Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Book # 18: Brisingr

by Christopher Paolini

I told you this one wouldn't take long. I've been plowing through it every free minute, straining my eyes in the dim light of our evening car ride to Pittsburgh this past weekend. What can I say? I liked the first two; I liked this one too! I thought this was the last in the series, but Paolini needed more room to finish his story, so the trilogy has become a cycle. Book four is not out yet (to the best of my knowledge), so all of you have time to catch up on the first three before the last is released. If you like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, this is kind of a combination of the two. Dragons, elves, sword fighting, battles, it has everything, and the story is extremely complex. Very impressive, and now I have to try to be patient until the next book comes out. *Sigh*, I'm not good at being patient.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Found It!

I found my next book. By accident. At the library (who would have thought--finding a book at the library). I went for CD's for our road trip this weekend. To entertain Madi. I grabbed The Wiggles and Veggie Tales. Then I glanced up into the teen reading room. And low and behold on the "new" shelf, I saw this:

You may remember that I read the second book in The Inheritance Series just in February. I never expected to see the third out yet, much less in the library. I thought there would be a waiting list a mile long. I guess I'm behind times.

So with my CD's and my next book tucked under my arm, I headed home. Now my dilemma is how am I going to stop reading it once I start? The last one left me severely negligent, and right now, with our trip this weekend, the packing I should be doing, and the list of pre-baby tasks, this is not a good book to find. But to look on the positive side, it will all be over in a few days, as I can't put these books down. And then life can return to normal.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Book # 17: At Gettysburg

or What a Girl Saw and Heard of the Battle
By Mrs. Tillie Pierce Alleman

On our Valentine's Day trip to Gettysburg, Josh and I toured the Shriver House, which housed the Shriver family during the time of the Civil War. While on this tour, we were introduced to the Pierce family who were the Shriver's neighbors. Their daughter Tillie kept a diary and had an account of what she witnessed during the battle. In the gift shop, they had copies of the diary which was first published in 1888, so I purchased one.

It was interesting to get a first hand account, and Tillie was definitely part of the action. She left town with the Shriver family to go to a farmhouse away from Gettysburg that actually put them more into the center of the battle. The barn next to the house she was staying in served as a spot to care for the wounded. Not only does she tell what she experienced, but she can also tell what her parents experienced staying in the town of Gettysburg during the days of battle. She also knew Jennie Wade, who was the only civilian to be killed during the battle, as they had housed and hired Jennie's brother, Sam. It was an intriguing account, and fascinating after having visited the battlefields and many of the places she mentioned. It is definitely an account of what she witnessed and not a history or analysis of the battles, but it was interesting to get a first hand account.

Not sure what I am reading next. I think I am coming to the end of my must read list. Any suggestions?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Christ is Risen!

So I've been on a hiatus from blogging for the past week or so. We were in the midst of Orthodox Holy week, and then we celebrated Pascha (Orthodox Easter) this past Sunday. There are a lot of preparations and church services during that time, thus I decided to wait until afterwards to begin blogging again. But now, I am officially back.

My next book is started:
At Gettysburg or What a Girl Saw and Heard of the Battle
By Mrs. Tillie Pierce Alleman

My camera battery is being charged right now, so pictures should be taken and posted this week. Though in all honesty, the bathroom and family room are still a work in progress. We are awaiting furniture for the family room, and the bathroom is still door-less. So I can show you some midpoint pictures, but I guarantee it will not look like a magazine cover.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Book # 16: More Spirited Than Lions

An Orthodox response to feminism and a practical guide to the spiritual life of women
by Sarah Elizabeth Cowie

Absolutely a must read! I never realized the impact feminism has had on all of our lives and outlooks on life. Not only did I learn a lot about the history of feminism, where it started and the phases it went through, but I have a better understanding of how my life and world view fits into this context. I have a number of pages marked as there were statements and facts that left an impact. My favorite is the following passage:

"In The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan poses the question, "Is this all?" In other words, is being a wife and mother, and having a home in the suburbs all there is to life? What Friedan is expressing in this question is actually a spiritual dilemma. There come times in a person's life when spiritual awakening is possible. God's grace visits the soul and gently prods it, hoping it will see its impoverishment and turn to Him. The soul stirs, looks around, and begins to see that these things of the world are not fulfilling, that there must be something more to life.'

"St. Theophan the Recluse describes this awakening in detail, as the first step towards a spiritual life. Unfortunately, for herself and for thousands of women, Betty Friedan did not understand that her discontent reflected a spiritual dilemma. She did not see (apparently), that there is nothing in this world that can satisfy the spiritual longing embodied in her question. The only way to fill the emptiness of our lives is by turning to God. Our very emptiness is actually a witness of our need for God and a spiritual life." (page 105-106)

Go read it!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Book # 15: The Way of the Pilgrim & The Pilgrim Continues His Way

Translated by R.M. French

This is written by an anonymous Russian Christian who is striving to achieve continuous prayer. His tale was discovered by a Mount Athos monk, and the story was first published in 1884. It is a remarkable story of a pilgrim's travels around Russian and the people and knowledge he encounters on the way. The book contains instruction on both what praying without ceasing entails and how this can be obtained. It is an amazing introduction to the Jesus prayer and the power of prayer. I would highly recommend it as it gives you a different look at spirituality and how prayer can enter and be part of your life.

Next book:
More Spirited Than Lions: an Orthodox response to feminism and a practical guide to the spiritual life of women
by Sarah Elizabeth Cowie