Saturday, March 21, 2009

Striving to learn

I love learning. There are many moments I imagine returning to school for the mere fact of learning and reading and discussing pieces of literature and writings I wouldn't pick up on my own. However, as that is unlikely (and really I don't crave the pressure of homework or tests), I pick up books from the library. It's not the same as a classroom environment, but it's what I can do. I suppose that might be partly why I enjoy reading nonfiction books so much. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good fiction read, I just typically gravitate towards the nonfiction section. Right now I'm reading The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia by Laura Miller; The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8 Lee; Take Joy: a Book for Writers by Jane Yolen; Eat, Memory: Great Writers at the Table Edited by Amanda Hesser. And waiting in the wings are Mistress of the Monarchy by Alison Weir; Why Read the Classics? by Italo Calvino; Birth by Tina Cassidy. It may be said that I try to read too many books at once (I believe in this I am my father's daughter). It does fragment my attention a bit, but I just find so many interesting books I want to read! My eyes grow heavy too quickly at night.
I suppose the real reason I sat down to write this post, though, is actually the book I'm listening to as I commute between jobs, Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life by Kathleen Norris. I'm not even a quarter of the way through this book, but I'm fascinated by this theological memoir. Norris examines her relationship with acedia (a demon of bad thought recognized by early monastics), a slothful, soul-weary indifference. I may not agree with all of Norris's theology, but I appreciate the careful way she is navigating through what could be a touchy subject. I'm learning of people and ideas I'd never heard of prior to this.


jeremy said...

I am intrigued by the Norris book...I am going to press you to flesh out the book review so we can put in on our library website...of course, SJCPL needs to have the book on hand first and not just the book-on-CD.

Heather L. said...

Oooo...thanks for the booklist. I've just immediately put Weir's book on hold -- she's one of my favorite authors. Now I just need to make progress through the 16 books on my bedside table and the 10+ sitting on my "library" shelf. And, I need to post some reviews on my blog. Somehow reading is so much more fun than writing book reviews....

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