Friday, November 5, 2010

More Books to Read Again- 7 QuickTakes

1. Madeleine L'Engle- The Arm of the Starfish

L'Engle's beautiful, pro-family classic, A Wrinkle in Time, is worthy reading for anyone. I'm reading it now. But there is something about the location and the villain of Arm of the Starfish that got under my skin the first time I read it. The book is next on my re-reading list. I suspect the medical technology story line will prove to be quite apropos to modern life.

2. Agatha Christie- Autobiography

Christie's autobiography might be my favorite book that she has written. It gives such a clear picture of her life and of life in general at that time; one might feel that one is there at tea. Her beloved characters in Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Tommy and Tuppence were so well-developed. I'm sure that her experiences written about in her autobiography formed them as well as her.

3. Fr. Alexander Ratiu- Stolen Church

This non-fiction work tells the story of communism taking over Romania. The witness accounts are horrifying, telling the story of forced conversions to Orthodoxy or prison time and death. While reading this book, you will be close to modern martyrs, realizing that we are still living the early days of the Church where people of faith are not safe. Reflect on the martyrs of Baghdad. In Romania, it was similar. Now, Catholicism is legal, but they struggle because the stolen churches are still in the control of the state.

4. Marcel Pagnol- My Father's Glory & My Mother's Castle

Two lovely pieces of his memoirs in one volume, these are just as thought-provoking as Proust's madeleines. Not much happens here; it is just little vignettes of life with descriptions you can fall into and laze around in. The sun in Provence is warmer, the colors are more striking, the food is richer even when it is simple bread and cheese. Read this volume, enjoy, and save the airfare. Along with a cup of tea, reading about Pagnol's Provence is almost as good as being there.

5. Jane Healy- Endangered Minds

Most of my reading is mommy and homeschooling based. I love In their Own Way, The Charlotte Mason Companion, Homeschooling for Success, The Educated Child, The Book of Virtues- I could go on and on. At the moment, the book Endangered Minds is in my re-read queue. It develops different ideas on why  kids today are so distracted and what we can do about it. Basically, it will validate you if you are a mean mom who strictly limits television and computer time.

6. Jane Austen- Pride and Prejudice

I know everyone says Austen in a book list, but I couldn't resist. The characters, the setting,  the dialog-everything is bliss. I need to break out and read some GKC fiction and even Oscar Wilde. But I usually return to one of Austen's perfect novels. Yesterday's post was on the impossibility of perfection. This is usually true, but Austen was the perfect novelist. Seriously, what a gift to the world. In any case, I am in a witty kind of mood with my reading- perhaps because I am the least witty person I know. One can live different lives in their reading.

7. St Francis de Sales- Introduction to a Devout Life

All Christian (Protestant, Orthodox, Catholic) women should have this as their personal life manual. Whenever I read this book, I am astonished by its truth, its modernity. St Francis is perfection in the way he writes to the woman- simply, but never condescendingly. I'm not a theologian who likes to analyze and reanalyze and over-analyze the use of the word "The" in a Bible passage (I exaggerate, a bit). St Francis uses practical examples of the domestic life to illustrate heavenly ideas. He respects and sanctifies the domestic life in much the same way our Lord Jesus sanctified marriage at Cana. So while I am enjoying Orthodoxy (yes, I finally started it- I like it!), Intro to a Devout Life is my go-to book for support in my vocation.

I can't stop here! Okay TWO GREAT KIDS' BOOKS and then I'll stop...

Bonus 1- Maud Hart Lovelace- Betsy and Tacy

Just read it. I loved Tacy best even before we became Catholic. Mostly funny and sweet, there are spots that will have you choking back sobs if you read it aloud to your kids.

Bonus 2- Lucy Fitch Perkins- The Chinese Twins

Out of print and sometimes a bit politically incorrect, all the twin books will be beloved by your children. Each book develops a story around a set of boy-girl twins and their adventures. Some books are easier (Dutch Twins) than others (Caveman Twins). My girls were shocked reading the Japanese Twins that boys got a week-long birthday while the girls got a day. Educational and entertaining- find on ebay and libris.

My previous book list is here: Books to Read Again
 Happy reading!


  1. Great list again. I get stuck with "The Ghost Map" about the plague during Dickens time. Also the Bataan Death march. Oh well, I do balance it was mind-numbing tv.

  2. LOVE Agatha Christie, but I've never read her autobiography. Thanks for the suggestion!

    I also love the Betsy Tacy series. I can't wait to read them with my little girl. :)

    God Bless!

  3. I love St Francis de Sales' Introduction to a Devout Life. It's one I keep close by for constant "refreshers".

    I must confess that of late, all I read are baby animal books. Your lists are full of titles that just may get me to venture out to the bookstore!

  4. Wonderful list! I love it! I agree with Betsy-Tacy, but I find the later books to be lacking. Betsy's shallow nature annoys me and has me wishing that Tacy was the heroine instead! ;-)

  5. Louise- I agree- Betsy does get a bit boy crazy

    Linda Pinda- baby animal books are great- soon you will venture into big kid books- a very nice one if you have 2 girls is "Big Sister, Little Sister"

  6. It's funny- I finish a book list, and then I remember favorites I left out!

    Once again- for those that need a GREAT LAUGH- buy James Thurber's Carnival- short stories that we moms can read one at a time and laugh! I find him hilarious

  7. Nice post to hang on..I really loved it the way of the stuff provided in this article..This has given very useful information. "Pride and prejudice" is the book I like.. thoughts emerged with that!


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