memes: December 2005 Archives
from Julie D
The Anchoress asks, "what are the 5 books which have influenced you the most?" She reminds us that the Bible is a given and also mentions "even if a book is not spiritual, it can nurture parts of you so that you can be more open, in surprising ways, to the spiritual when it comes down the pike!"
Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly Dick-Read
I read my mom's copy when I was 10 years old. I was home sick with strep throat for a week. We lived in France at the time, did not have a TV, and I couldn't go to school or to the base library, so I read everything I could get my hands on that was in the house. (That was the week that I also read The Brothers Karamazov, because it happened to be in the Great Books of the Western World set in the living room). Grantly Dick-Read had a profoundly spiritual outlook on childbirth, and was devoutly Christian (though, like all of us, a sinner).
Thank you Dr. Lamaze by Marjorie Karmel
This book, which I read while babysitting, convinced me that there was no reason why most women, with proper training, would need major anesthesia for a normal birth. I came away from it convinced that God designed the birth process as one of hard physical labor, great emotional turmoil, tremendous spiritual growth - but not normally one of unending cruel torture.
Natural Childbirth and the Christian Family by Helen Wessel
Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing by Sheila K. Kippley
These two books, together, I read from my Lamaze teacher's lending library while pregnant with my first child. Together they convinced me that God has a plan for mothering that we would do well to respect and work with.
The Time-Life series titled "Foods of the World". A cook's travelogue, with pictures and recipes. Thanks to this series (which I have read repeatedly) I can converse with just about anyone about their ethnic heritage in food. It really has helped me to work with moms and families in all sorts of settings. Talking about food and cooking is a great way to establish some kind of common ground - and it also makes it possible for me to do a good nutritional assessment on most of my patients.
I realize that this is sort of an odd list. I thought about many of the science fiction novels I have read and how they have influenced me - for better or for worse! And there are also the medical textbooks and history of medicine books, the conversion stories especially Thomas Merton's Seven Storey Mountain, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Shakespeare. And let me not forget such children's classics and Curdie and the Princess, the Phoenix and the Carpet, Half-magic and the other books in that series, all of Madeleine L'Engle's books (and even her adult ones!). I have been a bibliovore since the age of 3, often reading 10 to 12 books a week, rereading some of them until I had them practically memorized - it is hard to pick just five. But I tried.