Reading Discoveries

I love, love, love to read. I was diligent to have a stack of library books readily available this past Winter and feel great about what I was able to read. Although the weather has turned warm and welcoming I have been able to sneak some time to continue my reading habit. Here is a sampling:

The Private World of Tasha Tudor by Tasha Tudor and Richard Brown
I had actually never read a work by Tasha Tudor until this title which I found researching schooling items. This work gives you biographical details of Tudor's young life and her development into an artist and author. She loves to garden so it was great to see what she has created on her land in Vermont too.

The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden
This is another title I discovered while researching schooling resources for my daughter. Intrigued I requested the book from the library. The book is a reproduction of Holden's personal journal. It includes handwritten entries and original artwork. It is the account of one year's (1906) observations of weather, animals, plants broken down by month. The journal wasn't intended for print, and only did come into print after it was discovered in 1977. Quite beautiful. If you enjoy nature you will appreciate this piece.

James Taylor Long Ago and Far Away: His Life and His Music by Timothy White
My husband introduced me to this artist and we have since enjoyed him in concert three times. Who Taylor is as a person interested me so I read this biography. It was an informative take on his heritage and makes you realize how important family life is, particularly the presence of a father in a son's life.

Cash: The Autobiography by Johnny Cash
Anchored in Love:  An Intimate Portrait of June Carter Cash by John Carter Cash
I became interested in Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash after catching the end of a PBS special on their lives and discovering Cash grew up in a town near my father's hometown in northeastern Arkansas. Reading about Cash's life made me think of choices one makes and how they can't help but affect those in their lives. It just seems the poor choices he made in regards to making money and music severely affected his health and his family's health - physical, spiritual emotional. He and his wife, June, both came to have a relationship with the Lord Jesus, and passionately loved each other, but the effects of previous decisions were not simply eliminated because of their faith. They are both astounding musicians with beautiful voices, it was just a bit painful to read of their experiences at times.

The Path of Loneliness: Finding Your Way Through the Wilderness to God by Elisabeth Elliott
I am an Elisabeth Elliot fan as previously mentioned on this blog. To me this book isn't about being lonely, but about the One who is with you when no one else is.

Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat
A hilarious book about a family who has two owl pets. We could hear our daughter laughing in her room as she read this book. If it's funny enough to make our daughter laugh out loud then it's worth a read. If your child likes animals this is a cute book for them to read.

Thomas the Tank Engine Story Collection (Railway Series) by Rev. W. Awdry
We have seen a few Thomas videos and read the easy reader Thomas stories with our son. The videos are fine and the books are fine...just a bit simple. THEN we discovered the original stories. They are wonderfully written stories and much more entertaining than the readers. Our estimation of Thomas has gone up since this discovery.

Spoken from the Heart by Laura Bush
Confession. I received this book on Saturday and finished it Sunday evening...and it's a four-hundred something page book. Yes, I know. We even had adventures both those days to keep me out of the house, in the sun, away from my birthday present book. Well, I'm a speedy reader and I couldn't put this book down. I've always admired Laura Bush, not because I knew much about her but because she always seemed to handle herself with grace, simplicity and kindness. She was also so discreet through the time her husband was President that I hoped against hope she would write a book. And she did! Mrs. Bush's writing style is lyrical and easy to read. She begins with her life in Midland, continues with her teaching days in disadvantaged schools in Texas, her marriage to George, young married life in Midland with two daughters and eventually becoming the wife of the Governor of Texas and then the President of the United States. I was struck by Mrs. Bush's diligence to use her positions to advance education, the arts and humanitarian rights. She thoroughly accounts her travels and service, and the reasons why she chose certain causes to spend her time advocating. Pen in hand I underlined quotes meaningful to me. This quote gives me a perspective on the office of the President of the United States: "Our presidents have overwhelmingly been good and decent men, men who did the best they could under the circumstances they faced, with the knowledge they had. They loved their country and wanted the best for it and for the office they held (p. 348)."

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
A quiet, rainy Spring weekend allowed me to read this hefty novel about a women living in the life of prostitution and the man who chooses to marry her and give her the unconditional love he has been giving by God. This is a retelling of the story of Hosea from the Bible. I couldn't put this book down. I have not lived the life of the woman in this book, and yet, I could identify with her. Powerful. All I can say is, powerful.

Unspoken by Francine Rivers
Unspoken is the fourth novella in a series of five. Combined these books are called A Lineage of Grace and trace the lives of five women, Tamar, Rahad, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary, in the lineage of Christ. Unspoken is the retelling of the story of Bathsheba, who became the wife of King David after he sent her husband, Uriah, into battle to be killed after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and found her pregnant. This again is the powerful telling of a woman carrying shame and pain. These novellas also have a study guide at the end, directing you to study the actual words of Scripture from which the story was told. I have begun doing that with Unspoken and truly enjoying this process of studying the Bible. I plan on requesting the other four novellas from the library sooner than later and maybe they will be my Summer studies.