The Week in Books: No. 5

I think I may have blogged about Margaret Atwood before, so I apologize if some of this is repetitive. In my opinion, Atwood is one of the best contemporary writers out there. She has an amazing talent with language and is an extraordinary storyteller. “The Robber Bride” unwraps the stories of three friends who seem to have little in common other than their shared loathing for a fourth character. However, as the book progresses, the reader slowly begins to see the patterns that all four characters share. I won’t go into the plot further for fear of spoiling it for you, but suffice it to say, Atwood’s story happens on so many levels with such beautiful complexity that you will be surprised and delighted at every turn. For purposes of fair warning, let me say that there are some disturbing themes and incidents in the book that might be off-putting to some readers and also probably render the book unsuitable for younger readers.

The Remains of the Day” never disappoints. In case you’re wondering, the book is much better than the movie, although the movie is pretty good. In addition to being well-written, the book conveys a lot of information about the world of butlering in English estates that is quite interesting. The best thing about this book is that it is not formulaic or predictable.

Although last week I said Hannah and I were going to read “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” I decided to drop it after two days. I think the cadence of the book just made it tough for reading aloud. Instead we started on the Little House books again. I love these stories, and they are great for reading out loud. Now that I am a mom, I’m really amazed at what Laura’s mother was able to accomplish even with three little girls running around. On the one hand, her house was smaller, but on the other hand, I don’t have to make my own cheese.

I also thought I would mention “The Big Picture Bible” that we got for Hannah’s birthday. I’ve been really impressed with this book. Unlike most children’s Bible story books, which contain Bible stories in self-contained units, “The Big Picture Bible” attempts to show the big picture: that is, the unifying themes and connections between the stories of the Bible. For example, the story of Adam and Eve and the Fall points to God’s promise to send a savior, the story of David talks about God’s promise to send a forever king, etc. Another great aspect of the book is the emphasis on themes such as obedience to God’s word. The book is not an exhaustive translation: it touches on the major stories of the old and new testaments, but most children’s Bible story books don’t include everything, and at least this one makes more connections. It also has great illustrations.

Also Completed:
and Josh read Hannah ESPN magazine. 🙂

Currently Reading:
Leviticus, Psalms, Mark, Romans
“Crunchy Cons” by Rod Dreher
“Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder (to Hannah)
“Training Hearts, Teaching Minds” by Starr Meade (as a family)

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