From Amazon: Judith Grisel was a daily drug user and college dropout when she began to consider that her addiction might have a cure, one that she herself could perhaps discover by studying the brain. Now, after 25 years as a neuroscientist, she shares what she and other scientists have learned about addiction, enriched by captivating glimpses of her personal journey.
My thoughts: amazing look at the process of addiction from all angles, intellectual/clinical and personal/visceral. Grisel reintroduced me to tachyphylaxis and opponent-process theory , both of which explain so much of how our God-designed minds operate in this fallen world. It’s amazing. (library book)
From Amazon: Harriet doesn’t mean to be pesky. Sometimes she just is. And her mother doesn’t mean to lose her temper. Sometimes she just does. But Harriet and her mother know that even when they do things they wish they hadn’t, they still love each other very much.
My thoughts: This was a very sweet look at how children and the adults they become are never perfect, never have it all together, and sometimes things just happen in spite of all our efforts to keep them from happening. The only thing we can do is love each other through our mistakes.
From Christian Book Distributors: Although Teresa of Avila lived five centuries ago, her superbly inspiring classic on the practice of prayer is as fresh and meaningful today as it was when she first wrote it. Teresa’s strong desire throughout is to lead readers into a deeper and prevailing life of prayer. She begins with a treatment of the three essentials of the prayer-filled life—fraternal love, detachment from created things, and authentic humility. Building on that foundation, she then teaches on the cherished practices of prayer and contemplation. Finally, she provides a detailed and moving discourse on the Lord’s Prayer. Experience the fervent devotion of St. Teresa, and allow her to help you explore the rewarding discipline of contemplative prayer.
My thoughts: Still working on it, but I just adore St. Teresa already. She’s so straightforward and downright salty sometimes that I can’t help but hang on her every word. I’m not a big underliner-in-books, but this is making me break my rule. (Disclaimer: skipped the Rohr-ward)
From Amazon: (Winner of a Newbery Honor, an exciting ancient Egyptian mystery) Ranofer wants only one thing in the world: to be a master goldsmith like his beloved father was. But how can he when he is all but imprisoned by his evil half brother, Gebu? Ranofer knows the only way he can escape Gebu’s abuse is by changing his destiny. But can a poor boy with no skills survive on the cutthroat streets of ancient Thebes? Then Ranofer finds a priceless golden goblet in Gebu’s room and he knows his luck−and his destiny−are about to change.
My thoughts: We are doing ancient history with Story of Civilization, Volume I this year for sixth grade, and I try to assign literary study that matches our history work as much as possible. The Golden Goblet is a well-told mystery story with a sympathetic, imperfect but integrity-driven main character. It’s boy-heavy, but I think my girl-reader will survive.
Kristin Lavransdatter (still haven’t finished it–I’m honestly not sure I’ve made any progress since last month’s Open Book)
I got to talk with Carrie Soukoup on Catholic Mom’s weekly IG Live. We chatted about honoring the needs of our teens and tweens when we ourselves are recovering from childhood trauma. Watch to find out what that has to do with Parenting Tombs and Gardens.
This one’s mine: Parenting Tombs and Gardens at Catholic Mom is about parenting the rightfully emotionally immature while simultaneously healing from the effects of having been parented by the wrongfully emotionally immature.
St. Margaret of Castello is an inspiration, not just on living with disabilities but in living with the aftermath of parental abandonment. St. Margaret shows us where our true family lives and how to find them.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just need things that I already “know” to be restated in clear, straightforward language so that I can approach them with new eyes and less baggage. The Handy Little Guide to Prayer provides just that. It’s the kind of book I would recommend to anyone at any level of prayer life. Whether you’re enthusiastically looking for a new way to express your growth in faith, experiencing a spiritual dry spell after years of prayer practice, or just curious about new ways to add prayer to your life, this handy little guide may be just the boost you need. 5/5
Still reading. It may take a while. This is my second try, and I’m farther in this time. That’s what having kids not in diapers will do to one’s attention span. ?/5
Master Harold… and the Boys by Athol Fugard
A play from South Africa that I think I was supposed to have read in my days as a BA Theatre major before I switched to the BFA program with more art creation and less play reading (that’s not why I switched–I like reading plays). Great structure, great lessons on the widespread destructive power of racism–culturally-enforced narcissim of any kind, really. Warning: if Steve Rogers were reading it (or watching it at the theatre), he’d say, “Language.” 4.5/5
Real-time communication with real live humans is key to making sure our relationship with God does not suffer the vacuum of isolation. Colleen Mallette at Catholic Mom has Don’t Keep Your Doubts to Yourself.
This week’s media is another from Cinema Therapy. Every summer, once ALL our kids are done school, we do a Lord of the Rings movie marathon. Inspired by that tradition, here’s Radical Acceptance & Dealing With Hardship in The Fellowship of the Ring.
On that note, if you’re feeling tender and alone around Father’s Day, let’s be alone together. Join me tomorrow, Saturday, June 19 at 3pm Eastern US Time for a Google Meet: Dad’s Day Dessert Party. All emotions welcome. Email me for the join link.