A Page Turner (and A Time Turner?)

So heres the deal, I have great in-laws and a wonderful husband that bought me an amazing toy! My Nook, affectionately named Sheldon, is one of my obsessions (Hi, my name is Lynette and I’m a Nook-aholic… my support group meets every Tuesday at Barnes & Noble…). It goes everywhere with me. Why? Because I love to read. It’s truly that simple.

I figure that at any point I may have a free moment that will allow me a small escape from the world. Even if my reprise from life only lasts for a few short paragraphs, it’s worth it! To step into the land of Narnia and romp with Aslan or to take part in the trek across Middle Earth, it’s worth it! To learn a spell in Mcgonagall’s class or fight along side the armored bears, it’s all worth it! Even if it’s only for a few moments…

I think that’s what reading is all about – an escape. Okay, let me backtrack for two seconds: some reading is too learn (like reading The Power of Myth or The Sword Between the Sexes), but even learning reading can be a form of escapism. Now that I’ve covered my tail, allow me to continue.

I think that’s what reading is all about – an escape. Leaving this chaotic world for a moment and allowing yourself to adventure to place you never thought possible. I mean, I love living, but where else (other than a book) might I journey to other worlds and interact with strange creatures and surreal phenomenon? Teenage witches and wizards that kill a powerful sorcerer don’t exist IRL (in real life for those of you readers NOT married to a gamer).

I want a fantastic life and sometimes it feels like the only way to achieve that is in my imagine inside the world of books. For all of you about to freak out ’cause I just said my life isn’t fantastic, calm down. All I mean is that I am never going to get a Hogwarts acceptance letter. I’m not going to have my midi-chlorians count checked. I’m not going to meet a Hobbit. I’m not going to hold an alethiometer (read The Golden Compass). This is all very disappointing to me because I think I would make a great Hogwart’s student, don’t you think?!

Alas, *sigh*  I don’t think this shall be my lot in life. I am forced to find magic and mystery in the pages (or pseudo pages on the Nook?) of a good book. As disappointing as that is sometimes, I think i’m okay with that (not that I have much of a choice).

To be quite honest, I’m not sure what more to say on this subject. The gist of all this is… I love books because I can escape into worlds that don’t exist. I can do things that I couldn’t IRL. I can be someone different. I love my life, but it’s not the same as a book. It never can be. I wouldn’t want to give up reality to step into the pages of a book, but it’s hard to put into reasons why. I think it boils down to the fact that we weren’t supposed to live like that. God put us (me) here for a reason, a purpose. I wouldn’t want to abandon that. *sigh* that’s kind of hard to admit.

I guess that’s all. The end.


Like Lambs to the Slaughter?

“If you have come to these pages for laughter, may you find it. 
If you are here to be offended, may your ire rise and your blood boil. 
If you seek an adventure, may this song sing you away to blissful escape. 
If you need to test or confirm your beliefs, may you reach comfortable conclusions. 
All books reveal perfection, by what they are or what they are not. 
May you find that which you seek, in these pages or outside them. 
May you find perfection, and know it by name.” 
― Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

“Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal” is a book by a guy named Christopher Moore. He is brilliant and crazy, with a dash of heretic thrown in there for fun. But regardless of his disregard for biblical truth and subsequent neglect of the biblical timeline, Mr. Moore managed to make me not only re-fall in love with the idea of who Jesus (Joshua, in the book) is as a man, but he also taught me more about communion (read the dang book to find out how!*) and what it means than anyone before.

“This story is not and never was meant to challenge anyone’s faith; however, if one’s faith can be shaken by stories in a humorous novel, one may have a bit more praying to do.”
― Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

Before you go off and buy the book on my recommendation (which I do recommend, so you should!…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves) – because who wouldn’t want to read this book based upon that first paragraph – let me offer my thoughts. This book is COMPLETELY heretical, but COMPLETELY awesome. It challenged tons of my assumptions about Jesus as a child and as a man. What must it have been like to be Jesus’ friend?! What must it have been like to play childhood games with him and go through puberty with him?

“Nobody’s perfect. Well, there was this one guy, but we killed him….” 
― Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

One of the main themes of the book is the process Jesus goes through to learn how to be the Messiah. What must that  have been like for Jesus? Did he have to learn what the title “Messiah” entailed? There is something so honest in this question and though I don’t doubt the sovereignty of God (nor do I think that God asked his friends to sin for him and then describe that sin so that he could understand sin…he does that in the book), I do appreciate that the book shows Jesus  being honest about his thoughts. Reading the book made me wonder how honest I am with mine.

If I’m honest, I’m a liar.

I sometimes fake my knowledge to hide how little I know or I don’t ask questions because I don’t want others to have the upper-hand. I don’t want to appear uninformed or weak to my peers. How sad is that…?

“Faith isn’t an act of intelligence, it’s an act of imagination.”
― Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

I would never offer this book to a new Christian, that could be dangerous! But for someone with an old faith (you come up with an appropriate definition for “old faith” for yourself), “Lamb” can challenge you to analyze how much you know and how much you thought you knew about Jesus, his life, and your faith. I mean, did Jesus ever wonder what his childhood friends felt? Was he tempted as a child? Did he have a best friend? The Bible doesn’t answer these questions, but do you still wonder?

There are hundreds of questions that formed in my mind while reading this book and the fundamentalist Christian that resides in most people who were raised in a Christian home (but many of us fight the fearsome beast) reared its ugly head and said, “wait a second! don’t you go questioning ANYTHING!” But the human part of me said, “what’s wrong with asking a question!?” Round and round these two forces went. Honestly, its a war that’s not over, though the skirmishes are fewer and further between these days (mostly little rebel land disputes on the outer rims). Which side won? The side that believes there is nothing wrong with asking questions and searching for answers. I don’t think that was Moore’s intention when writing this book, but I’ll take what i can get.

“The medium obscured the message.”
― Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal 

*Oh all right, I will give you a teaser about why communion became more real to me…
This book made Jesus more HUMAN. That doesn’t detract one ounce of his God-ness, but Moore made the experience of the first communion and the pain of death and the fear of death and the reality of death so much more IN-YOUR-FACE REAL.