My Five Favourite Audiobooks for Christians About Rest or Ritual
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It’s Yarn Along Wednesday where I share what I’m knitting and what I’m reading.
Last week I knit maybe two rows on my cardigan. Maybe.
I’m at a confusing spot in the pattern with short rows and button holes and I’m supposed to be tracking my rows and my “surely I can just wing it without counting, even if it didn’t work last time” approach doesn’t seem to be panning out. I need to actually sit down and concentrate on what I’m doing.
So yes, here’s a picture of my sweater looking pretty much like it did last week. I’m using two balls for yarn and alternating them as I go because the yarn is hand-dyed and there is a lot of variation. For non-knitters: because this yarn is dyed by hand, the colour can actually differ from one skein to the next. If you aren’t careful to alternate the skeins, allowing the different colours to blend visually, you might end up with a sleeve that doesn’t match the rest of the sweater. I hate alternating skeins — I don’t know why I insist on hand-dyed yarn.
Oh yeah. The gorgeousness.
I love this yarn — it’s just so pretty to look at, and the moss stitch really makes it glow. Oh man, I can’t wait for this to be finished. Which at this rate, should be sometime in 2047.
In a desperate attempt to have something better to post today, I started another Three Turn Cowl, like the one I made for my sister-in-law at Christmas. I guess a blog link up date just doesn’t have quite the same pressure as a Christmas present for the person you see twice a year, so I haven’t even got halfway through. It is going quickly though — it’s just that I haven’t been sitting down much to knit.
As for books, I’ve pretty much abandoned everything in favour of Little Women, which I’m reading on my phone and kindle. I am enjoying this book so much, but I’m also ready to be done. Mostly because this one showed up in the mail today.
See how I snuck my cowl in that shot? It will be nice, right?
I LOVE ebooks because they can be read anywhere — on my phone, my ipad, my kindle, and even my computer if I’m desperate. I do the vast majority of my reading on my phone in the dark at nap times and bedtimes, and at those times, I cannot sing the praises of ebooks enough.
I also love that I can download sample chapters. I love that ebooks take up less room in my house. I love that ebooks can’t be lost, ripped, or dropped in the bathtub. I mean, sure I could drop my kindle in the bathtub, but the books themselves would be okay even if my eReader doesn’t survive. And I wouldn’t even cry, because I want to upgrade to a backlit kindle (see note on reading in the dark).
On the other hand, ebooks … they just aren’t the same. How do you explain the joy of a good paper book in your hands? Do I even need to explain it? You’re reading a post about the books I’m reading — clearly you’re a fellow book lover too.
I have become such a fan of audiobooks, because I have so much less time than I used to to just sit down and read. I’d blame my three kids but it’s probably more due to time wasted on Facebook and Twitter.
I listen to audiobooks all the time. I listen to them when I’m cooking dinner, or driving my kids around, or even knitting.
Especially while knitting.
I’ve tried three or four different audiobook services over the last couple years and I’ve found that Amazon’s Audible has the best selection for the type of books that I like to read. I love that if you have a monthly subscription, you can exchange a book if you don’t like it. And I’ve done that several times.
Okay, I’m actually embarrassed by how many times I’ve gone and exchanged my books. I even contacted customer service a couple months ago to make sure that I haven’t angered the Amazon gods with my exchanges. Thankfully they told me I was still in good standing, which is great because I don’t even know what you would go about sacrificing to them. Besides my credit card. Which I’ve already done.
Right now I’m listening to the Book of Common Prayer: a Biography by Alan Jacobs. I stumbled across this book at the library. It’s absolutely fascinating. The author writes about how the Book of Common Prayer was created by the Church of England, how it was changed as different kings and queens came and went, each exerting their political and religious influence, and how the prayer books was received in other countries as England spread its power around the world.
Okay, I hear you: possibly not that interesting. But I love the book because a) I’m fascinated with prayer books, and I love to both read them and about them, and b) we’re covering the same time period in Story of the World for River’s history lessons and it’s fun reading the very same stories with totally different focuses. Oh, and I guess c) I’m a nerd.
Given that a biography of a book might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I thought I’d list some of the other audiobooks that I’ve enjoyed. They’re all Christian non-fiction, which I didn’t realize until I read through my first draft of this post. In fact, are they ALL about rest or the rituals of the church? Hmmm… not Finding God in the Waves and not Misreading Scripture through Western Eyes. Okay, I’ll have to give them their own post another week. And we’ll all agree to ignore those two books in the top photo until I have another day with sunlight and I can pull out the camera. 😉
My Five Favourite Audiobooks for Christians Seeking Rest and Ritual
1) An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest by Alan Fadling
I loved this book. Fadling shows how Jesus values a slow life, which we can see in both his own actions and in his stories. Think of the Good Samaritan: who was the one that helped the man beat up and left for dead? The Samaritan, of course; the religious leaders walked right by him because they had other things to attend to. Is the point that the religious leaders lacked love? Or it the point that they were simply too busy to allow themselves to be moved by the man’s troubles?
2) Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity by Keri Wyatt Kent.
This is another book about unhurried living, with a focus on making the Sabbath a priority and what that would look like for us. It inspired me to look at my Sundays (and it could be any day, really) and find ways to make it a different day for the rest of the week. I really need to listen to the book again and then do a full post for you on the ways my “day off” has made my life better.
3) Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans
I actually wasn’t planning to buy this book, but I unexpectedly ended up with an audiobook copy – and it turned out to be my favourite of all of Evans’ books. I don’t even know how to describe it: it’s not so much a story, but reflections about the church, organized around the sacraments. I think that my own new interest in the sacraments made this book all the better for me. Geez, I suddenly want to read it again (as soon as I finish Little Women, The Divine Dance, Gilead, and Liturgy of the Ordinary).
4) Teaching from Rest: a Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakeable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie
You might know Sarah Mackenzie’s name from her popular podcast The Read-Aloud Revival. The book Teaching from Rest has spread like wildfire in the homeschooling community. I’m so glad — every homeschooling parent will enjoy the perspective that she brings to our hectic homeschooling lives. TWO of my homeschooling groups are working through this book together right now because it’s so good. I’m not one to highlight my books (I bought a paperback before the audiobook), but I could not resist because this book is filled with so much insight — and then I had to stop because I realized that I was highlighting more than I was leaving blank.This quote from C.S. Lewis on page 9 and her reflection around it made the price of the book worth it for me:
The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s “own.” or “real” life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day; what one calls one’s “real life” is a phantom of one’s own imagination.
5) Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner
The last audiobook that I finished is Mudhouse Sabbath. I already own the book (maybe as an ebook?), but I grabbed the audiobook version last week because it’s on at a great price as of right now (January 18, 2017): only $3.49 (US, I think).Winner is an Episcopalean who used to be Jewish, and in Mudhouse Sabbath she compares and contrasts the rituals of the two faiths, with a lot of explanation of the Jewish culture. It’s just so interesting. Girl Meets God is another one of her books that I loved — it talks about the spiritual journey she took while converting from one to the other.
There are a few more audiobooks that I have absolutely loved, but I’ll leave them for another post. I think there are a couple that I must be forgetting too, probably because I borrowed them from my library instead of buying through Audible and they aren’t in my listening history. Or maybe from the free audiobook site Libravox, though Libravox tends to be classic literature only. It’s all read by volunteers, so the quality can be hit or miss. But free, right?
If you’re a fan of free, sign up for an Audible trial. Audible will give you any two books that you want. You have 30 days to try the service out and you get to keep those two books, even if you cancel your subscription.
And that’s how they sucked me in.
What about you — have you been sucked into the world of audiobooks, or are you committed to your paperbacks?