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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


New Book Arrivals: Library Booksale Style, the sequel

Best-Loved Folktales of the World (The Anchor folktale library) - Joanna Cole This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor - Susan Wicklund, Alan Kesselheim, Alex Kesselheim Surprised by Truth - Patrick Madrid, Scott Hahn, Paul Thigpen, Marcus Grodi, Jimmy Akin, Steve Wood, Robert A. Sungenis, Julie Swenson, Rick Conason, T.L. Frazier, Tim Staples, Dave Armstrong, Al Kresta Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity - Kerry Cohen The Journal Keeper: A Memoir - Phyllis Theroux Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life - Gregg Levoy 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last - Linda Bloom, Charlie Bloom, Gay Hendricks, Kathlyn Hendricks Feminist Interpretation of the Bible - Letty M. Russell Roads Less Traveled: Dispatches from the Ends of the Earth - Catherine Watson Home on the Road: Further Dispatches from the Ends of the Earth - Catherine Watson

On Thursday I went to the Augustana College "Books and More" sale, which I've found to be one of the BEST sales for non-fiction. Since non-fiction has sort of been my thing for the past couple years, I was realistic and brought two tote bags instead of one. I filled them both, although I did have the self-control to return about 5 books at the end, which kept my tab neatly under $20 ($19.50). Although I never do the math while I'm filling my bag, I must have a secret internal calculator, because I don't think I've ever spent more than $20 at a used booksale. That $19.50 was well spent on the following:


Best-loved Folktales of the World, edited by Joanna Cole - I hemmed and hawed over whether to buy this book. I haven't made it through all the Grimms and Hans Christian Anderson folktales I already have in my collection. But they're from around the world! But most of those stories can be found online. But I won't know what to look for! Someday I can read them to my children! COME ON, LACEY, FAIRY TALES!!! Obviously, it made the final cut.


This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor by Susan Wickland - I shelved this book once when I was working at the library, and I added it to my "to-read" list. Might as well have it waiting in my personal library. My relationship with the pro-choice movement is complicated, and I think hearing people's stories is one of the most important things we can do, regardless of which side we fall on. 


Surprised by Truth: 11 Converts Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic, edited by Patrick Madrid. When I told my mom about this book, she asked, Why would anyone convert to Catholicism? I've long wondered about Catholic converts myself; so much of the faith's pull for me has to do with personal history and the culture in which I was raised. Although I move further away from practicing Catholicism, it remains a topic of deep interest for me.


Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen - I'm not really sure what to say about this choice. Voyeuristic tendencies? Sex?


The Journal Keeper: A Memoir by Phyllis Theroux - I really know nothing about this book, but its title caught my eye because I am also a journal keeper, and when I paged through it, I found the writing to be beautiful.


Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life by Gregg Michael Levoy - Well, who doesn't want to find and follow an authentic life?


101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last by Linda and Charlie Bloom - I have a very, very good thing in Ivan, and I want to do everything I can to keep it that way for a long, long time.


Feminist Interpretation of the Bible by Letty M. Russell - This is one of the "oldest" books I picked up, but feminist interpretations never get old! Neither does the Bible, methinks.


Roads Less Traveled: Dispatches from the Ends of the Earth; and Home on the Road: Further Dispatches from the Ends of the Earth by Catherine Watson - Because I want to see more of the world than my finances or stomach will allow, and reading is a good way to do that. I picked up Roads Less Traveled early in the sale, then put it back down. Then I saw Home on the Road on a different table, paged through it, liked the writing, and tucked it into my bag. Before checking out, while I was returning some other books to their proper tables, I decided to see whether Roads Less Traveled was still available. I found it in an instant, even though I didn't remember which table it had been on -- I took it as a sign and am glad to have these two as a "set."


Marriage and Other Acts of Charity: A Memoir by Kate Braestrup - I like marriage memoirs ever since I decided to do the marriage thing myself, but this one is written by a pastor AND a therapist, so it's like, a triple score.


Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism by John Shelby Spong - Because I've got quite the collection of Spong's writings, and thought this one might want to come to my home and be with its brethren.


The Bachelor's Cat: A Love Story by L.F. Hoffman - A cat memoir. Isn't that reason enough?


Pilgrimage to Dzhvari: A Woman's Journey of Spiritual Awakening by Valeria Alfeyeva - About a woman's journey to reclaim spiritual experience after the fall of Soviet Russia. I am drawn to spiritual memoirs, and this one intrigues me especially because I know so little about that time and place.


I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn - Amelia Earhart is one of those historical figures who intrigues me. I relate to the tension she felt between marriage to a man she loved and a desire for full independence, and I'm also intrigued by her love of flying. Although I'm afraid of flying myself, I feel drawn to people who do not share this fear.


Cold Comfort: Life at the Top of the Map by Barton Sutter - This is a collection of essays about Duluth. It's the sort of thing I never would have bought when I lived in Duluth. Now that I don't, it seems like just the thing for those moments when I still feel homesick for the Twin Ports.


The Seeing Stone by Kevin Crossley-Holland - Arthurian!


Friendship with God: An Uncommon Dialogue by Neal Donald Walsch - I went back and forth on whether I should buy this one, too. I love the idea of someone who journals his conversations with God, but I heard Walsch interviewed on a podcast once and his personality sort of turned me off. Maybe he is just a nutjob. But can't spiritual insights also come through nutjobs? And if he's not? I wanna know one more person's interpretation of what God has to say. What finally sold me is that this is three books in one -- the first three in his "Conversations with God" collection.


Writers Dreaming by Naomi Epel - I like to pick up a writer/writing related book whenever I can.


I Never Came to You in White by Judith Farr - A novel about Emily Dickinson -- another literary/historical figure who intrigues me. Mostly the reclusiveness.


101 Myths of the Bible: How Ancient Scribes Invented Biblical History by Gary Greenberg - So much of our culture and morality are based on the Bible, that it's good to know what it actually says.


The Origin of Satan by Elaine Pagels - Because I trust and respect Elaine Pagels as a scholar, and because my husband and I had an interesting, thought-provoking discussion on this very subject while we were on a "creative retreat" in January.


 Now all I need is a few months off to read them!