About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Acedia & me – A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life by Kathleen Norris

46. - 456.) Acedia & me – A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life by Kathleen Norris – The South Dakota Presbyterian / Benedictine Oblate examines acedia – from the Greek - a lack of care. She explores the noonday demon starting from the vivid writings of the 3rd Century monk, Evagrius, on the tempter distracting the monk. She travels the centuries to the present distinguishing between depression and loss of spirituality. She explores the difficulties in her marriage to David, another gifted poet. His emotional upheavals included an attempted suicide. She forthrightly discusses his slow dying from cancer. She is the best spiritual writer of my generation.

She provided a prayer she found for mourning after her David’s death and for coping with acedia:

“This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to do it quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And I am to do nothing let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.”
Acedia & Me was the Best Non-Fiction book in Bill's Best of Non-Fiction in 2008.

I have enjoyed several of Kathleen's books including The Cloister Walk and Dakota - A Spiritual Geography. She is a gifted writer about contemporary Christian life.


  1. Bill - It certainly sounds as though she really takes on the darkness of depression. And it's interesting that she addresses a lot of spirituality and what that can mean. I think we all struggle with dark times and her exploration of that sounds fascinating.

  2. Margot: Thanks for the comment. Acedia is one of the subtler forms of depression. The struggle to motivate yourself when you do not feel like doing anything.