June Reads

by RebShang

People sometimes ask me what I’m reading and I reply enthusiastically with “Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton! Oh, and I’m also working through Grudem’s Systematic Theology! Oh, and…” And then I stop because the person’s eyes have either glazed over or are rapidly looking about, desperate to change the subject. So, this year, I’ve attempted to expand my fiction intake to be both more relatable to other human beings and because good fiction is good for my soul and I so often forget that. Take a looksies below! This month’s completed works have been entirely fiction! I should set up a reward system. Ice cream for me!

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Here are some of my favorite lines or quotes from each book. I highly recommend each of these works. Except for the first one.

1. Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher.  My brother can give 13 reasons to read this book. I can give 13 reasons why not to. To each his own.

2. Looking For Alaska by John Green. “I may die young…but at least I’ll die smart. Now back to tangents.”

[Side note. John Green has redeemed Young Adult fiction for me. Looking forward to reading more good books from this genre.]

3. The Pearl by John Steinbeck. “…Kino’s canoe, which was the one thing of value he owned in the world. It was at once property and source of food…It is the bulwark against starvation.”

4. Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett. “We are all born mad. Some remain so.”

5. The Smallest of Entryways by Cristen Hemingway Jayne. [From the epigraph] “There are two candles; one in the window, for hope, the other lit for mourning.”

[From The Laundromat] “The mother looked around at all the people eating through the din of fast food. Now that he was gone these people were comforting. It was a kinship of many kinds of desperation; at the very least they had not had enough time or endurance to make dinner for themselves or their families and had given in, relenting in the face of difficulty, taking comfort in meat, oil, and sugar.”

[From Wish You Were Here] “I’ve heard that old people don’t need as much sleep and I wondered if he missed it. His wife was probably gone and he was enjoying something like I was watching him, only he had learned to do it alone.”

6. The Chosen by Chaim Potok. [I read this as a junior in high school and liked it then. I liked it even more this time around.] “‘That man is such an ignoramus, Father.’ I was angry. ‘Look into his soul,’ I said. ‘Stand inside his soul and see the world through his eyes. You will know the pain he feels because of his ignorance, and you will not laugh.’ He was bewildered and hurt. The nightmares he began to have….But he learned to find answers for himself. He suffered and learned to listen to the suffering of others. In the silence between us, he began to hear the world crying.'”

7. Metamorphoses by Ovid (translation by Charles Martin). [From Book I, The Creation] “Before the seas and lands had been created, before the sky that covers everything, Nature displayed a single aspect only throughout the cosmos; Chaos was its name, a shapeless, unwrought mass of inert bulk and nothing more, with the discordant seeds of disconnected elements all heaped together in anarchic disarray.”

[Side note. This is a brilliant translation. The introduction compares passages from other translations and this is the ESV of Metamorphoses. Side note 2. The names of the gods are the Roman versions. So if you are only familiar with the Greek ones, like myself, it may be a bit confusing at first. Yay for Google.]

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