It's mid-February so what I'm reading is IRS pubs as I prepare to do our taxes. Ugh! I hate this. And I miss Donald Booker whom we could really trust to do it for us. Now we TurboTax. When I was growing up Mother always served salmon croquettes (she made hers with Post Toasties) with canned tomatoes and store-bought (vs. the homemade we took for granted) cookies when she worked on taxes.
It's an election year so what I'm reading is information in the hope of making an informed choice in the primary elections. Early voting begins today so I'm hoping to have my endorsements before the weekend so we can VOTE! One source of good information is the League of Women Voters with links to the party sites. I agree with the Chronicle's endorsements of Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Bill White for gubernatorial candidates.
We're also having a colder than usual winter so instead of working in my yard I'm browsing seed catalogs and websites. Houston isn't Pennsylvania, California, or Virginia--it isn't even Dallas--so don't expect general garden books to work. I get my gardening advice Kathy Huber's garden site at The Houston Chronicle but there are a couple of books I also recommend:
River Oaks Garden Club: A Garden Book for Houston and the Gulf Coast which is unfortunately out-of-print although used copies are available and so much the better since this book is going to be more at home in your garden than on a shelf. Its circle of the year and monthly lists of what to plant and what is in bloom are much needed.
Cathey, H. Marc & Bellamy, Linda: Heat-Zone Gardening. How to choose plants that thrive in your region's warmest weather is most useful because it's a colder than usual February but July & August will be HOT!.
I was invited to read and comment on two works by friends:
McGrgor, Keith: The Beacon. I was privileged to have a pre-production read of Keith's newest play. Visit his webiste: ravenwriters.com
Becker, Joseph Peter is completing his Ph.D. thesis. He has done some really fascinating work on grace. His thesis deals with a short section of Corinthians but it has implications for all scripture and for the life of believers. I told Joe that "this changes everything." One of the things it has changed is my view of Pauline scripture. As my theology has grown increasingly "feminist" I have found Paul to be a "thorn in my side." No more. I cannot wait until Joe's work becomes more generally available. I have not read a book that more changed my understanding since Dallas Willard's The Divine Conspiracy.
Eugene Peterson's Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. A conversation in spiritual theology is still on my Kindle and I am finishing up and rebrowsing this book which I highly recommend.
Foster, Thomas C.: How to Read Novels Like a Professor. A jaunty exploration of the world's favorite litereary form. New York: Harper, 2008. David finished and passed this one on to me which is proving almost but not quite as delightful and informative as this author's previous book How to Read Literature... I highly recommend this book to students who are preparing to attend college.
Austen, Jane: Emma. Kindle. The recent PBS programs remind me that it's time to re-read Miss Austen.
Mabie, Hamilton Wright: Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know. Doubleday, 1905. Project Gutenberg. Kindle. I'm reading one or two a week. I forget how frightening some of these stories are. I'm pretty sure that I would not choose to read them to a young child. Let's rate them PG.
Paulson, Beth: Wild Raspberries. 2008 I'm prolonging the pleasure from this delightful poet. Previous books are The Company of Trees and The Truth about Thunder.
Merrill, Nan C.: Psalms for Praying: an invitation to wholeness. New York/London: Continuum, 2006. This reworking of the Psalms emphasizes "God is love..." It is by no means an accurate translation but it is a response to the timeless text and gives a fresh voice to psalmic prayer. I am only allowing myself a psalm or two at a time hoping to make the book last through Easter.
Whitaker, Evelyn: Laddie. We finished our discussion of the 19th Century woman novelist as theologian. My introduction and downloadable .pdf of Laddie with my annotations are available at my domain: evelynwhitakerlibrary.org/