Spring Reading Update

Reading has been going well the past month. I am really enjoying digging into a good book.

Lonesome Gods Reading Update

What I finished this month

The Lonesome Gods — Oh my goodness I enjoyed this Louis L’Amour book so much more than I thought I would. I think all Californians should read it for the interesting history alone. I fell in love with Johannes Verne. Favorite passage:

“How young is too young to begin to discover the power and beauty of words? Perhaps he will not understand, but there is a clash of shields and a call of trumpets in those lines. One cannot begin too young nor linger too long with learning.

Who know how much he will remember? Who knows how deep the intellect? In some year yet unborn he may hear those words again, or read them, and find in them something hauntingly familiar, as of something long ago heard and only half-remembered.”

Consider This — This was such a game-changer for me. I loved every minute of it and am now exploring Charlotte more.

A Charlotte Mason Education — I don’t recommend this one for Charlotte’s principles (I recommend you go to Brandy for that!) but for a quick look at her practices it was fine. Not my favorite CM resource.

The Tempest — Read this one for my local mom’s book club. It is not my favorite Shakespeare. I find it hard to find someone to really root for in this one. I highly recommend reading it while listening to the Arkangel Audio Production. Which is totally what I did and not considered cheating at all.

 The Lonesome Gods: An Epic Novel of the California Desert Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition A Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual The Tempest (No Fear Shakespeare)



What I am reading

Plugging away and I only added one to the list!

More Charlotte Mason Education — Deeper and better than the first one so far.

Raising Kids Who Read — I am a Willingham fan from Why Students Don’t Like School. He throws a ton of data at you, but in a completely readable way and with action items. My kind of read.

Steal the Show — Public speaking is going to be a major goal of mine in my business next year. This is how I am getting ready.

Rediscover Jesus — A good Catholic would have finished this during Lent. I guess we know what that means. Ahem.

Norms and Nobility — So after reading the Plato book I think I could go back to the first couple of chapters of this one and it would make so much more sense. I am going to pick it up again.

A Morbid Taste for Bones — Cadfael is a favorite of Jessica’s. I really do want to finish this one.

Poldark — Started this one a couple of months ago because I enjoyed the miniseries so much. I just need to buy my own copy. I was perfectly content to read it before it had to go back to the library.

Hannah Coulter — Listening to this one on Audible. It’s good.

 Raising Kids Who Read: What Parents and Teachers Can Do Steal the Show: From Speeches to Job Interviews to Deal-Closing Pitches, How to Guarantee a Standing Ovation for All the Performances in Your Life Rediscover Jesus Norms and Nobility: A Treatise on Education A Morbid Taste for Bones (Brother Cadfael Chronicles) Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787 Hannah Coulter More Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual


Current read aloud

Almost done with Begin, the first book in the Growly Adventures.

We are enjoying this delightful tale of a bear on a journey, and I have no doubt that the sequels, including the soon-to-be-released Haven will be added to our read aloud pile.

My to-read list

Seriously, I have a major list to work through. But when those are done, these are the next ones on my list.

 New Seeds of Contemplation Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold Kristin Lavransdatter I: The Wreath (Penguin Classics) The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in Daily Life Understood Betsy Hornblower: Beat to Quarters (Hornblower Saga) The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason Notes from a Small Island


We had some great reading suggestions in last month’s comments. What are you reading?

Linking up with Wednesdays with Words over a Ladydusk. Now you can see what everyone is reading.



  • dawn says:

    That quote you shared is *fantastic* … not from my kind of book at all … but now I’m intrigued.

  • Celeste says:

    Funny because The Tempest IS one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. 🙂 And we love the Arkangel productions here–my kids have responded really well to the three we have listened to so far.

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      OK I want to know what you love about it because I really want to like it!

      • Celeste says:

        Okay, get ready for a novel, but only because you asked! 😉

        The themes are powerful — redemption and forgiveness.

        It has some of the most beautiful lines in Shakespeare:

        “O, wonder!
        How many goodly creatures are there here!
        How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
        That has such people in’t!”

        “Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
        Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
        Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
        Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices,
        That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
        Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
        The clouds methought would open, and show riches
        Ready to drop upon me; that, when I waked,
        I cried to dream again.”

        “Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
        As I foretold you, were all spirits and
        Are melted into air, into thin air:
        And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
        The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
        The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
        Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
        And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
        Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
        As dreams are made on, and our little life
        Is rounded with a sleep.”

        It’s mostly written in blank verse and has such a musical quality to it–sometimes melodic, sometimes haunting, sometimes airy. (More so than even Midsummer Night’s Dream, which has some similarities in tone. I think The Tempest is the more beautiful play of the two, linguistically.) And the form definitely mirrors the content, which I always appreciate about Shakespeare. He sets the mood of the island through the style of rhyme and diction.

        It’s considered Shakespeare last play and autobiographical in certain ways. I think of it as his “swan song.” 🙂

        And I love love love the meta-narrative going on, with Prospero coming out of the play’s structure and addressing the audience at the end:

        “Now my charms are all o’erthrown,
        what strength I have’s mine own,
        Which is most faint: now, ’tis true,
        I must be here confined by you,
        Or sent to Naples. Let me not,
        Since I have my dukedom got
        And pardon’d the deceiver, dwell
        In this bare island by your spell;
        But release me from my bands
        With the help of your good hands:
        Gentle breath of yours my sails
        Must fill, or else my project fails,
        Which was to please. Now I want
        Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
        And my ending is despair,
        Unless I be relieved by prayer,
        Which pierces so that it assaults
        Mercy itself and frees all faults.
        As you from crimes would pardon’d be,
        Let your indulgence set me free.”

        Swoon. 🙂

        Confession: I haven’t listened to the Arkangel production for this one. Maybe they don’t do it justice? 🙂

        • Carol says:

          Another vote for The Tempest! We listened to the Naxos version. Sir Ian McClellan (Gandalf), Benedict Cumberbatch, Emilia Fox are some of the narrators.

        • Pam Barnhill says:

          I do love Prospero’s final speech but I am not sure redemption is the theme so much as justice. After all, only Alonso ends up remorseful.

          • Celeste says:

            Yes, it explores a bit of everything: redemption, forgiveness, revenge, and justice. It’s a complex play, and as with all Shakespeare’s works, there is no one theme. I think the concept of redemption he suggests here isn’t divine so much as, um, complicated? 🙂 I mean, there are big questions here: Where is the line between justice and revenge? What does redemption look like? What measures of these qualities does a good ruler have? No easy answers, obviously, but a consideration of them here in The Tempest–and perhaps the kinds of questions one asks himself late in one’s career? I don’t usually like to do a biographical reading, but I think it’s interesting here. I think it ends on a beautiful note.

            And Carol, now I really need to check out that version!! Sounds fantastic. 🙂

  • Alison says:

    I read Lonesome Gods over the Christmas break — I can’t believe how much I loved it! It was recommended to me by those Potato Peelers, without whom I’m sure I would never in a million years have picked up a Western! I read Bendigo Shafter first, and it was just as good or maybe even better 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    I have been reading the Poldark books for a while now. I think I am up to book seven. I enjoy the slow pace, but I need to read other books between to shake it up a bit. And after waiting on the library wait list for months, my turn with Consider This came at a crazy busy time and I didn’t get past the first few pages. Ugh! I will try again!

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