Catching up on Books Read

Book #32 — In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, by Alexander McCall Smith — I still love these books, a lot. LP and I picked up the first three in paperback from the book sale at the Clam Festival, because although I am reading them on Kindle, at $1 each I'm glad to have them to put on the shelf, too, especially since she wants to read them, too.

Book #33 — 52 Ways to Ignite Your Congregation: Practical Hospitality, by Randy  Hammer — Hammer is a UCC pastor who has written a very helpful book, though it is a bit old school in the reliance on hard copy sources such as newspaper and Yellow Pages ads to attract new people to church. I'm also dubious about some of the ideas about showing up on people's doorsteps. This is New England!  Otherwise he does a great job of asking the questions churches need to ask if they are at all serious about showing welcome to others. We may use this as the basis for a Church Council retreat in the fall, and I expect it will be very effective.

Book #34 — Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad, by Jacqueline L. Robin and Raymond G. Dobard — This wonderful book was loaned to me by a member at Y1P (Hi, C!), and it tells about the way quilts were used as code in the operation of the Underground Railroad. There are beautiful full color photos of quilts to illustrate the ideas drawn from the stories shared by an elderly African-American woman in Charleston, herself a quilter. I will say the book would have benefited from some text editing. The arrangement of the material was not as well-pieced as the quilts.

I've got a couple of books on Kindle right now, but I'm not enamored of "Byron in Love" and may pass on that one. It got a great review in the NY Times but is not grabbing me. Can you give up on books without feeling guilty about it?

8 thoughts on “Catching up on Books Read”

  1. I love to read your book reviews. I will weigh in on the topic of giving up books you just are not enjoying. YES. Years ago, I would really try to get through a book once I started it, but now I’ve decided that there are just so many wonderful books out there and so little time to read all that I want. So, if I am not enjoying a book or learning from a book, I will put it down and start a different one.

  2. Mary, thanks for your comment. I hate to feel like a quitter! But with limited hours in a day, and a life, I’m beginning to feel differently about this where books are concerned.

  3. I find it hard not to finish a book once I started it, even if I don’t like it. But I am trying to loose that feeling of guilt and move on to a better book–it is a waste of time not to.
    This lesson was reinforced for me recently when I felt compelled to finish a biography of Calvin that I started because I said on my blog that I was going to review it to honor his 500th birthday. It was really hard to push myself through it once I realized it wasn’t what I thought it was and that I sure didn’t agree with all the positive reviews I’d read about it.
    On the brighter side, I got in some serious nappage trying to finish it!

  4. I admit to feeling quite guilty when I have a book that I just can’t quite seem to wade through. Usually it is a library book, and as I deposit it in the book return slot I have been known to stop and think “should I give it one last chance?”, as if it were on it’s way to the death chamber! So silly…

  5. I have learned to put down a book I don’t like. The investment of time I have already put in bothers me, but not as much as reading something that annoys me!

  6. I just love to be inspired by you and your reading ways! I am trying to hold myself accountable to always be reading something and not let that go by the wayside as I get busier with my new parish. It’s so important to read, and yet something that is easy to let go of!

  7. I have to stop and think about why I’m putting down a book – is it because it’s boring/irritating/poorly-written? Then it’s ok to pass it on or take it back to the library. Sometimes I have to stop and realize that the book may be telling me things I don’t want to hear/know or that it may require a little more mental effort on my part. Then I REALLY need to keep going.

  8. Lucy, that is an excellent point. I have pressed ahead and finished books like that, whether I wanted to or not.
    I’m more likely to give up on a book that is telling me something I already know. (Felt this way about the Borg/Crossan books about Christmas and Easter, for instance, it was nothing new to me, but I’m glad to have them on my shelf for future reference.)

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