July was wonderful. I had lots of time to read (especially on the beach!) and met my writing word count almost every day. The container garden is growing beautifully and I am back to singing and running after some time off from both when we were on vacation. Linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into!
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
This young adult novel by Sherman Alexie had been on my list for a long time, since I see a lot of my students reading it. Honest and sad at times, I’m sure it would be called “gritty” if it weren’t so funny.
In Pursuit of Garlic: An Intimate Look at the Divinely Odorous Bulb
Who knew I’d find a whole book about garlic! This was an impulse-borrow from the library. It’s part memoir, part cookbook, part garlic-cultivating instruction manual.
Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World
An innovative book about a woman who travels wicked far to write a novel, and ends up living a memoir. Bonus points because part of it is set in Boston!
Cooking Green: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint in the Kitchen
The concept of “cooking green” was new to me. If you’re curious how to reduce your environmental impact in the kitchen (what the author calls your “cookprint””) this book has a lot of tips. Even for someone like me who is too set in my ways to implement every change in this book, there was a lot of helpful information on the science behind basics like boiling and oven use.
Based on the life of the author’s mother (a winner of the Miss Burma pageant who became a controversial political leader), this epic piece of historical fiction combines riveting narrative with Southeast Asian history of which I was terribly unaware.
A dysfunctional family story. Clever and quick. I read Kevin Wilson’s latest last month, and frankly I preferred it.
This was another quick beach read (although when I think about it, maybe it’s not that I am reading quickly but that I’m spending lots of time on the beach). In it, a New England college president deals with a student protest that affects her family as well as her job. My only criticism was a scene at the end that takes place at a park in Hartford that is dear to my heart, that is used as a symbol of “things that are bad in cities” before getting back to the problems of bourgeois academics. I feel better getting that off my chest.
I really enjoy James Martin’s writing style. Jesus: A Pilgrimage combines his account of a trip to the Holy Land with a readable study of the life of Jesus which synthesizes many historical and theological resources.
I’ve been working on my big summer project, the 2019 edition of Loyola Press’s Book of Grace-Filled Days, trying to write ten days a day, if that makes sense. It’s a challenging but enriching discipline, and also adds some routine to my summer days. (I get really anxious if I go without routine for too long.)
I suspect my binge-reading has been related to my writing output – a calories-in, calories-out sort of thing. A few of the books that I haven’t read carefully but have referred to for some spiritual nourishment include Joan Chittester’s The Monastery of the Heart: An Invitation to a Meaningful Life, Bernard of Clairvaux: Selected Works (HarperCollins Spiritual Classics), and Henry Nouwen’s Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life.
Music and Art
I’ve been listening to the Broadway musical Come From Away. Using only 12 cast members (in multiple roles), it tells the story of the small town in Newfoundland who welcomed passengers whose planes made emergency landings when the American airspace was closed on September 11th. It’s really earnest and inspiring which is kind of what I need right now.
I sang in two concerts this month, one with New England Light Opera and New England
Gilbert and Sullivan Society, singing hits from classic Broadway, and one with Longwood Opera. At the latter I sang Anne Truelove’s aria from The Rakes’ Progress, which is a really big sing. I’m excited to be returning to the Longwood Opera stage in November as the Sandman in Hansel and Gretel.
I also sang lots of masses and weddings, including the BC orientation masses at the Parish of St Ignatius which are always dear to my heart. So nice to welcome the incoming students with worship!
At the beginning of the month we went to the MFA to see Botticelli and Matisse exhibits before they closed. Excellent as always.
I hope you have been having a magnificent summer and that August treats you well. What have you been into this month?
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I loved Come From Away! We saw the cast in Toronto last November before they moved on to Broadway, and it was just what my soul needed after the election. The scene where the bus driver communicates with passengers who speak a different language using Bible verses gets me every time.
Margaret Felice says
It’s so perfect for right now. We are thinking about going to Broadway this fall to see it!