Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Life Books (Challenge Part I)

Here's what my own Life Books Challenge requests:
Part I: Choose Your Life Books
What are the books that, in some aspect, define you? Think about who you are in terms of spirituality, love, economics, values, worldview--the list could go on and on. These might be nonfiction, self-help, fiction, picture books, children's books, etc. Give us your life in books. To see my example, click here. After you've picked your life books, write a post and leave the link on Mr. Linky. Be sure to copy and paste the button above on your blog somewhere!

Part II: Discover Something New
Check out the blogs of other participants and find at least two titles to add to your TBR list. Let us know what books you are adding by linking a second time to Mr. Linky with (Something New) by your name.

Part III: Read the Books
When you've read the new books, write a review and leave a link to your post in the comments here.

My Life Books

The Bible: (Everything) Patrick Henry is quoted as saying, "The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed." Daniel Webster wrote, "If there is anything in my thoughts or style to commend, the credit is due to my parents for instilling in me an early love of the Scriptures."
I can't say it any better than that.

To Kill a Mockingbird: (How to Live) For all the reasons why I love Harper Lee's one and only novel, click here.

One and Sonnets from the Portuguese: (Love and Marriage) More than any others, these two books represent Dr. H. to me. We've always quoted to each other from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese. Not just her most well-known, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways," but the lesser known ones, as well. Richard Bach's One is probably not a well-known book, but for Dr. H and I, it spoke to the fear of our "what if" and to the relief of how it really all turned out. (You can read about our "Happy Ending" here.) Bach presents in this book the stories of what could have happened if the characters had made other choices; it's a book of parallel lives. What if, for example, I'd not stayed for summer school that last year? What if you'd chosen to go to a different restaurant that night? What if?

Crunchy Cons: (Politics, socioeconomics, the culture debate) This book by Rod Dreher was an “a ha” book throughout for me. In nearly every chapter I had those moments of thinking (or saying outloud and then reading passages to Dr. H.), “Yes! Exactly!” and “So THIS is what I am—and there are tons of people like me!” You can read the rest of my review here.

The Total Money Makeover: (Finances) Dave Ramsey's "proven plan for financial fitness" has changed the direction of our life. From a post on my home-life blog in 2006: " Dave's favorite word is FREEEEEDOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM, and we are tasting it. People have said to us, 'How can you stand to be strapped down to a budget?' As parents, we know that kids to better with a structured life. They have freedom in knowing what is expected of them. It's the same way with finances: we feel a sense of relief knowing that this is what we have to spend--and no more." Two years later, we are still digging ourselves out of debt, but we are closer every month. Freedom.

Good-night Moon: (Parenthood) We've read hundreds of books to our children in the past 15 years, but this is the one that started it all. Margaret Wise Brown's classic bedtime book will always, for me, represent all the good things of being a mama.

Dumbing Us Down: (Education) Because homeschooling is a huge part of my life, this treatise on public education by John Taylor Gatto, a recipient of the NY State Teacher of the Year Award, speaks powerfully to me.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves: (Grammar freakiness) This is another one of those "a-ha!" books. It is a relief to find out that author Lynn Truss is also horrified by dangling modifiers. For my review, go here.

Apples: (Inheritance) Let me explain. My family is filled with generations of apple growers. Frank Browning's Apples traces the apple from the mountains of Kazahkstan to Cornell University to huge commercial growers and the little guys, too. I will always remember reading this, reading Browning's description of my father, and thinking, "Oh! That's my inheritance!" It's not money or books. My father's legacy is wrapped in the sweetest smelling fruit and handed down, seed by seed.

Phew! So that's my list. What are your life books?


Anonymous said...

We have read a lot of the same books. I have just ordered Crunchy Cons form our library.

jessi said...

I'm picking my books for the challenge now, and I'm going to read Dumbing Us Down. I'm looking forward to it!

Anonymous said...

oooh oooh oooh, i love this idea and i love your books I will start now (and hope it isn't too late). The problem is ... sooooo many good ones!