14 May 2018

My Blog's Name in Books

There is a book reader's meme that is doing the rounds just now.  It's about books so I'll play ;)
Here are the guidelines:
Spell out the name in your blog using words from the titles of books in your TBR/wishlist piles.
Which means that I haven't read these books so I am not sure of any content issues; or,  if I even like them.
I've purposely not used the same books for either of my blogs; and, yes, audiobooks and picture books do count as real books on this home educating blog (-:
More book titles can be viewed on my other blog, Tuesday's Views, which has its own post detailing My Blog's Name in Books.

Pop a link to your book post in the comments section, or if you don't have a blog feel free to join in by sharing your User Name in Books.  (Any excuse to share book suggestions ;-) )

How the Heather Looks 
Brother Francis: The Barefoot Saint of Assisi
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Torty and the Soldier: A Story of a True WWI Survivor (NZ Picture book)

Irena's Children: A True Story of Courage
Night Witches: A Novel of WWII  (teen)

Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust
The Invisible Child: On Reading and Writing Books For Children
To Destroy You is No Loss
Ember Rising: The Green Ember Bk3

28 April 2018

A Small Glimpse at a Homeschool Graduates Reading List

Sometimes when home educating students graduate that's the last we hear of them; well, not until they get engaged, or married, or having their first child :)
Jay is not doing any of those things ;0)    He is doing self-directed studies - no set university courses for him - and is studying diligently.  As a family, we are continuing to work on building our new home and that keeps us all busy outside of learning hours.
Home educating has definitely gifted Jay with the drive and passion to be a lifelong learner and it's encouraging to see him set up reading schedules, makes my planner's heart skip, and create course outlines and end goals.  I have to add though, that the 2 years we spent doing some schoolwork via Te Kura was not fun for him, or me.  It drains all the joy out of learning when you don't gel to the way lessons are being taught (not much teaching happens with Te Kura's course work) nor the way the student is to respond.  Dry, dull, and traditional schooling.  So for others that feel like they are going through teeth pulling times with their highschool level students, be encouraged: most people work with much more enthusiasm over tasks that are centred around something they are keenly interested in.  It's where we are with Jay now.
Here is a small glimpse into the reading area of his self-directed studies.

Jay’s Reading list for 2018
Classic Literature
The Book of Proverbs (KJV: Life Application Bible)
The Art of War ~ Sun Tzu
The Prince ~ Niccolo Machiavelli
Communist Manifesto ~ Karl Marx
Books That Have Made History: Books That Can Change Your Life ~ TGC.   J. Rufus Fears (audio)

Communication / Literacy
Building a Better Vocabulary ~ TGC.  Kevin Flanigan   (audio)
Speed Reading for Dummies  ~ Richard Sutz

Business Biographies
Elon Musk  ~ Ashlee Vance
Hatching Twitter ~ Nick Bilton 
The Everything Store ~ Brad Stone

Business / Management/ Economics / Personal Finance
The Law of Success ~ Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich ~ Napoleon Hill (audio)
Managing Oneself  ~ Peter F. Drucker
The New Case for Gold ~ James Rickards
How Google Works ~  Eric Schmidt
The Rise of the Robots ~ Martin Ford

03 April 2018

52 Books in 52 Weeks 2018 ~ Part 1

This post contains the books I've read, or listened, through in 2018.
Since I'm already over the 52 books read in 52 weeks mark I've decided to post the books, mostly audiobooks, I've read to date now.  House building tasks certainly allow a good chunk of time to listen to audiobooks ... and they help to keep you awake :) 

The number beside each book is my personal rating for the book, or audiobook, at the time of reading with the range being:
(1) = would not recommend,
(2) = some interesting aspects but not one of my recommended reads,
(3) = would recommend.
(4) = Really good, enjoyable, (or worthy) read, would definitely recommend
(5) = Excellent book, highly recommend

The next few are ongoing, sip, reads so I’m adding them here until they are finished:
A: How to Read Slowly  ~  James W. Shire (3)
B:  The Richest Man in Babylon ~ George S. Clason  N/F  recommended read by Jay
C: The Christian Family ~ Larry Christenson (4)
D: Christian Living in the Home ~ Jay Adams (4) 
E:  The Invisible Child: On Reading and Writing Books for Children ~ Katherine Paterson

(As in previous posts, I won't include the books I'm reading for my own extra-mural studies;  and,  the titles in green are ones I pre-read as possible reads for Daisy.)  
1:  KJV Life Application Study Bible:  The Books of;  Nehemiah, Acts    (5+) the Bible linked is so interesting to study with!
2:  Picture Miss Seeton bk.1 ~ Heron Carvic  (3)   Kent village of "Plummergen”, and London, England.   Cosy mystery.  See my review on audible here 
3:  When Sorry Isn’t Enough ~ Gary Chapman & Jennifer Thomas (2)  N/F. Self-help, Christian.  My review, on my book reviewing blog.
4:  In This Grave Hour ~ Jacqueline Winspear, Narrated by Orlagh (2) Kent, and, London, England.  My review. 
5:  Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret ~ Dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor (4) England & China. N/F. Christian.  My reviews  
6:  Death in the Stocks ~ Georgette Heyer (3) Ashley Green, Buckinghamshire,  & London, England.  repeat listen.  Discuss with Daisy. Themes in the book include multiple engagements, manipulative ‘gold diggers’, workplace fraud, promiscuity for ‘gain’ = a form of prostitution.
0:  The Alice Network ~ Kate Quinn (1)  (Recommended listen.  Dropped after 2 chapters … a woman uses really graphic profanity. Meh!  Should  have checked it out at goodreads first. )
0: The Garden Party and Other Stories ~ Maeve Binchy  (1) Dropped. The first 2 stories dealt with survival after divorce, and in the 3rd story the couple were heading for one.
7:  News From Thrush Green, bk:3 ~ Miss Read  (audio) (4) Cotswold, U.K.
for those that like the heads up about divorce themes, this story has that.  Surprise ending.
0:  Dr Morelle: Collected Cases. BBC Classic Radio Crime ~ Ernest Dudley (audio) dropped
0:  A House in Sicily ~ Daphne Phelps   N/F  dropped. I wanted to like this, but it was just so unengaging.
8:  The Third Man Factor ~ John Geiger  N/F  (2) Global.  
9:  Manna from Hades ~ Carola Dunn   Cosy mystery (3) Cornwall, England.
Eleanor Trewynn is not unlike Mrs. Pollifax though definitely more dithery.  Having only read a few of Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple cosy mysteries I was a little surprised at the amount of cursing the author injected into this book. No f  bombs.
10:  Dead Mountain  ~ Donnie Eichar   N/F  (2) Russia, Ural Mountains.
The mystery surrounding this case is interesting.  Eichar writes well and is building background for his theory on what caused the hikers death  - he presents ‘scientific explanation’ as the solution to the mystery.  Perhaps.  I'm not convinced the case is solved. For others that like to know things like this too:  the author uses an ‘F’ word early on in the book.
11:  My Family and Other Animals ~ Gerald Durrell  (4)  N/F Autobiography  Corfu, Greece.
12:  Young Mrs. Savage ~ D.E. Stevenson   (2) Fiction. Gentle read/romance. Scottish Countryside.  Others may like to know,  Stevenson uses an ‘N’ word when talking about some dark-skinned children.  
13:  Gray Matter ~ David I. Levy, M.D    N/F.   Medical/Memoir/Christian (5 
14:  Listening Valley ~ D.E. Stevenson   (3)  vintage read/clean romance.  WWII.  Edinburgh, Scotland.   Could generate triggers for some (child who’s parent neglect her reverts inside herself to cope, and has others trying to manipulate her as an adult  – see reviews over at goodreads. 
Ends well ;) 
15:  Alice in Wonderland, and, Through the Looking Glass ~ Lewis Caroll (2) Caroll fans will not want to read the next bit... this is the first time I've been through these titles and found the experience average at best. 

Books that I’m counting towards a Brit-trip, mystery centric, reading challenge start from here:
16:  Murder on the Flying Scotman: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery, Book 4 ~ Carola Dunn  (3) Cosy Mystery.  London – Edinburgh train. (Durham.  Stevenage,  Herefordshire).  Dunn seems to be giving a slight nod to Agatha Christie' s Murder on the Orient Express.   For other mums who like to know content ahead of time:  While the beginning of Alex and Daisy’s courtship is sealed with a kiss in this book, the detailing of the interaction  – beyond a few heart flutters - remains ‘clean’.
17:  A Murder is Announced ~ Agatha Christie (3) (1950) Cosy Mystery. Relisten. Fictional Chipping Cleghorn.  Not for Daisy.
18:  Death in A White Tie ~ Ngaio March (3)  Golden Era Mystery. Relisten. Not for Daisy, bit too romance-y/intense adult feelings.  London, England
19:  A Duty to the Dead: Bess Crawford Bk1 ~ Charles Todd  (4) Kent, England. not for Daisy, very mature themes.  Victim is proportedly disembowled,  adultery between cousins resulting in a child, obsessive love, narcissism, incarceration.  
20: Overture to Death ~ Ngaio Marsh  (3) (relisten) “Chippingwood Village”, England. not for Daisy VERY mature themes. 
21:  Damsel in Distress: Daisy Dalrymple Bk 5 ~ Carola Dunn (3) Cosy Mystery 1923, post WWI. Countryside near Malvern, England. Okay for Daisy
22:  An Impartial Witness:  Bess Crawford Bk2 ~ Charles Todd  (3) Hampshire, England.  Not for DaisyThemes is this book, none are covered in graphic, or in a blow by blow detailed account; adultery resulting in pregnancy, murderer stalks his victims, narcissistic manipulator.
23:  Rethinking School ~ Susan Bauer  N/F (3) Education  My review
24: Bitter Truth:  Bess Crawford Bk3 ~ Charles Todd  (2Sussex.   Themes: Domestic violence, euthanasia.  Not sure why Bess was so easily talked into helping a woman who’s character displays became little more than that of a ‘spoilt brat’.
25: An Unmarked Grave: Bess Crawford #4 ~ Charles Todd  (4) Sussex, Somerset (Dover, Kent) England.  Themes: Narcisscism - seems to be a theme the Todd’s write a lot about - some stalking in this book, though not written with a psychological thriller tone.
26:  Anna, Where are You? (Miss Silver, Bk: 20) ~ Patricia Wentworth (3)  Cosy mystery.  London & Lincolnshire, England
27:  Moon Over Manifest ~ Clare Vanderpool  Audio (2Children’s Fiction.  I think children’s books are much more enjoyable when I have a child to share them with.
28: Suggestible You ~ Erik Vance  (2) N/F  Psychology.  It’s always interesting to read a book by an author whose world view doesn’t align to my own.  Good for growth.
29:  In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding & Dealing with Manipulators ~ George K. Simon (3) N/F   Psychology   Interesting, due to the collection of case studies mentioned in this book.
30:  Hickory Dickory Dock ~ Agatha Christie (3)  (1955)   London, England
Lots of red herrings.  Not for Daisy, yet.  Themes: Matricide, mention of a pornography collection, alcoholism, euphemistic mention of pimping and prostitution.
31:  The Bettencourt Affair ~ Tom Sancton  N/F (2)  (1955)  Biographical  Paris, France.  epukapuka copy.  Started out really interesting and then just became a long winded telling of a series of events that could have been told in half the time.  Before hitting play in front of younger children other parents may appreciate knowing:  Lots of very mature adult themes.  Narcissistic personalities, abusive (emotionally and physically) parents.  No graphic content, although the author seems to over focus on the many homosexual relationships, and, physical and emotional adulteries the proponents in the Bettancourt Saga indulged in.   Other themes include suicide, dementia, fraud.
32Dead Man’s Mirror ~ Agatha Christie  (3) (1937)  Wiltshire, England.
33:  Knit Together ~ Debbie Macomber Audio (3) N/F Christiain/Inspirational This would appeal to Macomber fans. Not a favourite for me though there is some interesting content in this book, especially how Macomber became a writer in spite of dyslexia, and, then how she became a Christian as an adult.  Macomber is a strong advocate of friendship evangelism.
34:  The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World ~ Steven Johnson  N/F (3London, England.  Others may like to note, Johnson pens every adjective he could find relating to human waste. The middle of this book wasn’t so interesting for me as I was very familiar with Snows portion of the story… time to skip ahead to the last few chapters.
35:  A Casualty of War:  Bess Crawford #9 ~ Charles Todd  (3.5) epuk ebook Wiltshire,  Lancashire (or Greater Manchester), Cambridgeshire Seemed to drag in the middle.
36:  Evans Above ~ Rhys Bowen   (audible) (2) Llanfair, Wales. Liverpool, Lancashire, England. Manchester.  Detailing for others that like to know extra content: quite a bit of sexual innuendo, sexually aggressive barmaid who lusts after Evan Evans. (I like my flufferton choices ‘cleaner’ than this.)  Some cursing, includes an f-bomb.
37:  Footsteps in the Dark ~ Georgette Heyer (relisten) (3) Faux English Village.  For others that like to know extra content too: a planchette board is used to try and contact the “ghost”. 
38:  Mr Reginald Peacock’s Day ~ Katherine Mansfield (1) Short story.    
39:  Farmers, Your Store for 100 Years ~ Ian Hunter  (3) This book would only be of interest to other Kiwis, and was definitely of interest to Dh & I as we’d read quite a bit about this stores founder, a devout Christian,  Robert Laidlaw, who was a contemporary of US businessmen Robert Le Tourneau and Henry Heinz.
Started in 1909, as a mail-order business, Farmers went on to become one of New Zealand's most frequented and largest chain of fashion department stores – which is teeny tiny compared to US stores :D
40:  Landmarks of Britain ~ Amy Williams   Revised ed.  (3)  N/F.  Brit Trip
(I was hoping to find a book about different UK counties, they are not to be had for love nor money from our local library, this was the best I could do.)  As I’ve already encountered many of the locations in this book via literature, documentaries, and, films I found it an interesting read
41:  The Alington Inheritance. (Miss Silver, Bk: 31) ~ Patricia Wentworth (3) Cosy Mystery. England After 4 or 5 drop and restarts, and then not until Jenny ran away did I feel any real interest in this story.
42:  Cover Her Face  (2Essex
43:  Devices and Desires  (0)   Norfolk. Absolutely ‘meh’.  Loathed this book. 
Both titles are from P. D. James BBC Radio Drama Collection: Seven Full-Cast Dramatisations ~ P. D. James (returned this audiobook.   Sexually-centric (and graphically violent)  who-dunnits with f-bombs included in the listening are never going to be appreciated audiobooks for me.
44:  The Shattered Tree: Bess Crawford Mystery #8 ~ Charles Todd (3) Kent. England. France
45:  A Pattern of Lies: Bess Crawford Mystery #7 ~ Charles Todd (3) Kent
46:  A Colourful Death: A Cornish Mystery Bk 2 ~ Carola Dunn  (4) Cornwall.  Quite a bit of cursing, easier to skip in a written format.  Not for Daisy, too many ‘complex’ affairs.
47: An Accidental Death: A DC Smith Investigation Series, Bk 1~ Peter Grainger (4)  Norfolk  I enjoyed this book so much I prompty purchased another in the series, #6.   Extra detail; there is cursing in this book, no f-bombs though.  The main characters beloved spouse has just died, a teen is drowned, Grainger euphemistically refers to: a previous, violent, case ivolving young girls, and a unmarried couple starting a sexual relationship.
48: Persons of Interest: DC Smith, Bk4 ~ Peter Grainger (4) Huntingdonshire, Norfolk.  Started out a bit slow. I’m appreciating how Grainger handles the telling of this story.  Extra: The story presents relationship details without going into steamy encounters, no graphic violence.  Some cursing and while there are no f-bombs the author injects an abbreviation of that swear word.
49:  Whose Body? ~  Dorothy L. Sayers (Relisten) (4) London, Norfolk
50:  Clouds of Witness ~  Dorothy L. Sayers (4) (Relisten) Yorkshire
51:  The Remains of the Day ~ Kazuo Ishiguro  (4) Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall.  A book that generates pause and ponder moments – life is not a fairy tale.  Stevens was a prime example of dedicated Butler to the gentry. Very enjoyable.
52:  The Reluctant Widow ~ Georgette Heyer  (5) West Sussex.  A favourite Heyer relisten.
53:  The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery Bk 1~ Sophie Hannah  (2.5) London/ Great Holling (Faux English town), England.  My review
54:  Frederica ~ Georgette Heyer  384pgs  (4.5) LondonWatford, Hertfordshire.   Another favourite Heyer relisten.  
55:  Hidden Places ~ Lynn Austen (4.5) USA 1930’s. Christian fiction with an underlying mystery: who is Gabe Harper?  My review  
56:  First, Catch Your Weka: A Story of New Zealand Cooking ~ David Veart (4.5My review
57:  A Long Shadow  (Inspector Ian Rutledge #8) ~  Charles Todd  (4)  (London/ Sussex/ Northamptonshire/ Hertfordshire/ Suffolk)  My review
58:  Venetia ~ Georgette Heyer (Relisten) (3) (Yorkshire, York/ East Sussex/ London) My review
59:  The Time Keeper: A Novel ~ Mitch Albom   (2I enjoyed Have a Little Faith by this author so much that I was hoping The Time Keeper would deliver the same appreciation.  It didn’t; this read is not a keeper for me. I did appreciate the thought running through the book though: each person is gifted with a set amount of time to use for a purpose while on earth – use that time to its full potential.
60:  To Die but Once (Maisie Dobbs #14) ~ Jacqueline Winspear, narrator Julie Teal (3.5)  (Hampshire/ Sussex/ Kent)  My review
61: The Rags of Time: DC Smith # 6 ~ Peter Grainger (3)  London / West Norfolk
Mild swear words.  Lots of mature, adult, themes are referred to euphemistically. Wilson, the detective I don’t like ;) uses God’s name in vain.  I didn’t enjoy this story as much as I first thought I would.
62:  Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death: Bk1 ~ James Runcie (2) Cambridgeshire / London. 
63:  The Talisman Ring ~ Georgette Heyer  (re-listen) (4Sussex
64:  Time and Tide : DC Smith #7 ~ Peter Grainger (3.5 )  Norfolk

27 March 2018

Proposed Literature and Reading List for Daisy 2018

This is a post in progress where I will be archiving the items Daisy (16yrs) may, or may not, read during the next three terms this year.    
Many of the titles we have selected out she'll be reading, and then discussing with me as she goes through each book.  Some of the topics in these books are gritty, and very mature - if we don't feel Daisy's ready to read and discuss things covered in each title in depth we'll adjust the depth of content being covered, in those books, as we go along.  I do believe in preparing  children to discuss gritty/raw/disturbing things that can happen in life;  but, not in traumatising them, nor in presenting topics before each student is mature enough to handle grown-up issues.   I thought one literature provider, Sonlight, used to really push the envelope on presenting mature/difficult/growing up issues before most children are ready:  I used to save the too-much-to-soon titles in SL's literature packages until a needed level of maturation had been reached to deal with some topics - every child is different - and other books we skipped altogether.  

A home educating associate would probably label our list beneath as a kitchen sink selection: where we pull any items we like together and even if it doesn't look like a cohesive reading list, we call it one.

I'll keep updating as we go along, adding and deleting titles.  
Selecting books out for 2018 and 2019

Study Guides, Courses, and, Personal Growth Books for 2018:
King James Bible (select books)
NCEA English ( writing, and, literature studies via Te Kura)
Essentials in Literature (EiL): Level 10 ~ Matthew Stephens (selections. complete in 1 term)
Cupid and Psyche with Angelina Stanford ( must sign up before April 17)

Classics Reading List:
BC 5000-400 AD
The Odyssey ~ Homer (c. 850 BC)  Audio and book    (Mature Content)
The Aeneid ~ Virgil (c. 30 BC) trans. Cecil Day Lewis     We have an Abridged Audio but Daisy would like to go through an unabridged version of this classic poem.    (Mature content)

Shakespeare (any play of interest not yet studied)

Tartuffe ~ Moliere (1669) play (audiobook)
She Stoops to Conquer ~ Oliver Goldsmith (1773) play  NCEA Reading Response

1850-present day
any works of Dickens not yet read (1860 -  )
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde ~ R.L. Stevenson   (1866) Brit Lit.  Audio.  Content: Drug Addiction
Three Men in a Boat ~ Jerome (1889)  completed

Anthem ~ Ayn Rand  (1937) Dystopian  (sensual content at the end. we skip that portion) NCEA Reading Response
Animal FarmGeorge Orwell (1945)     Brit Lit / Political Satire  NCEA Reading Response

Fahrenheit 451 ~ Ray Bradbury  (1953)  Dystopian NCEA Reading Response
To Kill a Mockingbird ~ Harper Lee  (1960)  (EiL)  America Lit.  Content: an accusation of rape, racism
The House on Mango Street ~ Sandra Cisneros (1984) (haven't pre-read this one yet)

Other Books:
Matilda Bone ~ Karen Cushman   1300’s  gritty content. Historical Fict
A Parcel of Patterns ~ Jill Paton Walsh   set in 1665   Historical Fict.  Not for Sensitive readers 
Night Witches ~ Kathryn Lasky    set in WWII   Historical Fict 
A Surfeit of Lampreys ~ Ngaio Marsh (1941)   Golden Era Mystery.  The way the victim is murdered is rather awful – a skewer through his eye.
The Labours of Hercules ~ Agatha Christie (1947)  Golden Era Mystery.  Audio
To Say Nothing of the Dog: Bk2 ~ Connie Willis  (1997)    Sci-fi / Comedy    (I have to listen to the tie-in title  Three Men in a Boat before Daisy & I listen to this audiobook.)
Babylon’s Ark ~ Lawrence Anthony (2007)  N/F.    profanity edited out.  Autobiography  NCEA Reading Response
Have a Little Faith ~ Mitch Albom (2009)     Biographical
Caroline ~ Sarah Miller (2017)  set in 1870’s    Historical Fict   Daisy has no interest to read this.  (ETA:   another reader stated that the book has some unnecessary s3x scenes at the end it - I haven't pre-read this book yet so I'm just giving the heads up for other parents who like to be in the know about "content issues" in books too. )

Short Stories, and, a selection of Poetry

Free Reading:  (adding books read as Daisy completes them)
The Trial ~ Charlotte M. Yonge
Ember Rising ~ S.D. Smith
Under Drakes Flag ~ G.A. Henty (audio. Jim Weiss)
Sherlock Holmes  (collection of stories on audio)
Mildred and Elsie: Bk3 ~ Martha Finley
Mildred's Married Life: Bk4 ~ Martha Finley
Daisy ~ Susan Warner
Daisy in the Field ~ Susan Warner
Melbourne House ~ Susan Warner
Pine Needles ~ Susan Warner
Vanderbeekers of 141st Street ~ Karina Glaser (younger years book)
The Cat of Bubastes ~ G.A. Henty (audio. Jim Weiss)