Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What I am Reading

Here are the books I am currently working my way through. I haven't done this in awhile because, while I generally have strong reactions to books, I frequently have a hard time putting my opinion into words. I know I like or dislike the book, but have a rough time saying my exact thoughts. It's funny, but in the CM book club meetings I go to, I don't have this problem at all. I think that is because I really study the books I know I will be discussing in a book group, but other books I simply peruse. Also, when I am just reading my Bible for the morning, I tend not to be able to formulate articulate thoughts about what I am reading, but when we are really studying something in the Bible, I am able to express my questions and thoughts more clearly. So here are some jumbled thoughts on my "perusal" books.

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. This book is at least ten to fifteen years old, and yet I have never read it until now. These two authors reveal some psychological principles where relationships are concerned. I tend to agree with their analysis of boundaries, although not at all completely. I take issue with a large portion of the book-- I think their strong emphasis on a supportive group of people to help you establish boundaries seems to suggest a God who cannot work alone. Don't get me wrong; I agree that we need folks, and the Lord certainly uses others to help us through things. I just would have liked to have seen the Lord's role emphasized more. Also, while I agree in principle with their ideas concerning boundaries and children, I did not agree with their application of those principles in every particular.

A Passion for the Impossible by Miriam Huffman Rockness. I am attempting this one again, after setting it aside for several months. I have gotten to the part where Lilias Trotter is in Algeria reaching out to others and trying to learn Arabic. The reason I decided to try to finish it is because I just read a review in which the person said this book is a good one for trying to understand Islamic societal structure. We'll see. As I said, we have just barely gotten to Algeria.

Between Walden and the Whirlwind by Jean Fleming. This one I found recommended on one of my favorite blogs, and I cannot remember which. (If it was you, will you leave a comment so I can give proper credit?) "Order in an overwhelming world" is something I want to understand. My favorite quote so far:

Seeking God first is not a matter of order, but of focus.

Exactly. Why didn't I see it that way before?

Here are the books I am reading either with the children or for next year (or this summer) for the kids' schooling. Actually, the Lilias Trotter book is a school book also, but I haven't yet decided to hand it over to Triss.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. We are almost finished, yes we are! Mr. Darcy is just about to propose. When we are done we get to watch the BBC movie. Oh, yay! Then Triss and I will read Emma. Maybe Sense and Sensibility ought to come next, but I like Emma best, and I feel a bit more justified in my liking since Clifton Fadiman listed it in his Lifetime Reading List as the other recommended Austen. Besides, Elinor's patience and Marianne's indiscretion tend to annoy me a little if I am in a peevish mood. Also, Edward frustrates me. Mr. Knightley would not behave like that. (Okay, don't get me wrong, Sense and Sensibility is a good book too. I just like Emma better.)

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Mariel and I just started this. We listened to it on CD when she was six or seven, but I asked her to share it with me again because the girls and Mr. Honey gave me a new copy for Mother's Day. My old copy is going to bits. Jo just met Laurie at the little New Year's party and all the fun is fixing to begin.

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. The older girls and I are taking it in turns reading this book aloud to Cornflower. We are right in the thick of the web-writing, but before the fair.

Story of the Greeks by H.A. Guerber. This is a slow read for me. I just cannot sequence through Greek history for some reason. I had a better time with Augustus Caesar's World, which I finished a couple of weeks ago, but I like Genevieve Foster's style of jumping around all over the world in each successive year (I know not everyone does). The straight chronological telling of Greek history is difficult for me to focus on for some reason. I am already dreading The Story of the Romans, which I plan to plow through next. These are prereads, kind of, although Triss is further along in the Greeks than I am, and is already halfway through Augustus Caesar's World.

Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff. Triss has not started this one yet. I have gotten to the part where Achilles is pouting. It is as difficult as The Story of Greeks. I cannot connect with the ancient Greeks for some reason. I have the Andrew Lang version also, as well as a translation of the Iliad on CD. Maybe I should try one of those. But we enjoy Rosemary Sutcliff so much, I thought Black Ships before Troy would be best.

Genesis: Finding Our Roots by Ruth Beechick. I have finished reading this one, but I keep coming back to it, trying to figure it out. There are things I just don't know about in this book, but then there are other things that I find quite valuable. I purchased and preread Adam and His Kin as well, but set it aside as unnecessary and possibly detrimental. I just wonder how much of the beginnings of time the Lord wants to keep veiled, and whether conjecture and imaginings past what has actually been preserved is really good for us. It is so easy to project our own ideas and societal norms into the story when we try to figure out how it might have been. This is an area in which to be cautious.

Exploring Creation With General Science by Dr. Jay Wile. I appreciated Leslie's comment in the previous post when I mentioned I was reading this. I have gotten to the Applied Science module, and did enjoy reading about the difference between science, applied science and technology.

And here are the two things I am really studying right now:

Home Education by Charlotte Mason.

And a really fascinating series of articles on the meaning of Romans 8:28 by the minister who officiated at mine and Mr. Honey's wedding.

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