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  • Writer's pictureRev. Kati Collins

My Reading List

On my trip to El Paso, I listened to several audio books, a few educational and a few fun.  

Specifically, I chose a few to learn more about the experience of immigrants.  

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen

by Jose Antonio Vargas

"Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, called 'the most famous undocumented immigrant in America,' tackles one of the defining issues of our time in this explosive and deeply personal call to arms."

Fun, vulnerable, informative, endearing and shocking. "Read" this one from start to finish.

This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto

by Suketu Mehta

"An impassioned defence of global immigration from the acclaimed author of Maximum City. Drawing on his family’s own experience emigrating from India to Britain and America, and years of reporting around the world, Suketu Mehta subjects the worldwide anti-immigrant backlash to withering scrutiny. The West, he argues, is being destroyed not by immigrants but by the fear of immigrants."

From the title, I thought this book would be about “our” immigration crisis in the USA.  I later discovered it is about “our” immigration crisis throughout the world.  The song means so much more to me now that I can hear the angry exclusionist saying, “You don’t belong here, this is our land,” at the same time I hear the social activist crying, “You do belong here, this is our land,” and I hear God saying, “I created this world and placed you here. You belong together on this earth because I put you here. This land is not your land alone.  This land is our land.” Warning...the stories in this one are descriptive and heartbreaking. Some stories were overwhelming for me...almost seemed like fiction at times...would have been easier to listen to if it was.

Then my fun reading…can you tell I like memoirs?


by Michelle Obama

So much fun.  Did you know she plays the piano? My favorite story so far is about her first recital.  I won’t ruin it for you. Great audio book.  Still reading this one, savoring every minute.

Ash and Starlight: Prayers for the Chaos and Grace of Daily Life

by Arianne Braithwaite Lehn

Reading this one on Kindle, and I have the hardback on order at the new Burrowing Owl Bookshop in Amarillo! I have been looking for a book like this for a long time. Back in college I had a book of prayers for women that I turned to every time I had a problem. There were prayers for struggling specifically with so many problems, I felt like each prayer gave words for the groans and tears of my heart. As I grew in my faith, the prayers in that book started to frustrate me with the limitations to images of God and images of women. I've been looking for a book of common situational prayers which would also expand my knowledge of God and knowledge of myself. Each prayer in this book does that in such a way that I feel my faith grow with each prayer. I am learning new names for God with inclusive and expansive imagery, and the creative vocabulary of this book gives me opportunities to discover myself in new ways, from the common ashes to the sparkling starlight.

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