Unassisted Childbirth, by Laura Shanley
Wow. This book made me so sad. There were some helpful (factual) parts to it, citing research and stats. But, the vast majority of the book consisted of her beliefs in all manner of "new age"-type powers of the human mind. For instance, she holds firm to the belief that there was an "energy personality essence" named Seth who spoke through a woman named Jane Roberts. She goes on to say that Seth teaches that "consciousness is independent of the physical body and we all travel out of our bodies every night [through our dreams]."(p.78) This, she accepts as fact, though she continually dismisses out-of-hand any Christian belief as pure myth for the uneducated. She concludes the book with her story, meant to inspire and encourage as a woman who faced adversity and overcame by her sheer willpower, but which left me so profoundly sorrowful for her. Pray for this woman. As far as information goes, there are other books with more in them.
Playing for Pizza, by John Grisham
A light-hearted story about a down-and-out professional football player given a second chance. He is offered the opportunity to play for Italy's little-known football league and in the process, he really finds new meaning in life. The story is enjoyable. But, the descriptions of the food were divine. My mouth was watering. And, I was ready to pack my bags for a trip to Parma. I wonder who could take care of the animals and the garden while I'm gone...
Putting Food By, by Janet Greene, Ruth Hertzberg, and Beatrice Vaughan
Whew. That was a book chock-full of information. While it doesn't exactly read like a novel, I did actually read it all the way through. Well, I skipped the fish parts...because we aren't big fans anyway & it's not like there is ample opportunity to catch huge amounts of fish around here. Anyway, for the most part, I found it very helpful. I was a little put off by the fact that they include nitrates in their curing instructions...I know that it can be done without because I've purchased cured meat with none in it. They also rely heavily on white sugar, though they do acknowledge that people want alternatives and do try to give those. I appreciated the fact that they not only gave instructions, but explained the "whys" as well...it makes it obvious, then, what must be adhered to and what can be altered. For instance, in recipes that include salt, she specifically states whether the salt is for preservation or just for flavor. Good book for the beginner, which I am!
Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCourt
I have not seen the movie, but did enjoy the book. Well, "enjoy" may not be the right word. It's hard to say that you "enjoy" a book about extreme poverty and alcoholism. Told from Frank's viewpoint as a young boy growing up, you get such a sense of the hopelessness that his family faced. The empty stomach with no food in sight. The knowledge that, once again, dad is out drinking what little pay he is given. And the sheer sense that it won't, can't, get any better. It really has given me a better sense of how much I have been blessed. For starters, I have more than weak tea for my lunch.
Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity, by Frank Viola
This is a sequel, of sorts, to his book Pagan Christianity. It picks up where the other leaves off, giving us a "where do we go from here" look at the Church. It deals heavily with the concepts of leadership, covering, hierarchy, and decision-making. One of the more interesting points, dealing with covering is this: If one must be covered by another Christian, then who will cover the top person? If Christ does, then why can't Christ cover all of us? If His sacrifice removed the barrier, then why doesn't the Church seem to put into practice the idea that every believer actually has equal access to God? Interesting questions. Again, as with Pagan Christianity, it isn't for the average church-goer. It is for those who are questioning the way we "do" church and who wish to "reimagine" the Church as the actual body of Christ.
For school (Sonlight's picks plus a few of my own), I read the following:
- Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery
- James Herriot's Treasury for Children, by James Herriot
- Listening to Crickets: A Story About Rachel Carson, by Candice F. Ransom
- Kildee House, by Rutherford G. Montgomery
- Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime, by Geoff & Janet Benge
- Little Riders, by Margaretha Shemin
- Big Red, by Jim Kjelgaard
- And the Word Came With Power, by Joanne Shetler
- Magic School Bus: Inside the Human Body, by Joanna Cole
- Catching Their Talk in a Box, by Betty M. Hockett
- Granny Han's Breakfast, by Sheila Groves
- A Grain of Rice, by Helena Clare Pittman
- Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
- Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe
- Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan