Quick Lit: 2016 so far

I haven’t written a Quick Lit post in a while. Here are the books I’ve read this year in chronological order:

9780770436438The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra // A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Marra’s debut novel set in wartime Chechnya, was probably my favorite nursing-in-the-middle-of-the-night novel. Like that book, Tsar is a series of stories set across time in the Soviet Union and Russia and the characters’ lives end up being improbably intertwined. These stories were riveting, but I thought the collection ended on a clunky note philosophically, if not plot-wise.

The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams by Philip Zaleski // I’m a sucker for all things Inklings and I enjoyed this hefty biography immensely. C.S. Lewis dominates the narrative, but Tolkien was my far-and-away favorite of the bunch. Family man, faithful Catholic, inveterate nerd: Tolkien was great. It makes me want to re-read Lord of the Rings. (If you’re interested in re-reading it, check out my friend Michael’s LOTR-themed Lenten reflections.)

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4 Ways Being a Grad Student Wife Rules (and 3 ways it doesn’t)

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We’re in a unique period of our lives right now. Chris is finishing his Master’s degree and he’s in the middle of PhD application/interview season. Next year is still an unknown for our family. Things seem to be going pretty well on the application front, but it ain’t over till it’s over. So, in the midst of the stress and peppered with old pictures of Christopher, here are some things I love about being a grad school wife (and things I don’t like as much): Continue reading

Ash Wednesday Meditation

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There’s something remarkable about watching your toddler be told to Remember he is dust. Our amusement at his confusion as to why Father is rubbing dirt on everyone’s forehead is interrupted by the jarring fact of his particular mortality.

He is not actually mine.

No, he is God’s; formed from me, yes, but created beyond me, with me. We are both dust and to dust we shall return. It makes my own mortality suddenly more desirable, that I might return to dust instead of the little buddy who later (and after every Mass) runs down the aisle shouting with the simple joy of running.

But then, before I’m allowed to get too morbid, we receive the medicine for immortality. You are dust, but this is His body, broken for you. The bread of life, antidote to this body of death.

Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the lamb.