Carrots for Michaelmas: Musings of a Catholic Wife, Mother, and Occasional Redhead

August 2011 Reads
August 1, 2011, 2:36 pm
Filed under: Books

Before jumping into our current reads, a local bookstore plug: The BookShelf in historic downtown Thomasville, GA is awesome. It’s lovely and delightful and does a great job of keeping inventory that is just what you want to peruse on a Saturday afternoon in Thomasville. They’ve got a local authors section, a decent garden/homesteading section, and a fantastic children’s section, as well as carrying various little gifties that are classy and nifty. Basically, there’s no trash. They even have a little tea/coffee/soda bar and an upstairs art gallery. I can’t pretend that I’m all at nostalgic about Border’s closing in Tallahassee, but I would be devastated if this little jewel ever closed.

They also have a good collection of some books I’m dying to have in our home library. Namely, these clothbound beauties, Penguin Classics (you can get them on Amazon):

And they’ve got tons of titles of children’s classics by Everyman’s Library that look gorgeous on a shelf.

Daniel and I went on a little date to Thomasville on Saturday morning and walked around downtown visiting the Sweet Grass Dairy Store, the BookShelf, and our beloved Grassroots Coffee (seriously, the best!). Then, while Daniel relaxed and read while drinking free refills at Grassroots (free refills! every cup of drip coffee is bottomless!), I worked at the Ballet School’s open house/registration event. Have I ever posted pics to show how beautiful the building is where our studio and Ballet Company office is housed?

Check out those Live Oaks with Spanish Moss! I love it. I think it was built at the turn of the century.

We’ve been trying to take advantage of each friday nite/saturday morning for date night/morning while Little Bear has his slumber party at “Ooma” and “Oompa’s” house (Daniel’s folks). I know once Baby Girl arrives, one-on-one time with Daniel is going to be impossibly limited so we’re trying to enjoy these special weekend times during the next couple of months before she makes her appearance. Eek! Only a few weeks to go!

Now for the reads:

I’m almost done with Sigrid Undset’s Catherine of Siena:

I’m really loving it. I love Undset’s writing and I knew absolutely nothing about St. Catherine until starting this book.

I’m also a good ways through The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris:

I like it, but I don’t love it. I can’t really put my finger on why.

And I just started a lovely book that my new friend Helen gave me, Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother by Beth Ann Fennelly:

It’s beautiful so far.

Benjamin is currently obsessed with Dr. Seuss’s There’s a Wocket in my Pocket! My friend Jeni gave it to us because she had some multiples of Dr. Seuss board books.

Benjamin goes around asking people, “Did you ever have the feeling there’s a Zamp in the lamp?”

His other new favorite is a splendid book that Daniel picked out this weekend at the BookShelf. A new Caldecott winner by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by his wife, Erin E. Stead: A Sick Day for Amos McGee.

It’s beautiful and wonderful and endearing. Maybe I’m even more in love with it than Benjamin is.

One last note: Daniel found a nifty Catholic Book list that looks like it will take a lifetime to complete at a blog called The Thin Veil. Check it out. Overwhelming, but inspiring.

Hey, what are YOU reading?

4 Comments so far
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Re: Cloister Walk:
Here is my impression of the book, although my memory of it is at least 12 years old:

This is an author who is enthralled with the form — but not the substance — of the ancient, historic, orthodox faith. She is a keen observer of the rhythm, pattern, and beauty of “the hours,” “lectio divina,” ancient prayers, Scripture, hymns, Psalms. Yet, she remains an observer: she is an oblate, for a season, which makes for an interesting research project, but she has not yet taken the plunge into a lifetime commitment to orthodoxy and orthopraxis.

Yet, in her defense, she has provided, for her readers, a window into the cloistered life. For some readers, this will be the first introduction to ancient, historic faith & practice. For some readers, it may intrigue them enough to begin a journey toward, say, Canterbury or Rome.

When I read her book, “Vocabulary,” I remember being irritated because she re-visioned the ancient & historic, theologically-rich words and conformed them to modern and liberal interpretations.

Comment by Margot Payne

Insightful comment. I think this articulates my issues with the book. She seems more interested in the aesthetics of the Christian tradition for therapeutic purposes than in the actual pursuit of holiness under the authority of the Christian Faith.

Comment by carrotsformichaelmas

I think your summation hits the nail on the head.

Comment by Margot Payne

Correction: Kathleen Norris book title is: “Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith.”

Comment by Margot Payne

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