These are a few interesting reads I gathered from our shelves. Not all will be on the marathon and a few more will be added.

So I’ve decided to do a marathon this year. Not a running one, but my own made up one involving books, 26.2 books for 2020.

I’m also working on a reboot of sorts for the MOATblog. I plan on keeping moatblog – only switching it to kaywyma.com to add some flexibility — so our video podcast and faith-based topics have a place to land, along with kid-related issues AND my book-marathon.

I want to read more. I think I’m quicker to pick up a remote over a book these days. And while holiday cleaning, I saw a few reads (even some on the kids’ shelves) that I’d like to peruse. With 26 as a goal, I can linger in a long haul (though for sure not the Atlas Shrugged on my stack 😳).

I’ve gathered some terrific suggestions (and always welcome more) and started the journey with one from my mom: The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

I have already finished it. Someone said they read it in a day, and I now know why.

The story is based on personal recollections and experiences of Slovakian Jew Lali Sokolov who fell in love with a girl he was tattooing (his job at Auschwitz). If you decide to pick up this book – know that you will get a brief peek into life a this notorious death camp. Artistic license was taken in spots – so keep that in mind while considering the place where the story takes place.

I struggle with stories from this era and from other times (including now) where people are treated as objects, easily discarded and brutalized. I had the amazing opportunity in the early 1990’s to visit Auschwitz. I was in Poland while working for then Vice President Dan Quayle. His was one of the first U.S. delegations to visit Poland and other Iron Curtain countries after the Berlin Wall came down. It was an amazing experience on so many levels. I was getting my MBA at Thunderbird at the time, so was amazed by people like Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel, Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul (who was actually coming to Poland, his homeland, days after our delegation headed home.) Such an amazing time in history.

In fact one of my very favorite books of that period is Peggy Noonan’s biography of Pope John Paul. What a history lesson!

What a history lesson! I’m not Catholic, but I learned so much in this winsome, insightful, page-turner.

All that to say, on our trip, the Vice President met with dignitaries and such in Warsaw then headed to Auschwitz with a survivor who was gathering artifacts for the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. that was being built at that time. I have never forgotten visiting the death camp. In fact, it actually took months to get my thoughts in order – the evil, the brutality, the sickness of it all.

It is good to remind ourselves – hopefully in an effort to prompt ourselves to be fully aware that every single person you see (including the person in the mirror) is a human being – with great worth. A person, a masterpiece, never an object or a project or something disposable. A person of great worth. People matter.

On recommendation, I’ve started Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. I’ve just finished the introduction and can’t wait to get back to it tonight.

Which leads me to a little more about my book marathon. I have no rules. 26.2 sounds like a lot since that’s two books a week (and who has time?!) But this isn’t a competition or the letter of the law. In my stack I have 2 books I started a few years ago and am absolutely using this opportunity to finish (and count) them.

Also, if I have a book in my stack that I start and don’t want to finish, I’m happy to put it down and start another. I’m too old to complete something just to do it. It’s okay to move on. And lastly, a book is a book. The number of pages don’t matter – fiction or non-fiction – it’s all good. This is simply an effort to read – and to learn.

The .2 of my 26.2 marathon are 2 books to be written this year. One is part of a contract, the other a personal indulgence that I’ll share on the blog and Instagram. I’m calling it Garden to Table: Pondering God, Practicing Peace. It is basically notes of specific traits revealed about God through different passages in Scripture. I have kept running notes for years and decided to put them in a format for my kids. The lists are raw, unfiltered specifics that have helped me learn things I never really understood about the nature of God and have compelled me to read the Bible to know God – a pretty incredible trek itself.

This is a list from Psalm 18 that walks us through God’s delight in us – which again takes us to the worth of human beings, created by God, in His image.

Maybe it’s so hard to believe our worth because its too good to be true – mostly us of ourselves.

Okay – that’s it for today. I will post here (which will soon be folded into kaywyma.com — more on that soon) and portions on Instagram.

Thanks as always for walking the road with me.

Kay

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