Simply Convivial

classical home education for life

Weekend Reads, a link-up

weekend reads link up

I’ve been wanting to find a way to share links to posts I enjoy and maybe talk about them a bit. I would like to share what books I’m reading and those the boys are reading on a regular basis. I’d also love to participate in Sarah’s new link-up: Weekends with Chesterton. So, this week, I just decided to do it. To do all three. And, on top of that, to give you the option of linking up your posts about books or interesting link collections.

Weekends with Chesterton

Weekends with Chesterton

Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things has started a weekly Sunday meme for people to post thoughts or quotes about Chesterton, to “cultivate the intellectual life.” I love Chesterton. I’ve listened to Orthodoxy and What’s Wrong with the World on Audible audio book, but the sad thing about that method is that it is near impossible to add favorite quotes to my commonplace book! However, the good thing about that handicap with Chesterton is that it prevents me from trying to write out the entire book.

Even when he’s insulting Calvinists, it’s still hilarious.

a thing worth doing is worth doing badly

To smatter the tongues of men and angels, to dabble in the dreadful sciences, to juggle with pillars and pyramids and toss up the planets like balls, this is that inner audacity and indifference which the human soul, like a conjurer catching oranges, must keep up forever. This is that insanely frivolous thing we call sanity. And the elegant female, drooping her ringlets over her water-colors, knew it and acted on it. She was juggling with frantic and flaming suns. She was maintaining the bold equilibrium of inferiorities which is the most mysterious of superiorities and perhaps the most unattainable. She was maintaining the prime truth of woman, the universal mother: that if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

This is the perfect antidote to the pressures to become a “professional” at home. Chesterton would not have us go that way. The whole point and beauty of a mother at home is that we can dabble, play, do good things – even if that means we do many things poorly rather than specialize and do one thing quite well. Chesterton devotes an entire chapter in What’s Wrong with the World to advocating for at least half of the population, women, to be free from the need for specialization. Not being specialists, he claims, is more human, more freeing, and more sane.

So, if you ever feel discouraged because you do a million things, yet do none of them very well, take heart: Chesterton heartily approves. You are “maintaining the bold equilibrium of inferiorities which is the most mysterious of superiorities.” It is a privilege not to be despised, but embraced.

Books Read at Our House This Week

During our preschool read-aloud time this week, we read Ivanhoe, adapted by Marianna Mayer and illustrated by John Rush. It is long, so we just read 5 pages per day all week. I was surprised Ilse enjoyed it so much. Even though it’s a lot of text to pictures, the pictures have a lot of depth and interest and bear much staring. Knox’s favorite
pick of the week was Bearskin by Howard Pyle and illustrated by my favorite illustrator, Trina Schart Hyman. It’s a classic fairy tale legend, with prophecies fulfilled despite a king’s efforts to thwart it, poor upstarts killing dragons and marrying princesses, and wicked advisors receiving poetic justice.

I’ve been moving slowly through my current reads: Desiring the Kingdom by James K.A. Smith, Table in the Mist by Jeffery Meyers (my Wednesday With Words post on it here), and Flying Colors, the eighth book in the Hornblower series by C.S. Forester. I really want to add another book or two to my table, but I am going to make myself finish at least Table in the Mist before I do.


Jaeger has been reading A Boy’s King Arthur by this week. It’s nice and thick and has all the rollicking escapades of King Arthur and his knights. A similar title the boys enjoy is King Arthur: Tales of the Round Table by Andrew Lang. We also checked out from the library New Adventures of the Mad Scientist Club by Bertrand Brinkley, a sequel to The Mad Scientist Club, which I bought for Jaeger for Christmas on a good friend’s recommendation. It was a hit with both boys.

The boys had a book club with their friends yesterday, and they talked about Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham. They talked about the time period and setting of the book and their favorite parts. My good friend and I that swap these lesson times like to keep things low-key. You don’t need a program or comprehension guides to simply talk about good books.

Online Reading This Week

It seemed appropriate that the first link shared should be a book list. Young boys can be hard to keep in books. Brandy (or, rather, her son) gave me some suggestions here I hadn’t seen before!

forget about goals modern mrs darcy

I loved this post by Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy:

I had mixed success with my 2013 goals. Why did my midstream 10,000 steps goal work, when so many of my other well-intentioned, intelligent, SMART goals failed? I have a hunch it’s because my 10,000 steps goal focused on the process and completely ignored results.

I am moving more toward focusing more on process than outcomes, but I haven’t thought it through clearly enough to write on it yet. So I loved seeing someone else’s thoughts on the same thing clearly articulated! She also wrote recently on her 2014 goals: My 5 big picture goals for 2014. Good stuff.

This is a not-to-be-missed post by Cindy at Ordo Amoris:

Whenever I see a rainbow I can’t help but think that God loves me. It always seems to be a promise of something good. Today I think it was a test, an assessment-*The Standardized Assessment of Wonder.

homeschooling day in the life

Surveys & Subscriptions

Thank you so much for giving me your feedback on my survey! Many people said they’d be interested in a GTD @ Home Newsletter and also receiving one weekly email with all that week’s posts instead of an email for every post.

Those options are available! You can sign up here and pick what emails you’d like to receive. If you’re already receiving some emails, you can either go to that form and enter your information again or you can click “update preferences” at the bottom of any email. You’ll see all the options for both Simply Convivial and Simple Pantry Cooking.

weekend reads linky party

More Weekend Reads

If you have a post with a collection of links, a post about what you’re currently reading, or a recommended book list, link it up here! We’ll have our very own “best of the web” & “best of our book piles” right here, every week!

And now, from you:

  1. Love this. I looked at my library for any of the books you linked … all of them look like things my kids would love! Unfortunately, not only do they not have any of them, but the Amazon prices ($22! $40!) for a few of them used is outrageous. Ah, well. I’ll keep my eye on them. I do love a good book list :)

    1. I got both Ivanhoe & Boy’s King Arthur from Paperback Swap, and my brother gave Bearskin as a birthday present to Jaeger years ago. I did get a $6 used copy of Mad Scientist Club on Amazon, but it didn’t look like there were many copies.

      Try haunting library sales. :)

  2. Hi Mystie, What a great idea! I’m linking up an older post that I wrote at the beginning of this month. Next time, I’ll be sure to include your link-up graphic or a link back to here.

  3. Mystie, your quote by and meditation on Chesterton really hit the spot. I think I need to read it Every Morning, to fight against the discouragement you mention. Thank you SO much!

  4. Coming over from Sarah’s Chesterton link-up. I love that Chesterton quote about doing things badly…that was actually my Chesterton quote for my post 2 weeks back. It is such an important reminder that we don’t have to be specialists and professionals at everything we do.

  5. I love this! So many great links to click! :) My reading time has been sorely lacking lately. I miss it. I’ve been reading to the kids, of course, but finding time to read my current choices for myself (Desiring the Kingdom and smatterings of Chesterton, naturally) has been a struggle.

    We have that Boy’s King Arthur, but have never pulled it off the shelf. I think we shall.

    1. Desiring the Kingdom is no mean reading feat. I am finding it hard, also, to find the time and brain power needed to read it well. Hosting the book club gives me the extra motivation to make the time; otherwise, I don’t think I would!

      1. I just got Desiring the Kingdom and it is killing me! I find he could have said what he wants to say in a much simpler, laconic way. It feels like he sat there with a thesaurus looking for the most complicated word choices!

  6. I love your boy book lists! I found most of these titles (except Ivanhoe and The Mad Scientist Club) at the library.

  7. Thanks so much for new book ideas. Fortunately, my library does have quite a few of them. Most libraries do welcome patron requests – but buying older books may not be on their list of priorities (although these are related to classics). I was wondering if you have read any of the Gerald Morris books about King Arthur and the others. He has a series of books for early elementary (which I read aloud) and a set for older elementary. I haven’t read the series for the older kids yet. The younger ones are very funny and highlight goodness in a way that isn’t preachy – although his other job is as a pastor.

X

Forgot Password?

Join Us

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.