The Dutch Rush

They're Dutch and Life's a Rush

At the end of each year, I try to post a list of what I read that year. Due to ridiculous things like moving and tearing my blog apart, that wasn’t possible this year. So we’ll pretend that April is the best time to tell you about last year’s books. 

The list looks a lot less impressive than last year, although I read more this year than any other. This is due to the fact that I read hundreds of pages each weekend to prep for the school week. It turns out that it’s a really good idea to know exactly what my students are reading each week…so for the most part I read all of their page assignments before they did. It is hard to explain how much reading that is!

This list doesn’t include the things I read daily (Bible, devotionals and Charlotte Mason’s volumes).

The List:

*Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley (Sweet, fun book. You can read about it here.)

*An Ordinary Woman’s Extraordinary Faith: An Autobiography of Patricia St. John (This was one of my favorite books this year. I love this author, and what she has done for children in her writing. I wrote a tiny bit about her books here, but it looks like I never wrote a full post about her. I’d better get on that.)

*City of Bells by Elizabeth Goudge (I enjoyed this book, and learned a lot in the process as usual, but it wasn’t my favorite of hers.)

*Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

*The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (Wasn’t sure what to expect, it turned out to be pretty interesting. Old Scottish mystery.)

*Parents and Children by Charlotte Mason (Such a great book. I wanted to blog about the whole thing. I still might!)

*The Gown of Glory by Agnes Sligh Turnbull (This was such an interesting book to me, since it was a pastor’s family. There were many things I could relate to. I first heard about it here.)

*First We Have Coffee by Margaret Jensen (If you are a ministry wife, this will probably be a priceless book to you. It certainly has been for me. This was a re-read. I think I read it every year, and it becomes more and more precious. It helps me move from city to city, and state to state; it helps me pray, it helps me understand my husband and it gives me compassion for the broken.)

*Learning at Home by Marty Layne (I think this is one of the very few home education books that I still read that is not Charlotte Mason…because it helps me to implement a Charlotte Mason education. I do not agree with all of her ideas and methods, but it is a helpful book!)

*Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (If only)

*Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis

*The Dean’s Watch by Elizabeth Goudge (One of my favorite books of hers. A re-read, just because I wanted to think about those things all over again…Social justice, illness, poverty, death, love, marriage, Shakespeare, bitterness, insecurity, horology…you know, typical Goudge stuff.)

*Let Justice Roll Down by John Perkins (This is the most important book I read this year. I am trying to get up the nerve to blog about it. Maybe soon. I’m sure I don’t have anything to say that hasn’t been said already, but my eyes have been opened to my blindness over this issue, and I want to talk about it. This was a loving and compassionate book, and should be read by every American.)

*The Gold Cord by Amy Carmichael (As I mentioned, I read this book on a continuous loop. It really is that good. It reminds me that it’s not about me. It reminds me that this earth is not my real home, so it’s okay that sometimes this life isn’t too comfortable.)

*Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis (Very interesting! I love this author so much. Favorite quote: “The love of knowledge is a kind of madness”.)

At the end of the year, I had to laugh as I looked at the stack of books I was in the middle of reading, but could not put on this list because I hadn’t finished them! And then I remembered that it’s okay…because of this:

“People employ themselves about Knowledge, about Mathematics, Poetry, History, in a feverish, eager way, not at all for the love of these things, but for the sake of prize or place, some reward bestowed on Emulation. But Knowledge has her own prizes, and these she reserves for her lovers. It is only in so far as Knowledge is dear to us and delights us for herself that she yields us lifelong joy and contentment. He who delights in her, not for the sake of showing off, and not for the sake of excelling others, but just because she is so worthy to be loved, cannot be unhappy. He says ‘My mind to me a kingdom is’ – and, however unsatisfactory things are in his outer life, he retires into that kingdom and is entertained and delighted by the curious, beautiful, and wonderful things he has stored within. ”        -Charlotte Mason, (Emphasis hers) Volume 4, p.78

6 thoughts on “A Booklist

  1. Mary, what a wonderful list! You have many of favorites on here, I love First We Have Coffee. I love, love, love A City of Bells. Just the process of healing that Joselyn goes through while reading through Ferranti’s life, papers, etc. I don’t know why, but just the soothing balm of the little village, his grandfather’s wisdom, and being surrounded by the bookshop and lovely books. Sigh. Dean’s Watch is one of my new favorites, also! I should reread the space trilogy, I read it at a very different place in life! I really like Hardy, although his book’s themes tend to be sad, but the atmospheric nature writing is so lovely. I’m glad you enjoyed The Gown of Glory, Turnbull has many good books. Parnassus on Wheels, sigh.

    1. Mary says:

      Thanks Amy!
      I remember that you loved A City of Bells! I don’t really know why I had trouble with that one…it’s funny how each of her books affect us all differently, and at different times in our life. I also didn’t like the Elliot Trilogy, although that’s a big favorite with her fans. Thanks for your comments, I always enjoy talking books with you!

      1. That is so true, different books hit us all differently, and different times of life, the same book might hit us differently than we did when we read it before. I was having a particularly rough mothering time and I read Jane of Lantern Hill and it blessed the socks off of me. 🙂 Inspiration for my taggy name – Amy of Hearth Ridge. 😀 Thanks for posting your reading. LOVE. Bless you.

      2. Mary says:

        I need to read that book again! I don’t think I’ve read it since high school, but I loved it. Much more perspective on motherhood now, I’m sure!

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