Monday, January 04, 2010
A little more book talk
I did think of a couple new "Christian" titles that I read last year. To make my "best of" list, it must have been a new (to me) title. Anyone who views my sidebar reading list knows I tend to keep the same devotional books for months on end and two of them are permanent residents (Valley of Vision and My Utmost for His Highest). I'll write about the new titles when I write about the quiet time basket (soon).
I find it interesting to see what happens when I recommend books. I always... always... dip down by at least one or two in the Followers and Google Readers list (the only two "numbers" I choose to view). People have very strong opinions about what we should and should not read. For instance, I am well aware that Jane Brocket's book is not from a Christian perspective but (like the Alexandra Stoddard books I love)... they are not recommended from a spiritual standpoint. We know we'll have to use discernment.
We even disagree on our "books about books". I absolutely adore Gladys Hunt's Honey for a Woman's Heart but Stephanie didn't care for it as much. Granted... the recommendations by Hunt are fine but you have to be careful about those recommended by others in the book.
One of the nicest things that have come about by 3 1/2 years of blogging (aside from meeting great people, of course) is having "vintage" authors recommended that I hadn't read before... especially Elizabeth Goudge and D. E. Stevenson.
A blog friend sent me Miss Buncle's Book and another sent Mrs. Tim Christie when I mentioned I'd never read this author before. I became a Stevenson fan within the first few chapters. Pilgrim's Inn had the same affect on me for Goudge (and I will have to read all the Eliot Family trilogy!). I'm looking forward to reading many more books by these authors.
The only "bad" thing at all is locating these books without taking a second mortgage on the house. However... I am always on the lookout now at library sales
Yes... I love the Miss Read books! Like so many American readers, I first heard of them when they were recommended by Jan Karon. Fortunately, they were available from the library. At first I didn't read them in order but it soon became apparent that the stories made more sense if read as written.
Two other authors I look for at the book sales are Gladys Taber and Gene Stratton Porter. I only recently decided to keep G.S.P.'s books on the home shelves and I regret all those I passed up through the years! We visited our friends last year near Ft. Wayne, Indiana (our first visit to an Amish community was with them in our "year of the Amish"). Their land is adjacent to Gene Stratton Porter's original property, which sparked my imagination and interest.
It has only been in the past five years or so that I developed a passion for fiction. For years I combined work and home and my preference for the rare times for reading was nonfiction. Then came the homeschooling years and since we used the Charlotte Mason style of education, I read lots and lots of books having to do with the area of interest we were studying at the moment.
My collecting interests have been varied over the years, having much to do with what was going on in our life at the moment. For many years I collected the Landmark books at library sales. They offer excellent nonfiction history and biography for young people. I've given some to Stephanie for her homeschool library but I still have a number of them on my shelves, waiting to see if Christopher wants to take them with him when he has his own home.
Homeschooling friends would tell me of finding the books for a quarter each while they were already a dollar when I began collecting them. Later they would be priced much more as the library realized homeschoolers loved these books. Even now if I see a Landmark book very cheap at a garage sale or Goodwill, I will purchase it for the next generation.
My friend Cheryl (aka: Copperswife) writes a great deal about the importance of purchasing old books and favorite authors to build a Heritage Library. You can find her suggestions... here. I highly recommend taking the time to read it.