Read any good books lately?
This page carries book reviews relating to what Journeying is all about. It will be added to from time to time.
Massive Power, Massive Love - Karl Ayling
This is a super little book. A collection of autobiographical poems that together tell the story of one man’s journey through life. Karl grew up a fighter, living on the darker side of South London until the age of 41 when Jesus found him broken, dishevelled and suicidal. But He didn’t leave him there…
Karl has a lovely way with words – uncomplicated, full of meaning, spoken from the heart.
Written with in an intimate, familiar style, each poem tells its own story, together making a wonderful collection of very readable poems.
The Shack - W Paul Young
A controversial book in some quarters because it offers an alternative view of the Trinity, but told in a 'real-life' narrative style which holds one's attention from start to finish. If you are prepared to be challenged and to be encouraged to think in different ways about your perception of God, then do read this book. You don't have to agree with it, but we are the poorer if we never engage with alternative views to some degree or other. Many people have read it several times and find something new on each occasion; others use it in their reading circle or church house-groups. My own copy is heavily marked by pen - and coffee spills.....
Try a little lowliness (memoir of a Cistercian novice) - Paddy Lyons
Gracewing, Leominster, Herefordshire
My house in Tenby is but a mile distance and a short boat crossing from the monastery on Caldey Island where Brother Daniel (Paddy Lyons) tried his vocation to the monastic life back in the sixties… So near, yet so far… for the order on Caldey is Cistercian and much of what happens ‘over the monastery wall’ remains hidden from the casual day visitor. Brother Daniel’s book promised an insight into ‘their’ world… I was not to be disappointed.
Nearing the island for the first time on board the monastery boat, the whole enterprise began to weigh heavily upon Paddy, it felt as though he was being swallowed up… ‘Try a little Lowliness’ traces Paddy’s first year as a novice with mischievous humour, but also great insights into monastic spirituality.
Although eventually returning ‘to the world’ Paddy’s affection for his years on Caldey radiate through the pages of this delightful book… his wife, Elsie maintains that he married her on the rebound from monastic life! I could have read this absorbing tale in one sitting… but I would have to be on an island in the middle of the sea to find that sort of time…
In Celebration of Simplicity : the Joy of Living Simply - Penelope Wilcock
This is a book based on gospel values offering practical help and ideas on ways to encompass a simpler lifestyle. Using short readings from the old & new testaments, psalms, mystics & other sources of wisdom, the author leads the reader to the possibilities & rewards by simply re focussing on our real needs & wants, time management & relationships. The results can be life changing in as many areas as they are allowed to touch on the road to freedom we travel, in placing God at the Centre of all.
101 Cups of Water : relief & refreshment for the tired, thirsty soul - C.D.Baker
The calming & healing power & properties of water is recorded on many occasions throughout the Bible. For those times when one is in need of a spiritual uplift, tired or lonely, but unable to take a walk along a beach or sea shore, stream or river, this book is a valuable resource for imaginative prayer. Using a series of short, thoughtful, gentle reflections & images to find a way around obstacles rather than confronting them, solace for the times when one feels disheartened can be found in 101 different ways in this little book.
Finding hope again- Peter Millar
Canterbury Press 2003
The book is about Peter's journey following the sudden death of his wife Dorothy. It is a book which also embraces different sorts of grief and loss that, as humans, we experience. Poems are included but most of all the book is a journey through grief to hope. [Peter Millar was at one time Warden of Iona Abbey]
An Altar in the world- Barbara Brown Taylor
Canterbury Press 2009
Each chapter begins with 'The Practice of ............'
Waking up to God / Wearing Skin/ Getting lost/ Paying attention/Saying no /Feeling pain and more.
It is about practising the Presence of God HOW you are and WHERE you are - Physically, Spiritually, Mentally and Emotionally. In this book Barbara mentions the 16th-century nun Teresa of Avila, The Desert Fathers, Brother Lawrence and other Religious. It's written in an earthy easy style, not condescending, but practical - and it inspiring.
Making a Pilgrimage - Sally Welch
Lion Spirituality/Travel 2009
This book is the story of the author's own experiences of Pilgrimage. There is an historical overview of reasons for undertaking a pilgrimage and of the real and potential hazards faced in medieval times. Preparation for both the outward and return journeys are important and the reader is invited to consider the personal reasons for the pilgrimage and to travel with openness to possibilities, challenges and changes in oneself, in relationships with others and the created order.
The balance of solitude and companionship in relation to encounters of sharing and caring along the way are sensitively explored.
Following themes of Pilgrimage there are practical thought-provoking quotes, reflections and symbolic exercises for each day - none exhausting or heavy going, and no compass needed!
A chapter on Labyrinth walking offers insights into how this ancient practice can also be viewed as pilgrimage in much the same way as reading this book is an encouragement to take a look at ‘the journey’ so far. (Sally Welch is an Anglican rector in Oxfordshire)
Silence and Honey Cakes - Rowan Williams
Lion 2003 ISBN number 0 7459 5138 4
Although not specifically designed for Lent this book looks at desert Monks and Nuns, exploring what it means to have a truly listening heart and ear with our neighbour, family and the world. As 'Easter people' we surely need to listen to Gods voice more - in ourselves and others as we struggle daily to make sense of the world we live in. This book goes some way to help by looking at a number of topics e.g. living in relationships with others, what the desert has to say about our priorities, the place of silence, the importance of language and how we can begin to create a fearless community, but living within our limitations.