Tuesday, December 3, 2019

{What We're Reading}

Beryl Markham's West with the Night (a CMEC selection for high school geography)
Cather's Death Comes from the Archbishop (first read this ten years ago -- time for a revisit!)
Alcott's Little Women (re-reading for my local book group)
Verne's Michael Strogoff  (just finished this exciting and satisfying story, which ties in wonderfully with our focus on Asian geography this year too)
Mason's Volume 4 and Volume 1 (for my reading groups)
...And of course I am keeping up with the coursework for our Mother's Education Course through the CMEC, which includes dipping into the volumes but also reading some new-to-me Parents' Review articles each month -- what a joy!

I have been reading quite a bit lately as the weather has finally turned colder and I'm spending more time indoors at the end of this pregnancy.

As a Family
Hawthorne's A Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales (I planned these as literature selections for my Form 1 and 2 kids this year, but it turns out the Form 3 kids have been listening in the whole time anyway, even though they have already read them many times on their own! We just started Book 2.)

...And I'm trying to choose a good Advent read for us all together! We are already reading The Way to Bethlehem and The Christmas Rose, as we do every year, but I'm seeking out something fresh to add in. I went through my shelves last night and am thinking Alice Dagliesh's Christmas might be a good fit this year!

Vincent, age 13
Betz's Yankee at Molokai (he has been on a biography kick)
Montgomery's Rilla of Ingleside (I wasn't sure he would make it through the Anne books but he did!)
The Story of the US Coast Guard (probably to balance out all the Anne -- LOL)
Tolkien's Tales from the Perilous Realm (started it right after Gianna finished it!)

Gianna, age 13
Tolkien's The Silmarillion (first time and adoring it)
Rankins' Daughter of the Mountains (tie in with our geography focus on Asia this year)
Gaskell's Cranford (I handed it to her when I finished it last month)

Cate, age 10
D'Angeli's The Door in the Wall (a re-read many times over!)
Sarah, Plain and Tall series (she read the first and then never picked up the sequels -- until now)
Lenski's Strawberry Girl (pulled back out when a penpal recommended it :))

Xavier, age 9
Henry's Stormy, Misty's Foal (he couldn't believe it when I told him Chincoteague was a real place!)
Ransome's Swallows and Amazons (we have listened to the whole series on audio, but this is his first time reading it)
Reynolds' Winston Churchill (one of his biographies from this term and a big favorite)

Bridget, age 8
Wilder's Farmer Boy and Little House in the Big Woods (reading aloud to her little sister -- they always have one or more Little House books going)
The Borrowers series (fun, as always)
The Light Princess (she just fell in love with MacDonald and I'm guessing The Golden Key will be next!)

Clara, age 7
She was determined to get out all the seasonal books the first day it really rained hard for the season -- and that was just this past week. Since then, she has been carting these around...
Tudor's Around the Year and Beskow's Around the Year
Over the River and Through the Wood, with woodcuts by Christopher Manson (love)

The Little Boys, ages 5, 4, and 2
They are still on a singalong songbook kick, so our folk song picture books are in HEAVY rotation!

Drew spends a lot of time following Big Kids around and requesting to be read to, especially Chicka Chicka 123 (not one of my usual picks, but he has been on a numbers kick lately), The Fire Engine Book, and Krauss and Blair's I Can Fly (one of my personal faves).

Justin got just a couple books for his birthday that have become fast friends...

The Mother Goose Songbook and Gregory Griggs and Other Nursery Rhyme People (selected and illustrated by Lobel).

And Damien's current selections: Eloise Wilkins' Poems to Read to the Very Young (a new pick for him but always popular with my older kids) and Lois Lenski's Small books (constantly!).

In the Mail
I have been on a bit of a buying moratorium lately since the holidays are coming up and I can't use the very good excuse of "school shopping" this late in the year. ;) But there have still been a couple very exciting arrivals lately...

Riverbend Press has reprinted all five volumes of Mason's The Saviour of the World in beautiful hardcovers. For now, I bought the one volume my Form 3 kids are using this year, but I plan on buying them all in the new year. :)

And it's always a happy day when Common Place Quarterly arrives!

That's what we have been up to -- how about you? What are you reading? Are you buying books for gifts? I have been doing a bit of book-related shopping...so far new Bibles for my older kids are en route and I have a bunch of classics like The Enormous Egg, The Cricket in Times Square, and Rabbit Hill ready to go for nephews. Still brainstorming a bit for my own kids, but I know some of Lois Lenski's Regional America books are on the list, and I'm hoping to finally get the beautiful saint books illustrated by Lydia Kadar-Kallen. We'll see what ends up under the tree! :)


  1. Jen at Wildflowers and Marbles shares an Advent guide each year. In her post for this year (http://wildflowersandmarbles.com/2019/11/18/advent-planner-2019-2020/) one of the books I noticed she had listed was "The True Saint Nicholas: Why He Matters to Christmas" by William Bennett. I decided to order it for our Advent this year. It's supposed to arrive Thursday! I can't wait to read this with my daughter!

    You know, I read "Little Women" a couple of years ago for the first time and wasn't as impressed with it as I thought I would be. Maybe I should read it again......

    My daughter loved The Borrowers!

    Hope you have a blessed Advent-Christmas season!

    1. Hi Karen! That book sounds intriguing and I haven't heard of it -- I will have to check it out. I read Little Women for the first time about ten years ago and then reread it a couple years ago when my older kids had it scheduled. This is my third time through and I still love it. But I find Alcott to be comfort reading for me. It's definitely a bit light and predictable. :) Wishing you a wonderful Advent too!

  2. I am so impressed by your reading list! I too often have many books going, but probably with much less discipline than you 😉 I usually find myself switching to another title when I get bored with the current one...and then flipping back, then picking another based on circumstance, and on and on.

    Do you have a "reading plan" for yourself - for example, a certain book in the morning versus afternoon or evening - or do you just kind of pick up what you feel like reading at any given time?

    1. I try to do a little reading every day, but I like to have multiple books going so I can pick up what I'm in the mood for. :) But I have various book clubs to hold me accountable (two CM reading groups and a fiction book club here locally) -- so I am always making progress for those -- and then I always have a couple others I am reading for pleasure or alongside my older kids that I read on my own schedule. My reading habits have shifted over time, but this has worked for me for the past few years. :)