Have you read anything this spring? Spring and fall seem like the hardest times to get chunks of reading done. I’ve got a shorter list, too, but here’s the latest.
1. Oliver Twist, for my reading group (I never would have read it on my own). Even in this, his second book, Dickens is a terrific storyteller, his characters are unforgettable, and his social commentary (with a dash of sarcasm) fascinating. Not simply for junior English class.
2. Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation. I’ve been reading this book devotionally, about a paragraph at a time, for months. It’s rich, like spiritual chocolate.
3. Patsy Rodenburg, The Second Circle: How to Use Positive Energy for Success in Every Situation. I like the British title much better: simply, Presence. This is not just another self-help book. The author is a vocal coach for actors, one of the best. The book is really about paying attention to our presence with others and in the world.
4. Deer Drink the Moon: Poems of Oregon, edited by Liz Nakazawa. I met Liz at a publishing event recently. I’m not much of a poetry reader: I read too fast. So it’s a good discipline for me to slow down. I’ve been trying to read a poem every day or so. These poems cover the geography of Oregon, and they are wonderful.
5. The Girl of His Dreams, by Donna Leon. I’ve already mentioned before that her Venetian mysteries are fantastic, and this is the most recent.