Look Over My Shoulder

It’s a most delicious, replete feeling: I don’t need anything right now, so I can even keep away from second-hand shops. Except that it’s nice to look at the books. Several in town have English books, and recently I found The Boy in Striped Pajamas.  Which is a good read even if it’s an awful, sad story, so of course I bought it for one zloty.

You can always use more books. And chocolate.  I can, I mean. Right now my reads are: A Meal with Jesus  as well as The Yearling, and always, interspersed at odd times so as not to get too tired of it: Polish grammar and vocabulary.

Recently it was The Secret Life of Bees for the umpteenth time. I’ve recommended that book to probably 100’s of  people. Someone took me up on it once and then asked me how I could read something that had so many swear words in it. I don’t know. I don’t remember any swear words. But maybe if you’re sensitive to that, don’t pick it up.  And don’t believe the pish-posh that’s on the jacket–something about divine female power. Their religion was strange, but I read the story for the wise words from August, and for the way that Lily expresses herself in such human, honest ways.  Most of all, I like the way August loves and guides and mentors this mother-less girl in such an exquisite way.  She’s my hero.

I’ve followed Ali’s African Adventures for several years, but now it’s more interesting again, because she and her husband are back on the Mercy Ship, after a year’s break. I love her way with words, the medical details, and emotive stories she writes about the broken babies and women she gets to care for. I once had the privilege to go on board the Logos ship, (no, they’re not sister ships) the one that takes books all over the world, so I can sort of picture the kind of community they live in, the size of the ship, and the international camaraderie and family that happens there.

Sometimes I wish that I would read more high-brow books like classics  or even be more informed about things like Occupy Wall Street. But being of average intelligence and being most interested in real people, I spend most of my time reading and following simple stories that are connected with what it means to live in a beautiful but broken world that is held and healed by scarred hands. It suits me. I don’t need anything more heady.

2 thoughts on “Look Over My Shoulder

  1. I read The Boy in Striped Pajamas for the first time this week. After I was finished, I lay on the couch and stared at the ceiling and cried for a while. I think it touched me to the innermost fibers of me because of the way it was narrated, from the perspective of a child who couldn’t begin to comprehend that the world and the people he loved could be so viciously cruel. Awful. Awful, awful, awful. And did I say it’s awful?

    Bah. I would beg to differ on your perception of your intelligence. But I love your compassion and your people intuition!

  2. That’s me totally… wishing I would enjoy deep intellectual reads, but without fail, falling back to simple, appealing books about people and their stories.
    You’re the second friend who just recommended The Boy in Striped Pajamas, so I’ll definitely put it on my list of upcoming reads.

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