I don’t have a lot of entries in my Reading Notebook for the summer because I am still plowing (slowly) through Don Quixote for my continuing education project. I’m following the advice given in The Well-Educated Mind and writing a brief summary at the end of each chapter. Then I’m adding the summaries in my notebook. This has been really helpful for me, especially in a book as massive as Don Quixote. If it’s been a while since I’ve read, I can glance over my notes for the last chapter and get right back into the story.
I still have a lot of entries to add and will “thread” them through my notebook. (At the bottom of this page, I’ll note what page number the next entry starts on.) I am also going to be noting with a marked box on the page (top left of this page) all the books I’m reading from the recommendations of The Well-Educated Mind.
The other books I read was my night time read, One Year After. An apocalyptic sequel to One Second After. It was a good continuation of the story and the small town that survived an EMP blast that darkened the United States. Warning: it did have some grisly scenes with sickness, death, and war.
I am also trying to appreciate poetry, and picked up a book of poems my son was assigned to read for American Lit a couple years ago, To My Husband and Other Poems. Anne Bradstreet was the wife of a colonial governor and lived in America from 1612-1672. She holds the honor of being America’s first published poet (unbeknownst to her, her poetry was taken by a family member to be published). I don’t usually enjoy poetry, (so much of it seems too angsty or flowery and confusing) but some of her poems took my breath away. My favorite one in the book was a poem written when her house burned down (Upon the burning of our house, July 10, 1666). It was heart wrenching, but such a good example of how to speak biblical truth to yourself in the midst of tragedy and grief. Two stanzas that are especially powerful are below (spelling updated to modern day spelling).
I, starting up, the light did spy,
And to my God my heart did cry
To strengthen me in my Distress
And not to leave me succourless.
Then coming out beheld a space,
The flame consume my dwelling place.
And, when I could no longer look,
I blessed his Name that gave and took,
That laid my goods now in the dust:
Yea so it was, and so ’twas just.
It was His own: it was not mine;
Far be it that I should repine.
Perhaps it really stood out to me because when I was a teen we had our house burn to the ground. There was absolutely nothing left and I remember just being stunned at the loss. I can’t imagine the heartbreak of having everything completely destroyed in early America, where there were no department stores or insurance to recover from a total loss like that. The last two lines in the poem are amazing when considering the heavy grief: “The world no longer let me Love/My hope and Treasure lies Above.”
That poem and the poem about her children (In reference to her Children, 23 June, 1656) are well worth the cost of this little book.
The other book I read was Expository Apologetics by Voddie Baucham. It was a very good book and I am re-reading it again and taking notes of my underlines. The best chapter by far was chapter 8, The Expository Apologetics Waltz. He gave specific suggestions on how to have a good conversation with someone in Expository Apologetics fashion. If you are unsure how to refute the errors of the world and have a good conversation and share the gospel all at once, this book will definitely help.
Also, just in case you missed it, all my Bible studies and journals on Amazon are at their lowest prices ever. Be sure to check them out there for printed studies, and in my store for digital ones! And, as always if you’ve done any of them, if you leave a quick review on Amazon, it does wonders for expanding the reach of these creative, biblically solid women’s studies. Thank you!