Home » Books » The Last Saturday of March Daybook

Outside my window: It’s looking like it’s going to be a gray day, but I’m okay with that.

Around the house: The girls are up and watching some early morning TV curled under blankets. My boys are sleeping. The washer’s at work across the room and I’m thinking of what I need to do this morning.

In other places:

In my kitchen: The floor is clean. And now the formerly quiet kids are demanding I make them breakfast. (They know about the stash of new flavors of Pop Tarts.)

In my thoughts: I’m thinking about a fun weekend visit, all I need to do in the coming week, and a host of things I’m grateful for.

In thanksgiving: For the support and encouragement of my family, for the weekly renewal of things horsey, for the weekend ahead.

In my prayers: A very special intention for someone I love dearly and a friend who’s mourning.

Nose inserted: Oh, these are goooood; it was all I could do to go to bed last night!

Recent reads: I’ll be reviewing a number of these very soon in various places.

  • The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (fiction, YA) – I read this because my sister-in-law asked me to, and I was rather surprised that I enjoyed it and even wanted to read the next book in the trilogy. My nieces have started reading it, and one of them told me that the movie is the BEST MOVIE EVER (she’s seen it twice and offered to go with me). I haven’t put my thoughts together coherently, but my early thoughts are that it’s almost like Lord of the Flies meets 1984.
  • Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter, Edited by Hallie Lord – Fun and informative, lovely and hilarious, this is sure to warrant the hype it’s gotten and earn it’s spot as a best-selling Catholic book. I’m reviewing it in length at CatholicMom.com next Friday AND giving a copy away. Stay tuned!
  • The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years: The Nuts and Bolts of Staying Sane and Happy While Waiting for Mr. Right, by Emily Stimpson – I met the author at the Behold Conference, and I’ve enjoyed her writing online in various places, so I thought that, although the book didn’t appear to be anything relevant to me, I’d give it a shot. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Not only was it speaking to ME in many ways, but I marked passages and will be sharing more thoughts about it at length. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time, and I don’t say that lightly! I couldn’t put it down!
  • The Work of Mercy: Being the Hands and Heart of Christ, by Mark Shea – I thought this book would be a drag, but I love Mark Shea’s writing and I thought I’d make it through it. What a delight to find that this book is the sort of thing I encourage our pastor to use for his Bible study, that I pass on to a good friend, and that I plan to reference and reread many times. Shea made the works of mercy so clear and so relevant that I found myself moved in ways I just never have been. It was touching, even as it was informative. In other words, I loved it.
  • Fatherless, by Brian Gail – I picked this up reading all the acclaim and rave reviews about it and was really looking forward to it. After all, it’s Catholic fiction. However, I gave it three stars and found myself a bit disappointed. The story does keep moving and there are many parts that are compelling and thought-provoking. I had the sensation of being a bit preached to throughout, and I felt like it could have been about half as long and twice as effective. Nevertheless, I’ll be reading the other two books in the series (Motherless and Childless), so don’t think I didn’t enjoy reading it enough to continue. Three stars doesn’t make it a must-read in my categorizing, but it is worthwhile and better than drivel.
  • Faith at Work: Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck, by Kevin Lowry – This is a great book, hands down. Kevin Lowry is approachable and I found that, though he wrote what is undoubtedly a business book, it’s applicable to all of us who work, whether we work at home or in an office or on the road. Lowry taps into his experience and his wisdom, shares his faith and his insight, and tops it all off with a bit of humor and perspective. I really enjoyed reading it and I will be encouraging others to read it as well.

Plea for advice: Anyone have suggestions for sharing links that isn’t FriendFeed? I thought it was going to be a great way to share in my sidebar, but I’ve caught that it’s been dropping the ball. If you have suggestions, I’m all ears!

A favorite thing: My seven-year-old’s penchant for coloring and the many beautiful drawings she is always making.

Food for thought: “Fasting, which can have various motivations, takes on a profoundly religious significance for the Christian: by rendering our table poorer, we learn to overcome selfishness in order to live in the logic of gift and love; by bearing some form of deprivation – and not just what is in excess – we learn to look away from our “ego”, to discover Someone close to us and to recognize God in the face of so many brothers and sisters. For Christians, fasting, far from being depressing, opens us ever more to God and to the needs of others, thus allowing love of God to become also love of our neighbor (cf. Mk 12: 31).” – Pope Benedict XVI, from his 2011 Lenten message

Worth a thousand words: My boy, who spent at least a half-hour a few mornings ago on the front porch, watching the traffic and pointing to all the trucks

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  • “Lord of the Flies meets 1984”–YES.  With a little bit of Shirley Jackson thrown in for good measure.  Not to be a killjoy, but the first book was the best.  The third…she could have done it in 3 chapters and been finished.
    As to “Fatherless,” hang in there.  In that trilogy, “Motherless” was the best.  I found “Fatherless” a little, um, preachy.  For that reason, I think its appeal will be narrow, which is a shame. I reviewed it here: http://sfomom.blogspot.com/2010/10/tiber-river-review-fatherless.html
    Right now, I’d rather be reading, but the piles on my desk are threatening to overtake me (and tip over, all at the same time.)  Better get to it.

  • Maria Johnson

    That picture of Mancub is my new favorite ever. Ever.

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