Seraphina Sequel! Station Eleven, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Praying Life

I just got my e-hands on an e-ARC for Shadow Scale, the sequel to Seraphina, and it’s not disappointing. Full review will be posted on the release date.

I joined a book club but missed the first meeting because production widow. I was so bummed, because Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven was a great one for a discussion. I have long been fascinated by depictions of our world with the lights off, but usually they leave me with the megrims and a sense of hopelessness. Now let me be clear–Station Eleven pretty much convinced me that in the case of a pandemic I want to catch the disease and die on a beach holding a pen and a notebook. I do not want to survive. But Mandel does a masterful job at depicting both the horror of decay and the persistence of beauty. I loved that Shakespeare was the answer, and that the actors still needed to run their lines, even after more than a decade on the road.

I heard the leader did a great job facilitating so I’m looking forward to the next one. My first choice is The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber but the other options provided looked good, too. Tangent, speaking of Faber–Under the Skin was my favorite movie of 2014.

The girls and I finished listening to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader during a drive to the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey (great place, we loved it). And it is book THREE not book five and that will always bother me. Book publication order, not chronological order! The powerful moments hold up, of course–Eustace the dragon, Lucy and the magician’s book, and all Reepicheep. But what got me this time was the conclusion, when Aslan tells Lucy and Edmund that they’re not coming back. I probably always just skimmed that part when I read the books as a child, because that’s what you do when you’re 10 and the action is over. But you can’t skim audiobooks, and I had to brush the tears away. It’s not just about leaving Narnia, it’s about the feeling you get when a wonderful book is over. You can’t ever go back and have that same experience again. You have to find it by another name, in another book. And of course it’s the moment when Lewis explicitly wants the reader to connect Aslan and Jesus. My older daughter got it and it made her happy.

My moms’ group has just finished A Praying Life by Paul Miller. As promised, it’s prompting me to change my prayer life and has sent me back into Scripture with fresh eyes. I’m reading the Bible and looking for God, not knowledge, and trying to pray through what I’m reading. It feels right and I’m excited to see where it takes me.

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