Books are some of my best friends, but my reading seems to come in spurts. Guess it just depends what else is going on in life right then. Since I appreciate good book recommendations, I like to share anything good I’ve found, too!
1) How Children Learn by John Holt — For some time now, I’ve heard of John Holt and his ideas on education reform. This is the first book of his that I’ve read, and I took literally pages of notes as I read it. These ideas are very in line with Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy, and I am now eager to read more of this author’s books.
One of the many quotes I loved:
“…children love the world. That is why they are so good at learning about it. For it is love, not tricks or techniques of thought, that lies at the heart of all true learning.”
2) An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott — A sweet story of a girl who values her family’s values and ideals more than she values the current fashionable lifestyle of her friends. I enjoyed it, but it felt a little contrived at times. Good, but not my favorite by Ms. Alcott.
(The two books above were borrowed from our public library, but I own the remaining three.)
3) What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst (“Experiencing Life in Extraordinary Ways”) — Fantastic read! I highly, highly recommend this for your own personal reading or for a small Bible study group. Each inspiring chapter, shared from the author’s heart and her own personal experience, ends with questions intended for study groups. The main focus is on learning to be radically obedient to God; not to merely avoid sinning, but to have a heart that says “Yes!” to God no matter what He asks.
Lysa shares tips on how to discern whether or not what we’re hearing is from God; she encourages us to die to our own self-centeredness so that we can have more of Christ in our hearts; she reminds us that following Him will NOT always be easy — and that if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing!
At the end of the book, she includes a wonderful list of verses to look up and study for ourselves. I’ll be adding many of these to my “to-memorize” list.
I’ll likely write another post on some of the specific ways God spoke to me through this book, but for now, I’ll simply add that I think this particular quote was meant just for me:
“We need not fear what our obedience will cause to happen in our life. We should only fear what our dis-obedience will cause us to miss.”
4) The Captain’s Dog by Roland Smith — Have I mentioned how much I love living books for our homeschool? Well, I do — and this book is one of those! Each chapter begins with an excerpt from Merriwether Lewis’ actual journals, and then continues with a fictional account of the incidents told as if narrated by Captain Lewis’ dog Seaman. I learned more about Lewis and Clark in this one historical fiction book than I did the entire time I was in school. And I enjoyed myself immensely in the process!
5) Always True by James McDonald (“God’s Promises When Life is Hard”) — I began this book a while back, then set it to the side as life got busy. Since I received Always True from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, I intended to read it for that purpose only, and then I intended to think of someone who needed it so I could pass it on to them. Then, however, several things sort of came crashing in and left me feeling a bit overwhelmed with life; I saw this sitting out and picked it up again, finding it very encouraging.
Written from what the author learned during his own personal experience of going through a very hard time in his life, but knowing the Lord was with him at all times. This little book walks the reader through some wonderful promises of God, and then on through supporting scriptures. Each promise is accompanied by a memory verse, and each chapter ends with a short prayer on these five promises:
God is always with me; I need not fear.
God is always in control; I will not doubt.
God is always good; I will not despair.
God is always watching; I will not falter.
God is always victorious; I will not fail.
I’m currently on another reading spurt this week (between cleaning sprees!) so I’ll have more good reads to share in another week or so!