Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Library Book

Here's the thing. I hate to check out books from the library. I don't want to "borrow" books because I like to keep books, make a home for them on a shelf. Or in a cabinet. I just don't want to return them. If I invest my time, focus and concentration, expand my heart and mind, I'd like to keep it as evidence. I like the reminder. It's like looking at old photos. Sorta.

I took Asher to the library recently and we checked out several books for he and Shawn. With them, its different. We have about 100 books too many for the kiddos...okay I realize that you can never really have too many books....but my house can have too many messes, and so for now the books fall into this category. When the boys are older and more respectful of books, no longer transforming them into villages, towers, and barracades for secret hiding places, I'm sure the sight of them standing vertically in order on the book cases will make me smile. For now, I like to take them back to the library, with pleasure. But the other day I did something I never do. I grabbed a book for me. I didn't investigate it at all. It's free right, so if it sucks I knew I didn't have to read it. But, it doesn't suck.

The book I am reading is: "The Short Bus....A Journey Beyond Normal", authored by Jonathan Mooney. It was published in 2007, and he is also the co-author of a book "Learning Outside the Lines". Jonathan was diagnosed with learning disabilities when he was in 3rd grade and after a series of testing, was placed in special education and had to ride the "tard cart" aka, short bus, to school. He is younger than me. He eventually graduated from Brown University with honors. The book is part of an experiment. He bought a short bus and drove it all over the United States and interviewed various kids and families with disabilities.

For this blog post, I really just want to quote him for the purpose of remembering it. I have to give this book back, dangit. It will not be living in my book case.

"The normal, norm, or normalcy do not exist in the real world of people, despite the fact that we are told that we can modify our behavior and train our bodies and minds to reach it. We are told to chase it - in our culture, in our families, in our lives. But when we chase it, it disappears. Normalcy is like a horizon that keeps receding as you approach it."

I love that quote. I've never felt "normal". This quote frees me in some way. And I hope to be able to instill in my children that they never need to chase the fleeting horizon. They can be who they are without ever feeling that it isn't enough.

And while I'm on the topic of books, I thought I'd recommend a few books that I've read recently in case you are looking for a good read. And by the way....if I finish it, I feel it is worth recommending. If I don't like a book I usually cannot make myself finish it.

"Crazy Love" - Frances Chan (a book about loving God, radically)
"Say You're One of Them" - Uwem Akpan (a collection of stories based on African children)
"Mrs. Kimble" - Jennifer Haigh (fiction, about 3 women over time who married the same man)
"The Great Gatsby" - F. Scott Fitzgerald (yes I just read this for the first time)
***"The Lost Continent" - Bill Bryson (FREAKING HILARIOUS)
"Redeeming Love" - Francine Rivers (Christian fiction)
"Same Kind of Different as Me" - Ron Hall & Denver Moore (LIFE CHANGING, AMAZING, TRUE STORY)

These are all great books worth reading. If you do, let me know. I'd love to know your thoughts.

What book do you think I should read next?


Sarah said...

We have very similar taste in books! I've read many of your favorites and loved them. I hadn't heard of Mrs. Kimble, and it sounds intriguing.

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Same Kind of Different as Me. I loved it so much that I went and volunteered at the mission in the story (Union Gospel Mission). I never wrote about that on my blog for some reason, but it was a life changing experience that really altered my views on the homeless (just like the book).

By the way, I'm the opposite from you. I hate to spend money on a book but love to borrow them--from friends, the library, the bookshelf in the church bathroom, etc. The only problem is that I sometimes rack up huge library fines because I'm not particularly responsible.

Sarah said...

Forgot to say I wish I could have had the experience of reading The Great Gatsby for the first time as a middle-aged wife instead of as a high school junior and then a college sophomore. I thought it was profound then (both times), but I think I would get SOOO much more out of it now.

Jodi said...

Thank you for mentioning Same Kind of Different as Me on your blog! I work with Thomas Nelson, and we would love to follow your blog and hear what readers think of this moving book. I also want to let you know that Ron and Denver have just released a new book What Difference Do It Make? which updates readers on their activity since the first book came out. Please contact me with your mailing address if you are interested in receiving a complimentary copy of the new book for review on your site at your convenience.


Jodi Hughes

Linda said...

You're fun! And I enjoy reading your blog posts.

However I LOVE the library and I don't have the room at my house to own all of the books that I have read. ((smile))

I hardly ever forget to return the books on time so it is way cheaper than buying all of them.

And I check out DVD's and Cd's, so that saves me money too. In this day and age it just makes sense to me to use them for free.

But I do understand how you feel...and I love to own the music CD's that I play over and over again!

Have a fantabulous day!
Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Elaine said...

Last year, after reading "The Shack" I went to the bookstore to find a similar type book to read. That's when I came across "Some Kind of Different as Me" so I bought it. I absolutely loved it and passed it on to someone else to read after I was finished. I would love to read "What Difference Do It Make" sometime.

Melissa Irwin said...

Gosh, I know lots of peeps who check out books from the library and return them without any separation anxiety. I'm weird. *sigh*

datri said...

I need someone else to read "Too Much Happiness" by Alice Munro. It's the 2009 Booker Prize winner. It's a collection of short stories and I need to know how someone else felt about the short story "Child's Play" because it haunted me for about a week and I couldn't pick up anything else.

Melissa Irwin said...

@datri - I am going back to the library on Thursday and I will see if they have "Too Much Happiness". So....I'll let you know. If so, I'll read it. thank you!