Monday, February 02, 2009

January 2009 Reading List

We've been doing these reading list for a year now, but it has seemed to go by so quickly. As always, we'd enjoy hearing from you about what you've been reading recently!

Anna's Books

Completed this Month:
  • The Courtship of Sarah McLean by Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Castleberry - Miriam was kind enough to lend me these books by the Castleberrys, and I thoroughly enjoyed them! They were also hard to put down - I stayed up rather late a few nights finishing them, but they were short enough that it wasn't too late. Anyways, this was a sweet story about the oldest daughter of a large family, and how she learns to wait and trust God for a husband in His timing. It was somewhat simply written, but the message was beautiful, and I enjoyed the discussion of the character we should strive to build and wait for in a spouse, while at the same time emphasizing that no one will be perfect.
  • Jeff McLean: His Courtship by Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Castleberry - This second book focused on the second oldest child in the McLean family, 23-year-old Jeff. It shows how he prepares himself faithfully for the responsibilities of a family, and how he looks for a wife when he feels that God lets him know that it is the right time, with the guidance and insight of his parents. This book went in-depth on the Biblical way a wife of noble character should be, as well as a how a Godly husband should be, and it encouraged me to focus on those characteristics. The story was sweet and encouraging and God-honoring in it all.
  • Journey of the Heart: The Story of Janet McLean - by Jeannie M. Castleberry - This was the third book in the series, written about the third child in the McLean family, Janet. The Castleberry's 23-year-old (at the time) wrote the book, weaving in her own heart's journey to finding contentment in singleness. It didn't have the "they married and lived happily ever after" ending that we delight in so much, but it shows a poignant journey of learning to trust and delight in the Lord. I highly recommend this to any unmarried young woman - you will connect with Janet's longings and struggles! All of these books are very wholesome and suitable for all ages.
  • Esther Reid's Awakening by Isabella MacDonald Alden - This was a sweet book from the 1860s. The writer, using the pen name of "Pansy" used her gift of writing to urge good morals and Christian commitment through stories. This story was well written, and really causes one to think. It is about Esther Reid, and how for many years she was a Christian in name only, but after realizing her own apathy and truly repenting and following wholeheartedly after God, she tries to use her station as a daughter and sister to turn others to the Lord. It is sad, but very thought-provoking.
  • Fireproof by Eric Wilson - Based on the movie script by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, this book was exciting and touching. It follows the movie really closely, but also has added scenes and snippets of detail or conversations.
  • Some Through the Fire by Jeri Massi - This is the first book in the 2-part Valkyries series, and Jubilee and I both enjoyed reading the books lent to us by the Harts. This story follows Tracey Jacamuzzi as she comes to saving faith in Christ after years of being raised in an uncommited Catholic family. She is a tough girl that makes many mistakes after being saved, but it shows how she is slowly refined to become more and more like Christ. She is sent to a Catholic boarding school by her parents who aren't getting along, and she goes through many trials there. This book covers her Freshman and Sophmore year.
  • All Through the Blood by Jeri Massi - The second book in the Valkyries Series, this book covers Tracey's Junior and Senior year at the Catholic boarding school. She makes many mistakes, yet continues to learn more about the Lord through her friendship with a Protestant woman, Maddie Murdoch, who becomes a loving mother-figure to the lonely girl. This book truly shows that sanctification is a slow process, but that if we seek God, He is faithful to lead us in His ways and love us unconditionally. Some of the topics covered are mature, so I wouldn't recommend this series to those under 13.
  • Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood compiled by John Piper and Wayne Grudem - This is an excellent resource containing many essays on the topic of what it means to be a true man or woman according to the Bible. I ordered it back in September, and have enjoyed reading it as I had the time. Each chapter gave me a lot to think about, and reaffirmed many things I already knew or had learned. I really enjoyed how the book stressed all the crucial differences between men and women, and showed how together we can glorify God. The message contained may cause some to react in horror that anyone could think that way and others to wish the book had gone deeper in some respects, but it's bound to make you think.
  • The Making of Pride and Prejudice by Sue Birtwistle and Susie Conklin - Jubilee got my name for our family Christmas gift exchange and bought me the 10th-anniversary edition of the A&E "Pride and Prejudice," complete with the DVD and this book. I enjoyed reading about all of the behind-the-scenes work that went into the making of this fun film!
  • Valley of Vision compiled by Arthur Bennet - This book is a compilation of prayers written by the Puritans and organized into specific categories. I usually read one each day at the end of my devotional time, and it really helped me to focus my mind on the Lord and think and pray about things I wouldn't normally remember to. Praying through these prayers from people long ago really helped me learn to pray more deeply, feel my own sin more accutely, and stand more in awe of our Heavenly Father.
  • Conscience on Stage by Harold Ehrensperger - For my Theatre Minisistry Administration class, we are required to read a few books from a list my professor has compiled. This is the first one I chose, and it was a really good compilation from a church that began to integrate theatre/drama into their church's ministry in the 1940s. It was a pioneering effort, with there not being many churches doing such things at the time, and I enjoyed how careful they were to look at the reasons for theatre in the church, what it should look like, and the high quality it should be done it. The book examines the roles of everyone involved from the director, actors, to the support group. It emphasized organization as the key to making things work well, as well as making sure that the theatrical added and did not detract from the overall worship experience. Although some of the compilations are slightly outdated, I found it really interesting and informational!

Currently Reading:

  • My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
  • For the Love of God Volume 1: A daily companion for discovering the riches of God's Word by D.A. Carson
  • A Return to Christian Culture by Richard S. Taylor
Miriam's Books

Completed this Month:
  • Blessed Child by Ted Dekker and Bill Bright - This was a reread and I liked it even better than the last time I read it. It challenges the way I think and is just very well written.
  • Set-Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy - I was read this and immediately started it over so that I could mark all the places that stuck out to me. This is a wonderful book and I recommend it to any young woman over the age of 13 (a parent might want to read it first if the girl is younger).
  • The Shadow Women by Angela Elwell Hunt - This is an excellent book centering on the lives of the three women most involved in the life of Moses. His sister Miriam, the Egyptian princess who pulled him from the river, and his wife Zipporah. The story line kept right in line with the Bible and basically the only thing added was dialogue. Very well written.

Currently Reading:

  • A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmicheal by Elisabeth Eliot
  • Radical Womanhood by Carolyn McCulley


Ella said...

I am hoping to set "Set-Apart Femininity" from my library, per y'alls recommendation.

Anna, I am working on my copy of the Valley of Vision; it is a great way to prayer before you start the day.

I have been blessed by Jeannie Castleberry's writings. She does quite a bit with HopeChest.

~~And who doesn't like anything Jane Austen?!~~

Cherishing Young Biblical Womanhood said...

I've been reading this blog for about a year, and it is so encouraging to see Godly young ladies seeking the Lord with purity of heart. I wish I would have been as wise at your age as you are. Although I'm still fairly young, 26, I have had to learn the route to Biblical Womanhood the hard way. God Bless you all. I hope you keep your blog up forever, I want my daughter to read it when she's older.

Tiffany of Dixie said...

Anna, how do you find the time to read so many books with a busy college schedule? I'd love to know your secret, as I'm going to college myself this fall and am already bemoaning a decrease in reading time!

Anna Naomi said...

Ella: I think you will enjoy Set-Apart Femininity. It was really helpful to me! And I agree, Valley of Vision and things by Jennie Castleberry (I've read some of her writings on are really good!

Kristal: I'm glad this has been encouraging to you! It is encouraging to us to hear from others out there. I can't promise we'll keep up our blog forever, and the name at least will change when/if we get married and thus are no longer maidens. But, we'll take it one day at a time and see how the Lord leads.

Tiffany: I don't have a secret. Almost all of these books were read over Christmas break. Driving to Texas and back left me a lot of time to read, as did the first few days of January while I was still at home. Since I got back to college I have only finished two books, and they were required for a class!

I often bemoan the lack of reading time. Next semester's list will be rather sparse, I assure you (unless some miracle happens!). But, not being able to read much makes me appreciate it all the more when I'm on breaks, and the book I'm able to read in small snatches is truly relished!

Anonymous said...

I have read the courtship of Sarah McLean as well as Jeff McLean: his courtship, and enjoyed them both alot! Have you heard of the book,"Waiting for Her Isaac?" It's a good book and I recommend it if you haven't! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit disappointed in my library system now. What good is it to be able to request from over 40 libraries in 9 counties when they haven't any of the books you're looking for. Ah, well, I may be able to pull a few strings yet.

Can you recommend anything else by Isabella Alden?


Robert said...

The Jeff McLean:His Courtship book sounds interesting as it writes about courtship and marriage from a male viewpoint.

Another good book is Jane Austen's Guide to Good Manners.It's a book of etiquette of the Regency era.It has do and don't rules for several subjects.

The Valley of Vision book is one my church has for sale.It sounds like it would be worth buying.

Currently I'm reading Pride and Prejudice and the Bible using the Robert M'cheyne 'Calendar for reading the Bible in a year'.

Anonymous said...

I really like that painting of the girl reading. who did it? do you know? i'm typing this in because i might forget to ask you :D
good job reading all those good books girls!- mary khris

A Heart of Praise said...

I have heard of some of these books, but a few are new to me,they all sound really good. Hopefully I will be able to add some of these to my book collection soon. :)Thank you both for sharing these reviews.

~Emily :)

Larissa Q said...

I'm always on the lookout for good christian books because it isn't a big thing in Australia (christian books) so it's really hard to find them and when you do, they're VERY expensive. These reviews will help me to decide what I may or may not want to read...keep them coming! It is quite amazing that you read a book in an average of 3 days! That was for January anyway, or is that between the two of you? Therefore it would be over 6 days...more attainable!

Anonymous said...

some good books are "Do Hard Things" by Brett & Alex Harris; "So Much More" by Anna Sofia & Elizabeth Botkin; "Before You Meet Prince Charming" by Sarah Mally (amazing!!!); "Becoming a Titus 2 Woman"(i can't quite remember who wrote it) & "Biblical Womanhood" (also can't remember who wrote it) hope that these will help anyone who is looking for a good book!!