I am telling you, I feel like I just wrote April’s Monthly Miscellany. They say time goes faster as you get older, and judging by how fast it’s going now, by the time I’m sixty I’ll be living in an utter blur. Or maybe it’s more like a parabola, where the speed of time peaks when you’re, say, forty, and then starts to slow down again? It’ll still be light speed when I’m forty, though, if this pace keeps up.
ANYWAY, May. *wriggles with happiness at the alliteration in the title* Let’s jump into it!
I read a bit more this month than I did in April, so that felt good. I spent much of the month plugging away at Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton—but I haven’t finished it yet, so I can’t list it. More on that book once I’m done with it, however.
Here’s what I did complete:
Frankenstein / Mary Shelley
Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle / N. D. Wilson
The Jewish War (selections) / Josephus
A.D. 30 / Ted Dekker
Immanuel’s Veins / Ted Dekker
To the Lighthouse / Virginia Woolf
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict / Trenton Lee Stewart
Meditations / Marcus Aurelius
The Chosen / Chaim Potok
The Apostolic Fathers (selections) / trans. by Lightfoot and Harmer
favorites: I totally loved The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict. I love Stewart’s writing style, and his portrayal of young Nicholas Benedict was simultaneously endearing and awe-inspiring. The dude is a mini Sherlock, guys. The best part about it were the themes and lessons Nicholas learned about family, friendship, adults, and selflessness. I heartily reccommend this book.
Then there’s The Chosen. Wow. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. This novel is a true masterpiece, a classic. It’s about two boys who belong to very different Jewish sects in New York City during World War II and their relationships with their fathers. It’s about forgiveness and friendship, silence and speech, the differences between people’s beliefs and decisions yet their common humanity, pain and compassion. It’ll move you to tears and leave a lasting impression. Read it.
not-so favorites: I was pretty disappointed with Ted Dekker’s stuff. I really like most of his other stuff, and while these had me flipping pages madly in typical Dekker-induced fashion, they left me a little empty. A.D. 30 was actually pretty good—I loved the unique settings and take on a Biblical historical fiction. Immanuel’s Veins, however, was quite disappointing, and I disagree with how he handled many of the themes.
I’m sure you all know what I’m going to say here: NaPoWriMo! Two more poems left (because I didn’t do one yesterday and have to make up for it today *guilty coughing*), and I’ll have won it. As always, I truly enjoyed it, and the comments and likes from you guys kept me going. Thank you all so, so much for your encouragement and for just reading my
sometimes lengthy and rambly poems. It means the world to me.
I’d like to shoutout to those who joined me in my May NaPoing: Light and Shadows, Highlands of Halaran, and Song Beyond Silence. It was incredibly encouraging not to feel alone in this. Go check out their poetry because it’s pure loveliness.
In case you missed them, here are the links to my poetry posts, in which I share the best of each week:
I realized something about my music tastes this month: While I have quite the eclectic array of favorite bands and artists, and while each one suits a different mood, there is one I always turn to when I need healing and comfort, when I need to get my priorities straight again. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this one artist ministers to me and blesses me on a different, deeper level than any other music I listen to. That person is Andrew Peterson. For some reason it just hit me a week or two ago how uniquely his music touches me. I’m so grateful to him for using his talents to shine such light and to God for giving people like him to the world.
Here’s one of my favorites of his that I’ve been listening to recently:
I also rediscovered Greek Fire’s “If this is the end (the sound of belief)”:
And I just realized how different the styles of those songs are. Yay for diversity.
FINALS. I finish my last one today, which calls for a hobbit-worthy party and Gandalf’s fireworks and several late nights adventuring in my mist cloak. (Speaking of which, I really want to make a Soulcaster from Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series. #randomfact)
SAT SUBJECT TESTS. Ughughugh. I didn’t really prepare for them until the week before the test because I thought a) there weren’t prep materials and b) I didn’t need to; the tests would be easy. Then I took a practice test and began to panic. And realized that there are prep materials, which I bought three days before the test. After a week of stressing, crying, praying, and madly prepping, God helped the actual test day go really well, and I feel confident about how I did.
*mad cackling because I love this part*
N. D. Wilson’s Outlaws of Time had some great ones, like this:
“But every hero needs to be part nightmare. Moses turned a river to blood and called down the Angel of Death. Samson tore a lion open with his bare hands and killed hundreds with a donkey bone. When the world was young, my father Naayéé’ Neizghání bound lightning to an arrow and crawled deep into the dark caves below our feet to kill the Horned Monster alone. He was the greater nightmare. If your will is stronger than the snake’s, if you master her, then she will no longer be wicked. But she will still be deadly. And the wicked will learn fear. If you are fire, you need not fear the dark.”
Every hero needs to be part nightmare. He was the greater nightmare. What an interesting idea. I’d never thought of it that way before.
And from The Chosen on silence:
“You can listen to silence, Reuven. I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own. It talks to me sometimes. I feel myself alive in it. It talks. And I can hear it.”