Sunday Bookends: Father Tim, Bitter Cold, Finally Trying to Read Non-Fiction

This is my weekly post where I share what I am reading, watching, writing and occasionally what I am listening to.

What I Am Reading

The problem I am having right now is there are too many books I want to read. I don’t know which one to pick first so I’ve just been reading a little bit of all of them.

I finished my first Agatha Christie book, And Then There Were None this week. I told my husband I would and I did. I finished it because he wants to watch a mini-series based on it and I said we couldn’t until I finished it. My mom, him (he?) and I all read the book in January — I think it was the first time for all three of us.

While her writing seems simple on the surface, she writes some profound things in a very short space.

Some favorite quotes from And Then There Were None:

“Emily Brent said in a clear voice: ‘In the midst of life, we are in death.'”

“There was nothing hidden in this house, nothing concealed. It had no atmosphere about it. Somehow, that was the most frightening thing of all. . . They exchanged good-nights no the upper landing. Each of them went into his or her own room, and each of them automatically, almost without conscious thought, locked the door . . .”

“The little eldlerly spinster was no longer slightly ridiculous to Vera. Suddenly — she was terrible.”

That last one reminded me of a family member, but we won’t go there.

I also started reading Bathed in Prayer by Jan Karon, which is a collection of Father Tim quotes from her Mitford series.

I enjoyed several parts from Jan’s introduction to the book including the following quotes:

“Over the years, I have learned to bathe my work in prayer. Say the word ‘bathe.’ It is a soft and caressing word. At the end of it, the tongue barely touches the upper teeth. I could dunk my work in prayer, or dip it, as into a vat, but bathing seems to work best.”

“A lot of readers wonder if Mitford is real. In truth, Mitford is everywhere. You can even find it in the heart of darkness. But we must do our part. We must give a hand we must learn to console and uplift and encourage and be courageous. Bottom-line, we simply can not wait for others to reach out. We must reach in.”

I also started 12 Rules for Life from Jordan Peterson which is one of the few non-fiction books I’ve read in my life.

Within the first few pages I realized I will have to read this book very slowly because it’s much too intellectual for my puny, brain-fogged brain. Right now I’m skimming through it, lighting on things I like, and will go back to the beginning in the future.

If you’ve never heard of Jordan Peterson, you can look him up on YouTube or Google him. He’s been caught up in some politically-motivated drama in the past, so some consider him controversial, but even if you don’t agree with him politically don’t dismiss him right away. Listen to his lectures and you will find yourself pondering life in a different way. I’m not a “follower”, no, but he does make me think.

Here are a couple of quotes from his book that caught my attention:


“But Christ’s archetypal death exists as an exampe of how to accept finitude, betrayal and tryanny heroicaly — how to walk with God despite the tragedy of self-conscious knowledge — and not as a directive to victimize ourselves in the service of others. To sacrifice ourselves to God (to the highest good, if you like) does not mean to suffer silently and willingly when some person or organization demands more from us, consistently, than is offered in return. That means we are supporting tyranny, and allowing ourselves to be treated like slaves. It is not virtuous to be victimized by a bully, even if that bully is oneself.”

“Random wandering will not move you forward. It will instead disappoint and frustrate you and make you anxious and unhappy and hard to get along with (and then resentful, and then vengeful, and then worse). Say what you mean, so that you can find out what you mean. Act out what you say, so you can find out what happens. Then pay attention. Note your errors. Articulate them. Strive to correct them. That is how you discover the meaning of your life. That will protect you from the tragedy of your life. How could it be otherwise? Confront the chaos of Being. Take aim against a sea of troubles. Specify your destination, and chart your course. Admit to what you want. Tell those around you who you are. Narrow, and gaze attentively, and move forward, forthrightly. Be precise in your speech.”

He has another book due out in March and people are – surprise, surprise – protesting it because that is what people do now when they disagree with someone. God forbid they use their disagreement as the basis for a conversation instead.

For fiction this week I am reading Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus by a new to me author, Joyce Magnin.

And Northwest Counter-Terrorism Task Force Book One (First Wave) by Lisa Phillips. It’s a fast-paced, quick read so far.

I’m also continuing to read Lord of the Flies with my son for school.

What I’m Watching

This past week we distracted ourselves from life with clips from the IT Crowd (we don’t watch entire episodes now because some of the topics of shows aren’t appropriate for the kids to watch with us.). This is one of my favorite scenes from that show. It reminds me a lot of my life.

We also started a mini series on AcornTV: Agatha Christie’s Partner’s in Crime. It is six episodes of a espionage mystery.

Of course we also continue to work our way through 14 seasons of the Canadian show Murdoch Mysteries.

What I’m Writing

I shared a Randomly Thinking post this past week and also shared the first chapter in The Farmer’s Son for Fiction Friday. I’m finishing the editing of The Farmer’s Daughter and it will go live on Kindle on February 23. You can pre-order it here. For those who followed the story here on the blog and would like a epub or mobi copy so you can read it in full, let me know by emailing me at lisahoweler@gmail.com so I can send it to you. If you would be willing to read it and leave a review on Amazon that would be awesome as well.

What’s Been Occurring
When we moved to this rural Pennsylvania county last year, I told my husband how it was like living in an entirely different world. I grew up two miles from the county line and we could drive from our house to this town and it would be dry with green grass in our little village and a foot of snow in this town. I’d said it before and I don’t think he believed me until we moved here. Honestly, I don’t think I believed me until we moved here.

It shouldn’t be any surprise to me that there has been snow on the ground here since Christmas Day (the week before 24 inches was dropped on us) but when my husband said the other day that the town he works in, which is only about 20 minutes away, doesn’t have any snow, reality hit me hard. I knew winters here would be a challenge and they are, but, hey, at least the snow is pretty.

I don’t actually mind the snow that much, but the ice and the bitter cold temperatures? I could do without them. On Thursday of last week, the high was 16, the low 3. On Friday the high was 19, the low 3. Temperatures warmed up some for Saturday, with a high of 27 but Saturday also came with a Winter Storm Warning for Sunday through Tuesday. And here we are now: under several inches of snow and ice (the ice from last week) — again.


But, hey, I could live in Manitoba, right, Lisa? Or I could be in the Northern Territory of Canada and never see green again! Winter will soon pass and while we won’t miss the cold we will miss the pretty snow.

Saturday I was sitting on the couch, depressed after my dad dumped a bunch of political stress on me (I’ve been doing a very good job avoiding all of that in the last week or so), so I decided to get off my computer and go find some life outside the house (even if I can’t pull our van out of the driveway right now.) My daughter and I braver the cold to some kindling for the fire in the woodpile.

We gathered some wood, found some kindling, explored the yard, and froze our faces off before we came back in – refreshed with the escape to the real world.

You know, the real world.

The world where wood stoves need to be filled, where driveways need to be shoveled, dogs played with, children laughed with. The longer I live, the older I get, the more I realize that the world of politicians and national media is some kind of alternate universe where everyone functions in fear, anger, and the desire for power. Trust me, the real world is much more calming.

So that was my week last week. How about you? Reading anything interesting? Watching any good shows? Doing anything fun? Listening to any new music? Let me know in the comments.

12 Comments on “Sunday Bookends: Father Tim, Bitter Cold, Finally Trying to Read Non-Fiction

  1. Your week keeps you grounded. I need to be reading outside of my regular Bible reading. I have never read anything written by Agatha Christie, but now might be a good time to check out one of her books.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, my husband is a big fan of Agatha Christie novels and I’m pretty sure he’s read every single one. In what is usually the case, the books are better than the shows, according to him. He didn’t care for the And Then There Were None mini-series. (I don’t have an opinion because when he was watching it, I was engrossed in something else.) But he does enjoy the PBS series on Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot and is watching them all again right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My husband loves Poirot as long as it is played by David Suchet. We just watched Murder on the Orient Express with him the other night. I had never seen it or read the book so I was shocked but impressed with the ingenuity of the plot. I am glad I read the book before we watch the show.

      I want to read others of hers before I watch them to see if I can compare

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Du-u-UDE! We are in the same boat! Too many books I want to read right now, also! My dilemma is that I committed to reading my Kindle TBRs every other month this year but I REALLY want to read the next physical book in my stack. Must I really wait until March???

    Who is Harriet Beamer and why is it a big deal that she’s taking the bus? LOL No don’t tell me!!!!

    Hope you have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • She is an older lady who lost a bet with her daughter in law ver having to move to California (across country). She agrees to move but only if she can take the bus to get there. Sounds like it will be quite a journey 😉

      I hope you can hold out on your books, but in the end, do what makes you happy! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I recently acquired two movies I remembered from my childhood, thinking it would be nice for the kids to have something new for when Baby came. “The Story of Seabiscuit” (the old one with Shirley Temple and Barry Fitzgerald) and “The Three Musketeers.” I thought I’d ordered the 1935 version, which is the one I remember most, but I ended up with the 1945 one with Gene Kelly. I’ve seen it before, and it was fun, but I’m still going to try to track down the older one. I watched it waaaaay too many times as a pre-teen, lol!

    In the reading department I’m not doing much. I’ve been reading Robin Hood (the unabridged version) to the kids over the last few months, and we’re getting down to the last handful of chapters. The introduction warns that the Epilogue takes the story all the way to Robin’s death, so people wanting a “they lived happily ever after” ending should stop before then. The kids have been unanimous so far…they want the Epilogue. I’m less convinced, but I still have 5 or so chapters to go before I have to worry about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never read Robin Hood! That would be a fun one to read but I don’t think my kids would like him dying either. I still read Paddington to my daughter before bed, almost every night, but we will have to find something new soon. We’ve almost gone through all the books.

      We love old movies too. I’ve never seen that story of Seabiscuit. I’ll have to look it up!

      Like

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