So, I've been reading a lot, but not writing about it.
Let me tell you about a few things read recently:
Bright Dark Madonna, by Elizabeth Cunningham, is about a Celtic Mary Magdalen. It's the third in a series called The Maeve Chronicles. I normally do NOT like to read things out of order...but this was the one I found on the new books shelf, and the book jacket INSISTED that this could be started at any time. I enjoyed this one and have requested the first two; will catch up to what I've read over the Christmas holidays.
The author biography on Amazon notes: "Best known for her pagan novels, The Return of the Goddess and The Wild Mother, (Station Hill), Elizabeth Cunningham is the direct descendant of nine generations of Episcopal priests. She was ordained as an interfaith minister in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. She balances writing with a counseling practice."
The book, as you might imagine, is not orthodox. It is funny, irreverent, blasphemous, and an "interweaving of Biblical-Celtic themes." Mary Magdalen (Maeve) has spent a number of years running a holy whorehouse, for instance...It made me think about things I "know" from the Bible and my religious life in a different way...and that's really the point of reading, isn't it? Some reading, at least.
Some reading is amusement and comfort, and I found that in The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter, another "new book shelf" find. My family might have been a little odd, but my father did not raise 9,000 gerbils in our back yard. And that's a good thing.
Another lovely, poetic, philosophical find was Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand: A Novel of Adam and Eve, by Gioconda Belli. "Rather than merely turning the biblical version on its head, Belli’s luminous portrait of the first couple respectfully provides material for discussion and reconsideration" (Booklist).
Finally, I've just started Frank Schaeffer's latest, Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back. I'll have to check back in with you on this memoir by the son of Francis and Edith Schaeffer, evangelists extraordinaire and founders of the L'Abri community. I grew up with a house full of books by the latter two, so I'm very curious. And I just like memoir, biography, epistolary novels. I suppose naturally nosy.
What have YOU been reading? Let me know!