Books Read: February 2020

Dear Reader,

It’s that time again. Here are the books I read this past month:

Books Read February 2020

The Making and the Unmaking of a Dullard by Thomas Edward Shields — I have a more thorough review of this book here. Sheilds’ is an older book on education told in a narrative form. Though somewhat dated, it has some good insights. It is not an essential read it is an easy and enjoyable one. 

Eben Holden by Irving Bacheller — Bacheller is the author of my favorite book, The Light in the Clearing. Eben Holden is actually is best-known book. He is a slightly older author. This one is set around the time of the Civil War. It is a sweet, wholesome story. I found the beginning part about when the main character is young more interesting. It reminded me a little of the Little House on the Prairie books in that it tells about settlers in a certain time and place. There is nothing inappropriate in it though it is a little slower and would probably appeal less to small children. It was a good read though. 

The Scottish Covenanters by J.G.Vos — I wanted to like Vos’ history fo the covenanters and I did learn from it. Given what there is available on the topic, this is probably a good choice. Perhaps it is just the time period but even though I have heard a few Sunday school lessons on covenanter history and it was not an entirely new topic, I still found it all a bit confusing. The appendices were actually more interesting because Vos talks about specific topics in them. I was hoping it was something my teens could read but I think they would be too confused to really get much out of it. 

The Passage by Connie Willis — This book had come up in discussion with my daughter so I reread it recently. I remembered loving it and I loved it again this time. It’s one of those books where if you say too much you will spoil it. It is set mostly in a hospital and focuses on a couple of people researching near death experiences. It is funny — not in a laugh out loud way. I found (once again) that I cared about the characters right away and I liked that it doesn’t seem to waste too many words (though it is not a short book). The things the reader needs to know come out naturally.  My daughter has only made it about half way through and her impression was that it was not well-written because it spends a lot of time telling you how the characters find their way around the maze of the hospital. Without giving too much away, I will say that this aspect of the story is actually fairly important both to the later plot and to the whole atmosphere of what is happening. The worldview of the author is not mine. Christians are dismissed pretty abruptly ina straw-man kind fo way. Yet there is material here to make you think. It reminds me a bit of Of Human Bondage (which I read last month) in that the author seems to be saying something profound but then the end falls a little short. It is as if these non-Christian authors have some truth to tell but because they don’t have it all they can’t quite bring it to a good conclusion. I still really like this book though. Willis also wrote To Say Nothing of the Dog which is another wonderful, favorite book and much lighter subject-wise.

What have you been reading?


One response to this post.

  1. […] that there was a message, it was that all men will be good if just given the right circumstances. I have read a couple of other books recently (Of Human Bondage and The Passage) in which the authors did not seem to be believers and ended up with different conclusions about […]


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