Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January Titles

Stanley Park on a clear January day

This month was a good reading and knitting month. I had high hopes of finishing my daughter's Christmas 'wear' present before, ahem, Christmas, but it didn't happen. I lost steam. The project had been sitting for a few weeks and I picked it up again with a determined pace and now I'm nearly done. I have a few more hours. I'll post the pictures once she's wearing it. It's probably my best clothing item yet. Anyway. Books! That's was the other half of my free time in January. Here are my takes on the titles I finished this month. 

*The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
This little pocket book was picked up at my favorite bookstore back in my hometown of Lincoln, Indigo Bridge Books. I had a $20 gift certificate to spend there. I had heard of Brother Lawrence before, mostly as someone who seems to be quoted a lot in the book genre I read the most. This tiny book was no more than 100 pages. Included are letters from Brother Lawrence to friends, writings of his (that he never wanted published) on how to communicate with God every minute of every day, and the life and legacy he lead as a monk. It's a sweet and encouraging read. My six dollars were well-spent.

*Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber
This memoir is just under 200 pages and it is a great story of Bolz-Weber's journey to faith. Her chapters are mixed with humor, tragedy, theology, and hope. I couldn't put this book down, and I think I finished it in about three days. I first heard of Nadia and her Denver church, House for All Sinners and Saints, on Krista Tippet's NPR series "On Being". You can listen to her interview here. If you find her interesting from that, you'll love the book. I don't agree with her on everything, but going outside the comfort zone is beneficial.

*The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
This book has been on my list for awhile. It's highly recommended if you get into the Usborne business like I did two years ago. It's a non-fiction work (with 7 updated editions) of statistics showing how reading and reading aloud, especially, helps kids from all demographics. Some of the results of these studies are just mind-boggling. Jim's preaching to the choir with me, but if you want to know what the book is about, hear this: Make it a priority to read aloud to your kids all the time, at every age...even after they can read independently. 

*The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
This is a novel about an English Quaker girl named Honor, struggling to find her place in America, while helping slaves escape via the Underground Railroad near liberal Oberlin, Ohio. Chevalier often uses a piece of artwork (in her story "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" it was Vermeer's painting with the same name) and this story was based on the traditional Ohio Star quilt pattern, among other English quilt styles of the times. I read everything from Tracy Chevalier's, because of her imagination to recreate a historical world within a narrative. This book did not disappoint, and I highly recommend it if you like historical fiction.

I'm currently in the middle of Julia Cameron's "The Right to Write", Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman's "Nurture Shock", Randy Alcorn's "Heaven" (my bible study's book for this semester), and Jennifer Worth's "Call the Midwife", all of which I'm really enjoying. I put down Call the Midwife for a bit, since I own it, and all my library requests came in at the same time. I've got "The Fault in Our Stars"  (young adult fiction) and "Stag's Leap" (poetry) up next. 

1 comment:

Hena Tayeb said...

Great list.. will have to check some of these out.