“Nothing but art can do this.”

great-good-thingFrom The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ by Andrew Klavan:

Stories are not just entertainment, not to me. A story records and transmits the experience of being human. It teaches us what it’s like to be who we are. Nothing but art can do this. There is no science that can capture the inner life. No words can describe it directly. We can only speak of it in metaphors. We can only say: it’s like this—this story, this picture, this song.

(I highly recommend this one! So very good and thought-provoking. I love to hear conversion stories, and this one is beautifully written.)

“You want a warrior Jesus.”

[This morning I spent some time reading through the private blog I kept a few years ago while walking through a deep valley. For the moment (I’ve learned that things can change in an instant), the path is much smoother, but these words resonate nonetheless.]

place-of-healingFrom A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty by Joni Eareckson Tada:

Here at our ministry we refuse to present a picture of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild,” a portrait that tugs at your sentiments or pulls at your heartstrings. That’s because we deal with so many people who suffer, and when you’re hurting hard, you’re neither helped nor inspired by a syrupy picture of the Lord, like those sugary, sentimental images many of us grew up with. You know what I mean? Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherubic children and bluebirds.

Come on. Admit it: When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like Morton’s salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies.

You want a warrior Jesus.

You want a battlefield Jesus. You want his rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention.

To be honest, many of the sentimental hymns and gospel songs of our heritage don’t do much to hone that image. One of the favorite words of hymn writers in days gone by was sweet. It’s a term that doesn’t have the edge on it that it once did. When you’re in a dark place, when lions surround you, when you need strong help to rescue you from impossibility, you don’t want “sweet.” You don’t want faded pastels and honeyed softness.

You want mighty. You want the strong arm an unshakable grip of God who will not let you go — no matter what.

“…but the mightiest among us is granted no more than 168 hours per week…”

before-breakfastFrom Laura Vanderkam’s What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast:

As with money, we have a tendency to fritter away the time in front of us as if it were infinite. For some of us, that’s because our hours are sucked into the Reply All maw of an in-box. Others, perhaps, can see that the customer who wandered into their store left with her real need unaddressed and won’t be coming back. A dentist sees that a patient didn’t absorb her halfhearted pep talk on flossing and knows that the patient will be back soon for more fillings and another tepid pep talk. We find ourselves counting minutes and wishing ourselves elsewhere. These hours pass, inexorably, with little promise of leading to much that matters. They are spent and the transaction is done, like paying a late fee on a cell phone bill or buying a sweater that you never wind up wearing.

But as with money, people who build wealth take some chunk of what is coming in and invest it in ways that generate returns. Successful people know that hours, like capital can be consciously allocated with the goal of creating riches–in the form of a changed world, a life’s work–over time. Indeed, successful people understand that work hours must be more carefully stewarded than capital because time is absolutely limited. You can earn more money, but the mightiest among us is granted no more than 168 hours per week, and it is physically impossible to work for all of them.

2017 reading

It’s become my habit to keep a list of what I’ve read, and I’m continuing that this year. My main reading goal this year is to read 45 books, mostly from my own shelves. I’ll add to this post as I go.

January:

  1.  Cometh the Hour (Book Six of the Clifton Chronicles) – Jeffrey Archer
  2. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing – Marie Kondo  (a few thoughts on this one here and here)
  3. 30 Days — Change Your Habits, Change Your Life: A Couple of Simple Steps Every Day to Create the Life You Want – Marc Reklau
  4. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth

February:

  1. What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast – Laura Vanderkam
  2. The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ – Andrew Klavan
  3. Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food – Melissa Hartwig

March:

  1. Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God’s Everything – Anonymous

** Disclaimer: Whenever you click on a link to books around here and then make a purchase at Amazon, you’re helping me — a few pennies at a time —  feed my book habit. Many thanks!

re-reading

island-nightstandWhen I was younger, I read my favorite books over and over. Some of my favorite re-reads were Anne of Green Gables (and others in that series) and Stepping Heavenward. But at some point I decided that with so many books out there to read, I didn’t have the time to revisit those old favorites. I’ve changed my mind about that, and I’m returning to my favorite novel. (If you’ve never read Island of the World by Michael D. O’Brien, I urge you to put it on your TBR list this year. It’s a commitment at over 800 pages, but it is well worth the time.)

I began reading this one in 2010 while living in Rome, finishing it up early in 2011. I think of this time as my “previous” life, before my first marriage ended and before I had any clue it was heading that way. I expect I’ll read of Josip’s adventures and suffering with a different perspective this time.

I’m still early in the novel — while he is a happy naïve boy getting his first glimpse of the sea and falling in love with a sweet little girl. I’m reading this part with a sense of dread, knowing what’s ahead for him. But I’m glad for him — that he has this time before his world is shattered.

Do you re-read? What are some of your favorites to visit again and again?

Happy reading!

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on taking and leaving

As I’ve mentioned, I recently read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I picked up a few helpful tips (folding my clothes and arranging them vertically, taking all my clothes out of the closet and only putting back in what I want to keep…). I disregarded the suggestions to talk to my clothes, to greet my home when I come in every evening, and to empty my purse every night. Neither my clothes nor my home can hear me, and unloading my purse every night would be a futile task and ridiculous burden.

And that’s okay. Except for the Bible, we’re free to pick and choose, to take what we want and leave the rest. Whenever I see someone jump on a bandwagon or fangirl (or guy) over everything someone says or does, I get a little creeped out. There are so many writers and theologians and really smart, wise people whom I admire, but I can think of no one who is infallible. I have learned so much from John Piper, for example, and his The Pleasures of God changed my thinking, and really, my life. I’ve read many, if not most, of his books. But I don’t agree with him 100%. And no one agrees with me 100%.

And, again, that’s okay.

The only book that I’m not free to feel that way about is the Bible. If there’s something there that I don’t like, or that bothers me, or that just sounds weird (I’m reading through Genesis now, and woah — Jerry Springer show!) , I have to grapple with it. I can’t shrug my shoulders or just write it off. I have to wrestle with it and ask God to change ME. I have to trust Him. 100%.

I can’t pick and choose or take and leave from Scripture. I can’t be trusted to do that. And I don’t trust anyone else who does that.

Just thinking out loud,

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of all the novels I’ve read…

[Once upon a time when I lived in Europe, I kept a blog that has since gone private. That’s where I shared my thoughts on my favorite novel. I’m re-reading it now, so I’m bringing that post over here. If you’ve never read Island of the World by Michael D. O’Brien, I urge you to put it on your TBR list. ]

…this one is my favorite.

The first day of 2011 was utterly wonderful, especially because I had the luxury of spending hours finishing and savoring Michael D. O’Brien’s Island of the World.  I’ll be thinking about this book for a long time, and I plan to read it again at some point.  I agree with J at Seasonal Soundings that this is a book that changes you.  It has changed me.

“A man is himself and no other,” Josip says.  “He is an island in the sea of being.  And each island is as no other.  The islands are connected because they have come forth from the sea, and the sea flows between them.  It separates them yet unites them,  if they learn to swim.”

As much pain and sadness and horror as Josip experiences (and he goes through a disturbing amount of it), the book joyously illustrates the beauty of the image of God in man.  Sarah’s review says it better than I can:

The gift of this story lies in its unblinking portrayal of human brutality as it is juxtaposed with the light, the poetry, the Love that still bubbles up in the heart of a wounded boy and calls him relentlessly home.

Yes, it does.

I had the bonus of being a reader who has recently been in some of the places that serve as settings in this story — Sarajevo, Rome, and New York City.  However, even with being able to picture some of the places Josip travels, I feel woefully ignorant of the history and geography of Bosnia-Herzegovina,  Croatia and Yugoslavia and the brutalities its people have experienced.  How could I not have known about the millions of people imprisoned, tortured, and slaughtered there?  How do we happily live on the same planet as such evils?

I regret not marking up my copy as I read, so I will have to do that next time.  There are so many lines and passages that are sheer beauty.  Most I don’t want to share here, though, because I don’t want to spoil the story for you.  Here are a few:

He will leave in a moment, after just one more cuplet of coffee.  Europeans know how to make it right! This is the best in the world, better than the specialty brands he experimented with in the delicatessens on Fifth Avenue.  Europeans understand that flavor is not about sensory stimulation, it is about evocation.  It is art and memory.  It is reunion with exalted moments, and such moments are never solitary ones. In short, life without coffee is not really life. The waiter brings it to him and tells him it’s on the house! A smile from the lad and a bow of his head.  What elicited this gift?  Perhaps it is house policy: three paid, get one free! Maybe it is simple human kindness.  Yes, kindness prevails in the world, gratuitous and unsolicited.  This bodes well for the future of mankind.

Josip’s observations on Roman traffic and drivers had me nodding my head:

Of that day’s context, he will remember dust and stone, blindingly-white marble, and noise such as he has never before experienced.  Streets are crammed with automobiles that speed and screech and honk and brake and lurch from stable positions at traffic lights into a blur of motion–all with the manic pace and the demonic roars of dangerous, unreliable slaves.  The drivers’ faces are the worst aspect.  They are as intense as any he has seen in his life, even the guards on the island, certain interrogators, or various prisoners who would bot from their chains in a hopeless run toward the sea.

More Josip:

Isn’t it a basic truth that we are brought to prayer only by passing through suffering?  In this respect, war was a blessing because it taught this generation how to pray, and it taught us the power of prayer.  We learned that it was prayer that preserved us against impossible odds and only prayer that brought us independence.  Dare I write these words — O God, how dare I write them? — yet I cannot be silent.  The war was a catastrophe, but in Christ the worst catastrophe can be transformed into a blessing.  The war renewed awareness of our centuries-old Christian identity and prepared us to be steadfast in these times which, with every passing day, are resembling more and more the end times.  Our horrible war taught us “in the flesh” about the Great War that will last until the end of time.

And just one more:

I am a man who possesses only fragments, a beggar who wanders into a feast of materialism, offering to the guests a basket of broken bread.

I could go on and on, but, really, please just read the book. You won’t be sorry. And I’d love to hear what you think about it after you do.

saturday

Good morning!

life-changingOn this first day of a three-day weekend, I’m starting off with coffee and books in bed. I’ve read the local paper (via iPad), done some of my read-through-the-Bible plan, caught up on social media, and finished The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’m late to the party on that one, and now I know why it has mixed reviews. Truly, you could scan it for the bold print tips, but then you’d miss the parts where she bids thank you and farewell to her castoffs. Clearly, Marie Kondo and I have different worldviews. For instance, I don’t believe inanimate objects have feelings, and she believes objects aren’t really inanimate. The cultural differences are evident, too. Having lived in Japan, Europe, and Hawaii, I’m aware of the space and storage differences in housing. We Americans take so much for granted, and I think Kondo takes for granted certain facts of living in Japan. (I will not put my clean dishes outside to dry, thank you.) Also, she mentions stockings throughout the book. Those are not at all a storage issue for me. 😉

The book has inspired me, however, to tackle my closet today. At her suggestion, I plan to take all of my clothes out, only putting back the items that I truly wear and like. She advises asking of each piece, “Does this bring me joy?”  If the answer is no, she thanks the pieces that don’t make the cut.

I won’t be talking to my clothes today, but I will be listening to podcasts as I work. These are currently in my listening rotation:

And now I have questions: What projects do you have planned this weekend? What are your favorite podcasts? What are you reading?

Happy Saturday y’all!

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2016 reading wrap-up

As I’ve mentioned, I made my 2016 reading goals via the  Challies 2016 Reading Challenge. I didn’t quite make it, but I’m okay with that because I feel like my reading life was reinvigorated this year, even as my work life was super busy . I didn’t stick to the categories in the reading challenge, but this rule-follower is actually okay with that, too. Here’s what I read this year, followed by my five favorites of the year:

bestillA book about Christian living:  Be Still, My Soul (25 Classic and Contemporary Readings on the Problem of Pain). I started this one last year and finished it on New Year’s Day.

I recommend this collection of essays from noted theologians like J.I. Packer, Joni Eareckson Tada, Martin Luther, and John Piper. My favorite essay was from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

fierceA biography: Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More, Poet, Abolitionist, Reformer by Karen Swallows Prior

This is a fascinating read that I will be thinking about long after today. I hope to share more soon.

energyA self-improvement book: The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy by Jon Gordon

We’re going through this book at work. It’s a quick read, so I finished it in just a few days.

A classic novel: Lord of the Flies by William Golding flies

How in the world did I miss this book all these years? It was a page-turner, and I loved its depths. I’ll be thinking about it for a long time. If you haven’t read it yet, don’t wait!

domoreA book about productivity: Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies

This was another good read. I’m planning to set aside some time this coming weekend to set up the system he recommends. I appreciated how he reminds the reader why we should strive to be productive.

wowA book about theology: Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds by Jen Wilkin

This is a really good resource for women who want to know God’s Word better. It is both practical and encouraging, and I’ll be referring to it again, I’m sure.

happinessA book about joy or happiness: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I didn’t love this one. Part of the problem may have been the format; I listened to the book on my commute via Audible, and I don’t think it’s a book that works that way. The author read it, and I found her voice distracting. Also, she would periodically read excerpts from emails or blog comments, and I had trouble distinguishing when she was referring to herself or reading something someone else wrote. I suspect I would have taken more away from the book if I’d actually read it. There are a few ideas that have stuck with me, however. One was an idea she repeated: being heavy is easy, but being light-hearted is hard. It takes effort.  Also, she talked about the idea of enthusiasm as a form of social courage. I’ve thought about that one a good bit, too. If you’re looking for a book on happiness, I think Happiness Is a Serious Problem by Dennis Prager is a better choice.

bonhoefferA book that won a ECPA Christian Book award: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

I’ve owned this one on Kindle for a long time, and countless people have recommended it to me but for some reason I’ve only just now gotten to it. It’s very good. I really appreciate good biographies as a way to learn more history, and although I’d heard and read a bit about Bonhoeffer through the years, I’d never known the full story in the context of Nazi Germany. I wish I’d been able to read this before I visited Berlin a few years ago. Anyway, if you haven’t read it yet, I recommend it.

feed

A book with a one-word title: Feed by M.T. Anderson

Yuck. I really, really didn’t like this book, but I have this compulsion to see a book all the way through, hoping that surely it gets better. It didn’t.

gossipgospelA book with the word “gospel” in the title or subtitle: Gossip and the Gospel: Understanding the Harmful Effects of Gossip in the Church – Timothy Williams

I was disappointed in this one. There’s some good stuff here – some painful conviction and some guidance on handling gossip, slander, etc. But there are also verses out of context and some condemnation that lacks the Gospel.

santini

A memoir:  The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son by Pat Conroy

I’ve wanted to read this one for a while now, but it moved up in the queue upon the author’s recent passing. Pat Conroy was a master of the English language, and as a southerner I especially appreciate his love of the south. Even though he made peace with his father, his story is still a very sad one. “In families, there are no crimes beyond forgiveness.”

guiltA mystery or detective novel: The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly

I enjoy Connelly’s stories, but this one wasn’t my favorite. It got better about 3/4 of the way in, but just wasn’t a stand out.

severeA book you own but have never read:  A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken

This one has been on my shelf for years, and many folks have recommended it. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations after all of the rave reviews.

signatureofA book by a female author: The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

I really cannot recommend this one at all. I really enjoyed the first part, but then it took a strange, slow, ultimately boring turn. I didn’t like any of the characters, either. Very disappointing.

cellistA novel set in a country that is not your own: The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

This one is good. I visited Sarajevo a few years ago, so I could picture the scenes as I read. I’ve put more of his books on my to-read list.

bloodA book with an ugly cover: Blood Defense (Samantha Brinkmann Book 1) by Marcia Clark

This one was free on Kindle recently, so I gave it a try. It was a decent thriller, and I read the whole thing hearing Maria Clark’s voice as the narrator.

I can’t find a proper category for this one, so I’ve made up my own — A science fiction book that Anne didn’t hate:  The Martian by Andy Weir martian

Although too science-y at times, this story moved along. The main character is hilarious. Now, I can finally watch the movie.

parisbookA book about a country or city:   Paris by Edward Rutherford

I love Rutherford’s novels. He weaves stories with history and makes a place come alive in a most compelling way. This one was no exception. Now I really want to return to Paris.

A book about relationships or friendship: The Friendship Factor by Alan Loy friendshipMcGinnis

I wish I could remember where I saw this book recommended so I could give proper credit, but alas, I cannot. It was a fairly quick read with some helpful encouragement. Kindle isn’t the best format for reading books like this, however. It would be nice to have a paper copy to flip back through.

prayingA book about prayer: Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus’ Name by Bryan Chapell

It took me a ridiculously long time to finish this book, and I think I would have liked it more if I’d read it more diligently. He makes some good points, but if you’re looking for a good book on prayer, I’d recommend Paul Miller’s A Praying Life.

A book with 100 pages or fewer: Found: God’s Peace — Experience True Freedom from Anxiety in Everything by John MacArthur anxiety

This is a quick read, and honestly I found it too simplistic. If you’re truly struggling with anxiety, get thee to the Psalms (which, to be fair, MacArthur does recommend). Books like this frustrate me because they make a complicated problem sound so easy to solve.

hammerA Christian novel: The Hammer of God by Bo Giertz

I was inspired to read this one by this article, which called this “the best Christian novel you’ve never heard of.”  That is probably overstating it, but I enjoyed it and will be thinking about some of the story lines for a while. I marked several beautiful lines and passages.

A book published in 2016: Everything We Keep: A Novel by Kerry Lonsdale everythingwekeep

I got this one for free via Amazon’s Kindle First deal. It was compelling enough to draw me in, but it had some weaknesses. There were some just plain unbelievable events and some things didn’t add up. It was a good beach read, even though I didn’t read it at the beach.

mightierI’m making up another category — A book that’s part of a series that I feel compelled to see through: Mightier Than the Sword: A Novel (Clifton Chronicles Book 5) by Jeffrey Archer

I couldn’t pass this one up when the Kindle version was marked down several months ago. I usually enjoy Archer’s fiction, but this series has too many coincidences. Each book ends with a cliffhanger, however, that necessitates purchasing the next book.

A book with at least 400 pages: Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave brave

This one is just lovely — beautifully written, at once sorrowful and hopeful. Set in London in World War II, the story isn’t fast-paced, but the characters and prose are compelling.

swansA book based on a true story: The Swans of Fifth Avenue: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin

This one is one of the most fun books I’ve read this year. Based on the story of how Truman Capote betrayed his “swans” — high society ladies who lunch — by writing about the stories they’d confided in him, it’s tragic but well written.

A memoir: A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas threedog

This one came with high praise — it’s Stephen King’s favorite memoir. I can’t say that I “enjoyed” it because it’s sad, but she is a good writer.

fikryA book about adoption:  The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

This book was recommended for ISTJs by Modern Mrs. Darcy, so I just had to read it. And I really enjoyed this one, y’all! Sweet, sad, hopeful, and full of book quotes and references. I jotted down lots of quotes.

A book with a great cover: The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro  perfume

I really wanted to like this one, but it was just meh to me.

A book about science:

habitThe Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

This one was interesting and worth the read.

Fiction:

The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalenwishweretrue

This one was free on Kindle, and I saw it recommended somewhere else. It was another one in the “meh” category.

Non-fiction/Business:

teamplayerThe Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues by Patrick M. Lencioni

We read this one in our office book club. Much of the book is a parable, and then the author explains the three virtues for the remainder. Good stuff to think about.

Fiction:

Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams infintesea

This one was another mediocre one for me. It had potential, but didn’t land for me.

breath

A book on the current New York Times list of best sellers:

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

This one lived up to the hype, and I’m so glad because I’ve had a run of disappointing books going. I cried at the conclusion, and I never cry when reading. (Movies and tv are a different story.)

Fiction:

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah  nightingale

This one was really good, and it restored my hope that there is some good modern fiction out there.

Fiction:

courseofloveThe Course of Love: A Novel by Alain de Botton

Modern Mrs. Darcy recommended this one, and it is a very unusual book. But I found myself copying down passages (it was a library copy, so I couldn’t mark it up). Lots to think about in this one.

Fiction:

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney  nest

And now back to mediocre fiction. People seem to either love or hate this one, but I found myself thinking “meh.”

hillbilly

A book written by an author with initials in his/her name:

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance

This one lived up to the hype. He’s a great story-teller, and he draws some conclusions that shouldn’t be ignored.

Fiction:

Good as Gone: A Novel of Suspense by Amy Gentry goodasgone

And we’re still in the mediocre fiction rut. This one was a Book of the Month Club selection. It’s a decent beach read, but honestly I’ll never give it another thought.

Fiction:

stilllifeStill Life by Louise Penny

Everyone and her mother seems to be recommending this series, and this is the first I’ve read. I’m not sure that I’ll pick up another. To be fair, it took me too long to read it, so I couldn’t keep the threads of the story straight.

Fiction:

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani  yonahlossee

I really liked this one for about the first half, and after that I just forced myself to finish it. Too much ickiness for my tastes.

Non-fiction:

driveDrive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Interesting read. Lots of suggestions and exercises at the back of the book, too.

 

A book written by a Puritan:

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyangrace-abounding

A classic. I strung it out too long and lost the flow, but I still found some nuggets.

Non-fiction:

blog-incBlog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community by Joy Deangdeelert Cho

This one was really cheap on Kinde, and I’d hoped for some tips to reinvigorate the old blog. There was nothing new here, though. Bet you wish there were! 😉

 

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So that’s it. I read 44 books this year. Here’s my top five, in no particular order:

1. Paris by Edward Rutherford

2. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

3. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

4. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

5. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance

I’ve got a plan for my 2017 reading. Stay tuned & Happy Reading!

**Full disclosure: When you click on any of the book links here at georgianne and then make a purchase, Amazon tosses a few pennies my way. Thanks for supporting my book habit!

monday miscellany

Rainy days and Mondays…make for a short list:

~ I’m glad to see someone talking about this: All sins are equal, and further reflections on the belief that “all sins are equal.”

~ Chuy’s Creamy Jalapeño Dip copycat recipe. I really want to make this but I’m afraid it would set off a binge the likes of which I’ve never seen. That stuff is good, y’all.

~ 25 books to read when you feel like the world is falling apart. I actually don’t feel like the world is falling apart, but it’s an interesting list nonetheless. I’d put at the top Island of the World, my favorite novel. I’m going to read it again in 2017.

~ And last, a little something to think about on this Monday from Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink:

Think about yourself. Does what energizes you—what gets you up in the morning and propels you through the day—come from the inside or from the outside? What about your spouse, your partner, or your children? How about the men and women around you at work? If you’re like most people I’ve talked to, you instantly have a sense into which category someone belongs.

Happy Monday, y’all!

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