Waiting to be Read

The arrival of books here is a weekly occurrence.  Between Paperbackswap, Amazon and various smaller publishers, I have little Christmas moments throughout the year.  I find myself frequenting my local library much less often because my personal library is alluring enough.

But two books arrived which are special.  Special because they are intended to be ingested as a couple or family.  As winter approaches we start reading a chapter after a meal.  During the dark of the year, Curt and I enjoy reading aloud to each other before sleeping.   The unspoken (but not unbroken) rule is that nobody reads ahead. 

On the dock:

Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World   
From the blurb: 
In these sparkling chapters, Wilson gives an aesthetic examination of the ways in which humanity has tried to make sense of this overwhelming carnival ride of a world. He takes a whimsical, thought-provoking look at everything from the “magic” of quantum physics, to nature’s absurdities, to the problem of evil, evolution and hell. These frequently humorous, and uniquely beautiful portraits express reality unknown to many Christians-the reality of God’s story unfolding around and among us. As the author says, “Welcome to His poem. His play. His novel. His comedy. Let the pages flick your thumbs.”

This will not be the first N.D. Wilson book we’ve read aloud.  We greatly enjoyed his young adult books 100 Cupboards and Leepike Ridge.  There is not a hint of schmaltz with Wilson.  I’m expecting an unpredictable, thought provoking, delightful read.

  Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial may seem an unlikely choice for healthy people to read.  But I have a problem with the funeral “industry” that exists today.  When my friend told me that her family paid $2,000 to rent a coffin for her dad’s funeral (he was cremated after) I was fired up.   

The adage “You’ll be told when you need to know” doesn’t hold water here.  I want to bone up on our options before it is time to lay the body down.    The opening quotation before the preface is Genesis 3:19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.


* We started in on Tilt-a-Whirl tonight.  The first chapter was highly excellent.  This is gonna be a ride!   Here’s a sampler sentence.  “There are various theories as to how and why this all happened [the universe], attempts at explaining the sheer number of creeping things in the world, the stars, the life cycle of frogs, the social behavior of fish, the meaning of love, life, and a really good hamburger.”


12 thoughts on “Waiting to be Read

  1. That’s the best part of going to the mailbox!!  My most recent acquisition is Scrolling Forward – non-fiction about documents and how we relate to them.  I probably wont read it straight through – bits and pieces to ponder and blog about

  2. Carol, I love that you are reading the book about funerals! One of my daughters once wrote a paper for me about cremation vs. burial. Believe it or not, our very reformed pastor (at the time) had never thought about whether cremation was a valid biblical option for Christians. We had a good discussion about it. Our little country church has 10 acres across the road from the church, and I am hoping they might think about a real church yard, if it’s possible with all the hoops the county will make us jump through.

  3. @buriedtreasure – Carmon, I am firmly on the side of burial.  My husband and I used to bicker about burial (he was for cremation) until he “converted”.  It’s one of the few times *I* convinced *him*.  I would love for our church in Lostine to buy the lot next to it and use it for a burial plot.  Someone I love is planning on cremation, and I could be in a position of fulfilling that person’s wishes.  Awkward, as the kids say.  

  4. @hiddenart – Dana, I went to Amazon to check out Scrolling Forward.  It looks just like my kind of book.  Then I checked Paperbackswap and just ordered it.  Thanks for the tip!What do you think of Kindle?  I cannot imagine a time where that’s what I would prefer, but I have friends who are avid fans.  One friend put one in my hand to see how great it was.  I really prefer paper and ink…Also, Leisure just arrived in my box today.  I haven’t had time to even read your posts about it, but I’m hoping I can get the basics of housekeeping done tomorrow and have the *leisure* to catch up!

  5. I havent warmed up to the e-book idea, altho’ DH has something similar to a Kindle – uses it alot.  He has the Bible on it, plus downloads whatever we might want to read on a camping trip.  When my grandmother died about 23 years ago, we got an eye-opener about funerals.  So, I’m somewhat prepared about the way the industry works, but feel irrational about some of my ideas for my on parents’ situations.  They’re not in favor of cremation, and have already made clear their preferences.  You’re way ahead of most people by choosing your hymns Leisure is a condition of the soul, Carol.  You will love Pieper – the first section is not an easy read;  the second is a treastise on Catholic doctrine and I’m deferring on that section for a while.

  6. Never heard of Grave Matters, but a few years back I very much enjoyed Mary Roach’s STIFF: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.  I read it silently to myself but it seems like it would be fun to read aloud.  Mary Roach did thorough research and she is very funny without being irreverent.  She covers the conventional burial and cremation, but she covers all kinds of other options I never even heard of, such as the eco-green freeze-drying process. And if you are curious to know what happens to bodies that are “donated to science”, Stiff answers the question fascinatingly.

  7. @jandybee – Janet, that you have been shut off is absurd!  I had no idea that they had a pull date.  Very very strange.  I’m sorry.  I’ve been thinking about moving the blog to WordPress.  Perhaps sooner than later (although I’m not sure what the work involved will be. I’m sorry…

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