cover image Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door

Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door

Barbara Mahany. Abingdon, $15.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-4267-7642-7

Always writing beautifully as a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, Mahany at last has a book, this one a series of essays, organized by seasons. There's also a count-your-blessings calendar, field notes of observations of nature, and a few recipes. This smorgasbord of content is perhaps a bit much, but the main dish is her writing, and she's stirred together fine words about simple things, frequently her children or life in an interfaith household (she is Christian, her husband Jewish). As a trained observer from years in journalism, Mahany is attentive to the smallest things: the sound of snow falling is "quiet squared"; her knitting group, a shawl ministry, is a place where "we knit 1, prayed 2." The prose is occasionally a little too ornate, and the title is rather generic, which could make it easy to miss what is unique about the book%E2%80%94Mahany's singular voice. But those who open the pages are in for a literary treat, and the recipes are a lagniappe. (Oct.)