I’m just gonna come right out and admit that reading this past month was just plain hard. May was filled with yet more doctor’s appointments and still more medical tests galore that quite frankly brought on a lot of anxiety. Reading and anxiety go together about like oil and water. By mid-month, I was purposely pulling books off the shelf that were short and easy reading.
Here’s what I read in May:
Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life– by Emily Freeman
This book has been on my to-read list for a very long time. I think I first heard about this book on Ann Voskamp’s blog, A Holy Experience. And then I started seeing reviews of it on other blogs. So when I came across a like-new copy of it in Goodwill (I swear it looked like it had never been opened), I snatched it up. I don’t know why, but it was S-L-O-W reading at first and I had a hard time getting into this book. It wasn’t the book’s content or the author. I was just having a hard time concentrating and kept having to go back and reread paragraphs. I almost gave up on it but stuck with it. So while it took me a while to get through it, I actually ended up liking the book. I love the author’s blog, Chatting at the Sky.
Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit– by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Aubery and Nancy Mitchell
I’m such a sucker for the Chicken Soup books. This was another Goodwill find (sometimes I hit the jackpot at Goodwill) and also a like-new copy. There were some really sweet inspirational stories in it (some that even made me tear up). Overall I enjoyed the stories, although a few were a little over-the-top and unbelievable (for me anyway). At times I felt like the book should be called Chicken Soup for the Christmas Soul because a whole lot of the stories took place at Christmas or centered around Christmas time.
Return From Tomorrow– by George G. Ritchie with Elizabeth Sherill
When I was about 1/3 of the way through this book and thinking it all sounded so familiar, I realized I had read this book back in the 70s when I was a teenager. I found it on my bookshelf and didn’t remember where it came from and since it had my mother’s signature with a check mark in the front inside cover (she always signed her name and put a check mark in a book when she finished it), I decided I probably had found it on one of my mother’s bookshelves when my sisters and I were cleaning out her house after her death. Then I finally remembered that my uncle sent me the book soon after my high school graduation and told me I should read it. So I did and probably passed it on to my mother.
It’s a near-death-experience book (yes, I like to read NDE books). At the age of twenty, the author died in an army hospital. Nine minutes later he returned to life. During that nine minutes, George Ritchie said he encountered Jesus and was given a glimpse of heaven. It changed the way he lived his life and made him realize what’s important in life. This is a very short book (perhaps too short?) and an easy read but it left me with a lot more questions than it did answers.
Embraced by the Light– by Betty J. Eadie
Yes, this is another NDE book and probably one of the most controversial. I’ve read it a few times. This book has been referred to as “The Most Profound and Complete Near-Death Experience Ever.” On the night of November 19, 1973, following her hysterectomy surgery, Betty Eadie died. She tells the story of how she went to heaven and met Jesus. After quite an extensive “tour” and revelations, she is told that her death was premature and she must return to earth. Her descriptions are very, very detailed.
I find NDE books very interesting and I like to read them but I read them with a very open mind. I’ll admit, that sometimes I’m a little skeptical. One big criticism of this book is that it is not well-written but others defend Betty Eadie by saying she is not a writer and didn’t set out to be a published author, that she was just trying to relate her near-death experience. I questioned why it took her so long (19 years I think) to write about her experience. But she does say that it was very hard to talk about after it happened and in fact she didn’t want to discuss it, even with her family at first, because the whole experience was so sacred and she felt that talking about it diluted it. Her basic message from her NDE is that we are to love one another.
What about you? Did you read anything interesting in May? Please feel free to share in the comment section if you so desire. I love to hear what other people are reading.