Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesdays with Words (The Complete Father Brown)

Life has been extremely busy as my kids prepare for a competition next week. Between listening to poetry recitations, expressive readings, puppet shows, plus sewing a quilt and a few things we still need to work on, my time is not my own and reading has been close to nil. Today I took my boys to get their haircut and grabbed my current read, The Complete Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton, in my attempt to get this book finished and came across this little description from the story, The Crime of the Communist, which made me laugh.

The tall man shot along the wall like his own shadow until he sank into the empty chair on the Master's right, and looked across at the Bursar and the rest with hollow and cavernous eyes. His hanging hair and moustache were quite fair, but his eyes were so deep-set that they might have been black. Everyone knew, or could guess, who the newcomer was; but an incident instantly followed that sufficiently illuminated the situation. The Professor of Roman History rose stiffly to his feet and stalked out of the room, indicating with little finesse his feelings about sitting at the same table with the Professor of Theoretical Thieving, otherwise the Communist, Mr. Craken. p. 665 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesdays with Words (A Lantern in Her Hand-Part 3)

One more quote from A Lantern In Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich. This one is on the fun side and made me smile. In this quote Abbie and her friend Sarah are at listening to a speech celebrating the beginnings of Nebraska about 50 years earlier.

     And then it was time for the speech of the day. The young county attorney made it, from the airy heights of the band stand, at his side a glass of water on Abbie Deals's marble-topped table.
     It was a good speech. It flapped its wings and soared over the oaks and elms, and eventually came home to roost with: " were the intrepid people! You, my friends, were the sturdy one. You days have been magnificent poems of labor. Your years have been as heroic stories as the sagas. You lives have been dauntless, courageous, sweeping epics."
     "'Sweeping' is the word, Sarah!' Abbie said when the applause had faded away into the grove. "I wish I had a dollar for every broom I've worn out."
     Sarah Lutz's little black eyes twinkled.
     "How about it, Abbie, do you feel like a poem?"
     "No, Sarah, I was always too busy filling up the youngsters and getting patches on the overalls to notice that I was part of an epic."

What's On Your Nightstand - March

What's On Your Nightstand

It is a good thing that I did a lot of reading at the beginning of March, because I haven't done much here at the end. Between two vehicles breaking down, running my kids to a church convention for 3 nights, sickness and allergies, and also helping my kids prepare their projects and memorization for an upcoming competition has thrown my life into a violent shift of crazy. Next month we start baseball, so I'm going to keep my Nightstand picks a little on the lighter side hoping that I can make it through them.

For April:

From February's Nightstand I read:

  • The Life-Giving Home by Sally & Sarah Clarkson - A beautiful and encouraging read.  
  • The Innocence of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton - Even though I read this from The Complete Father Brown book. These are just short stories and though I'm not a big fan of short stories I found did enjoy this first book.
  • A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich - This book really touched my heart and is a book I have thought of countless times since reading it. Though it shows how hard life was in the Nebraska prairie it does a good job of focusing on what living is all about and what is important. Highly recommended!
  • Penrod Jashber by Booth Tarkington - This was a read-aloud and the third book we have read about Penrod and also the one you could probably bypass if you are willing to check Penrod out. Though it had its funny moments there were parts that just seemed long and very drawn out. We all agreed it wasn't his best.

I'm currently reading:

  • The Renewing of the Mind Project by Barb Raveling - I started this book and then life has happened and it (plus all my reading) has been waylaid, so on the list it goes for this month.

I also read:

I listened to:

  • Trent's Last Case by E.C. Bentley - I checked this out after reading a recommendation for it (I have forgotten where I read about it.) This is one I think I would have enjoyed reading rather than listening to due to the style of writing. Enjoyable read with a great twist in the plot. 

See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wednesdays with Words (A Lantern in Her Hand-Part 2)

Even though I finished this book a few weeks ago it still lingers with me. I had a couple more passages I wanted to jot down and keep forgetting so I'm just going to make them into Words with Wednesdays posts. 

In this passage Abby's daughter, Isabelle, has informed her mother that her and her husband won't be having children since she with children "you ought to have plenty of time and money for their development." 

As a woman who loves being a mom and loves to homeschool, I find this passage such a heart wringer and I have spent many weeks reflecting and digesting this story. I can't say that I've come to any concrete answers, but it does make me aware of how much my reliance has to be on God and not on how good I feel about being a mother or how well I think I have homeschooling down.. 

     Abbie Deal looked out of the window, down through the long row of cedars. 'To have plenty of time and money for their development.' Instead of the cedars, heavy with snow, she was looking into a sod-house where a little painted blackboard stood against the mud-plastered walls, seeing one shelf of books and a slate and some ironed pieces of brown wrapping-paper. The mother there was hearing reading lessons while she kneaded bread, was teaching songs while she scrubbed, was giving out spelling words while she mended, was instilling into childish minds, ideals of honesty and clean living with every humble task.
     For a long time Abbie Deal sat and looked out at the cedars bending under the snow, like so many mothers bending under their burdens. But she did not answer Isabelle. Maybe there was no answer. Perhaps there was no argument. She did not know."


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wednesdays with Words (A Lantern in Her Hand)

I have just finished reading A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich and I found this portion so very beautifully said. In this portion Abbie Deal, the main character, is refusing her daughter's invitation to travel abroad
Grace was loath to accept the decision. As I said, I'm sorry, You owe it to yourself, if you possible can go. Your life has been so narrow, Mother...just here, all the time. You ought to get out now and see things. 
Unwittingly, as so often she did, Grace had hurt her Mother's feeling. For a moment Abbie nursed her little hurt, and then she said quietly, "You know, Grace, it's queer, but I don't feel narrow. I feel broad. How can I explain it to you, so you would understand? I've seen everything...and I've hardly been away from this yard. I've seen cathedrals in the snow on the Lombardy poplars. I've seen the sun set behind the Alps over there when the clouds have been piled upon the edge of the prairie. I've seen the ocean billows in the rise and the fall of the prairie grass. I've seen history in the making...three ugly wars flare up and die down. I've sent a lover and two brothers to one, a son and son-in-law to another, and two grandsons to the other. I've seen the feeble beginnings of a raw state and the civilization that developed there, and I've been part of the beginning and part of the growth. I've married...and borne children and looked into the face of death. Is childbirth narrow, Grace? Or marriage? Or death? When you've experienced all those things, Grace, the spirit has traveled although the body has been confined. I think travel is a rare privilege and I'm glad you can have it. But not every one who stay at home is narrow and not everyone who travels is broad. I think if you can understand humanity...can put yourself into the personality of every're not're broad." p. 241-242

Monday, February 22, 2016

What's On Your Nightstand - February

What's On Your Nightstand

For March:

From my January Nightstand I read:
  • Hoodwinked: Ten Myths Moms Believe and Why We All Need To Knock It Off by Karen Ehman & Ruth Schwenk - This was an encouraging read. Though I didn't feel every myth related to me it still stand to reason that myths of motherhood abound and it comes down to learning to be reliant on God rather than what other say. 
  • 10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know: Getting Her Ready for Life by Annie Chapman - I can't say there was anything very profound. I read all these thought before--of course it never hurts to have them repeated.
  • The Rim of the Prairie by Bess Streeter Aldrich - I have really been enjoying Bess Streeter Aldrich. This book tells the story a young woman with a secret, a young man burdened with the cares of life, and a couple who are seeing an end of a way of life. A gripping story of how the old ways aren't that bad and every thing comes back to the land. Streeter's books remind me of Wendell Berry though I find her the tone of her books happier and they have a satisfying ending.
  • Friendly Gables by Hilda Van Stockum - This was a read-aloud for my kids. We read the first two books last year and finally got around to the last book in the series. These books really caught my seven year old daughter's attention.
  • The Silver Chalice: A Novel by Thomas Costain - Years ago I mentioned to someone that I loved the story of  Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace and they recommended The Silver Chalice so I added it to my The Classics Club list. My conclusion is that it wasn't nearly as good of read as Ben-Hur. I will have a review forthcoming.
I also read:
  • Mrs. Tim Gets a Job by D.E. Stevenson - Continuing on with the series of Mrs. Tim of the Regiment this tells of Mrs. Tim getting a job while her husband is stationed out of the country. A fun read.
  • Mrs. Tim Flies Home by D.E. Stevenson - The last book in the Mrs. Tim series. I have to admit that I did enjoy these series, but I find her friendship with Tony Morley, who plays a part in all four books, quite odd. In fact, in this book it does cause some talk. I liked him in the other books okay, but I found his character in this last book kind of annoying by the end.
  • Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home by Gloria Furman - This book has a great title and a great thought. It even has excellent reviews at Amazon. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get into this book. I concluded that we spoke two different language. I finished it and about did a jig when I did.
I listened to:
  • The House of the Deer by D.E. Stevenson - This is a sequel to Gerald and Elizabeth which I listened to last month and decided it wasn't my favorite Stevenson book. While browsing Audible I noticed that this was sequel to the book and bought it immediately because some of my disappointment in the book was over the ending. Gerald and Elizabeth needed an sequel, which I was glad to listen to. Again, it won't be my favorite reads by Stevenson, but it was a satisfying conclusion the the two book set.

See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.


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