Sunday, April 26, 2020

Reading Journal 2020: January - March

Reading Journal January - March 
Warning: This is a very long post. I have been very remiss in getting my reading journals this year so while I'm in quarantine I thought I would try to get caught up. January and February were very good months for reading while my reading life took a drastic drop in March. I think some of this was at first due to struggling to find something that was catching my interest and then at the end of the month I just had trouble focusing on anything including reading. Thankfully, I have been able to get past that. So here goes:

  • Magical Melons by Carol Ryrie Brink (read-aloud) - I read Caddie Woodlawn to my youngest in December and she wanted to read the sequel so I obliged. She really enjoyed this book. I don't think it's as outstanding as Caddie, but still a worthwhile read.
  • Death Has Deep Roots by Michael Gilbert - This was a mystery set in World War II. I reminded me a little bit of Rumpole of the Bailey. It was a good read.
  • Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb - I'm still at a loss at why I even bothered to finish this book.
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (audio) - I read this along with The Literary Life Podcast.
  • Peace Like a River by Leif Enger - I read this along with the Circe Close Reads Podcast. I have read Leif Enger's other two books, but had never read the first one. I have enjoyed everything I read by him, but I think this is his best.
  • Venetia by Georgette Heyer (audio) - An old reliable read.
  • Find Your Weigh by Shellie Bowdoin (audio) - Some great points in this book. I listened to it, but I need to actually read the book and jot down a few things.
  • House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg - I saw this recommended in a group I'm in and thought I'd give it a go. I know that Montgomery's life was nothing like her books and was pretty sad and could never muster up the courage to attempt to read about her. I thought maybe a book aimed for younger readers may make it an easier read. So here are a few thoughts--This is a lovely book. The artwork is very sweet and I think Rosenberg does a great job at presenting the material of Montgomery's sad life. That being said I wouldn't hand this book to my 12 year old or even to my 20 year old. They would be depressed and honestly I think this could turn younger readers off from reading Montgomery's books and that would be a tra gedy. I am truly of the opinion that beautifully written books don't require an extensive knowledge of an author's life to truly enjoy a story. Many author's had horrible lives yet in the midst of their pain they still produced something that was beautiful and lovely.
  • M.O.M.--Master Organizer of Mayhem: Simple Solutions to Organize Chaos and Bring More Joy to Into Your Home by Kristi Clover (audio) - For me I didn't find much in this book that I haven't heard before. It does have rave reviews though so you may want to check it out.
  • Mother Culture by Karen Andreola - This is a beautiful book for the homeschool mama even if she doesn't ascribe to the Charlotte Mason method.
  • The Second World War: Milestones to Disaster by Winston Churchill (audio) - My son wanted to study World War II history so we are using his last two years of school being immersed in it. He read the book and I cheated and listened to the audio book. (This audio book goes along with the  Churchill's abridged edition of Churchill's six volume Second World War series which my son is reading since we didn't have enough time for six volumes.)
  • Whatever Happened to Justice - Richard Maybury (read-aloud) - This is part of our government study that is pretty much an ongoing subject in our house. Honestly, this has been my favorite of all the Maybury books. He says to start with Whatever Happened to Penny Candy, but if you aren't used to his style he can be a little offsetting and Whatever Happened to Justice just seems a better starting point to me and helps you to understand his other books.
  • When Less Becomes More:Making Space for Slow, Simple, and Good by Emily Ley (audio) - Okay, I get that social media is a problem. I think most of us would admit it, but does every book about simplicity and slow have to be about taking it out of your life (not permanently, but way less of it). Honestly, I'm not faulting the author because it obviously worked for her, but it seems like every book that has come out in the last 2-3 years had been the same message--"less technology, more _______" I think we all know we could use less technology and since everyone's message is the same obviously things aren't changing so it may be time to find a new message. The funny thing is as I write this review while I'm in quarantine due to COVID-19 there may be a new market for all these books since I'm most attempts at cutting back went out the window!
  • The Gown: A Novel of Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson - I really enjoyed this read about the Queen's wedding dress and a story of friendship. One caveat: I didn't enjoy the page of a rape scene (which was probably comparatively mild) which only needed a paragraph. Why do authors think this is necessary. What if that scene was triggering to someone reading it? Head up authors, reader's do have imaginations we don't need everything in detail. I'm off my soap box.
  • Laeticia Rodd and the Case of the Wandering Scholar by Kate Saunders - A cozy mystery that I enjoyed.
  • The Rising Tide (World War II 1939-1945 #1) by Jeff Shaara (read-aloud) - I'm reading through this series with my son for part of his World War II study. Shaara does such a great job with these books. It's probably the favorite part of our day.
  • Shepherd Abiding by Jan Karon - I'm still working my way through the Mitford series. I did enjoy this book better this time around that my first read through.
  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey - This was an odd book with a sad ending. I don't like sad endings.
  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare - The kids and I listened to this (with our books) for our Shakespeare study. I also picked it since The Play's the Thing podcast was doing it also.
  • Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright (read-aloud) - I read this aloud to my youngest daughter.
  • The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare - Another Shakespeare play.
  • Finish: Give Yourself a Gift by Jon Acuff (audio) - I've seen several recommendations for this book so I gave it a go. I will definitely need a re-read since I spent the first listen through dying laughing at Jon Acuff's stories and illustrations.
  • Handbook of the Gospels by Jeffrey Brickle - My husband started a Biblical Training program and a couple of my kids are doing it. This is one of the books required and I recorded it for them to listen to since they have been busy working. (Even now two of them are still busy working.)
  • Love That Laughs: Lighten Up, Cut Loose, and Enjoy Life Together by Ted Cunningham - I saw a little clip online of Ted Cunningham which I enjoyed so I went looking for his books. I found this one on Cloud Library, This is probably a good read for someone who need to learn to laugh. If you're an old married couple like us you are probably doing pretty well in that department.
  • Seven Men Who Rule the World from the Grave by David Breece (read-aloud) - I started reading this aloud to my two middle kids and then my daughter graduated so I read the rest to my son. This book is on the AmblesideOnline list and it is highly recommended in Truthquest History. This was really a thought provoking book that I really enjoyed. I don't know if my kids got much out of it, but I did.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Books read in 2019

Books Read in 2019

I am ridiculously late in posting this, but here it is in all it's glory! I read a total of 120 books--74 fiction and 46 non-fiction. Of those books 37 were audio books. 

Fiction (74):
  • After the Armistice - Catronia McPherson
  • Bookends - Liz Curtis Higgs
  • The Bookshop - Penelope Fitzgerald
  • Caddie Woodlawn - Carol Ryrie Brink
  • The Chestry Oak - Kate Seredy
  • The Chilbury Ladies Choir - Jennifer Ryan
  • The Children of the New Forest - Frederick Marryat*
  • The Christmas Hirelings - Mary Elizabeth Braddon*
  • Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather
  • Dorothy Sayers: The Complete Stories - Dorothy Sayers
  • A Few Quick Ones - P. G. Wodehouse*
  • Gaudy Night - Dorothy Sayers
  • A Gentleman's Murder - Christopher Huang
  • Henry V - William Shakespeare
  • The Inimitable Jeeves - P. G. Wodehouse*
  • Jeeves and the King of Clubs - Ben Schott
  • Julius Caesar - William Shakespeare
  • The Kaiser's Last Kiss - Alan Judd
  • Little Britches - Ralph Moody
  • Little Women - Louisa May Alcott*
  • Macbeth - William Shakespeare
  • The Magician's Nephew - C. S. Lewis*
  • Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen*
  • The Odyssey - Homer
  • Othello - William Shakespeare
  • Pay Attention Carter Jones - Gary D. Schmidt
  • Persuasion - Jane Austen
  • The Printed Letter Bookshop - Katherine Reay*
  • The Quiche of Death by M. C. Beaton
  • The Rector of Justin - Louis Auchincloss
  • The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishigaro 
  • The Road to Paradise - Karen Barnett*
  • The Secret of the King's Tomb - Garrett Drake*
  • Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen*
  • Something Fresh - P. G. Wodehouse
  • The Spies of Shilling Lane - Jennifer Ryan
  • To Kill a Mockinbird - Harper Lee
  • The Vanderbeeker's and the Hidden Garden - Karina Yan Glaser
  • The Vanderbeeker's to the Rescue - Karina Yan Glaser
  • The Watson's Go to Birmingham - Christopher Paul Curtis*
  • Way of the Warrior Kid - Jocko Willink
  • Whose Waves These Are - Amanda Dykes
  • Wicked Autumn - G. M. Malliet

Amory Ames Series - Ashley Weaver
  • Murder at the Brightwell
  • Death Wears a Mask
  • A Most Novel Revenge
  • The Essence of Malice
  • The Act of Villiany 
Anne of Green Gables Series - L. M. Montgomery
  • Anne's House of Dreams
  • Anne of Ingleside*
  • Rainbow Valley
  • Rilla of Ingleside
Chronicles of Brother Cadfael - Ellis Peter
  • An Excellent Mystery*
  • The Raven in the Foregate*
  • The Rose Rent*
  • The Hermit of Eyton Forest*
  • The Heretic's Apprentice
  • The Confession of Brother Haluin
Mitford Series - Jan Karon
  • A New Song
  • A Common Life
  • In This Mountain 
Miss Marple Series - Agatha Christie
  • Murder in the Vicarage*
  • The Thirteen Murders
  • The Body in the Library*
  • The Moving Finger*
  • A Murder is Announced*
  • They Do It with Mirrors*
  • A Pocket Full of Rye*
  • The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side*
  • 4:50 from Paddington*
  • A Carribean Mystery*
  • At Bertram's Hotel*
  • Nemesis*
  • Sleeping Murder*
Non-Fiction (46):
  • 3 Seconds - Les Parrott*
  • The 4:8 Principle - Tommy Newberry
  • About My Mother - Peggy Rowe*
  • Adorned - Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
  • Are Women Human? - Dorothy L. Sayers
  • Atomic Habits - James Clear
  • Becoming a Welcoming Church - Thom Rainer
  • Bookgirl - Sarah Clarkson
  • The Brave Learner - Julie Bogart
  • Building Her House - Nancy Wilson*
  • Burnt Toast Makes You Sing - Kathleen Flinn
  • The Call of the Wild and Free - Ainsley Arment*
  • Checklist for Life for Leaders - Checklist for Life
  • Chasing the Horizon - Thomas & Patrick Kinkade
  • The Conversation - Leigh Bortins
  • Cozy Minimalist Home - Mcquillyn Smith
  • Darkest Hour - Anthony McCarten
  • Decluttering at the Speed of Life - Dana White
  • Doctrines of the Bible - J. L. Hall
  • Help, I'm Homeschooling - Tricia Hodges
  • Education - Israel Wayne
  • The Enchanted Hour - Meghan Cox Gurdon
  • An Enemy Called Average - John Mason*
  • An Experiment in Criticism - C. S. Lewis
  • The Fairy Tale Girl - Susan Branch
  • The Gospel-Centered Mom - Brooke McGlothlin
  • The Homebody - Joanna Gaines
  • Introverted Mom - Jamie C. Martin*
  • Homeschool Bravely - Jamie Erickson
  • Hope for the Weary Mom - Brooke McGlothin, Stacey Thacker
  • Just Do Something - Kevin DeYoung
  • Know and Tell  - Karen Glass
  • The Library Book - Susan Orlean
  • Make it Happen - Lara Casey*
  • Make Time - Jake Knapp
  • The Next Right Thing - Emily Freeman
  • The Path Between Us - Suzanne Stabile
  • Placemaker - Christie Purefoy*
  • Roots and Sky - Christie Purefoy
  • Rythms of Renewal - Rebekah Lyons
  • Sold on Monday - Kristina McMorris
  • Switch on Your Brain - Caroline Leaf
  • To-Do List Formula - Damon Zahariades
  • Three Days in Moscow - Bret Baier*
  • The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop - Lewis Buzbee
  • You Who - Rachel Jankovic


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