Alif the Unseen – favorite quotes

One of the best books that I read last year was Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson. It’s an unconventional story about a modern-day hacker in the Middle East who stumbles across a magical tome and finds himself caught between a totalitarian government and a world of supernatural beings who belong in myths more than reality. The premise alone was enough to get me to read the book, but I found some wonderful gems along the way that kept me thinking long after I finished reading. One of those quotes came from an imam in the novel who was imprisoned for his connection to the hacker protagonist. It follows:

“I have had much experience with the unclean and uncivilized in the recent past. Shall I tell you what I discovered? I am not the state of my feet. I am not the dirt on my hands or the hygiene of my private parts. If I were these things, I would not have been at liberty to pray at any time since my arrest. But I did pray, because I am not these things. In the end, I am not even myself. I am a string of bones speaking the word God.”

Beautiful!

And a quote that made me chuckle:

“You’ve got Internet in the Empty Quarter?” he asked in an awed voice.
Cousin, said the shadow, we’ve got WiFi.

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Book Review: Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber

Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & SaintPastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Smiley TV preachers might tell you that following Jesus is about being good so that God will bless you with cash and prizes, but really it’s much more gruesome and meaningful. It’s about spiritual physics. Something has to die for something new to live.”

And just like that, Nadia Bolz-Weber had my attention. I first heard of Bolz-Weber through a Presbyterian friend of mine, and she intrigued me with her tatted up arms and no-nonsense attitude. Going in to this book, that is pretty much all that I knew about her. I quickly discovered that we had nothing in common–she was a stereotypical black sheep and I was a goody two shoes–but I thought, “Well, I can still glean something from her story.” Boy did I ever! I never thought I could relate to another person so well.
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Counting Blessings

When my husband told me that our manager wanted to have an unplanned meeting with us (after which we could leave work early), I knew something was wrong. Unplanned meetings are rarely a positive sign, right? So it came as no surprise that she had bad news for us. That news? Our contract was ending early, and we would have a month left at our current positions. Continue reading

Mysterious Joy

Joy.

They live in a mystery, these people live in a mystery.

It’s joy that holds them up.

That was what mattered. It was joy that held them up, no matter if the wings grew out of their backs or were somehow held on with buckles and clamps.

Stephen King, The Talisman Continue reading

Review: One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Content wise, this is a wonderful book–life changing even. However, I know that the style that Ann Voskamp uses won’t resonate with all readers–could even turn some people off by it–so that’s why I dropped a star. Continue reading

I am Edmund.

We all know the story. There were four children named Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy who were sent to live in the country in a large manor. The youngest, Lucy, stumbles upon a magic wardrobe that opens into a strange land blanketed with snow that is called Narnia. She returns, tells her siblings, and none of them believe her. Continue reading

Kyrie, eleison

In the midst of tragedy’s fallout, I feel like my own words are useless. How do I take this language I grew up speaking and use it to describe the horrifying powerlessness victims experience in the face of natural disaster? Nothing I say will raise the flattened buildings, bring the dead back to life. Continue reading

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal 2013 – a personal recap

Have you ever noticed how easily we tune ourselves out? I know that in some cases, it’s incredibly beneficial to silence our inner critic, but sometimes, we end up shutting down our deepest desires at the same time because we think, “Such and such isn’t practical.” Continue reading