Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Week 2 of 52 Books in 52 Weeks

Two books down, and fifty to go . . . .

This past week's book was The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory. I picked it up because it was one book of historical fiction on Katherine of Aragon that I had not read.

First, I will say that I enjoyed the information about Katherine's childhood. I haven't come across what her life was like as a young girl with her parents Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. However, because of the license I felt that Philippa Gregory took with the rest of her life, about which I had read before, I'm not so sure that I should trust this information about her childhood.

I enjoy historical fiction because I like history and I love how imagination can bring to life someone from the past. However, bringing in too much imagination for the sake of a more interesting story is not my cup of my tea. I felt that Gregory's portrayal of a lying, incredibly ambitious woman was at odds with the facts of Katherine's life. I couldn't shake the feeling as I read this book that Gregory wrote an entertaining book with an unusual plot simply because it went against the grain of most books about Katherine and was therefore guaranteed more interest. It was not a satisfying read for me.

The book for Week 3 of 52 Books in 52 Weeks is Hind's Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard, which was recommended to me by my sister.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Reading Fine in 2009

In my homeschooling journey, I've found the message boards at The Well-Trained Mind (named for Susan Wise Bauer's inspirational and thorough book on classical homeschooling) invaluable. K in Cal from the boards came up with a 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge, and I've pledged to take part. Here are the rules:
  • Read an average of a book a week - 52 books in 52 weeks
  • Re-reading a book counts--as long as you first read it before 2009
  • School related books don't count (unless you want them to)
  • You can start reading on 1-1-09 at 00:00:01AM

The book I've finished this week was Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. Despite being an English major and having an M. Ed. in English Education, I'm embarrassed to admit that I've not read it in its entirety before. My intention in reading it was two-fold: to complete the reading of a classic and also to inspire me in my spiritual journey. It is amazing to me that the allegory and language did not seem stale to me; in fact, the allegory helped me to see that the journey of the Christian faith is a universal one. Although our individual pitfalls and Sloughs of Despond and captivity in the giant Despair's Castle and battles with Apollyon are each unique, it gives me comfort that every Christian does go through these all. In that comfort I find the freedom to release myself from any discouragement or condemnation I may feel and venture on to the Celestial City! Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2).

My book for Week 2 of 2009 will be a lighter, historical-fiction book. It is The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory and is about the life of Catherine of Aragon.

Happy reading!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back into the Groove

After a relaxing few weeks without schedules, we are ready to get back on track, not only with getting back to work and homeschool, but also with regular, planned meals. Organizing Junkie has a whole list of people's plans if, like me, you need some inspiration.

Without further ado, here's our plan for dinners for this week:

Monday: Spaghetti with garlic bread and salad

Tuesday: Herbed Lemon Chicken Breasts over rice, green beans, honey-glazed carrots

Wednesday: Fellowship Supper at church

Thursday: Hamburger steaks with gravy, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob

Friday: Shrimp -n- Grits with salad

In homeschool this week, here's what we're planning to study:

Bible: Moses & Mt. Sinai, The Ten Commandments, The Golden Calf
Math: The next five lessons in Saxon Math, which include subtracting zero from a number and subtracting the same number from itself, as well as measuring
Handwriting: Practice in handwriting will include the Ten Commandments, to reinforce memory work
Phonics: This week's lessons include beginning consonant blends
History: We will be beginning The Story of the World with the Introduction to History and Archaeology

Have a great week!