I’m never not reading something. I have stacks of books all over the house: next to my big green chair in my bedroom, next to my favorite chair in the living room, on the ottoman, on the fireplace hearth… all ready for when I unexpectedly have time to squeeze in a chapter or two.
Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:
- Plain Wisdom by Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud — This is one I received for from the publisher through a book review blogger program; I was not required to write a positive review, so this is my own honest opinion. I found it to be a lovely little book. It’s an easy read, just perfect to fit in a chapter while sipping a cup of tea between all the other things we have to do in the day. It’s also one that’s easy to pick up and then set aside for a while when needed because it’s a collection of little stories and anecdotes, rather than one long story. The idea for Plain Wisdom came to be when an Amish farm wife and an “Englisher” author unexpectedly become good friends, despite being from two very different cultures. It’s a beautiful picture of friendship, and a reminder that if we have the most important things in common, all the differences in our lives can enrich friendships and broaden our horizons. All in all, an encouraging read and one that often put a smile on my face.
- Twenty Chickens for a Saddle by Robyn Scott — I happened upon this one in the library. I first saw it a while I was still memorizing lines for “Steel Magnolias” so I didn’t let myself check it out then, but as soon as the play was over, I headed back to find it! This non-fiction read is an entertaining account of the author’s childhood in Africa, after a sudden move from New Zealand when she was nine years old. I think I’d love this book anyway, but the fact that I’ve been to the country she grew up in (Botswana) makes me love it more, as I was able to clearly picture things she described, or nod my head about how it is to cross the border from Botswana to South Africa, and so on. The author’s family was very non-traditional in their way of doing things: homeschooling; using herbal remedies whenever possible, and so on. Her father was a doctor with several area clinics when the HIV/AIDS epidemic began, so there was a great deal of very interesting first-hand information on this sad situation in Botswana that I had not heard before. FYI: there are more than a few obscenities in the book, but it’s not loaded with them.
- End of the Spear by Steve Saint — What a beautiful story! The author was just a small boy when his father, Nate Saint was among those martyred by the “Auca” Indians in Equador. Through a long series of events, Steve ended up living with these people, known more accurately as the Waodoni. The very same man who speared is father’s friends became Steve’s honorary father, through a great redeeming work by an awesome God. I very much enjoyed reading about such a different culture, as well as reading this testimony of faith in showing that God can take what was meant for evil and turn it into such great good.
- Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson — Another non-fiction story. This wasn’t the most well-written book, but still a worthwhile read. In fact, this would probably make a good read for older kids about the terrorist attack on 9/11, as this up close and personal narrative is told by a man who worked in the World Trade Center and survived the attack. He also happens to be blind since infancy. So even more than an account of the 9/11 attacks, this books is full of information about the life of a blind person in our society, about guide dogs, about technology that has helped change the world of the blind, and about the prejudices that blind people deal with. One aspect I found particularly inspiring is how his parents never treated him any differently than they treated his brother, so he grew up doing things blind people don’t usually do — like learning to ride a bike — mainly because no one ever told him he couldn’t do it. I wonder how often we limit ourselves and our children in similar ways, even if we don’t have a “disability.” (Note: This is another one I received through a book review bloggers program; opinions expressed are my own.)
Ever played with Shelfari? I enjoy using it to keep up with all the books I’m reading/have read. Browse my virtual bookshelf to find more good reads!
Also — I’m always up for book recommendations, so leave ’em in the comments if you have one (or more!) to recommend!