Friday, August 14, 2009

Shelving Books

Shelving books in a new house takes time. The house that I'm renting has lots of built in bookcases and, at least so far, I think I have plenty of space. It's just that when I pick up an old friend that I haven't read for while I need to think about where it should go or is there something in it that I need to re-read and I find myself thumbing though it. Of course there are lots of books that immediately find a home like all of my bibles and commentaries and liturgical resources and children's books. I like to organize them by category and then author, so I can find something fairly quickly.

This morning I opened another book box and thumbing through a source book on liturgy I opened it to the following gem. It is a section called "Tell Them the Truth" It reminds me of Telling Secrets recent post on misogyny and all the fuss about Hillary Clinton's speaking out in Africa.

I know that many men and even women are afraid and angry when women do speak, because in this barbaric society, when women speak truly they speak subversively—they can't help it: if you're underneath, if you're kept down, you break out, you subvert. We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experiences as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.

That what I want—to hear you erupting. You young Mount St. Helenses who don't know the power in you—I want to hear you. I want to listen to you talking to each other and to us all: whether you're writing an article or poem or letter or teaching a class or talking with friends or reading a novel or making a speech or proposing a law or giving a judgment or singing the baby to sleep or discussing the fate of the nations, I want to hear you. Speak with a woman's tongue. Come out and tell us what time of night it is! Don't let us sink back into silence. If we don't tell our truth, who will? Who'll speak for my children, and yours?
Ursula K. Le Guin

This quotation is from "Dancing at the Edge of the World." I loved Ursala Le Guin's fantasy, science fiction and her children's stories. Her writing goes far beyond that, though. Her most recent novel (2008) called Lavinia is about the wife of Aeneas. For those of us who read the Aeneid in Latin, we know there isn't really much about her there. In fact, I had forgotten that after he got to the Italian peninsula he wooed a local girl. I'm going down to the bookstore to see if they have it. I like Le Guin's books because they have strong female characters. These women are not afraid to tell the truth.

Update: the bookstore had to order a copy, they sold out of what they had. It should be in on Monday. I love independent bookstores and this one is great.

1 comment:

JS Huntlands said...

Set in today’s day and time, Me and My Best Friend is about a young boy, his faithful companion and their exciting adventures.

Henry and Liam are the best of friends and they do everything together. They can run and play all day long. But when Henry the puppy gets tired and tries to take a nap, three-year-old Liam keeps waking him, wanting him to play some more. Will Henry get any rest?

Get your children involved with this beautifully illustrated book. Your child will love to match up words and pictures, and find Liam, who keeps hiding in his bedroom. Perfect for the young reader!

About the Author

J.S. Huntlands is the author of Nick Twisted Minds and is currently working on more books in this series, as well as 23 more books in the Me and My Best Friend series. Huntlands is a full-time writer, as well as a mom to a wonderful four-year-old boy. This book is dedicated to her son in hopes that he never forgets his best friend.