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what I'm reading this week

We didn't trick or treat.  It was so wet and cold here, and Rosie was mostly oblivious to the holiday, and we figured it was the last year that she would be, thus the last year we could get out of it.

But here she is in her costume back in September (and here's how I feel about princesses, just fyi).




The sun goes down early now, the house feels drafty, and the blog post I'd been writing in my head seems silly. As Rosie says, it's almost snow time.  What I want is to take a scalding hot bath with a book, and then sleep.
Last week, when it was warmer

Here's what I've been reading this week, along with a stack of research papers to grade:


  • Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear.  The latest installment in the adventures of Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and private investigator in London circa 1930. These historical mysteries are well written, quick reads set just after the time of Downton Abbey.
  • If you're interested in following the whole RHE "Biblical Womanhood" debate, the two best pieces this week were by Rachel Stone and Matt Lee Anderson.

    • Rachel Stone writes about reading with a hermeneutic of love rather than a hermeneutic of suspicion within the Christian community.  I've become increasingly aware of my own tendency to approach people I view as outsiders with suspicion, and people I view as insiders, with grace. Unfortunately, there's a lot of this in the Christian online world, too.  I remember realizing it most vividly when I read Challies's review of One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp.  The critical tone of the review shocked me, and it shocked me because he was writing about her as if she were an outsider, when she is clearly not an outsider to the reformed evangelical camp.

      We all do that.  We read and respond to ideas differently if they are coming from people we perceive as "outsiders" or "insiders," as trustworthy or not, and we give so much more grace to people we view as "in our camp".
    • Matt Lee Anderson writes perhaps the best critical, fair-handed review of RHE's book so far.
  • Booked: literature in the soul of me by Karen Swallow Prior.  Last week I tweeted cheekily to Karen that her book had not succeeded in putting me to sleep (she counted it as a review she would always treasure). That was after one chapter.  Now that I'm halfway in, I'm truly finding the book to be moving. Perhaps I'll write a full review when I finish the book, but here's a passage that spoke to me:

    I admit that my relationship with God has been more intellectual than emotional. I used to think this lack of emotional fervor was a mark of sin or, at the very least, some great flaw in my spiritual life.  I thought that it must be a great lack in my faith that I am more emotionally moved in reading literary works like Great Expectations than in reading dramatic passages in the bible or in hearing a moving testimony from the pulpit.  But I've come to realize that my emotional responses to moving works of literature, like the passage above, are the only way I can bear to respond emotionally to God and his love: indirectly.

    It's like when Moses asked God to see his glory, and God answered, "You cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live." So God took Moses to the cleft of a rock and covered him with his hand while his glory passed by...Literature is like the cleft of a rock that God has taken me to, a place from which I can experience as much of the glory of God as I can endure.

Have you been reading anything good?