After proofing and reading our latest issue, a few of us have been indulging in some extra pages. Here’s what the team has been reading in the off-hours:
Since “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” is about cremation and burial, you might think I’m actively looking for horror thrills. But your early career can feel like discovering one whole new world after another and Caitlin Doughty’s account of when she was a mortuary rookie feels exactly like this, yet strangely familiar.
Her humor is sobering and relatable as she explains how foreign our relationship with death itself can be in the West. Walking with her on the job brings up questions of what is intimate, sacred, untouchable and what is grieving and what is living. Sometimes I couldn’t feel my hands while holding this book.
On a bus ride from Milan to Strasbourg, for a job he doesn’t like and with co-workers he doesn’t respect, “Europa” is the fictional personal commentary of narrator Jerry Marlow as his lover abandons him, his marriage falls apart and the relationship with his daughter does the same. It might sound depressing, but author Tim Parks weaves a humorous, sarcastic thread throughout the novel that offers a slice of (realistic) European life refreshingly different from dreamy travel guides and come-of-age Grand Tours.
I love this book, “Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off The Beaten Path.” It’s about contentment, renewing priorities and refreshing perspective. This book encourages readers to slow down and focus on the journey that matters the most: the journey of grace.
Some good quotes:
“I used to think the opposite of control was chaos. But it’s not. The opposite of control is surrender.”
“We are doing ourselves no favors when we look to the crowd to tell us where we are.”
“Sometimes when we’re not looking for what we want, we find what we need.”
I first read ‘The Secret Lives of People in Love,” a collection of short stories by Simon Van Booy, over ten years ago and loved it. I recently returned to this book, curious if the little vignettes that so moved me then would still have the same effect and I wasn’t disappointed. Booy’s glimpses into the moments that depict loves lost, regained and remembered are both romantic and searing. It’s a perfect book to tuck into your bag for summer — each story can be read while waiting for a friend who’s late, or on that final bus commute.
What are you currently reading?
Featured Image by Beth Cath