Ok everyone! Obviously, I need to figure out which Spice of My Shelves edition this is – is it 5? 6? 4? We’re going to call this post, ‘# 101’ and next week I promise I will be back on track.
I’m writing about these books to the ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ soundtrack by Thomas Newman… actually, I mentioned this soundtrack in my last post! So please excuse if I get lost in the music and one of my sentences trails…
Spice of My Shelves: #101
Today, our first book was a volume recommended to me by a good friend. Actually, I have this book at my house – my parents own it – but I’ve never taken the time to read. One of my friends told me it was really good, so I’m sharing it with ya’ll today. I haven’t finished it yet, but I know it is worth reading because it’s 1, recommended by a friend and 2, it’s by Francis Schaeffer. Francis and Edith Schaeffer are so inspiring to me. Edith S. is practically my Mom’s spiritual mentor, and together Francis and Edith maintained L’Abri, which you should read about if you’ve never heard of it. ANYWAY, here’s the book:
It is a short read, featuring two essays by Schaeffer- one called ‘Art in the Bible’, and the other, ‘Some Perspectives on Art.’
The private school I went to in high school was a Fine Arts School – I took some academic classes there, though not all because I’m technically homeschooled – and I took choir, ballet, Irish Dance, and Drama while I attended it. The school’s motto was ‘claiming the Arts for Christ’. I think Francis Schaeffer would have liked that, because he was a very intellectual person, who saw that God values excellence, beauty, and has given mankind the gifts of creativity, music, art, dance, ect. Plus, art is a very effective way to spread truth and love.
The quote on the flyleaf of the book:
“The Christian is the one whose imagination should fly beyond the stars.”
If you are looking for a somewhat intellectual read, are curious about the role of art in a Christian’s life, or are passionate about both the spiritual and artistic sides of life, you should give this book a try!
Yes. I know this is a children’s book.
You have a problem with that?!!?
Actually, my Mom collects children’s books. She has inspired me by the incredible literature she provided for her children, and so now if I find a good children’s book, I like to buy it, just in case I ever have kids on hand to read to…
And if the book is illustrated by Tasha Tudor, here’s the rule:
Always, always, ALWAYS buy it!
She’s an incredible illustrator.
You say, ‘prove it Shannon!’
Yeah. I know.
You will never find a more beautiful Mother Goose children’s book – trust me 🙂
The next book I have is also vaguely related, in that it involves rhymes and rhythm… it is a book of poetry:
This is a great poetry collection. It contains several ‘chapters’, each dedicated to the poetry of a certain poet. Each chapter starts with a biography of the poet, offers helpful vocabulary definitions as you read the poems, and each poet’s chapter actually features a different artist – so the illustrators kind of help bring out the style of each individual poet.
This book features the poets Emily Dickinson, Carl Sanders, Robert Frost, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. And I cannot decide which chapter is my favorite!
Here’s a little poem you may have memorized by Carl Sandburg…
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
This was one of the first Christian books that I ever read that truly changed me and the way I thought about my relationship with God. I either read it in sixth or seventh grade, and I’m very much looking forward to reading it again this summer. It is a truly encouraging book, and focuses on becoming Christ-centered with our heart, soul, mind, and body (strength). And with our relationships, since Christ said to love our neighbor as ourselves.
The book opens with this quote from Stanley Hauerwas:
‘Adventure requires courage to keep us faithful to the struggle, since by its very nature adventure means that the future is always in doubt. And just to the extent that the future is in doubt, hope is required, as there can be no adventure if we despair of our goal. Such hope does not necessarily take the form of excessive confidence, rather, it involves the simple willingness to take the next step.’
As I re-read this book, hopefully I can share more great quotes from it with ya’ll!
Our finally book is a beautiful novel that could bring you to tears. It is one of my top 20 favorite books, and I have been re-reading it this week. The Chicago Tribune says, on the back of my copy, that “It makes you want to buttonhole strangers in the street to be certain they knw it’s around….” And honestly, that’s what it does to me!
Why is this book so compelling? It’s about the friendship of Danny – the son of Jewish, extremist, isolationist rabbi, who expects his son to take his place one day even though Danny longs to go to college and be a psychologist – and Reuven, the son of a Jewish professor who wants his son to become a mathematics professor, even though Reuven wants to serve his people by becoming a rabbit. The two sects of Judaism the boys belong to are diametrically opposed to each other, and the pair would never have met if Danny hadn’t put Reuven in the hospital during a baseball game. I think this book is so powerful to me because of the themes – friendship, respect, father-son relationships, communication, perspective, suffering, and religion – and the plot – struggles with friendships, and how to love and respect a father, teacher, or friend even if you disagree with their religious convictions. Reading this book makes me think so much of my own life, and I connect with these characters on so many levels. By the way, whenever this book mentions eyes, blindness, glasses, or sight, pay attention! It’s important imagery…
‘My father had told me he didn’t mind their beliefs. What annoyed him was their fanatic sense of righteousness, their absolute certainty that they and they alone had God’s ear, and every other Jew was wrong, totally wrong, a sinner, a hypocrite, an apikoros, and doomed, therefore to burn in hell.’
‘The game stopped being merely a game and became a war.’
‘ “I don’t understand why I wanted to kill you.”
I stared at him.
“It’s really bothering me.”
“Well, I should hope so,” I said.’
‘Two people who are true friends are like two bodies with one soul.’
‘At the moment when there seems to be no meaning in life, at that moment a person must try to find new meaning.’