How are we a quarter of the year through 2017 already? I thought the past couple years had flown – I’m thinking things have accelerated yet again.
After finally dragging through The Mysteries Of Udolpho in February, I got through far more books this month, including my first Kindle read for the year. I don’t usually read on my Kindle – I have the Fire tablet and it’s far too easy to get distracted by apps and notifications. But for those occasions when a paperback is unavailable or cost prohibitive and the digital copy is free, I’m glad to have it around.
Respectable Sins, Jerry Bridges
Litany of the Ordinary, Trish Warren
These two theological books were both quick reads yet very deep in their short pages. Both kept coming back again and again to the idea of preaching the gospel to yourself. This was a dominant theme in Tripp’s Parenting I completed in January as well. As a believer in Christ, this is a theme I need to never get tired of, for it is the source of all my strength.
“When the day is lovely and sunny and everything is going according to plan, I can look like a pretty good person. But little things go wrong and interrupted plans reveal who I really am; my cracks show and I see I am profoundly in need of grace. But here’s the thing: pretty good people do not need Jesus. He came for the lost. He came for the broken.”
Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
Miss Mackenzie, Anthony Trollope
The Princess and the Goblin, George MacDonald
Since this is the end of the quarter, I’m going to do a full update as well. Here’s where I am on all the challenges. Titles are linked to the reviews on my blog, the rest can be found on Goodreads.
Christian Reading Challenge – Light list 7/13 (Titles in italics are also on Back to the Classics)
- A biography
- A classic novel: Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
- A book about history
- A book targeted at your gender
- A book about theology: Respectable Sins, Jerry Bridges
- A book with at least 400 pages: The Mysteries of Udolpho, Ann Radcliffe
- A book your pastor recommends
- A book about Christian living: Parenting, Tedd Tripp
- A book more than 100 years old: Miss Mackenzie, Anthony Trollope
- A book published in 2017
- A book for children or teens
- A book of your choice: Liturgy of the Ordinary, Tish Harrison Warren
- A book about a current issue: America the Anxious, Ruth Whippman
Back to the Classics Challenge 3/12
- 19th Century: Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain (1876)
- 20th Century
- Woman author
- Published before 1800
- Romance: Miss Mackenzie, Anthony Trollope (1865)
- Gothic: The Mysteries of Udolpho, Ann Radcliffe (1794)
- Number in title
- Animal (About or in title)
- Place you’d like to visit
- Award Winner
February was a better month for reading than January. I got 2 books completed – which is my goal – putting me at 3 for the year and one behind my target. Mysteries of Udolpho REALLY slowed me down. At nearly 700 pages, it took a long time to muddle through.
The Mysteries of Udolpho, Ann Radcliffe. (Back to the Classics: Gothic and Christian Reading: 400+ pages). Review on my blog here.
America the Anxious, Ruth Whippman (Christian Reading: Current Issue). Review on Goodreads here.
I loved this book – it made me laugh out loud repeatedly and gave me much to think about. This quote sums the book up hilariously: “Like an attractive man, it seems the more actively happiness is pursued, the more it refuses to call and starts avoiding you at parties.” (9)
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
Respectable Sins, Jerry Bridges
Be Right, Warren Weirsbe. I was trying to read this alongside my Bible reading plan for the year but fell far behind. I’m going to circle back to Romans after I finish the John study I’m currently in – this book (both the Bible one and Weirsbe’s commentary) require more attention than I’m able to devote.
Year To Date:
Back to the Classics: 1/12
Christian Reading Challenge: 3/13
I did not get as much reading done as I’d hoped this month – I’m starting the year off behind on my challenges! (My reading goals post). But some reading is better than no reading, and I’ve had many excellent thoughts and connections in the few pages I have gotten read.
Parenting, Paul David Tripp (Christian Reading Challenge: book on Christian living)
This is a very convicting book on the philosophy of parenting. It isn’t a how-to book, it’s a why-to, building awareness of the Gospel in every aspect of parenting. The main theme is that we are God’s ambassadors to our children and as we parent them, God parents us. The best parent is the one who realizes how unable she is on her own power. I highly, highly recommend it.
This thought from page 121 sums the whole book up very well:
No parent gives grace more joyfully and consistently than the parent who daily confesses that she desperately needs it herself. God calls rebels to his authority to rescue rebels against his authority. Only powerful grace can make that happen.
The Mysteries of Udolpho, Ann Radcliffe – this 700 page Gothic novel may actually take me forever. At least I’ll be in raptures to the sublime as I press on, ha!
Be Right, Weirsbe – I’m intentionally taking this one slowly, reading the section each week that goes along with my Bible reading plan for the year.
Year To Date:
Back to the Classics: 0/12
Christian Reading Challenge: 1/13
It’s the last weekday of 2016. I’m spending the day getting prepped for 2017 – reorganizing homeschool stuff, resetting our family budget, and much more entertaining, setting up my reading challenges for the year!
Below is my plan for the Back to the Classics Challenge, hosted by Books and Chocolate. In 2016 I completed 9 categories; this year I’m aiming for all 12. We don’t have anything major planned for the year so I should be able to do it… right? I created a simple checklist that I printed and punched for my day planner to track this challenge. If you would find that useful, it’s available on dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/s/etig93atotr1933/Back%20to%20the%20Classics%202017.docx?dl=0
In addition, I’m doing the Christian Reading Challenge hosted by Tim Challies. I like the idea of diversifying my reading in addition to reading classics. I’m aiming for somewhere between the Light and Avid plans. I don’t want to rush through books; I want to savor them and be changed by them. Completing wo books a week would definitely require rushing in my life.
Back to the Classics 2017 PLAN (Written in pencil. Blanks will be filled as others start linking up. I need ideas!)
1. A 19th Century Classic – The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain https://gabisunshine.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/book-review-the-adventures-of-tom-sawyer/
2. A 20th Century Classic – Their Eyes were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston (1937) https://gabisunshine.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/book-review-their-eyes-were-watching-god/
3. A classic by a woman author. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith (1943) https://gabisunshine.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/book-review-a-tree-grows-in-brooklyn/
4. A classic in translation.
5. A classic published before 1800. Beowulf (Old English)
6. An romance classic. Miss Mackenzie, Anthony Trollope (1865) https://gabisunshine.wordpress.com/2017/03/19/book-review-miss-mackenzie/
7. A Gothic or horror classic. The Mysteries of Udolpho, Ann Radcliffe (1794) https://gabisunshine.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/book-review-the-mysteries-of-udolpho/
8. A classic with a number in the title.
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens (1859) Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, Margaret Sidney (1881) https://gabisunshine.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/book-review-five-little-peppers-and-how-they-grew/
9. A classic about an animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title.
10. A classic set in a place you’d like to visit. A Passage to India, Forster (1924)
11. An award-winning classic.
12. A Russian Classic. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1866)