I am reading three different books, all very dissimilar from each other. I tend to peruse more than one book at a time, each serving a different purpose. I follow an online book club, but am woefully behind on my pages because of this habit. All in due time, I suppose!
The first is the much-acclaimed, frightening, and engaging The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. It’s currently a new Hulu series and is receiving a lot of buzz. The story is told from the perspective of Offred, a Handmaid in the dystopian Republic of Gilead. In the novel, the Constitution is illegal, women are stripped of all independence and freedom, and a severe caste system is enforced.
Offred, like many other women in the Republic, is valued only for her ovaries. She is shuttled from one house to the next, with the sole purpose of giving birth to children that will never be hers. She is a vessel that can be used, replaced, and discarded. Her own husband and child were ripped from her, and she is utterly without hope (at least where my bookmark is nestled).
The novel tackles religious abuse, separation of church and state, women’s rights, and other political and societal issues. The book is brutal and often painful to read, so it may not suit everyone. It is eerily timely, even though it was written over thirty years ago.
The second book is a morning devotional, Jesus Calling: Experience Hope Through His Presence, by Sarah Young. Its daily readings are short, which is perfect for time-crunched mornings. The readings are written like letters from God to His individual children, which I love. Apart from Streams in the Desert, I have struggled to find a morning devotional that suited me. This one is filled with encouragement and insight, and has helped me turn to God during a very hopeless season in my life.
The third and final book is actually a twelve-week course entitled The Complete Artist’s Way: Creativity as a Spiritual Practise, by Julia Cameron. As I have previously mentioned, I have been going through a very dry, hopeless, and (seemingly) fruitless season. This course is reviving my spirit and enabling me to view creativity in ways I never have before. It is giving me courage to simply make things because I enjoy it, to pursue a creative life because I want my life to be as vibrant, adventurous, and creative as possible. I highly recommend this course, and if any of you would like to join me, I would love to have you!
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss