A Time to Read … and Grow

Listen to an Audible audiobook free sample of As the Crow Flies.

A Time to Read


There have been so many challenges and opportunities during this time of uncertainty.

I’m reminded of a quote in The Art of War by Sun Tzu, “In the midst of chaos, there is an opportunity.”

Webster’s defines opportunity as a “good chance for advancement or progress.”

I have chosen to view the Covid-19 Pandemic as an opportunity to learn, grow, and care.

I do not take lightly the severe pain this pandemic has brought on others.

Many have lost jobs and security.

Others have lost family members and friends.

Regardless, I choose to learn from this time. I’m at a season in my life that I’m able to have more discretionary time than in my younger years. I realize that a stay at home order with five kids is tough after six weeks, so I have empathy for everyone.

We need to cut everyone some slack due to our having not walked a mile in their moccasins.

I also recognize that many people’s jobs have become much more difficult. I so admire the millions who are pushing ahead, working long hours, and keeping America going.

I’m still working daily but our school is closed and quiet. I have lots to do as we stay in touch with students, parents, and teachers. I’m thankful for my job and the routine it provides.

I believe all of us can learn during this time, regardless of our station or season of life.

That’s why I make time to read.

Reading is such a gift. It’s also the best way to learn and grow.

During past times of depression in my life, I lost my desire to read.

I’m so thankful in 2020 to have my passion to read intact.

I want to share a short list of what I’m reading and why.

Many of my friends and family have commented on the new depth of Bible study in their lives. My sister is currently reading the entire Bible. I’ve watched my wife grow in the Word. I’m camping out in Judges (I’ve just finished the wonderful story of Gideon in Judges 6). Additionally, I’m reading the book of James, written by Jesus’ half-brother.

I highly recommend the Bible. I’ve spent a lifetime reading and studying it and am still amazed at how old passages breathe with new life.


I’ve been reading a lot of history. I’ve been reminded of the complexities of the Middle East in 1967: The Six-Day War.  I’m currently re-listening to Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers. What a fine book (and series). I’ve just finished the Rick Atkinson trilogy of World War II in Europe. (Pack your lunch if you start it.)


 1918 Flu Pandemic
1918 New York City. This poem from that time is so relevant today.

Probably the book most affecting me right now is The Great Influenza by John Barry. It’s the story of the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918. It’s like reading today’s headlines with NYC empty, everyone wearing a face mask, and thousands needing hospital care. Before the virus left after the second wave, over 600,000 Americans had died. Here are some takeaways:

  1. Our country (and the world) has been through a terrible pandemic before. We will get through this time as a nation and individuals.
  2. Medical research and breakthroughs take time.
  3. We must band together as a society to get through this pandemic.
  4. It is difficult to predict the length of a pandemic. The Spanish Flu had a deadly second wave, then it disappeared as quickly as it’d exploded earlier.


Speaking of reading (and listening), I’d like to invite you to download my latest book, As the Crow Flies.

It is available at Amazon.com in various formats.

You can also download a free sample of the Audible book, then purchase the entire book if you wish. Narrator Whitney Jenkins delivers a knock-out performance of As the Crow Flies.


Click here to see our Audible page.


Thanks to all of you who are connected with us.

Stay safe and keep looking ahead and up.


Curt Iles







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