Monday, March 28, 2011

the patron saint of liars

It was bound to happen some time or another during this year of reading regularly: I read a book that I didn’t love. This is not to say I hated the book; on the contrary, I was more than happy to read it and intrigued by the plot. Plus I had the leisure to work through it pool and beachside, which can never hurt! But when everything was said and done, I wasn’t happy with the decisions the characters made and the ways they lived out their lives. They did everything in a way that seemed that everything was already pre-prescribed, like their moves had already been made. Instead of making active decisions, each decision seemed the inevitable result of their personality and character flaws. 
I guess what bothered me so much about this - why I was so unhappy with the characters and unenthused at the end of the book - was that they didn’t live like they were meant to live. And nothing irks me more than living without passion, without reason and without a desire to do better and to be better. I could go on for hours about the importance of living actively and presently, but I’ll leave it at that and save my rant for another day! Anyways, nothing wrong with the book or author, because she’s written some awesome stuff (check out Bel Canto or Truth and Beauty, also by Ann Patchett), but The Patron Saint of Liars was just not my cup of tea. And that’s okay, not every story is for everyone. 
This next week I’ll be reading Scouting the Divine: My Search for God in Wine, Wool, and Honey by Margaret Feinberg, which sounds awesome. Here’s an excerpt from the back cover to give you an idea what it’s about: 
“What does it mean to know Jesus as the Good Shepherd when the only places I’ve encountered sheep are at petting zoos? How can I understand the promise of a land overflowing with honey when I buy mine in a bear-shaped bottle? Is it possible to grasp the urgency of Jesus’ invitation to abide in the vine when I shop for grapes at a local grocery store?”
I’m intrigued, and I’ll be excited to tell you all what she discovered. I’m hoping, too, that it will give me a bit of perspective in a week destined for quite a lot of craziness!

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