Category: bibliography

Reading: July 2018

Currently

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy by J. Birdsall
This is our latest read aloud, which in the summer has been time spent few and far between. I’m anxious to get back into our not summer family rhythm so we can get back to reading aloud more. This comes highly recommended by many friends and so far, so good.

Glass Houses by L. Penny
This is only my second Louise Penny mystery and I’m still struggling to get into it. I love a good mystery and I really love mystery series. People rave about Louise Penny so I’m hoping that the more I read the more I will love her too.

A bunch of astronomy books
I’m teaching an 8th grade homeschool class this year and we do a history of astronomy in the Fall semester so I’m cruising through a bunch of different astronomy books.

The Great Divorce by CS Lewis
This is for my August book club meeting and I’m trying to stay with it, but it’s just strange. I love CS Lewis and I love a good allegory, but this one has been a little bit hard to figure out. Probably because I’m reading so many other things!

Educated by T. Westover
I started listening to this on audio and had to return it and I’m like number 100 in line for the book at the library. I loved the interview on NPR I heard with her, I loved as much as I was able to listen to and I’m almost tempted to just buy the book so I can finally finish it!

Finished

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by S. King
Awesome book. I loved this book as much as people said I would. It’s a fabulous book for write wannabes like me and it was such an amazing insight into King’s process. He’s totally strange, but yet he seems like such an ordinary family guy. He loves his wife and his kids and while what he writes about is often bizarre, his process is totally normal. Highly recommend!

Gilead by M. Robinson
I really wanted to like this book. I know people who love it, but it was so draggy and so somber. It often put me to sleep at night and it was almost drudgery to get through. There were parts I should have totally written down in my commomplace because they were so good, but overall I don’t know. I have one more episode to listen to of Close Reads as they talk about this and listening to the podcast has helped me process the book. Otherwise I would totally not like it.

The Fledgling by J. Langton
Actually we didn’t finish this book, but abandoned it. There’s only a handful of books that we’ve started to read aloud together and then quit and this one added to the list. It’s a super strange book and we really couldn’t figure out the whole point. A girl and a goose who flies. I don’t know. It was weird.

 

What’s Next

Goodness – who knows. I need to keep some good “easy” reads for my afternoon tea time, but I’ve also go so many things I need to read for my class. Not to mention that we’ve started homeschool so I’ve got tons of pre-reading I need to stay on top of too. I’m not going to make the next couple of book club meetings, so I’m not sure that I’ll stay on top of those readings. Who knows!

Reading: June/July 2018

I totally missed writing about my June books, but it’s no big deal because I really didn’t get much read. I feel like my life has been lived in 45 minute increments in between being the taxi for my kids this summer and just life in general. I’m really hoping July becomes a month of rest so I can catch up on some reading goals and do very little prep for the upcoming school year. I need a vacation!

Finished

Little Britches: Father and I were Ranchers by R. Moody
This was a pre-read for my upcoming Challenge B class and I really loved it. It was a sweet book and a great story; although the ending was a bit sad. Not without hope, but sad nonetheless. I’m interested in reading more of the series at some point.

The Inimitable Jeeves by PG Wodehouse
I’ve seen Wodehouse and Jeeves mentioned all over different groups I’m in so I took the plunge and read one. It was good and funny and I’ll file Wodehouse away as a great “recoup” read (as in after reading a heavy book). As a totally Anglophile, I’ll take any book with it’s dry English humor and enjoy it.

Fanny Crosby
This was a biography that we started for school and actually both of us abandoned it. Mallory got further along than me, but overall it was kind of ehh.

Hannah Coulter by Berry
This was a re-read for me as the Close Reads podcast from Circe was going through it. I really enjoyed it more the second time than the first.

Currently Reading

Gilead by M. Robinson
This one was mentioned on the podcast a bunch while I was reading Hannah Coulter and I kept hearing about it from a bunch of other places so I had filed it away as a to-read. I walked into the library one day and low and behold it was sitting on the top shelf with all the new books just waiting for me. I’m listening to the Close Reads podcast discussion while I’m reading it and it’s helping me get through it. The form is crazy different (like letters or journal entries) and while I know the story is going somewhere – it’s pretty melancholy. I’m not sure what I think about it.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
I’m on the tail end of this book and I’ve loved it all (minus the sections about grammar – ugg) but I love that I’ve been completely surprised by his voice as just a regular guy. He loves his wife, completely respects her opinion and he loves his family. That was refreshing and enjoyable to read in this day and age. And it was totally interesting to get behind the scenes of his crazy imagination. Overall, I appreciate his honesty. As someone who feels like I’ve got “that story” buried deep in my psyche it was just so refreshing to read about his process and just the real life of trying to get the words out onto a page.

The Wisdom of God: Seeing Jesus in the Psalms and Wisdom Literature by N. Guthrie
I needed desperately some sort of Bible study to do and after digging around on the web I came across Guthrie’s studies and figured I would give one a whirl. Low and behold the book arrived and I realized I did this study years ago. At the time, I really didn’t like it at all, but it’s funny how God can bring you into and through places and when you arrive on the other side the things that really didn’t hit you at one point do at the other.

Summer has been a crazy whirlwind and our schedules have been nuts. We’ve pretty much not been reading aloud at all so these books are still on our reading shelf, but are collecting dust:
Across Five Aprils
The Fledgling
Orthodoxy (although this one is collecting dust because I’m still struggling with it)

Coming Up

Once I finish Stephen King’s book, I’m going to finally read The Read Aloud Family and I need to start on The Great Divorce (Lewis) for my August book club. Fiction wise, I picked up a newer Louise Penny mystery and also The Light Keeper’s Daughter from the library. I also need to read a few others before I start teaching this Fall and I’m sure I’ve got a million things to pre-read for my kid’s own schooling. The list is forever long. Jaybar Crow is also on my list but I don’t know if I’m going to get to it before the Fall.

Reading: April 2018

The angels erupted in song yesterday when I finally put down the book David Copperfield and rejoiced that nearly 900 pages later I was finished. Whew. It was a doozy of a book and the longest one I’ve read in years. I’m so happy to have finished it (and for the most part enjoyed it), but I’m super thrilled to be moving on.

Finished

The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom
Seriously, the best book I’ve read in a while. This one has been on my “to-read” list for years and when it ended up as one of my book club books AND a book that I’m teaching this coming year I was beyond thrilled. It’s an amazing read for the mere story of it, but also for the conviction of it. When I start to look around and become annoyed or dismayed at my life – all I need to do is remember hers. This one is worthy of it’s own review post.

Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel
This was good; not my absolute favorite but I’m not a personality guru either. I really enjoyed the first few chapters, but when she started in on all the different personality tests etc, it didn’t quite hold my interest. It is a great compilation of all the different personality type discussions going on and I do believe in at least being familiar with all the typings as being a helpful thing when trying to deal with people (especially those in your family).

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
To begin with, this is Dickens so it’s crazy wordy. I will say, compared the other Dickens I’ve read this one was definitely more light-hearted. There were places throughout the book where I actually laughed and I did enjoy many of the characters. Dickens is amazing at his ability to create memorable characters and it’s where his love of descriptions is so helpful. By the time you are done with the book you definitely have a very vivid picture in your mind of who is who. I will say the character of David was somewhat annoying. I absolutely loved him as a child, but then it was like he never grew up. From his child-wife to the blindness he carried throughout the book for Agnes (come on already!) drove my absolutely bonkers…and his infatuation with Steerforth! I will say that Dickens did a fabulous job leading up that whole story with Steerforth. I knew from the beginning that at some point David was totally going to realize what sort of goody-too shoes he was.

Caddie Woodlawn (Caddie Woodlawn #1)
The chick and I read this aloud and overall it was pretty good. I feel like it is so much a copy of Little House that I had a hard time getting through that. I don’t know that either of us is a huge Pioneer literature fan so I don’t think we will be continuing on with the series. But it was a good read aloud.

Currently

The Fledgling (Hall Family Chronicles #4)
This is our current read aloud. I picked this up last year when I knew we were going to study birds and we finally started it. So far we are only like 10 pages in, so the jury is still out on how good it will be.

Before We Were Yours by Windgate
My mom passed this off to me a few days ago and knowing I needed something “easy” after Dickens I figured I would try this.

Across Five Aprils
We are attempting to do a family read aloud of this book. It’s been on the list all year and one that I wanted both kids to read. I’ve never read it and the reviews are always great.

Fanny Crosby
This is a pre-read for me as the chick is reading it for school. It’s a biography of her life. She was blind and ended up being this amazing hymn writer; she wrote Blessed Assurance for one.

Island of the Blue Dolphins
The chick is also reading this for school. It was one of my favorites as a child and I’m still enjoying it; she’s not. 🙁

Orthodoxy by Chesterton
This book is making my brain hurt.

What’s Next?

I’m going to re-read Hannah Coulter, because the Circe Close Reads podcast is getting ready to read it in May and I love Wendell Berry so win-win. A friend recommended PJ Wodehouse to me, so I reserved some of those books. Our next book club book is The Good Earth by Buck (I think) so I will need to get my hands on that. I’m also hoping to start reading Steven King’s memoir on writing.

Reading: March 2018

I know it’s nearly mid-April, but I honestly have been spending so much time on the computer doing other things that I haven’t felt like writing at all. I also haven’t been reading quite as much either because of this…

Currently

David Copperfield – this monstronsity is our June book for my book club and I started it way early because I knew I’d never finish it if I didn’t. I really loved the first third, the second third has been a little bit “ehh”, but it’s sort of ramping up again. I go in spurts and sometimes can sit and read it for a while and other times honestly fall asleep. I really do love Dickens, but sometimes his descriptions are so laborious that it’s just too much. But I do love the character of David and he’s so humorous, which seems strange to me as he is a Dickens character.

Reading People by Anne Bogel – I really loved the first couple chapters of this book and then it started going into all the personality types and I got all confused. I get it, but sometimes it all just bogs down in my head and I just wonder if it’s really worth it for me to understand it? But it is a good book and I thing she does a great job of bringing a whole bunch of information into a concise little volume.

Caddie Woodlawn – the chick and I are reading this one at night. It’s pretty good; rather Little House-ish, but kind of funnier in some ways.

Finished

Know and Tell: The Art of Narration – hands down the best Charlotte Mason-ish book I’ve read yet (besides CM stuff itself). Totally helpful and something that I know I will use and refer to tons. I highly recommend it!

What’s Next

I need to start reading The Hiding Place, as that is our next book club book and I want to start reading Steven King’s memoir on writing. But first I’ve got to finish this darn encyclopedia.

Reading: February 2018

 

February is typically a super slow month, but it seemed to fly by this year. I think it’s because my kids are getting so much older. Time just flies. It was a great reading month and I actually finished a handful of books. I found myself looking for something to read this week because I wasn’t sure where to go next!

Finished

The Book of Three (Chronicles of Prydain #1): this was a great and quick read. This series has been on my to-read list for a while to see if it might interest the fantasy loving kids in the house. There were so many similarities between Lord of the Rings and Narnia in this book and I found myself hearing Gollum for Gilgi almost all the time. I couldn’t even get out of my head that Gilgi wasn’t even anything like Gollum – but still. My daughter found the audio version on Libby so she’s excited to start listening to it and hopefully I can gather up the rest of the series to have for our home library.

12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You: This book was good; very practical. I really think I enjoyed The Shallows more – something about reading what literally happens to your brain when all you do is stare at screens seems to have more of an effect on me! But it’s an easy read and was for one of my book clubs and led us into a great discussion. Honestly I think we could have had multiple discussions about it over the course of months!

Alias Grace: This was my March book for my other book club and I figured out about one-third of the way through that this was the same author of Handmaid’s Tale…which is a book that totally ticks me off. (the ending…argh!!) But I pushed through hoping this one would end better and it did. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I do really love Atwood’s writing style. I’ve started watching the Netflix version and it’s so close to the book! It’s really good.

Uncommon Type: This is a book of short stories by Tom Hanks. I’ve just recently started enjoying short stories – and partially because I’ve told myself that if I don’t like the way the story is going, then I just don’t finish that one and move on. This book was about half and half. There were maybe 3-4 really compelling stories and a few that I didn’t even attempt after the first line and a couple that I tried to push through and didn’t. You could totally hear Tom Hanks reading these, which makes me realize how iconic he really is.

Princess and the Goblin by McDonald
Amazing! I’ve wanted to read this book forever after hearing Tim Keller reference it during a sermon. I don’t often write down lines from children’s books, but this one was full of so many good ones. I need to get my hands on the rest of the books too because I’m eager to know more about Princess Irene and Curdie.

A Touch of the Infinite by Hoyt
This was an excellent resource on ideas for how to teach music in a Charlotte Mason style. The amount of research she put into this book was amazing and found myself taking gobs of notes with the hope that next year as I plan for our composer study and more that I’ll be able to approach it in a manner that will encourage my children to enjoy the music – or at least appreciate it, rather than just bear it.

Currently

Know and Tell: The Art of Narration by Karen Glass
This book came out with much fanfare in my Charlotte Mason circles and I went back and forth on whether I needed it or not – but man am I glad I bought it. This is an excellent book and so super helpful. It’s always a win when the book you are reading about an educational “task” actually makes you calmer about it rather than more freaked.

Caddie Woodlawn by Brink
The chick and I are reading this one and so far, so good! My daughter is so much like Caddie that it’s been fun to read and almost every night discover another way that if she were living on the Prairie she would be just like Caddie and getting into all sorts of trouble.

Orthodoxy by Chesterton
I’ve actually set this one aside while I read a different book of essays for Lent, but I started it and it’s challenging for sure. I feel like he’s having a conversation and I’ve missed the first half. But I’ve already found some gems and I do want to keep going.

What’s Next:

I started Station’s Eleven and so far I’m totally hooked. I’m a sucker for a good dystopian book. David Copperfield is our June book and I know I need to start on it soon, so I’m trying to lay out the rest of my reading spring so I can make sure I leave enough time to read that ENORMOUS book! My other book club is going to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society so I need to re-read that one and we are all going to attend the movie together! Such fun!