Books I Read 03/19

With March Break this month and three additional days off school, I was with my littles quite a lot this month! We had many moments of snuggling up with our favourite books, but also a lot of time spent out and about, so I'm not sure if I had extra time or less than usual time this month to actually read. I guess we'll see based on what I finished this month!

C S Lewis - A Life by Alister McGrath

This was a long biography that I listened to on Christian Audio and was able to knock back thanks to a March Break drive to and from Ontario. The kids, knowing who C S Lewis is, didn't mind it on in the background of our drive, though I doubt they enjoyed it nearly as much as I did. It was very detailed covering the world and British history around his life (Irish politics, WWI, etc.), his personal life, and his works. I loved hearing about his relationship with J R R Tolkein so much that ti spurred me to give The Lord Of The Rings a second try. When I first watched the movies ten years ago I was heavily pregnant with Lily and not interested at all. I was couch-bound so Brad asked me to give them a go, since he loves them so. Well, at the time I hated them - too violent! not my genre! too medieval! All I can say is if this biography did nothing else, it opened the door to LOTR and for that I'm thankful. I'll aim to read LOTR this summer, but it's all thanks to the impressive life of C S Lewis and this biography that primed me. Seriously though, Lewis was a fascinating man who I very much respect and I loved reading about his life in more detail.

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

I read this simultaneously with Oli, and I don't mind saying he finished before I did! As I was finishing he also finished Jo's Boys which I'll be reading most of this month and probably won't finish until next month. You know when you read a great book and grieve that it's over? That was me after Little Women last month, and lo and behold, Little Men was the perfect cure. I love seeing Jo grow up to be a mother and headmistress of Plumfield School For Boys (and later Girls too!). Back in January, I said Marmee was Mom Goals, but I need to add that Jo, or Mother Beahr, absolutely is too. This book is full of harsh realities, faithful friendship, and saccharine hope. I usually don't like a book of just one or two of these themes, but all three together is perfection. Alcott's writing is lovely but she never shies away from hard themes such as poverty and death. I think the best children's literature faces these realities with care for their reader, but faces them nonetheless. I guess that's why Louisa May Alcott is one of the greats in children's literature! I finished this with tears streaming down my face while the kids were at tennis one Saturday and was so wrapped up in the book world that I didn't realize how I probably looked (comepletely distraught), until a kind fellow parent asked, Madame, Ça va? Oh yes, just a great book, haha!

A Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

This was one of the Daily Deals on Audible so I grabbed it this month when I saw it on sale for under $5 (remember, most audiobooks are over $30 normally so this is a huge way to save). Our first big trip as a family of five was to Copenhagen if you recall, and Denmark left a beautiful impression on us as an extremely beautiful, modern, and family-friendly place. Having been to Denmark and loving this sort of book in general (those here's-what-I-learned told from the first person and delving into culture sorts), I really enjoyed this book. It's narrated beautifully but at times was a little drawn out. If you have read French Women Don't Get Fat or Bringing Up Bebe, it's similar to those (and I loved those both as well!).

Five Things To Pray For Your Kids by Melissa Kruger

This month I was lucky enough to receive some gifted books from The Good Book Company, one of the publishers I read the most. The other books pictured above were also from The Good Book Company and I'm still working through those, so keep an eye out for those summaries in the months to come.  Melissa Kruger is one of my favourite TGC ladies, having listened to her speak many times and enjoyed countless articles of hers over there. It is concise and to the point (perfect for a busy parent) and very helpful. If you ever struggle to pray authentically and purposefully with and for your children, this book will help you and not overwhelm you. I pray with my kids on the way to school each morning, before every meal, and before bed, but still I fall into rote prayers sometimes. This book reminded me of the many things I could be intentionally praying for and has enriched my prayer life! I also really loved how it was a small book and quick read. A busy mom's dream!

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