea, a book, and find a shady spot in the garden (my poor neglected garden) to read.

In April I wrote (gushed) about Anthony Doerr's, All the Light We Cannot See.  I began telling everyone who would listen about it in November.   I am probably repeating myself; it was the best book I read in 2014.

The jury is still out, but I may have read my best book of 2015.  The author?
Anthony Doerr is destined to become a favorite.

About Grace

"He called them dreams.  Not Auguries or visions exactly, or presentiments or premonitions.  Calling them dreams let him edge as close as he could to what they were:  sensations --experiences, even-that visited him as he slept and faded after he woke, only to reemerge in the minutes or hours or days to come."

Do you have premonitions?
 I do... sometimes.

Sometimes they come in dreams.
Sometimes I awake with a foreboding feeling something is about to go wrong.
   Sometimes the phone will ring and I know who is calling.
I think of them as accidents.  Accidents perhaps brought on by prior gathered information, but unsettling all the same.

David Winkler had premonitions.  He dreams his daughter drowns in his arms while trying to save her.  Believing he can alter the future he leaves, abandoning his wife and daughter during the predicted flood.   Doerr takes us on David's journey from Alaska to the Caribbean, where with little money he manages to live and survive with the help of strangers.  Strangers who are also refuges with little means.   After twenty five years of unanswered phone calls and returned letters he saves the money to return home to face the consequences of his leaving.

 Doerr hands us a beautifully layered novel reminding the reader, we do the best we can with the information handed to us.  At some point we must make peace with our choices, make amends to those we love and learn to forgive ourselves.

What is your favorite book this year?
Bring it with you...we can talk.
You are always welcome in the garden.


To everyone who commented on my last post and sent personal emails, thank you.  I am humbled by your thoughts and prayers.   You raised me up, and I am grateful.  Hugs!