Books 1: Something Old, Something New, Something Downloaded for Free, Something Blue

Ahh… Pleasure Reading At Last!

Having been in graduate school for the last three years means that I am a bit behind in my pleasure reading.  Therefore upon receiving a Kindle for a graduation gift (thank you family and friends), I got right to work catching up.  Of course I went for the free books, which fortunately for me, were the very ones I preferred to read.  Call me a narrow-minded, Western Euro-trash, white, old person, but I love to read the classics.  Since Joe went off of his usual path (history, murder mysteries, politics) and was reading Pride and Prejudice (still not sure how that happened), I decided to begin there so we could talk about the characters together.

When I noticed Blue Like Jazz on the bookshelf of our nephew/cousin’s China apartment (how one can be a nephew AND a cousin requires its own entry), I picked it up, and began reading a chapter or two each day in between appointments, daily write-ups, and jet lag.  My dear friend Connie had showed me the book about 8 years ago, and thought I would enjoy it.  I would have, but somehow I never got around to reading it till this summer.  For those unfamiliar with Donald Miller’s work, this book’s title includes this description:  “Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality.” He had me already.

Never mind that I had mistakenly thought of the title as “Blue Light Jazz”, a reference to my pre-Wal-Mart youth when apparently I spent a little too much time at K-Mart.  To show you how my mind works, I had already created a conceptual framework from this incorrect title.  Blue Light was a reference to the famous K-Mart blue light specials, and Jazz was simply a word used to mean stuff, as in the expression all that jazz. Donald Miller, I speculated, was writing about how Christianity should not be peddled like a K-Mart blue light special.  Actually, I was not far off the mark, as those who have read the book can concur.  Apologies of course to Mr. Miller, who, from my impressions of him in the book, would not be upset, but would probably laugh.  But I digress.

I’ll Take Unlikely Pairings for 500 Please Alex

Reading Pride and Prejudice, and Blue Like Jazz simultaneously may seem to be an odd pairing.  Upon further reflection however, I found the two books to have a similar theme:  authenticity.  Donald Miller, and Elizabeth Bennet both were keen observers of human nature, and introspective thinkers who came to see that their own prejudices shaped their views, and in turn, their behavior in a way that could have allowed them to miss out on some pretty good things. In Mr. Miller’s case it was God, and in Miss Bennet’s case, Mr. Darcy, (and let’s not forget a home in Pemberley).

However the books both got me to thinking about my own prejudices, and how limiting they are.  And no, I am not going to name them all here, but merely admit that I have them.  Well, ok, I will share one; I am prejudiced against people who have tattoos.  There, I said it.  And some of the people I love the most have tattoos, so that is a tough one for me.  One can learn a lot of good stuff from Jane Austen and Donald Miller, especially when you read them at the same time.  What’s next? Possibly  Alexander Dumas’ The Three Muskateers, and Yun & Hattaway’s The Heavenly Man I am thinking.

About allthingslizard

I have done just about everything I have always wanted to do: worked as a campus minister, became a teacher, married a nice man named Joe (36 years now), adopted three wonderful kids and watched them reach adulthood, lived overseas, earned my Ph.D., and recently became an RN. However the only thing I have not yet done is to write about my life's journey, even though I have written a lot of personal poems, mom notes to my kids, academic papers, and thousands of letters. I have a lot to write about because all those things I have done were accomplished on smooth roads with beautiful vistas, as well as on scary, twisted, hurricane alleys. Maybe you will find something here that you can relate to. And yes, I know that a preposition is a terrible thing to end a sentence with.
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2 Responses to Books 1: Something Old, Something New, Something Downloaded for Free, Something Blue

  1. Dee Johnson says:

    Love it Liz!! Nice to connect in this way. I can definitely hear the classwork coming through in the literature comparison. 🙂 My daughter has 3 tattoos. All spiritual. Even our former youth pastor has several. They have tried to explain their thinking to me….not sure I get it…
    Love, Dee Johnson

  2. Thanks Dee. Same here, but once we joked that Joe & I would get tattoos and nose and lip rings to de-coolify them. 🙂
    Now–where should I place my AUTHENTICITY tattoo? I was thinking around my face?

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