What book have you read in the last six months that has really stayed with you? Why?
Mary Oliver's Thirst. Two poems in particular from that collection have stuck with me. The first lines of Six Recongnitions of Our Lord:
I know a lot of fancy words.and of Heavy:
I tear them from my heart and my tongue.
Then I pray.
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
I went closer,
and I did not die.
What is one of your favorite childhood books?
I may regret admitting this in public, but The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I first read it in a frigid Illinois winter, where I was walking to school thinking of the little girl walking in the snow with no shoes. And the marvelous comeuppance that comes the way of Miss Minchkin.
Do you have a favorite book of the Bible? Do tell!
The psalms are in my very bones.
What is one book you could read again and again?
The Psalms. :-) My comfort reading actually moves around, right now when I need something predictably soothing and humorous, I tend to pick up something in Lois Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan series (A Civil Campaign is on my bedside table at the moment). They make me laugh and remind me of my brothers (and their well meaning, but somewhat quirky senses of humor).
Is there a book you would suggest for Lenten reading? What is it and why?
The Psalms. :-) Sorry, I couldn't resist. St. Benedict's Toolbox: The Nuts And Bolts Of Everyday Benedictine Living by Jane Tomaine, an Episcopal priest. The book grew out of her work in her parish and her doctoral dissertation, so it's grounded well in pastoral practice, tradition and prayer. Looking for a Lenten discipline? The focus is on how we can answer the calls to obedience, hospitality, stability and conversion of life outside the monastic enclosure. I gave it to my brother a couple of years ago when he was in the last stages of joining the Episcopal Church and asked me for something that would offer practical advice on living out God's call to us in our everyday lives. He chose to say the short version of Morning Prayer that is included - still does as far as I know. I won't reveal precisely where he says it, but it's one of the few places that a parent of young boys can find privacy in the morning!