Monday, July 13, 2015

Book Fights

We've been reading a lot of books and luckily there are enough new books that there are no book fights. However, there were a couple of skirmishes over who would get to read these first. I'm happy to say I got the privilege. I promptly took the package to my bedroom and closed the door. Hey, all is fair in love and war and books.

I had hoped and hoped to win this after reading about it on Carol's excellent blog and I did :) RORY'S PROMISE by Michaela MacColl and Rosemary Nichols is one of those rare books that are so thoroughly researched, the details bring the book to life. This is no ordinary Orphan Train book, but investigates a slice of history that not many people know about, when Mexican women fought to adopt white children. It made me realize how important it is preserve religious heritage when thinking about adoptions. The color of your skin matters far less.

It also made me realize how important it is to get the facts right when writing historical fiction. Isn't that the point? To make history come alive. Increasingly though, I find that people want to rewrite history through a modern lens. Granted that there were people in olden times who did not fit during their times, but it is dangerous to put modern sensibilities upon them or to twist the truth. So I especially appreciate a book like Rory's Promise and an editor like Carolyn Yoder, who push you to dig deeper to reveal truth.

Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton

I really enjoyed this autobiography, this journey of faith. How beautifully he writes of his childhood and of the unsung saints who might be the reason he ended up a monk. I laughed and cried while reading this book, marking passages of sheer beauty. He is a poet at heart. I highly recommend this to anybody who is curious about how a worldly person gives it all up to become a monk. It reminds me of St. Augustine's Confessions, only it is much more accessible because of the modern language. 

I don't know how many priests recommend books in the confessional, but I suspect my confessor recognizes my voice and knows how much comfort and direction I gain from reading such books. In any case, before the recommendation arrived, two friends already sent me a prayer by TM that I loved. Here it is:

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that, if I do this, You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust You always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for You are ever with me, and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.

I'm lucky to have a family who like discussing books and movies. Doesn't Max clean up nicely? Here he is getting ready for a job interview. Rumor has it that he has a job at Publix, but I've yet to see the dough :)   


Bish Denham said...

Both of these are books I think I'd enjoy. My, but your babies are growing up!

Jenni Enzor said...

I've heard great things about Rory's Promise. I also like historicals that are true to the time period without modern sensibilities tacked on. I think I'm going to have to read this one.
I read Seven Story Mountain many years ago, and it was instrumental in my life at the time. I've enjoyed a lot of his other books as well.

Mirka Breen said...

The books are excellent, and the kids are superb. Your home is the jewel of SC, at least from my perch.

Vijaya said...

Bish, time flies. And yes, these are keeper books.
Jenni, how lovely to know of another TM fan.
Mirka, thank you :) We are truly blessed.