Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Last night was my church's book club night. I called the ladies who usually attend to see if they would be attending that night. Each had a good reason for not attending, but...no one was going.
So I called the lady in charge of the book club to talk to her and see if she'd like to cancel for the night and just keep the same book for November.
It seems that she is burned out. She was disappointed in the number of people attending and felt that maybe it was the wrong time for a book club for our church. I told her that I *love* the book club, and she told me that maybe I should host it then. I did a deep sigh. In my mind I'm thinking, "Man. It is about all I can do to get there. And I have a houseful of children; no one would be able to think at my house." But I began to think about it.....
I really, really *love* our book club. The lady who has hosted it is a former librarian from our public library, and her recommendations for books have been wonderful! I love being given a suggestions and showing up to talk about the book.
I mourned losing that for about an hour and then called our women's group leader and talked to her. And I volunteered to take over the book club. I asked if we could use the church and she told me that we absolutely could. So, the book club will continue!
I made a list of books that I love and that I think are valuable to read. This is my list:
The Chosen by Chaim Potok. We were already reading this one in October at my suggestion. I have now read it 4 times and have loved it every time. It is one of those books that you still find new things to learn from it each time you read it.
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This book made me realize that having a little extra food tucked away would be a very good thing to have! Laura's family moves to their homestead during the time the government was "giving away" land. They build a house on their land and also build a store in town. They are too late in moving on it, however, to put in a crops, but figure that since they are going to be living next to a town it will be fine because they'll just buy their provisions during the winter now that the train will be bringing in new supplies often. They hadn't planned on the hardest winter in years where the train couldn't get through until spring though, and everyone in town has started running out of all provisions. This book is a must read!
Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey. I think the ladies will be ready for this self-help book of getting out of debt and putting a little money away for a rainy day after reading The Long Winter ;-) Dave Ramsey is awesome! He really knows what he is talking about, since he had to dig himself out of bankruptsy and put himself and his family back on track financially. I highly recommend his practices! He has broken the system down into steps so that you can feel an accomplishment every step of the way.
The Ransom of Red Chief, The Last Leaf, andThe Gift of the Magi by O'Henry. O'Henry is a wonderful writer, and each of these stories are very different but all are extremely well written and entertaining. I would guess that you have heard of the story of The Last Leaf and The Gift of the Magi, but if you haven't they are must reads. Read The Gift of the Magi aloud at Christmastime to your children or alone, but just read it! The Last Leaf is a great story of service and unselfishness. And you'll never forget The Ransom of Red Chief! It is a story of some guys needing some extra money, so they kidnap a weathy man's son. You'll laugh throughout and love the ending!
I think I'll have the ladies read those short stories along with The Mansion by Henry Van Dyke. I might have to share my copy of The Mansion since it is out of print and hard to find, but it is an awesome story! This man who has lived a charitable life, yet always making sure everyone *knows* that he is being charitable, (i.e. building a library and naming it after himself), dies and goes to heaven. He is being taken to his mansion that he has always been taught that God had for him after death, and is upset when he finds that he gets the smallest one of all. He questions this, reminding the angel host that he has made many contributions when on earth and sites the name of all of his contributions, saying that all knew him for his contributions and thought he was a great man; the angel host asks if he expects to get be rewarded twice for his contributions. The message comes from the Bible in the book of Matthew, Chapter 6
Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt. This book offers wonderful suggestions about sharing books with children.
Little Men by Louisa May Alcott. This is my favorite book by this author! Jo, from Little Women, grows up and marries a teacher by the last name of Baer (for the life of me I can't remember his first name!). Upon her aunts death, Jo inherits her house and names it Plumfield. Plumfield is too big to be just a house, so Jo and her husband decide to turn it into a boarding school. Teddy, a friend of Jo's when she was growing up, has married Jo's sister Amy. Teddy, being affluent, helps Jo and Mr. Baer financially to keep their school running, and often pays the tuition for boys who could not afford to go to Plumfield. This book is full of fun and insight because of the boys' antics and Jo and Mr. Baer's wonderful parenting skills. I learned many things about raising happy boys by reading this book.
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. This is a true story of Corrie Ten Boom and her family living in Europe during WWII. Corrie and her family are Christian, so they themselves aren't directly affected by the hate happening in their town, but they realize that they cannot sit back and just watch the atrosities happen to their Jewish friends. Corrie, her sister, and thier father are caught aiding their friends and are taken to a concentration camp. While there Corrie watches her sister's faith in God grow, and watches as she thanks Him for all things, including the fleas that infest their quarters that keep the gaurds from coming in. This is a wonderful book that is historically accurate yet is a beacon of hope.
And the next two are but thoughts for now. They are good books, but I will read them again to see if they are what I want to incorporate. The first is The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, and the other is Empire by Orson Scott Card. I love Orson Scott Card books! I had originally wanted Enchantment, but I remembered that there is some sexuality in it, and although it is between a husband and wife and isn't graphic, I think some of the older ladies might not appreciate it. But I highly recommend it! It is Sleeping Beauty with a modern twist.
So, the book club will continue, and though it won't be quite as fun as just bringing a treat and showing up, and I don't really know what I'm doing, at least ladies like me, who like to read and share thoughts about the book with each other, will be able to have an "out" during the month to do something that strengthens the mind *and* the spirit.
I'd love to hear what your favorite books are too! I'm always looking for a good book. And, if you could, could you give a brief synopsis that would entice us to read it?