Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Recent reading


I haven't had time to read much this week but over the past two months, my reading list looks pretty good.  :)

February/March

The Complete Brambly Hedge
by Jill Barklem
I wrote about this book at the time I was reading it.  This charming book contains my favorite Brambly Hedge books all together in one volume:

Spring Story
Summer Story
Autumn Story
Winter Story
The Secret Staircase
The High Hills
Sea Story
Poppy's Babies

I have found some books which are known for their illustrations often have boring stories.  Not so in these books, the pictures are beautifully done (I want to live there!) and each story is well written.

It is on my shelf next to The Wind in the Willows.  I believe many of these books are out of print but I found this volume at a reasonable price used.

The Gentlewoman's Choice
by George MacDonald
A charming MacDonald book about a young Christian woman who desires to not only share the love of Christ with the poor but reach out and help meet their needs.  I can understand why Lewis and Tolkien were inspired by MacDonald.  He is a brilliant storyteller (along with theologian).

This title is the American title of MacDonald's Weighed and Wanting.  It has been edited by Michael Phillips to modernize the original Scottish prose.  I have found Phillips has done an excellent job retaining the original beauty of the words.

Let Us Highly Resolve
by David & Shirley Quine
This is an excellent little book by the Quine's of Cornerstone Curriculum.  I loved their materials when homeschooling.  I first read it many years ago.

It's just a small book but it gives a lot of inspiration for parents who want to raise their children to be salt and light in their generation.  It's good for parents who homeschool or send their children to private-public school classes.

A Pocket Full of Pinecones
by Karen Andreola
This is another re-read of a favorite book by a homeschooling author.  I have enjoyed everything Karen has written, whether her nonfiction books about Charlotte Mason or her fiction such as this book.

"Pinecones" is about a family in the 1930s who begins homeschooling their children and studying the nature around them.  It's such a charming story of motherhood, family life, and encouraging our children to learn about life from a Christian perspective.

I know... that is a simple way of looking at the book but check out Amazon.com where many people wrote about it.  The few critics thought the book unrealistic... I found it charming and relaxing to read.

Karen wrote a much anticipated sequel a few years ago called Lessons at Blackberry Inn: Adventures With the Gentle Art of Learning.  If possible, I think I liked it even more!

Shoulder the Sky
by D. E. Stevenson
This is a sequel to Vittoria Cottage and Music in the Hills which began in an English village and moved to Scotland in the second book.

It's the story of newlyweds in Scotland, including the English bride who must become accustomed to a different way of living than she knew it London.  But as in some of Stevenson's other novels, Scotland itself is part of the story and the colorful people who live there.

These three books have become favorites which I'm certain will be re-read many times.  I can't recommend them highly enough.  Should you not be able to locate all three, each book can be enjoyed on its' own.


March/April

Kisses From Katie 
by Katie Davis
This book was a gift from a friend at Christmas.  I set it aside as I had a huge stack of books already on my table but as I kept hearing more about it, I admit my curiosity brought it at the top of my stack.

It is the true story of Katie Davis, who went on a short term missionary trip to Uganda in high school and ended up returning permanently upon her high school graduation.  She introduces us to the people and places of her part of Uganda in such a way, I could not put this book down!

It's a wonderful way to introduce young people to missions... and this Grammie!  Katie doesn't hide the difficulties of being a young female single missionary but she also helps us fall in love with the people and the country.  Highly recommended!  (She blogs about her experiences... here.)

Lit: A Christian Guide to Reading Books
by Tony Reinke
I love to read books about books so I was very interested in this book when I began to hear about it online.  It is different than other such books as the author doesn't give us a lot of book lists he thinks we should read.

Instead he shares his journey of becoming a reader, the theology of reading, and why the Kindle didn't work for him.  Yes, it is from this book that I realized I needed to set up my Kindle to protect me from e-reader ADHD.  :)

I think the easiest way to share this book is to give you just a few of the chapter titles:

Reading from Across the Canyon (reading from a Christian worldview)
The God who Slays Dragons ( Christian imagination)
Read with Resolve
How to Read a Book
Literature is Life
Too Busy to Read
Reading Together
Raising Readers

Really, really good stuff in between the pages of this "book about books" (or I should say, "book about reading books").

Maman's Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen
by Dania Bijan
This was the first book I read on the Kindle after reading about it online.  It is the memoir of chef Dania Bijan's family moving from Iraq during the Revolution and how they came to settle in the United States.

More so... it is the story of "her mother's kitchen" and the importance of food to our culture. Dania also shares her journey of becoming a chef and owning her own restaurant.

I enjoyed it very much which shouldn't surprise me... I am a foodie who loves biography. 

Francis and Edith Schaeffer
by L. G. Parkhurst, Jr.
This was another Kindle book.  It is Parkhurst's biography of the Schaeffers which was written for young people.  If you have not read Edith's books The Tapestry (their full autobiography), or L'Abri which is the shorter story of how they started L'Abri... this book would be a great introduction.

I enjoyed this Kindle version as the author included a section of the biography of the Schaeffers he wrote for more mature folks.  It's nice to be able to receive "extra" at no cost.  :)

I read this along with John Piper's book about Jonathan Edwards called God's Passion for His Glory.  It was very interesting to read about these two men of faith at the same time.  I have not, however, finished Piper's book so it will make it to my next Recent Reading post... God willing and the creek don't rise.  ;)

The Romantic Prairie Cookbook
by Fifi O'Neill
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book although I know Fifi from her blog and her writing for such magazines as Romantic Living.  I was pleased to find wonderful recipes along with gorgeous photography she is known for.

This is just the kind of cookbook I've come to love... healthy "farm to table" recipes as well as enough pretty pictures to take it off the shelf and peruse it on a rainy day with a cup of tea and a cookie. 

Another nice aspect of this cookbook is the recipes are already family favorites from the people whose homes and property she has photographed... so you know they have not been assembled just for the cookbook.  I loved this book!

Illusion
by Frank Peretti
I will write a stand alone review for this book soon, along with a give away.

Until next time, happy reading and thank you again for those who enter your Amazon shopping through the widget.  :)

11 comments:

Kimberly said...

I love to read what you are reading about!
I have been so focused on outdoor chores, homeschool, and knitting that reading has been set aside. I find I have nothing I want to read. I cannot recall when this has last occurred! Me, without 30 books to finish??? Who am I?
I am sure it will pass. Our library out here is...pathetic. We still run on a card catalog and it's only open three days a week. Not very inspiring.
There is always more Dickens...

Vee said...

More to look for and hopefully find. Thank you for all the wonderful reviews on books. I particularly enjoy the reviews of older books.

Living on Less Money said...

I enjoyed reading your reviews. All of the books on your list were new titles to me which made it fun! :-)

Debbie said...

Brenda, I love Landmark books! Happy Reading!

...they call me mommy... said...

Now I have only 215 books I want to read. Thanks a lot! ;)

Mrs.Rabe said...

You have a good book list! I haven't read any George McDonald for years...maybe it's time to give him a reread!

I agree with you about Karen's books...love them.

Deanna

Scrappy quilter said...

Years ago I read Eugenia Price's books and just recently I went back and started reading them all over again. I loved her books years ago and love them today.

Michael Phillips is one of my all time favorite authors.

Kisses from Katie...AWESOME book.

Frank Peretti's book is on my list.
hugs

Rebecca said...

I've added The Gentlewoman's Choice and the De.E. Stevenson books to my "To Read" list. Thanks.

I'm currently on vacation and part of my pleasure is spending more-than-usual time reading. I just completed (and blogged a few quotes from) and Alexander McCall Smith book - not "Christian", but one in a series I enjoy because of a couple of short visits to Africa....

Front Porch Grace said...

Cool list.

I am so excited because I found out that many of the older authors such as D E Stevenson, Grace Livingston Hill, Elizabeth Goudge, etc. are readily available at the college my daughter attends. Oh I felt as if I had found buried treasure when I made this discovery. I promptly checked out way more than I could read and had to return them and now I have calmed down and understand that I can take my time and check out one at a time. Those authors are not easily found within our public libraries, even in the library loan programs.

So, for your readers who have a hard time utilizing their libraries to find hidden treasures such as I did, I recommend checking out university libraries if they live close to them. We live about 45 minutes from there and we always combine errands when visiting. Visiting my daughter and old friends (books), now that's a win-win situation every time!

Writing Vitoria Cottage on my library list; your description of the books has whet my appetite.

Blessings!

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I always enjoy reading about what you like reading! (And I'm glad DES's trilogy is there. Did you know Bel Lamington and Fletcher's End link to the three books you mention? They do and they are lovely books!)
So now I have more books to think about reading. What a sacrifice!

Carole said...

Since you like to read, I wondered if you might be interested in learning more about cryptic crosswords. If so, this is a link to a post I did recently on cryptic crossword clues that involve anagrams. Cryptic Crossword Clues - Anagrams