A Book of Uncommon Prayer: 100 Celebrations of the Miracle & Muddle of the Ordinary
I read a longer book of Doyle’s essays, and I’ve become sort of obsessed with him. Doyle has a remarkable ability to notice the spiritual and the most mundane things.
This is a book about 100 prayers (little essays, really) about seemingly boring things. Doyle makes you understand how amazing they really are.
Examples (there are the actual chapter titles)
- A Prayer for Dads Enduring the Epic Winter Rains Along the Muddy Sidelines at Pee Wee Soccer Games
- A Prayer for Miles Davis and Chet Baker
- A Prayer for the Teenage Girl Singing with All Her Might as She Stands Alone at the Bus Stop
- A Prayer for Hospital Chaplains
- A Prayer for the Brave Small Girl Who Had the Courage to Ask Me, “What’s wrong with your nose, mister?”
- A Prayer of Reluctant Grumpy Moist Thanks for Steady Winter Rain
- A Prayer for All the Guys Who Rebounded Shots For Me Over 20 Years of Basketball
Each chapter sends with: “And so: Amen.”
Boyle turns a phrase like no one else I’ve ever read. Each essay is just lovely, and thought-provoking, both specifically on that topic, and generally in the sense that the world is an amazing place and we take so much for granted. Doyle forces us to stop and contemplate some of it.