June 13, 2013

Reading and Attention

US Navy 100302-N-0718S-095 Cryptologic Technic...
US Navy 100302-N-0718S-095 Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 1st Class David G. Burrell reads a Dr. Seuss book to students at George C. Marshall Elementary School during National Read Across America Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I was little, about elementary school age, I read tons of books at a time. I remember spreading them out on the table at the deli where my Mom worked. How did I keep track of them all? I don't know. At some point, I decided that I would only read one book at a time, in order to better focus on it. I kept that up pretty well. Until lately, that is.

Technically, I am reading six books right now. I started reading The Summer of the Spanish Woman a few months ago. It's part of a Reader's Digest Volume of Condensed Books from the '70s. I'm pretty sure I found it in my Great Grandmother's cabin over a decade ago. It is about Charlotte, a teenager who is forced to leave her home in Ireland due to someone else inheriting the property. It takes place mostly in late nineteenth century Spain. I'll be honest, I mostly rolled my eyes at the short description I read before actually starting the story. However, Charlotte is no Scarlett O'Hara, and I am finding it to be an interesting look at how women could gain and/or maintain any measure of independence or self-sufficiency in a culture that often tried to make them victims of their circumstances.

English: book cover of German Reader's Digest ...
English: book cover of German Reader's Digest collection book, 1988. simple shape cover design Deutsch: Buchdeckel Reader's Digest Auswahlb├╝cher, 1988, Bild 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Chicago-Read Mental Health Center sign
English: Chicago-Read Mental Health Center sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 Another book I'm reading is Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure. I honestly don't remember how I came across this book. I added it to my Amazon wishlist, so it was probably referenced in a blog post or something. ...I really want to like this book. But so far I don't. In fact, I have to make myself read it. It was written by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a Welsh minister. I don't know much about him, but his tone in this book reminds me of other arrogant, presumptuous ministers whom I've read or heard before. I won't name names. This time. The subtitle is a pretty accurate summary, at least of what I've read so far. I guess I was looking for something different, perhaps a look at actual clinical depression and how it impacts people spiritually or vice-versa. I suppose I should have known better. Perhaps an in-depth look at Scriptures that would be helpful to people suffering from depression, a survey of Biblical figures who were sometimes depressed, or something. Not this. To be fair, it was written in 1964, a time that I imagine the state of mental health was even more abysmal than it is now.

I'm also reading Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets...I won't go into great detail about that book for obvious reasons. This book was written by Kevin Leman, who calls himself a psychologist. It's supposed to be a practical guide to sex. I guess it could be, for some people. It just depends on your experience. I was blessed to have a Mom who was very frank and honest with me about sex, so I didn't feel like I really needed most of the advice in the book or that I couldn't just as easily get it from somewhere else, without some older guy making awkward references the entire time. It was kind of creepy, honestly. However, I can see how it might be helpful to someone who came from an extremely sheltered home. At the same time, I think it might create as many complexes as it might solve. It certainly made me feel stressed and insecure. I started reading it on the advice of my pastor, who did my husband and I's pre-marital counseling. That was over a year ago, and I just recently finished it. (I am still reading the 'extra' questions at the end of the book, which is why I haven't marked it as finished on Goodreads.) T still hasn't read it, but I'd be very interested to hear his take on it. Thankfully,  he is way more patient and understanding than any man portrayed in that book. To be fair to my pastor, he usually gives great advice, and everyone drops the ball sometimes. I think this was one of those times.

So those are three of the six books I'm currently reading. Madness, right?
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