the blurriness gives the night a well-deserved ethereal glow
Read and Reading:
My friend Elora passed along a complimentary copy of her ebook for me to review. First, I am so, so proud of her for taking this step! Second, the message of When Beauty Pursues You is a mighty one. Elora describes the book as "for the girls who feel damaged and used and forgotten. It’s a manifesto, in the middle of my brokenness, for those who feel like they’ll never measure up against standards set for them." While not geared toward teen girls, it's something I wish I would have read when I was grappling with depression and low self-esteem. And it was a good reminder for the woman I am today and how far I've come. I highly recommend it for women everywhere.
I'm still mulling over The Resignation of Eve: What If Adam's Rib is No Longer Willing to be the Church's Backbone? (Henderson). Review coming soon. Plus, Tyndale graciously agreed to give away a copy! Stay tuned.
When I heard about The Year of Living Like Jesus (Dobson), I immediately thought of AJ Jacob's The Year of Living Biblically (one of my favorite non-fiction books). Dobson's journey is as a Christian, Jacobs as a Jew. During Dobson's year, he explores Judaism, Catholicism, and a few other aspects outside the Evangelical community. At times, it read as a scholarly book instead of his experience, though I learned from his explanations of various practices. Dobson definitely went outside of his comfort zone for this project with interesting results, from drinking at bars to deciding how to vote. He also reflects on how he views his ALS because of this undertaking. Thought-provoking and honest, Dobson ends by admitting he has more to learn when it comes to being like Jesus. This could be a good book club read.
I really appreciate the various essays I've read in Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter.
Currently reading: 7: an Experimental Mutiny Against Excess (Hatmaker) for Marla Taviano's Read-Along, The Little Friend (Tartt), When Helping Hurts (Corbett and Fikkert) and The War of Art (Pressfield).
(I read 8 books this month.)
TV: My must-see TV: Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Parks & Rec, The New Girl, The Vampire Diaries, Psych
Glad to be back tweeting about Psych's funny lines with my #psychophants friends. If you enjoy the show, just follow the hashtag on Wednesday nights.
Crazy Stupid Love- I expected to like this more than I did. At times, it was very funny. I liked seeing Ryan Gosling's abs and the way his character developed. I like just about everything Emma Stone does. But I thought it had some troubling messages concerning women, which I did not expect given all the glowing reviews that said "this is what a romantic comedy should be!"
I saw The Hunger Games and needed a stiff drink afterward. While it was really well done, it was INTENSE! I honestly cannot imagine watching the movie without reading the books. We miss out on some of the back story and Katniss's inner dialogue (though Lawrence handled this masterfully with her expressions). What the movie did well was play off the theme of us the moviegoers as voyeurs, just as the Society is toward the Games. It also made the dichotomy of the Capitol's disconnection from the outlying districts even starker. Yes, I cried. Yes, I had about eleventy billion heart attacks- and this is from someone who inhaled the books like candy. I would recommend HG fans watch because they'll already know thematically what's in store. If you haven't read the books yet, research first- a little preparation goes a long way.
As a backer and fan of the book, I'm looking forward to seeing Blue Like Jazz next month. I hope you'll consider seeing it April 13!
They're making Madeleine L'Engle's play Camilla into a movie. As a L'Engle addict, I'm thrilled.
If you're a fellow bibliophile, you will swoon over Birth of a Book. All that hard work!
Honorable mention goes to Bon Joviver. Yes, you guessed it. If Bon Jovi and Bon Iver ever combined forces, it would sound like this.
New discoveries: All Sons & Daughters (loved the song posted by Jessica Turner), Tyrone Wells (via Jamie Golden, if I recall correctly), Bhi Bhiman (via NoiseTrade- holy haunting voice, go download this now, especially while it's still free), Daniela Mason (via Brite Revolution sampler), Five Finger Death Punch (via radio, they might be too growly overall but a few of their songs are great if you like hard rock), Lauren Pritchard
Going to see Mumford & Sons at the Ryman was like going to church. The show drew me closer to God. Going to see The Head and the Heart at Cannery was like attending a charismatic service, in a good way. Both bands have such piercing lyrics. They may not be Christian bands but man, their words preach.
I stopped by Opryland to see friends who were in town for a certain blog conference. A friend of a friend came over and we traded business cards, hers contained in a lovely bag. Isn't this a genius idea for anyone with a handmade business? I have been wearing these earrings a ton. Love!
The thing about Nashville is that you can be enjoying a lovely evening at PM with Dinner Club and all of a sudden this guy will sit down at the table behind you. And because it's Nashville, you'll trade slight glances and imperceptible nods that it is in fact him and continue on with dinner as if nothing unusual had occurred.
I got my token Shamrock Shake this year and while I couldn't drink the whole thing, per usual, it was magically delicious. I got a kick out of reading James Joyce Orders a Shamrock Shake.
I'm very proud of myself for this invention. Take one Mug Brownie and, before you bake it, plop a Cadbury Creme Egg in the middle. You'll thank me later.
New Additions to my Reader:
I've read Lore Ferguson casually the last several months. A couple of weeks ago, I landed at Sayable and decided to stay awhile. Lore is such a talented writer. Sometimes I think she's read my mind when I read her latest piece. Case in point: Sleeping Alone.
Another sporadic read that's now in the Reader is The Yellow House. Divine recipes and photography, supplemented by lovely life insights.
In the Blogosphere:
I found out about Trayvon Martin's murder a few days after it happened. I was horrified that his killer hadn't been arrested. A month has passed now and more details have emerged, even as Zimmerman remains free. Kristen Howerton compiled a list of articles on Trayvon's heartbreaking case. There are more out there, such as this one. One of the best articles I've read is Why I Fear "Good" People: Trayvon Martin and Kony 2012. If you are white, this article on White Privilege is a must read if you have never considered the many unearned privileges we have. Good conversation is occurring. Now we need to move toward action. A start? Sign this petition to bring Trayvon justice.
I don't think I've mentioned this before. I love, love, love A New Liturgy. Have you heard of this resource yet? They're 25 minutes long and released quarterly: drawing us closer to God through prayer, song, and reflection.
Addie Zierman has quickly become one of my new favorite blogs to read. I love the way she examines and re-envisions well-known Christian vernacular. I read Faith Journey a few times, letting it sink in, thinking about the places I call home and how I ended up there.
I've kept Preston Yancey's piece about the cost of working with clay close to my heart. Viewing God as the Potter played a big part in my self-acceptance. Preston's insights took that to a whole new level.
My friend Amanda from Life Edited is a phenomenal writer. I love the glimpses of truth she weaves together, especially in this piece The Dance.
You will probably cry while reading Tamara Out Loud's account of briefly foster parenting. It is gorgeously written, heart-breaking, and an absolute must-read.
Natalie Lloyd starts with Jack White and ends with a call to be the best you that you can be.
Fasting From Intimacy. "Today, my body wants something tangible and physical. My body doesn’t know God will satisfy all my needs. It just wants what it was made to have. And today, I don’t get to have that. And so the line is drawn in the sand and the challenge is made. Today, what will be my source of truth? Who will be the one who determines what I need? My body? Or my God?" Spot on.
On Ye Olde Blog:
Of all the pieces for my series based on Introverts in the Church, I was most proud of This Introvert in the Church. Incidentally, I had the most trouble writing it.
I was pleasantly surprised by the response to this poem. I rarely publish poetry- in fact, since college, I've rarely written down the lines I compose in my head. But Amanda said she'd hurt me if I don't write more so stay tuned.
What have you been into this month?