Tuesday, November 22, 2016

October Reading and Etc.

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You can tell when a school break rolls around for us ... I have a minute to breathe and update my/our reading lists here. :) We have been steadily plugging along with school and activities and house renovations and are oh so very thankful for a Thanksgiving break this week! Here's a short update on what we / I read in October, with hopes that a November update might be more timely!

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Lots and lots of reading aloud happening here (as always!) and we finished up three books this month in different levels of rotation. First, the boy and I have moved to reading shortish chapter books before his bedtime. (Still plenty of picture books happening as well, thank goodness!) He has been enamoured with Paddington so we finished the first book in that series, A Bear Called Paddington. We love both the movie and the book, even though there are really very dissimilar, and moved straight away into the second book in the series, More About Paddington.

Secondly, we wrapped up King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green. We had read his retelling of Robin Hood last time we were in the Middle Ages, so I knew I wanted to read his version of King Arthur. We did enjoy it, though I give the caveat that it was also long and it took several chapters to get into the feel of the older English writing. Once we were in a groove, the story seemed to move at a much quicker pace!

Thirdly, we finished up a wonderful biography of Corrie ten Boom. While we all enjoyed this, my 10 year old especially asked for "just one more chapter" as every one left us hanging as to Corrie and Betsy ten Boom's fate as they suffered the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps. This was a gentle introduction to some of the scenes of WWII as well as a beautiful picture of the faith of Corrie and Betsy ten Boom and I'd highly recommend it.

For my own reading, I managed to get several books read (fall break helped immensely!)

  • Being There: How to Love Those Who are Hurting by Dave Furman. This is written from a pastor in Dubai who suffers from chronic illness. He gives wonderful encouragement and examples of how you can minister to those who are in the midst of any kind of a trial or struggle - simple, practical ways to engage, assist and encourage those in the long-term battle with illness, grief, depression, etc. Highly recommend. I know this is one that I will refer to often.
  • A Table by the Window by Lawana Blackwell. A clean, fun mystery that I haven't picked off the shelf in years. I have several stacks of books that I am hanging on to for nostalgia's sake though I haven't read them in years. This is one and I had the urge to read it over fall break. Still good.
  • Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins. Mamas who need encouragement in the trenches of homeschooling need this books. I actually think this would encourage any mama, but she does speak a lot about homeschooling her nine children, eight of whom were boys! Autobiographical in nature, and full of stories of what worked with her crew, as well as stories of what didn't. The book comes off as a very humble retelling of the grace given to her as a mom trying to do her best with the work and privilege in front of her of educating her children. Another highly recommend.
  • The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart. If you have a munchkin who loved The Mysterious Benedict Society, Mr. Lemoncello's library adventures, etc., get his book. I recommend it for adults as well, obviously, but 'tis the gift giving season, so here's a recommendation. :)
  • Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry. This is a book that I've had sitting on my shelf for forever, bought because I had heard descriptions of his beautiful writing and imagery. The writing is this book WAS beautiful and the story so simple as you read of Hannah's life - from childhood, through marriage, and into old age with grown children and grandchildren. This is not one that I would reread again and again, but I was certainly touched by the one time through that I did read it.

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I'll leave you with this one last book recommendation, or warning, however you may take it! Do not read Ember Falls if you do not like adventure, rabbits, rabbits with swords, mortal peril, and nail biting cliffhangers at the end of the book! We finished this last week and are now left waiting for the inevitable third book in the series because we must! know! what! happens! next!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. Grateful to those that still come by here and read my keyboard peckings in this small space as well as those that I have connected with through Instagram. Reading and books bring me such joy, that is wonderful to have like-minded friends and acquaintances around the world to share them with. Grace and peace to all.