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We’ve been reading just as much as usual lately, but it doesn’t feel like we’ve gotten through as many books as normal. Some of them have been long! We are just finishing Uncle Arthur’s Bible Stories, Volume 10—now we need to choose a different Bible story book to read. We finished David Macaulay’s Cathedral, which we were reading when I wrote the last post like this, and followed that with his Pyramid. We found it quite fascinating! One sentence that Mr. Intellectual really liked said something about how this Pharoah (imaginary, by the way) built his pyramid 10 feet lower than the Great Pyramid, out of respect for the great Khufu—but built it on higher ground, which made the peak 10 feet higher than Khufu’s! One thing that made this book especially interesting was that we have been reading Genesis and Exodus lately for Family Worship, so we grabbed this book and referred to it when we read about Joseph being embalmed to see what was done with his body. Since we finished that one, we have started reading Pagoo, a delightful story about a hermit crab from hatching, on through the rest of his life. Our last book each morning has to do with history; the latest one is Drumbeats in Williamsburg. It has to do with the events around Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown. Of course, a lot of the story is predictable—as expected, the main character finds the spy! It’s pretty interesting, though.
After lunch is when we read the books the children choose. We’ve been reading through the Little House Series for over a year now, and to finish it off we’re going through The Three Faces of Nellie, about the three different people Laura based the character of Nellie Oleson on. I’m reading the interesting parts, and skipping over the repetitious genealogical bits. After that, we’re reading Gone-Away Lake, which has been a long-time favorite in our family. Two children who are exploring the woods near their home get lost and find themselves in a dried-up lake bed, then find a row of falling-down houses with only two people living in them. It’s quite a fun adventure! Our third book each day for the past couple of months has been Kayaks Down the Nile, about three men who kayaked from near the start of the Nile River to its mouth at the Mediterranean in the 1950s. This inspired Mr. Imagination to shape a kayak from a blanket, and make a “cataract” from bits of cardboard, which he helped Little Miss to kayak through. We finished it a couple of days ago and started The Great Brain, which seems like it will be a fun story. I’ve never read it, though. I let Little Miss choose our fourth story, since she’s been begging me to read her chapter books. She chose Olive, the story of a foster child, for her first book.
The only other afternoon book we read in the past month was A Pig for Pablo. This is a story about a little boy in Paraguay who rescues a runt piglet, and then works to earn money to buy it. I was rather surprised by the ending—it’s not the normal story you’d expect, with the pig living as a pet forever.
The other books we’ve read for history have all had to do with the American Revolution. Fourth of July Raid had to do with a surprise attack by the British on a small town in Connecticut. This Time, Tempe Wick? is a picture book about Washington’s troops and a mutiny during a hard winter—and a girl who outsmarts them. When I found Swamp Fox of the Revolution on Internet Archive, I wanted to read it to my boys. I remember getting it from the library when I was 9 or 10; it was the only book I had ever read about the Revolutionary War in the South. We found it very interesting—a piece of history that you rarely hear about! We followed that with Traitor, by Jean Fritz—the story of Benedict Arnold. She did a superb job of making us extremely disgusted with the man and his self-centered ways! After we finished that story, we read a picture book titled Bugle, A Puppy in Old Yorktown. It’s a cute story from 1958. We enjoyed the old illustrations.
And what have I been reading? Some very interesting books! Nobody’s Boy really captured my interest; it’s the story of a 3-year-old Mennonite boy who was kidnapped in Mexico in 1926, only a few years after his family had moved there from Canada. He had no idea who he really was for over 20 years. This is a true story, and quite gripping. At the moment, I’m reading another non-fiction, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be An Atheist. We have this book because I had downloaded the audio book several years ago when it was free, and when Gayle listened to it a year ago, he was so impressed he wanted us to have a print copy. It got loaned out before I had a chance to read it, and now that it’s back I’m quickly reading it before handing it on to another friend. It is amazing—the authors have pulled together many reasons, from all facets of science and life, to show that there has to be a God Who began and is in control of everything.
I also read a library book Esther brought home, Wonderland Creek. It was more a fluffy-style book, but I enjoyed it. The mystery woven through it kept me going till the end. I liked the theme of the story, that we need to live life, not just read books and live vicariously! The romance was nice, too, although I could have done without the distraction of a second man who courted the main character and was fairly physical with her.
Last week, I read The Inn at Hidden Run. I had read several reviews of it, and was intrigued by the differences in opinion about this story, so when I found it available for review, I thought I’d see what my opinion was. Well, it wasn’t a very fast-moving story, but it was certainly unique. There was no romance in it, which I liked. The premise of the story was that a girl showed up in town with some problems, and a genealogist helped her work through them by researching the girl’s family tree. There was a second timeline in the book, from the 1870s (the main story is modern). It felt a little forced to me to put the two stories together and have a family’s problems solved by discovering something from their past.
A couple of weeks ago, I read What a Pair! (Double Trouble Book 1) about a pair of twins in an Amish family. I have been seeing reviews of books by the author, and decided to see what her style is like. I’m frankly not impressed. Most Amish fiction feels fake to me, and this one, unfortunately, is no exception. It didn’t help that, several times, she had her characters stung by bumblebees and then pick out the stinger that was left behind.
Yesterday, I finished The Trouble With Nancy, by Chautona Havig. I wasn’t planning to read it till after the Atheist book, but then I had an afternoon/evening when I didn’t feel good and couldn’t do much. I decided some light reading would be nice, so picked up this one. It was fun, but another fluffy story. What I like about Chautona’s fluffy stories, though, is that I’m never disgusted with them. She does her research, and they are clean. Another thing I like about this one in particular is that, though it is about a girl disguising herself as a boy, she doesn’t “save the day.” She bumbles through what she’s doing and is very glad to get home and be herself again at the end.