"The Magician's Elephant" by Kate DiCamillo

Every once in a while, I come across a book that, even before I have turned the first page to the second, I know it will be pure magic. I know that I will hate for it to end. I know that it will be one of my favorites ever.

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo is just such a book.

I have fallen in love with orphan Peter Augustus Duchene, the boy hero of the story, his missing sister Adele, an elephant whose name I wouldn't understand, and Leo and Gloria Matienne, the police officer and his wife who, while childless, have all the love in the world in their hearts to give .

Now, I could go on gushing, but that would do a disservice to this magical, beautiful, hope and wonder-filled book. But instead, I will let Ms. DiCamillo's words do the job for me. Here are some of my very favorite quotes...
"Leo Matienne had the soul of a poet, and because of this, he liked very much to consider questions that had no answers. He liked to ask, 'What if?' and 'Why not?' and 'Could it possibly be?'"
* * * * *
"Magic is always impossible," said the magician. "It begins with the impossible and ends with the impossible and is impossible in-between. That is why it is magic."
* * * * *
"Beyond the alley, past the public parks and the police station, up a steep and tree-lined hill, stood the home of the count and countess Quintet, and in that mansion, in the darkened ballroom, stood the elephant.

She should have been sleeping, but she was awake.

The elephant was saying her name to herself.

It was not a name that would make sense to humans. It was an elephant name—a name that her brothers and sisters knew her by, a name that they spoke to her in laughter and in play. It was the name that her mother had given to her and that she spoke to her often and with love.

Deep within herself, the elegant said this name, her name, over and over again.

She was working to remind herself of who she was. She was working to remember that, somewhere, in another place entirely, she was known and loved."
There are so many brilliant lines, so much magic in this book, that one really must experience it for oneself. Do yourself a favor: drop what you are doing right now, and go get yourself this book. If you have a Kobo, get it here, like I did. But whatever you need to do to get your hands on it, you won't be sorry.

What I'm Reading


Believe it or not, I am still on my way to having 60 books read this year.

That being said, I am a bit behind. Even for someone as numerically challenged as it am, i know that sixty books a year means five books a month. Given that we are more than halfway through May, the GoodReads widget to your left should say that I have 23 books read already.

Clearly that is not the case.

But given that summer—that most dreaded of all seasons for someone like myself—is just around the corner, I have a feeling that there will be no shortage of page turning coming my way as I attempt to hide from the heat, humidity and horrible glare from the sun.

One of my biggest struggles in attempting to read as much as humanly possible in a year is that many of the books I choose to read—most of which recommended to me or taken from the reading lists of people I admire—are books that cannot be read quickly. Some cannot be read quickly because they are designed so, such as the Rilke and Nouwen day books, meant to be read a bit every day. Others cannot be read quickly, because I so love the book, the last thing I want to do is read it quickly and have it end before I am ready. That would be tragic.

So here is what I'm reading right now...

The Thank You Economy {Gary Vaynerchuk} Someone in my Church Communications Group Tweeted that he was reading this book and that every Church Communications person out in the Twitterverse should read it. So I exercised my ever-growing Kobo Wi-Fi skills, and in moments, had it in my hot little eReader. I'm almost halfway through, and can tell you it is making me totally rethink how I do my job, and how it can be done so much better.

Walking On Water
{Madeleine L'Engle} This one has been on the list for a while. It's one of those that I refuse to read quickly, simply because I don't want this time with Madeleine to end.

Harvesting Fog {Luci Shaw} A poetry book, again, designed to not rush through. I feel the need to go back again and again to each poem to get every drop of life in them.

Everything Belongs {Richard Rohr} Derek and Jennifer, my youngest brother and sister-in-law sent me this book off my Amazon wishlist for my birthday. Another one not meant to be rushed through, there is so much wisdom in the book on contemplative prayer, I can already tell that I will need to read it again!

Emma {Jane Austen} I've begun Emma many, many times in the past, but for some reason, this time I am still going. This may be my favorite of Jane's...

That is all I have for now. I'll have some favorite words to share with you later this week, some from the above books.