Wednesday, February 15, 2017

December 2016 Book Report

Three Short Novels by Wendell Berry - link to my post (purchased used at a library book sale)

Simon Brute and the Western Adventure by Elizabeth Bartelme is recommended by Connecting with History for American History. After consulting with the publisher (Hillside Education is just wonderful), I decided to read it aloud to the whole family and enjoyed it right along with them. It's a delightful novel of historical fiction based on the life of Simon Brute, a French priest who travels to the colonies to be a missionary to the Native Americans, though he spends most of his life teaching and as a bishop. He is a humble and dedicated man who loved and served God and His people. (copy purchased from Sacred Heart Books and Gifts)

Chaplain in Gray: Father Abram Ryan by H. J. Heagney is recommended by Connecting with History for American History at the time of the Civil War. It is only recently published (a reprint of a previously out of print book) by Hillside Education. It follows the adventures of a Confederate priest who became famous for his poetry. I appreciated reading a story aloud to the family that helped to alleviate the tendency to view all Confederates as perpetually in the wrong. It doesn't really explain why someone who didn't own slaves would fight for slavery (Rifles for Watie did that rather well, for older readers) but it did engender compassion for the people of the Confederacy. (copy purchased from Sacred Heart Books and Gifts; it's not on the site yet but she'll order it for you if you ask)

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is a classic I had never read. The Audible version was well-read and enjoyable, though the story itself is even darker than I had expected. (free Kindle version and audio book purchased at a discount)

Classics of Russian Literature with Professor Irwin Weil from The Great Courses (purchased from Audible) covers the classics of Russian literature in 36 lectures. It has inspired me to fill in the substantial gaps in my own reading. The professor seemed knowledgeable and was entertaining. I loved listening to him quote in Russian. (purchased from Audible)

Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakeable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie is a very short book, easy and accessible for the harassed homeschooling mom. I don't think it covered anything I hadn't already seen or read (being a slightly experienced homeschooling mom at this point), but it was pleasant listening to the author's chatty voice. It's also useful to have a reminder of what's really important and encouragement to ensure our days are centered around a life of faith together first while also managing the more traditional academic educational stuff. This would be an excellent book for a young homeschooling mother with little ones who is feeling a little overwhelmed. (purchased Audible book)

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy - link to my post. (from a member at

Books in Progress (and date started)

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