An Open Book

An Open Book CatholicMom

Welcome to the May 2016 edition of An Open Book, now hosted both at My Scribbler’s Heart AND CatholicMom.com!


Home Brewed EvangelismWhile my husband read this book last summer, he’s been referring to it often lately. It’s The Catholic Drinkie’s Guide to Home Brewed Evangelism, by Sarah Vabulas, and he’s been trying out her home brewing recipes. “Where faith meets brew” is an apt description for the book, which is part history of alcohol in the Catholic Church, part home brew recipe book. My husband finds the step-by-step instructions helpful for beginners. His favorite recipe so far is for an Irish blonde ale nicknamed If St. Brigid Had a Lake of Beer . . .

Dying for Revenge coverI’ve been reading the next release from the publisher of Stay With Me, Full Quiver Publishing. Dying for Revenge by Barbara Golder will be available on Kindle May 20 and in print on June 1. If you like mysteries, I encourage you to check this one out. The characters are distinct and well-developed and the storytelling is gritty without being vulgar. I’ll be posting more about Dying for Revenge on my blog after its release.

Notorious Benedict ArnoldMy soon-to-be-teen son is completing his school literature requirements. He informed me that all that remained were several historical fiction novels, so I found a few books for him at the library, including The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery. He’s really enjoyed studying colonial history this year, so I thought this would interest him, and I was correct: this is the first book that  he went for of the four I brought home.  Upon closer examination, I realized it’s a biography, not historical fiction. Oops. Still looks like a great book; I think I’m gong to read it, too.

Chronicles of NarniaMy husband retrieved some boxed books from storage. Unfortunately, we have more books than we have shelf space, and many are relegated to the attic. He brought down a large, bound collection of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis for our second-grade daughter. (Our cover depicts the White Witch as she appeared in the movie adaption.) Our daughter has seen the first of the movies and is eager to read the series. I will probably try to read it aloud to her, if possible. True confession: I never heard of the series until I was well into adulthood, and I’ve only read a couple of the books. (Ducking my head in shame.) I’m living proof that a shoddy literary education does not forestall enjoying classics later in life.

three billy goats gruffOn a short day hike recently, I discovered a gaping hole in my youngest children’s folk tale and fable knowledge. As we crossed a small bridge, I remarked on there being a troll beneath, which was met with crickets. Not literal crickets as it was only April, but metaphorical crickets since my preschoolers weren’t familiar with my reference. Somehow, I’d failed to read to them the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff, one of my childhood favorites. Conveniently, we had fed goats over the preceding weekend, and they were familiar with the goats’ affinity for wildflowers. Our evenings lately are spent “trip-trapping” through bedtime prep as one or more kids act out the tale.

the boy who cried wolf For good measure, I also grabbed a copy of The Boy Who Cried Wolf from the library, another of my childhood favorites. There’s nothing particularly special about the edition that I checked out of the library. In fact, I’m sure other versions have more engaging illustrations. Even so, my three youngest kids were pretty attentive to the timeless story about the perils of habitual lying.


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11 thoughts on “An Open Book

  1. Dying for Revenge is next in my queue. And I can relate about the folk tales: I’m finding I’ve skipped teaching my kids a few too (and even–this is embarrassing–certain Bible stories). I’ve told them obscure saint stories only to find out that I’d skipped over things like Daniel in the Lion’s Den. Is it weird to panic that I might not arm my kids with enough reference points for all the literary allusions they might meet?

    • I fret about those things, too, and then I remember how little I knew growing up. My classic and cultural literary knowledge is still deficient, but at least I know that now. Ditto on the Bible stories. That’s a good reminder to get the children’s Bible out again. Thanks for linking up!

  2. I don’t usually tell people what they HAVE to do, but… Seriously, Narnia is calling. 🙂 The Last Battle is one of the most moving books I’ve ever read!
    Your husband’s reading choice sounds like a lot of fun! I don’t even drink much, but I always enjoy reading about the history of food and drink.

    • It’s a big, gaping hole in my literary resume. Maybe this summer I’ll tackle it since my daughter has been reading without me. She dove right in and is loving it!

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  6. I think I need to get The Catholic Drinkie’s Guide to Home Brewed Evangelism for my sister-in-law and her husband. They just opened up a brewery in Plattsburgh, NY (Valcour Brewing Co.), in an old stone barracks that dates back to the Civil War. They would love it!

    And Dying for Revenge is on my “to read” list–It looks very intriguing. (I know Full Quiver Publishing puts out quality fiction. ;))

    I’m sorry I couldn’t participate this month. My life was a bit hectic and I didn’t have time to write anything up. But I hope to be here next month. I’m so glad you’re hosting this link-up.

    • I think your sister-in-law and husband would love it, too! My husband would love to start a little craft brewery. If we’re ever in that area, I’ll make sure we visit! Some months are crazy – link up whichever months you can. Always welcome!

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