Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Karen T
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Posted: Jan 28 2012 at 8:11am | IP Logged Quote Karen T

Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo

I just read this last night and this am. A pretty short book, it's a true account of a 3.5 yo boy who had a very serious appendectomy and almost died. He later began to tell his parents how he'd been to Heaven during the surgery and sat in Jesus's lap. The father is a protestant pastor and some have criticized the book as being "convenient" to happen to a pastor's kid, but I think it rings with truth. The writing is not great but I still liked it.

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Posted: Jan 30 2012 at 12:57am | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

The House at Riverton, by Kate Morton. If you like the BBC series Downton Abbey, you will love this book. So many parallels. A fascinating peek into the lost world of Lords and Ladies and those who served them, told from the perspective of an elderly woman looking back on her life of service, and a haunting secret she has kept all these years. I give it 5 stars.

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Posted: Jan 30 2012 at 11:53am | IP Logged Quote Nique

A Love Story for my Children is a beautiful story of Ruth's life...how a neglected child became a success story.

Very prolife.

Another late night with this one

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Posted: Jan 30 2012 at 1:50pm | IP Logged Quote stacykay

I just finished Polio: An American Story by David Oshinsky. My uncle had polio as a child, and it affected the rest of his life. I found this book just fascinating. The author is a college history professor. His writing style reminds me of a history prof I had back in college. Super interesting!!

I also just finished a book by Ree Drummond, called The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels--a Love Story. Loved it. And it had some great looking recipes, too.

Next in queue for me is a C.S. Lewis book-it just came in for me at the library. Can't wait!

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Karen T
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Posted: Jan 30 2012 at 6:43pm | IP Logged Quote Karen T

Stacy, which C.S. Lewis book are you reading? 2-3 years ago I went on a big Lewis binge and read a lot of them, although my interest gradually slacked off and I didn't get to all of them.

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stacykay
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Posted: Jan 31 2012 at 7:17am | IP Logged Quote stacykay

Karen T wrote:
Stacy, which C.S. Lewis book are you reading? 2-3 years ago I went on a big Lewis binge and read a lot of them, although my interest gradually slacked off and I didn't get to all of them.

Karen


I'm reading The Abolition of Man. I have never read this one before, but something I read in the past week, where?? , was about forming arguments in defending life and reading up on philosophy. Our priest has made many suggestions for us to do the same.

I've also read Mere Christianity and Reflection on the Psalms (I love, love, love the Psalms !) My oldest ds(23) has read a boatload of CSL, and as he has moved back home, I now have another library I can borrow from!

It has been years, since I've read anything other than Narnia (we are currently on Voyage of the Dawn Treader with youngest two dss.) I'm definitely in the mood to pick them up and reread. I always find it so amazing how reading the same material at different stages of life can illuminate ideas/passages that never made sense or that you had even noticed in past readings.


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Stacy in MI
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Karen T
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Posted: Jan 31 2012 at 11:04am | IP Logged Quote Karen T

I haven't read The Abolition of Man yet. It's definitely still on my "to-read" list to get to eventually. I haven't read Reflections on the Psalms, either! I should pick that up - I love the Psalms too.

Some of my favorites are The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, Til We Have Faces and the space trilogy (which is much more about Christianity than space, really). I agree that re-reading a lot of books like the Narnia books gives you so much more as you get older. LOTR is like that too.

I have a book called The Quotable Lewis which is just full of quotes from all his writings, grouped by topic. I love to browse through that, and then I end up reading some of his more obscure books after finding something in there.

That's great to have your ds's library!
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Booksnbabes
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Posted: Jan 31 2012 at 11:51am | IP Logged Quote Booksnbabes

Just finished up North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Quite enjoyable. I will probably pick up Wives and Daughters next. But not until I watch North and South on Netflix!

The Silent Cry by Anne Perry. I've been working my way through the William Monk series, but I'm more and more turned off by the crimes being investigated. I just want to read the one where Monk and Hester finally admit they like one another.

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne. Our latest nighttime read-aloud. We never get tired of Pooh.   

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Posted: Jan 31 2012 at 5:50pm | IP Logged Quote DivineMercy

I have gained so much of my to-be-read list from here; thank you ladies for your recommendations.

In January I read:
Edith Schaeffer: The Hidden Art of Homemaking - good, mainly encouragement, not much on the practical side

Surprised by Joy(CS Lewis)
- very much enjoyed, stories of early life of Lewis

Book of a Thousand Days, Shannon Hale
- neat re-take on a fairy tale

Dreamcatcher by Stephen King
- read on my husband's recommendation, weird

The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans
- also husband's recommendation, Scrooge-type tale
Public Enemy Zero by Andrew Mayne
- very violent

Blind Justice by Bruce Alexander
- good mystery, enjoyed the characters, will look for more in the series
Brave New World (Huxley)
- lots to thinks about in this one

The man who was Thursday - Chesterton
- another one with lots to think on, my husband and I have been talking about it lots since we both read it

Michelle
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Booksnbabes
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Posted: Jan 31 2012 at 6:43pm | IP Logged Quote Booksnbabes

Just finished Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy by Rumor Godden. So good! Some difficult content, but I had a hard time putting it down.

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stacykay
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Posted: Feb 20 2012 at 7:02pm | IP Logged Quote stacykay

stacykay wrote:
Karen T wrote:
Stacy, which C.S. Lewis book are you reading? 2-3 years ago I went on a big Lewis binge and read a lot of them, although my interest gradually slacked off and I didn't get to all of them.

Karen


I'm reading The Abolition of Man. I have never read this one before, but something I read in the past week, where?? , was about forming arguments in defending life and reading up on philosophy. Our priest has made many suggestions for us to do the same.

I've also read Mere Christianity and Reflection on the Psalms (I love, love, love the Psalms !) My oldest ds(23) has read a boatload of CSL, and as he has moved back home, I now have another library I can borrow from!

It has been years, since I've read anything other than Narnia (we are currently on Voyage of the Dawn Treader with youngest two dss.) I'm definitely in the mood to pick them up and reread. I always find it so amazing how reading the same material at different stages of life can illuminate ideas/passages that never made sense or that you had even noticed in past readings.


In Christ,
Stacy in MI


Wow!!! I can't recommend this book, enough. I did have to do some rereading, and I am planning on going back to the beginning, now, with notebook and pen, and taking notes. I felt very over my head at times, but by the end, I just kept thinking, "C.S. Lewis was brilliant!" It's as if he was able to see into the present world, and all of it's upside-down values and morals.
I have seen this book on some middle-school and high school reading lists, but I sure found it challenging (but not impossible-read it!!!)

In Christ,
Stacy in MI
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Nique
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Posted: Feb 23 2012 at 5:49pm | IP Logged Quote Nique

Divergent by Veronica Roth

- prepare for a late night with this one. Suspenseful! Sequel coming out in May. Can't wait!!
- if you liked THE HUNGER GAMES you will really enjoy this.

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DivineMercy
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Posted: Feb 29 2012 at 9:11pm | IP Logged Quote DivineMercy

In February I read:

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - Fiction, very dark, almost depressing book, story of very disordered love and lives led because of it

Till We Have Faces by CS Lewis - Lewis's retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth, very good

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi - Fiction, teen book, kept me turning the pages through to the end

THREE CUPS OF TEA by Greg Mortenson - autobiography - This book didn't really set well with me. I don't know if I could put my finger on why though.

Teach Your Own by John Holt - Not much I didn't already know, but good support.

Absolutely Organize Your Family by Debbie Lillard - free kindle book from amazon - goes through different areas of organization both around the home, school and calendar, very practical, good, solid advice

Tsh Oxenreider's (from Simple Mom) Organized Simplicity - free kindle book from amazon - very good, with 10 day crash course to decluttered, clean home

How to declutter your home and your life by Martha Sinclair - free kindle book from amazon - very little substance, good if you just need a little pep talk

I am doing a small reading challenge at the blog of Willa and Chari, Take Up and Read, that has inspired me to get into my books a little more.

God bless,
Michelle
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JuliaT
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Posted: March 01 2012 at 6:55am | IP Logged Quote JuliaT

For the month of Feb. I have read

'What the Dog Saw' by Malcolm Gladwell. This is the first Gladwell book that I have read but it will not be the last. I love the connections that he makes between two seemingly different subjects.

'State of Wonder' by Anne Patchett. I really liked this book. It had a 'wham-bang' unrealistic kind of ending but that ending caused me to think about the book long after I finished it. I love when that happens.   

'I am Half Sick of Shadows' by Alan Bradley. This is the fourth book in the Flavia de Luce series. This was okay but I liked the first and third ones better.

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Posted: April 09 2012 at 11:15am | IP Logged Quote SeaStar

Village School

I am really enjoying this series about a British school teacher in a country school. I have seen it mentioned at 4real a few times. I am finding this peek into country school life fascinating. I wonder if the school was a CM-inspired place... the teacher does mention narration, nature study, read alouds, etc. And they do handiwork in the afternoon, illustrate stories... hmmm     

I am looking forward to reading the whole series.

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JennGM
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Posted: April 09 2012 at 12:37pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

SeaStar wrote:
Village School

I am really enjoying this series about a British school teacher in a country school. I have seen it mentioned at 4real a few times. I am finding this peek into country school life fascinating. I wonder if the school was a CM-inspired place... the teacher does mention narration, nature study, read alouds, etc. And they do handiwork in the afternoon, illustrate stories... hmmm     

I am looking forward to reading the whole series.


MMMMM....looks really good. Thanks for the review. I'll have to keep looking for these. Sounds very CMish.

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Booksnbabes
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Posted: April 19 2012 at 11:05pm | IP Logged Quote Booksnbabes

Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas and Forever Odd. Some stuff kind of weirds me out, but I really like the main character, so I'll likely continue the series just because I'm "worried" about what happens to him.

How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was a light read by and about the man who discovered other large objects beyond Pluto. This began the discussion among astronomers that eventually caused Pluto to be demoted to dwarf planet status. Science and much of his life story all rolled in one. Lough-out-loud funny at times. Recommend!

I am Half Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley. Fourth in the Flavia de Luce series. Enjoyed it. The plot was not as good as previous (the resolution was too rushed or forced or something), but I felt I got to "know" Flavia better in this one and enjoyed that aspect of it.

Once Upon a Town by Bob Greene. Story of the North Platte Canteen that served millions of soldiers on the troop trains during WWII. I enjoyed learning this tidbit of history, but I did not care for the way it was written. Many of the transitions between first-hand accounts felt forced to me. Wonderful stories though! I would recommend it.

The Battle for Skandia, the fourth in the Ranger's Apprentice series. Enjoyed it, but so far the first two are my favorites.

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Posted: April 20 2012 at 8:59am | IP Logged Quote mommy4ever

I wonder why I have never ready this thread before! Great source for books.

My latest read: Style, Sex, & Substance 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter I have really enjoyed the book, being very busy, it's nice that there are 10 essays within. I've discovered some wonderful blogs to follow that are written by fellow catholic women. My girls wanted to know what I was reading as i was laughing out loud at some of the scenarios shared. It is a light read, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Karen T
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Posted: April 20 2012 at 4:19pm | IP Logged Quote Karen T

Booksnbabes wrote:
Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas and Forever Odd. Some stuff kind of weirds me out, but I really like the main character, so I'll likely continue the series just because I'm "worried" about what happens to him.


I avoided Dean Koontz's books for years b/c I thought they were horror novels. When I heard about Brother Odd I was intrigued and read the first one and got interested in him enough to read the whole series. I think the first two are the best but the others are still worth reading, and it also convinced me to try a lot of Koontz's other books, most of which have been very good. There have been a few which I've started and returned b/c the content was just too much for me. But a lot of his books have very spiritual messages in them, and often have kids with autism or Down syndrome be an instrument of redemption, etc.

I've recently read some very interesting books:

Parched, Redeemed, and Spirit of Flame, all 3 by Heather King. I happened to find the last one at our library and its subtitle is "A Year with St. Therese" so I picked it up. It was very good, and in reading it I discovered that King is a convert to the Church, after being an alcoholic for many years. So I went back and read her earlier books, which were also excellent. Apparently she also speaks on NPR sometimes but I have never heard that.

Two more books I'd recommend are on the Nazi concentration camps:
Priestblock 25487:a Memoir of Dachau by Fr. Jean Bernard
Rena's Promiseby Rena Gerlissen

The first one is by a priest, obviously, who barely survived the camp. The second was about 2 Jewish Polish sisters who kept each other going in Auschwitz and Birkenau. Both were very graphic but inspiring to read.

I'm still reading through Dickens's works and am in the midst of Barnaby Rudge. It's one of his less popular novels and I was reluctant to start it but I'm enjoying it much more than I expected - more than The Old Curiosity Shop, which we read earlier this year. BR is about the "riots of '80" which were anti-Catholic riots stirred up by Lord Gordon in response to Parliament repealing many of the hateful anti-Catholic laws which had been part of England for so long. I'd expected Dickens to take the side of the protestants, as he was one, but he clearly does not. oh, btw, there is an excellent narrator on librivox who has done a lot of Dickens's books: Mil Nicholson. She does different voices for all the characters wonderfully!

I also began listening to the Alexander McCall Smith series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books. I've heard the first two and they are quite entertaining. The mysteries are light; the books are more about the main character's life in general. I first tried reading them in print but found the audiobooks to be so much more enjoyable, again b/c of an excellent narrator.

Almost everything else I've been reading is either on gardening, chickens, or one of the many Dean Koontz novels!

Karen
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Booksnbabes
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Posted: April 24 2012 at 11:14pm | IP Logged Quote Booksnbabes

Brother Odd by Dean Koontz. LOVED this book. Read it in one sitting (and paid for it today! ). My favorite of the series thus far.

Sorcerer of the North, fifth in the Ranger's Apprentice series. Still like the first two best, but I'm enjoying the series enough to keep with it.

I Still Dream of You by Fannie Flagg. Nice light read. A former Miss Alabama (now a 60 something unmarried real estate agent) is planning to commit suicide, but life intervenes in entertaining ways to delay it. She rediscovers a love for life and there is a happy ending.

The Forgotten Affairs of Youth by Alexander McCall Smith. The latest in the Isabel Dalhousie series. Just ok. I enjoy his writing style so much, the characters are so real to me, and that is why I keep up with this series. The attitude toward religion, especially Catholicism, is disappointing. The main character is always weighing questions of ethics and morality, but it's not grounded in the truth of the Church. I get frustrated with that.

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