Back to the Classics 2019

Last year I had the lovely intention of working through a book challenge. Interesting note is that I do not enjoy being boxed in by a challenge. What I read is highly influenced by mood and chaos level. I fully intended to jump into the new year with no reading challenges, no scheduled reading lists. Naturally, I do have a short list of books that I plan to read but no strict expectations!

Of course, I wavered. A friend, Sodbuster Living,  mentioned the Back to the Classics 2019 challenge and I was intrigued. I do read classic books and enjoy them. However, there are some books and authors that I have not been willing to tackle (Hello, Dickens!). So with a simple challenge and a friend, I’m jumping in.

Here is the Back to the Classics 2019 Book Selections covering twelve categories:

1 – 19th Century Classic – A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.  My eldest daughter loves Dickens. Another daughter loved A Tale of Two Cities. This is the year I appreciate Dickens.

2 – 20th Century Classic (published between 1900-1969) – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. This has been on my TBR list forever. Definitely time to check it off the list.

3 – Classic by a Woman AuthorSense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. I am currently reading through her novels aloud with my children. Our current selection is Pride and Prejudice and we are close to completion. While we only read Austen on Wednesdays, I should be able to complete Sense and Sensibility for this challenge.

4 – Classic in TranslationThe Mysterious Island by Jules Verne. The book synopsis sounds intriguing. So why not?

5 – Classic Comic Novel – The Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse. My daughters have enjoyed his books for a few years. This was an easy selection to make! Since I gave my daughter a copy of this title, she will let me borrow it, right?

6 – Classic Tragic NovelWuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite classic novel. Will I enjoy this Bronte as much?

7 – Very Long ClassicThe Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas or Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca WestI’m torn between these two. I may read a chapter or two from each and see which one captures me first. I could not read both, could I?

8 – Classic NovellaDr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Have I read this before? I have no recollection whatsoever. We shall remedy that this year!

9 – Classic from the AmericasThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. How can I not read one of my son’s favorite books?

10 – Classics from Africa, Asia, and Oceania (includes Australia)The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. This was actually on my list to read last year but failed to make it a priority.

11 – Classic from the Place You LivedThe Fair Lady of Halifax by Ronleigh de Conval. I’m not sure why but I had a bit of difficulty finding a book set in my area. If this doesn’t prove to be engaging, I may make a switch to a regional selection.

12 – Classic PlayAs You Like It or The Winter’s Tale by Shakespeare. Perhaps both? I read Shakespeare with my children (a most delightful way to tackle Shakespeare), so depending on our speed, I may get two in! (Have to finish Twelfth Night first.)

Now let the reading begin!

 

 

 

**Please note that affiliate links are used in this post. This simply means that I earn a small percentage if any purchases are made using my links. Your shopping experience is in no way altered.

A Book Unread (And a Giveaway!)

A book unread? Well, yes, more than one book has left my home unread. There are too many worthy books in this world and I have high standards for what I read! However, An Hour Unspent by Roseanna White was not a book unread.

An Hour UnspentOne of my greatest delights is to discover an author that I can trust to take me on a journey. Sometimes those journeys are fun or adventurous. Many are bittersweet and lovely. Often a journey is painful and heart-wrenching. Roseanna White has taken me on a delightful journey in her Shadows Over England series. The latest in this series is An Hour Unspent where we (finally!) learn Barclay’s story. My friends, I have been dying to hear his story since I read the first book.

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.

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My Journey with Barclay:

When I finished the second book in the Shadows Over England series, my first thought was “I hope she tells Barclay’s story.” How could his story be left untold? We see glimpses of him moving in the background in these earlier books. He is always there looking after his siblings; making sure they are safe and well. You can almost sense his heart, his character. Someone who is faithful and loyal, who will do whatever it takes to care for his family, and someone who is searching and longing.

With An Hour Unspent we find ourselves with a Barclay who has turned away from a life of thievery. Well, illegal thievery. Now his skills and talents are being used for his country and to fight a war. Barclay’s change has been full and complete. Even when faced with an assignment, he seeks to handle it with integrity. This is a key point for me. An Hour Unspent is Christian Fiction. How an author uses a character’s story to share the gospel can be a quick turnoff. There is a delicate balance at times in showing how a character has been transformed. Barclay’s story was believable and trustworthy because of how White portrayed those moments of decision. How he would handle his assignment to steal if necessary? How would he handle when the past slammed into his future? How would he respond when rejected?

“Barclay Pearce. He’d always thought it his invisibility that made him successful. But she was right. It wasn’t the invisibility at all – it was that he knew who he was under it.”

You take Barclay and place him in England with the backdrop of a World War…well, how could you go wrong? Such a time of hardship, loss, and heartbreak. A time where the world as it was known would make a shift that would change the lives of so many. I have a love of books set during World War II but the Shadows over England series has drawn me quickly into the time period of World War I.  An Hour Unspent not only gives you a glimpse of the progress of the war but you see also into the lives of those working in factories and service.

It takes a talented author to not only write one excellent book but to produce a series that never loses it momentum. Being the third book in a series, An Hour Unspent could have fizzled out. As a reader who was highly anticipating Barclay’s story, I began it cautiously. I was prepared to be disappointed. Needless to say, Barclay’s story did not disappoint!

“When it came down to it, all you ever had forever was what you carried inside. Memories. Faith. Love. “

Should you rush right over to your local Christian book story and grab a copy of An Hour Unspent? Yes, you should! But you need to grab the first two in the series if you haven’t read them. You need to let Barclay’s story build up in the background first. Trust me! You won’t regret it!

Roseanna 2018Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Want to know more about Roseanna White? Read this Guest Post from Roseanna:

Last year, as I finished up the writing of An Hour Unspent, my great-grandmother passed away at the age of 103. As I sat at her funeral service and listened to the heartfelt memorial raised up to her by her kids and grandkids, I realized anew that this woman had been a matriarch in the truest sense of the word. She’d taught my family for generations how to love the Lord and each other, how to serve the Lord and each other, and how to trust the Lord and each other. Grandma Seward was, in so many ways, the one who instilled in me my idea of what family really is.

That idea—that it’s those knit together by love more than blood, and that faith is the strongest foundation—is what I built my unusual family of thieves upon in the Shadows Over England series. And strange as it is to liken my twenty-something reformed-thief hero to my 103-year-old-grandmother, Barclay Pearce is very much to his family what Maxine Seward was to mine.

The founder. The caregiver. The leader.

I knew as I began the series that I would write about Barclay in book three, and as I got to know him better throughout the series, I grew so excited to share his story! This is a man who led his family first into and then out of a life a crime, always for the right reasons—so he could provide for the children under his care. All he ever wanted to do was give them what he himself had lost. To show them love. To prove to them that they were worth any sacrifice.

It was truly a blessing for me to get to write the story in which Barclay found someone to come alongside him, to appreciate and learn to understand him. To finally share what started him down this path. I loved the idea that only a reformed thief could steal the time another family needed to overcome their own trials.

There are many historical items in the book that were such fun to explore—watchmaking of the era, the suffrage movement in England, technological advancements of the war—but at the heart, this isn’t a story about any of those.

It’s a story about how far people should go for love. I hope you enjoy Barclay’s story as much as I did!

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a London mug, and a 48-pack Twinings tea sampler!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d570/an-hour-unspent-celebration-tour-giveaway

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, October 30

The Power of Words, October 30

Back Porch Reads, October 30

Kat’s Corner Books, October 30

Janice’s Book Reviews, October 30

Where Faith and Books Meet, October 31

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 31

Faithfully Bookish, October 31

Genesis 5020, October 31

Fiction Aficionado, November 1

Among the Reads, November 1

The Lit Addict, November 1

Just the Write Escape, November 1

Multifarious, November 2

Godly Book Reviews, November 2

Real World Bible Study, November 2

Madeline Clark, November 2

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 3

Christian Bookaholic, November 3

Inspirationally Ever After, November 3

Bookworm Mama, November 3

Bigreadersite, November 3

Blogging With Carol , November 4

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 4

Life with the Tribe, November 4

The Becca Files, November 4

Kathleen Denly, November 5

Cordially Barbara, November 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 5

Simple Harvest Reads, November 5 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

God’s Little Bookworm, November 6

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 6

Faery Tales Are Real, November 6

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 6

Carpe Diem, November 6

Margaret Kazmierczak, November 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 7

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, November 7

Blossoms and Blessings , November 7

Maureen’s Musings , November 8

Connie’s History Classroom , November 8

Book by Book, November 8

Just Commonly, November 8

cherylbbookblog, November 9

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 9

Have A Wonderful Day , November 9

With a Joyful Noise, November 9

KarenSueHadley , November 10

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 10

Baker kella, November 10

Bibliophile Reviews, November 10

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 11

Inklings and Notions , November 11

Two Points of Interest, November 11

Inspiration Clothesline, November 11

A Baker’s Perspective, November 11

Henry Happens, November 12

Texas Book-aholic, November 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

 

**Disclaimer – I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review with Celebrate Lit. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. No compensation was made for this review.

**This post may contain affiliate links. The affiliate links in this post in no way change your online browsing or shopping experience. I earn a small percentage on any purchases made without any cost to you.

Nature of a Child – Charlotte Mason

I am a bit overdue for sharing a few thoughts from my reading of A Philosophy of Education. Chapter Three was The Good and Evil Nature of a Child. The chapter itself is broken down into five sections. So much good food for thought throughout.

I suppose this is why it has taken me so long to pull together what I wanted to share in this post. And in reality, I am not sure I can even adequately paraphrase, sum up, or expound on Miss Mason’s thoughts. Perhaps her thoughts will have to speak for themselves.

“The fact seems to be that children are like ourselves, not because they have become so, but because they are born so; that is, with tendencies, dispositions, towards good and towards evil, and also with a curious intuitive knowledge as to which is good and which is evil.” p46

I will say that anyone who deals with the education of a child..in any way teaches a child..I think this chapter is worth reading. To say that this text would only benefit a homeschool parent is an error indeed.

“There is a common notion that it is our inalienable right not only to say what we please but to think as we please, that is, we believe that while the body is subject to physical laws, while the affections, love and justice, are subject to moral laws, the mind is a chartered libertine. Probably this notion has much to do with our neglect of the intellect.” P49

It is easy to read the title of this chapter and set our minds that we will be reading about how bad some children are and how good others are. But that is really missing the whole point of this chapter. We all have the capacity to do good and no doubt we have the capacity to do evil. Which aspect of the nature of the child do we want to feed? What do we want to encourage in growth?

“As for literature – to introduce children to literature is to instal them in a very rich and glorious kingdom, to bring a continual holiday to their doors, to lay before them a feast exquisitely served. But they must learn to know literature by being familiar with it from the very first. A child’s intercourse must always be with good books, the best that we can find.” p 57

When we set before the child a vast array of truth, beauty, and goodness…when they read great and beautiful literature, when they see the beauty of creation, when they see purpose in the numbers…it feeds that good nature in the child. They recognize it and develop an appetite for it that must be fed.

“The divine curiousity which should have been an equipment for life hardly survives early childhood” p57

”The love of knowledge is sufficient.” p57

There is an almost comedic occurrence here. I am typing, deleting, re-typing, deleting, rephrasing. Perhaps I will just end it with Miss Mason.

“Children are not to be fed morally like young pigeons with predigested food. They must pick and eat for themselves and they do so from the conduct of others which they hear of or perceive. But they want a great quantity of the sort of food whose issue is conduct, and that is why poetry, history, romance, geography, travel, biography, science and sums must all be pressed into service. No one can tell what particular morsel a child will select for his sustenance. p59

If you have not read any of Charlotte Mason’s works, I highly recommend that you do. Whether you agree fully with her philosophy or not, their is so much value and truth in this chapter.

Are you currently reading any of Miss Mason’s volumes? Which one? What have you found thought provoking or intriguing? Interesting?

*This post may contain affiliate links. These links in no way change your shopping/research experience. They provide a small percentage to me if a purchase is made.