Friday, July 14, 2006

Summer Reading Challenge

In the midst of the recent upheavals in my life, there are three things that have remained constant -- my faith in God's mercy, my desire to knit whenever I can sit down for a few minutes at a time, and my love of reading.

Yes, I have been keeping up with my reading challenge! Most of the books I've been reading have been "educational" or "uplifting" -- what used to be called "deep" -- but I did buy a fun-read yesterday -- a knitting mystery story that I'm anxious to get started on.

Here's my reading list so far:

  • Confessions by Saint Augustine -- the classic conversion story that I'd never read; really good and easy to read. Fascinating background information about the early Church and various heresies.
  • The Restless Flame by Louis de Wohl -- the fictionalized account of Augustine's conversion; a great read for teens and up.
  • Homeschooling and the Voyage of Self-Discovery by David Albert -- a great story about unschooling and the many benefits that this man has seen with his daughters. Excellent introduction to unschooling, showing that it can work!
  • Swimming with Scapulars by Matthew Lickona -- an interesting true-life story that I had been wanting to read after hearing many good things about it; it's about a 30-something cradle Catholic and his life. It's OK, but I don't know if I'd recommend to others.
  • The Path to Rome by Hilaire Belloc -- another book that I'd been wanting to read for years and never did; a memoir of Belloc's walking journey from France to Rome; really good, well-written and definitely worth a re-read sometime!
  • The Authentic Catholic Woman by Genevieve Kinecke -- this book just came out and I was sent a review copy (which I have yet to write); it's much better than I expected, giving anecdotal as well as catechetical bases for how to live as a true Catholic woman in this age rampant with feminism. Kinecke also gives a bit about how a Catholic man should live in this world, so it's not just for women.
  • Mrs. Dunwoody's Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping by Miriam Lucken -- loosely based on the author's research of women's journals from the post-Civil War era in the South, this book is rife with good tips on everything to keep a house running -- including cleaning, laundering, hosting parties, attending funerals, etc. A great read and will also be a good reference book (plus I got it on the remainder table at Barnes & Noble, so it was also a good deal!).
  • The Galleys at Lepanto by Jack Beeching -- at my brother's suggestion, I read this book. What a great historical book about the events leading up to the famous Battle of Lepanto in the 1500s. Then, as now, tensions were rising between the Muslims and the Christians -- battles, skirmishes and the political machinations of various leaders are deftly described in this very readable book. If you have teens interested in the background to what is occuring today in the MidEast, this book would be a great starting point!

So, that's a pretty good start on my challenge of reading at least 12 books this summer! I'll post with more as I finish them up.....

Happy reading!


Leonie said...

Mary, you are SO good to keep uo with reading with all that is going on - or is the reading your sanity preserver? :-)

I love Belloc's Path to Tome - read it about 5 years ago and keep recommending it to tohers!

Leonie said...

oops - should read Path to ROME! lol!

WJFR said...

Great booklist, Mary! That Catholic Woman one looks good. I'm putting it on my wish list.