An Open Book

An Open Book CatholicMom

Welcome to the January 2017 edition of An Open Book, hosted both at My Scribbler’s Heart AND!

As of this writing, I’m trying to hit my 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal, and I’m only a book away! I think I’ll make it. As the new year begins, I’m looking forward to reading some paperbacks that have been piled around the house and some NetGalley review copies that  have been burning up my Kindle. Now, on to January’s books.

Resisting HappinessAn anonymous parishioner provided each family in our church with a copy of Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly for Christmas. This one was already on my husband’s book pile. I read Matthew Kelly’s Rhythm of Life many years ago, but haven’t gotten around to any of his books since. My 13-year-old has been watching Kelly’s Decision Point Confirmation Program video series with his classmates at school, and while I think he’s a bit weary of the “be the best version of yourself” mantra, we’re still going to give this book a go.

Unearthing ChristmasBecause it’s still Christmas, I’m reading Unearthing Christmas by Anthea T. Piscarik. I’ve sold books alongside Anthea at several diocesan women’s conferences, so it’s about time I got around to reading her book! So far, I’m enjoying the back and forth between Christmas 1955 and 2015. I think the characters will soon be descending into a bomb shelter, which should make things interesting. VanishedI’m also about to begin the final ebook in the Memories of Jane E, Friendless Orphan series: Vanished by Erin McCole Cupp. I’ve loved this series so far, and once it’s done, I’m probably going to be re-reading the classic Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte with a small group of friends online. I have to say again how much I love the covers of these ebooks!

Treachery and TruthTimed perfectly to the Feast of St. Stephen (December 26), my son just completed Treachery and Truth: A Story of Sinners, Servants, and Saints, the true story of Good King Wenceslaus, by Katy Huth Jones. When I won a paperback copy of the book, I knew my son would be all over this since “Good King Wenceslas” has always been his favorite carol. I’d catch him singing it at random times throughout the year. (It didn’t hurt that the Phineas and Ferb Christmas Special included its own adaption of the song by Buford and Baljeet.) AhsokaRealizing he’d not had enough forethought to ask for the new Star Wars book Star Wars: Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston for Christmas, my son brought me cash to order it for him on Amazon Prime since Ahsoka Tano has always been one of  his favorite characters. (I suspect he may have had a crush on her years ago, but this kid is really tight-lipped about that sort of thing.) This book is geared right at his age level (grade 7 and up) and has good reviews. I may read this one myself.

Farmer BoyMy third grader continues to read the Little House series. She’s currently enjoying Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, one of the few books in the series I haven’t read. It apparently has a lot to do with that team of calves on the front cover that seem to keep Almanzo out of school. SounderI’ve also begun reading Sounder by William H. Armstrong aloud to her and whomever else cares to listen. I read it several times in elementary school but can’t recall much beyond it being a sad dog story somewhat like Old Yeller (which I read to my kids a couple of years ago). It’s also a Newbery Medal winner. These books have helped fill my daughter’s reading BINGO card over Christmas break, and in order to cross off another block, she read an entire book of classic fairy tales.

A Squirrel's TaleThe little kids are enjoying the books that we got them for Christmas. I purchased both of these at an online Usborne Books & More party hosted by a friend of mine. Usborne sells high quality books for children of all ages. My son, a big fan of Honey Bee’s Busy Day, which I linked to in September’s “An Open Book,” is enjoying A Squirre’s Tale, also by Richard Fowler. The Human BodyMy daughter snatches her dad’s flashlight for her new book, Shine-A-Light: The Human Body by Carron Brown and Rachael Saunders. This is a very cool concept – shine a light behind the page to see “inside” the illustration. Perfect for glimpsing skeletons, muscles, nerves, and unborn babies. (If you’d like to contact an Usborne representative, let me know, and I’d be happy to refer you.)

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9 thoughts on “An Open Book

  1. Thanks for the shout-out on Jane E! I think I may add Sounder to our Audible library. I’ve never read it, though. Anything in there a 1st grader shouldn’t hear?

    • My third grader was fine with it. I think they use a racially-offensive term a time or two, as befits the period and story. There’s description of injury to the dog and day dreams of hurting the “bad guys.” Those descriptions include some violence. I think it was read to me in second grade.

    • I started re-reading them several years ago but didn’t finish the set. I was hoping to read Farmer Boy aloud, but she started without me. 🙁

  2. Wow, great rec, as always! So funny, Carolyn, bc on Christmas Eve, our pastor gave each member of the congregation Resisting Happiness AND, I too, am using the Dynamic Catholic prog, Decision Point, with my 14 yo. He is IN school, but the conf prep prog is sorely lacking….Sooooooooo, I’m trying DP and we both enjoy it. Come to think of it, we better pick up the pace…..he receives the sacrament in early May and we still have a good amount to cover.
    We’ve not yet read Resisting Happiness, but it’s ” on the list!”

    THanks again for hosting!!

    • Thanks, Chris! Decision Point seems like a pretty solid program. My son seems a little tired of Kelly’s style, but that’s just a personal preference. The parts I saw were well done.

    • You’re welcome, Katy! We both thoroughly enjoyed it. He just completed a report on it for his language arts teacher. I think he was able to count it toward his 30-book reading requirement. Visiting Prague must have been such a thrill for you!

      • Visiting Prague was a 27 yo dream come true, very moving and inspiring, and validated all my research. Walking in the steps of Saint Wenceslas….Tell your son I saw his helmet, chain mail, sword, and the “Wenceslas crown” which was created from his original gold crown (melted down) to make a fancier one for King Charles IV, who reigned in the 14th century. But I wasn’t able to take photos inside the museum since there are some very old, priceless artifacts there.

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