The Blythes Are Quoted – L. M. Montgomery Who Has Seen The Wind – W. O. Mitchell Middlemarch – George Eliot Emma – Jane Austen Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy Marilla of Green Gables – Sarah McCoy Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery The Daughter of Time – Josephine Tey Sophie’s World – Jostein Gaarder The Snow Goose – Paul Gallico
Excerpts from: The Rule of Saint Benedict – St. Benedict Wars of Justinian – Procopius History of the Franks – Gregory of Tours Book of Pastoral Rule & The Dialogues – Gregory the Great Ecclesiastical History of the English People – Bede
The Confession of St. Patrick – St. Patrick The Life of St. Columba – Adomnan of Iona The Voyage of Brendan Beowulf – translated by Seamus Heany
Cartier Sails the St. Lawrence – Esther Averill Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl The Secret Garden – Fracnes Hodgson Burnett The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien Homer Price – Robert McCloskey The Family Under the Bridge – Natalie Savage Carlson & Many picture books!
Pocketful of Pinecones – Karen Andreola Parents and Children – Charlotte Mason (ongoing)
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning – Margareta Magnusson The Alpine Path – L. M. Montgomery
You Set My Spirit Free – St. John of the Cross Reunion: The Good New of Jesus for Seekers, Saints and Sinners – Bruxy Cavey Emotionally Healthy Spirituality – Pete Scazzero
Is This “One of Those Days” Daddy? (For Better or For Worse) – Lynn Johnston It Must Be Nice to Be Little (For Better of For Worse) – Lynn Johnston Strange Planet – Nathan W. Pyle
Thoughts . . .
Who Has Seen the Wind – This was a heart book for me, and an unexpected favourite. Mitchell drew me right into Saskatchewan and right into the small-town world of Brian. (I lived in Saskatchewan for a year as a child.) The part about the Christmas skates brought me to tears. I also loved that it is Canadian!
Beowulf – What can I say? This was epic. I understand now why this is foundational to English literature. And where Tolkien got Smaug from!
Emma – I just love Jane Austen. Though Emma is not my favourite of her heroines, I enjoyed the storytelling, wit, and insight into human nature which makes Austen such a beloved author.
Anything read with others – My book club and study group continue to be a highlight of my literary life! I’ve loved reading through some of the more challenging classic literature with friends, and learning more about the medieval mindset from the writings of that time.
Middlemarch – George Eliot was a genius. This book was a huge banquet of ideas from so many different streams of thought. Well drawn characters. Masterfully done. However, it didn’t resonate with me on a “kindred spirit” level, and I think this speaks to Eliot’s own worldview.
The Hobbit – I read this with the kids over the winter. I had fond memories of my dad reading it to us as kids, with Gollum’s voice and all, and reading aloud with my own children did not disappoint. They loved the story and the way it was told. There were lots of giggles over Tolkien’s language, and that was a joy to experience together. They are on the edge of their seats and now want more Middle Earth!
You Set My Spirit Free – This was a book God used to speak to my spirit in 2019. Thanks to a tip off from a friend as we discussed the idea of a “dark night of the soul,” I found it on my shelves and it became a kind of companion. I read it slowly. I read some passages over and over. I journaled them, prayed them. This helped give me a frame of reference for what I was experiencing in this season of life.
Reading Goals for 2020
I don’t usually like to plan too much of my reading in advance, preferring to make choices that are more in the moment. However, I do have a sizeable stack of books I started reading last year, or have been on my to-read list for awhile, that I would like to finish!
Consider This – Karen Glass Beauty in the Word – Stratford Caldecott Joy and Human Flourishing – essays edited by Miroslav Volf The Adventure of English – Melvyn Bragg Evangelical, Sacramental & Pentecostal – Gordon T. Smith
The Lake District
A fellow homeschool mom and I are headed to a conference in the Lake District this spring!! I am beyond excited. Here is what I am planning to read in preparation for the trip.
Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome (current read-aloud with the kids) Lyrical Ballads – Wordsworth and Coleridge How the Heather Looks – Joan Badger In Vital Harmony – Karen Glass
Carrying with me the burning desires of a nation, and my own unspoken longings.
Singled out and sent in, through the golden doors and into a holiness I’ve never before experienced.
The signs of His presence greet me – lamplight, bread, a golden altar, set upon the backdrop of a curtain whose nearness sets my hands trembling.
Powdered incense – are we not all dust? – is what I have to offer. Sprinkle the mixture of stacte, onycha, galbanum, frankincense, till the fragrant smoke rises and clouds the sacred space.
Is that the curtain breathing?
I stand in the stillness. One moment more, and my duty is done. I have always done my duty. Yet, still, there is this barrenness . . .
A flash of light to the right. My fingers grip the empty golden spoon. A form appears, the shape of glory and terror. Has my luck run out?
No – this is good news. News beyond my old age hopes, beyond the murmured prayers of the court outside. A birth! A turning. A readiness for One greater yet to come. A fulfillment, filling all the empty spaces.
But how can I be sure? How can I know this is not just the mist of some aromatic dream?
The next time he speaks I am dumbfounded. He says his name – Gabriel – and tells me I will be silent until my lips speak of what my eyes can see – my own boy, John.
All I can do is bow to my sentence. Time slips away and the angel disappears. I stumble, humbled, into the piercing sunlight, and into a dozen questions. Perhaps it is a grace I am unable to give the answers just yet. Premature.
I will let them grow within me, taking form like the child in my wife’s womb. I will stroke her grey hair with wonder, smile wordlessly, and wait.
Wait. His words are a fire in my bones – John, joy, gladness. Yahweh has shown favour. I will let them glow till they burst out wild on the day of deliverance.
Stacte, onycha, galbanum, frankincense. A dust flung to holy offering. Perhaps I am imagining things, but the scent still lingers.
God of unfurled leaves, cast your cloak of green over our weathered shoulders. Whisper to us in the rustle of shimmering branches. Let your countenance shine in dappled light. Renew us in the hope of returning colour, and the surety of your ever springing promises. As the trees of the field applaud your faithfulness, may we join the greening world in praise.