Saturday, December 03, 2011

Recent (pre-Christmas) reading

I forgot one of my favorite Christmas books in the last book post (how could I?).  Some of you will remember Marcia Adams wonderful PBS shows Cooking from Quilt Country.  I have her two Quilt Country books (one signed when I met her in person) but my favorite cookbook of hers is Christmas in the Heartland.

It is a beautiful Christmas book in which she visits various homes in the "Heartland" and writes about the Christmas customs of the regions... for instance the Morarvian influence, the Victorian influence, an Indiana farm family, etc.  Absolutely lovely pictures and recipes... that's how I remembered the book.  I needed it for the stained glass cookie recipe in it.  This book is available really cheap on Amazon and I highly (highly) recommend it.

I've kind of interrupted Christmas reading by including Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber.   I'm reading it along with the Miss Read Christmas book.  A friend of mine gave me a $10.00 online gift "card" to Amazon for a Thanksgiving gift and I had a couple dollars left from credit... just enough to buy this book third party.  So far I'm loving it but I'll give you the whole story next month.

That reminds me... yes, your credit I receive for entering Amazon is showing up (asked in comments).  I can't tell WHO is ordering anything but the reports show me what is ordered and the amount of credit received.  The last two months credit was used to purchase Christmas gifts for my grandchildren.  Without it I would have had to give them an IOU under their tree.  I humbly thank you... you all have blessed me (and I'm sure the other blog friends for whom anyone enters Amazon through their widgets).

Now... for November:

Grace Livingston Hill: Her Story and Her Writings by Jean Karr - I had no idea there was a biography of GLH until I saw this slim volume at a library sale a few years ago.  Why am I just now reading it?  Because I had put it on my bookshelves and only recently came across it again.

As with all good biographies, it also shares with us the history of the times in which the subject lived.  I came to understand how GLH was influenced by her family and her surroundings to make her a great writer and a strong Christian.  In some ways her biography reminds me a lot of the book Searching for Mrs. Oswald Chambers as both women gave us books we love as a result of tragedy in their own lives. 

Both of these books are very good but the GLH biography was written in 1948 and I'm not sure there was ever a recent edition.  It would be worth finding it through the library if you are a fan of her books.  I looked on Amazon for it and they do have a few inexpensive copies (and some over $300!).  The author shown on their page is Grace Livingston Hill herself, which is not correct.  This book was written a year after her death.

The Magic Never Ends: The Life and work of C. S. Lewis by John Ryan Duncan - This was a Goodwill find that I really liked.  It is a companion book to a film but I've never seen the film version and this was definitely good read on its' own.

The story of his life is told by five or six people who knew him well.  It's not an indepth biography but a macro account with pictures.  It would be a good biographical introduction to people who found him through the recent movies.

People My Teachers: Around the World In Eighty Years by John Stott - Reading more by and about John Stott was on my "things I want to do" mental list this year.  This is the kind of book one peruses and comes back to again and again.  It's a unique way of telling us about people who have influenced his life by taking us around the world and sharing by region instead of time. 

Some are understandable, like the Apostle Paul and there were a few I had to read to understand why they were included... like Darwin.  It contains people from long ago (obviously since I mentioned St. Paul) until the time this book was written.  It is full of gorgeous pictures, maps, etc... one of Stott's hobbies was photography.

The Tehran Initiative by Joel Rosenberg -  This is the second "end time" thriller in Joel's new series (the first being The Twelfth Imam).  Iran has the bomb and the Imam is out to destroy the U.S. and Israel.  I was up past midnight finishing this book one evening.  The next day my husband asked me why I was up so late and I told him that a nuclear missile was heading for Jerusalem and I had to know what happened.  :)

Picture: Kim Sung Book Shop:


Mrs.Rabe said...

I didn't realize Joel's next book was out! Thanks - that is going on my list for my Dad and Tim!

I am woefully behind in my reading...I am hoping that after the tea on Monday I will have more time for reading!


Anonymous said...

I really like the new header, Brenda. It made me smile. :)

Lori in PA

Terra said...

I read Surprised by Oxford recently and posted a review of it on my blog then. I liked it a lot.
The first Christmas book you mention sounds like one I would like to have.
Books are such wonderful companions and doors to other ways of living.

Vee said...

And you wonder why the guys are looking at you funny? ROFL! Too cute.

Is it Grace Livingstone Hill who married a much younger man? I don't want to start rumors or anything. I should really do my research before putting that out there.

Your header is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I have a paper back written by Grace Livingston Hill's grandson Robert Munce. Titled The Grace Livingston Hill Story. Living Books published it in 1990. I didn't know there was a biography other than this one. Some of her books have a little information added in them about her but this paper back is the only one I had seen other than that. Thank you for this well as so many more interesting book information through the years. As I have said before you have really opened up my list of authors to read. :) Sarah

Anonymous said...

I just ordered "Christmas in the Heartland" from paperbackswap. Thank you for the recommendations!

matty said...

So many books, so little time! I love your list and always find myself enjoying at least ONE of your recommendations! Keep 'em coming!

I love the new header, too! Very lovely! Are we going to get a peek at the rest of the decorations?? I hope so!