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Books We’re Reading

Although I joined two reading challenges this year, I?ve been too busy living (and reading) to post anything for them.  We?ve even been too busy to do a whole lot of reading aloud, and that says something! 

Therefore, this is a catch-up post about the 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge, the Jane Austen Challenge , what I?m reading now, what we?re reading out loud, and what?s due at the library.

52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge

These are the books I read myself, to myself.    No children involved?although sometimes my older children read the books, too.

Book # 0.  I finished last year off with Tell Your Time:  How to Manage Your Schedule so You can Live Fulfilled by Amy Lynn Andrews, a great motivator to be intentional about my time use this year. 

Book # 1.  Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer is a unique take on the traditional Amish novel.  First of all, it was written by a man, and secondly, it?s less about romance and more about living one?s faith.  I really enjoyed it.

Book #2.  Deeper into the Word:  Reflections on 100 Words from the New Testament by Keri Wyatt Kent really made me think. It gave me fresh insights into the New Testament and helped me understand the cultural background better. 

Book #3.  This Was John Calvin by Thea B. Van Halsema is an informative but accessible biography.  It?s a perfect introduction to the life and times of this influential reformer, and I think I?ll be doing a little mini-unit study for myself on it, rereading the biography of his wife, making a timeline, learning about Francis 1, and reading a few more Calvin biographies.  Perhaps I may even make it to The Institutes.  That all depends on finding a bit more time, though.

Book #4.  An Unlikely Blessing by Judy Baer was pure relaxation and prairie-town nostalgia. 

Book #5.  On the other hand, May There be a Road by Louis L?Amour was full of violence.  Apparently, this collection of short stories is not as good as the books published during L?Amour?s lifetime.  It did, however, give me some insights into life as it has been for so many throughout the world and time.  We have safety, mostly.  Danger, however, is a way of life in so many places.  Unfortunately, directed violence (a.k.a. persecution) is a reality for so many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world.  Paradise Valley (book #1 above) deals with the theme of nonresistance, and This Was John Calvin (book #3) discusses persecution.

The Jane Austen Challenge

Well, I?ve located Sense and Sensibility and put it on my desk?.  It?s a start, right?

Books I?m reading now: 

  • The Faith of Ronald Reagan by Mary Beth Brown.  Inspiring.
  • The Covenant of Love: Exploring our Relationship with God by Clarence Stam.  Relational, not theological.  Very good.  Reformed viewpoint.
  • Getting Things Done:  The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen.  Seems practical.

Read Alouds:

Company and colds have kept us from reading aloud as much as we would like, but we?re still happily enjoying

  • Swallows and Amazons by Arthur B. Ransome,
  • Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott,
  • Along Came Galileo by Jeanne Bendick, and
  • Famous Canadian Stories by George E. Tait (more educational than enjoyable)

We also have three Dutch books on the go, and the children are reading all sorts of other interesting and informative books.  If I borrow a good book from the library, it doesn?t spend much time on our coffee table before someone is immersed in it.  The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization by Anthony Esolen disappeared upstairs within an hour.  It is definitely not suitable for young teens, but should, perhaps, be considered required reading for older teens and adults.   

What’s Due at the Library:

My Tour of Europe by Teddy Roosevelt, Age 10 contains funny journal excerpts.

When the Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant is one of those wonderful feel-good, huggy books that’s not sappy.  We take it out of the library for me as much as for the little ones.

Darwin: The Voyage that Shook the World is a beautiful documentary on an important topic.  I plan to review this someday.

So, what have you been reading?


  1. mom244now says:

    WOW! How in the world do you do it! I guess I’m just a slow reader.
    I’m reading “Bringing Them Home” by Elizabeth Wiens(a fellow hsblogger) and “The Way they Learn” by Cynthia U. Tobias.
    These are both good books but I’ve been reading both for about 1-2 months. I received a special toy for Christmas and I haven’t spent alot of time reading.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Perhaps we’re just very quick readers. That’s not always a good thing, but it does allow us to read more books.

      I’m going to try to find “Bringing Them Home”. Thanks for mentioning it!

      Annie Kate

  2. Heather says:

    I want to read a few of these! Politically incorrect especially! I just gave you the Stylish Blogger Award over at my site: http://faithfamilyandfun.com/?p=5540

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Thanks for the Award, Heather! I don’t feel very stylish (who, me??), so I really appreciate the kind comment you made about me on your blog.

      Annie Kate

  3. JoannaTopazT says:

    We just had a very interesting discussion last night at my book group about Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. It was an interesting read.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      We found that to be a phenomenal book. It really changed some of the ways we think, but I’d still like to read a Christian analysis of it someday.

      Annie Kate

  4. kympossible says:

    I bought the Peter Leithart book on Jane Austen’s novels and just finished Pride and Prejudice and am reading his chapter on it. Good stuff!!!! Northanger Abbey is next for me. 😎 I’m so glad you mentioned the Leithart book, I wouldn’t have noticed it for quite awhile if you hadn’t!

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