and all I have is my book list ready. Somehow this makes me feel fully prepared.
In Michigan, we tell time by where the sun is on the water. In the morning the light is behind the trees, not yet touching the lake, and a white mist hovers above it. During the day, we watch the kids crash into the thousands of light crystals made when the full sun hits the blue below. And at night we drift off to moonlit ripples started by bullfrogs and loons.
We read morning, noon, and night, always facing the water. I have certain books for each time of the day. In the morning, I crave soul food, like the Bible or a spiritual life book, or poetry. In the day, I am vibrant and inspired, so I usually read non-fiction for work or homeschooling. The evenings are cozy and romantic, and ripe for stories.
I have spent the better part of today finding the books I will take with me on vacation. In the process, I have signed up for a book club, added about a hundred books to my reading list, neglected packing, and developed an itch to write (I would write a grocery list poetically about now). The best thing to come of it, though, is a hearty booklist for vacation. Here it is, in no particular order:
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery: Anne Bogel from the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog recommends this series to Meyer’s Briggs’ INFPs, which I happen to be. The main character is an orphan, and so, has much incentive for dreaming and longing. I relate to Anne quite naturally and I have decided it is time for me to make significant headway in this beloved, classic series (and not just the movies!).
How Children Fail by John Holt. John Holt is the father of unschooling, which I do not plan to espouse. However, the subject of organic learning is intriguing to me, and this is a classic on it. I will probably not read this front to cover, but using the index to find the most interesting parts to me.
The Weather of the Heart: Poems by Madeleine L’ Engle. I happened upon this one in a used bookstore in Philly on Friday and I am forcing myself to not read it in one swallow. The few flat lines that I did read created such three dimensional pictures in my mind that I think i’m looking forward to this one the most.
Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes. This one is playful and practical for me. I want to integrate field drawings into our science this upcoming year and it is a personal ambition to draw better. This approach leads the adults through the book first so that they can take a child through it successfully. Her premise is that anyone can learn how to draw, not just inherently gifted artists. Sign me up!!
The Cultivated Life by Susan Phillips. Ben introduced me to this one. Susan Phillips is a spiritual director and uses the metaphor of a garden to illustrate how our spiritual life flourishes when we cultivate it. With prayer and Scripture, yes. But also with friendship, creativity, and rest. With her, I get a sense that giving myself permission to be fully and deeply human leads me to God in the truest way. Like in the Garden of Eden.
Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout. I do not know anything about this book or this person, except that this is the first book in my new book club and it won the pulitzer prize, which is enough incentive for me. I will say, signing up for a book club makes me feel like a person, a real citizen of society, and not just a wrinkly mama. I am pumped.
I have fallbacks like The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver), Emma (Jane Austen), and Quiet (Susan Cain) if the others fail to keep me. I know there is probably no way, with children, that I will read all of these books. I am ok with that. There is something about just having them that gives me pure delight.