February 2009 Reading List

1.   The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling by Barbara Frank:  I like that this book wasn’t the usual “introduction to homeschooling” book.  This one offers more tips for the established homeschooler.  I’m intrigued by a problem solving workbook she recommends and the “life skills” curriculum she developed for her teens.

2.  Faiths of the Founding Fathers by David L. Holmes:  This book examines the religious beliefs of a handful of founding fathers (Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe) and how they fit on the Christian and Deist spectrums of the time.  At times I wasn’t sure if his over-simplification of some Christian doctrines held my some churches was to avoid getting bogged down into the detail or because he personally didn’t adhere to those doctrines.  I wish he could have broken down a large group, perhaps all the signers of the Declaration of Independence by faith.  The last chapter on the beliefs of recent presidents was interesting but seemed slightly out of place.  I would have been much more interested if the author had noted a connection between the Deism of the founding fathers and the recent development of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.

3.  Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin:  As much as I mistrust the underlying flaws of schools in general, this chronicle of Greg Mortenson’s work building schools, fighting poverty, and setting the foundations for peace in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan made me appreciate living in a country that has a school system that does at least meet basic educational needs for most kids even if I think my kids still deserve something better.

4.   Meditations on Mary by Kathleen Norris:  This would make a great coffee table book with its  beautiful and classic artwork of the Virgin Mary.  And for fans of Kathleen Norris’ writing, the handful of essays are in keeping with her unusual religious perspective.

5.  Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon:  I found this book very depressing and mostly useless to me.  Foodies would love it, though.

6.  In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden:  Delightful book about a fictional middle-aged career woman who decides to become a Benedictine nun in Britain in the mid-1950’s.  It gives an interesting view of a pre-Vatican II convent, yet it’s very reminiscent of Kathleen Norris’s descriptions of religious life in her book The Cloister Walk.

7.  The Duggars:  20 and Counting! by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar:  The Duggars answer many questions about their life with their 18 (and counting) children.  I gleaned a few ideas from their vast experience, a few recipes (that I need to downsize), and a few new reading resources to check out.

8. Fathers of the Church by Donald W. Wuerl:  This booklet running 144 pages is a book written for Catholics by Catholics.  It gives a short overview of 17 “Fathers” of the early church.  It had a slight apologetic tone and did not have a bibliography of works cited.

9.  My Grandfather’s Son by Clarence Thomas:  I don’t always agree with  Thomas’ perspective, but I believe the book aptly describes where he gets it from.

10.  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley:  I first read this book about twelve years ago, and it totally shifted my view of the world.  Rereading it after all these years, parts of it horrified me in ways my teenage self couldn’t comprehend.  If you read John Taylor Gatto’s article “Against School” from 2003, you realize that Huxley wasn’t that far off the mark when he created his fictional dystopia in 1931.  I highly recommend reading this book and then reading any commentary on it you can find, even if it’s just the Wikipedia page.

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One Comment on “February 2009 Reading List”

  1. Cable Says:

    I just finished Threee Cups of Tea. What an amazing journey to do great things!


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