After writing about bookish friends last week, I thought I'd share what I am reading now and some of my favorite books. I get asked these questions a lot and I rarely am able to respond to individual questions.
I am always in the midst of multiple books because there are review books that must be read, books I want to reread, a Kindle book, and books on my "To Be Read" stack (which is ridiculously big and in more than one room), a couple devotional books, beautiful cookbooks to peruse, etc.
Right now I am reading The Life Giving Parent: Giving Your Child a Life Worth Living for Christ by Clay & Sally Clarkson. I will be writing an official review near the publish date, which I think is May 1st. However, unofficially I will say it is quite wonderful.
My Kindle current read is Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practises in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren. Warren is Anglican so her background is a little different than mine but so many people who know my taste in books told me I HAD to read this book. I admit, three chapters in and I am smitten.
I want to reread some of my Edith Schaeffer books and I have had Anne Morrow Lindberg's five diaries waiting on my bookshelves to reread for ages. They were collected over a few years from library book sales. I read them when I was very young and loved each one of them. Her book, Gifts From the Sea resides on my desk.
Someday I want to renew my "Stalking Jonathan Edwards" reading, which I did a number of years ago. That will require re-reading at least a couple of books, especially Marriage to a Difficult Man. I want to read more of Edward's actual writings the next time.
I also plan to read more of Wendell Barry's Port William books. I loved Hannah Coulter. My mother's people are from near this part of Kentucky and as much as I enjoy Barry's writings, it also makes me feel I'm learning about a part of the land that resides in my DNA. It is hard to believe that Hannah Coulter was written by a male, Barry's insight into the thoughts of an empty nest mom in the end of the book are remarkable.
Sitting on my desk to read very soon is another Berry... Mary Berry. I adore her on The Great British Baking Show. I want to be as elegant in the kitchen as she is! Last year, I purchased a used copy of the the paperback version of her 2013 autobiography called Recipe For Life. It arrived just after I had originally lost the vision in my right eye and I'd say it is far past time to read it.
To quickly answer some other questions...
I have a few favorite series where I have read every book. They are the Mitford series by Jan Karon, the Tea Room cozy mysteries by Laura Childs, James Harriot's All Creatures Great and Small series, and the original Nancy Drew mysteries. Nancy Drew was my first book crush.
My favorite books? If you ask me on any given day then the answer may be different. I do have many favorites but a few titles are consistently near the top.
If I would choose books from how many times they have been reread, then L'Abri, Hidden Art, and What is a Family by Edith Schaeffer would be at the nonfiction top of the list. A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George has been read multiple times. I think I have read most of her books for women, some of them at least twice. While not perfect (I find her suggestion to be constantly busy annoying), they are very good.
Books by Emilie Barnes and Anne Ortlund were also read numerous times. They were the women who, along with Edith, shaped the way I saw being a wife, mother, homemaker, etc.
Emilie's book on getting organized called More Hours in My Day was especially good and her book If Teacups Could Talk was instrumental in many of us developing an obsession with teatime (and tea cups). Anne's most famous book, Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman, is still in print. I read just about everything both of these women wrote.
As for fiction, the first book I remember rereading many times was Christy by Catherine Marshall. I haven't read it in a long time since there are so many novels to be read but perhaps someday it will get dusted off again.
I only "discovered" Elizabeth Goudge and D. E. Stevenson since blogging (although my husband told me his mom loved Goudge novels) and I'd have to say those two authors have been read and reread the most since then.
Specific books speak to me at different times, for instance I love Pilgrim's Inn (such a lovely book!) and I do reread it but the third book in the trilogy called The Heart of the Family speaks to me deeply at this stage of life. Which is probably why some readers do not like it, for it speaks more to those who have lived more years than are ahead of them.
Which is why rereading books is important, we don't look at a book the same as years go by and in well written books, there is a lot of gold to mine at various stages.
I especially like to reread favorite books when going through difficult times because they are like old friends that I have visited many times, I know what to expect and the comfort they will bring.
I hope that answers some questions and provides kind of a snapshot of where my reading is at the moment.
Some of the books mentioned in this post are:
The Life Giving Parent (available for preorder)... here.
Liturgy of the Ordinary... here.
Gifts From the Sea... here.
Marriage to a Difficult Man (third party)... here.
Hannah Coulter... here.
Recipe For Life... here.
At Home in Mitford... here.
First Three Tea Shop Mysteries in one volume... here.
Hidden Art of Homemaking... here.
What is a Family... here.
A Woman After God's Own Heart... here.
More Hours in My Day... here.
If Teacups Could Talk... here.
Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman... here.
The Bird in the Tree (Eliot #1)... here.
Pilgrim's Inn (Eliot #2)... here.
The Heart of the Family (Eliot #3)... here.
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Image: Interior with the Artist's Daughter by Duncan Grant