This Day: Collected & New Poems by Wendell Berry
Wendell Berry’s Sabbath Poems are filled with spiritual longing and political extremity, memorials and celebrations, and elegies and lyrics. These Sabbath Poems have become the very heart of Berry’s work. This year, I am choosing to live simply and delight in the surrounding presence of God. I observe the Sabbath as a day of rest and reflection, and This Day has enabled me to meditate on the grace of God. If you’re looking for something to extend your devotional time, I recommend Berry’s poems. You’ll begin to see God’s purpose for you in a whole new way.
To Read: Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren
Stoner by John Williams
Do you ever feel like a book chooses you rather that the other way around? I was reading an interview with novelist and bookseller Emma Straub and she listed Stoner as one of the books she frequently recommends to people in her store. I made a mental note and didn’t think much of it after that. The next day I was in my local bookstore looking for a gift and noticed Stoner tucked in among current bestsellers. I couldn’t resist the serendipity so I took it home. Described as the greatest American novel you’ve never heard of, it is small but mighty. It follows its titular character, William Stoner, from his humble beginnings as a farmer’s son to a quietly passionate academic who dedicates his life to studying and teaching literature. His love and passion for words grows throughout the story while his personal life experiences steady decline. The light throughout, however, is Stoner’s astute and beautifully honest reflections on the humble contributions of a single life. It is a book lover’s book to be sure, a novel that celebrates and embodies the power of words. I absolutely loved this book and am so glad that it chose me.
The Paddington Treasury: Six Classic Bedtime Stories by Michael Bond
Having a 4-year-old son gives me the opportunity to revisit many classic children’s books from my childhood. The popularity of the recent Paddington movies (which I highly recommend), inspired us to go to the source material. Over the past few weeks at bedtime we’ve been reading and re-reading many of the classic adventures of Paddington. If you’re looking for some great nostalgic feelings, and some excellent wholesome childrens stories, pull up a chair, grab your marmalade, and read about everyone’s favorite bear, Paddington.