It’s officially Fall! Time to cozy up with your favorite hot drink and a good read. Here are what our staff is reading this month:
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
My first exposure to Sherlock Holmes was through the PBS children’s show Wishbone (anyone else remember that cute Jack Russell terrier that turned literary classics into half-hour adventures for kids?). But I wasn’t motivated to read the books until a friend recently gifted me with a first edition of The Hound of the Baskervilles. (Don’t worry—I’m not reading this antique collector’s item! A colleague wisely suggested I pick up an inexpensive paperback copy for my reading pleasure.)
I often procrastinate on reading classic works of literature because I’m afraid they’ll be too dense, too long, or too archaic in language to hold my interest. So I was pleasantly surprised at the page-turner Sir Arthur Conan’s novel turned out to be! The language is characteristic of early 20th-century England, but it’s not difficult to understand. Doyle’s descriptions of the novel’s setting are beautifully poetic, making me want to visit the English moor despite the “danger” of a “spectral hound.” The Hound of the Baskervilles has just enough humor to balance the suspense, making it a delightful read overall. I look forward to seeing how this mystery turns out—as well as reading other Sherlock Holmes novels!
To Read: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis
In line with the previous two C. S. Lewis titles, my book for this month is The Great Divorce. It’s not a long book, and I know very little about it besides the basics plus an odd fact here and there. I’ve intentionally avoided the details as to experience its surprises firsthand, and I’m excited to see the vivid, classic imagination of C. S. Lewis again at work!
To Read: Reflections on the Psalms by C. S. Lewis
The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green
John Green is known for his YA fiction (which I have never dove into aside from a movie adaptation or two), but I kept hearing about his collection of nonfiction essays. And this read has lived up to the hype. Green takes each essay to observe and analyze a part of the human experience that are seeming contradictory. My favorite bit so far has been an essay about his love for sunsets and how that has made him reckon with the culture’s bend toward cynicism and how to fight that with a proclamation of deep love for something as common as a sunset. His other essays explore topics such as Piggily Wiggily and American consumerism; teddy bears and fear; scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers and virtual reality. I have been challenged, encouraged, and inspired by this book and I’m only halfway through! So far, I give it 4.5 stars.
To Read: Perelandra by C.S. Lewis
Your Brain Is Always Listening by Dr. Daniel Amen
I enjoy self-improvement type book and have read quite a few over the years. Dr. Amen’s Your Brain Is Always Listening was helpful in pointing out some of my blind spots when it comes to my mental health. I’ve always struggled with negative thoughts and this book helped me realize I need to be more aware that my thoughts lie to me a lot. If I do not consciously question or correct my false thoughts, I will believe them, and act as if they are true. He also talks about dragons as negative patterns that can affects us and keep us captive. Instead, we should use our brains to plan our lives and how we can accomplish our goals. If you don’t your dragons will decide the direction of your life. Dr. Amen normalizes basic human struggles through brain science and personal examples. I appreciated all the tips and tools he shared that I can use to improve the health of my brain.
To Read: If I Were You by Lynn Austin
Tell us, what are you currently reading? What’s on your To-Read Pile?