Bookends: March 2014

The first day of each month, I’m posting a summary of what I read the previous month and what I plan to read in the coming month. I would love if this could become a conversation in the comments about what’s on your reading list, too!

First things first: This is my 1,000th post on Imperfect Happiness! Sure, the blog will be four years old this July and that’s plenty of time to write a lot of posts, but still—did I really write all of these posts?

Okay, enough reflecting on the collective effect of 1,000 grains of sand. Let’s talk about books!

It turns out my five-books-a-month plan is a little ambitious. There are five finished grown-up books in the March list, but two were left over from February’s overly-ambitious reading plan. I didn’t finish all of the books I set out to read in March (and didn’t even start the Locke I assigned myself), but I did pretty well.

Here’s what I finished in March:

Grown-ups’ Books:

Gift of Faith: Tending the Spiritual Lives of Children by Jeanne Harrison Nieuwejaar (the role of parents and spiritual community in fostering our children’s spiritual lives; written from a Unitarian Universalist perspective)

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (Sometimes what we wish for when we’re 20 bites us in the butt as we approach 40.)

Present Moment, Wonderful Moment by Thich Nhat Hanh (short verses for fifty-two different activities of daily living)

Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis (Lewis writes a very personal account of his inner journey from childhood faith through atheism to a more mature acceptance of Christianity as an adult.)

The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh (early review copy; two sisters set off on a journey through West Virginia to make sense of their mother’s life and death)

Kids’ Books:

The High King by Lloyd Alexander (#5 of the Chronicles of Prydain)

The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo (a young boy finds a tiger and must decide what to do with it)

Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Mélanie Watt (The title pretty much says it all. I’ve read all of the Scaredy Squirrel books multiple times, but I wrote a review of this one so I figured it made sense to include it in this list.)

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (first book in the Chronicles of Narnia series, which my kids and I are reading in chronological order rather than in publication order, as I first encountered them. We’ll see how that goes)

Peter and the Starcatchers by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry (prequel to J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan. My daughter refuses to read the original before she reads all of Pearson/Barry’s contribution to the story. I have mixed feelings about this decision.)

Currently Reading/To-Read for April

I’m currently reading Zealot: the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan and Writing the Sacred Journey by Elizabeth Andrew. I hope, hope, hope to finish Zealot by the book discussion on April 2nd, but I think I’m going to let Andrew’s book linger a bit because it’s such a cool breath of air, and I want to take it slow.

April is a big travel month for me, which would normally make it a good reading month except that we’re traveling by car and I can’t seem to read in the car without a lot of protest from my vestibular system. It could be a good time to listen to some of my five books on audio, but that would involve a lot of protest from the other three members of my family. So, we’ll listen to kid-approved audiobooks in the car, and hopefully I’ll get some beach reading in while the grandparents are monitoring the kiddos.

For Classics for April, I have Middlemarch by George Eliot and Two Treatises of Government by John Locke (just the second treatise).

I have one review copy this month, ‘Til the Well Runs Dry by Lauren Francis-Sharma.

My spirituality book for this month is also a writing book: Writing to Wake the Soul: Opening the Sacred Conversation Within by Karen Hering (although I’ll likely not start this one until I finish Writing the Sacred Journey). I might also pick up Healing Anger by H.H. the Dalai Lama.

Sisters Book Club is still dormant, although I’ve invited my sister and everyone else in the group to read either Middlemarch or Two Treatises with me. So far I’ve had no takers, but let me know in the comments if you’re planning to read either of these in April, and I’ll make a point of blogging my progress.

For kids’ books, we’ve started listening to the audio of John D. Fitzgerald’s The Great Brain, and we’re reading aloud The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (second chronologically in the Chronicles of Narnia). After these, we’re going to listen to Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Ridley Pearson, and pick up the next Narnia book for our read-aloud.

And I’ve got to decide which other audiobooks I’m going to get from the library for our road trip. Last time we made a sizable dent in the Harry Potter series, but I’m not sure what we’ll go with this time. Decisions, decisions!

What have you enjoyed reading in the past month? What’s on your to-read list for April? If you blog your answer, please post a link in the comments (and/or link back to this post, if you’re so inclined).

4 Replies to “Bookends: March 2014”

  1. Owen and I LOVED the original Peter Pan … I think it may have had something to do with all of those “You silly ass!”es, but sometimes classics are classics because they really are that good. Owen liked the original Peter Pan much better than Peter and the Starcatchers.


    1. I think my daughter will like Peter Pan, once she can get past the idea that Starcatchers is a prequel (that part was tough enough) written almost 100 years after the original by different authors. Right now, she’s just really confused and is unwilling to “skip ahead” to the original.


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