Monday, January 04, 2010

A little more book talk

It was rather "tongue in cheek" when I said I'd be getting the Recommendations list to you as long as the desktop computer did not end up back in the shop.  It did.  Fortunately, it should not cost us anything as they knew there was the possibility of another problem.  Sigh,  it does mean I will set up the laptop at the dining room table and type away...

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. 


Vee said...

Sometimes it's a challenge to find the books, but I've had success with Abe books online. I've purchased a number of vintage books there. They offer a number of the Elizabeth Goudge books for under $5 and even some with free shipping. Not sure about the others you name. I'm going to start with a library loan and see if I want to invest first.

It's always wise to use discernment when reading. I learned long ago to reject the not-so-good and keep the best. Funny that your own daughter isn't fond of a book that you adore. My daughter would reject most of my reading material, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever read "Mrs. Dunwoody's Guide to Excellent HomeKeeping"? I love it!!I also like Alexandera Stoddard as well.
I am making a list of your read titles as well.

PattiVZ said...

I'm a new reader to your site - and after reading that you liked the Ms. Read books I know I have found a site to treasure. Another series, like Jan Karon's series, that I was sad to end.

We love to spend an afternoon looking through the used book stores finding treasures.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to mention a devotional while I'm thinking of it that ranks number two right after "My Utmost for His Highest" that I highly recommend, "Morning and Evening" by Charles Spurgeon. I have been encouraged and have learned much from it.

Friend Debra

Anonymous said...

I love to read old books, and used to scour local thrift stores library sales etc to add to my stash. But as I've gotten older, the desire to "pare down" has hit strong. I've given away or sold many of the wonderful books you mention (including rare children's books) just trying to pare down my books to one bookcase.
What I do when I want to read a new recommendation is I go to my local library, and for $1 they will get the book for me from another library system on loan. This can take weeks, but it's worth it. Some libraries will do this for free too!

Anonymous said...

You need to try the Lumby books!! They are good reads!!

Anonymous said...

Refresh my memory please. I thought there was some legislation passed that prohibited selling childrren's books printed before 1985. They said it was because there could be lead in the kids EAT the books! Many around the net said their used stores were throwing out all old children's books and even prohibiting them from buying them as they were being tossed in the bin. The word was only people who sold books to collectors could keep selling such on the internet. What happened to all of this? I am scared to give away any good children's books now becaue I will not be able to find them again. The older volumes had such wonderful pictures etc. If they reprint them no doubt the paper and pictures will not be done as well. How many I wonder will not ever be republished? Have the libraries cut back on the older books? Please let me know anything you know about this. Jody

Anonymous said...

Just sipping my tea this evening and reading blogs on the "things" I enjoy when I found yours. I just wanted to say good evening to you while I visited.

Walking with Him,

Packrat said...

If people quit reading your blog because they don't like a book or two you recommend... You aren't promoting satanism or ritual sacrifice for crying out loud! Keep up the good work. Love to come here.

martha said...

Might you suggest some books for a young mom with an over-active boy? I have always admired your balanced perspective, and recently remembered that you have "special training" in this area.

Many thanks!

Heather L. said...

It's so pleasant knowing that our book preferences are so similar. I just got Elizabeth Goudge's Christmas collection from the library -- a little too late for Christmas :( Maybe next year I will try it again. Must start a book on the history of Milk tonight. Food reading is definately a big part of my life these days.

Charlene said...

I love D E Stevenson! It's been a while since I read any of her books, but I have been recently getting back to a place of turning off the tv and computer and doing more reading--I must find some of her things at the library now!

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it