These Farmhouse Bookshelves



This week I’ve been knee-deep in gardening books and seed catalogs.

I love winter gardening. It’s all about dreaming.

This is one of my new favorites. Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard is practical and inspirational. The photography is lovely, and the ideas are especially well-suited for small, suburban yards.

Another book discovered with my third-grade daughter (actually this is the first of an eight-book series) is Moonsilver (The Unicorn’s Secret #1) by Kathleen Duey. This is a very rare kind of book. Written for beginning readers, it still manages to tell a beautiful, sophisticated story.

My first-grade son is currently obsessed with The Magic Treehouse series of books. I can hardly stand to read those aloud because the simplistic language and choppy sentence structure drive me nuts. Duey’s series proves that it doesn’t have to be this way. Buy her series for yourself to enjoy. If you feel awkward reading a “beginning chapter book,” just say you’ll pass it on to a young reader when you’re finished.

I especially love memoir, and one of my favorites is Martha Beck’s Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic. Here is my true story: I actually brought this book home more than ten years ago from a white elephant gift exchange. No one else seemed to want it, but I knew I’d rather go home with a paperback than a cassette of bad 80s music or a withered house plant. Just before I left the party, a young man came up to me. Very seriously he told me that others may have thought the book was a joke, but he wanted me to know that I would love it.

He was right.

This is the story of how two Harvard academics unlearn almost everything Harvard had taught them. It is the story of a devastating diagnosis, an almost unbelievably difficult pregnancy, and an encounter with Love. I give that word a capital letter, because through this nightmarish yet somehow magical experience, Beck meets Someone. She doesn’t name him, but I recognized him immediately. He’s the one I call Jesus.

What books are keeping you company this winter?


(You can find my earlier book recommendations here and here.)


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