Wednesday, December 22, 2010

a little more book talk...

I finished re-reading Shepherd's Abiding last night.  It is such a nice story, I want to live in Mitford at Christmas time!  :)

My other reading between Thanksgiving and Christmas? 

To be honest, I watched more movies and cooking shows than usual since there were so many good offerings for this Holiday season.  However, I did get in some more reading.

I finished Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter a few weeks ago.  I had just a little bit of a hard time getting into the book at first but once I became accustomed to GSP's writing style, it became much easier to read.  What a lovely book!  No wonder it is such a classic.  Now I must read Freckles!

Yes, there is another Miss Read Christmas book!  Hmmm... I think it is called Village Christmas?  I read it a few years ago and remember enjoying it at the time and it was also a "stand alone" book that one need not have read her other books to enjoy.

As for my recent non-Christmas reading, I pulled Stand off the shelf again to re-read as I needed some spiritual encouragement.  I love this book which I stole borrowed from Christopher after his sister sent it to him when he was recovering from surgery last year.

The book is edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor and contains chapters written by... shall we say mature Christians (Randy Alcorn is the youngest and he is around my age) about persevering in the Faith (having done all... stand!).  I re-read the chapter written by Randy Alcorn, which includes his testimony and why he has to live on a minimum wage salary.  Very, very good book... I will keep it out to read some more.

I just started Talking About Detective Fiction by P. D. James (a library book).  In it, she talks about the genre from the works of Dickens through today's American and English writers.  I'm interested to see what she has to say.  Hopefully I will start it after dinner this evening.

Christopher asked me a question about C. S. Lewis, which led me to pull Surprised By Joy off the small shelf which contains favorite books in my bedroom.  While I had to go online to answer the question (what was the name of the pub where the Inklings used to meet... can you remember without looking it up... I should have),

I found myself reading through the book again and left it out to re-read soon.  If you have not read this book, his autobiography, it is very good and I find it inspiring. 

I checked out three other library books that I enjoyed this month:

The Reluctant Entertainer by blogger Sandy Coughlin.  Very good!  This would make a wonderful gift for a new cook or bride.  I have long enjoyed Sandy's blog and wondered if her book would just be "blog re-done".  Not at all!

Sandy gives her personal story as well as many chapters of advice about entertaining and showing hospitality.  There are also some of her favorite recipes.  Another nice thing about this book should you decide to purchase it... it's surprisingly inexpensive for a book of this quality and with so many photographs!

Barefoot Contessa's How Easy Is This by Ina Garten.  All of Ina's cookbooks are good but what I liked most about this book is her list (in pictures) throughout the book of her favorite utensils, cookware, and pantry items.

Country Living's Merry & Bright... a beautifully written book full of ideas for Christmas decorating by Country Living magazine.  I found many practical ideas to use next year, many costing no money.

As for the above picture... I'm thinking January is going to be a Return to Schaeffer, Francis and Edith.  We'll see...


Vee said...

Revisiting old favorites is good for the soul. I remember reading Girl of the Limberlost years and years ago. There were passages so beautifully written that when I walked in the woods (not a swamp ;> ) afterward, I recognized them in an entirely different way. Now I am most familiar with it because of the movie...the one with Annette O'Toole.

Now you have me curious about Stand...very.

Have a cozy afternoon and evening...

Sandy @ RE said...

Oh, thank you sweet friend! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book and Merry Christmas!

Terra said...

From this short list of books I can see we would enjoy meeting and chatting. Live in Mitford for Christmas? Yes indeed. Inklings pub is Eagle and Child/Bird and Baby. On my wish list is visiting that pub and all the C.S. Lewis sites, like The Kilns, his home. I have either read the books you mention or now I want to. It is good to meet a "reading sister."

Anonymous said...

I think the pub's proper name was Eagle & Child, and the nickname was Bird & Baby.

I dug out my Christmas at Fairacre anthology, after reading your post. Looking forward to some time in the Cotswolds this week.

-Connie in San Diego

Mrs.Rabe said...

Very nice reviews, Brenda!

I am interested in Stand now, too.

I have given up on "Shepherd's Abiding"...can't find my copy.

Have a very blessed Christmas, friend.


Lisa Richards said...

LOL! I was going to say "Eagle and Baby" for the pub name, combining the real name and nickname. Thanks for the nice bookish post. Gives me lots of ideas and reminds me of books I have on my shelves that I've neglected. But first, there are presents to wrap and baking to do, although we keep it simple.
Merry Christmas, all!

Lisa Richards said...

I think "Surprised by Joy" is my favorite of C.S. Lewis's books. My sweet mom gave me her collection of Lewis books because she has them memorized. I've read many and look forward to reading the rest. Just when I think I've read all of the Miss Read books another one pops up at the library. I have read Village Christmas and loved it, as I do all of her books. Each one is like a little English country vacation!