So, if this is the month to read the books you've always meant to read, what are you reading?
I'm reading a Murakami book of short stories, R. C. Ryle's Practical Religion, a book that has been sitting on my shelves for many years, and which I really have meant to read for such a long time, and lots of things with Jemimah. But enough about March, you'll remember that this is the year that I'm actually recording the books I've read? It is interesting, actually. Knowing that you are watching what I'm reading is actually making me more conscious of what I chose. You're making me accountable, some how. Anyhow, here is my list of books for February. I hope you approve.
Since I posted last month I have noticed that others who post lists of reading books also post what they're reading in the Word as well. I'm reading Revelation. It is the first time that I've read this traditionally difficult book since we studied in in depth at our homegroup Bible study, and I have really enjoyed understanding it so much better this time through.
Hidden Lives by Margaret Forster
A family memoir tracing three generations of women - Forster's grandmother, mother, and Forster herself, and looking at their experiences, circumstances, and opportunities in Carlyle in Northern England.
Let no one say that nothing has changed, that women have it as bad as ever.Worth reading.
February Dragon by Colin Thiele
A Free Read in Jemimah's Australianised AO5. I chatted about this one here. A marvellous book.
A Song for Nagasaki by Paul Glynn
The biography of Japanese radiologist and author Takashi Nagai, who died in 1951 from radiation disease. A Catholic convert, Nagai was an incredible man who was working in pioneering radiology work at Nagasaki Nagasaki Medical University when life was changed forever with the dropping of of "Fat Man", the atomic bomb, on August 9, 1945. Despite the loss of his beloved wife in the blast, and suffering with leukemia caused by radiation exposure, Nagai devoted the remainder of his life to improving the lives of his fellow survivors.
A story of love and peace, acceptance and forgiveness in the face of amazing adversity, this is a must read for all, but especially for Catholics.
The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanazaki
A beautifully gentle story by Tanizaki Jun’ichirō about a Japan that no longer exists. The story tells of the four Makioka sisters in the lead up to WWII, as they attempt to find a husband for the shy and conservative third sister, Yukiko before the rebellious younger sister does something to blemish the impeccable Makioka name. A poignant glimpse into lost customs and a past time.
This film clip gives you a little idea of the story:
The Story Book of Science by Jean Henri Fabre
One of the books in the newly revised AO4 book list, we started reading this last year in school, and finished it as a family read-aloud. Originally published in 1917, The Story Book of Science introduces the mysteries of God's creation through the eyes of French Uncle Paul in conversation with his nephews and niece. It is delightfully written in a chatty, colloquial style, but the science is dated and inaccurate.
We didn't like it much, but the glimpse into the life of bees at the end held us enthralled.
The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris by Jon Baxter
A stroll through the literary Paris of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce, Baxter introduces us to Shakespeare and Co. and Sylvia Beach, to literary cafes where he reflects upon Hemingway at the Brasserie Lipp, Picasso at the Cafe de Flore, and Shirer at the Brasserie Balzar. Then there's the flâneurs of the late-nineteenth-century; the secluded "Little Luxembourg" gardens beloved by Gertrude Stein; and the allées where a Revolution was born. This is a splendid armchair journey to one of the great literary cities of the world. I'll be heading to Paris later in the year. Expect to see more books upon this theme.
Can you imagine how much I love this shop? It is as good as it appears. Truly.
Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington Garimara
A must read book for every Australian, this was my bookclub selection for the month. Doris Pilkington Garimara writes about how her mother, fourteen year old Molly, led her two young cousins from the Moore River Native settlement in Perth on a 1600 kilometre trek north following the Rabbit-proof Fence all the way home to their home country near Jigalong. The book is a personal account of the girls' experiences as 'Stolen Children' during the early 20th Century.
I read it aloud to Jemimah and it was interesting to hear her opinion. We had just covered the settlement of the Swan River area in Australian history, so the story flowed beautifully from what we already knew.
Drawing from Memory by Allen Say
As stunning autobiographical graphic novel of the life of Caldecott medalist, Allen Say, this is the story of his earlier YA novel The Ink-Maker's Apprentice told in pictures. The two books complement each other perfectly and I recommend them both. If you want to read them aloud to your kids, a bit of judicious editing would be in order.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
I blogged about this one first here, and then a little later here. Some great family discussions arose out of our reading of this novel, read as part of our Newbery Challenge. You can see what we're currently reading in the right sidebar.
Kokoro by Natsume Sosuke
A Japanese classic written in 1914, Kokoro is a starkly bleak coming of age novel about the friendship between a young man and an older man he calls "Sensei". It is a story about the Japanese idea of honour, of life, and death, and friendship all entwined. Sosuke is to Japan what Dickens is to England, and his writing is spare and beautiful. This is not a cheery book, but it is a wonderful read and would be a good introduction to Japanese literature for those who are interested.
Well, that's it for February.
What are you reading? Have you read any of these? What did you think? Are these posts useful or interesting or something?