So many things to read.

What is it about starting books that’s so exciting?

This is my current stack of started books.

At any given time probably half the books in my pile are books that I know I’m going to disagree with. Friends and family think I’m weird for this.

For me it’s about rewiring so that I can find clarity and hope.

You see, when I read a book I’m likely to disagree with, it’s almost guaranteed to be one that is full of ideas that I at one time in the past would have nearly died to defend. That’s what I was taught and what I was proud to be. Not so much any more.

Change is deep work for me. And embarrassing. And good. Reading is one of my tools for this work. Some of the tools are like knives or rippers. Others are like needle and thread. Others are like sandpaper, warm washcloth, or clean running water.

Here’s a rundown:

Peter Marshall and David Manuel’s The Light and the Glory – a dramatic retelling of the early days of the land that has become known as America. Part of our homeschool curriculum back in the day. Borrowed off my parents’ bookshelf.

Jen Wilkin’s None Like Him – a Christian living book for women. Gifted to me by relative.

Leland Ryken’s The Liberated Imagination – a look at how creativity and the arts is supposedly sacred. Gifted to me by an old friend and fellow writing/arts enthusiast.

Mark R. Levin’s American Marxist – a warning call about how our country is allegedly flooded with Marxist ideologies cloaked in various good-will-claiming initiatives. Gifted to us by a concerned relative.

Dr. Robert Hare’s Without Conscience – a disturbing peek into the world and mind of psychopaths. I bought this one myself after hearing it recommended by a few people I respect on podcasts I frequent.

Chuck DeGroat’s When Narcissism Comes to Church – a primer on why the typical American Christian church institution is potentially such a perfect place for toxic narcissism to thrive. After hearing the author on several podcasts and other refer to the book, I bought it myself.

Rachael Denhollander’s What is a Girl Worth? – an autobiographical and persuasive telling of one gymnast’s experience as a patient of Larry Nasser and the duty she thinks we all have to bravely stand up to powerful problems. This was given to us at last month’s The Gathering conference where Rachael was one of the featured speakers.

Victoria Smith’s The Little Lark Still Sings – a memoire about the reconstructing of a medieval home in Italy and the retired couple’s marriage throughout the process. I also received this one at The Gathering and was delighted to share breakfasts with the author and her husband. Reading a book about people you’ve met is really delightful. And, Lord knows I needed something less morbid than most of the other reads in my collection.

If you’ve read any of the above collection and want to share a thought or two, be my guest!

By Naomi Bird

Wife of tenor Nathan Bird, pianist, organist, former music therapist, writer, tea-drinker, mom of two mini-sopranos and two mini-tenors, and learner of loving the arts.

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