Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Wednesdays with Words (Stories from Old Squire's Farm)

I just finished reading Stories from the Old Squire's Farm by C.A. Stephens which was recommended by Brandy from Afterthoughts. I am sharing a portion from the chapter entitled "Addison Wins the Debate". I did borrow this from the library but will soon be adding it to our book collection.

The author talks about a big debate that they had concerning the weekly debates that he termed " of the best features of our school days...". This chapter was very interesting since their debate centered around Andrew Johnson being impeached. I may have to go re-read about his period of history again.

The regularity with which these debates were maintained was due largely to the enthusiasm of our preceptor, Mr. George F. Kennard, who was wont to call on the students early every term to organize a debating society. Throughout four years--allowing for unavoidable postponements--ninety-two debates were held and a wide range of questions discussed. Current political questions were sometimes excluded, as likely to stir hard feelings. In strict point of fact, however, no great harm ever came from debating political questions; rather it trained us to habits of self-restraint, taught us to respect the opinions of opponents, and to be tolerant and good-natured toward them. In truth it should be put down as a rule, that a student, young or old, who cannot control his temper in a debate, keep good-humored, and be courteous to those who differ from him, is just the person who needs to take part in one--till he can. If a debater loses his temper, there is but one good medicine for him--to laugh him out of his weak egotism. p. 284 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What's On Your Nightstand - August & September

What's On Your Nightstand

What a crazy two months! Last month my computer died on the day that I was going to work on my September Nightstand. I was also sitting down to do my big homeschool planning for the year. When I finally got a new computer homeschool planning took precedence. I decided to just wait until this month to put up my post. Thankfully, homeschooling is going well even though my reading life feels kind of lost. Right now I'm just picking up books that look interesting that are sitting around my room. It is not very purposeful, but I am reading!

For October:

From July's Nightstand I read:
  • Boundaries with Teens by John Townsend - This was a good read. It really is loaded with how to deal with a lot of different scenarios and if I read again I would probably just pick the parts that I felt I needed help with. Definitely a resource book.
I also read:
I listened to:

  • The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer - I decided to listen to this after listening to way too many podcasts and I just needed a break. Many people claim The Grand Sophy to be one of Heyer's best books, but while I find it enjoyable I believe there are others that are better. 
  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell - This story really reminded me of Pride and Prejudice in many ways though it dealt with way deeper issues. I'm glad I read it, but I have to admit I find Wives and Daughters by Gaskell more to my liking.

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

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What's On Your Nightstand - July

What's On Your Nightstand

Another month is almost gone, but I had a great month of reading so I'm happy. Not only did I get quite a few books read, but I was able to listen to a pile of them. I found some time to catch up on my ironing (yes, I'm one of those) and I also did quite a bit of sewing which gives me a lot of time to listen. Plus I did quite a bit of traveling back and forth to work and two days of homeschool convention so I had some quality listening time. 

I didn't get one July's Nightstand's books finished, so I'm bringing it over to August. It is my only pick for August due to my family and I heading out to visit my parents. I'm only taking my Kindle and I'm pretty sure I won't get much read and that's okay!

For August:

From June's Nightstand I read:

I also read:

  • The Woman of the House by Alice Taylor - After reading Country Life by Alice Taylor last month I looked to see what else she had written. This is a first in a fiction series. Some language but I still found the story compelling.
  • Across the River by Alice Taylor - The second in the series. A story about family, the land, and revenge. I'm still undecided about this book, but I find Mrs. Taylor can weave a good story.
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay - I believe everybody has read this. I ordered it from the library and it took me two months to get it, but I have to admit it was a fun read. A twist on Daddy Long Legs with a lot of Jane Austen thrown in.
  • Laddie: A True Blue Story by Gene Stratton Porter - Even though this book is about Laddie and how he wins the love of the neighbor girl, I think my favorite character was "Little Sister". She really was the heart of the story. If you enjoy Grace Livingston Hill you will definitely enjoy Gene Stratton Porter.

I listened to:

  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott - My kids listened to Ivanhoe last school year and I started to listen to it (my second time through), but I stopped since I didn't want to lose their spot. When I started up all my sewing I decided to find my spot and start it back up again. When I read this a few years ago I was disappointed that Ivanhoe doesn't end up with Rebecca, the Jewess, but this time through I realized that Scott doesn't even really allude to that in the story. This makes me wonder why I felt that way the the first time I listened to it. Maybe since I knew it wasn't going to happen I could be more subjective about it. Anyhow, I'm not sure, but this still is a fine read (or listen).
  • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis - It took me awhile to warm up to this story. One thing about The Chronicles of Narnia is the little truths that are mixed right into the story. Sometimes I can't even go find them to jot them down, but I find myself dwelling on the idea of them.
  • The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis - When this story started off with an ape and I knew I was in trouble. This is a hard story to take. What I found really profound is how much this story describes the worldview of today. 
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - So I bit the bullet and listened to The Hobbit. I can't say I was very crazy about it though. Maybe if I had read the book I would like it more or may not. Who knows.
  • Venetia by Georgette Heyer - This one was for pure pleasure. After finishing the The Last Battle I had to have something funny.

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What's On Your Nightstand - June

What's On Your Nightstand

June--really? Well, on to my reading. I had a pretty good month considering that I had guests. I did make it through quite a bit of reading though I didn't quite get every book on my Nightstand read. July is another busy month so I'm going to pick just a few for my Nightstand and pick and choose throughout the rest of the month what I want to read.

For July:
From last month's Nightstand post I read:
Currently reading:
I also read:
I listened to:
  • Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis - Continuing on with the Chronicles of Narnia which I am still enjoying.
  • Country Days by Alice Taylor - I came across this audio book as a discard from the library and thought I would try it out. Just a simple book of stories from the author that lives in Ireland which I found enjoyable. Honestly, just listening to the brogue of the narrator was pure heaven.

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What's On Your Nightstand - April & May

What's On Your Nightstand

Well, April's Nightstand came and went and I decided to just bypass it since life was extremely busy at the moment. Due to the busyness of life and some of the books I was reading I really was finding reading kind of dull. Thankfully, life has slowed down and I think my reading is picking up. My parents are coming for a visit in June so I'm not giving myself a big stack of books to read, but hoping to just enjoy the moments.

For June:

From March's nightstand:

  • The Renewing of the Mind Project by Barb Raveling - Excellent read. As a pastor's wife I see too many people walk away from God with claims such as, God doesn't love me, God doesn't know where I'm at, etc. It had me pondering on why some people live for God no matter what and others just throw in the towel way too quick. One day while praying I was reminded of the Romans 12:1 & 2 and realized that the victorious Christians are always renewing their mind. Not too long after I heard about this book and ordered it. The author shows how to take problem or areas you want to improve and work through them with what she calls Truth Journaling. The first part talks about how to truth journal and how to renew your mind using Biblical principles and the rest is a resource for all kinds of topics to reference. Highly recommended!
  • Hands Free Life by Rachel Macy Stafford - Last year I read Hand Free Mama and enjoyed it way more than I thought I would which inspired me to pick up this book and I have to say it is just as compelling. Rachel Macy Stafford is a beautiful writer with a message we all need to hear.
  • Sarah's Cottage by D.E. Stevenson - I figured out this is the sequel to Sarah Morris Remembers. While the story was okay I think I enjoyed the first one more.
  • The Complete Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton - I don't know if I dare say this, but Father Brown and I aren't on speaking terms right now. He about killed my love of reading. I know it is Chesterton we are talking about but still there is a limit to what a person can take. My first problem was I did not realize that these are short stories--I am not a fan of short stories. My second problem was that I picked the "complete" book of Father Brown stories--way too many at one time. If I ever read through these again it will be in the individual books. I do think I enjoyed the stories from the first and last books (not sure of the titles since I returned the book to the library) best.

Other books read:

  • The Magna Charta by James Daugherty - This was a read-aloud to my kids for school for history.
  • The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch - This was a fun read. As a bookstore manager for a Friend's organization there was so much I could relate to in this book. 
  • The Complete Book of Marvels by Richard Halliburton - Our read-aloud for geography for the last two school years. This book is excellent and my kids absolutely loved it. Worth all $25 I paid for a used copy.
  • Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay - I was really wanting to read Dear Mr. Knightley by the same author but then so does everyone else. I settled for this book instead. It was a nice reprieve after Father Brown. :)
  • Design Your Day by Claire Diaz-Ortiz - Short, sweet, and to the point. Maybe one day I'll get organized enough to implement all these "help your day" books I've been reading.
  • When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning - This was a very interesting story about what it took to get books into the hands of the men in the military during World War II. I had never heard about this or seen anything about it. I find a couple of titles in there that  I never heard of, but it seems like those were out of print. 
  • The Rosemary Tree by Elizabeth Goudge - This was an enjoyable read and one of those books that the language just stays with you. I did have to laugh though--I don't know if Goudge believes in secondary characters. She seems to treat them all as main characters and then ties them all up in a nice tidy bow at the end. 

 Books I listened to:

  • The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis - I have The Chronicles of Narnia on my The Classics list and I have been avoiding them. I decided that audio would help and since I listened to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe several years ago I went with the next book. I have to admit that I liked this book way better than TLWW (don't throw tomatoes at me). 
  • Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis - I'm continuing on. I liked it better than what I thought, though I don't think these are books I'll ever rave about.

Books I didn't read:

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

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 


Related Posts with Thumbnails