I loved high school for a lot of reasons, but one of the things I miss the most about that period of my life is the amount of time I had to spend (or maybe just chose to spend) reading books. This was before smart phones and blogs and social media were really mainstream, so pulling out a book was my downtime go-to, and I read hundreds of pages every day.
Back then, I occasionally shopped at the Good’s Store in Quarryville, and they had this great table of bargain books for a few dollars each where I’d often stock up on new nonfiction titles that caught my eye. Steven James’ Story: Recapture the Mystery was a random gem I picked up there one day, and it’s been on my Favorite Books of All Time list ever since.
I think I actually did a book report on it during my Junior year, one of those assignments we were to give an oral presentation for — and I think I might have taken up, like, the whole class period, which totally docked my grade since it was probably supposed to be a ten-minute deal or something like that. (So much for the model student idea.) (My apologies to the students who had to sit through that class.)
Anyway, Story is, as its name suggests, a story-form version of, in general, Christ’s gospel. Mr. James is a first-class storyteller and his written version is visually light and mindfully engaging. Much of them in the form of free verse, its pages are raw, honest, human. It’s the kind of book you read on a blanket in front of the fireplace on a snowy night or in a hammock in the backyard on a summer afternoon — in quiet, in solitude, in nature.
If you read it, let me know what you think! Also, I’d love to hear what book YOU read long ago that has had a profound impact on your life and that you reread and reread without growing bored.