It’s A Wrap!

CURRICULUM READING

 The Church Histories by Eusebius     Good solid reading.  It’s much like reading Foxes Box of Martyrs.  Who can really say they enjoyed it?  The stories were more interesting than I had anticipated.

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.

CHALLENGE READING

I planned to read Civilization of the Middle Ages.  It didn’t happen and will go on the Winter Challenge.

CULTIVATION READING

I finished The Imitation of Christ and started Martin Luther’s Table Talk.  I find it hard to get into Table Talk and will probably substitute another book this winter.   The Greatest  English Classic by Cleland McAfee was more informational than inspirational, but worth the reading.

COMFORT & JOY

I read a few P. G. Wodehouse titles and agree with (?? Diane at Circle of Quiet ??) that Wodehouse should be read interspersed between other reading due to the reoccurring themes.   I read two Tobias Wolff titles:  This Boy’s Life and Old School.  That old fox Wolff tricked me again.  He wrote about visiting authors coming to the tony prep school he attended: Robert Frost, Ayn Rand and Ernest Hemingway.  It is true that Robert Frost came; however, a compelling narrative of Ayn Rand’s interaction with students and faculty is fiction. 

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.

CREATIVITY

Franz Mohr’s My Life with the Great Pianists was a wonderful read.  I think there is a bit of voyeur in each of us.  It was fun to learn about Horowitz, Rubenstein, Glenn Gould, and Van Cliburn;  I  took note of the artists they  preferred to play and certain concerts that were remarkable performances.  Isn’t our technological age so unfathomable?  You can read about a live performance from the piano tuner’s perspective and hop onto the net and find that very performance on a CD.   Mohr wrote that no one comes close to approaching Glenn Gould’s talent in playing Bach.  Allrightythen!  Let’s have a listen.

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.

CURIOSITY

Add David McCullough’s The Johnstown Flood to the list of great historical narratives.  Reading through it was a great prelude to visiting the spot where the dam broke and the two museums in the area.  My admiration for McCullough continues to increase with each book I’ve read. 

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. 

Who has time to read this bulky blog entry?  Congratulations for making it through.  It has been a very profitable and pleasurable three months of reading. 

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3 thoughts on “It’s A Wrap!

  1. I read the bulky blog entry…..and will not be posting a wrap-up of my reading challenge……because I couldnt keep up 😦
    You, however, do it very well.
    Dana in GA

  2. WOW!!!  Very impressive, AND inspiring.  Makes me want to go on half.com or Amazon and order half the books you’ve described.  At the very least, I will print out your blog entry and keep it for future reference.  Thank you for sharing!

  3. Thanks for the progress report, Carol! I’m thinking of adding a Trollope to my winter list. I’ve read the first two Barchester Towers, but it’s been a few years. I think it’s time for another.You’ve also brought Dorothy Sayers back to my attention. I tried to read Some Body a few years ago, and just couldn’t get into it. Where would you suggest I start with Lord Peter?And I found The Johnstown Flood on one of my bookshelves just last week and am thinking of adding a McCullough to the winter list. It’ll be either this or 1776, which I also have but haven’t even cracked open yet.Hmmm…lots to think about…LynneThe Sweetbriar Patch

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