As a kid, I was a huge bookworm. I read constantly, delighting in everything from the classics to R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps series. I spent my entire childhood with several books at various stages of completion stacked on my nightstand.
Then, I went to college. Reading for pleasure took a back seat, though I did push back in my sophomore year and reread C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia as a protest against the headiness that had taken over all of my reading time. I stayed on through graduate school, the reading load becoming even more impossibly large. I read some books I hated. I didn’t have time to read a lot of books I think I would have liked. And once I finished my assigned reading (if ever I did), the only thing I wanted to do was turn on Netflix.
When I graduated in 2012, I took a break. For about 6 months, I’m not sure I really read anything. Some articles, poetry, maybe parts of a few books. But bookworm Sarah was nowhere to be found. My dad kept asking me, with not a little concern in his voice, what I was reading, and I kept saying–uh, nothing, really.
I did eventually pick up a book again. And slowly, I’ve rediscovered my love of reading. I’ve found new ways to enjoy it–in the hammock on my front porch, in bed while my dog snores in the corner. And having good material has been helpful, which is why I’m writing this blog. I’ve read a lot of great books recently, and I want to share them. So let this be the re-beginning of something I used to do in my old blog–sharing what I’m reading now and sharing what words are giving me joy.
1. Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, by Gregory Boyle
I had heard of Father Greg Boyle’s incredible work with Homeboy Industries, a gang intervention program in Los Angeles, a few years back from a friend who visited. But my interested was rekindled when I heard this interview he did with Krista Tippett of OnBeing. It was utterly lovely, and I immediately ordered his book, Tattoos on the Heart. The day I started it, I got halfway through. Father Boyle (or “G,” as the homies call him) is an incredible human being living out the gospel in a way few people do. This book is hilarious and heartbreaking, and I think everyone should stop and read it right now.
“If there is a fundamental challenge within these stories, it is simply to change our lurking suspicion that some lives matter less than other lives.” — Gregory Boyle