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  • ruthafarmer

What I'm Reading Now

In the past year or so, I've begun reading again, by choice. As a faculty member, I read all the time, but mostly things that I am required to read: textbooks, student writing, emails, etc. Last year, I joined Goodreads Reading challenge and read 66 books. This year, my goal is 70.

Reading forces me to sit in one spot and focus on one thing. Believe me, I've actually tried to watch Netflix and read a book; it doesn't work. Before joining last year's reading challenge, I'd begun to realize that I couldn't focus on a book for very long. My eyes would be looking at the symbols on the page but I wasn't actually immersed in the text. Even though folks choose audiobooks because they can multitask, I don't find that to be true. Either I'm listening to the book or I'm cleaning the kitchen. Doing both at the same time means I'm not attending fully to either.

Once I began to sit (or lie) down and read, I realized how antsy I was. Surely I should be doing something other than sitting here reading a book ... for pleasure!

Now I read books for pleasure. And I like it.

My multitasking energy is satisfied by having more than one book on deck. I read a chapter from each. If I'm really enjoying the book, I'll focus on it exclusively. Some books are meant to savor in bits.

Here is what I'm reading now:

Being Here: Images in words by Lily Hinrichsen, a Vermont-based poet and visual artist. Lovely imagistic poems

Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole by Susan Cain. Like her book Quiet, Bittersweet challenges accepted notions of how we should behave.

Blood & Roses: Ancestral Healing for White Christian America by Jess Barrett. A truly engaging book about the role(s) of Christianity. I only stopped reading it because I had to get stuff done.

Craeft: An Inquiry into the Origins and True Meaning of Traditional Crafts by Alexander Langlands: One of the books in this year's Rokeby Book Discussions, I'm more interested in how Langlands finds the time to do as much as he claims to do (researching and building and ...). Inspiring and irritating at the same time.

How Time Moves: New and Selected Poems by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg. I started reading this book some time ago when I was in a different frame of mind. Today, I randomly opened the book and landed on the title poem, "How Time Moves." It took my breath away. So I read some more and became mesmerized by Caryn's words and her exquisite craft. Caryn was Poet Laureate of Kansas 2009-2012, a well-deserved honor.

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