Gift from the Sea - A friend gifted this to me a few years ago, and I'd tried to get into it a few times, but inevitably put it down for other things. This time, I was determined.
It's a gentle, rather lyrical attempt at one woman's introspection and priority evaluation during a vacation at her sea-side home. It's nice, it's poetic, it has something to say knowing wisely caring for yourself, but I just wasn't getting into it. I found the author's writing style rather distracting, like I was sifting through the words to understand what she was saying. There are other books that cover "mother-care" and knowing why it is we do what we do from a godly perspective that nourished my soul much more.
The Wingfeather Saga: Volumes 1 & 2 - I'd read about these books on a couple of blogs - they came with glowing recommendations, so I was really excited to find that I could get two of the three books out at the library. The first in the series, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness: Adventure Peril, Lost Jewels, and the Fearsome Toothy Cows of Skree, introduces the reader to the Igiby family, living in the fictional town of Glipwood under the tyrannical rule of Gnag the Nameless and terrorized by his minions, the Fangs. Written primarily for older kids/young adults (think Harry Potter), it still has enough to grab me, and I know my kids will love it - there's humor, suspense, intrigue, fantastical creatures, daring escapes and heroic rescues. And a snotwax candle. The second book, North! Or Be Eaten: Wild escapes. A desperate journey. And the ghastly Fangs of Dang, is just as exciting. What's going to happen to these ordinary kids who find themselves in amazing circumstances? The author does a great job of drawing you into the story, and I'm looking forward on getting started on Volume 3, The Monster in the Hollows. I would definitely recommend them for older kids, adults or as a family read aloud.
At Home - This was the first book I read this year, and while I wouldn't call it easy reading, it was pretty good. If you're at all familiar with Bill Bryson's writing, you'll know it's funny, though not as much so as some others. He basically takes the reader on a tour through the house, discussing the various histories of the rooms themselves and the impact they had on society. In the bathroom, for instance, you learn not just about the first flush toilet, but on the beginning of the organized sewage system and general hygiene in the 1800s. It doesn't sound very interesting, and if you're not a history fan, you may well want to move on by, but I really enjoyed reading about the gardener-architect that designed London's original Crystal Palace, some of the amazing dynamics that occurred between hired help and "the masters", and how little things like quality cement affected American trade and expansion. Most of all, it made me grateful to live in the time period I do.
I'm currently working on Give Them Grace and 7. Give Them Grace is going to take some time and require some brain power and note-taking, but I think I (and the kids) will benefit from a careful going-over. I'm nearly done with 7 - it's due back at the library soon! - and I'm pretty sure I'll have some good takeaways from it, as well.
Read anything good lately?