56 Comments

Prayer for Owen Meany is such a treat: jealous of you reading it for the first time!

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Jan 24Liked by Tsh Oxenreider

I also had a "good" reading year last year and while my plan is nowhere near as structured as yours, I'm itching to challenge myself. 2022 was a hard year spiritually and emotionally, so I mostly read for comfort and joy, not for knowledge or wisdom. I have a lot of non-fiction on my list (and I'm adding your Fredrick Douglass biography, he's someone I've wanted to learn more about for ages) and I also think I'm going to make Revelations of Divine Love my Lenten reading; I really want to finish that book and just . . . haven't. I hope you love Swallows and Amazons (that series is one of my favorite discoveries of the past 5 years, though there are some books in the series which are better than others) and if you don't love The Awakening of Miss Prim I will be absolutely shocked. Happy reading!

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Jan 24Liked by Tsh Oxenreider

On my list for this year - C.S.Lewis, Tolkien, Rowan Williams, Malcolm Guite, 'The Matter With Things' ( Iain McGilchrist)...plus a lot more, hopefully

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Currently reading "You are what you love" for my Spiritual Direction formation. What a divine coincidence!

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This entire post is so, so good, Tsh. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

And yes, A Prayer For Owen Meany is in my top three of all-time favorite reads, but it hits differently for everyone. I hope you love it.

Regarding my recent reading habits, I've leaned into the fact that I read to become a better fiction writer. But even more specifically, I read so that I can better write what I'm writing. I guess what I mean by that is, I try to read (mostly fiction) books whose authors I know have things to teach me about the craft. And when I say teach ME, I mean writers who either have a similar voice or whose voices I have specific things I want to learn from.

Anyway, to that end I've read Cormac McCarthy's Outer Darkness and The Passenger this year, along with Elizabeth Strout's Oh William! and listened to A Prayer for Owen Meany for the third time :)

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Thanks for sharing this post with the non-paying readers. Looking forward to filling out the list. Brothers Karamazov was on my 'to read' list for a long time and I stopped and started it several times before I finally read it last year with my 19 year old (listening to the audiobook helped). As a Malcolm Guite fan, I'm planning to read his book Lifting the Veil: Imagination and the Kingdom of God. Great podcast between him and Russell Moore this week, after his Christianity today article came out.

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I love this idea! What a wonderful essay on calibrating our loves! My reading goals this year are to finally read War and Peace (a few pages a day) and to pick up a more diverse read at least once a month.

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Jan 24·edited Jan 24Liked by Tsh Oxenreider

I've had more or less the same thoughts. Thanks for writing them down. (And yes to the audiobooks. I'm keeping a home along with parenting 3 tiny ones, and I like to say the amount of audiobooks I listen to basically measures the amount of time spent working with my hands on manual tasks. :') It solidifies the content for me, too. Similarly, I'm always trying to balance fiction and non, newer and older. (The Awakening Of Miss Prim - I want to get to that one as well, after hearing it recommended by the Charlotte Mason Commonplace Youtube lady you've shared before!)

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Jan 24Liked by Tsh Oxenreider

I am currently listening to The Brothers Karamazov...it is slow going. I have to be in a place where I can stop after every chapter and read the Spark Notes.

I also just re-read One Hundred Years of Solitude, which I first read in 1994 as a 20-year-old college student. It was such a pleasure to revisit it and ALSO to see how closely the Disney movie Encanto was modeled on the book.

I think I will re-read A Prayer for Owen Meany this year. I've been meaning to dive back into John Irving, who used to be my favorite author. I have found that audio is a great way to re-read old favorites.

Loved reading your list. Going to research some of your picks for myself!

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Jan 24Liked by Tsh Oxenreider

I really love Gift From The Sea. I’ve gifted it to almost all the women in my life and re-read it pretty much every summer! Enjoy!

I’m reading along with two different podcast book clubs (both fiction), one non-fiction book (so three books at a time)…oh and a poetry book to pick up here and there as well. Oh, and the Bible in a year this year (and catechism in a year podcast! Thank you for that recommendation!). I am using audiobooks for one of the fiction books…game changer!

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Jan 24Liked by Tsh Oxenreider

I love Ann Lamott, she is funny,spiritual in a quirky way,give her a read!

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Jan 24Liked by Tsh Oxenreider

Wolf hall by Hilary Mantel is a book that keeps getting recommended to me over and over. I am going to reread Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner;  I reread his Crossing to Safety last summer and it had so much more meaning reading it as a person in my 40s rather than 20s. Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life by Zena Hitz is a non-fiction I started last week and am LOVING.

I would be interested on a discussion of quality music, movies, and television. The only show we watch is All Creatures Great and Small, along with some documentaries, but my kids would probably enjoy a little more screen time. I’m out of ideas and don’t know where to look. :)

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Jan 24Liked by Tsh Oxenreider

Silly question - when you read in line at the grocery store - is this on your phone? Or AirPods with an audio book? E-reader? I’m curious because I’ve been trying to not look at my phone when I’m in public as much...so I’m curious.

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Jan 24Liked by Tsh Oxenreider

I must tell you that your essay that focused on love was uniquely timed today - this evening my book club meets and we are discussing Deus Caritas Est

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I appreciate the template for A Worthwhile Reading List. When I drove a lot for work, I loved having an audiobook as my companion. However, I don’t agree with the idea of listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking one’s dog, etc. That seems to me like an attempt at multi-tasking. I believe in the beauty and importance of staying in the present and embracing some of these tasks and activities as prayer unto themselves.

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Great observation about what we love. The only structure I have this year for my reading, is to read 75 books, and to read among them 12 classics. So I started January with Bram, Stoker’s Dracula, I had never read it, and I discovered that it was written so beautifully and was an exceptional read. It’s been around a long time, so I should have been surprised! And the stories we see in the movies don’t even come close to that great story.

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