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    Reading: What’s On Deck

    March 15, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    Yesterday, I started reading an older book that is available online concerning earthworms. If you have never studied earthworms, you are really missing out! They are one of God’s most humble, most lowly, yet most important creatures. Don’t believe me? Check the facts for yourself. Harnessing earthworms is a must for anyone interested in organic farming or gardening. They are a cornerstone of the biodynamic method, and the most invaluable gardening “tool” you could ever come across.

    In other reading news, Si and I are still working our way through Diane Setterfield’s beautiful work, The Thirteenth Tale. We still like it.

    A lot.

    But this post isn’t about current reads. Not really. It’s about what’s on deck. In other words, it’s about hope for the future.

    First, we have a classic of classics:


    The City of God


    This is another book that will take us forever and a day to read. We read aloud, as I have said before. This slows the process down, but allows for shared thoughts in a way that reading separately never can.

    From the back cover copy:

    “Here is a book that was written over fifteen hundred years ago by a mystic in North Africa. Yet to those who have ears to hear, it has a great deal to say to many of us who are not mystics, today, in America…The City of God is the autobiography of the Church written by the most Catholic of her great saints…The City of God, for those who can understand it, contains the secret of death and life, war and peace, hell and heaven.”
    –Thomas Merton

    Next, we finished the famed Little House on the Prairie last night. I made sure I got the whole set from PaperBackSwap. So our upcoming adventure will be a romp through the next book in the series, Farmer Boy. I have been told that this is the one little boys usually like the best.

    PaperBackSwap has been granting my wishes and whims left and right, and so I have two books on deck there. The first is The Riddle of Amish Culture. I plan to understand the riddle a bit better by the time I’m done. And E. has expressed an interest in learning about the Plain People, so I also consider this a pre-read, where I decide how old he will need to be before he conquers a certain book.

    The second is my very first Wendell Berry {I plan to collect them all}: Jayber Crow. I will probably blog through that one. It’s not just a novel. It never is with Berry, from my understanding. There is a lot to learn about his philosophy of culture and agriculture through reading his fiction works.

    Or so I’ve been told.

    Si just finished reviewing The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters, and next up for him is:


    A Meaningful World:
    How the Arts And Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature

    He read a tiny bit while he was in the waiting room when he broke his toe. His initial reaction? This isn’t your everyday Intelligent Design work. This is something beautiful. It’s an argument for the existence of God, but written in beautiful prose. If you are looking to add to your ID collection {ahem…Nate} this might be a consideration.

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    9 Comments

  • Reply Brandy March 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Rebecca,
    I read the back of Farmer Boy incorrectly at first. This is not where Almanzo meets Laura. This is the story of Almanzo’s childhood in upstate New York. He apparently doesn’t meet Laura until he is a young man.

  • Reply Brandy March 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Amazon is sort of selling Si’s book right now. The reason I say “sort of” is because the listing doesn’t look that great–no photo, for starters, and the summary isn’t divided into proper paragraphs. The publisher is still working on the formatting, which is why I haven’t said anything. However, I don’t think where you buy it makes a whole lot of difference to us financially–probably pennies. I think only people buying copies in bulk, such as for a small group would find it best to go straight to the publisher (Xulon).

    I am glad you are enjoying The Thirteenth Tale. Isn’t PaperBackSwap wonderful? πŸ™‚

    Oh. And you made me want to go to Europe while we read City of God. I bet it reads even better somewhere exquisitely beautiful.

  • Reply Rahime March 18, 2008 at 7:36 am

    I’m back. I liked City of God…been a while since I read it. It’s long. I vaguely remember reading most of it one summer I spent in Paris. I had an hour-long train ride each morning and evening and I read Confessions and City of God (well, the first half at least).

    I don’t think I’ve ever read the Little House books. I might have read the first one though when I was much younger. πŸ™‚

    Paperbackswap has been good too me lately too…I got The Thirteenth Tale right away and my to-be-read pile seems to grow faster than I can keep up with it.

  • Reply Rahime March 18, 2008 at 6:23 am

    I picked up a copy of The Thirteenth Tale after reading what you’d written about it last week. Wow. I love it already. I love when Vida says the reason her books are successful is because they have a beginning, middle and end…in that order.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    Oh, and I would love to buy a copy of Si’s book when it’s available. Let me know whether it’d be better for you if I buy it from you or from amazon (or elsewhere). πŸ™‚

  • Reply Brandy March 17, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    If you mean his review of The Faith, I believe that is on Amazon.com right now, though I was thinking of requesting that he let me publish it here as well. For A Meaningful World, I always try to corner him and get an x out of 5 stars rating, plus a short sentence or two on why it received that rating. However, if he has excess time when he finshes the book, I am sure that he will write something up.

    And then if YOU were to ask him, I know he’d do it for you. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Nate March 17, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Oops, I should have asked whether the review WILL be online once he writes it…

  • Reply Nate March 17, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Is Si’s review available online somewhere? I’d love to see it!

  • Reply Brandy March 16, 2008 at 7:41 am

    I am embarrassed to say that I did not read the Little House books as a child! So all I have as a point of reference is the back of the book, which says that this is the book where Laura and Almanzo first meet. Sounds riveting! πŸ™‚

    I didn’t buy the books at all. I traded them on PaperBackSwap. This means that none of them match. However, they are all such nice copies that all but one looks as if they had never been read! I figure that when I do the math on what postage cost me, I averaged $2.50 per book, or $22.50 for the whole set. This isn’t bad considering that, at the time, I couldn’t find a cheap set. Lately I have seen some for around that price and they would have matched! But I was trying to get them while I could so that the kids wouldn’t have to wait while I tried to aquire the next book.

    Which is really more than you ever wanted to know. πŸ™‚

  • Reply rebecca March 16, 2008 at 3:23 am

    I thought I had read all of the Little House books, but I can’t remember Farmer Boy. Did you buy the books individually or in a set?

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