I always have several books "going" at a time, usually one fiction and several non-fiction of the Christian discipleship, parenting, adventure variety (those are three separate categories, but they could be one big one, couldn't they?).
I've been reading a lot of fiction this year, but I've also gone months and months without reading any. How can that be? How can I be so fickle as to abdandon something I love so much? There are so many hours in the day. What is it that I truly want to spend them on? By figuring out what my favorite things really are (and what the important ones are, too), I can evaluate how I'm spending my time. The important things are my family and my Lord. I know that there are many "shoulds" that go along with those two priorities, and so I try to squeeze them in (although housekeeping for my family still falls way behind some of my other loves that I will mention next). My leisure time is then spent reading or blogging (both reading and writing). What has happened is that I have let other interests fall by the wayside, like TV and Blockbuster online rentals. Just last night, Terry and I were going to try to tackle at least the first half of
Here are some books that have stuck with me. I won't call them favorites, because I never do so well on choosing favorites. It's like choosing a favorite child or something. They come in roughly chronological order of my first encounter with them. Since I'm wordy, and a bit opinionated, I will let you in on what I like about each pick, too.
Mandy by Julie Edwards. I read this book as a child, and actually remembered details about the plot. I thought that having a secret place all my own would be the coolest thing ever. I came across one in a used bookstore (thump, thump), and I figured that it was about time for Amanda to read it. We read it aloud, and she, too, was pulled into the story just as I had been. It was so wonderful to share it with her.
It and The Stand by Stephen King. I actually don't generally read horror anymore, although I've been tempted to pick up the Stand again, especially since I've seen it listed on others' favorite lists. King is a great writer and he makes a world of fantasy become quite real. In fact, I was in high school when I was reading It, working as a (don't hit me) telemarketer. We got a ten minute break every hour, and I would go out into the lobby and sit and read. I even remember reading this book while driving the car on the way to work, and maybe home, although it would've been dark making that a doubly stupid choice.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell . I have never really seen this movie. I'm sure it's been on while I've been in the room, but I've never been a fan. I read this book in the car (while Terry drove) driving to Yellowstone National Park. It struck me as a masterpiece. That was over ten years ago. I should maybe read it again, as well.
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. This was another book that just really stuck with me. The story is of a fateful climb up Mt. Everest, and I learned so much about climbers and what motivates them and the sacrifices that they make to do what they do.
A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George really changed my outlook on being a wife and a mother, under the tutelage of God. This merits a reread as well.
At Home in Mitford (and the whole series) by Jan Karon. I love the quirky and real characters in these books. They have all become like dear friends. It reminds me how to live as a person of faith in this world, and what life would be like if everyone thought of the good in others and the good that they could do for others. It also makes me chuckle, but I think I'm an easy laugh.
The Color Code got me excited about eating fruits and vegetables. It's a neat way to try to get a lot into your family, and last summer, Amanda even got into counting up her colors. We have strayed and need to start making that a priority again.
Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. I breezed through this book last summer. It is a fictionalized account, but based heavily on Prentiss' own experiences. It follows one woman from age 16, in 1831, through motherhood and beyond. It is written in journal form. Deep thoughts such as sanctification and good works and why and how we should do them are tackled in this book as well as the transforming power of change that can occur when we submit to God.
It seems that I have added to my own "to read" list by thinking through these. I hope that you have found one or two you might want to pick up, too.
**I have provided links to either amazon.com, or Christianbook.com, based on price. Christianbook.com is often cheaper than amazon.com (for example, Stepping Heavenward is $3.99. Can you buy anything for $3.99 anymore?, and for some Christian study resources, their selection tops amazon by a mile.
The Blogging Chicks Carnival has been trying out some themes. Click the picture link on Sunday to read more about Favorite Things.