“It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.”
-C. S. Lewis
On my table right now, are a few of the books I am reading this month. Can you believe the month of May is winding down already?
The Book Lovers' Anthology - published by the Bodleian Library, Oxford
When I was in Oxford, I saw this book in the Bodleian Library Shop. I picked it up, flipped through it, and saw that it was all quotes and passages from many centuries past about books, and words, and the love of books. From all the poets and authors who wrote about their love of books. I wanted to buy it immediately, of course, but it wasn't cheap and it's a heavy hardcover book. I had a small luggage and many other books to carry back. When I went back to my room in Lincoln College that night, I hopped onto my laptop and found the book on Amazon. A few weeks ago, I let the mail carrier deliver this book to me.
Middlemarch by George Eliot- purchased in Blackwell's Bookshop, Oxford
This is one of those classic English books that I suspect not many people read, but you've probably heard of it. One of those long 800 page books (first published in 1872) that people have good intentions of reading, but don't read. I want to push myself to read some tougher classics like this. I saw this book in the used section in Blackwell's and it was affordable and a beautiful cloth hardcover book from 1957. I couldn't pass it up. I am on page 190 of 795. I have quite a bit to go, but it is going. There are parts of this book that are so profound in the ways of human nature, and some lines that grab me. It's essentially about the role of women in the mid-late 1800's, and the choice a young woman makes in marriage, and the repercussions of that decision, among other characters' stories and situations.
Honey for a Woman's Heart by Gladys Hunt
This book is a compilation of a book lover's favourite books. It is kind of a source of ideas for books to read, as she goes through the various genres and lists a lot of favourites with a general synopsis. A good resource for exploring different genres that I don't usually read.
Caught Up In A Story by Sarah Clarkson
From the cover, the book looks like it would be a parent's guide to reading good books with their children, but I am reading about the author, Sarah, and her love of books and how her childhood was fostered by encouragement to read and the exploration of books with her siblings. She writes about all the feelings I have for books. Her thoughts on her childhood awe of stories, and her love of the good kind of heroic books like Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and the George MacDonald books warms my heart because I share all the same joys as I read these books. Everything she writes about regarding the challenges of children reading these days I completely agree with, and I am equally as passionate about getting children to love books and to let their imagination run rather than let a movie or electronic device show them what to think. Anytime I buy a gift for a child, it's always a book. I really enjoy Sarah's writings, and I already follow her blog and writings on the Rabbit Room. She is studying at Oxford now, about which I am supremely jealous.