Here’s a list of the books I read in 2017!
Most of these I read with my book club, which is continuing to be a great source of reading material and thought-provoking discussion.
The Iliad (Homer)
The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoevsky)
Anne of Ingleside (LM Montgomery)
Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen)
The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame)
Oliver Twist (Charles Dickens)
The Man Who Was Thursday (GK Chesterton)
Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell) – in progress
The Odyssey (Homer) – in progress
I enjoyed all of these books, though I think I have 2 favourites: The Iliad and The Wind in the Willows. I’m sure my selection of The Iliad has as much to do with the group of women I’ve been reading with and our rich discussion. But really, Homer is a classic for a reason. A favourite moment from that book was when the river Scamander had Achilles in its watery grasp. Homer is a master of painting vivid and action-packed scenes.
This summer I finally got around to reading that “children’s” classic The Wind in the Willows. I read much of it on our front porch swing, overlooking our own river. The language was beautiful, the escapades hilarious, the characters well-drawn, but it was the atmosphere of the book that had me at hello. The reading was also enriched by Circe Institute’s Close Reads podcast, which has a series on the book. I especially enjoyed the comparisons to The Iliad and The Hobbit!
The first three I read in preparation for my first book review in a scholarly journal, published in December (The Canadian Journal of Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity).
Out of the Mouths of Babes (Thomas Robinson & Lanette Ruff)
Preacher Girl: Uldine Utley and the Industry of Revival (Thomas Robinson)
How To Read a Book (Mortimer J Adler) – selections
Unglued (Lysa Terkheurst)
A Tale of Three Kings (Gene Edwards)
The Happy Dinner Table (Anna Migeon)
Stepping Heavenward (Elizabeth Prentiss)
Favourite: Stepping Heavenward. I read Unglued and Stepping Heavenward for many of the same reasons. Unglued was helpful in its own way, but for me, watching a character struggle and grow through sanctification is far more powerful than reading about how to become sanctified. This is one I want to re-read, almost right away, and journal some of the passages that resonated with me.
Hallelujah: A Journey Through Advent with Handel’s Messiah (edited by Cindy Rollins)
All Creation Waits (Gayle Boss)
Waiting on the Word (Malcolm Guite)
Favourite: I enjoyed all of these Advent books. It’s my third year through Waiting on the Word, and every year I am enriched by the poetry and meditations. But All Creation Waits came to my attention unexpectedly through The Mason Jar podcast, and I knew right away I had found a kindred spirit in this book. It’s a living book where the natural and spiritual realms come together in a unique way. The illustrations really add to the beauty of the book as a whole.
I am essentially slow reading my way through Charlotte Mason, one volume on my own, and one with a group. I’m continuing to draw wisdom from these books for our home education and parenting journey.
Home Education (Charlotte Mason) – in progress
Parents and Children (Charlotte Mason) – in progress, reading with a group of parents
The Happy Dinner Table (Anna Migeon) – I know I listed this above, but I have to mention this application of Mason’s methods to the realm of eating have done as much to help me understand her principles of education as any other book about her methods!
With the children:
Farmer Boy (Laura Ingalls Wilder)
Mr. Popper’s Penguins (Richard Atwater)
Little Threads (Elizabeth Prentiss)
Milly-Molly-Mandy (Joyce Lankester)
Winnie-the-Pooh (A. A. Milne)
Letters from Father Christmas (JRR Tolkien)
On the Banks of Plum Creek (Laura Ingalls Wilder) – in progress
Understood Betsy (Dorothy Canfield Fisher) – in progress
This has been a new way of “reading” books for us. Many of these we listened to on our family vacation to Ontario this spring. Others we’ve made our way through on our regular drives to town and around the island. The Saturdays was a particularly fun listen.
A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
Peter Pan (JM Barrie)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (L Frank Baum)
Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren)
Anne of Green Gables (LM Montgomery)
The Saturdays (Elizabeth Enright)
At the end of last year, I said I had wanted to read more classics, more theology, and more Charlotte Mason. I definitely read more classics, thanks to my book club. I did continue to read Mason, though at a slower pace, which I think has been just as profitable. I didn’t really get to any more theology, though I read two books about an interesting period of Christian history (evangelism in the flapper age), which had some theological implications.
What about 2018?
I don’t have any grand reading plans at this point, certainly nothing systematic. However, I would like to finish a few of the books I either received or began reading in the last year or two and haven’t finished yet! (Thanks to Nelleke for this suggestion!)
To finish reading:
The Broken Way (Ann Voskamp)
Joy and Human Flourishing (edited by Miroslav Volf)
Evangelical, Sacramental & Pentecostal (Gordon T Smith)
Orthodoxy (GK Chesteron)
Home Education (Charlotte Mason)
I’m looking forward to more classic book club reads this year, and to hopefully finishing The Odyssey, which is rather different from The Iliad, in a neat way. Fewer epic similes, more fantastical creatures. I’m finding it connecting on a more personal level. (Apparently I connect more to fantastical creatures than bloody battles. But maybe I am also more sympathetic to Odysseus’ struggle than I was to Achilles’.)
I’d also like to delve into the world of writer’s craft. I’d love any suggestions in this area!
What did you read in 2017? What’s on your list for 2018? Happy reading!