So I’m a million years behind in posting about books I’ve been reading, in large part because they’ve either been education books, parenting books, or rereads. Or it could just be that I’m lazy. (It’s probably mostly that.) So here’s a quick synopsis, of those reads, grouped by category rather than the order in which they were read. I’ll go into the books that didn’t fall into those categories at the end.
A Charlotte Mason Education and More Charlotte Mason Education by Charlotte Levinson, A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola, Charlotte Mason Summaries by Leslie Noelani
Do you see a trend? We’re seriously considering homeschooling, and I’m in love with Charlotte Mason’s philosophies on education. She was an education reformer in early 1900 England, and is big on liberal arts and allowing kids to make connections with material rather than spoon feeding them the information. That’s not doing it any justice, but it’s awesome and I really like it. Even if we don’t homeschool, I’ll use a lot of her philosophy just in being a mom.
Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson , How to Talk So Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, Raising Children who Think for Themselves by Elisa Medhus
I read all of these for a parenting book club I’m a part of, although I would have read the first two on my own anyway. They’re fantastic. The third had it’s strengths and weaknesses, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.
The Devil in Amber and The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss : I loved The Vesuvius Club the first time I read it, so I was excited to see a sequel available featuring the hedonistic spy Lucifer Box. It was a fun read, not quite so good as I remembered the original being, but enjoyable. When I finished, I decided to reread the original, and what do you know, it wasn’t as good as I’d remembered, so I was holding the second to too high of a standard. But they’re both fun, slightly debacherous reads.
Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance by Gyles Brandreth: I honestly can’t remember how I came across this book, but I’m so glad I did. It’s a murder mystery involving Oscar Wilde and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who actually did interact in real life. Oscar Wilde comes across the murder scene of one of his associates and, when the police decline to investigate (partially because the body disappears), he investigates on his own. The writing is witty, the setups are clever, the characters are really well done. This is intended as the first in a series, and I couldn’t be happier.
MJ and BP by Jamie S. Rich: I’m one of the few who have seen a draft of Jamie’s new novel, and while I won’t say much about it because he hasn’t yet (that title is an abbreviation, I don’t think he’s actually revealed the real title publicly) I will say that it’s incredibly good. When it actually comes out I’ll write a real review of it.
A New Testament by Sherwood Anderson: Anderson’s novel Winesburg, Ohio is one of my all time favorite books, so I was excited to receive this as a birthday present. But I have trouble writing about this book because I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it. It’s a collection of Anderson’s poetry/prose (prosetry?) in which he testifies of what he believes- about God, man, women, truth, life. Some of it reads like Psalms, some like more standard poetry; some of it is really accessible, and some of it I felt like I was reading through a fog to find his meaning. (But that was totally me- not to be blamed on the writing.) He has reoccurring symbolism that sometimes the use of which signifies a tie between poems, and other times doesn’t seem to. But it’s a lovely, lovely book, with some absolutely stunning phrases and images.
This is my favorite piece from the book, just to give you a taste, called In the Workingman’s Rooming House:
“At two o’clock at night a steamboat whistle blows in the Chicago River. A man who lives above me gets out of bed and goes barefooted across the floor. His feet fall on the boards like the fingers of a player on a silent piano filled with broken strings.
He strikes a match. I know what he is doing. He is lighting a candle in order that God may see into his room and remember him in the time of his death.
I do not arise and light a candle for the sake of God. I lie still and think. God has multiplied himself so often in my sight that I cannot see him by the light of a candle.”
The Pirates, in an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon DeFoe: This book was really silly. That’s really all I have to say about it.
Faith, Hope and Charity by Janet Peterson and LaRene Gaunt: This is a series of biographical sketches of the former LDS Relief Society General Presidents, since the formation of the Relief Society. It was incredible to read about these women and the things they accomplished, and it really inspired me to make more of my membership in Relief Society.
I also finished the Book of Mormon and am 7 books from being finished with the Old Testament. (But they’re the little short ones at the end that no one remembers and can never find.) I also finished Julie and Julia by Julie Powell, but that one gets its own post, so you’ll just have to wait.
Current total: 22
Just finished: Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
Next Up: The Woman who Wouldn’t by Gene Wilder