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Today, this little book of mine turns one. Alas, I did not bake a cake, but I might have to do something about that later today.
For those of you who haven’t yet picked up a copy of Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons, it’s a love letter to an old farmhouse called Maplehurst and an invitation to discover the wonder of a God who would choose to make his home with us. You can read all about the book right here.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that “These Farmhouse Bookshelves” is my occasional series of book recommendations. In honor of my own book’s first birthday, I thought I’d tell you about a few just-released books as well as some old favorites of mine.
In Dangerous Territory: My Misguided Quest to Save the World, Amy Peterson has written a different kind of missionary memoir. This isn’t a triumphant tale of changing the world, rather it is honest, thoughtful writing about a missionary learning to rest in her own belovedness. A great book for world-changers as well as the ones who feel a little more ordinary than that.
In Katharina & Martin Luther: The Radical Marriage of a Runaway Nun and a Renegade Monk, Michelle DeRusha has written a biography of one of the most influential marriages in history. Compulsively readable and thoroughly researched, here is a book for those interested in history and theology as well as for those who simply love a good story, well told.
The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb: Searching for Jesus’ Path of Power in a Church That Has Abandoned It is a timely new release from Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel. Having suffered from their own misplaced desires for relevance and influence, Goggin and Strobel go in search of a better way. A mix of storytelling, theology, and personal interviews, here is wisdom for these days from J.I. Packer, Dallas Willard, Marva Dawn, John Perkins, Jean Vanier, James Houston, and Eugene Peterson.
Finally, I have two more seasonally appropriate suggestions.
Though I rarely reread fiction, I have read and reread The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder many times since I discovered it as a child. This true tale of how Laura and her pioneer family survived the historic winter of 1880-81 is the most exciting of the Little House books. I am about to begin reading this one aloud to my own kids.
The writer Laura Brown has organized an online book discussion for The Long Winter on her website MakesYouMom.com. I may even contribute an audio file of me reading aloud from the book (then you’ll know just what my children have to put up with! Wink, wink). All the information on the book club is right here.
And if reading about winter is too much for you during winter, or if you live in Texas or Australia where it’s either summer or feeling like summer, I suggest one of my favorite novels: The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden. This coming-of-age story set in the post-war French countryside is as delicious as the ripe plums that give the book its title. Tense, atmospheric, exciting, and intelligent, I love this story in any season. You can read my full review on Goodreads.
I love the book so much I ordered a Greengage plum tree for my own backyard. It should arrive for planting in March.
Tell me, what are you reading these days?
Michelle’s book is on my list. Also, that Rumer Godden novel!?! Just added it. Of course I love The Story of Holly and Ivy and I also read The Doll’s House when I was young, which was a bit dark as well, I think? I don’t know much about her, but would love to try more of her works.
I’m reading The Nightingale and listening to Lilac Girls, which sounds more light than it is, for sure.
The Story of Holly and Ivy is so beautiful. Heartbreakingly beautiful. I think you would like her fiction for adults, too. In This House of Brede, about a cloistered Benedictine community, is another favorite of mine.
Hi Christie! I am new to your blog AND your book. Haven’t finished reading it yet, but was drawn to purchase it because I love old farmhouses and stories of the people who live in them. Before I left off to begin a couple of books I ordered through my library next door, you had just decided to host your first dinner party for friends. In one huge frenzy, you had just re-done the room from top to bottom. The way you described the finished product was simply wonderful, and the gathering of friends made me wish I was much more hospitable than I am. But I’m working on it. My husband & I are empty-nesters now, but that has little to do with it. We are just private people, always have been, and we hole-up here in our ”sanctuary”, away from the world. I am a lover of solitude, but do get lonely from time to time, especially in the winter months here in Ontario, Canada.
I have just begun reading ‘Implosion’ by Joel C. Rosenberg. A great author of non-fiction as well as fiction, always with a focused eye on Israel in relation to the rest of the world. I love Joel. I also just finished ‘Wild In The Hollow’ by Amber Haines. An excellent read. It spoke to me of simplifying my life by doing away with the methods I use to ”fill the void”, despite knowing Christ. Somehow, I have managed to get myself back into the habit of over-consumerism…again. I hereby resolve to keep my nose out of those online shopping sites I tend to frequent when I’m bored. Amber has reawakened me to my former Focus–that CHRIST is to be my All-In-All, seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness…and all I NEED will be added unto me. Not all I WANT.
There is one other book I finished recently which I would NOT recommend. It appears this author is all the rage right now, even making it onto Oprah’s Book List, which I guess signifies the greatest accomplishment ever to be had on planet earth. Instant red flag for me. ‘Carry On Warrior’ sounds like a noble title, but within its pages I found a woman who is mainly concerned about her own all-consuming happiness, (rather than personal holiness), and uses all manner of misconstrued ideas and loose interpretations of selected Scriptures, (while ignoring those passages of conviction), and therefore of the God of Scripture, to uphold her willy nilly ideas. Don’t get me wrong. Glennon Doyle Melton is an engaging writer, very funny, and many of her stories do give food for thought. But…I can never be in agreement with much of her theology. My teeth were set on edge early on in the book when she referred to God as ”she”. No references to the fact that Jesus prayed ”Our FATHER which art in heaven…” Or the fact that the entire Bible refers to God as ”He”. (I’m not sure which new translation Melton favors. Nor why she is so obviously intimidated by a ”male” God. ) I know God is spirit, genderless, some say, but it always grates on me when certain women ”within the Church” appear to focus muchly on the feminist ideal, even to the point of making GOD feminine. Suspect in my eyes. Thus began Melton’s numerous examples of making God into the image of Someone SHE can live with, rather than the other way round. That God is ALL Love and no Holiness or Justice. We, she maintains, are ALL God’s children, ALL destined for Heaven. No wonder her books are so appealing to so many. She makes ”Christianity” an easy thing, when in fact, it is anything BUT easy. The Apostle Paul is the best example I can think of when it comes to the ”working out of our own salvation with fear & trembling.” I shant bother to go into the latest direction Melton has taken her life. I was considering reading her second book, but instead threw her first into my garbage can.
Sorry to go on so. I guess Melton has lit a fire under me. Thank you for giving me space to rant. I’m looking forward to more of your blog posts in my inbox, Christie.
Thank you for your kind words about my book and for taking the time to leave a comment! I, too, loved Amber’s book Wild in the Hollow. A powerful story and beautifully written. I once heard Melton speak at a local church and appreciated her talk very much. However, there is space here to share our reactions to books honestly. Your response may be helpful to others who have read her books and have questions about them or are considering reading them. I’ll be honest, as an author, I hesitate to criticize other writers and their books online because I know what it feels like to read a negative review! 🙂 But it’s also true that writers want readers who will fully engage and even wrestle with what we’ve written. It sounds like you’ve done just that, and I applaud you!
Thanks, Christie. Of course, I adored your book, and just finished Michelle’s. It’s excellent!! I so appreciate the reading recommendations of wonderful authors.
Thank you, Lynn! Will you take any books on your Scottish pilgrimage? Or, do you need to keep weight to a minimum?
Oh, Christie, I so enjoy learning about good children’s books that are worth reading. They are some of the best. I was not familiar with the Rumer Goden book and will have to keep that in mind. I’ve also not read “The Long Winter” (and I had no idea Laura was doing a book club on makesyoumom. I’ll have to check that out.)
Happy bookaversary! Roots & Sky is a lovely, lovely book.
I’m reading Anne of the Island, Supper of the Lamb by R. Farrar Capon, Stillmeadow Seasons by Gladys Taber and the history of the KJV Bible. Eclectic and ongoing…. thanks for asking.
Supper of the Lamb is one of my favorites. I have never read Gladys Taber, but I’ve been thinking recently that I really need to rectify that. Would you recommend I begin with Stillmeadow Seasons? I love the title.
Happy birthday, Roots and Sky!! I just started The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. It is the One Philadelphia One Book pick this year. It is especially poignant to me with the autism connection. And the Kimmel Center is performing it soon in conjunction with OPOB. Nathan and I hope to see it! Hugs and love and blessings to you!
I read that book years ago and loved it!
Congratulations on your book’s first anniversary! Several passages of it found their way into my journal a year ago, and just this past week I re-read portions of it. It is a gem – thank you.
Have you read Andi Ashworth’s lovely little volume, “Real Love for Real Life”? Its reflections on the meaning and purpose of our homes are wonderful.
On your recommendation, I have just added “Greengage Summer” to my list of reads for 2017. I have just begun Anthony Trollope’s “Framley Parsonage” – too early for a recommendation, but the characterization, thus far, clearly shows a nuanced sense of the interplay between temptation and ambition.