Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What I’m reading {plus a confession}

I have a confession to make. I am addicted to books.

When I was little, I didn’t have a library card. We lived eight miles out in the country and we were not library people. I went to a country school which hosted the Book Mobile once every two weeks or so, but that’s about it.

I was not too much into reading, other than what was assigned to me in class.

I read My Antonia in seventh grade. And The Scarlet Letter as a sophomore. 

I didn’t do a lot of reading just for fun when I was younger. Not like my cousin, Valerie, who devoured books then. I couldn’t understand how she could be so engrossed in other people’s stories. She was glued. She sat there in the corner and ate sunflower seeds by the bushel and read and read and read.

Now, I understand.

In fact, I think I have been trying to make up for lost reading time in the past fourteen years.

Fourteen years ago we made a move from Illinois to Iowa. And, for the first time in my life (it seems) I got a library card. At least that's when I really started using one. And, to make matters even better, the library was a short walking distance from our back yard. And still is.

I started immediately feeding my new addiction.

I confess. I check out way more books than I can possibly read in a three week time frame. 

Why? I do not know.

I pay way too many fines. My consolation is that I love the library so much and my money is helping them.

Sometimes I feel like a book hoarder. Like if I don’t check out all that interests me this time, maybe they won’t be available next time. My logical sense knows that this is hogwash, but I can’t seem to change my ways.

A few weeks ago, I checked out a book called Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir by Beth Kephart. This is my favorite book about writing memoir (I’d like to write one someday), plus she listed her absolute favorite memoirs in the back of her book. And, she is a memoirist herself, so I trust her. Period.

I started a Good Reads account that day, just so I could add all those memoirs she suggested. The next time I went to the library, I scrounged for any of them. 

The next time I went to a different local library I looked. 

We went out of town, and I sniffed around in their Half Price Book store, and I did find several on her list. I had to buy one. It was like finding a little treasure. I had to limit myself to one book, mostly since my husband was with me and would surely question an armload of books, even at half price.

“How many can you read at one time?”

Well, it turns out, I have an answer for that. 

Currently, I am reading four books. I have read more at a time before, but four is the current number. 

There is the library book by Corrie Ten Boom called Tramp for the Lord. This book caught my eye because I remember seeing and being so moved by The Hiding Place as a teenager. She and her family hid Jews from the communist regime and then her whole Dutch family ended up in a concentration camp. They all died there except for Corrie, who was miraculously released after some time. 

She then went on for twenty years, traveling the world and telling her story of how God did miracles in the death camp and how God had worked in her and her family through those years.

I am fascinated at how someone’s faith can stay intact in that grim situation, watching people die every day at the hands of evil people. I am also fascinated by the fact that she faced and forgave the German officer responsible for her sister's death.

The Healing Light I picked up at my church's bookstore. It was written in the 1940’s and I am a little fascinated by reading authors from long ago. This book is about healing yes, but it is really about prayer. I am passionate about both.

The Good Good Pig is one of those memoirs that is on Beth Kephart’s list of favorites. I happened upon it in a Salvation Army store. Again, a treasure found! I didn’t have my Goodreads account with me, but it is a story about a pig. So it had stuck in my memory banks and I knew it when I saw it. 

I am still in the beginning pages of this book, but it is an entertaining read and full of all the antics that a young pig causes, like getting out of his pen repeatedly to eat in the neighbor’s lettuce garden. I usually pick this one up as a bedtime read.

I’ll See You Again is also a memoir. I checked it out of the library once before. It is a story about a family who tragically lost three little girls in a car accident and how they lived through the trauma and grief.

I didn’t read it last time it got checked out. I couldn’t bring myself. It seemed too depressing. But, I ran across it again last night and started reading it at the library. Again, I am curious how this mother, this father could survive this awful tragedy and keep their faith and their marriage intact.

I guess you might say, I am addicted to stories. 

Our stories are who we are. As my husband said last night, “Everything I’ve been through has made me what I am today.” I couldn’t agree more.

The good, the bad, the ugly. It all makes up us. God's grace covers all. 

Reading other people’s stories gives me hope. It shows me how different all of our stories are, but how really in the end, we all are alike. 

We all need some sort of healing from the past, hope for the future and strength for today.

I am going to keep reading stories. I am going to keep telling mine. 

And, I’m going to try really hard not to rack up huge library fines.

Thanks for joining me today!

I'm linking up today with Coffee for Your Heart and Three Word Wednesday.


  1. I'm a book lover, as well, and a storyteller. I encourage people everywhere to tell their stories. They are yours to tell and only yours.

    1. Thanks, Dayle! We are definitely kindred spirits!


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