Thursday, 26 January 2017

January Books

Last year, I posted about books that I planned to read for the Reading Challenge (#vtReadingChallenge). So far, that list has only a vague connection with what I have actually read.

So far, I have read

Beggar of Volubilis. This was actually a read aloud but also, rather conveniently, filled the slot of the children's book. This is one of the later books in the Roman Mystery series, by Caroline Lawrence, where the children hunt for a famous jewel known as Nero's Eye. This quest takes the children in a caravan across North Africa.

Five English Reformers, by JC Ryle. This is a book about five of the Protestant Reformers who were martyred in the reign of Mary I. The book is worth reading but really could do with some heavy editing. It is complied from six separate talks and so there is a fair amount of background information which is repeated. Much as I like the writing of JC Ryle, I did object to the statement that the Roman Catholic church never changes. This is demonstrably untrue, for example, new doctrines have been added from time to time.

The Loveliness of Christ is head and shoulders above any other book that I have read this month. It is short excerpts from the letters of Samuel Rutherford. The book isn't long but needs to be read slowly and savoured. Several of the quotes found their way into my commonplace book.

I am Malala was a book that I read for a current issue book. This is the autobiography of the girl who was shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls. I didn't know much about the politics of Pakistan and this was a fascinating introduction.

Charles Hodge was a Bite Sized Biography from Evangelical Press. This particular volume was written by S. Donald Fortson III. I knew very little about Charles Hodge before, beyond that fact that he wrote a Systematic Theology. His life was at a time when the issues of abolition and Higher Criticism were coming to the fore. It was also interesting to see how the denominational issues played out.

Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark is a Newbery Award winner set in Peru and was read as part of my search for books about South America to read with my home education book group. Cusi is a boy living high in the Andes with llamas and an elderly mentor. There are mysteries about why he is there and why he has so little contact with the outside world. Eventually, Cusi does go on a long trek and discovers why he is set apart. It is quite mystical and describes a fair amount about Inca religion. To my mind, there were still some unanswered questions by the end. What is the main idea behind the book? Probably, to find the path set for you(? by whom) and follow it. I suspect that I won't use this book for the group but there seem to be so few books around about South America. Suggestions are welcome-the children are mainly upper KS2 age (9-11).

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  1. Well done! That was a lot read in a month. I'm aiming for one book a month for myself, alongside read alouds for the children. I finished a book called 'Undiscovered Country' by Enger (a Christian) It was a gripping read and I found myself sharing the plot with the family and discussing it with them.

    1. I think that there have been some odd reasons that have given me extra time to read recently, such as sitting on the bus going to visit in hospital. It is useful when a book lends itself to discussion with the rest of the family.

  2. There is a book called "Chucaro: wild pony of the pampas", also Eva Ibbotson's "journey to the River Sea" and G. A. Henty "on the pampas"

    1. Thank you so much. I was only aware of the Eva Ibbotson book. I have just downloaded the Henty book to my Kindle.