I had some introvert time at Barnes & Noble this afternoon. It was fantastic. First I got some Starbucks and sat at a table to read Tiber - just delving into the Eucharist section. Other than the fact that there were three college students studying chemistry at the table right next to mine - it was a pleasant and productive time.
When the coffee was gone, I surrendered my table to one of the circling buzzards - it was a rainy day and this is a popular Starbucks/Barnes & Noble - so there were LOTS of people there anxious to take my seat and stare out at the wet parking lot. I retreated back to the religion section where I spent the next two-plus hours scanning titles, reading dust jackets, and making mental notes.
To begin with, I just wanted a survey of what religious titles B & N carries. But it wasn't long before my mission was to find some title, any title having to do with women and Catholicism. Perhaps something obvious, like "Women in the Catholic Church" - that would have been perfect. Now that I think of it, I haven't searched this topic in the Catechism and that might be good to do. I know the Pope can't be a woman, but what place other than "having babies" (as Kristi joked) do women have?
I found a book on Mother Angelica who started the Catholic cable channel. PLENTY on Mother Teresa, of course. But not much else. As I scanned, it was interesting to see other available titles at this trusty mainstream bookstore: nearly every title of C.S. Lewis; Biblical history and geography; lots of the early guys - tons of Augustine; embarrassing numbers of "Idiot's Guides";
and then all the current popular preachers - TD Jakes, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen; plenty of Billy Graham and endless titles by Women of Faith speakers. Glad to see the I Kissed Dating Goodbye author Joshua Harris has branched out and written a few more books. I half expected to see our buddy Jason Illian's new sex book featured but I think it's still too new.
By the end of two long rows of books, I was holding two titles in my lap: 365 Mary, and another about celebrations in a Catholic home. The celebrations book looked interesting and practical, but wouldn't tell me much about women, so I left with 365 Mary. Honestly, it's not going to tell me too much about women in the church either, but maybe it'll shed a little light on the "big-kahun-ette" of the Church. Might as well start at the top and learn what I can about her in a simple way then I'll make a future stop at a Catholic bookstore to see what I can find with more complexity. All this is is "A Daily Guide to Mary's Wisdom & Comfort" - can't beat that. We'll see what I can get out of it. If I really needed deep reading I would have grabbed an Augustine book - but with Kevin's last book order we have plenty of quality writing to absorb for now.
Woodeene Koenig-Bricker is the author of 365 Mary, and her introduction describes the evolution her perception of Mary went through as she tried to write this book. She says, "I've discovered a woman whose life can inspire my own and a mother whose love is so expansive it transcends time and space." Looking forward to seeing this for myself.