Posts in: Books

Finished reading A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers. The best thing about this book was the way Chambers imaginatively de-centered humans. Apart from that, I can’t say it ever quite gripped me. I’m interested enough to read the next book though.

At the moment, my plan is to continue reading Wendell Berry’s fiction until I’ve read it all. Using Tom Murphy’s site as my source (and excluding some hard-to-find small press titles), here’s how it stands:

  • Nathan Coulter
  • A Place on Earth
  • The Memory of Old Jack
  • The Wild Birds
  • Remembering
  • Fidelity
  • Watch With Me
  • A World Lost
  • Jayber Crow
  • Hannah Coulter
  • That Distant Land
  • Andy Catlett: Early Travels
  • Whitefoot: A Story from the Center of the World
  • A Place in Time
  • The Art of Loading Brush
  • How It Went

Finished reading Nathan Coulter by Wendell Berry. 📚 This was his first novel but my edition is the revised 1985 paperback. He edited it so that it would fit in what would become the overarching history of the Port William membership. I think I’ll read Hannah Coulter next.

Has anyone read Human Scale by Kirkpatrick Sale? I had a nice copy of that book that I acquired from Caveat Emptor in Bloomington many years ago—but at some point I sold it or gave it away. What a poor decision! And, obviously, I never read it.

Finished reading Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. Beautiful and heart-breaking. I think I’ll keep working my way through his fiction.

I’ve been an admirer of Wendell Berry for over twenty years now—but, weirdly, I’ve only ever read his essays and poetry. I finally picked up one of his novels, Jayber Crow, and it’s being narrated in my head in Uncle Wendell’s mournful baritone. It’s a lovely experience.

The number of books I’ve read has dropped over the last couple of years because I no longer have a commute during which I can listen to audiobooks. And given the choice of working from home and reading fewer books or working in the office and listening to more audiobooks–that choice is trivially easy for me.

One consequence of this, however, is that I’ve read nearly zero fiction since COVID. Audiobooks were always the way I read fiction; I found that the format was perfect for fiction, less so for nonfiction. So I’ve been feeling the itch to get back to some fiction this winter. I’ve been accumulating a list of possibilities and I’m open to any suggestions:

Finished reading When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection by Gabor Maté. Fewer case studies and biological details would have made this a perfect book for me—but I realize that’s a weird thing to ask of such a book. Nevertheless, extremely important ideas here.

Finished reading Owning Your Own Shadow by Robert A. Johnson. Great, short introduction to the subject by a Jungian analyst. It’s an important idea, despite its popularity among young people who have not lived long enough to have developed much of a shadow. 😉

Currently reading Gabor Maté’s book When the Body Says No: Exploring The Stress-Disease Connection. Wonderful book. I’m going to have to make some changes, based on this.