Recommendations for June 2013

2 June

This week’s highlighted book, A Grief Observed deals with the very difficult issue of how one copes with the death of a loved one. The book is little more than an essay in which the author, CS Lewis, writes from very personal experience, following the loss of his wife Joy. This is not an easy acceptance of the situation from this very well known Christian. In fact the book was first published under a pseudonym because he was such a well known Christian writer and in this book he reflects the questioning, the hurt, the struggle that those who are grieving feel. This is a journal of his grief but it has wider relevance. Look out in the June copy of the St Columba’s magazine for our summer reading selection!

9 June

To mark St Columba’s Day today, the bookstall team would like to draw your attention to a number of St Columba and Iona themed items. We still have a few all purpose cards which were painted on Iona. A limited number of the print of Iona Abbey, by the same artist as the cards are also available. The subtlety of the colour in both cases has been remarked on many. Come and look at the bookstall to see what else is on offer with an Iona connection. The latest copy of the church magazine, containing our summer reading suggestions, is also on sale.

16 June

This week’s highlighted book is the Book Club choice for their next meeting on 11 July. The Forrests by Emily Perkins is in part the story of a slightly dysfunctional family (which family isn’t when looked at from the outside) and in particular of one of the siblings, Dorothy. In many ways the book, which is beautifully written, is a celebration of the ordinary things in life. We experience the ageing process with Dorothy and the curious phenomenon that as one ages physically one is still able to recapture the emotions one felt at various ages throughout life. Our summer reading recommendations are in this month’s St Columba;s magazine which is on sale at the bookstall.

23 June
This week we are bringing to your attention another volume of poetry from Denzil Dunnett , a devoted member of our church family. This volume is not religious per se but is definitely spiritual, thought provoking and varied. In the section Travels, one finds the poem ” On Not Returning to Scotland” but also ” Thoughts in a Crashing Plane” with the lines “In this last minute I could repent, But it must be my life, such as it was, that saves or damns my soul”. What experience inspired that poem? In the section Grace Notes, the poem ” Against Praise”, which begins with the line ” I can give thanks, but not praise” gives us pause for thought. Really worth having a look – come and browse.

30 June

For those of you who like to keep ahead of the pack, our recommendation is the St Columba’s Book Club choice for September, the Soldier’s Tale by Melvyn Bragg. If you listen to Melvyn Bragg’s Radio 4 programme, In Our Time, you might have concerns that this book might be too erudite for a relaxing summer read. Fear not – this is a very readable story about a young man Sam who goes off to war and comes back to find that his rural world has totally changed and he has changed too. This story helps us understand the social upheaval that was experienced after World War Two – not only had the returning soldier’s horizons been widened but both the children and wives left behind had also been changed. If you like an old fashioned novel about basic values, try this.