For once, last week, I decided to browse through the "grown up" library books. As Gabriel and Peter zoomed around me pushing the step stools like lawnmowers in front of themselves and peeking at one another through the shelves, I remembered why I haven't attempted to to this for a long time. In any case, glancing through all the great books that there are out there made me realize that I am in need of an incentive to read good books. I am more and more convinced that I will only be authentic in my encouragement of my children's reading if I can continue to feed my own mind and heart with rich literature. (Not to mention the fact that the former lit major in me is itching to read something other than parenting books!)
With summer stretching before us, I thought we might take up a book together. On our adventure through the library shelves, I managed to snag Kristin Lavrensdatter by Sigrid Undset, a Norwegian author who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928. It depicts "the clash between fuedal violence and Christian piety, traditional imperatives and the individual conscience" as it describes the life of a young woman in fourteenth-century Norway. It's long, but so far it's been a very fast read, and comes highly recommended to me by trusted sources.
I will post (and invite comments/discussion) on Part I on June 1, Part II on June 22, and Part III on July 13. And if locals are enthusiastic about this we might even have an in person book discussion at the end, but we'll see how things are going in July. I've been reading the newer translation by Tina Nunnaly (which has interesting historical footnotes in addition to more accessible language for the modern reader).
I found these interesting thoughts regarding the novel on a blog called "Why I am Catholic," in case you need a couple compelling reasons to give the book a shot.
Are you--or anyone else you care to invite--up for joining me? Drop me a line and let me know.