Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Well, I started one book and got all into it and then I started another book and got all into IT. So I have to make the heart-wrenching decision to postpone one until I'm done with the other.

The first one is "Turn Away Thy Son" by Elizabeth Jacoway. Jacoway was a student in Little Rock during the 1957 desegregation crisis. Her uncle was the superintendent of schools, but Jacoway was sheltered from the turmoil of the crisis. It wasn't until graduate school that she realized the gravity of the situation she had ignored as a teen. About this discovery, she wrote:

"My intellectual awakening began with the realization that I had mindlessly participated in and benefited from a racist culture."

So she wrote this book -- the most exhaustive account of the Central High School crisis that has been written. I want to read it because the 50th anniversary of the crisis is this fall, and, since it happened so close to where I live, I want to understand more fully what happened. And more importantly, I want to get my mind a little more around the continual quest for freedom that exists and I think will always exist in this country of ours that has always, strangely, been called "free."

The other book is "Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith" by Anne Lamott. Lamott is pretty much the only Christian writer I like right now. Think of Joel Osteen and what he preaches. Then think of the exact OPPOSITE of that. That's Anne Lamott. She writes of faith from a very real perspective. She shows that faith can be found in the midst of the cesspool that is real life. She gripes. She complains. She curses. Quite a bit. But she always leads us back around to where God fits into the chaos. Here's a bit from her description of when she first found God -- when she first realized he is everywhere -- , while she, an alcoholic drug-user, attempted to hitchhike home from a former boyfriend's house:

"I remember standing there at dusk with my thumb out, euphoric and exhausted as if I'd been at the beach all day, then taken a long, hot shower to wash off all the sand."

Lamott can be quite profound, but also sarcastic and funny and irreverent and downright crude. I think this is why I identify with her so much. Here's her description of a town in California where she lived during her hippie days:

"Bolinas was a great place for ritual and celebrations -- it was nearly as exotic as India, if you thought about it, but without all those dying animals in the streets and people defecating in the holy waters, which doesn't really work for me at all."

Oh, and I have four deadlines looming. So I may not be reading anything at all.

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  • At Wed Jun 13, 02:19:00 PM, Blogger judy thomas said…


    Like minds! I love Anne Lamott too. We are discussing her Grace in a reading discussion class at Otter Creek on Wed. nights. Check my blog for how it goes. You can find a link on my son Brandon's blog.

    Judy Thomas

  • At Wed Jun 13, 03:21:00 PM, Blogger Sarah P said…

    I LOVE Anne Lamott. I read Traveling Mercies a few months ago and loved it.

    I've got a few deadlines as well. It feels like last week and this one were crammed with deadlines...must be busy at the office...
    I've got an on-location interview tomorrow. Wish you were close so we could go together. I'd love to see how you'd approach it.

  • At Thu Jun 14, 02:40:00 AM, Blogger lawtondickerson said…

    The *only* christian writer?! When you run out of these two, try Phillip Yancey...I just *know* you will love him! I'm reading Rumors at the moment. Here's an excerpt:

  • At Thu Jun 14, 07:11:00 AM, Blogger Beverly said…

    okay...anne lamott my new best friend!..when did you say you guys would be here?

  • At Thu Jun 14, 11:24:00 AM, Anonymous greg said…

    The Jacoway book sounds really good. I'll have to check that out. Thanks.

  • At Thu Jun 14, 07:47:00 PM, Blogger Tracy said…

    I think I'm the only person I know that hasn't read Anne Lamott (yet!) which is why she's on my Summer Reading List. Have you read Irresistable Revolution by Shane Claiborne? I'd love your thoughts on it too.

  • At Thu Jun 14, 08:04:00 PM, Blogger Lynn said…

    Deana...I just wanted to let you know that we'd appreciate your prayers for neice Christine as they take Baby Sam early. I wrote you earlier in the year about her bout with this hyperemesis demon and you were so kind to offer your experience. Just letting you know that Baby Sam comes on Monday, earlier than August but he is coming.

  • At Fri Jun 15, 02:55:00 PM, Anonymous chris said…

    I was a student in nursing school in Little Rock in 1957. School had started the week before and we were in orientation so we had free time. My new friends and I walked the few blocks to Central High School to check it out. It's as vivid in my memory now as it was in 1957.

  • At Mon Jun 18, 07:48:00 PM, Anonymous Angela Driskill said…

    Hey Deana, Anne Lamott is great. I love her irreverent, real stuff. I am into Plan B now. I love your blog.

    Angela D


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