Saturday, September 30, 2017

What we read in September

Here's what we finished in September!



**** I was pleasantly surprised with The Great Gatsby.  I expected it to be a slog; maybe I have some unconscious memory of reading it in high school and not liking it, probably because I would have been too young to appreciate it.  Instead, I found this book to be very readable and engaging.  Beyond the big idea about how "the love of money is the root of all evil," this story made me think about the foolishness of the world and how blind we can be when we build our lives on worldly things.  These characters either didn't see, or refused to see, how meaningless their lives really were.


*** I had no idea what this book was about when I started it and I think that adds to the experience.  I thought it was brilliantly written.  The interconnectedness of the narrator's memories and how she slowly learns the truth about her life and the lives of her friends was so well done.  However, the overall story was just not my cup of tea.  I don't want to give anything away, and I do think it's worth reading.  There were many layers and themes - destiny, ethics, relationships, education - that are worth thinking about.


***** We should never stop sharing about God's grace working in the life of a believer.  That's what Miller does in this book - she forsakes her vulnerability and shares the deep, selfish workings in her heart that kept her from truly understanding and living with freeedom in God's love.  She tells the story of how God worked in her life to bring her to her knees and finally accept His grace.  Miller's story is our story - we all, like Job, must be brought to a place of humility so that we can let go of our self-centered ideas about God, and our self-righteous attempts at earning His merit, and finally begin to build our lives on what Jesus did on the cross.  It's not a one time thing; it's an ongoing journey.  And it's all such a beautiful paradox - we fight for control to be free from others, when what we really need is freedom from ourselves.  Freedom can only come when we let go of ourselves and our desires and allow God to carry us along.



**** The girls loved this book.  I found it easy and delightful to read aloud.  The story was interesting and fun and emphasized the importance of respect for persons.  There were a few instances of light swearing (is there such a thing as "light" swearing?  The *f* word to me is hard swearing, I guess.), which I nonchalantly skipped over.  I understood the purpose of the swearing, but still, it's a children's story.  When we finished the book we watched the movie and I was a little disappointed (the girls were, too).  They changed quite a bit (which movies usually do), and included more swearing, plus a scene in which the boys were watching something inappropriate on TV.  Why?  Why include that in a children's movie?  I don't get it.  Be forewarned.


**** Another fun read-aloud, although Mary Poppins was not what I expected.  She wasn't the nicest nanny, and was quite vain.  But the children in the story loved her as their nanny, and my girls loved her, too!  They said it was because she was magical, and opened up an enchanting world to the children.  I thought it was just pure, imaginative fun.


Izzy loves fantasy, and that is what her free reading has mostly consisted of.  Somewhere in the homeschool world some moms were talking about how wonderful Enid Blyton's fantasy books were.  Our library didn't have any of them (I don't think she's well known in America), so I promptly bought her Wishing-Chair books and Faraway Tree books when an online bookseller was having a sale.  And Izzy is loving them!  She finished all three Wishing-Chair books, and she finished the last two books in The Littles series (which she loved as well).

480030          1088752          2892626

337879          14056

What are you reading?