Confessions by Augustine My son and I are on the last book. This book really deserves a blog entry of its own full of quotes. After Augustine’s chapters on the torment he went through– the divided heart he experienced wanting to follow Christ and yet not wanting to give up sex–the reader feels the relief that floods over him when he reaches to point of surrender. I surprise myself by continuing to be surprised at how readable “ancient” books are.
Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss I thought this would be a creative, new approach to punctuation, an area that needs strengthening in my student/son. I had a blast and enjoyed our read alouds. He cringed and considered it long-suffering, emphasis on suffering. Face it folks, this book is preaching to the choir. If you need help with it’s and its I think there are more efficient ways to learn punctuation in guide books, but they are not near as fun.
Nine Taylors by Dorothy Sayers This Lord Peter Wimsey mystery was both entertaining and edifying. If you enjoy Lewis, Tolkien and Chesterton and haven’t yet read Sayers (the case with me a few months ago) jump in. You will not regret it. Sayers is an author to be reckoned with. I enjoyed learning about campology (bell-ringing). The analogy of St. Paul’s (the church in the book) with Noah’s Ark is rich with deeper meaning.
Top 500 Poems edited by William Harmon Reading a poem aloud is part of our morning routine. Many of the poems last month were Shakespeare’s sonnets. The book is arranged in chronological order. We’re currently reading Thomas Campion. Good stuff.
COMFORT & JOY
I acquired a set (not complete) of Dickens that I’d like to jump into this winter. But first, I’m trolling in Trollope. I listened to The Warden on Librivox and am halfway through Barchester Towers. I find this perfect reading at the end of the day when I only have the strength to keep my eyes open for 15 minutes. My beloved Latin teacher said that Anthony Trollope is “more controlled than Dickens.” It is on his recommendation that I took up Trollope. I know there are a lot of Jane Austen fans out there who would appreciate this author.
I just dipped into Edith Shaeffer’s Hidden Art and David Allen’s Getting Things Done. I’m halfway through Quiller-Couch’s The Art of Writing. However, last night we watched the film version of 84, Charing Cross Road and I’m all re-inspired to spend more time with Q.
Listening to How to Listen to and Understand Great Music can be likened to a book on tape. This Teaching Company course by Robert Greenberg is superlative. Yep, I said superlative. As in: The Best! I’m listened up to Beethoven’s era and have enjoyed it immensely. My husband and son, not musicians, get magnetically pulled into hanging out in the kitchen and listening. Greenberg is that compelling. The last concert I attended was enriched by what I’d learned from these tapes. And Greenberg introduced us to Bach’s Passacaglia for which I will be forever grateful.
Kepler’s Witch by James Connor is a strange title for a biography of Johannes Kepler. I read this book on the elliptical machine with a highlighter in one hand. I have squiggly highlights throughout the book. I have thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve read so far. I think of Janie, our ARC leader at Seasonal Soundings, who loves astronomy, each page I read. I’m only part way through. This book is written in the style of Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel, with narrative interspersed with reproductions of actual letters to/from Kepler.