What I have read over the holidays

What have I read this past month?

I read Hamlet (The New Folger Library Shakespeare) as part of the Classics Bookclub at 5 Minutes for Books. This was a combination of the George MacDonald commentary of an Old English version, a modern translation, the Charles and Mary Lamb version, and Wikipedia’s overview. I wonder if I get extra credit for reading it 4 times.

I read a loaned copy of Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon. It’s a collection of stories about the people and events in a bar in Suffolk County. The puns run pretty thick. The camaraderie of the men in the bar is to be envied. The stories are funny, heart-breaking, and entertaining. I like this guy and will be looking for more by him.

I read Curate of Glaston, The by George MacDonald. It is a trilogy of 3 novels about Curate Thomas Wingfold as he and others around him come or don’t come to a saving faith. Very interesting books. I still think about the dwarf describing how he felt the God of the Bible was a cruel and judgmental God. Then one day the dwarf scared a boy and when he tried to reach out to reassure the boy he meant him no harm the boy became even more afraid and ran away. The dwarf started to wonder if he was reacting the same way to God. He reread the Bible with a different perspective and found a different God.

I read through all 4 gospels again. It is good to take a book as a whole and read it in one or two sittings. Each has a theme that seems near and dear to the gospel writer.

I read The House of Dies Drear. It was an interesting book about a house that had been used as a station on the Underground Railroad years earlier.

I also read Raising Dragons (Dragons in Our Midst, Book 1). It was an interesting story incorporating King Arthur and knights, along with fanaticism and legalism as well as faith and courage. All magic in the book comes from God and all in all it was an interesting read, if not a perfect story.

And I read my bargain book copy of Messenger of Truth: A Maisie Dobbs Novel. I really like the Maisie Dobbs books, even though I wish she knew it was God that was the source of her intuition and skills.

I reread most of Home to Holly Springs and finished up my character list.

I read the library book, The Read-Aloud Handbook: Sixth Edition. This was a recommendation from Audrey and it was really good. I am making a list of books to look at for Connor over the next few years.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk was good. I am very glad I read this book. I found a lot of very helpful and interesting information in this book. The structure of each chapter is great. The overview of why the “old” way isn’t profitable is a good way to start. The cartoons that demonstrate the old and new methods are handy ways to see it in action. Then the practical examples from parents really trying to do it in the home help see the many ways it can be done. The chapter on praise really hit home, that would have been helpful in my house when I was growing up. I know I doubted most of the praise I got, would deny it, and probably felt threatened by it – it was usually very general and I could always think of a dozen times it didn’t apply, plus the stress I felt to always be the “good” daughter. I think more specific descriptions of what I was doing right would have given me something more solid to rely on. I’ve run into the same advice in leadership classes – intead of just saying someone is really good or smart, use specific examples of something they have done, describe what you see and what you feel. Top it off by summing up the praiseworthy behavior in a word!

I read The Iliad: The Fitzgerald Translation in two days. I have the Robert Fitzgerald translation and it is wonderfully easy to read. After trying to read the Elizabethan English version of Hamlet, this is a breeze. I enjoyed following the story. My only issue is the spelling of names that Fitzgerald uses. I was reading the Wikipedia summary before I realized that Aias in the book is actually Ajax. And I slowed down every time I read Achilleus. Now I’m ready to tackle The Odyssey.

In honor of my completing the Iliad, I give you Achilles

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