Everyday Theology: Some good summer reads

"The Rosie Project is a delightful, warm romantic comedy by Graeme Simsion."

I’ve read some wonderful books since last summer, and I’m looking forward to meandering through a few more over the next weeks.

One of the best books I read this year was The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea. The Hummingbird’s Daughter recounts the story of the author’s great-aunt Teresita, a curanderas (healer) whom some Mexican communities still revere as the populist Saint of Cabora. Set against the backdrop of pre-revolutionary Mexico, the adventures of Teresita and her community are punctuated with scenes of magical realism and a unique form of mysticism that blends traditional Yaqui and Mayo cultures with Christianity. According to Urrea, readers with a “cosmic bent” find the “mysteries of sacredness” woven into the narrative.

The Rosie Project is a delightful, warm romantic comedy by Graeme Simsion.  Fans of Sheldon Cooper from the television series The Big Bang Theory will immediately like Professor Don Tillman who has decided it is time to marry. He devises a detailed questionnaire to weed out undesirable candidates in his search for the perfect wife.  Funny and poignant, this is a perfect book for a hot, languid day at the beach.

Watch How We Walk by Jennifer LoveGrove explores the relationship between identity, family and religion.  This heartbreaking tale revolves around the struggles of a young Jehovah’s Witness girl trying to reconcile the precepts of religion with some troubling realities in her family life. Unable to make sense of her sister’s rebellion and her uncle’s disfellowshipping, Emily unravels.

If non-fiction is more to your taste, Dancing with the Enemy by Paul Glaser recounts the story of his Jewish aunt Rosie Glaser, who survived the Nazi concentration camps because of her wit, talent and beauty.  An important aspect of the book is the author’s unexpected discovery of his Jewish background. Raised as a Catholic, Glaser describes various family reactions to news of their Jewish heritage. Rosie’s story also brings to light the unconscionable treatment of Dutch Jewish survivors at the hand of their own government following the war.

For readers looking for something on the theological side, I am currently reading Short Stories By Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables Of A Controversial Rabbi by Amy-Jill Levine. Levine offers a fresh take, laced with humour, on some of Christianity’s most famous parables from a Jewish perspective. She explores the parables in light of first century Judaism and imagines how the first followers of Jesus would have heard and understood his words.  Referencing Jewish traditions, laws and scripture, Levine probes the parables for their multiple levels of meaning, correcting interpretations that misrepresent Judaism and debunking popular Christian interpretations. She cautions against accepting standard, easy interpretations of the parables saying that these limit their meaning and miss the genius of Jesus.

Over the next weeks, I have set myself the task of reading The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, a hefty tome of over eight hundred pages that friends recommended to me. Set in 1866 during the New Zealand gold rush, this story of adventure, murder and mayhem caught my interest almost from the first page. Time will tell if it manages to hold it.

Trail resident Louise McEwan is a freelance religion writer with degrees in English and Theology.

She has a background in education and faith formation. Her blog is www.faithcolouredglasses.blogspot.com. Contact her at mcewan.lou@gmail.com .

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police looking for witnesses to East Trail arson

The Trail RCMP report the fire was started on March 28 at around 1 a.m.

Car procession for Trail seniors on Saturday

Physical distancing will be enforced, participants to decorate at home and stay in their cars

Trail Smoke Eaters alumni receive Canucks scholarship

Former Smoke Eaters Jeremy Lucchini and Spencer McLean awarded Vancouver Canucks/LNG scholarship

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email it large or actual-sized to editor@trailtimes.ca

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

Money will help students cover living expenses, food, travel, portable computers

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Most Read