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Thursday, January 19, 2017

My January Reading List

Reading is my first love, and books have always held a sort of magic for me.  From as early as I can remember, libraries and book stores were my favorite places to be.  When those Scholastic book order forms came home, I circled and starred books that I wanted like someone filling their Amazon wishlist.  In elementary school, I devoted some of my recess time to helping in the school library.  And it was a special day indeed when the teachers issued shiny new books whose spines had never been cracked.  To this day, the faint sound of a brand new hardback book being opened excites me.  I still volunteer regularly in a library.  I still go on dates with my husband to the local bookstores.  I still feel like a child on Christmas morning when I get a new book I've been dying to read.  And curling up on my favorite rocking chair with a soft throw blanket, a cup of steaming flavored coffee, a new book, and precious hours of uninterrupted quiet is my idea of a perfect morning.  These are the books I am currently reading or re-reading:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne & John Tiffany is based on J.K. Rowling's story.  A number of my children are big Harry Potter fans, so they bought this book the day it hit the shelves and read it in a day.  Since it's a play, it's a quicker read than most of the Harry Potter books.  I usually don't read the books, but I have watched all the movies with my kids, but my ten year-old keeps insisting that I read this.  They found it a bit confusing for some reason, so I am committing to finishing this before the month is over.

Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste by Pierre Bourdieu is a book referenced by so many of the sociology books I love to devour.  I couldn't find it in any of our book stores or in the local library, so I had to order it from Amazon.  It arrived with one of my husband's graduate school textbooks, and I'm not lying when I say this is three times as thick and far more scholarly than his book.  Written in the seventies by a French sociology professor and writer who loved to write in paragraph-length sentences, I've got my work cut out for me with this book.  This one might take me more than a week or two to finish.

Republic of Outsiders: The Power of Amateurs, Dreamers, and Rebels by Alissa Quart is my current library book.  While the writer is far more politically and socially liberal than I am, this was an interesting book about modern day renegades who are making grass-roots changes in a variety of areas.  I especially enjoyed the chapter on autistic people redefining "neurotypical" people and joining together on the Internet, as well as the final chapter on crafters and urban farmers who are rejecting mass production and industrial agriculture.  The Internet has made so much possible for pioneers and renegades who think outside the box, allowing them to spread the word and find other like-minded people.  I find that so encouraging.

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines is one of the books I received for Christmas, and I read it in two days...on my favorite chair, with cups of cappuccinos, under my favorite plaid blanket.  It was so interesting, so uplifting, so inspiring that I'm going to read it again before the month is over.  This couple just oozes joy and life, and it's contagious.  I'll close today with the final lines of their book:

"...the key to everything Chip and I have learned in our life together so far seems to be pretty simple: Go and find what it is that inspires you, go and find what it is that you love, and go do that until it hurts.  Don't quit, and don't give up.  The reward is just around the corner.  and in times of doubt or times of joy, listen for that still, small voice.  Know that God has been there from the beginning---and he will be there until...The End."  

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