Wednesday, July 18, 2012

old, new, borrowed...

I have a number of great books lined up in my reading queue for this month, so many that I feel a bit of the overwhelm as the library notifies me of their return dates...

Dark Star Safari 
by Paul Theroux

by Chuck Palahniuk

Infinite Jest
by David Foster Wallace

and these are just the ones I have currently checked out from the library... my 'to read' list is a mile long and ever, wistfully, wonderfully growing! (and I'm always taking suggestions) 

But I find myself torn between venturing into the books that I have yet to read and returning the few I've read over and over - the ones I love so much, that they feel like home. I feel this way about travel as well. With a whole world out there, do I see something new or do I go back to a place I adore? And that great restaurant - do I try out more of the menu or do I go with the dish that I know will satisfy? 

So I might risk that hefty fine of five cents and shelf those borrowed books for an old one that has long been my favorite. I read it every time I'm going through something. That is to say, I only pick it up it when I need it. (sadly, I don't want to admit to you how many times I've creased its cover.) Despite it's cheesy sounding title of "When the Heart Waits"; it's very real and honest and good to me. 

When the Heart Waits
by Sue Monk Kidd

Which are you... always seeking the new? or comfortably resting in the old? I find I need a balance of both, but if I'm honest, I trend towards the new. I don't like the idea of something fun or exciting existing and I don't know about it. (I was always the last to fall asleep at slumber parties). 

Do you have a book you go back over and over again... a book with deep spine grooves and crinkled pages and passages that you remember by what they mean to you at different phases of your life? Mine are Sue Monk Kidd's above, "Tale of Two Cities", and "Traveling Mercies". 


  1. One of the speakers at the conference we were at last week was talking about David Foster Wallace and played a clip from his famous commencement speech at Kenyon College. What a fascinating man and what a tragic end. If I ever get through my stack of new books, I hope to check out some of his stuff and see if I can comprehend it. :)

    As for my "go to" books: I have probably read "Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance" by Don Miller more than any other. It's definitely well creased. "Blue Like Jazz" is also pretty worn. But if I'm going classic lit, it's got to be Catcher In The Rye.... it really does.

    1. This is my first attempt at reading David Foster Wallace - i'm excited nervous about how it will go, like a first date (is there a word stronger than uber-geek?)

      I love Donald Miller like I love Anne Lamott (but Annie edges him out just a bit) and I think they fall under that same umbrella of reverent but entirely irreverent at the same time (that might even be on one of her book jackets)

      I only read Catcher in the Rye in high school and it was admittedly not an angsty time so Holden seemed whiny... then three years ago I read Franny and Zooey by Salinger , finished it and immediately stared it again, finished it, and then immediately read it out loud to a friend. I couldn't devour enough of it. Which leads me to believe (1) I'm angsty enough now and (2) I need to give Holden another chance

    2. I think the whinyness (if that's a word) is what I connected with. I was pretty angsty for a long stretch there. Come to thing of it, I haven't read Catcher since I got married. I certainly hope that I've not gotten too satisfied with life to enjoy the fictitious turmoil. That would be dreadful. In a way.

      The books I have in queue right now are all by a fellow we heard speak last week called Carl Medearis. He was certainly reverently irreverant in his speaking, so I'm hoping his writing follows that same pattern.

    3. Read one book cslled "Tea With Hezzbolah". It's featuring Carl Medearis but written by Ted Dekker. I found it a quite interesting read. If you can't it at the library and are interested, let me know and I can send you my copy. Got it at Amazon Marketplace. :)