MamaT says it’s time to begin the Spring Reading Challenge, and I agree, looking out of my window and seeing the barnyard filled with white.

The point of these reading challenges is to clear off the to read shelves, and to avoid the near occasion of spending that comes from visits to Half Price Books and Barnes & Noble and Amazon. I wasn’t so good about the not spending part during the winter, and the spaces that had been sort of cleared from previous challenges have been filled back in (also thanks to the gifts received during Christmas and Birthday Seasons!). So…as I make this list modest, because of the weight of a few of the books weighing down that to read set of shelves, I promise to supplement ONLY with books from the to read shelves or the library. (And that’s only til June, MamaT reminds us, so come summer, it’s all fair game!)

Books to Finish (started in previous challenges):
Theology of the Body, by John Paul II – I’ve been reading this during Adoration for quite some time. It’s my second trip through it, and there need to be a few more readings. By my calculations, I’m within a month of finishing.

I’ll Come Following You, by Vicki Sairs – One of my friends wrote a novel, and she’s asked me to devour it in the way I devour fiction. So I’m trying. I’m treating it just like the other novels I cart around with me, leaving it temptingly on my desk and thinking about it all the time. So far, so good.

The Masks of God, Volume 1: Primitive Mythology, by Joseph Campbell – I started reading this with my aunt and sister-in-law, and we have some lively discussion going on about it. I find myself struggling with some massive references to Freud and the questions I can’t help asking about just how Freud got any credibility. But I will work through that and finish this book. I loved Campbell in my pre-Catholic days, and I want to analyze him – or hey, just enjoy the ponderings that come from enjoying him – now.

Does the Bible Really Say That? by Patrick Madrid – This has been my bedside book for long enough! Every chapter, a different topic, and of course it’s PATRICK MADRID writing, so it’s great. But it’s time to finish it. Buckle down, Sarah. Let’s get rolling!

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska – Lent reading, though it will probably last beyond Lent. I’m finding myself pleasantly surprised at how EASY it is to read so far.

Crossing the Threshold of Hope, by John Paul II – I was over at MIL’s not so long ago, moping because I had forgotten to bring a book (and we were there for the day while Hubby did homework), when I found this nestled in her cupboard of books. LOVING IT so far, though I’m only a short way in.

The Best American Short Stories 2006 – What a Christmas gift! You can pick it up and put it back down and pick it back up, and not have missed anything. Some of them don’t seem so remarkable to me, which makes me sharpen my reading skills and think about WHY they are in the collection, which is a fun challenge to have.

Books to Start:
2007 Pushcart Prize XXXI Best of the Small Presses – Like Best American Short Stories, but with poems and other goodies included. I also have the 2006 copy here, though I don’t expect to finish this before June and have any time to start that one (but maybe I’ll start it anyway…)

Odd Thomas, by Dean Koontz – Because we all need some fiction on our lists, or at least, I do!

My Cup of Tea, by Danielle Bean – I broke down and bought this at last (and yes, I know she has a new one out, but it will have to wait) after thoroughly enjoying her blog for quite some time. I expect to enjoy it and to rave about it much.

Growing Up Catholic, by Mary Jane Frances Cavolina, Jeffrey Allen Joseph Stone, Maureen Anne Teresa Kelly, Richard Glen Michael Davis – My two office colleagues have raved about this book, and spent quite some time laughing. I expect I won’t “get it” with some of the stories, but I’m curious. It looks like the kind of book that will fill in the gaps well before bedtime (if ever I reach that state again where I can read before bed, indicating that I am not so exhausted that I fall asleep on the couch or in Small Fry’s bed at 7 PM).

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, by Kate Douglas Wiggin – Lent to me by a niece, I must read it so that I can discuss it with her, of course!

One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey, by Sam Keith from the journals and photographs of Richard Proenneke – Because it’s all the talk of my husband and father-in-law, so I have to be able to discuss, and because I have had an affair with the notion of going to Alaska since about 6th grade.

Books to Gaze at with Longing:
These are the books I’d love to add to the “Books to Start” list, but which good sense is telling me to list here instead.

Adventures in Orthodoxy, by Dwight Longenecker – I bought this with a B&N gift card right after Christmas, and I love Longenecker’s blog quite a bit. So it seems natural that I’ll love his book too, right?

Real Education: Education in the Heart of the Home, by Elizabeth Foss – Foss is another whose blog I find totally…addicting and refreshing and inspiring. I’m interested in homeschooling, though undecided whether I’ll actually take that plunge. (Maybe I’m in denial. Discernment process is allowed to be long!) I’m quite sure this book is going to be a treasure to read, though.

Rational Choice in an Uncertain World: The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making, by Reid Hastie and Robyn M. Dawes – One of the pile of books my sister-in-law the future genius psych Ph.D. lent me, and although dull in its cover art, beckoning in its title.

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, by Carl Sagan – Another of the books from my sister-in-law. I am related to some scientists and find myself intrigued beyond measure by the “wonders.” (And by the ability to trust in Science but scoff at God…)

Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later, by Janet E. Smith – Bought this when Hubby was writing a major paper way back in his honors English class, and just never tackled it. But I want to. Oh yes, I do!

Books to Consider (they’ll have to come from the library):
Anything by Flannery O’Connor – I’ve just been wanting to read her, and I’m going to need some fiction in here, I just know it!

Anything by G.K. Chesterson – Too much talk about him for me to not hunt him down!

The pile of Familia books my dear friends have lent me, since there’s no way I’m going to have time to do Familia in a long, long time (and because I can read).

Encyclicals (I have a few printed off to read) and Church documents (which might not be books, but qualify for my book list anyhow, for the brain power they require!)