I’ve read 3 more nonfiction books since last month’s quick lit update, and I’m about halfway through another one. My first 5-star read of the year was not nonfiction, but I’ll mention it at the end of the post anyway. I so rarely give anything 5 stars on Goodreads that I have to document the occasion on my blog.
Dreadnought by Robert K. Massie is a classic history of the naval arms race between Britain and Germany during the years leading up to World War I. For years, my eyes would catch on the spine of this book whenever I looked for my next read on our shelves, but I was never sure I was up for 1000 pages of naval history. Massie doesn’t actually spend 1000 pages on naval history though, and his lively mini-biographies of key figures and anecdotes shared from their correspondence made this a relatively quick read for me.
The Circle of Seasons by Kimberlee Conway Ireton is a short book recommended in Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson. It’s an introduction to liturgical time or the church calendar. As a Christian who has never been part of a church that focuses on
a liturgical tradition, I enjoyed this brief guide.
Desiring the Kingdom by James K. A. Smith was a more challenging and denser read than I expected. When I was in the middle of it, I found out that he’s written a newer book, You are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, that revisits what he wrote in this book and the two other books in the Cultural Liturgies trilogy. It’s possible that book would be a better fit for me. I did enjoy this book though once I got into the academic writing about liturgical worship and pedagogy.
The Narnian by Alan Jacobs is the nonfiction I’m currently reading, and it’s a mix of a biography of C. S. Lewis with a literary analysis of imagination and enchantment in his works. I’m torn between rushing through it because it’s so interesting and wanting to slow down so I can savor the reading and the thinking that comes with it.
Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield is the fiction I mentioned at the beginning of the post. It’s folklore and storytelling shared in a slightly magical, mysterious atmosphere. I immediately went back and reread sections I’d highlighted once I finished the book, and then I read some of those out loud to my husband. This is a new favorite and my first 5-star read of the year.