My summer entertainment reading is always mystery novels which I’ve loved since meeting the Hardy Boys in 4th grade. Recently I’ve appreciated stories set in a different time period than my own, especially the early 20th century. Watching Downton Abbey made me realize how little I know about those years. Learning some history is more fun in the context of figuring out whodunit. I’m glad for the novels of Barbara Cleverly, Jacqueline Winspear, and Susan E. MacNeal, and I love love love the work of Laurie R. King.
I’m re-reading the poetry of David Whyte for my spiritual journey. Poets spark my imagination and inspire me to reconsider how I see myself or the world or God. I’m sorry our scientific culture usually considers poetry to be only “prettified language,” because anyone who doesn’t read Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver, Rilke, Rumi, William Stafford, Denise Levertov, and David Whyte among many others is missing a wealth of insight and possibility. Last summer I re-read Rumi. This summer is Whyte (“You must learn one thing. The world was made to be free in”). Those interested in turning or returning to poetry might try Roger Housden’s 10 Poems series (10 Poems to Set You Free; 10 Poems to Open Your Heart, etc.). Prepare to be moved!