An idiosyncratic and very personal annotated bibliography
- Benson, Robert. Living Prayer. New York: Putnam, 1998. How can you summarize a book that changes your life? Benson speaks engagingly about how to live as a writer as well as a man of faith, and gives us a model for ours own walks of art and faith.
- Dillard, Annie. The Writing Life. New York: HarperCollins, 1990. This is the sort of book that makes a fledgling writer grow some flight fleathers. I took page after page of notes, and got a clue about what it means to think, act and live as a writer.
- Norris, Kathleen. Dakota: A Spiritual Geography. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1993. One afternoon, I stopped by the Friends of the Sierra Vista Public Library Bookstore, and found this in the "Free" cart outside the door. No kidding. I've been using this book as a prompt for lectio divina and my daily journal entries. I've come away from Dakota with a greater understanding of the rural community in which I live, as well as a deeper love of God and of my own place in the world. A good read - I highly recommend it.
- Norris, Kathleen. The Cloister Walk. New York: Penguin, 1996. I impulsively checked this out from the Mesa Public Library, and discovered the Benedictine Tradition, opening a whole new chapter of Christian practice and history to me. Stability, community, religion without narrow-mindedness - was this possible? Apparently so!
- Thoreau, Henry David. Walden. 1845. Available online at http://thoreau.eserver.org/walden00.html. Okay, so from my mom's perspective, it was not a great moment when I discovered a battered second-hand edition which included "Civil Disobedience." But the idea of living deliberately and taking risks set my sheltered little teenaged heart aflame with excitement and hope. I knew then that I would not be limited by a hateful office job or a high school education. Even then, I knew that the life of art and letters was the life for me.
- Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit. I still remember the excitement and wonder I felt when on reading this book for the first time - in fifth grade. A very perceptive teacher loaned it to me. This book also marked the first moment that I grieved over the death of an author because our lives could not intersect. If he had lived a little longer, if I had been born a little sooner, I thought, we might have been friends.
If the "Inklings are still meeting in heaven, maybe they'll let me sit in someday!