Friday, October 25, 2019

I'd Rather Be Reading * Session #2

Welcome back, my lovely bookish companions!  I loved the conversation that spilled out in our first session ... on shared tears and renewed empathy, choosing a book by its cover, reading challenges we take on that broaden our horizons, and that desire to finish reading all the books we bought along the way and never opened.

Together, we're continuing to page through Anne Bogel's captivating, thought-provoking I'd Rather Be Reading in this 5 session Online Book Club.

This week's quotes ...

'Can every devoted reader point back to the book that hooked them on the story?  I'd like to think so.  Not a book they appreciate, or grudgingly respect, but the one that captivated them, the one they didn't want to put down, the one that made them decide, for themselves, to make reading a part of their life, forever.'
- Chapter 5, page 45

'Books provide a safe space to encounter new and unfamiliar situations, to practice living in unfamiliar environments, to test-drive encounters with new people and new experiences.  Through our reading, we learn how to process triumph and fear and loss and sadness, to deal with annoying siblings or friend drama or something much, much worse.   And when we get to the point in our real life when it's happening to us, it's not so unfamiliar.  We've been there before, in a book.'
-  Chapter 7, page 52

Grab your very own hardcover {$9.13 at time of posting!}, the Kindle edition {$2.99 at time of posting!}, or zip on over to your local library to scoop up your copy there.  {As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.}

Let's talk about your own pivotal books ... and how you learned about life's rough patches through an author's compelling, influential storyline ...

For our next session, please read through chapter 12!


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  1. Linda, I just love the discussion on books! I do have a special book - "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" by Annie Dillard - that I come back to over and over again. I bring it with me every time I travel. I find something new in it each time I read it. The hopefulness, positivity, and thoughtfulness of this book just draw me in every time. The author's thoughts on God, eternity, the creation, and time are so insightful. I just love it.

    1. Laurie, it's fascinating that you have adopted this unique little traveling companion! Don't you just love when you return to a favorite book for the millionth re-read and find something new and fresh?!

      How'd this come about?

  2. Pilgrim by Annie Dillard is also one of "my books," but one that I need to re-read because it's been a long time.
    For me, Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner and Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry have been absolutely foundational in my love of books and my goal of making things clear and beautiful when they appear on a page.

    1. You guys are building my TO-READ pile higher and higher!

      And I couldn't be happier!


  3. There's one book that inspires me,
    that I depend upon.
    In all history's great library,
    I'll take the book of John.
    It holds the vital message
    that although what we'd become
    was sinful, mad and savage,
    God still would send His Son.
    It gives us hope undying
    that beyond this bloody vale
    the Spirit-dove is flying
    and Love shall thus prevail.
    But most of all, the discovery
    that in the world, God cares for me.

    1. Yes, yes, the book of John, the home of one of my favorite verses - 'Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.'
      - John 14:27.

  4. My life-long love of reading started as a child, the moment I read "Charlotte's Web." Linda, I have no idea how many times I re-read this treasure, but I do believe it shaped my early thoughts, and also propelled me into thoughts in later years that I wanted to be a writer.
    The book that is my constant companion, wherever I go, is my Bible, though. It is new and fresh every time I open it and read. Where would we be without God's Word?

    1. Yes, God's Word is our constant companion as we carry its holy truth in our hearts, its memorized verses in our minds.

      I remember the days when many believers carried a New Testament in their pockets. Nowadays we have the whole Bible in the palms of our hands thanks to the power of technology.

      We have no reason not to be immersed in its pages ...

  5. I don't remember which book set off a love of reading, but I've loved it ever since I first learned how in first grade.

    Elisabeth Elliot's Through Gates of Splendor started my love for missionary/Christian biographies as well as everything she ever wrote. Some of my favorite biographies are Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur by Frank Houghton, Hudson Taylor: Growth of a Soul by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor, By Searching, In the Arena, and Second Mile People by Isobel Kuhn, Goforth of China and Climbing by Rosalind Goforth, The Small Woman by Alan Burgess (about Gladys Aylward), Evidence Not Seen: A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II by Darlene Deibler Rose, In the Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham, To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson by Courtney Anderson, Marriage to a Difficult Man:The Uncommon Union of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards by Elisabeth D. Dodds.

    Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly series and Francena Arnold's Not My Will set off my love of Christian fiction.

    And, of course, I can echo what people have said about the Bible. I hate to think where I'd be without it.

    1. Wow! This is some list of bios, Barbara. Your reading life is inspirational.

      In recent years I've found myself drawn to more true stories, bios, historical fiction. There's something powerful in people's real life stories that holds my attention and grabs my heart.

  6. The second quote you shared reminds me of a writing workshop that taught transformational writing. Even if fiction, we write to transform ourselves by working through the obstacles our characters face. And being that real connects the reader because we all face those obstacles! Teen books had an impact on me such as The Outsiders and Are You There Margaret, and of course, all the Anne of Green Gables books! Although my situations were different than Pony Boy's, Margaret, and Anne's, I could relate (and not feel so alone) to their emotions!

    1. Lynn, this right here is fascinating --> 'We write to transform ourselves by working through the obstacles our characters face.'

      That never occured to me ... you've enlightened me on how very true that can be, even if we don't realize or want to admit that's what we're up to.

      Wow, girl!

  7. Like others here, the Bible is my favorite and the most influential in my life, but not until my later teens. Before that, as a child, I remember solving mysteries with Trixie Belden and going on adventures with the Bobbsey Twins. I think Trixie Belden was my favorite. To this day, I still love detective and mystery books. :) Love and blessings to you, Linda!

    1. Oh yes, Trudy. The Bobbsey Twins! Nancy Drew (every single book)! Cherry Ames!

      Childhood classics that have stood the test of time ...

  8. The first quote makes me think about my childhood reading habits and I can’t really remember loving books as a child. Can’t really remember any read but do believe I read the Bobbsey Twins. I have to agree with Barbara about Love Comes Softly. It touched me so to see two people marry for necessity and have love grow out of that need.

    There are so many books I read that speak to the moment I am in that I “smile” at God with a huge thank you attached. He orchestrates so much of my reading and I thank him for showing me how intimately he understands me. Wish I could think of an example. That is when I learn through fictional characters or a story.

    1. Oh Carol. This is so beautifully true--> 'He orchestrates so much of my reading and I thank him for showing me how intimately he understands me.'

      Thank you for the gentle reminder that no one cares for all of life's details like Jesus. No one. He loves us so.

      What peace comes from totally embracing this truth.

  9. Linda, it's Narnia for me ... all seven books. I've lost count how many times I've read the whole series, to myself, with Randy, to the girls. One of my life's biggest epiphanies (about comparison) came during one of my trips through "The Horse and His Boy." And it was Lucy's relationship with Aslan that truly made Jesus come alive to me as a real human being ... in my late 20s, I think. :-)

    1. Isn't it amazing how Narnia impacts both young and older?

      Fascinating. And I love how you've passed on your passion for the series to your family, Lois. So cool ...