I’ve been thinking a lot about books. When we moved twice in the last six months, it was unpacking our beloved books that made our rental, and then our purchased house–a home. As I sorted through boxes and boxes of books, and filled up shelves, I smiled and shed a few tears, reminiscing over the years we’ve spent reading these books. They are our constant companions, our friends, and beloved family members. The packers that originally boxed up our home in Michigan repeatedly said, “Wow…ya’ll love books, like, really LOVE books, don’t you?” I told them I don’t have many nick knacks, and I decorate with Kids and Books.
As we are finally settling in to our new home and beautiful state of Georgia, I would like to start posting lists of some of my very favorite children and adult books. After home educating for over 18 years, I have so many lists in my head, so many literary “friends” I want to share with you. I have said many times, good literature is so efficient. It reveals our humanity to us and changes culture. And we all agree culture needs a bit of overhaul, yes? So, this is how we do it: get on our knees in prayer, get holy, and lead an examined life that includes great literature. Read what Bishop Conley of Nebraska has to say about reading and culture, his beautiful words will inspire you. Here’s an excerpt:
“Good literature forms a worldview: it offers us insight into our families, our communities, and ourselves. Great literature offers us insight into our relationship with God and the world.”
One of the ways I am settling in here is starting a Well Read Mom group in my new hometown. I have participated in Well Read Mom for two years, and really, I can’t praise it enough. Check out the link and see the kind of goodness going on over there. I will be the first to admit I didn’t finish every single selection from the past year like I did in previous years. Our move was intense and left little time to read. The point is to be exposed to the great books and have discussions with the group that go beyond the usuals. I might not have finished Brother’s Karamazov, (not YET) but I will never forget those characters and I’m glad to have been introduced to, what many have called, the greatest novel in history. WRM’s founder, Marcie Stokman, has only one rule, no apologizing for not finishing the book and come to the meetings anyway for stimulating conversation. Her audios are so informative and inspiring, they are worth the time alone to participate!
A few of my other favorite places to walk literary rabbit trails:
Circe Institute: a plethora of articles, podcasts, and other resources that point towards Truth and Beauty.
Read Aloud Revival: Sarah does a lovely job of helping us “build our family culture around books” and brings a joy that is infectious to all things books. I have really appreciated her podcasts and book lists over the last few years.
Ambleside: a free, Charlotte Mason based curriculum has a terrific list of books for all ages to use for educating your children, but the lists are great for ideas no matter what your educational choice is for your family.
Mater Amabilis: a Catholic, Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum, which, again, has some terrific books lists.
Emmanuel Books: A terrific site with lots of lovely historical fiction and curriculum choices as well.
So, look for some more posts on books soon….lists…musings…and hopefully you will share your favs here as well. My goal is to link arms with you and talk about the important things, through the lens of terrific literature.