• 2010 Reading List

    What I've read this year:

    "The Other Queen" by Phillipa Gregory (Rating: C)

    "The Welsh Girl" by Peter Ho Davies (Rating: A)

    "Mistress of the Sun" by Sandra Gulland (Rating: A)

A circle of quiet

“I am apt to get drunk on words.”  -Madeleine L’Engle

I love that quote…it is something that I identify with completely. I love words, reading them, hearing them, studying them, etc. Madeleine L’Engle is one of my favorite writers. Her style is simple, succicent, and still incredibly poetic.  I enjoyed all of her children’s books in my earlier years (A Wrinkle In Time, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters, etc.), and look forward to being able to share them with S. and any other children that may come along in the future.

However, many people do not know of L’Engle’s novels, journals, and even poetry. It is great to have an author with whom you can establish a strong bond as a child, and continue that relationship into and throughout adulthood. A couple of weeks ago I picked up my dog-eared copy of A Circle of Quiet, the first book in the trilogy known as The Crosswick Journals. I love this book. I know this book. And yet, every time I read it, something new jumps out at me.

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So I’m sharing some of my favorite snapshots into this book , and hoping that they connect with you as they do with me…

“To define everything is to annihilate much that gives us laughter and joy.”

On the description of being a “happy” person:  “The better word, of course, is joy, because it doesn’t have anything to do with pain, physical or spiritual. I have been wholly in joy when I have been in pain – childbirth is the obvious example. Joy is what has made the pain bearable and, in the end, creative rather than destructive.”

“Every so often I need out; something will throw me into total disproportion, and I have to get away from everybody – away from all these people I love most in the world – in order to regain a sense of proportion.”

From A Wrinkle In Time:   “You mean your comparing our lives to a sonnet? A strict form, but freedom within it?”  “Yes,” Mrs Whatsit said. “You’re given the form, but you have to wirte the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you.”  (Please let this be the lesson I teach my chlidren…)

“Children want to know, and perhaps it is our desire not to let them down that has led us into the mistake of teaching them on the answerables. This is a mistake, and we musn’t refuse to allow them to ask the unanswerables just because we can’t provide tidy little answers.”

“Nothing important is completely explicable.”

And, let’s finish with perhaps the most beautiful, the most simple, and the most challenging…

“…teach me how to be more aware, open, unafraid to be vulnerable, involved, committed, to accept disagreement without feeling threatened, to understand that I cannot take myself seriously until I stop taking myself seriously – to be, in fact, a true adult. To be.”

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2 Responses

  1. I never read any of her books (even as a kid) and I wonder … how did I miss this?!! We do own a Wrinkle in Time — purchased for my kids. I may just have to pick it up and read it!

  2. You must read the Crosswicks Journal Trilogy – it is the best – but A Circle of Quiet has the most insightful comments. I have never read a book of hers that I didn’t truly enjoy. I’m sure you would enjoy them!

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