A Personal Odyssey by Thomas Sowell
It seems like I’m in that season of life as a Dad of three young kids, e-learning, allergies, colds, runny noses, and falling asleep trying to read books that I promised I would read.
I haven’t gotten through the entire Personal Odyssey by 90-year old American Economist, Thomas Sowell. Currently, I’m in the middle of Chapter 5: Halls of Ivy, where Dr. Sowell recounts the wild journey, and the elevator doormen, neighbors, and professors, that were a part of his story of being accepted to Harvard. Yes, THE Harvard. As I’m reading, and and as I’ve grown more familiar with Dr. Sowell’s other writings and books over his lifetime, I’m thinking: How did an abandoned fifth child from a poverty-ridden-Post-Depression, Jim Crow south- Era small town in North Carolina, adopted by his aunt and dysfunctional extended family, a move to Harlem, New York- a high-school drop out Ward of the State, 2-year U.S. Marine photographer veteran drafted during the Cold War- struggling throughout, hotheaded at times- get into Harvard-and then, pursue graduate and doctorate degrees, and make a career of being one of the most prolific American academic figures of our time?? I’m excited to keep reading and find out!
This Life We Share by Maggie Wallem Rowe
Maggie is a gifted storyteller, and her words are a delight to read. By skillfully weaving spiritual truths with relatable narratives, she makes this book feel like a cozy coffee date with a friend. Maggie’s voice is markedly different from others who write from a position of expertise on the subject matter. Her goal is not to inform or persuade but to relate to the reader—to let the her know that she’s not alone, even if the only other person who seems to “get it” is the one behind these words.
This Life We Share makes a beautiful gift for a friend or any special woman in your life (make sure to get a copy for yourself, too!).
To-Read: The Powerful Purpose of Introverts by Holly Gerth
Silence by Shūsaku Endō
Silence follows the story of a Portuguese priest, Sebastião Rodrigues, who goes on a missionary journey to Japan during a period of intense Christian persecution to investigate the rumor that another priest had committed apostasy. He arrives to find a secluded Christian community, hidden from the government. When security officials suspect that there are Christians in the area, they order three of the community members to leave with them in order to test their faith by requesting them to trample on a fumi-e, which is a carved image of Mary and Jesus, effectively denying their faith. The story, written in part as letters from Sebastião Rodrigues, explores the collision of theology, anthropology, and the presence of evil. So far this book has been filled with betrayal, conviction, and questions on what to do when God is silent. My favorite quote so far has been, “It is easy enough to die for the good and beautiful; the hard thing is to die for the miserable and corrupt.”
To-Read: How to Raise a Reader by Maria Russo and Pamela Paul
Just. You. Wait. by Tricia Lott Williford
I had the great pleasure of having lunch with Tricia Lott Williford and a couple of colleagues when she was in town last year. I was delighted to find that she was just as wonderful in person as she comes across in her writing. Just. You. Wait. sheds light on God’s purpose for periods of waiting and how we weather the wait well. Tricia is refreshingly candid as she recounts different moments raising her two sons, as well as the details of her husband’s story. As I find myself waiting for COVID to move from a present concern to a past memory, Tricia’s words are ministering to the impatient and achy parts of my soul. They’re a comfort when I’m longing for live concert music, big family parties, and much-anticipated movie premieres. Can you relate? Tricia’s writing is lovely and so relevant right now. I expect I’ll gravitate towards her writing in future seasons of longing, hoping, and waiting for change to come.
To-Read: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Pawverbs: 100 Inspirations to Delight an Animal Lover’s Heart by Jennifer Marshall Bleakley
This month, I’m thrilled to read some of the adorable, pet-themed devotions from Pawverbs! Why? Not only is it because of my faith in God and love for animal stories, but also because of how this book is a personal blessing. My family’s dog Baci is among the featured pets! The story of how she cared for my sister is beautiful and extremely profound. What makes this devotional book especially meaningful to my family is that Baci has since passed away and yet her story gets to live on. But ours is just one of many incredible animals! How awesome it is to have the opportunity to hear the cherished, personal stories from other families and their beloved pets! Prepare to have your heart warmed.
To read: The One Year Devotions for Women by Ann Spangler
Tell us, what are you currently reading? What’s on your To-Read Pile?