Thanks to my enforced holiday, I've managed to read a lot more than I'd normally get time to do over the last few weeks.
After seeing Sister Wendy Beckett on TV again, I decided to read some of her books. I'd borrowed her Story Of Painting from the library about a year ago. I loved it because you can dip into it and learn little snippets of art history whenever you pick it up. I think I renewed it about three times, but eventually it went back, so while I was ill, I looked for it on Amazon and managed to get a copy to keep!
I'm so pleased that I did. It's a brilliant introduction to art over the centuries and perfect for someone to use as and when they feel like a moment of culture. I've found it a bit like choosing a delicious chocolate from an expensive box and savouring it.
I also bought Sister Wendy's book, Speaking to the Heart. It's a collection of 100 poems, selected by Sister Wendy and dealing with themes of Longing, Wonder, Courage, Sorrow amongst others. I'm gradually reading my way through. I'm not heavily into poetry, although some have had a profound effect, but I don't know many of the poems in this anthology. Each poem has a short comment from Sister Wendy preceding it, which also gives an insight into how she understands the meaning of the verse.
The other book that I bought was The King James Version of The Bible. You'll probably know that this year is the 400th anniversary of it's introduction. There have been programmes on the TV and radio about it. I've never had any inclination to read the Bible - there are about six of them in the house, acquired from relatives over the years, but when I looked, only one was the KJV and that was absolutely tiny. In fact it was inscribed to my Grandfather from my Grandmother in 1917 when he was fighting in the trenches. Sadly, my middle-aged eye-sight couldn't cope with the text size, so I bought a new copy.
As a big Shakespeare fan, I'm entranced by the language. I know that a great many phrases we use in common parlance come from the KJV or Shakespeare and reading through, it's fascinating to come upon them as they were originally written. It's huge - OK I know - so I decided to start with the New Testament and then go back to the Old Testament later. It really is possible to read it as an amazing historical story book and I'm picking up a lot of other references as I go along. It's also intriguing to read the different accounts of the same story from different writers. I think the part of my brain that enjoys a good detective story are firing off as I read.
Oh yes, talking of detective fiction, I've also read Caroline Graham's Death of A Hollow Man - lovely and gory Midsomer Murder. And last week I re-read Barbara Sher's Live The Life You Love. She's my favourite life-coach, so much more down to earth than many. I can't exactly say I've managed to do much of what she suggests, but it makes me feel better just reading her books.
I think if you didn't know me, this reading list would give you quite a weird impression of what I'm like and what I enjoy doing. I wonder what other people's reading lists say about them? What have you read in the last few weeks? What would it say about you?
By the way, have you been watching the moon for the last couple of nights? I woke up coughing in the night and was amazed - the moon was shining right through the chink in the curtains and it was INCREDIBLE!