Thursday, May 05, 2016

Listening And Obeying--And The Surprises They Bring

Like my last post, this one's about seeking until you find, especially the times when God says start now, before it's too late. Most seasons don't last forever.


Have you ever read Our Only May Amelia?

Well, don't.

Heh. Okay, go ahead if you want, but while reading my copy yesterday, I was horrified. Purely horrified that this was a children's book and it had won awards.

Yes, it was well-written. I'll give the author that. And much of it was her family's story from the early 1900's. But still, to write a book for children and include lots of cruel people and verbal and physical abuse? An amputation? And many deaths of parents and children by disease and a (grisly) murder of a woman?

Good grief. I'm 57 and I was traumatized.(Rather than donate this yard sale copy to Salvation Army, I instead, tossed it into our recycling bin. "Why spread the trauma?", I asked myself.)

Then to worsen things, I clicked over to Goodreads to see what other readers thought about O.O.M.A. and the reviews were positive. Positive! People wrote (lots of) things like,

"What a treasure! The style is fun."
"A sweet story."
"This story, through it's heartache, always manages to bring me to a happy place."

Eegads. These were written by parents and my thoughts about Today's world became even darker and even sorrier for children.


You know what I'm thankful for? While we lived in Nevada, God nudged me to start collecting the books I'd loved my first 20 (or so) years. I began searching the dusty used bookshop in a tiny house where the desert heat always made my forehead drip. And yard sales, thrift shops and library book sales. Eventually the Internet came along and oh! Amazon, Abebooks and Ebay were this bibliophile's dream-come-true. I asked for Christmas and birthday gift cards and used my 'allowance' at those book places. 

In all our moving these past years, I've weeded-out lots of books, but kept the hundreds I still love. Yes, I said hundreds. :)

Then last week I made a shocking discovery!

Online I plugged my favorite authors' names into our 21-library inter-loan system and guess what? In nearly all cases, I own more of these authors' books than the whole system does! Meaning, I have the best library in our part of New York state.

Okay, okay. The best Books Which Debra Dearly Loves library. Yet still. Wow.

But my library began 28 years ago with an unheard-whisper by God who knew something ahead of time: that libraries were headed in a direction I do not wish to go. And I'm grateful I began my own book-seeking journey when I did before, in some cases, it was too late.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you."  ...Matthew 6:33

"... all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be."...Psalm 139:16


And as with all my posts, this one is not just about what it appears to be about. :)


And you know? God knew exactly how to remove that yucky Our Only May Amelia taste from my mouth. My so-anticipated copy of Susan Branch's Isle of Dreams arrived yesterday afternoon (half-paid for with a gift card, but of course) ...

... and it's one of the most beautiful (and cozy and inspiring) books ever

Perfect. Just perfect, what with its dreamy artwork and photos of her first island home and old-time post cards, quotations, and her descriptions of the months after her shattered marriage. How inspiring to watch Susan become acquainted with herself and etch a whole new, thriving life.

Incredibly highly recommended! One of those books which can be read again and again.

                   "Where there's a will, there's a way."  ... copied



Judy said...

Oh! I am SO glad you like Susan Branch's new book! I am HOPING for gift money to purchase it, as I love OWNING her books.

Have you ever read Ruth Sawyer's book "Maggie Rose - Her Birthday Christmas"? I love this book, and think that you would too! I used to get it from our local library every summer and read it at the beach. Then, after a major remodel, the book was no longer there. Imagine my outrage! After searching for a bit I found it on line, so now I can read it whenever I want to! I never read it as a child, but I love it as an adult.

Despite my best efforts, I have a few grand children who are reluctant readers. I'm HOPING to read this one aloud this summer and hope it will get into a few little hearts. The modern stuff is lacking in soooo many ways. Yes, they contain words strung together to tell a story, but the story just doesn't crawl inside you and settle in.

Terra Hangen said...

Susan Branch is a darling and your perfect antidote to that awful book you mentioned. Please go to Amazon and write your review so others will get the benefit of your insight. I like that your own dear collection of books you love is such a joy for you.

Betsy said...

Now I want to read Susan Branch's book. I'm often disappointed in the books the library has. I tried to get some of my favorite from childhood for our grandchildren's visit but all they seemed to have were vampires, witches, zombies and others of that ilk. Disappointing. How fun to have such an extensive library of your own to peruse whenever you want.

Robin in New Jersey said...

Did you read Susan's other book that starts before her recent one? It is lovely. I can't wait to read Isle of Dreams. I have to borrow them from the library, so I am presently waiting for it to arrive. Do you read her blog?

Anonymous said...

i know what you mean about libraries having less and less of the books you would expect they would have. My sister takes out several books at the library on top of the ones she is going to read. They are old well loved standards but they seem o be having now mostly the newly published "hits' on the library shelves now a days. She likes to make sure the libraries see people do take out the older ones. So she keeps taking out a couple extras each time she is there to hopefully keep them on the shelves longer. Several times she said she asked for an inter library loan of a or adults and were told there were no copies in the whole state's system!! How could that be??
Then too many books are being abridged or being redone to be more 'politically correct" and such and the original content of the book is changed. Like Little women I have seen many copies of. I can see why people are trying to get their favorites now and keep them. Yes many can be gotten from Amazon but for how long and at what cost?
Even the used stores have less of the types of books I used to find easily. Some used stores just throw out all the books donated to them as they do not want the bother. Some libraries will not take books you offer them even for library sales. It is a shame how many books are just thrown in the trash. Can you tell I love reading too? :) One of my favorite ones when I was in 6th grade was The Silver Sword. Sometimes you see it under another title. I will someday remember to write again and mention that name too. It was about 3 children who escaped their home by getting on the roof as their parents were being arrested and taken away by the S.S. Their travels to stay alive in Europe is the story and their meeting up with another boy I believe was called Jan who joined their 'family'. They kept looking for their parents. It brought our social studies lessons from that year home as I saw the war through children my ages eyes. I got it as a selection of the summer Weekly Reader group. The stories you read and love are so different than the tv shows and movies you and your husband like!! :) I like to read the stories you do too. Although I am not into mysteries. Been ages since I commented but I do come hear and read often. Thanks for keeping your blog all these years Debra. Sarah

Debra said...

Thanks, Everyone! It's sad that my local libraries aren't the only ones doing away with dear old books. Why can't they keep the old along with the new, especially when they have room on the shelves as my local library does?

At least the libraries in our system still had plenty of Gladys Taber's books. :)

Judy--I used to have Maggie Rose, but don't know what happened to her. It's a great book!

Robin--I think I'll just read that first book from the library. I know most of it will be special, but that ex-husband of hers just gets on my nerves and I know I won't want to read the parts where she's with him over and over. :)

Sarah--good to hear from you after such a long time!

Thanks, Terra and Betsy, for your congrats about my book collection!

Thanks, Everyone! Blessings, Debra