The Inner Voice of Love by Henri J. M. Nouwen (Review)

The Inner Voice of Love by Henri J. M. Nouwen

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About the author

HenriNouwen

Henri Nouwen was a renowned priest and author, respected professor and beloved pastor of the L’Arche Daybreak Community in Toronto. His many bestselling books include The Return of the Prodigal Son, Home Tonight and Bread for the Journey. He died in 1996.

Blurb

The Inner Voice of Love is Henri Nouwen’s ‘secret journal’. It was written during the most difficult period of his life when, following the breakdown of a close relationship, he lost his self-esteem, his energy to live and work, his sense of being loved – even his hope in God.

For a long time Henri felt that what he had written during this time was too raw, intense and private to share. Instead he produced The Return of the Prodigal Son, in which he expressed some of the insights he had gained during the crisis. However, as time went on his feelings changed due partly in response to the persuasion of friends who asked ‘Why keep your anguish hidden from the people who have been nurtured by your writing? Wouldn’t it be a consolation for them to know about the fierce inner battle that lies beneath many of your spiritual insights?’

The warm reception enjoyed by The Inner Voice of Love over the years testifies to Henri’s generosity and wisdom in sharing this difficult part of his journey. For everyone who is living through the pain of broken relationships or suffering from the loss of a loved one, this book offers new courage, new hope, even new life.

Review

A friend recommended this book to me and last year I started to read it, since then I have dipped into it and read a little occasionally. This book is made up of one to three page reflections, which are all under different titles.

At the beginning I enjoyed this book and found it useful but as it went on I found it rather repetitive and it started to drag. I realise this book was written at a very difficult time of Nouwen’s life but I think it should have been edited as certain parts are basically saying the same thing but are just under a different title.

I also disagreed to a certain extent with his advice about relationships and how breaking of relationships can be devastating. As a priest he has never experienced in my opinion the biggest relationship which is marriage. Marriage is sacred and in the eyes of God forever, and to cope with a marriage break up must be devastating but Nouwen has no true experience of this, yes he will have seen marriage break ups and experienced the end of friendships and loss of loved ones but in my opinion he can not generalise all relationships like he does in the book.

I also disagreed with the fact that most of his reflections seem to be based on Nouwen withdrawing from society. This I do not find to be beneficial to anyone, everyone needs help from friends, everyone needs to know there is someone there for them.

All in all I found this book a bit of a struggle as I did not agree with all of it and found it repetitive. As a Christian I agreed with a lot about what was said about God in our lives but not all of it. I gave this book 2 out 5 Dragons.

Purchase from Waterstones

Lady Book Dragon

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Mid Week Quote

Happy Wednesday

The following quote appealed to me because I really do not like newspapers. I find them extremely biased and you have to spend most of your time reading between the lines to get to the truth.

 

 

“The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them.”

 

Thomas Jefferson

 

The above quote was part of Jefferson’s reply from the White House to the future editor of the Baltimore Whig’s.

 

Lady Book Dragon.

NetGalley

Hello Everyone.

So I have some exciting news, I have joined NetGalley!

I joined late last night after a long day teaching. I’ve followed many book bloggers who use NetGalley and I have liked the idea but have never been brave enough to join. I requested about 20 books last night, not expecting anything as I am brand new to the site but today I got granted two of those books. You can imagine how excited I am.

I will have to make notes in my diary of when reviews need to be done by to keep me on track. Hopefully I can keep up with all the reading. I know one thing, I will be very careful with how many books I request as I could get carried away.

Any thoughts and advice about NetGalley would be gratefully received. Please drop me a comment.

Lady Book Dragon

New Books 18/03/2019

A very exciting day when 80 books arrive on your doorstep!

As you know I have been reading and reviewing the Penguin Little Black Classics but I do not own them all. So I decided this needed to be remedied but instead of getting the books seperately I went a little wild and bought the box set!

The Big List of all the lovely books

  1. Mrs Rosie and the Priest GIOVANNI BOCCACCIO
  2. As kingfishers catch fire GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
  3. The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-tongue
  4. On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts THOMAS DE QUINCEY
  5. Aphorisms on Love and Hate FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE
  6. Traffic JOHN RUSKIN
  7. Wailing Ghosts PU SONGLING
  8. A Modest Proposal JONATHAN SWIFT
  9. Three Tang Dynasty Poets
  10. On the Beach at Night Alone WALT WHITMAN
  11. A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees KENKO
  12. How to Use Your Enemies BALTASAR GRACIÁN
  13. The Eve of St Agnes JOHN KEATS
  14. Woman Much Missed THOMAS HARDY
  15. Femme Fatale GUY DE MAUPASSANT
  16. Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls MARCO POLO
  17. Caligula SUETONIUS
  18. Jason and Medea APOLLONIUS OF RHODES
  19. Olalla ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
  20. The Communist Manifesto KARL MARX & FRIEDRICH ENGELS
  21. Trimalchio’s Feast PETRONIUS
  22. How a Ghastly Story Was Brought to Light by a Common or Garden Butcher’s Dog JOHANN PETER HEBEL
  23. The Tinder Box HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN
  24. The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows RUDYARD KIPLING
  25. Circles of Hell DANTE
  26. Of Street Piemen HENRY MAYHEW
  27. The nightingales are drunk HAFEZ
  28. The Wife of Bath GEOFFREY CHAUCER
  29. How We Weep and Laugh at the Same Thing MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE
  30. The Terrors of the Night THOMAS NASHE
  31. The Tell-Tale Heart EDGAR ALLAN POE
  32. A Hippo Banquet MARY KINGSLEY
  33. The Beautifull Cassandra JANE AUSTEN
  34. Gooseberries ANTON CHEKHOV
  35. Well, they are gone, and here must I remain SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE
  36. Sketchy, Doubtful, Incomplete Jottings JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE
  37. The Great Winglebury Duel CHARLES DICKENS
  38. The Maldive Shark HERMAN MELVILLE
  39. The Old Nurse’s Story ELIZABETH GASKELL
  40. The Steel Flea NIKOLAY LESKOV
  41. The Atheist’s Mass HONORÉ DE BALZAC
  42. The Yellow Wall-Paper CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN
  43. Remember, Body… C.P. CAVAFY
  44. The Meek One FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY
  45. A Simple Heart GUSTAVE FLAUBERT
  46. The Nose NIKOLAI GOGOL
  47. The Great Fire of London SAMUEL PEPYS
  48. The Reckoning EDITH WHARTON
  49. The Figure in the Carpet HENRY JAMES
  50. Anthem for Doomed Youth WILFRED OWEN
  51. My Dearest Father WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
  52. Socrates’ Defence PLATO
  53. Goblin Market CHRISTINA ROSSETTI
  54. Sindbad the Sailor
  55. Antigone SOPHOCLES
  56. The Life of a Stupid Man RYŪNOSUKE AKUTAGAWA
  57. How Much Land Does A Man Need? LEO TOLSTOY
  58. Leonardo da Vinci GIORGIO VASARI
  59. Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime OSCAR WILDE
  60. The Old Man of the Moon SHEN FU
  61. The Dolphins, the Whales and the Gudgeon AESOP
  62. Lips too chilled MATSUO BASHŌ
  63. The Night is Darkening Round Me EMILY BRONTË
  64. To-morrow JOSEPH CONRAD
  65. The Voyage of Sir Francis Drake Around the Whole Globe RICHARD HAKLUYT
  66. A Pair of Silk Stockings KATE CHOPIN
  67. It was snowing butterflies CHARLES DARWIN
  68. The Robber Bridegroom BROTHERS GRIMM
  69. I Hate and I Love CATULLUS
  70. Circe and the Cyclops HOMER
  71. Il Duro D. H. LAWRENCE
  72. Miss Brill KATHERINE MANSFIELD
  73. The Fall of Icarus OVID
  74. Come Close SAPPHO
  75. Kasyan from the Beautiful Lands IVAN TURGENEV
  76. O Cruel Alexis VIRGIL
  77. A Slip under the Microscope H. G. WELLS
  78. The Madness of Cambyses HERODOTUS
  79. Speaking of Śiva
  80. The Dhammapada

 

I can not wait to start reading them all.

I would love to hear if you have read any of them and what you think of them.

Lady Book Dragon

 

 

Down The TBR Hole #1

Down the TBR Hole was the brain child of Lost In A Story. The idea is to reduce the length of your Goodreads TBR.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads want to read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

 

1. The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas

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In the dark recesses of the Bastille, a young prisoner known only as Phillipe has spent eight years of his short life. When Aramis, posing as his confessor, bribes his way into the prison, the truth about the man’s identity is brought to light. It is a secret which, if revealed, could bring down the King of France, Louis XIV, whose corrupt rule is destroying the well-being of his country.

The ensuing jailbreak and the consequent struggle for power brings the musketeers into swashbuckling action, taking us back to the days of chivalry and making The Man in the Iron Mask one of the most enthralling historical romances in literature.

I have read The Three Musketeers many, many times and I would like to read The Man in The Iron Mask so it will stay on the list.

Keep 

 

2. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

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When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man, John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction.

In North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell skillfully fuses individual feeling with social concern, and in Margaret Hale creates one of the most original heroines of Victorian literature.

Another classic I really should read and actually own two copies of. This has been on the list since I started Goodreads in 2012, I will keep it on the list for a little longer.

Keep

 

3. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

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Hazel stands at a crossroads. She and the remaining crew of the Argo II could return home with the Athena Parthenos statue and try to stop Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter from going to war. Or they could continue their quest to find the House of Hades, where they might be able to open the Doors of Death, rescue their friends Percy and Annabeth from Tartarus, and prevent monsters from being reincarnated in the mortal world. Whichever road they decide to take, they have to hurry, because time is running out. Gaea, the bloodthirsty Earth Mother, has set the date of August 1 for her rise to power.

Annabeth and Percy are overwhelmed. How will the two of them make it through Tartarus? Starving, thirsty, and in pain, they are barely able to stumble on in the dark and poisonous landscape that holds new horrors at every turn. They have no way of locating the Doors of Death. Even if they did, a legion of Gaea’s strongest monsters guards the Doors on the Tartarus side. Annabeth and Percy can’t exactly launch a frontal assault.

Despite the terrible odds, Hazel, Annabeth, Percy, and the other demigods of the prophecy know that there is only one choice: to attempt the impossible. Not just for themselves, but for everyone they love. Even though love can be the riskiest choice of all.

Join the demigods as they face their biggest challenges yet in The House of Hades, the hair-raising penultimate book in the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.

To be honest I’m not entirely sure I will get around to reading this and I think I might have out grown Rick Riordan sadly so I think I will take it off the list, if I do get around to reading it one day then it will be a bonus but I’m not that worried about it either way.

Go

 

4. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

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When orphaned 11-year-old Pollyanna comes to live with austere and wealthy Aunt Polly, her philosophy of gladness brings happiness to her aunt and other members of the community, somewhat to their surprise.

 

 

 

 

 

This is another book I am desperate to read, I am a little obsessed with the TV Film of it starring Amanda Burton. I hope the book does not disappoint.

Keep

 

5. The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

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Caught between loyalties, the mother of the Tudors must choose between the red rose and the white.

When Henry Tudor picks up the crown of England from the mud of Bosworth field, he knows he must marry the princess of the enemy house—Elizabeth of York—to unify a country divided by war for nearly two decades.

But his bride is still in love with his slain enemy, Richard III—and her mother and half of England dream of a missing heir, sent into the unknown by the White Queen. While the new monarchy can win power, it cannot win hearts in an England that plots for the triumphant return of the House of York.

Henry’s greatest fear is that somewhere a prince is waiting to invade and reclaim the throne. When a young man who would be king leads his army and invades England, Elizabeth has to choose between the new husband she is coming to love and the boy who claims to be her beloved lost brother: the rose of York come home at last.

Being as I do own this book I intend on reading it at some point as I have read most of the books by Philippa Gregory.

Keep

 

So that is my first foray into the TBR list, I have only braved 5 books this week, I will try 10 next week. I have also only managed to remove 1 book so the list has gone from 499 to 498, I feel a little bit like a failure. 

If anybody else is doing the Down The TBR Hole I would love to hear about it, please leave the link to your blog in the comments.

Lady Book Dragon.

A Bookish Confession

A few days ago on the 12th March marked the anniversary of  Sir Terry Pratchett’s death in 2015. I still remember the day, I had been teaching all day and my best friend knew I had probably not seen the news so she sent me a text to break the news. Although I knew he was ill and it was going to happen, it was still like a kick in the stomach and I am not ashamed to admit I shed a tear. Sir Terry Pratchett meant so much to me, his Discworld novels were my absolute favourites, that I always relied on to cheer me up and make me laugh. I could not believe there would be no more, that the world of Discworld was over.

I first discovered the Discworld series at the age of 12, when my cousin’s partner recommended them to me, I then persuaded my mom to join a Sci-fi and Fantasy book club to order me a few of the books and from then I got a couple each month on offer. In year 9 at school during quiet reading, my teacher attempted to confiscate my copy of The Colour of Magic because he thought it an inappropriate book for a girl of my age, happily my mom intervened and I was allowed to continue reading them.

In 2013 I decided to read all the Discworld novels in order of them being written and it was wonderful. During this time they helped me cope with a particularly harrowing two-week session on jury duty and it was comforting to know that in my handbag there was always a Terry Pratchett novel.

Anyway, that’s a brief description of my history with Discworld, now on to my confession. The very last Discworld novel The Shepherd’s Crown I have never read! I pre-ordered it, I even got the special edition that Waterstones did so I have two copies but I have never read either. The reason, I just could not bring myself to read it, because in my mind once I read it I would know for sure that there would never be another Discworld book and that Sir Terry Pratchett was gone for good.

Over the last few days I have been thinking of The Shepherd’s Crown and yesterday I collected both copies from my parents house and brought them home. Now they are sat in my living room looking at me and I think I have made a decision. Sir Terry Pratchett wrote this book for people to read and the fact that I have not read it yet is not what he would have wanted. So on Terry Pratchett’s birthday on the 28th April I plan on starting to read The Shepherd’s Crown and I must admit that thought scares me a little, as I do not want to be disappointed and I know I will not want the book to end. Even just writing this brings all those memories back from 2015 and the sadness.

That is my bookish confession and I hope I can go through with my plan. Apologies to Sir Terry Pratchett for not having read your last Discworld novel sooner.

Lady Book Dragon.

 

Friday Poetry

Happy Friday Everyone!

The weekend is on its way and I hope you all have some good reading lined up.

This is my chosen poem of the week, hope you enjoy.

Children’s Song

We live in our own world,

A world that is too small

For you to stoop and enter

Even on hands and knees,

The adult subterfuge.

And though you probe and pry

With analytic eye,

And eavesdrop all our talk

With an amused look,

You cannot find the centre

Where we dance, where we play,

Where life is still asleep

Under the closed flower,

Under the smooth shell

Of eggs in the cupped nest

That mock the faded blue

Of your remoter heaven.

 

R. S. Thomas

 

Lady Book Dragon.