For this week’s Monday Miscellany, I thought it would be fun to share what I’ve been reading recently, and what I’m planning on reading in the near future. School (and life in general) have been super busy these past few months, so pleasure reading has kind of been pushed to the back burner, but a looming library due date forced me to get back on track. I finished my first book of the year (woot woot!!) and just picked up a few new ones from the library, plus a few Lenten reads (because I’m nothing if not ambitious when it comes to reading). But I know you’re really just interested in the books, and not my overly-optimistic reading list, so here you go!
How Green Was My Valley
I just finished this one, and thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it. There’s something magical about diving into a historical work and being transported to a different time and place, to experience life vicariously through the protagonist. This one is a coming of age story that vividly illustrates the effects of the Industrial Revolution on a small Welsh mining town. Llewellyn’s simple prose, written in dialect, not only accurately depicts the way in which the characters would have spoken but also evokes the lyricism of the Welsh language. It was a beautiful book and one I can see myself rereading.
The Lenten season is fast approaching! And yes, Lent is a time of penitence and fasting, but it can also be a time of spiritual growth and renewal. When we let go of the worldly things we’ve been holding onto a little too tightly, we allow space for God to enter in and transform us. Lent is a wonderful opportunity to grow in patience, perseverance, and holiness, and a much-needed reminder that a little suffering can be good for us. Below are some suggestions for ways to make your Lent more fruitful.
Nothing is so intimidating to the modern reader as the classics. Why read Aristotle, Brontë, Descartes, and Lavoisier when plenty of more trendy, exciting books have been published within the last ten years? The Great Books are intimidating, lengthy, and give your brain a workout. All of this is true, but leaving them off your reading list means missing out on a conversation with the greatest philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, and inventors the world has ever known. In his introduction to Athanasius’ On the Incarnation, Lewis not only makes a strong argument for reading the Great Books, but also offers encouragement for reluctant readers. This collection of great literary works has shaped the society we live in and changed the way we view the world, and they deserve a place on the desk of every student, the nightstand of every adult, and the bookshelf of every bibliophile.