Sunday, November 29, 2015

2 books to add to your kid's Advent book list

Happy first week of Advent to you!

Before I publish this year's Advent Book Countdown list (check out the 2014, 2013, and 2012 lists), I wanted to share two books that I decided to add to our collection.

I used to buy less cautiously.  I got excited by all the book lists online and bought picture books at full price.  Now, I interlibrary loan books and try them out for a season before committing.  And if I commit to buying the book, I search for it in used condition first.  

Brigid's Cloak: An Ancient Irish Story by Bryce Milligan was suggested by Catholic Mosaic author, Cay Gibson for St. Brigid's feast day (February 1), and I quickly realized it needed to be added to our Advent selections.  The illustrations are beautiful.  I was unfamiliar with this story prior to Brigid's feast day; so, I was pleased to find another book of such quality to add happily to our Advent collection.

Saint Francis Celebrates Christmas by Mary Caswell Walsh was discovered after a friend named her Advent baby after St. Francis in an effort to honor what season she was born.  Did you know St. Francis created the first (live!) Christmas manger scene and is the inspiration for the ones we put in our homes and churches?  I didn't until a few years ago.  This book is a keeper and a terrific addition to an Advent book list.  It costs a small fortune used and new on Amazon right now, but you might find it in bookstores.  I unexpectedly found my brand new copy at my local Catholic goods store.  

I also bought a new book about Our Lady of Guadalupe and another one about St. Francis and the nativity scene, but they aren't vetted yet.  Next, I need to sift through the St. Stephen/King Wencelas books.  We've enjoyed many of them, but we haven't purchased any yet!

Did you add any new books to your Advent collection this year?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What I've been reading (November 2015)

It's a short list this month, folks, but the books that I did read packed a punch. First, I finished:

Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather.  This novel, creating a year in the life of 17th century French settlers in Quebec City, was the first selection in Well-Read Mom's The Year of the Worker.  I tell you:  I would not have picked this out to read if I hadn't been pushed to do so by the reading group, but I am so glad I did.  It's quiet fortitude reminded me of last year's first book in The Year of the Spouse: Hannah Coulter.  Solid, charitable, and admirable characters and evocative writing, beautifully washed in a reverence for Catholicism, encouraged me to select another Cather novel to read.  (I was especially taken by the story of the recluse Jeanne Le Ber and how she lived behind the high altar of her church, with her bed pillow just inches from the Blessed Sacrament on the other side of a partition.)  An autumn read, for sure.

Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus by Sherry A. Weddell  This pick from my Spiritual Reading Plan was chock full of the bad news (the true state of mostly lay discipleship in the Roman Catholic church) and the good news (how to change things).  I was struck by so many figures (around 70% of people who join the church via RCIA leave after a year!), stories (someone looking for the horns on a Catholic's head!), and what we can do to drop our nets.  Honestly, I am still digesting this one, and if you're at all interested in the state of discipleship in Catholic churches, this book will be enlightening.

That's it for this month.  The only book I abandoned was All the Light We Cannot See, and I only abandoned it because I had to prioritize these two books.  I will try it again: don't fret!  Linking up, as always, with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit.  Click over to see what all sorts of people are reading.

What are you reading?  Have you read either of these books?