Sunday, February 15, 2009

Second Love

Many of you do not know that my second love is reading (all things knitting being my first of course). In the past few weeks I've had a crazy influx of reading material. I haven't read this much since college, and that was mostly textbooks. I'm trilled because most of what I'm reading is really good stuff. So good, I thought I'd share a little of my second love with you.
I just finished the book Knitting for Good.
Betsy Greer did an awesome job of explaining craftivism-the act of combining craft with activism. I have always thought of my knitting as a way to reach others while making a statement about my beliefs so it was nice to read how crafting really is universally good, both for maker and receiver. I feel like my generation is a generation of change, be it large movements or small, we aren't sitting around on our hunches letting people control us. Certainly not without a really good explanation for their actions. Betsy is of that same era and just further proves to me that we are doing what we can to change the world, and crafting can be one of those ways. I suggest this for anyone who likes to craft, is outraged by the injustices in the world, and wondering how they can help. You can also check out her webpage at

I'm currently enrolled in a book study for the book Real Sex (subtitled: the naked truth about chastity).
This is a religious view on sex. So far I've only read one chapter but it really draws you in. Lauren Winner is great about being unapologetic about her past and her issues with Christianity. The problem, as she sees it (and so do I), is that we are told not to have sex until marriage but we aren't given much guidance beyond that. I'm excited to see where she goes with this topic.

During my quiet time in the morning I had started reading The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning.
It's a look at God's grace in a revolutionary way, especially for people who think religion is about rules and regulations. Manning presents a radical truth that religion is about a relationship. If you are someone on the outside looking into Christianity this is an excellent book. Honestly, I probably won't finish it. I'm not saying that this book doesn't have things I don't need to hear, or that I'm some sort of super Christian who doesn't ever screw up, far from that. I just think there are other things I need to study now.

Before I started The Ragamuffin Gospel I was reading Crossroads: Navigating Your Calling and Career by Colin Creel.
Colin came and spoke at my church about a month ago and I picked up a signed copy of his book afterwards. It was a wonderful, quick read (I could read a chapter a day in less than 30 minutes) and it made me really think about the direction my career and life is going in. It was nice to find that God actually gifts some people with a restless spirit and that there are many people who have 3-5 careers in their life. I will be interested to see how this book continues to affect my life because I see it as one that I may reread in the future and hear something totally different from the pages.

My next pleasure reading will more than likely be Knitting for Peace.
Another take on the craftivism movement. From first glance this book seems to contain an extensive list of charities to knit for and a glance at their history and function. Like Knitting for Good it also has patterns you can use to create items to donate. Very interested to start one since charity knitting is such a big part of my craft.

Another book I may begin reading soon is The Book Thief.
This was given to me by a friend who comes to the Wednesday night knitting group. She's in a book club so I'm sure that she'll be providing me with good and interesting reads for awhile. This on is told from Satan's point of view and tells the story of a girl who steals books during the Holocaust. I can't wait to see how this plays out.

Also up soon is Sin Boldly by Cathleen Falsani.
Cathleen takes a raw look at Christianity and grace (much like Real Sex takes a raw look at Christianity and sex) and puts it into a "real persons" view. I like books that are from "real people"-you know, the ones who have sins and have issues and tell it like it is. It makes the book so much more easy to relate to. Anyways, I haven't started it but it came with a good recommendation.

Looking through these I realize that a lot of the titles are from a religious perspective but I think it's great to have real literature on Christianity. I would recommend these to anybody, not just people I go to church with. I also realize that I read a lot and have a lot more to read. That's kind of exciting for me because it's been awhile since I feel like I've found books I'm really geeked up to read.

Next time there should be some knitting related content and possibly an appearance by the missing yarn I alerted everyone to few weeks ago.


velmalikevelvet said...

Hey, way to get on the book bandwagon, with a vengeance! Are you gonna try for the 30 in '09 challenge? I'm a little behind. :( But my usual rate is about that, in the years that I've kept track. Enjoy your reading, & thx for the comments on my yarn. Glad their names tickled you.

Mirawyn said...

Thanks for the book write-ups! I'm in a book challenge (100+ in 2009), so finding more good books is, well, good! I'm really interested in Ragamuffin Gospel, Book Thief, and Crossroads. Knitting for Good sounds like a must-read, too.

Kate_knits_a_bit said...

I read The Book Thief over the holidays (Marcus Zusak is fabulous, and really cute too), and found it a great book. Although it is narrated by Death, not Satan (at least the Australian edition is) - have you got into it yet?