Welcome to Quick Lit! Here are short reviews of eight of the books I read in February.
Cindy Rollins is a homeschooling mother of nine, including 8 boys. She homeschooled using the Charlotte Mason method for thirty consecutive years.
Mere Motherhood is her memoir of the happy times, hard times, and fruits of these wonderful years. Reading this was delightful. She doesn’t paint a Pinterest perfect picture of her kids’ lives, but it still sounds so cozy and loving.
The Abolition of Man is a short, punchy, trilogy of lectures by C.S. Lewis. Though he is now famous for his wonderful allegorical children’s books, The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis was also a English faculty member at Oxford University for nearly 30 years.
The first lecture, Men Without Chests, takes on a typical modern English textbook. Lewis unveils all the ways it assaults good values, not poor writing. The second lecture is entitled The Tao, borrowing a Chinese word for “the path”. Lewis’ expression is wholly interchangeable with natural law. The third lecture is The Abolition of Man. The titular lecture prophesies where the destruction of our moral roots will lead us.
The lecture topic was ostensibly education. What Lewis truly addresses in his witty, confident way, are value systems. This slim volume is often read in Christian teacher training, high schools, home schools, and by all who love learning.
Hillaire Belloc was an Anglo-French Catholic writer, historian, and poet. His nickname in childhood and later life was “Old Thunder.” Goodness, but if that isn’t fitting! The Great Heresies is a chronological examination of 5 great (as in large) heresies that have plagued Christendom. To wit: Arianism, Islam, Albigensianism, Reformation, and the Modern ‘problem with no name’. Along the way, Belloc instructs the reader in a sweeping history of Europe from Christ to the 1930s.
The Great Heresies isn’t just informative, it’s a persuasive piece of Christian apologetics. Belloc was an orthodox Catholic, who wrote authoritatively on history, his beliefs, and the nature of man.
His histories are not dry and dusty dates. The book forms a narrative about the spirit of Christianity. The Victorian writing is dense, not like a Calculus textbook, but rather like a flourless chocolate cake. I thought it well worth my time, and a well-edited eBook is only $0.99.
Introvert is almost a dirty word in our culture. Extroverts are lauded, even expected. The science and scenarios presented in Quiet are freeing.
I love that Susan Cain includes a whole chapter on introverts within Christianity. Even with our ancient monastic traditions, hermits, and stylites, the atmosphere of the modern parishes celebrates extroversion. I can’t start a mom’s group, network at the Ladies Auxiliary, or *gasp* install a revolving door for dinner guests. I’ve written about my guilt on the subject of hospitality before. But this book helped me move past some of the guilt.
Read all about how introverts are physiologically and neurologically different from extroverts. Introverts are a necessary part of society, because of their unique gifts and perspectives. Plus, advice on how to ration energy and manage situations which demand a level of extroversion.
I had to do a little comfort reading while down with the flu. These four books are an old favorite of mine. As Patricia Wrede’s first works for a young adult audience, they don’t patronize teen readers (or sick moms). They are lovely, clean, mixed-up fairytale adventure stories centering around dragons, their princesses, sensible witches, foolish wizards, and every other traditional fantasy character.
So that’s nearly everything I read in March. What have you been reading lately? Let me know below, then check out the other participants at Modern Mrs. Darcy.