Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Books I Got for Christmas

It's an eclectic stack (adorned by a couple more of the coffee cups I got for Christmas -- thanks, dear friends.)

Working my way through the stack, in no particular order:

"My attention is always very fugitive." 

Flannery O'Connor's A Prayer Journal is a peek inside the mind of a young woman who harbors both a passionate wish to be a great writer and a deep desire to be what God wants her to be -- though she desperately hopes He wants her to be a great writer.

"Oh dear God I want to write a novel, a good novel. I want to do this for a good feeling & for a bad one. The bad one is uppermost. The psychologists say it is the natural one. Let me get away dear God from all things thus 'natural.' Help me to get what is more than natural into my work...."

The first half of this slender book is the transcribed journal, kept from 1946-47, when the O'Connor was at the University of Iowa. The second half is a photographic reproduction of the journal itself.

A Prayer Journal can be read it in a matter of minutes, but I will be savoring it for a long time to come.


Switch gears much?

Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) was a gift from Betsy. She knows that I think Mindy Kaling is a minor genius, and I laughed my way through most of the book, then I spent the chapter called "Married People Need to Step It Up" going, "Awww, I hope she finds someone soon, she deserves it." For the record, Mindy, there are marriages like the one you aspire to -- Atticus and I are pals, and we can talk ad nauseum about boring things, and he did hook me on Breaking Bad, and yes, either of us would have been dead meat had we watched it without the other. I am going to add to your list that you should find a guy who cooks. I hit the jackpot there. I hope you do, too.


You know how I love E.B. White. (Who doesn't love E.B. White? If you don't love E.B. White, you probably shouldn't be here. Back slowly away....) Atticus knows how I love E.B. White.

"Is this --" 
Mary and Robert Gallant smiled and nodded. "Fern and Avery's rope? Yes." 
"So it was real too."

The Story of Charlotte's Web: E. B. White's Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic is delightful thus far. The author, Michael Sims, immersed himself in White's world and has given us a biography that leads us straight to the heart of Charlotte's Web.

I'm just now digging in to the eccentric, eclectic, electric fun of it, and I'm loving it. Thanks, Atticus.


Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Stew from the Forks Over Knives cookbook?



Liz said...

Your family pick such interesting books for you! I got no books for Christmas at all this year. Now that's largely because I didn't ask for books. I asked for (and got) practical things: new drapes for the living room (lovingly made by my daughter) and pots and pans (to replace my dinged up, burned on, worn out ones) from my husband and son. However, this week I've been reading The Abbess of Andalusia and dipping back into The Habit of Being, so I've been deep into Flannery as well. The book on E.B. White sounds absolutely fascinating, I've got to get my hands on it.

Jennifer said...

Mindy Kaling's book is on my TBR list. Sounds great! I'm still too emotional over Charlotte's Web to delve into that again. I'm reading it with my son right now, with tissues handy.

Karen Edmisten said...

Liz, your gifts sound great, and so does your current reading. Jen, you'll love Mindy Kaling's book, and I understand about the tissues. Lots and lots of tissues.