This week has involved a lot of sitting on the floor and reading while puppies play.  This might, indeed, be my ideal way to read . . . well, aside from laying in a hammock outside a Tuscan villa where the promise of gelato lies just a short walk away.

But read I have this week, in fits and starts and all the ways that words creep into our busy days and change us, like ice cracking open pavement.

I started reading First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen this week, and like all of her books, I’m swooning over the small town she describes, the giftedness of the characters, and the strength, complexity, and very real humanness of her characters.  Each of the women in the central family – the Waverleys – has a bit of a mystical power that is grounded in very practical, traditionally female practices – like the styling of hair or the making of food.  That alone intrigues me, but Allen also writes these women with a richness that helps me think about the women in my life.  Really enjoyable reading, engaging, quick, but deep, too.

I also began Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber, and I’m smitten with her.  While I don’t relate to a great deal of her personal story – I have lived a fairly safe life in comparison – but I do understand her battle with the church of her childhood and her need to make her own way back to faith and religion.  I get that in a very deep way.  A powerful book that challenges the idea of “goodness” as it relates to Christianity. I love it.

My friend Margaret Rozga has just released a new poetry collection, Justice, Freedom, Herbs, and I am sprinkling my days with her language.

All you need is enough green

through the mud of spring


to feel as if

as if you won’t go into the cold

without anything at all.

Plus, I am honored down to the soles of my feet to have the book end with Rozga’s blessing for God’s Whisper Farm, the poem from which the title of the book is drawn. What a beautiful gift.

I’ve also been deepening my knowledge of gardening in prep for spring by reading The Mini Farming Guide to Vegetable Gardening.  I put together my seed list last night, and I’m so excited.  Yay!

Goodness, I love reading.  Don’t you?

What’s been on your reading list this week?