Friday, May 2, 2008

Books of 2008 - April

Where did April go?! I didn't get nearly as much reading done as I wanted. And May isn't really getting off to a great start, either. Anyway here's the list:

1. Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg. Non-fiction. Excellent book. Should be required reading for anyone who cares about America or the future. (Hopefully that would be all of us...)

2. Homeschooling The Early Years by Linda Dobson. Non-fiction. Slightly dated and not especially groundbreaking. Useful if you're new to homeschooling, I suppose.

3. Pemberley Shades by D.A. Bonavia-Hunt. Fiction. One of the first Pride and Prejudice sequels written. Well written. I have no complaints about Elizabeth or Mr. Darcy but Georgiana seemed out of character to me. Some interesting new characters but not too many.

4. Heroes by Paul Johnson. Non-fiction. Engaging and well-researched as Mr. Johnson always is. Skip the first chapter on Jewish heroes as his view of Biblical history is a bit one-sided. The rest is great.

5. Raising Unselfish Children in A Self Absorbed World by Jill Rigby. Non-fiction. I read Ms. Rigby's other book a few years ago. She makes many good points but (you knew that was coming, didn't you?) there is something about her "voice" as an author that just rubs me the wrong way. I don't mean that as a critique on her actual voice, as I have never heard her speak or her as a person, because I don't know her. Still, there is something in her books that actually makes me want to raise my children to be selfish or disrespectful and I know that can't be the result she's looking for.

6. The New Year's Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini. Fiction. This is a series of books that I used to enjoy and now I like them less and less the more I read. I feel compelled to continue with the series, since I've read them all but I don't like her characters or plot lines any more. I hear you saying, "So don't read her books any more," and I know you're right but I just can't stop. Once I've started a series, I finish. It's a compulsion I really must learn to control.

7. Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin. Non-fiction. The first book, brought home by Prince Charming from T4G, that I finished. Very useful, although I disagree on some points.

8. Why We're Not Emergent by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck. Non-fiction. Again, brought home by Prince Charming. Very engaging read and I agree with 90% of it. It has an uneven tone because the two men wrote separate chapters. DeYoung's chapters are much deeper and better researched. Kluck throws in a few swings at the "Republican party/homeschool" crowd (chapter 6) that seem more motivated by ego and wannabe coolness than any actual point. (And hey, yeah, I am guilty as charged...)

9. The Greatest Presidential Stories Never Told by Rick Beyer. Non-fiction. Quick read. I actually read this all in one night when I could not fall asleep. For stories that have supposedly "never been told" I sure knew almost all of them. Must be the homeschooling.

10. Groovitude by Darby Conley. Fiction. A collection of Get Fuzzy cartoons. I've just started noticing this cartoon in the paper. It's sarcastic and anti-cute and it's really growing on me. (Another cartoon in this category is Pearls Before Swine).

11. The Blood Ballad by Rett MacPherson. Fiction. Series mystery. Easy, quick read. Nothing new but it's a pleasant way to spend a rainy afternoon.

The real literary fun this month was listening to The Scarlet Pimpernel (unabridged) on c.d. while driving around town. Prince Charming and Polly really got into it. I lament again: why hasn't someone made a faithful movie or t.v. adaptation of this story?! Everyone wants to fiddle with it, add more plot lines, change the ending, etc. It is perfect as it is!

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