Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Open Book - April 2022


I'm joining up with Carolyn Astfalk who hosts an #OpenBook Linkup on Here's what I've been reading this past month. The dates indicate when I finished the book.


3/4/22 I'll Be Seeing You - Robin Lee Hatcher - This dual-timeline story is set during World War II and today and features the stories of Daisy and her great-granddaughter Brianna, both of whom learn some tough lessons in love. The World War II story is the far more compelling of the two. Daisy has been infatuated with her older sister's boyfriend Brandan for years. When Brandan and Daisy's sister have a fight shortly before he's leaving for war, a drunk Brandan turns to Daisy. Brandan (who apologizes and begs Daisy to keep it secret while saying that he really does love her sister) leaves and Daisy is left to face an unplanned pregnancy on her own. Meanwhile, in the modern story Daisy tries to warn Brianna that she is falling for the wrong sort of man. She prays hard for her great-granddaughter not to make the same mistakes. The point of the stories is that God can turn all things to good for those who trust in Him. I enjoyed this World War II tale. (Read for a book review publication.)

 3/6/22 In a Far-Off Land - Stephanie Landsem - This retelling of the parable of the prodigal son is set in 1930s Hollywood. Minerva Sinclaire left her home in Odessa, South Dakota, with hopes of making it big in pictures and then coming home to help her struggling family, but the road she's on gets more messy than she could have ever imagined, especially when she wakes up in the powerful Roy Lester's bedroom only to find he's been murdered. This is a well-written suspense-filled story. There is a lot of sin in this book, but it is ultimately a story of forgiveness and redemption.

 3/11/22 - Abide: A Pathway to Transformative Healing and Intimacy with Jesus - Heather Khym - Khym invites readers to discover "the truth of who we are are, the truth of who God is, and some practical tools for living a restored life in Jesus." This book is designed to help us bring our wounds to Jesus so that we can heal them and move forward in hope. There is a lot of truth in this book and Khym does seem to be trauma aware. She acknowledges that healing can be hard and a long journey, but that it is one worth taking. If you want to begin that journey, this book may be a good place to start.


 3/13/22 The Call of the Wild and Free: Reclaiming Wonder in Your Child's Education - Ainsely Arment - This book is written from a secular perspective, but it offers a great overview of homeschooling and a great deal of encouragement and quotes worth remembering and reflecting on. If you are a relatively new homeschooler or considering homeschooling for the first time, this book isworth reading. 

3/16/22 The Warmth of Sunshine - Kelly Irvin - Abigail Bontrager is a young Amish woman whose world is thrown for a loop when her English biological mother, Heather, shows up and Abigail finds out she's adopted. Heather wants Abigail to go spend some time with her and her family. As Abigail throws herself into the English world, she struggles to figure out where she belongs. I enjoy Amish fiction and this was an interesting story about a young woman caught between two worlds. (Read for a book review publication).

3-20-22 The Last Chance Library - Freya Sampson - This was a feel-good read that I learned about on Franciscan Mom's Open Book from last month. June Jones is a shy library assistant at a small English library. When the library faces closure, June is forced out of her comfort zone to collaborate with a motley group of library patrons in an effort to save the heart of their community. This one does have a language warning, but it was a leisure read that I enjoyed relaxing with.  

3/22/22 Set the World on Fire: Female Doctors of the Church - This at-home retreat by Vinita Hampton Wright takes readers on a journey to learn from the four female Doctors of the Church: St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Hildegard of Bingen.

3/29/22 - Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library - Carole Boston Weatherford - This is a picture book, beautifully illustrated by Eric Velasquez, geared for ages 8 and up. It tells the story of an Afro-Puerto Rican man named Arturo Schomburg who made it his life's mission to collect information via books, letters, music, and art about the history of African people. In 1926, the Carnegie Corporation eventually bought his collection and donated it to the New York Public Library. This collection is now known as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. 

 4/3/22 The Kitchen Front - Jennifer Ryan - This was such an enjoyable leisure work of women's fiction! It's the midst of World War II and food rations are sharply limiting culinary options. This story is about four women vying to be the next host of "The Kitchen Front", a radio show designed to help home cooks with recipes and cooking ideas. Their lives intersect in surprising ways over the course of the contest.

Since spring of 2019, I have been making my way through the Great Books Curriculum of Thomas Aquinas College (I'm currently working on the readings for sophomore year). 

3/13/22 Revolution of Heavenly Spheres - Copernicus -  This was published in 1543 and was dedicated to Pope Paul III because the pope loved letters and math. I mostly skimmed this one (once again, the advanced math is beyond my intellect), but its primary contribution is that the sun is at the center of the solar system and that the earth is moving three different ways: around the sun (yearly), around its axis (daily), and that it tilts on its axis (which leads to our seasons). He also discussed the movement of the other five planets that were known at that time. 

4/1/22 Epitome of Copernican Astronomy - Johannes Kepler - This work was published between 1618-21. The translation I had only provided Books Four and Five of the work, but that was enough to get a feel for it. It was designed to serve as a supplement to Aristotle's On the Heavens as well as build on the work of Copernicus, Brahe, and William Gilbert. Like Copernicus, Kepler talked about the planetary orbits and the movement of the earth.


My eleven-year-old daughter and I read the following books this month:

3/13/22 The Willoughbys Return - Lois Lowry - This follow-up to The Willoughbys continues the parody of classic children's books. It is a zany story about long-lost parents who return after being frozen for 30 years, a world in which candy has been banned bankrupting a family that made its fortune in confectioneries, and a poor family (with the appropriate last name of Poore) that unexpectedly finds riches. 

3/24/22 Eight Keys - Suzanne LaFleur - Elise Bertrand is an orphan (her mother died in childbirth; her father died of cancer when she was three) being raised by her aunt and uncle. Her best friend Franklin and her are starting middle school, which is a total train wreck. Elise is tormented by a school bully and starts to feel like being friends with Franklin is part of the problem. There is also the mystery of the keys that keep appearing, each one opening a small room in her aunt and uncle's barn, one last puzzle left for Elise by her father. This is a good coming-of-age story about friendship and loyalty and figuring out who you are. 

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1 comment:

Carolyn Astfalk said...

Schomburg looks like such a neat children's book! I love stories that that highlight extraordinary accomplishments by ordinary people. Thanks for linking to An Open Book!

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