Sunday, January 11, 2015

Six Books That Blew My Mind (Part I)

There is no denying it: I am a zealous book lover.

I'm not sure when my love for reading turned the corner from "simple enjoyment" to "slightly obsessed." I'll think about it and save that for another post.

Today, I simply want to share THE six books that made my head explode. I had to choose from all the books I've ever read, so this was a challenge; but when I narrowed it down to the books I actually had in my possession, it made it easier.

These were the ones I held close to my chest after finishing and thought, "Wow. THAT is why we read. THAT is the beauty of the written word."

And then I immediately wanted everyone else I knew in the whole wide world to read it, too.

This post got pretty lengthy, so I've decided to break it up into two parts -- three books per post.

(Hold down the arrow buttons to see various covers)

1. The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison

What drew me to this book?

This is the memoir of a mother of boys, just like me. Her writing makes me feel like I'm sitting down with a good friend, encouraging me in my life as a mother.

This book moved me or changed me by...

helping me see the beauty of a simple day and to make the most of the time when my children are home.

One quote or section that stands out to me from this book is:

"I want to live with a sense of abundance in the here and now, knowing that what we have is exactly enough. Instead of wishing that my sons cold be somehow other than they are, I want to remind myself to see, everyday, what is already good in each of them and to love that."

(Isn't that GORGEOUS?)

2. Montana 1948 by Larry Watson

This book moved or changed me by...

The elegant, simple beauty of well-written story. This is a compact, rather short novel filled with treasure. It's the story of a 12-year old boy coming of age one summer. I was completely mesmerized by the writing and the narrator.

One quote or section that stand out to me from this book is:

"The harshness of the land and the flattening effect of wind and endless sky probably accounted for the relative tranquility of Mercer County. Life was simply too hard, and so much of your attention and energy went into keeping not only yourself but also your family, your crops, and your cattle alive, that nothing was left over for raising hell or making trouble."

One thing the author does that makes this book so compelling is...

The author chooses words so perfectly. It feels as if there is nothing "extra" in the story and every sentence is exactly as it should be.

3. Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

What drew me to this book...

I had seen this book recommended over and over again, and when I read it, I realized why. Lindbergh reminds women of the importance of solitude and inner quiet. She steals away to an island where she writes, walks the beach, collects shells, and ruminates what it means to be wife, mother, woman.

This book moved or changed me by...awakening my desire to truly quiet my spirit DAILY.

One quote or section that stands out to me is...there are so many! It's hard to choose, but here's one:

"Mechanically, we have gained, in the last generation, but spiritually we have, I think, unwittingly lost. In other times, women had in their lives forces which centered them whether or not they realized it; sources which nourished them whether or not they consciously went to these springs. Their very seclusion in the home gave them time alone. Many of their duties were conducive to a quiet contemplative drawing together of the self."

What about you? What books are blowing your mind these days?

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