Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eat pasta and try to meditate or walk on water?

Wow, it's already been a while since I last told what books I've read. After reading The Color Purple, I've already two more books by women authors.

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L'Engle is a good read for any creative person. She has some thoughts on whether there is such a thing as Christian art. The artist must trust himself, his work, and be open to revelation. Creativity is not limited to artists, though. It can even extend to the freedom of choosing an academic career or having the priority of nurturing your family and helping your husband with his work behind the scenes. And the intuitive and intellectual parts of ourselves are not incompatible.

For the BC in DC bookclub, I read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Even though I had seen this book in the stores a lot, I didn't pick one up until I found out that the BC in DC Book Club would read it.

When I started reading, I wasn't sure what to make of it, but I kept reading. The first thing that stood out to me was that the author had a love affair right after (or even during?) a difficult divorce. Later, she doesn't even manage to spend that entire year in celibacy like she sets out to do. Hm.
Even though she says she won't tell about the failure of her marriage, she keeps giving us bits and pieces. Either tell us the whole thing or leave it all out!
What I did like was that even though she has a totally screwed image of who God is, at least she lays out what she thinks and defines what she means.
It's unfortunate how she falls for the new-agey spiritually stuff. I hope she'll continue her journey to find the truth eventually.
What made it a bit more interesting for me to read was that I can relate to living for a few months in a different environment/different country, not exactly like a tourist, but more like a short term resident.
Unfortunately, the book didn't have as much substance as I would have hoped, covering her journey through three countries and the time frame of about a year. Another book I read recently, "13 Little Blue Envelopes" was far more interesting that way.

What a contrast between those two books. The first one is really nurturing in a healthy way whereas the second one is self-absorbed and over-indulgent in a way. Once you have a real relationship with God, all this spirituality stuff falls really flat. But even some of us who are now Christians have been in a phase were we were searching in all the wrong places before finding the one true path that can save us. Unfortunately, Eat, Pray, Love wasn't very good as a travel narrative either, the only exception being the culinary adventures with pizza and pasta in Italy.

I listened to an abridged version of this book on cassette: Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson The story was kind of interesting, but not as exciting to me as I had hoped, reading that "Kidnapped is considered by many to be the best book Stevenson ever wrote."
Maybe it was because I had to concentrate so much to understand Robbie Coltrane's accent (he's reading the audio book). Or maybe it was because those settings and names etc. were not really my cup of tea. Or maybe, the abridgment left out vital parts. Somehow, the ending of the story came quite abruptly. While checking out the story online after reading it, I discovered that the book has numbered chapters, it would have helped if they had been announced on the audio version. I discovered in the Wikipedia article about the novel that it's set around real events and some of the people portrayed are real people. That in hindsight makes the novel more interesting to me.

I listened to an audio adaption on cassette of Star Trek The Next Generation: Imzadi by Peter David. At first I was a bit skeptical when the romance started, but it developed really well. It's a great novel that combines science fiction with a romance.

(50 books in 2010 count: 31, not counting those children's books in the previous post)

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