Thursday, July 1, 2010

Books of 2010 - June

Much reading took place in June, including the polishing off of not one but two Dickens novels. That's just as well because July, with two weeks of church camp, will most assuredly not be a good reading month.

1. Bleak House. Fiction by Charles Dickens. Most of this was read in May. I almost cheated and listed it in my May list but I didn't finish it until June 2 so it would have been a lie. I loved this one. The story sucked me in and the characters are great. Highly recommend. (I also recommend the recent miniseries. It's not perfect but it seems to be trying to be faithful, which is all I ask of a book adaptation)

2. Beautiful People. Fiction by Wendy Holden. Ms. Holden is a British writer. Her work is frothy, yes, but her characters are well drawn and funny.

3. The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the 14th Century. Non-fiction by Ian Mortimer. Winner of the "longest title" award for June. Fascinating stuff and well written. Mortimer does his best to acquaint the reader with this time period without too much transposition of modern thoughts and views.

4. Homeschooling our Children, Unschooling Ourselves. Non-fiction by Alison McKee. Not what I expected. This book was hard to get into and I disagreed with the author's philosophy of education. I don't intend to start a fight about it but I have to say, we do not "unschool". Unless you count all that free time my children have when school is over.

5. Nanny State: How Food Fascists...are Turning America Into a Nation of Children. Non-fiction by David Harsanyi. This would have been the "longest title" winner except for I forgot to write down the entire title. I agreed with many points of this book but Mr. Harsanyi is far more libertarian than I. I found his arguments about drunk driving laws particularly unpersuasive. Worth your time if you like the mental exercise of arguing with the author (which I do, naturally).

6. Vittoria Cottage. Fiction by D.E. Stevenson. Delightful period British fiction. Part of a trilogy but I haven't been able to find the other books yet.

7. Hard Times. Fiction by Charles Dickens. Has the distinction of being the shortest Dickens novel. Biting satire and commentary without his usual swollen cast of characters.

8. Bringing Up Girls. Non-fiction by James Dobson. Pastor Dad dropped this by for us to read. Dobson's books are practical and encouraging (though I do not find his writing style particularly polished). Prince Charming is reading this now and we've enjoyed talking about it with each other. (Must point out here that Dr. Meg Meeker's book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters is a must read for fathers of daughters, even more than Dr. Dobson's book and he recommends Meeker's book in one of the early chapters of Bringing Up Girls)

9. Labor of Love: A Midwife's Memoir. Non-fiction by Cara Muhlhahn. I picked this up at the library because, duh, I have babies and labor and whatnot on the brain. This was entertaining but that's about it.

10. A Little Folly. Fiction by Jude Morgan. Prince Charming gave me this British novel for my birthday. Austen-esque (the highest compliment I can give a novel!) and I, of course, liked it very much.

11. Life Management for Busy Women. Non-fiction by Elizabeth George. Less of a "how-to" than a "why God must be first and always". A bit repetitive of A Woman After God's Own Heart but perhaps that is useful.

12. Have Fun. Learn Stuff. Grow. Non-fiction by David Albert. A collection of essays about homeschooling. Another unschooling advocate. (No, I am still not convinced)

13. Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will. Non-fiction by Kevin DeYoung. If you are inspired to read any book from this list, let this be the one. Excellent work and not at all difficult to understand or read. As they say in the vernacular, "Made of win". I started to write down quotes from this book but it turned out I was copying entire paragraphs or passages. It's good.

14. A Voice in the Wind. Fiction by Francine Rivers. First book in the Mark of the Lion series. I couldn't remember if I had read this so I picked it up at the library. Ms. Rivers is somewhat controversial in Christian circles so use your own discretion.

Totals for June:
Fiction: 6
Non-fiction: 8
Dickens completed: 2 !!

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