I love having a good book pile going, and since I've been doing so much reading this year, the pile has had a regular turnover. I spent the summer reading a lot of lighter fare and finally finished all six of Jane Austen's major novels. Pride and Prejudice is still my hands-down favorite, but Persuasion is an easy second. Since I am teaching 20th Century history in co-op for the first time this year (to high schoolers!), I figured I had better read up... it's a lot easier to teach if you know what you're talking about! So I've been through a long WWII phase- lots of nonfiction, a few biographies and some historical fiction thrown in for good measure (I love historical fiction- the real stuff, not the goofy romance kind.) And that brings me to the book pile I have today.
My class is currently studying WWI and last night I began reading All Quiet on the Western Front, one of those classics everyone is supposed to read. (I know, it would have made more sense to do WWI before WWII... oh well.) I read four chapters and my first impression is that this is definitely a "man's" book. I'm sure it's full of all sorts of profound observations on the futility of war, but I'm finding it depressing and I might save it for another time. Maybe you can offer a compelling reason why I should stick with it.
I recently began The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer, in which she discusses the discipline of reading good books and how to keep a journal to reflect on new ideas, as earlier generations did . The second half of her book contains reviews of the books that would form the basis of a solid classical education, several of which I'll add to my book pile in the future. I've been reading bits and pieces of Beth Moore's Further Still a collection of poetry and vignettes, and I've also acquired some commentaries on Daniel and Revelation to complement the Beth Moore Bible study my ladies bible class is doing on Daniel. No, I'm usually not such a studious bible scholar, but I've discovered that I simply do not agree with a number of Beth's conclusions on Daniel's prophecies. This has led me into a fascinating search for answers. None of this has anything to do with the fundamentals of my faith, but I love seeing how history confirms the facts of my faith! Along those lines, I've also picked up Seeing the Unseen by Joe Beam and am anxious to get to it. See why I'm having such a hard time getting through these books? There are too many good choices!
I recently finished Becoming One by Joe Beam, a book on spiritual, physical and emotional intimacy in marriage. It might not have made such a big impact on me earlier in our marriage, but it was exactly what I needed right now. I followed it up with a book I read last year, For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn. Don't read that book unless you're willing to throw everything you thought you knew about men out the window! Next up in the book pile is The Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura. I picked it up at a yard sale some time ago, but it's next in my Marriage series.
I checked out To Kill A Mockingbird fully expecting to have read it by now, but it's on its second check-out. I need to get going with it, and I look forward to it since it's one of those books I see frequently on "My Favorite Books of All Time" lists. Finally, I have The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh. The real thing will wean you off Disney forever! A.A. Milne wrote the stories for his son- you guessed it- Christopher Robin, and the stories are funny and full of insight. I'm glad I still have little boys who are always ready for a story, because it would be a shame not to share these!
So that's the Book pile for now. I was digging through my bookshelves recently and was delighted to find other books just waiting to be read. But that's a Book pile for another time.