Sunday Salon: RW&R Rising from the Dust

The Sunday

Poor little blog, you look so lonely. I've been off spending time with my photo blog and neglecting you. So in honor of my decision to pay more attention to you (including writing book reviews) I've decided on a makeover. What do you think of your new look?

So first, Saloners and other readers (if there are any of you left!) a little update on my reading progress. I was aiming for 125 books for 2009, but at some point last month, I realized I'll be lucky to reach 100. And that's just fine. My challenges were tending to cause me angst, which defeats the whole purpose of reading books, yes? I do have a fun challenge set up for 2010 (more details later) that involves a lot of the books I've been wanting to read anyway, and almost all of which are on my bookshelves already.

Just to have some closure on my challenges: out of nine challenges, I've completed all but two. Here are the stats:
  • What's In a Name: 6 of 6
  • Dewey's Books: 5 of 5
  • Decades: 6 of 10 (I'll be reading at least one more of these before year's end)
  • Pub Challenge: 9 of 9
  • Booker Prize Challenge: 10 of 12 (The 2009 winner, Wolf Hall, is waiting in the wings, very close at hand)
  • Orange Prize Challenge: 12 of 12
  • Essays: 20 of 20
  • Short Stories: 25 of 25
  • Classics: 4 of 4
As of today, I'm at 79 books read for the year.

And as promised, here is a book review.

Waking by Matthew Sanford

I heard Matt Sanford on an NPR program about a year ago and his story touched and fascinated me. In 1978, at age 13, he was in a terrible auto accident that killed his father and sister and left Matt a paraplegic. In this memoir he tells of years of pain, anguish and coming to terms with his paralysis and the grief of losing his father and sister.

Matt spends a number of years in a gray world, disconnected emotionally and spiritually from his body. At some point he becomes aware that his healing story will not involve walking or becoming like one of the super hero paraplegics paraded in front of him for inspiration. Eventually Matthew is introduced to yoga and experiences what he calls an "energetic sensation within my mind-body relationship." He pursues yoga intensely - though it is not a linear progression; he experiences many setbacks. Eventually, Matt goes on to teach yoga to both walking people and those with disabilities.

I was drawn to Matt's story partly because of my own experience with yoga and with progressive physical limitations. It is a good reminder to all of us to stay conscious of our bodies, not to take them for granted; and that we can change the healing stories that practitioners tell us and that we tell ourselves.

Beautiful writing; highly recommended.


Louise said...

I like the new look of the blog, it looks nice and simple (in a good way!) and it is easy on the eye. Well done and 79 books would be A LOT for a reader like me, so WELL DONE!

Laura said...

I love it! I agree with Louise's comments. And I love the gadgets you've put on your sidebar. Way to go Terri!