Saturday, January 21, 2012

Books! Books! Books!

I love to read!  Which is a good thing, because I married a man who loves to read. Loves to read as in "3 bookcases aren't enough to hold all of our books".  Loves to read as in "I don't even think 6 bookcases would do it!"  Michael brought a lot of books to our marriage - kind of like a backwards dowry, & I hit the jackpot!  And each year, we add more & more books to our inventory.  He has said more than once that he wants our children to grow up as C.S. Lewis did - surrounded by books.  I'd say we're off to a pretty good start!  ;-)  A start that we built on this past Christmas, especially at the hands of my beloved.  My goal is to read all of these new books by the end of the year.  Of course, seeing as how I'll be quite busy with our wee little bairn as Summer begins to fade into Fall, I realize I'd better get the bulk of that reading completed well before then.  So far, so good!  Here's what I've read thus far in the month of January:

This book can be read in a day if you have very few interruptions.  It's short, sweet, to the point, & brimful of biblical wisdom in all matters of family life. 

This is a poignant narrative of the erosion of the simplicities of farm life in the face of encroaching modernity from an aging widow's point of view.  It's a novel that reads more like an autobiography in some respects.  Even though it's not action-packed, I found myself reticent to put it down, it pulled me in so.  I became attached to the characters, especially Hannah.  And I was left with a sort of ache, a dull sadness over the loss of this simpler time with simpler, more homespun values where community actually meant living with your neighbors (who are really more like family) & where people worked hard at making what they had better rather than always looking for greener grass elsewhere. 

I like children's literature, & this is a good example of why.  Of course, this is an easy read & doesn't take any time to breeze through.  I would have to say that my favorite thing about this book is how the fiercely independent Mary finally comes to the understanding that she can only "do all things" (as she so loves to quote to herself) "through Christ". 

Oh, dear.  What do I say about this one?  Well, I will say that I loved it.  So much so, that I would often make note of how I wanted to quote this or that portion on this blog or Facebook.  The problem?  I would have ended up quoting the whole thing!  It's seriously that good!  Voddie doesn't leave a single stone unturned on this topic, from a biblical defense of marriage, to the qualities (based on Scripture, of course) that husbands & fathers are to have, to an explanation of the role that a father must have in helping his daughter navigate the waters of courtship & choosing a spouse, to mentoring young men into the husbands & fathers they should be, to raising your own sons to be these sorts of men, all the way down to interracial marriage.  Voddie didn't miss a thing!  But of course, the very best part of it is that this book is not his opinion or some pragmatic approach - it's thoroughly biblical!  I loved it, & judging by the pencil marks in the forms of underlining & starring, so did my beloved the first time he read it.  My final word: Get this book!

Okay, so I've already told you that we're working through this book.  We've both read through the first section laying the groundwork for a change in philosophy & purpose.  Then things got really hectic, & we've had to put the practical "cleaning out & organizing our home" part on hold.  But it's not forgotten!  As a matter of fact, if things go as we hope, we'll be putting it into high gear very soon! 

This one is ongoing as well.  But from the very first page, I was hooked.  This is kind of the opposite of Hannah Coulter; it's a biography that reads like a novel.  So far, there hasn't been an exclusive focus on Mary Bunyan.  Rather, Sallie Ford has given an in-depth picture of the climate surrounding Mary.  Her father has just been imprisoned because "he would preach the Gospel".  Her stepmother has just lost her newborn child.  She & one of her brothers make the trek to the prison as often as possible to bring food to their father.  They face judgment from people on the streets & from the assistant jailer for their "criminal" father.  But their neighbors & members of the gathering that her father led rally around them through prayer & practical help.  The text is full to bursting with Scripture, as I shared in my last post.  In short, it is a simply delightful book, not only interesting, but also edifying in the most wonderful way.


Lynn said...

You must be good at reviewing books because you kind of made me want to read each one!

The Boyds said...

I've never considered myself good at reviewing books, but I appreciate the compliment! And I'm glad this post made you want to read the books, because they really are wonderful!