It’s time for a June/July look back and ahead! It’s somehow only been a month since I last did this. It feels like at least three. Alas, the blog posting schedule does not lie.
Most of what I read and watch doesn’t get written about. Not because it’s not worthwhile (though there’s some of that), but because I don’t currently have the capacity to post daily.
But because it’s all forming me, here’s this month’s look back on what I read and watched, and a look forward to what I plan/hope to engage in July.
If there’s ever a title that you want thoughts or a conversation guide about, let me know!
The Ever-Expanding Resource Library is ever seeking to expand.
Look back on books I finished in June
In which you can totally tell the weather has been amazing because I’ve been completing way more hikes than books. I’m not sorry.
- Wild Life by Molly Gloss. My pick for a PNW author for my road trip from Seattle to the CA Redwoods. Such a perfect adventure story for that trip. It was the topic of conversation during more than one hike. The novel raises questions on what it means to be human and what our goals as a society and a race are.
- The Brothers K by David James Duncan. My second pick for my PNW road trip. I’m writing this post late because I couldn’t put it down. This book has given me a deeper understanding and respect for the culture that shaped my parents’ politics and spirituality, to the extent that I need to apologize to them for having so thoroughly misunderstood their lives. It really speaks to what has shaped America in a way so intimately storied that you can’t help but feel compassion for each and every character. The redemption is so good it’s heartbreaking. Seriously, if you haven’t already, you can borrow my copy (if you promise not to judge my copious marginalia).
- Cry, Heart, but Never Break by Glenn Ringtved. A lovely children’s book on valuing death and grief.
- Nonfiction: Church / Theology
- Teresa of Avila by Rowan Williams. A great overview of Teresa’s writings and spirituality, well-located into her context. Though a bit academic. Not ideal summer reading.
- Nine O’Clock in the Morning by Dennis Bennett. I read this because I’m starting my internship at St Luke’s Ballard and was looking for some of the church’s history. For that purpose, it was incredibly interesting. I can’t say I’d recommend it otherwise.
- Art & Poetry
- The Essential Rumi. Rumi is always good for the soul.
Look forward to books I’ll be spending some time in during July
Which may prove to be, again, wildly optimistic, given the hikes to books ratio of June.
- How to be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman, for a project with a group called Literary Wives on portrayals of wifeliness (wifehood?) in novels. More on that August 1st!
- Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey for my visit to Michigan at the end of the month — I try to read local authors when I travel, and this seems perfect for beach days.
- Nonfiction: Church / Theology
- A Convergent Model of Renewal: Remixing the Quaker Tradition in a Participatory Culture by C Wess Daniels. He was kind enough to send me the book to review, and then The Brothers K got in the way. But I’m back on it!
- A Brief History of the Episcopal Church by David Holmes. Which my priest lent me like … 3 months ago. But I’m too stubborn to return it without finishing.
- One or two Alban Institute books on starting new ministries. Because I’m starting work at a new church this Sunday.
- Nonfiction: Art / Creativity
- You Can Draw in 30 Days by Mark Kistler. I’m on Lesson 23. I’m … improving.
- Nonfiction: General
- Who We Be: The Colorization of America by Jeff Chang. A goal I have for this year is to read more black experiences.
TV shows I’m into right now:
- Grace & Frankie. Because female friendships. And women over 30 who aren’t villains. And forgiveness, compassion, and grief. This show is lots of good things.
- Star Trek: Voyager. I have fallen in love with the jumpsuit trend and I’m pretty sure that Kathryn Janeway is to blame. If I don her hairstyle, send help.
- Lady Dynamite. The first episode was amazing. The second…I can’t tell if it’s more funny or tragic. So I keep watching trying to figure that out.
- Angie Tribeca. It’s totally stupid, but sometimes that’s nice for background noise. Like while spending too much time on fancy title images.
Look back to movies and theater I saw in June:
- The Way Way Back
- Make Happy, Bo Burnham’s stand-up show on Netflix. I laughed a lot. And then the show climaxed into a hilarious piece that itself climaxed into a tragic reflection that…well, damn if I wasn’t called to repent.
- The Brothers K. A theatre adaptation of the novel. I cried a lot.