What a sad and pitiful book total this is when the year is nearly half over. I'm almost ashamed. But I will defend myself by saying I have spent a lot of time in the past two months reading church profiles and information packets about unfamiliar geographic areas, and really, it's amazing I've read anything else at all.
I just finished The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time, by Judith Shulevitz. It's a *very* interesting, engaging book about Sabbath, written by a somewhat-but-not-very (by her own admission) observant Jew. I heard about the book when Shulevitz appeared on Fresh Air. Charmed by her conversational manner, I ordered the book immediately. It lived up to the interview.
Shulevitz places Sabbath practices, both Jewish and Christian, in scriptural and historical context. She wonders what we have lost as a culture in our understanding of time by no longer setting time aside. She writes knowingly about Jesus–really, I could have been talking to a colleague or classmate, I felt, as she wrote about Mark's gospel–and invokes literature from D.H. Lawrence to Laura Ingalls Wilder.
If you want to read a book that explores Sabbath without making you feel personally guilty for not keeping one "just so," I highly recommend The Sabbath World.
I also need to add that I found her literary references so compelling that I broke my pledge to buy no books in June and ordered two titles for my Kindle. My excuse? They cost a total of $2.04. One is The Rainbow, by D.H. Lawrence, the other the delightfully titled The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton, by George Eliot.
I have plenty of books to read on upcoming job-search-related travels, and hope to pick up the pace.