Books Stage Imaginative Rescue ~ BitterSweetLife

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Books Stage Imaginative Rescue

A very unfortunate side effect of some kinds of education is to lobotomize the creative lobe of your brain. Sometime ago this semester, I awoke from a trance to see a professor hovering above me, about to tamp down on a wedge held firmly against my forehead. Obviously, I felt panic. Panic, and a strong instinct for survival. I jumped up, shoved the professor out of the way (he stumbled and tripped over his white lab coat), and ran wildly toward the library. So to speak.

Maybe it's this feeling of imagination being eroded that has shaped my reading in the last several weeks. I've explained the phenomenon of the Dalgliesh Point before: I reach a moment in the semester when something in me cracks and I compulsively read one of P.D. James spectacular murder mysteries. That's been well-documented.

But in the last couple weeks I've read two P.D. James books. I've also read a book by Larry Woiwode, What I Think I Did, that has renewed my desire to write, deliberately and creatively. Having finished these books, I've started a memoir by Frederick Buechner, The Sacred Journey, looking for more artistic inspiration. To offset the ambiguous title, consider Buechner's book an exercise in personal, "sanctified imagination," as C.S. Lewis says. I'm also re-reading Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz.

The benefit for you? A shotgun burst of book ratings which may (possibly) be followed by more detailed reviews. Hey, if these books can rescue my imagination from an aggressively pedestrian semester, they may be worth your attention. Note that a couple books have received the coveted A+ grade.

Death in Holy Orders - P.D. James, A+
What I Think I Did - Larry Woiwode, A+
The Skull Beneath the Skin - P.D. James, A
The Sacred Journey - Frederick Buechner, A (may move up)
Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller, B+ (see the old review... although I'm enjoying this book more the second time around)

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Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife