Thursday, January 19, 2006

Book It!

(Remember when Pizza Hut bribed kids to read with pizza? Works for me. Do they still do that?)

I so love a good story. Give me well-written book with characters I love, and I’m just one happy chick. Sometimes it’s not even a story, but a book with insight and wisdom that really captures me. I put it down and say, “Wow, I needed that. I learned something new today.”

“A book ought to be an ice pick to break up the frozen sea within us.” -- Frank Kafka

“Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?” – Henry Ward Beecher

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed on and digested.” – Francis Bacon

Call me weird (you already do, I know) but I love to record throughout the year the titles I’ve read and their authors. It’s fun to look back and see how my tastes have or haven’t changed, and how I follow certain genres or authors. I also try to challenge myself with how many I can read in a year. I usually land somewhere between 25 and 30, depending on how crazy life is.

(This is where my sweet husband shakes his head. His reading life is all about a few good books: the Bible, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Chronicles of Narnia, and anything John Eldredge writes. Oh, and he’s also read Heir to a Dream, the story of basketball legend Pistol Pete, several times. He finds reading to be the best way to fall asleep, basically. I think the same thing about ice-fishing. Love you, Aaron!! Hopefully, I can help my boys find good “guy” books as they grow up and help them love reading as well as sports and hunting and other activities. You men who are readers, how did your love of reading happen? Through parents? teachers?)

In the fiction category, I had two favorites last year – Midwives by Chris Bohjahlian (gotta love that name) and Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. Both writers are amazing at crafting a story with characters you never forget.

A little book that rocked my world was Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. He writes about the Christian faith in such a new and original way. His book…I can’t describe this the way I want to…it just completely enlarged my view of Christ, the church, and community.

I hope this year continues to be a year of growth and discovery. Feel free to pass on any recommendations!

“This habit of reading, I make bold to tell you, is your pass to the greatest, the purest, and the most perfect pleasure that God has prepared for His creatures. It lasts when all other pleasures fade. It will support you when wall other recreations are gone. It will last until your death. It will make your hours pleasant to you as long as you live.” --Anthony Trollope


Josh said...

You are not weird... I do the same thing: A 'books I've read in the past year' list. This year, I'm even including pages... just to see how many pages I read in a year.

I even include each book I've read on my church board report now. Yes, even Star Wars. It makes for interesting conversation during board meetings. I can talk about the intricacies of the Clone Wars and the Jedi Code... and every now and then... I read something about theology and we talk about God... but that is much more rar(j/k).

Anyway... all that to say... I love reading... I won many 'Book It' pizzas when I was a kid... (Hardy Boys rule all) and I still find that reading is one of my favorite hobbies!

Great post!

Holly said...

They still totally do "Book It"!!!! Elijah did it all last year in kindergarten. We loved it; unfortunately he's not doing it this year.... Loved the idea about writing out a list. Midwives was AMAZING (Shelly gave me that one!) I agree with Josh, you are not weird!! (Wait, maybe all three of us are??...)

mordy said...

and that's all i'm gonna say about that.
jeannie, i just got back from winter conference in portland with jean brouwer. GUESS WHAT?? did you notice in 'blue like jazz' that he mentions powell's bookstore, the biggest bookstore ever? WE WENT THERE!! it was four floors of magnificence, baby. i picked up seven books and managed to whittle it down to four.
on the flight home i finished 'flyboys,' a book about world war ii pilots including the survival story of george h. w. bush. it was graphic, but great. so much i had no idea about. i definitely had tears streaming on the plane. really painful to read but lots of food for thought.

Beth W. said...

Okay, so now I have to read Midwives! Just ordered it online from the library. Thanks for the recommendation!

Heidi said...

Izak has two little "Book It!" coupons on my fridge right now... but I'm the one who ends up eating them...

Janine said...

Jeannie, this is a great site to find books for boys. :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm just so happy to see a photo of YOU on this page. :) Good call! Read on, my friend. Newest reccomendation (and I don't recommend her other least not those I've read): "Light on Snow" by Anita Shreve. There ya go. Peace.

evermilya said...

Uh, that wasn't to be do these things work. Ugh. Let's try this again

Anonymous said...

I have read midwives, I should have known by the circle on the cover that I shouldn't (Oprah's bookclub does NOT impress me!!)! What a horrific story and I pray that many young women in their childbearing years will not be too greatly affected by the graphic horror in this story, maybe I've been sheltered for too long??

Anonymous said...

Prodigal Summer-what in the world!? I am so surprised that anyone could get past page 60 in this book. I usually read only christian fiction, so I was a little put off by the swear words and sexual descriptions-(between unmarried persons. let alone did not even know the person@!!!) I guess being sheltered if you want to call it that or not poisoning my mind with the worlds's trash really works, because when you are gone from it for a while-you are shocked by what some people read and watch for entertainment!