Saturday, September 30, 2006

To Serve Them All My Days

Over the last couple of weekends, we have been enjoying the story of David Powlett-Jones on the miniseries To Serve Them All My Days. Tonight we watch the final 2 1/2 hours.

According to the reviews, the film production closely aligns with R.F. Delderfield's book about the life Powlett-Jones beginning when he returns from serving in WWI to teach at Bamfylde School, an all-boys school.

Every episode begins with the opening assembly of the school singing the "Bamfylde School Song." I love listening to the music and could pick out a few of the words. It sounds stout and majestic.

This morning, I search until I found the two short stanzas of the song. And I found a link to a the audio for part of the song. Unfortunately, the words on the audio and the words on the DVD do not match up. Nevertheless, I love the music I hear and the words below.

Look ahead to a life worth living,
Full of hope, full of faith, full of cheer,
To a life that is made for giving
Without stint, without shame, without fear.
Look ahead to the One who leads us,
To the Lord who guides our ways.
We shall follow, follow, follow,
We shall follow Him all our days.

Just a speck


Against the background of the sun are two dark spots on the mid-left.
The larger dark spot is the International Space Station. The smaller and almost indistinct spot to its left is the shuttle Atlantis.

My, oh, my.

When you feel pretty high-and-mighty, just take a look at the picture. Suddenly, things start to fall into their proper perspective.

For the article and a closeup of this picture, click here.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fine Art Friday

Birch Lake, Alexander Doyle

If you're teaching and you're not learning then you're not teaching.
~Frank McCourt

Besides 8 a.m. classes everyday, I have spent 20 hours in public school Earth Science classes all week. Tomorrow is a repeat, with another five hours.

The experience has been interesting. I am confirmed that we made the right decision to home educate. (More about these details later when time permits.)

I am feeling more confident as each hour goes by about my transition to a traditional classroom. (More of these details, too, later.)

Reading is such a part of my life that I’ve struggled to guard my reading hours with jealous care. But by the time my head hits the pillow, I’m tuckered out and need something other than Master and Commander (O’Brian) which I’ve just started. I cannot get into that book at all. At least not now. Since I have it on audio, maybe I will try listening to a bedtime story via the CD player.

Until then, though, I’ve needed something teacherly. Since Teacher Man (McCourt) is on my Autumn Reading Challenge list, I stopped by the library and picked it up yesterday. (Of course, last night I fell asleep after reading only five pages. But at least I could get into it.)

McCourt’s quote at the top has been in my quote folder for a while. And today, I have taught. And I learned. I'll do it again tomorrow. And I love it.

New-to-me things I learned today: how to read weather map symbols, the Silent Speedball teaching strategy, and the new and beautiful hymn “E’ev So Lord Jesus, Quickly Come,” heard here, if interested.

Peace be to you and grace from him
Who freed us from our sins,
Who loved us all and shed his blood
That we might saved be.

Sing holy, holy to our Lord,
The Lord, Almighty God,
Who was and is and is to come;
Sing holy, holy, Lord!

Rejoice in heaven, all ye that dwell therein,
Rejoice on earth, ye saints below,
For Christ is coming, is coming soon,
For Christ is coming soon!

E'en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come,
And night shall be no more;
They need no light nor lamp nor sun,
For Christ will be their All!

~Paul Manz

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Does this help?

Several of you who visit SS have told me the hangups your computer is having with the new Blogger beta version I was trying.

So, I've gone back to the original. Please try again and let me know if this corrects the problem.

I do want you to continue to visit!


This is a busy, busy week.

School. Class. School. Class. Internship. Class. School. Internship.

Get the idea?

I've got loads to share from my internship in high school Earth Science classes.

Wow. Oh. Wow.

So very, very glad I chose home education.

My goodness.

But those thoughts will have to wait until I have time to write for me rather than class.

What's with this interference?

[T]he New Testament is always talking about Christians ‘being born again…about them ‘putting on Christ’…about Christ ‘being formed in us’…about our coming to ‘have the mind of Christ’.

[A] real Person, Christ, here and now, is in that very room where you are saying your prayers, is doing things to you....It is a living Man, still as much a man as you, and still as much God as He was when He created the world, really coming and interfering with your very self; killing the old natural self in you and replacing it with the kind of self He has. At first, only for moments. Then for longer periods. Finally, if all goes well, turning you permanently into a different sort of thing; into a new little Christ, a being which, in its own small way, has the same kind of life as God; which shares in His power, joy, knowledge and eternity.

(from Mere Christianity)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Across my desk, again today

We as Christians need to become culturally engaged people
actively seeking to understand and respond to
the powerful ideas shaping us,
our families,
our churches,
our coworkers,
and our instituttions.
This means intentionally looking outward
to a culture that we often have dismissed as fallen
and thus unworthy of sustained attention.
What are the people around us reading?
What are they watching?
What are the spiritual messages in our mass media,
and why are these messatges finding an audience?
These questions demand our attention.

James A. Herrick in "Roots of the New Age: Preparing the Ground for a Spiritual Revolution,"
Areopagus Journal, July-August 2006

Just arriving in today's mail...

The CiRCE Institute 2006 conference CDs.
All 32 of them.

Just what I needed.

With titles such as

  • The Business of Reading Great Literature: Why We Should Teach Literature to Business Students and Why That Matters to Classical Christian Schools
  • Last Things First: An Integrated Plan for Education
  • The Order of Learning
  • The Power of Music
  • The Degrees of Knowing
  • Obstacles to Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning
  • Knowledge from Literature
  • Beauty that is Stronger than Death: A Reading of Hans Christian Anderson's "The Nightingale"
  • The Role of Apprenticeship in Developing Teachers
  • The Waltz of the Classroom: Understanding Children and Classroom Management Strategies
  • Is Knowledge an End or a Journey?

Off to chores whose load has suddenly been lightened.

Thought of the day

This quote floated across my desk this morning.
I think Jayber Crow might agree.

When it's time to die,

make sure all you have to do is die.

Jim Elliot

Jayber Crow

Jayber Crow
Wendell Berry

Tonight will probably close the book on Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. I am within 25 pages of the end.

The hardbound library copy I have been reading has more than a dozen stiff pink post-it flags sticking out its side marking paragraphs, and a few single sentences, that I want to keep with me when I return the book. I may need to buy a personal copy so I can return at leisure to Jayber's words.

Not only does author Berry use brilliant description, imagery and metaphor, he worms his characters into your being. He seems
(and this is my first reading of anything by him so this surely isn't authoritative) to be one of those authors whose characters linger in my mind long after I've put the book down. Jayber Crow has followed me like a shadow for hours afterwards.

In a few places scattered throughout the book, Jayber (who is the narrator of his own story) amalgamates his life with Pilgrim of Pilgrim's Progess and Dante's travels through his Commedia. Read:
Now I have had most of this life I am going to have, and I can see what it has been I can remember those early years when it seemed to me I was cut completely adrift, and times when, looking back at earlier times, it seemed I had been wandering in the dark woods of error. But now it looks to me as though I was following a path that was laid out for me, unbroken, and maybe even as straight as possible, from one end to the other, and I have this feeling, which never leaves me anymore, that I have been led.
And a hundred pages later,
If you could do it, I suppose, it would be a good idea to live your life in a straight line ---- starting, say , in the Dark Wood of Error, and proceeding by logical steps through Hell and Purgatory and into Heaven. Or you could take the King’s Highway past appropriately named dangers, toils, and snares, and finally cross the River of Death and enter the Celestial City. But that is not the way I have done it, so far. I am a pilgrim, but my pilgrimage has been wandering and unmarked. Often what has looked like a straight line to me has been a circle or a doubling back. I have been in the Dark Wood of Error any number of times. I have known something of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, but not always in that order. The names of many snares and dangers have been made known to me, but I have seen them only in looking back. Often I have not known where I was going until I was already there. I have had my share of desires and goals, but my life has come to me or I have gone to it mainly by way of mistakes and surprises. Often I have received better that I have deserved. Often my fairest hopes have rested on bad mistakes. I am an ignorant pilgrim, crossing a dark valley. And yet for a long time, looking back, I have been unable to shake off the feeling that I have been led — make of that what you will.
One item I always keep with me when I read is a little pack of plastic post-it flags. (I used to use the paper ones, but they didn't seem to stick well and they always crumbled and bent in a messy way. I switched to the plastic flags when they became available.) I used to (still do to a degree) highlight reading portions that I want to be able to return to later. But flags are easier to use than searching for highlights.

Wendell Berry is becoming an ample source of examples for imagery, description, and metaphor to use in an English class. Many of the examples a textbook provides are often pale and limp. Some of the flagged portions of Jayber Crow I want to use sometime as examples of figures of speech.

One example of description:
I can to feel a tenderness for them all. This was something new to me. It gave me a curious pleasure to touch them, to help them in and out of the chair, to shave their weather-toughened old faces. They had known hard use, nearly all of them. You could tell it by the way they held themselves and moved. Most of all you could tell it by their hands, which were shaped by wear and often by the twists and swellings of arthritis. They had used their hands forgetfully, as hooks and pliers and hammers, and in every kind of weather. The backs of their hands showed a network of little scars where they had been cut, nicked, thornstuck, pinched, punctured, scraped, and burned. Their faces told that they had suffered things they did not talk about. Every one of them had a good knife in his pocket, sharp, the blades whetted narrow and concave, the horn of the handle worn smooth. The oldest ones spoke, like Uncle Othy, the old broad speech of the place; they said “ahrn” and fahr” and “tard” for “iron” and “fire” and “tired”; they said “yourn for “yours,” “cheer” for “chair,” “deesh” for “dish,” “dreen” for “drain,” “slide” for “sled,” and “juberous” for “dubious.” I loved to listen to them, for they spoke my native tongue.
Yes, Jayber is my shadow today.

No, rather, I think I am in Jayber's shadow today. He has walked through life and learned. I am simply learning from him.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Fine Art Friday

The goldenrod is yellow;

The corn is turning brown;

The trees in apple orchards

With fruit are bending down.

(Helen Hunt Jackson)

Fall Apple Harvest
, Susan Bourdet

Thursday, September 21, 2006

"Think left and think right

and think low and think high.

Oh, the thinks you can think up

if only you try!"

Theodor Seuss Geisel

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Earth is Crammed with Heaven

Recently, I came across

Earth is Crammed with Heaven,
a home education blog emphasizing nature with poetry.

Lots of nice photos, short nature entries, and poems.
Hop on over and enjoy!


“It is not wise, it is not fruitful, even if one has a very clearly limited special subject, to shut oneself up in it forthwith. That is putting on blinkers. No branch of knowledge is self-sufficing; no discipline looked at by itself alone gives light enough for its own paths. In isolation it grows narrow, shrinks, wilts, goes astray at the first opportunity….”

“…[E]very branch of science pursued home would lead to the other sciences, science to poetry, poetry and science to ethics, and then to politics and even to religion on its human side.”

“Can one study a piece of clockwork without thinking of the adjoining piece? Can one study a bodily organ without considering the body? Neither is it possible to advance in physics or in chemistry without mathematics, in astronomy without mechanics and geology, in ethics without psychology in psychology without the natural sciences, in anything without history. Everything is linked together, light falls from one subject on another.”

“Any branch of knowledge, cultivated by itself, not only does not suffice for itself, but presents dangers that all men of sense have recognized. Mathematics by themselves warp the judgment, accustoming it to a rigor that no other science admits of, still less real life. Physics, chemistry, obsess you by their complexity and give no breadth to the mind. Physiology leads to materialism; astronomy to vague speculation; geology turns you into a nosing hound; literature makes you hollow; philosophy inflates you; theology hands you over to false sublimity and magisterial pride. You must pass from one spirit tot the other so as to correct one by the other; you must cross your crops in order not to ruin the soil.”

(Sertillanges in The Intellectual Life)
How this articulates what many of us home educators have found. Home education has the distinct advantage of integrating subject areas that conventional classrooms do not.

I really like the last quote by Sertillanges, "[Y]ou must cross your crops in order not to ruin the soil."

Monday, September 18, 2006

Gene Stratton Porter

Quiet Life is reading The Girl of the Limberlost. She said that it is "too lovely not to share." Beautiful word paintings.

Gene Stratton Porter, pictured above, wrote several books with nature as a theme. Years ago, while searching for who knows what now, I came across a beautiful thought that Porter wrote in At the Foot of the Rainbow.

The only difference, barring the nature work, between my books and those of many other writers, is that I prefer to describe and to perpetuate the best I have known in life, whereas many authors seem to feel that they have no hope of achieving a high literary standing unless they delve in and reproduce the worst.

To deny that wrong and pitiful things exist in life is folly, but to believe that these things are made better by promiscuous discussion at the hands of writers who fail to prove by their books that their viewpoint is either right, clean, or helpful, is close to insanity. If there is to be any error on either side in a book, then God knows it is far better that it should be upon the side of pure sentiment and high ideals than upon that of a too loose discussion of subjects which often open to a part of the world their first knowledge of such form of sin, profligate expenditure, and waste of life's best opportunities. There is one great beauty in idealized romance: reading it can make no one worse than he is, while it may help thousands to a cleaner life and higher inspiration than they have ever before known.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Fine Art Friday

"Hook Mountain on the Hudson River"
Sanford Robinson Gifford (1867)

I have felt

A presence that disturbs me with the joy

Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime

Of something far more deeply interfused,

Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,

And the round ocean and the living air,

And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;

A motion and a spirit, that impels

All thinking things, all objects of all thought,

And rolls through all things.

Therefore am I still

A lover of the meadows and the woods,

And mountains; and of all that we behold

From this green earth…

from "Tintern Abbey" (Wordsworth)

"I am in awe of autumn. I just stand outside and stare at trees-and keep a lookout for other members of the family who might very well have me committed. But now that I’m no longer in school, I finally have time to enjoy my favorite season. It is all so beautiful. I feel a bit like Wordsworth walking near Tintern Abbey. I can finally understand how those poets felt.
"You know, now that I think about it, it defies understanding to teach the Romantics in a classroom. Sitting in that room, pulling up my knee socks and trying to get comfortable at my desk, I had no feeling for any of them."

from The Day I Became an Autodidact (Hailey)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Book Stitches

One of the Autumn Reading Challenge readers blogs at Vox Vendsel. While perusing her blog, I found she has two other creative blogs. One, Yum-Yum for the Tum-Tum, has all kinds of good-looking Weight Watcher recipes.

The stitchery shown above is an example of her other creative outlet. Willing Hands shows her stitchery projects.

Now wouldn't you just love to have "The Bookshelf" hanging on our walls? See her blog for some close-up pictures.

Such creativity!

Beautiful, Vox Vendsel.

The Life of Study

You must study yourself, consider what your life is, what it enables you to do, what it furthers or excludes, what of itself it suggests for the hours of intense activity.

Will these be in the morning or in the evening, or partly in the morning and partly in the evening? You alone can decide, because you alone know your obligations and your character on which the mapping-out of your days depends.

When you have only a few free hours and can place them at will, morning seems to deserve the preference....

Whatever decision you have made, the chosen moments must be carefully secured, and you must take all personal precautions so as to use them to the fullest. You must see to it beforehand that nothing happens to crowd up, waste, shorten, or interfere with this precious time. You want it to be a time of plentitude; then shut remote preparation out of it; make all the necessary arrangements beforehand; know what you want to do and how you want to do it; gather your materials, your notes, your books; avoid having to interrupt your work for trifles.

Further, in order to keep this time for your work and to keep it really free, rise punctually and promptly; breakfast lightly; avoid futile conversations, useless calls, limit your correspondence to what is strictly necessary; gag the newspapers! These rules, which we have given as a general safeguard for the life of study, apply most of all to its intense hours.
(Sertillanges in The Intellectual Life)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


[Addendum: The problem is fixed! And it wasn't nearly as hard as I anticipated. If only the internship problem can be resolved this easily. I'm off to snuggle under the blanket with a hot cup of tea, a box of tissues, and read Jayber Crow while the rain pounds outside, bringing with it the advent of autumn for sure.]

Thank you (you know who) for your comments about the blog look thing. My computer still shows no sidebar when I use Firefox. When I use IE, all's well except the sidebar bleeds into the posts. The bleeding thing didn't happen with Firefox.

On a whim last night, I switched to the beta version of blogger thinking it might make a difference, but it hasn't. I do know that the problem started when I added a few Autumn Reading Challenge participants yesterday. I'll go back and read through the HTML version of the post and see if I can find the error. (I really, really don't have time for this. Computer technology is a monster of aggravation for me.)

In addition to my whines, the arrangements for my internship for my classes has hit some major complications which need to be fixed this week. To do so will require telephone calls which require my voice. I've had a terrible cold this week and have little voice now. When I talk, I squeak, so how professional do you think I will sound during these phone calls?!

Before I leave the blog for a while today, I must say how very much I am enjoying Jayber Crow. I read this at night and with the cold, I fall asleep after just a few pages. It may take me a while to get through the book, but I probably need to read it slower and let the thoughts sink in. Though it is modern fiction (well, it was written in the last few years) and I don't think much modern fiction is very well written (that's my slanted opinion), Jayber Crow is excellent. It is beyond a good story. It is thoughtful. I compare it too the adage "still waters run deep." More on this later, and with a few excerpts. Wendell Berry is moving to the top of my list.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Livestock Lessons

The cow and her calf,
Daisy and Bouncer

(As I attempted to fix a blogger template problem, I had to delete part one of the cow tale. What follows is the complete true story.)

Part 1

After many years, we finally had our own farm. We had spent many hours thinking, talking, and reading about the orchard we wanted to plant, the different vegetables for the garden we wanted to grow, and the animals we wanted to acquire. We had plenty of experience with planing gardens and raising fruit trees, but the only animals we had raised were a few rabbits and some chickens. Our daughter wanted to get the horse she had longed for, and I wanted some goats. Those animals became the first ones added to our growing menagerie.

One day, months later, I casually mentioned to the man who plowed our garden space that I would like to have a milk cow someday. This was one of those dreams I verbalized without giving it much thought; it was in the back of my mind as a future possibility.

Several weeks later, the garden-plower called to tell me about a good milk cow for sale. This cow was due to calve later in the spring and typically produced four gallons of milk a day. She was a mix of Jersey, Guernsey, and Angus, which was called “tiger-colored” by dairymen. I was interested in entertaining the possibility of having a cow, so I read what I could find and talked to different people about his milk cow. Some of these people were experienced farmers, and some were agricultural agents in our local cooperative extension office. They al told me how hard it was to find a good milk cow and advised me to think seriously about not passing up this opportunity. My husband’s advice was different; he told me I already had enough to do. Although he advised against it, he said I could get her if I wanted.

I just couldn’t stop thinking about having a cow and didn’t want to pass up the opportunity. I started observing the fields as we drove to town and church, but I never saw a family milk cow. Maybe they were right about milk cows being hard to come by. So, I decided to go look at the cow for sale. That sounds really funny to me now because at that time I didn’t know what in the world I was going to look at. I really didn’t know enough to ask a sensible question. Of course, the people who owned her said she was gentle and produced good milk. They called her down from the field with some grain. She looked like my grandmother’s milk cow. I noticed that her udder was huge. Then I remembered being told she was to calve in a month. A pregnant cow’s udder becomes very large as her time to calve approaches.

Although my husband still thought I had enough to do without the responsibility of a cow, he left the decision to me. The garden-plower, who had become my cow tutor, said we could simply put the cow in our fenced field until we had the shelter ready for her. After she calved, we would need to put her in a shelter, separate her from the calf, and control the feedings to twice a day. All this sounded easy enough. Thinking back, I realize how simplistic a thought it was. All these people knew we had never had a cow before, and they offered the best advice they could. I guess they just assumed we knew a whole lot more than we really did.

Part 2

The garden-plower delivered gentle Daisy to our farm on the brisk morning of May 2. His suggestion was to keep her on a 15-foot chain hooked to a wooden stake in the ground and give her a bucket of water until she got used to us and the surroundings. This sounded simple enough. He said it might take a day or two for her to settle down. Diligently, I took some sweet feed out to her twice a day in my attempts to make friends with her. She decided to like the grain, not me. Even after bearing four children of my own, I failed to consider what it would have been like to be moved to a new place just weeks before delivery. Don’t you know she was one crabby pregnant female!

After a couple of days on the chain, Daisy seemed to have settled down, so I removed the chain and gave her some freedom. She was certainly a big, lumbering pregnant cow, and her udder and teats looked like an overblown surgeon’s glove. On May 5, only three days after arriving, she seemed to stay unusually close to the woods all day. I was not concerned though, still thinking Daisy had several weeks before the calf was due. The next morning she wasn’t in the field. I went to the woods and found her in labor, ready to deliver the calf that was not due until “next month.” As if trying to find the most comfort, one moment Daisy would be lying down, the next, struggling to stand. As I watched this surreal moment, she delivered the calf’s head without making a sound. With its eyes darting around and its little ears flopping in the process, the little black and white-faced calf shook its head just as naturally as could be. I will never forget its head shaking before it was completely born. All this was remarkable. I had seen another cow give birth, and as a nurse, I had seen babies born, but birth is new every time. The sun was setting, and the woods were getting dark; I would check on them the next morning. Daisy and her newborn needed to rest and to be alone.

Early the next morning the cow and calf were together at the creek. I called the garden-plower to ask if there was anything additional I needed to do now that the calf was born. This was one of those moments when all the this-sounds-simple-enough thinking goes out the window. Not only did I find out I needed to get Daisy and the calf to the barn, I also needed to separate Daisy from the calf and milk out the leftover milk from the cow. The calf was nursing and getting enough milk, but newborn calves can only take, at the most, a quart of milk. Daisy had a couple of gallons of milk left in her udder. If the excess milk is not milked out, the cow’s udder can become infected with a serious case of mastitis.

While I was talking to the garden-plower, Daisy had taken her little heifer calf back up in the woods, and I mean really back up in the woods. We could not find them easily. Daisy was at the top of a ridge, guarding her calf and herself from any human contact. The calf had nursed and seemed content, but Daisy’s udder looked really engorged and needed to be milked. We needed to get her to the barn as soon as possible. The only way to get Daisy to follow us to the barn was to take the calf. She wold follow her calf anywhere. With that in mind, my husband, our children, and I started surrounding gentle Daisy, trying to get between her and the calf, but she continued to head up the ridge. Finally, my husband got close enough to throw a rope around her neck and anchor it around a couple of large trees. He held her there while I scooped up the calf and ran down the ridge. Because the kids knew all the nooks and crannies of the woods, and I didn’t, our nine-year old guided me down the quickest path.

In the meantime, gentle Daisy was bellowing for her calf, my husband was hollering for me to hurry up, and I was hollering to him not to let that cow go under any circumstances. All I could think of was a frantic, out-of-control, one thousand pound, new mother racing down the steep ridge after her kidnaped baby and stomping me in the process. My pace quickened; I wanted to get down the ridge as quickly as possible. With all the jostling, the calf had her digestive system shaken up sufficiently and found it necessary to drop it all over me. My arm and side were covered with manure, and the flies appeared in swarms out of nowhere.

After descending the ridge and carrying the calf to the barn, Daisy followed with haste. They both finally settled down, and all the necessary chores were done. As the sun set that evening, and as we relaxed on the porch swing, we reminisced about our growing menagerie, the adventures that lay ahead of us, and all the wonderful memories we were making.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Autumn Reading Challenge--The Lists

The lists are done!
Thank you for your booktalk and promotion of Autumn Reading Challenge.
New books, new friends.

Now start surveying each other's list, jotting down selections that pique your interest.
And read!

Kimberly’s cup sent her list link that includes a Jane Austen, a Dickens, a C. S. Lewis, and a Francis or Edith Schaeffer. Plus Pilgrim's Progress. Mighty fine list, Kimberly!

To the Hilt has joined the Autumn Reading Challenge. While reading her thoughts about her book choices, I realized that she brings some youth to our group! My heart is thrilled when I see young adults reading and enjoying it, but particularly warmed when I see one reading with a plan. It brings to mind Kendall Hailey in her book The Day I Became an Autodidact that I read this summer. (In fact, I am currently transcribing the many flagged quotes from the book to my quote page.) To the Hilt is planning to enjoy Stepping Heavenward (and enjoy she will; this biography of Elizabeth Prentiss, the author of the lovely hymn “More Love to Thee, O Christ,” will quiet your heart. Also To the Hilt is planning to read a Dickens and an Austen like many other ARC readers. Welcome, To the Hilt!

Mommy Brain has a varied selection of books to read for the challenge including a Dickens, a Chesterton, a L’Engle, and Jane Austen. Also on her list is Lawhead's Patrick: Son of Ireland. That's on my (probably) 2007 list. I've like everything by Lawhead. One book she's planning to read is Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading (Corrigan). Mental Multivitamin first piqued my interest in that one. I'm always curious about the how and why behind book selection, and I'd say MM is behind this one! The Things They Carried ((O'Brien) is another interesting selection Mommy Brain has made. It is a work about Vietnam.

Hobbits8 plans to read Iliad and Odyssey, plus Mornings on Horseback (McCullough). I read the McCullough book last year and really enjoyed it. Of course, anything McCullough is worth reading. The Metaphysical Club is another of Hobbits8's choices. This sounds interesting--sounds like something my oldest son would like, at least by the title.

The Sweetbriar Patch is jumping into Beowulf, Augustine's Confessions, and The Discarded Image (C. S. Lewis). She's added Jayber Crow (
Berry), which I'm reading now, to her list also. Again, I find it interesting to see out of the ordinary book selections like Saving Science on Sweetbriar Patch's list. When I looked it up, I found that its subtitle is A Critique of Science and Its Role in Salmon Recovery. How interesting!

Green Dragon Academy has a number of meaty read-alouds from ancient history to do with her family. For herself, she is going to plow through Fagles' Iliad and The Odyssey, Mere Christianity (Lewis), and How to Read a Book (Adler). One favorite author of mine is Os Guinness; she's planning to read his The Journey: Our Quest for Faith and Meaning. (I can't wait for her take on Guinness.) Windershins by Charles de Lindt sounds interesting (another unknown to me).

Quiet Life is choosing The Girl of the Limberlost (Gene Porter Stratton) and Les Miserables (Hugo) for this fall. I love the Limberlost movie but haven't read the book (it's on my get-to list). QL doesn't let the size of a book daunt her! I think she read Anna Karenina during the summer. Wow!

Happy Catholic will read through Evidential Power of Beauty (DuBay), Kreeft's Summa of the Summa, North of Hope (Hassler), and (seen on several lists this fall) Do Black Patent Leather Shows Really Reflect Up? (Powers). I hope she posts about that book--interesting title!

In the Two Acre Wood's autumn booklist includes a Dorothy Sayers (Creed or Chaos), Gilead (Robinson, on several other's lists), and two titles that sound interesting to me: The Whistling Season (Doig) and Water for Elephants (Gruen).

Dumb Ox Academy will read some books about Shakespeare--Will in the World by Greenblatt and Shakespeare the Papist (Millward). Several on her list are read-alouds that are favorites of mine: Laura Ingles Wilder and Holling Hollling. She's got an Austen and Chesterton, too, plus Alfred Church's The Aeneid for Boys and Girls. Fond memories of reading this aloud to my own.

Well Mannered Frivolity has some Tolkein, Dickens, and Thoreau on her list, plus a C. S. Lewis and something called Between the Bridge and the River (Ferguson) who she says is "one of the funniest men alive."

Homeschooling Adventures the Wright Way has broken her list down into categories and will read some of Charlotte Mason and Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. (It's been a while since I've read either author, so one of each may go on the re-read list for next year.) She's also going to plow through The Scarlet Letter and Gilgamesh. Her family read-aloud looks interesting--The Master Puppeteer (Patterson).

Vox Vendsel has several favorite authors of mine on her list, including Habits of the Mind (Sire, anything by him is excellent) and The Problem of Pain (C. S. Lewis). New to me are Monks and Mystics and Peril and Peace (Withrow) which I need to check out. Vox Vendsel has a beautiful photo of her stack. She sounds a bit like me--dividing the reading up into so many pages per day to accomplish the task. Since we did this to finish the books timely during home education, why not now? Makes sense and it works!

Transcendental Musings has introduced me to some new books and authors. I like the sound of Winter Solstice (Pilcher) and The Scarlet Feather (Binchey). She's got Pat Conroy's Beach Music in her stack that I've eyed for a while. (Maybe next year, but first I want to read his Lords of Discipline. The only one I've read of his is The Water is Wide.)

Magistramater has established some wonderfully alliterative categories: curriculum, challenge, cultivating, comfort & joy, creativity, curiosity. (I like hers better than mine.) This lady's got a hefty list...Eusebius, Augustine, à Kempis (those are from the curriculum and cultivating stacks), Wodehouse and Chesterton (from the comfort & joy stack), and from the creativity and curiosity stacks are My Life with the Great Pianists (Mohr, this sounds intriguing) and McCullough's The Johnstown Flood. Several other have On the Art of Writing (Quiller-Couch) which I must add to the "do it" list. I had to giggle at the title of this one--Getting Things Done (Allen)--with all these weighty books (plus, she's got a son to get married at the end of the year), how can you get anything else done?!

LaMere Classical Academy posted a picture of her autumn bookstack. If you are like I am, you love to love at other people's books. When I go into someone's home, I'm immediately drawn to their bookshelf. Among LaMere's plans are The Eyre Affair and Little Women plus a book that intrigues by its title, A Girl Named Zippy. Sounds interesting to me! Hop over a look at her stack.

A Circle of Quiet is reading several Wendell Berry this time too. (I think CoQ was my first introduction to Berry's name though I'd not read him until Andrew Kern of CiRCE said that Jayber Crow was a summer must-read. I am reading is now. Berry has made it to my list of authors to read.) Not surprisingly, CoQ is reading some more Madeleine L’Engle, and she has Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation (Parker Palmer) on her list. (I read his The Courage to Teach earlier. Lots of good stuff there.)

glad2bheld has been immersing herself in Jane Austen this year. This fall she is reading Northhanger Abbey and Mansfield Park and supplementing her Austen reading with applicable portions from Miniatures and Morals: The Christian Novels of Jane Austen (Leithart). If she finishes her challenge early, she is going to treat herself to an Austin biography or Tea with Jane Austen (Wilson). There is something to be said about immersion reading; I did this early in the year with books about Louis Aggasiz.

The Prattling Pastor's Wife is finishing up her summer list in this challenge. She is trying to make herself read some fiction for enjoyment. Some of her other selections include culinary books. I see that she has a Tozer book included. (Tozer is a favorite devotional writer of mine. The story goes that he once read Shakespeare on his knees.) PPW is also reading some Jan Karon. I know she'll love those. I can't wait for the new Father Tim series to come out sometime in 2007.

Endless Books is reading The Real James Herriot which I read this summer. Anything about James Herriot is interesting and lively. This book is his biography written by his son. More about his life is exposed than you will find in Herriot's All Creatures series.

Seasonal Soundings
Currently reading The Intellectual Life (Sertillanges) and Jayber Crow (Berry). Both books are fantastic. Among other hopeful reads this autumn are several by Sproul, William the Baptist (Chaney, which is a convincing argument about the Scriptural basis of sprinkling and infant baptism), sailing with Master and Commander (O'Brian), warring with Tides of War (Pressfield), The Book of God: The Bible as a Novel (Wangerin) and Teacher Man (McCourt).

If you expressed interest in the Autumn Reading Challenge but did not find a link to your blog, please post a link to your reading list on your blog, and I will gladly include your list link.