Reading Life {Quarantine Spring 2020}

I haven’t updated this space for a while, although I’ve been busy with lots of things. I’ve been sewing a lot (garments and quilts – not embroidery) and I’ve been reading a lot and keeping up with my kids homeschooling (which we do normally anyway – we aren’t “crisis-homeschooling”) Instead of my reading life and writing life being a refuge, I feel like it just becomes something I am flitting to. These days seem so off and weird and my ability to focus just moves from one thing to another, but never really stays strong in place. Nevertheless, here’s an update on my reading life. Maybe one day this week I’ll get around to an update on my making life too.


  • To Kill a Mockingbird – for at least the third time in my life. I’m reading it as part of a writing class I’m taking.
  • Bread and Wine: Easter Readings for Lent – I’ve read portions of this before and I actually forgot I had this book until about half-way through Lent. It carries on into Eastertide also, so I’m hoping to continue reading through it
  • 1493 for Young People: From Columbus’s Voyage to Globalization – I’m reading this along with my son and it’s really interesting. It’s long been on my “to-read” list when planning curriculum and I’m so glad I finally broke down and bought it and added it. We are both really enjoying it
  • The Deadliest Monster: A Christian Introduction to Worldviews – This book takes the stories of Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde and looks at them from a worldview sort of standpoint. I’m sort of on the fence with how I feel about this. I’m reading this with my son for school and we are only 3 chapters in so the jury is still out.
  • One Race One Blood – another I’m reading along with my son for school and I actually really do like this book. It’s a really interesting explanation on evolution and racism from a Christian/creationist perspective. I wish I would have read it last year when I was teaching a class about evolution v. creationism.
  • Out of the Silent Planet – we are very slowly reading this aloud as a family. It’s filled with huge vocabulary words (thanks to the philologist Lewis) and it’s about as radically different from Narnia as you could possibly get. I’m not sure if I like it or not. I have heard that the other books in the trilogy are much better.
  • Joan of Arc – (Twain’s version) I’m reading this along with my daughter and I really like it, she not so much. I honestly don’t read a lot of biographies and this one has always come highly recommended. Twain is such an interesting writer and he doesn’t disappoint.
  • Les Miserables – I’m still slowly, slowly reading this. It’s such a massive book and it goes in spurts of being really interesting, “fast paced?” and then getting sort of bogged down


  • Stardust by Gaimon – Amazing. Loved it. I’d totally read it again.
  • The River by Heller – eh. The story had such great potential but the writing was bad, bad, bad. And then ending was kind of ridiculous also.
  • The Tatooist of Auschwitz – another eh. I feel really badly saying I really didn’t like a book about the Holocaust, and a true story also, but there was so much about this book that seemed so just weird. I really didn’t like the narrator. He just seemed like a woman-infatuated guy. Which to have survived what he survived he would have to be a really strong person so it just didn’t it in my mind.
  • Brideshead Revisited by Waugh – man. This book was not at all what I expected. The first chapter or so I was really confused what I was reading, but by the end of it I absolutely loved it. It is totally one of those books that the longer you sit with it, the more you realize that you really loved it. The writing was amazing. Just amazing. I’m also listening to the Close Reads discussion on the book, which has also been super awesome too.
  • The Fiery Cross (Outlander #5) – I’m persisting in reading through this series, although I feel like her writing is really starting to fall apart. I found so many mistakes in this book – places where she said something had happened and then it didn’t. People showing up that shouldn’t have. Just crazy stuff. What she has done is created two characters in Claire and Jamie that you honestly just cannot get enough of. That is brilliant and makes up for all the other sloppy writing that’s happening.
  • The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction – I really need to actually get a copy of this book. I really enjoyed it, but I read a library copy and had to read it almost too fast (no pleasure there!).
  • The Only Plane in the Sky (audio) – this was AMAZING. Like amazing. Highly recommend. But it is hard to listen to at parts. Just fyi.

Next Up

I got a copy of Little Women for my birthday so I’m hoping to start that soon. Then I’m not sure. I really want to read Ann Patchet’s new book The Dutch House, but the library is closed indefinitely (not to mention I was like 70 in the queue on hold for it) so I’d have to buy a copy and it’s hard to spend money right now. I also got The Weight of Glory by CS Lewis for my birthday too that I’m hoping to start reading. And I splurged on a book for us to read aloud called Where the World Ends, because it’s about birds and nature…my favorite things.

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