Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

Spring Reading Update

on May 23, 2018

The Spring semester proved to be a bad term for my reading life. Since the beginning of 2018, I have only read 9 books. This is the worst showing I have had since beginning this project to increase my personal reading. The only things that have been neglected more than my reading life this year are my blogs. This post is my attempt to do a little course correction here at Reading for Me.

It would be impractical to attempt to write meaningful posts about my responses to the books I have read since my previous post (my review of Kristen Hannah’s Nightingale in March). So I have opted to simply give a brief summary of the five books I have read in the months since that review and return to my normal routine with Book #10.

Without further apology, here are the books I have most recently read.

#5: A Ned Rorem Reader (Ned Rorem) – I have long been fascinated with the American composer Ned Rorem. While bringing back his Barcarolles for performance earlier in the Spring, I decided to dive into this collection of essays and recollections by the outspoken man. Some were fascinating. Others were merely an opportunity for the writer to put meaningless drivel on the page. I plan to read the Rorem diaries at some point, but I think I have had enough of this man’s ego and ramblings for the moment.

#6: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis) – Working for a Christian university means I get a four-day weekend for Easter. The weeks leading into the holiday had been extremely busy, so I decided to scale back my literary selection and enjoy this simple tale of sacrifice and redemption. No matter how many times I read this book, I always find myself crying when I see Aslan on the table, willingly giving himself over to the White Witch. This is simply a masterful retelling of the Gospel.

 #7: Prince Caspian (C.S. Lewis) – Since the first volume of The Chronicles of Narnia was such a good experience, I decided to continue reading through the series. I know this is not the order that the books were published in…..and it’s not chonological either. Honestly, I am not sure why this order was recommended, but I’ve started it now. Plans are to return to Narnia later this summer.

#8: The Sacrifice (Joyce Carol Oates) – While on Easter break, I discovered Half-Price Books in Austin. This was one of my finds on my many trips to the various locations. The Sacrifice is the enthralling story of an African-American girl who is found by local police after she has allegedly been raped and left to die. Her abused body also contains racial slurs that were left by her attackers. The girl names her attackers as a group of white police officers based solely upon her recollection of what she thinks were badges. The case takes on a life of its own as it becomes the rallying cry of Civil Rights attorneys and religious leaders. In light of the multiple accusations made against police departments throughout the country in recent years, The Sacrifice felt as though its story had been pulled right from the headlines. Another contender for the best read of 2018!

#9: Waking the Spirit: A Musician’s Journey Healing Body, Mind and Soul (Andrew Schulman) – Andrew Schulman is a classical guitarist who found himself facing death in the ICU after complications during surgery. His wife saw that he was slipping away and did the only thing she could think of to reach him — she inserted his earbuds and began playing the music that was at the top of his iPad’s playlist: The St. Matthew Passion by J.S. Bach. Schulman made an incredible recovery that his wife, his physicians, and the patient himself attributed to the healing power of music. Waking the Spirit follows Schulman’s return to the ICU after his discharge and recovery; he returned not as a patient, but as a medical musician. The book is filled with powerful stories of how music has aided some of the most seriously ill patients in their recovery — offering physical healing as well as pain relief for the body, mind, and spirit. Schulman’s combination of anecdotes with supporting evidence from the fields of medicine and music therapy are riveting and written in such a way that the layman can easily follow the argument. A great read for anyone interested in the field of music therapy.

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