Now THAT'S a love letter.
Let's write a manifesto!

One just for me.

Lots of times I can't wait to bore you with every little thought I have about every little thing I read, nonfiction and fiction. Partly I do this to keep track of what I'm reading, and partly I do it because the conversations we invariably end up having have really added something to my enjoyment of my reading. (And I already enjoyed my reading, so that's saying a lot.)

But you should also know that sometimes I read things that I end up wanting to keep to myself. Often these books have to do with personal topics that, well, are just too personal. Sometimes these secret books get me thinking about people I know, and our interconnected lives, and then I keep quiet because other people's secrets are not really mine to blog about. But a lot of times it's just because I figure too much about me, not enough about the books is just a boring mix.

But then again I come across a book that I want to keep for myself, and yet I feel there are certain readers who might enjoy it, and then I feel a conflicted need to babble about it. So before I talk about today's secret book, there are some things you should know about me: I am Catholic. I like being Catholic. This does not mean I think everyone has to be Catholic (I didn't even think Mr. CR had to be Catholic so I'm not about to start in on y'all). I know, boy do I know, the Catholic church has many many problems, and has much to apologize for and fix. So, frankly, do the federal government and most large corporations, and yet we keep them around.

So today's book is A Nation for All: How the Catholic Vision of the Common Good Can Save America from the Politics of Division, by Chris Korzen and Alexia Kelley. I'm really only mentioning it because I strongly feel that if there are any Catholics out there, or people who are interested in (or, okay, repelled by) Catholicism, this is a great book to read, as it hammers home the point that we are all meant to care about and for each other, for the common good. It's got interesting things to say about politics and voting, which has been a real bitch for Catholics since Roe v. Wade was passed and abortion took over as the issue most likely to be used by the Conservative Right to obtain the Catholic vote. But most of all? I loved its whole chapter on the Catholic social tradition, including the tenet of "the dignity of work and the rights of workers":

"Because each human person has inherent dignity independent of his or her economic value, work is designed to benefit the person, not the other way around...In this era of economic globalization, it is all the more important to remember that people should always take priority over profit. Workers, in the Catholic social tradition, have essential human rights: to a just and living wage that will support workers' families, to organize and bargain collectively through trade unions, to safe and to humane working conditions, and to leisure time to spend with their friends and families. Employees have a responsibility to hold up their end of the bargain, but so too must employers take an active role in protecting these essential rights." (p. 27.)

Isn't that beautiful? Frankly, I think we should make THAT a prayer and start reciting it. You hear me, Catholic Church?

Okay, I've said too much. Sorry for boring you with my secrets.