Tag Archives: Kathleen Norris

The Cloister Walk – Kathleen Norris


This is a strange and beautiful book. Part memoir, part meditation, it is a remarkable piece of writing… If read with humility and attention, Kathleen Norris’s book becomes lectio divina, or holy reading.”
– The Boston Globe

“It’s like Eat, Pray, Love; only with a point.”
– David Seven

I recently got my hands on this book through bookcrossing.  Which is to say I got it a while ago, but only actually read it recently.

How to describe it?

It is a mixture of reminiscence by Norris of her times spent at Benedictine cloisters, essays on religious figures, and meditations on spirituality and monastic life.  It is laid out in a series of short essay-style chapters, with each one standing on it’s own, but also being part of the whole. 

I have always been fascinated by the contemplative and community life, particularly that of Benedictines.  I loved the book, and really enjoyed grappling with some of the chapters.  I think I am going to have to give this one a re-read or two before letting it free.

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Posted by on January 21, 2011 in books


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What are you reading?

I hate that question : “What are you reading at the moment?”

It is so difficult to answer accurately.

persuasion Do you mean what fictional novel am I reading for pure pleasure at the moment?  Then I guess the answer is Persuasion, by Jane Austen.  I am slowly working my way through the beautiful period prose, and being transported to another world.

The last Jane Austen novel I have never read, I hope to finish it in a week or so.


in constant prayer Except that at the same time, I am also reading some non-fiction in the form of In Constant Prayer, by Robert Benson.  A book out of the Ancient Practices series, it is a study of worship and prayer, and how they are utilised by Christians, particularly in the Daily Offices.


I started it last night, and it looks interesting

But sometimes when I sit down, I want something a little lighter, or something I can walk away from quickly without needing to absorb too much new information.  So laying next to my bed are two other books I am dipping into at the moment for short sections.

1100549 thecloisterwalk


I am re-reading selected poems from Seamus Heaney, as well as selected essays by Kathleen Norris from The Cloister Walk.

Both I have read before, but sometimes you just want a quick bite.

Plus, I suppose I am technically reading the Bible at the moment, as I am everyday.  And I still haven’t stopped reading War and Peace, it has just been a leetle while since I picked it up off the floor next to my bed.

So what about you?  What are you reading?

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Posted by on January 11, 2011 in books, Ponderings


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