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    Ringing in the New Year with a Glorious Stack of Books

    December 7, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    It’s time to begin a new season of reading! I love getting ready for something like this; it is like preparing for a grand adventure. I attempted to finish four books before beginning a particular book on this list which calls to me daily, but I just didn’t get it done. Only three. I found that pushing for four meant I was going too fast through a book that really demands some contemplation if I’m going to read it right.

    I read in groups, by the way. I always have. All books are connected to each other and with Scripture and I find that reading five or more books at once–even though this means finishing them more slowly–is an iron-sharpening-iron experience. Where they contradict each other, or where they connect with each other, is where a lot of the real learning takes place.

    With that said, the first book on my list is the book I was trying to rush through. I’m going to finish it, for sure, but along with the others. The more I think about it, the more I think it fits with this group anyhow.

    So, here’s the current list. First, the books to finish.

    1.
    Angels in the Architecture:
    A Protestant Vision for Middle Earth

    2.
    Evening in the Palace of Reason:
    Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment


    The only reason I didn’t finish this earlier is because I got distracted by another work, and then I buried it on accident. While digging through the rubble that is my book pile, I found it. What joy! This book is excellent. I’ll post quotes again as I finish up.

    Next, we have the books to begin, which is to say, the new reading group:

    3.
    Harvey’s Elementary Grammar and Composition

    In a blog comment, I asked Andrew Kern about teaching grammar to my children. My grammar instruction in school was insufficient and spotty. I know only the most basic principles {actually, I don’t even know all of that}, and because of this, I know I am an insufficient teacher, especially if I aim to teach it in the manner preferred by Kern. He suggested that I spend some time training myself first, and that I use this particular book to do it.

    This weekend, I refreshed myself on the parts of speech. It was truly enlightening, and now I have the knowledge required to comprehend Andrew’s post on this exact subject.

    4.
    The Tolkien Reader

    A little something sent to me in the mail by Mystie for which I am exceedingly grateful.

    5.
    Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages

    The pinnacle of my list! This is what I’ve been working for, the motivation for finishing other books.

    What are you reading?

    Anything in your pile you’d like to share? Give us a title, a snippet, or whatever you like.

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