Rejoicing in Repetition, an annotated bibliography

Yes, there is a reason to keep at the repetitive household chores, to do them even though it will have to be redone tomorrow.

I have read a lot of books on my journey toward keeping a more orderly home. Here are some of the best, the ones I would recommend if you are also the sort who finds reading a necessary component to any pursuit.

On Attitudes
  • Elisabeth Elliot. Discipline: The Glad Surrender. A meditation on the joy, comfort, and freedom of being “under orders” from God rather than subject to one’s own whims.
  • Kathleen Norris. Acedia and Me. A memoir reflection on sloth and despondency, how to name it and overcome it.
On Housekeeping
  • Margaret Peterson. Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life. A thoughtful treatment on how keeping house is a worthwhile endeavor.
  • Holly Pierlot. A Mother’s Rule of Life. A guide to bringing your house under intentional, thoughtful order.
  • Cheryl Mendelson. Home Comforts. A very readable manual for how to clean everything The Right Way, with a surprisingly uplifting introduction.
  • Sandra Felton. How Not to Be a Messie. For those to whom neatness does not come naturally, Felton offers explanations of our predicament and strategies for improvement.
  • Jane Austen. Mansfield Park. When Fanny returns to her family, her eyes and mine were open to the meaning behind slovenliness: individuals thinking only of their own ease and convenience.
  • Charles Dickens. Bleak House. Dickens has all manners of characters in all his novels whose strengths and weaknesses are communicated by how they care for or do not care for their own property and that of others.
  • Russell Kirk. Roots of American Order. This political history opened my eyes to how fundamental and needful order is.
  • G.K. Chesterton. Orthodoxy. The point that God repeats Himself and it is only adults who become wearied by repetition is only a fraction of the Chestertonian wisdom in this fascinating book.
  • Charlotte Mason. Home Education. A large part of the first volume of Charlotte Mason’s works on education could be summarized as “What you and your home are like is the most significant factor in your child’s life.”
  • The Heidelberg Catechism


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