My Journey of Spiritual Reading

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What can I say?  I’m a flip-flopper…

As I have noted before on this blog, I am not above changing the rules as I go along.  My goal is to be reading as opposed to not reading (and doing other less worthy things like watch tv, stare off into the distance, check facebook, etc.)  So, while I have made my monstrous list of books, I am not married to it.  My book list and I are not even going steady.  We have open relationship.

So, I am taking off Cancer Ward because I do not own it and I don’t really need to go into debt to do so.  I am replacing it with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s a re-read, but again that doesn’t matter to me so much.  Tolkien is always worthy of a re-read. I am also taking off 1984 by George Orwell and replacing it with A Confederacy of Dunces by American novelist John Kennedy Toole which I did manage to read during my late Summer swoon and hope to dive into on my blog at some point in the future.

I am removing some more books from the list for various reasons.  The first one is Confessions by St. Augustine.  I still want to read it, but I don’t want to rush this read.  I might put it in the 2013 book list. I am also removing The Jesus I Never Knew by Phillip Yancey.  I started this book earlier in the year but I found his voicing and development less than desirous.  I have read Yancey before and find him to be a good writer.  I’m just not in the mood for this book at this time.  I’m a flip-flopper.

I hope to finish New Seeds of Contemplation by Merton and God’s Generals by Liardon by the end of this month.  While Merton is re-energizing my desire to read, I haven’t read Liardon for a while because I find it tedious.  But, just to show that I have some fidelity to my list, I intend on finishing the book, albeit for all the wrong reasons.  Sometimes we need to read things for which we don’t particularly care.

Finally, I have finished Unspoken Sermons Vol.1.  There are two other volumes in the book, but I am going to count each volume as a separate book to pad my numbers.  I plan on McDonald being an ongoing read in some form or another for the rest of my life so, what’s the hurry?

May Update

Unlike last year, I am approaching the Summer with some serious reading done.  I’m feeling so good, in fact, that I am yet again adding books to the list.  Two of these are books I have read before, but I just can’t let this Summer go by without reading them again.  They are two of my island books, that is, if I was relegated to life on a deserted island and I could only take five books, one or both of these books would go with me.  In what is either vain ignorance or confident determination, I am not removing any books to make room for these new ones.

What are the books?

The Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton
Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton

I also read The Giver by Lois Lowry, so I threw that it into the mix.

That puts me at 31 books for the year.  I have read 12 so far.  The year is almost halfway over.  My plan is to complete God’s Generals, Surprised by Joy, and The Seven Story Mountain by the end of June.  That would put me at 15 out of 31 at the halfway point of the year.  Considering two of my books (the Bible and the Unspoken Sermons) are books that I am reading a little every week, that means that I will actually be ahead of the pace required to complete the expanded book list this year.

So, I’ve got that going for me…

However, let us not get the cart before the horse, as the old timers say.  The deed is not done and last Summer, two difficult books and a pretty hectic work schedule proved too much to overcome.  My desire to read went ice cold.  So far this year, I haven’t really had a difficult book yet, at least, a difficult book that didn’t hold my attention, though, truth be told, I am a little scared of Augustine’s Confessions.

I also need to remind myself that the list is not all important.  I have made changes to it and will make future changes to it.  The goal is not to read 31 particular good books, the goal is to be reading good books.  And I am doing that.  I have read some really great books this year (Walden, Undaunted Courage, Athanasius, Unspoken Sermons) and one really crappy one (stupid Mockingjay).  I can’t stop now.  Bring on the Summer!