October 2017 Books


  • I am just beginning to discover Mary Oliver and her incredible work. A Thousand Mornings was my introduction and I was completely taken by it. An excerpt from: Three Things to Remember:

As long as you’re dancing, you can

break the rules.

Sometimes breaking the rules is just

extending the rules.

Sometimes there are no rules.

  • It has been a joy to adventure alongside my kids and read classics like Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We were with the Ingalls as they danced at Grandpa’s, took the wagon into town, and lived out their slow and purposeful days.

She thought to herself, “This is now.” She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the fire-light and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.

  • Macrina Wiederkehr’s: A Tree Full of Angels was as powerful and moving as I expected. Having read Seven Sacred Pauses last month I was hopeful that I would enjoy other books by her as well. Full of poetry, prayers and personal experiences, Wiederkerhr teaches us how to see “the holy in the ordinary.”

You are to gather up the joys and sorrows, the struggles, the beauty, love, dreams and hopes of every hour that they may be consecrated at the altar of daily life.

  • There is much to say about Julie Bogart and her A Gracious Space series. I read the Fall Edition slowly allowing her words to soak in each morning. Julie’s words were crucial to my heart this first semester of home educating. You can find more encouragement from Julie at Brave Writer.

Are we willing to know our kids as they actually are rather than to simply apply labels for behavior, or symbols for their season of life, or rules for their “own good”? What if we become fascinated by the complexity of our kids, rather than worried by them?

  • I had anticipated The Lifegiving Table by Sally Clarkson for a few months before it came out and could not wait to read it. It arrived on a Tuesday and I was done with it by the weekend. I am certain this is one that I will return to over and over. Sally Clarkson is truly a gift and I have never been so inspired to live intentionally and with purpose.

The soul satisfaction of belonging to one another, the anchor of commonly held traditions, and the understanding that our home was a sanctuary from all the pressures and storms of life — all these knit our hearts together into tight bonds that will not easily be broken. And all these we cultivated through years and years of sitting down together, through multiple hours of cooking and baking and preparing meal after meal, through the disciplines of teaching manners and fostering conversation.

  • The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems – We read a few poems each morning and loved taking our time to move slowly through this collection. It has a wonderful selection of poems and beautiful illustrations. We were even inspired to memorize this poem by Langston Hughes, as a family:

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.


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