Books to Consider: July 2013

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Books to Consider series note: To avoid spoilers and make these reviews unique, I will include a short comment about each book, and one or seven of my favorite quotes from the book.

Squeaking this post in on the last day of the month.

books to consider

I've been seeing these summer reading lists all over the blogosphere, but I'm wondering. . . WHEN?  When are these mamas doing all their summer reading?  We have been running around picking berries, going to playgrounds and water parks, and camping, and all kinds of summer business.  I am just not getting that much reading done!  Here are the few that I did manage to finish this month:

Hedge of Thorns, The

The Hedge of Thorns, LampLighter Rare Collector Series

I am reading The Hedge of Thorns aloud to Ava and Wyatt.  It's challenging for Ava to understand due to slightly archaic phrasing and language, and judging by how much he picks on his sister while I read, Wyatt is pretty much tuning out, which is too bad because the lesson of the book is phenomenal.  However.  I'm continuing with the hope that some parts of the message will sink in and when we read it a few years down the road, the central idea (see quote below) will bloom in their hearts.

"[God] knows the way [His poor creatures] ought to go, and He puts, as it were, a hedge on this side and on that side, to keep them on the path of righteousness.  some are hedged in by careful and vigilant parents, some by strict or hard masters, some by sickness, some by poverty, some by dying friends, some by unkind relations, some by the frowns of the world, and some by the infirmities of their own minds. 
'Nay', added my father, 'I could not count half the means which the Almighty uses to restrain His poor people from sin, but there is one thing to be observed, that the thorns in the hedges placed on each side of us by our Almighty Father are seldom felt by those who patiently walk in the paths appointed them, without attempting to break from them, either to the right or the left.  On the contrary, these fences often abound with fragrant flowers and pleasant herbs, which do greatly refresh the pilgrim as he passes between them on his way to everlasting glory.  It is only when one grasps the stem of a rose that he becomes injured.  Its beauty and fragrance are for our enjoyment.  Its thorns are actually a blessing in disguise, for it requires its beholder to gently approach its beauty.  Otherwise its petals would be destroyed by a careless and thoughtless traveler.'"

Claim: A Novel of Colorado, by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Okay, so this next one is not exactly a classic.  I started following Inspired Reads, a site that posts free or significantly reduced ebooks daily, and one day there was this book called The Claim on there for free.  I think this book qualifies as a *ducks head in mild embarrassment* historical Christian romance.  Yes, yes, occasionally I read fluffy fiction.  And Christian romance at that, which is a genre not exactly known for its stunning quality and sophistication.  But it was FREE!  I want to clarify that this book was not overly ooey gooey, and not even on the same planet as Fifty Shades of Grey (or so I'm told).  I can recommend this book for a lighthearted, feel-good read that isn't nauseatingly sentimental and nary a heaving bosom to be found.  The characters had a little depth to them and the plot was reasonably engaging.  Apparently it's part of trilogy.
From the publisher:
Sent west by their father to make a new life, the St. Clair siblings have done so—but hardly as he’d wished. Beautiful, headstrong Moira, after pursuing a career on the Paris stage, has returned to Colorado Springs—older, wiser, and certainly much poorer—to see if there’s anything left of a relationship she’d left behind. Older sister Odessa and her husband, Bryce, are struggling to rebuild their ranch after a devastating winter. And then Nic, the prodigal son, turns up—broken, haunted, and sick about leaving his sisters.
And from the book itself:
“We all belong to Him, from the cradle to the grave, whether we know it or not.” 

The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I read The Little Prince with my book club, and I think that is exactly how this book should be read: for discussion with other thoughtful people.  I think it's once of those books that you get way more of out if you're forced to consider it on a deeper level because parts of it seem like some kind of a weird acid trip (or so I'm told).  From the publisher:
"Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by children and adults alike as The Little Prince. Richard Howard's new translation of the beloved classic--published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's birth--beautifully reflects Saint-Exupéry's unique and gifted style. Howard has excelled in bringing the English text as close as possible to the French, in language, style, and most important, spirit. The artwork in this new edition has been restored to match in detail and in color Saint-Exupéry's original artwork. Harcourt is proud to introduce the definitive English-language edition of The Little Prince. It will capture the hearts of readers of all ages."
And a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
“I am looking for friends. What does that mean -- tame?"
"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. "It means to establish ties."
"To establish ties?"
"Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world....” 
“What makes the desert beautiful,' said the little prince, 'is that somewhere it hides a well...” 
“It is such a mysterious place, the land of tears.” 

That's it for this month.  Have any of you managed to read something worth sharing this month?


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