Friday, May 25, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
When I finally moved into my first grown-up apartment, realized that my budget was still up in the air and that would mean I'd have to wait for a while before committing to a monthly cable bill, my years of studying and keeping busy in college meant that I was actually rather confident in my ability to refrain from television. I'd have movies after all, and could borrow whatever I didn't own, and this would finally give me the time I'd been craving to read whatever I wanted. Another one of those things that they never tell you about growing up is that teachers have to read a ton of stuff they wouldn't necessarily choose to read. About 80% of the material I have taught so far this year was brand new to me, so all that time I thought I'd have to read whatever books I wanted was initially taken up with planning and grading for school, and the time that remained left me so drained of energy that I'd rather sit in front of the tv than expand my literary horizons. I have consequently (yes, Senor Allen, people do use "consequently" in everyday conversations) spent the last six months watching movies and all of the tv series on DVD that I could borrow or get on Netflix. But in the past several weeks, I have finally gotten tired of tv and have returned to my once great love. I haven't read as much as I'd like, but I'm working on it, and the internet is helping me do that.
Sometime last Spring, I got an email from one of my favorite English professors at Harding, letting me know that he had just gotten his novel published. At the time, I was a poor college student, so I saved the email for a time when I'd actually be able to afford to buy it. Last week was exactly the time for it. I dug out that old email and ordered Sweet River Fool by Dr. Larry Hunt.
On Friday afternoon, when I was finally able to pick it up from the post office, I was super excited to delve into this new story. Being on Spring Break this week has given me ample opportunity to read whatever I like, so on Monday morning I finally picked up the tale of Snody (pronounced "Snow-dee"). For those of you who don't know Dr. Hunt, he's a really fun guy with a wide array of interests. (Incidentally, as the Tolkien expert on staff, he was my advisor for my Senior Symposium.) After reading only the "blurb" on the back cover, I knew that this was the perfect combination of his deep south Georgia upbringing and his delightful love of medieval literature. Snody, the protagonist, is a homeless drunk, who after a failed suicide attempt, finds an illustrated book about Saint Francis of Assisi in a dumpster and decides that he is going to model his life after Saint Francis. His story is beautifully woven through the lives of the residents of the small Georgia town of Sweet River, and it is inspiring to see the way this unlikely Christ character touches the lives of so many who are suffering and lonely. The writing has a light, yet tender feel and a subtle morality that makes it difficult to find its equal (or even its younger brother) on my bookshelves. I devoured this story in just a couple of days and slept very well on Tuesday night as I imagined being able to lay my head down in God's lap just like Snody did. I'd recommend this book without hesitation, and am hoping that this won't be the last of Dr. Hunt's books I'll be able to add to my collection. If you're interested, I'm certain that he would love for you to buy your own copy here, or I'd be happy to let you borrow mine.