Thursday, January 8, 2015

January selections - books, art, and music

Some of my goals this year were to pick up a book more often and be more consistent in art and music with the girls.  I thought I'd share with you my current reading selections, as well as our choices for art and music.



The Count of Monte Cristo - I started this last year around November.  I'm almost halfway through!  I asked for it for my birthday because, honestly, I had seen the movie and really enjoyed it.  The book has been really really good, much better than the movie, of course (most are, except for The Polar Express).  Being 1400 pages, there is so much depth - it's just great storytelling in my opinion.  The Count is so consumed with vengeance on those who wronged him, I am wondering if there will be any forgiveness; I don't remember any in the movie, but I watched in many years ago.

Stepping Heavenward - Oh my, I can hardly put this book down.  It's the first book I'm reading on my kindle, downloaded from gutenberg.  I don't remember how I found this book, but am so glad I did.  The story is about a young woman, Katy, who is slowly but steadily maturing in her faith in God.  It depicts a progression of spiritual maturity which is all too familiar to me (ahem).  I don't know how much I have copied from this book into one of my notebooks already and I'm only halfway through it as well.

The Daughter of Time- I'm reading this as part of an AO book discussion.  I've only read four chapters so far, and honestly I'm hoping it will pick up. It's about an inspector who begins researching the events surrounding the death of Richard III's nephews, which resulted in Richard's rise to the throne.  I do enjoy mysteries, but don't read them often (a couple of Sherlock Holmes books have been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years but I haven't gotten around to them, though I would love to read them - too many books to choose from!).

By the way, I bought The Daugher of Time used, as I usually do, and it said it was in very good condition - notice the lovely dinosaur sticker right smack dab in the middle of the front cover.  Ummm....

The Pursuit of Holiness - I've only been picking this one up every other week or so, so it's taking awhile to get through.  But that's okay with me because I've taken quite a few notes and I have plenty of time to reflect and ponder this one.  It's the same kind of theme as Stepping Heavenward, however is a non-fiction, Bible-referencing book, whereas the other is a fictional story.

To the girls

Old Mother West Wind - This was a Christmas gift to Izzy and the girls are loving this.  I'm so glad because I found a lovely copy and have looked forward to reading it to them.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - This is another that the girls are really enjoying.  They get so excited when I say I'm going to read from this book.

The Wizard of Oz - We've been listening to the audio version that we got from the library by Jim Weiss - he's such a good storyteller.  I also read it aloud some.  We own the book, but I downloaded it for free on my kindle and I read from that one because it has nice illustrations whereas our hard copy doesn't.

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh - We've been reading through this one slowly since around September - about a chapter every two or three weeks, and sometimes we read half of a chapter one week and half another.  We're on the second book, The House at Pooh Corner.  So lovely - I actually never knew of the original stories until recently, and did I miss out!  I hope to reread these to the girls in the years to come.

These are the main reads right now.  We do read a lot of picture books, too, and sprinkle in some other books every now and then.  You can find our kindergarten/preschool reading list here.

Art and Music

Rather than following AO's rotations right now, I'm taking the recommendations from to choose art and music that will engage young children.

We've been looking at Pierre-August Renoir's art for the past month or two.  Right now we have The Girls at the Piano hung up.  In the past we also looked at The Umbrellas and The Vase of Chrysanthemums.  I keep the art prints up for 2 to 3 weeks at a time.


Folk Song - She'll be Coming Round the Mountain.  This is just a fun, classic folk song, amusing for kids.

Hymn - This Is My Father's World.  This is actually not a familiar song to me, but it's beautiful, and appropriate for young ones because it talks about the wonders of the world declaring the work of God, our Creator.

Classical - whatever is on the classical music station on our TV.  No formal study of any composers yet.

And that's it!  What are you enjoying?

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