I'm excited to announce that my book, Women at Church, is now available for pre-order through Greg Kofford Books.
There will be a number of launch events in the coming weeks and months that I will publicize here, starting with a book signing during the Friday lunchtime of the FairMormon conference on Friday August 8th. In the meantime, I hope you'll consider ordering it. In fact, several people have already told me they'll be ordering several to give to their bishops, Relief Society presidents, etc., and I do think it would make a great gift. After all, I haven't actually done anything to increase the way women are seen, heard and included in our local worship; that job rests on all of our shoulders. New culture is created with new actions, not by writing about it.
I feel humbled by the timing of this book's release -- at the end of a wearying summer for many Church members on issues regarding gender -- but I also feel confident that the timing is providential: I submitted my manuscript two weeks before Kate Kelly was informed of pending church discipline. I started writing in January, well before anyone knew that Ordain Women was going to attempt a second time to enter the priesthood session of general conference. I feel encouraged that many members have really taken the time this summer to ask themselves what they believe about women in the Church, and I feel the ground is fertile to continue the conversation, albeit in different ways than what OW has been proposing. I hope this book gives us the tools we need to press forward as a unified community.
In between prepping for the book's release and the other demands of daily life, here's what I've been enjoying:
What I've Been Reading: The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt. Although this book was released last fall, it will remain on favorite book lists for years to come. Its effects have stayed with me pungently in the weeks since I read it on our annual trip to New York. I started the book on a bench on Fifth Avenue, just a few blocks south of the Met Museum, waiting for a friend. The dramatic opening scene takes place at the Met. A few weeks later, I was in Las Vegas, where a critical portion of the book is set and where we are introduced to one of the best characters I have encountered in modern literature, Boris. I am loathe to pick up another novel in fear that everything will pale in comparison. The Goldfinch is not for the faint of heart -- there is lots of swearing and drug use -- but I feel it is Dickensian in its scope, ability to capture the social sentiments of its time, and in the sheer adventure of its plot.
What I've Been Listening To:
- Haim. I'm a sucker for three sisters. Love The Wire's shuffle.
- Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony. Seemed perfect for a Sunday morning walk.
- Brahms' Variations on a Theme by Handel. In June, we hosted a competitor in the Gina Bachauer Piano Competition, held every four years here in Salt Lake City. This was my favorite piece from the extensive programs our guest practiced for eight hours a day for the two weeks she was with us. It was a fantastic experience.