Sunday, March 18, 2007


I've been reading quite a few books lately. My problem is I start a book and then start another and then maybe start one more just because I like to complicate things. My problem then is that I confuse some of the characters and what they are doing and then I get one big discombobulated story that might take place on a chicken ranch smack in the middle of Brooklyn to a very confused Presbyterian teenager that gets ship wrecked on a deserted island. What?

I'm currently reading Betty MacDonald's The Egg and I which is excellent reading if you love stories about Ma and Pa Kettle and other crazy woods people. She's very funny and the stuff she lived through on her chicken ranch is just painful and inspirational if it's possible for both of those things to happen, well, if you read several books at a time anything can happen and be somewhat true in your head even though it's happening in three different books.

I recently finished reading Home is always the place you just left. A memoir of restless longing and persistent grace by Betty Smartt Carter.
A friend loaned me this book after I had one of my many "I-need-to-get-the-H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks-outta-Missouri" moments. It's painful, but real. Betty Smartt Carter is the daughter of Kennedy Smartt the founding father of the Presbyterian Church of America. She writes about her life journey to Christ. Her overly sympathetic attention she gives to people, her need to be loved and her doubts that God is real and loves her. It's an amazing and touching story.

We are reading Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. This is my second go around with this book. I must say I enjoy reading it much, much, much more this time with my son than I did with my daughter. My son loves the high sea adventure, the ship wrecks, the weapons, the wild beasts etc. We will read for about an hour before one of us cries, "Mercy, my throat is too dry!" I just remember how painful it was reading it with my daughter, she just couldn't wait for it to end. It does take some patience to read the old style and deciding how you will pronounce "viz" which to us is an exasperated sigh.

My sister left A Tree Grows in Brooklyn on her last visit to my house. So I picked it up and have been reading it off an on. I need to get back to it, but not before I start....

Give Father A hard Knock by Ken Kraft. He is the author that my sister introduced me to. This book is about an object lesson in family turnabout. He and his wife Pat go to live with his father in U-City, Missouri just after they were married. Ken has a wonderful dry sense of humor. I got my neighbor hooked on him and now we are hoping beyond hope that we may someday just happen upon his Missouri farm, even though he hasn't lived there for more than thirty years.

and lastly, but certainly not the least..

We are studying the Gospel of Mark by God. I've decided that the parable of the seed is my favorite parable. Am I the only person that thinks it was slightly funny that Jesus spoke this parable to the crowd, but didn't explain what it meant and then His apostles were slightly clueless too? I'm sure I would have been saying, "Huh?" to a lot of Jesus' parables too. I'm glad I get to read the Bible and have a study guide to lead me through it.


Abby said...

"Home is always the place you just left" - ain't it the truth?! I have been reading many books at once lately too, though you have me beat by several. And you sound so diversified! I'm mostly on a fiction kick. But someone just told me about a book on Christian parenting particularly with little ones by someone called Ginger Plowman. Sounds helpful. Anyway, titles get italicized when they're in print, we only underline in writing because it's too hard to italicize one's penmanship. As far as Blogger goes, the little "i" is to italicize things. But bold works too!

april said...

Thanks Abby. I was thinking only titles of songs, magazines and poems were in italics....but you know what, I only teach my children these things and expect them to remember, blah!

Jandy said...

Of course, if you want to be MLA style-compliant, then it's italicize (or underline--I think that's a holdover from typewriters and typesetters who didn't have italics) book, play, magazine, journal and film titles, and put double quotes around song, poem, article, and short story titles. But then, being MLA-compliant is only for uptight graduate students. ;)

Oh, and no bold, ever. Or all caps. Even on titles of papers. Which I hate, because if you have a really long paper title, it visually blends into the body of the paper. Which is why I'm not very good at being an uptight graduate student.

I've never read Robinson Crusoe. All the way through, anyway. I think I started it once, but didn't have the drive to finish it. I loved Kidnapped though...are you and your kids reading Robert Louis Stevenson?

april said...

But, I like the bold. It stands out on the page. I also like the underlining, but I learned how to type on a typewriter sooooo, there ya go. I agree I like with caps except for prepositions and conjunctions. I like to make up my own writing rules.

We have read Treasure Island, it was one of the first books my son ever read and then read again and I think maybe even three times. He reads so quickly that I'm sure he gets something new out of it each time he rereads it.

I need to get Kidnapped to read.

jennifer said...

Ok. Since you know I recommend good books, let me suggest a great little laymen's commentary on the book of Mark that has received high praise. You can find it at:

Laura said...

I recently read A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. It's excellent! But I am particulary into Brooklyn authors now ...

It's fun to read your blog and hear your thoughts.
I miss all of you people!
Laura Galt

Laura said...