The Week In Books, No. 48A

I enjoyed Gladys Hunt’s Honey for a Child’s Heart
this week, and now have a really long list of books to check out for Hannah and Jack. Hunt lays out some of her philosophy on reading, most of which I agreed with. She emphasizes how important it is to be a family of readers, and how books and words can impact a child’s life and development. Hunt also makes the point that it is important to read originals and not watered-down Disney-fied versions of books. I could not agree with that more. I think even little children can appreciate good literature, and there are plenty of books out there geared toward little children that are excellent. I’m excited to check out some old favorites I was reminded of, and some books that I hadn’t heard of but that sound great. I would love to own this book, to have as a reference. Hunt has chapters of recommendations broken down into different age groups, which is helpful, but I found that some of Hannah’s favorite books are in the 4-8 year old picture book chapter not the 0-3 chapter, like “Corduroy” and “Madeline” and the Frances books.

I heard Paula Rinehart on the “Midday Connection” radio show one day when I was out running errands, and so I checked out her book Better Than My Dreams: Finding What You Long For Where You Might Not Think to Look
. Although I didn’t find the book totally life-changing or anything, I did think that Rinehart had some good points and I was challenged in my thinking in several ways. For example, she talks about how we tend to develop a sense of entitlement about our dreams of what a good life looks like, and then we are bitter when it doesn’t pan out. The book explores how to have a God-centered focus and avoid the traps of entitlement or resignation.

Rinehart quotes Jim Elliott,

“What is, is actual – what might be simply is not, and I must not therefore query God as though He robbed me – of things that are not…the things that are belong to us, and they are good, God-given, and enriched.”

And then goes on to write,

“There is a quiet release in my spirit (though it can be slow in coming) when I realize that often, my dreams really are not God’s dreams. What does not happen was not meant to take place. My failure – or someone else’s failure – didn’t catch God by surprise, like it slipped under the wire when He wasn’t looking. In the words of Job as he spoke to God, “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2) More than anything else, a grasp of the merciful sovereignty of God allows you to live as a woman who smiles at the future and who accepts her past. There is a bigger drama taking place than you can see through the keyhole now.”

I needed to hear that message this week, so I’m glad I happened to hear the radio program when I did. I’d recommend the book.

Unlike Alison Weir’s excellent book on Jane Grey (that I reviewed here), The Princes in the Tower
is a pure history. Weir examines the body of evidence surrounding what Richard III of England did with his two nephews, Edward V and Edward’s younger brother. After discussing how events may have transpired based on contemporary sources, physical evidence, and medical examinations of exhumed bones, Weir concludes that Richard III did order the murder of his nephews, and shows how that despicable deed helped the cause of Henry Tudor, whose ascension to the throne established the House of Tudor for three short generations until Elizabeth I died. Throughout the book, Weir maintains a readable and engaging style, and succeeds in bringing the history of a complex and shadowy era to light.

I’m officially giving up on Katherine Graham’s Personal History
. I have only made it through about 100 pages and it’s been slow going. So far the book is fairly repetitive and I find myself begging her to get to the point! I’ve heard some good reviews of the book, so maybe I’m just approaching it at the wrong time. Perhaps I’ll take it up again later.

Also Completed:
Ephesians

Currently Reading:
Genesis, Psalms, Luke, Philippians
“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte (to Hannah)
“Teach Yourself New Testament Greek” by Ian Macnair

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