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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Books, New Blogs to look at for the New Year!

I suspect it is time I mention some other blogs worth reading and some new books I have been reading during the holidays.
This is a blog I like:

I have been reading a new book about silence. Holidays are wonderful for finding time to read. This book is by Sara Maitland and called A Book of Silence. The first paperback edition is 2010 and it is published by Counterpoint, but the book was originally published in Great Britain in 2008 by Granta Books. I found it on Amazon and was intrigued by this quote from the New York Times Book Review: "I can hardly wait to see what comes next from this marvelous writer, thinker and seeker." Now, this is not the best book that I have read on silence (I am sure my readers know how much I love Into the Silent Land) but this book is different. She is really a gifted writer who wanted to delve deeply into silence and so she goes off to experience it; she lives in a hermitage on an isolated moor in Ireland, she goes for a forty day experience alone in a remote cottage on the Isle of Skye in winter, she tries the Sinai desert as well as the Scottish hills. This is fascinating in itself, but she studies the rich cultural history of silence, too. I was happy to realize that she did much of her reading and studying about silence after analyzing her own experience, her own longing for silence. It is not the kind of book I usually would suggest to someone but I find I am enjoying it. I have only read the first few chapters but here are the Chapter headings: Growing Up in a Noisy World; Forty Days and Forty Nights; The Dark Side; Silence and the Gods; Silent Places; Desert Hermits; The Bliss of Solitude; and Coming Home. I suspect if you are feeling an attraction for silence and solitude at this moment in your life, this book may be helpful. I shall add it to the list on the right of my blog, but this book is not for everyone.
The other book I have been reading is posted now on the right side of this blog. It is The Big Book of Mysticism by McColman, Carl. The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality. Hampton Roads, 2010.and I shall write more on it tomorrow.

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