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Tuesday, 19 January 2021

The Good Master by Kate Seredy (3/52 Books in 52 Weeks)

 One of the reasons I enjoy home educating using Sonlight is their selection of twaddle free books.  This year Nathaniel has 12 weeks left of World History Year 2 of 2. I had a lot of good intentions to read with Nathaniel during 2020 but alas life happened and I did not keep up.  I decided the best way to catch up was to add some of his books to my 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. This week I chose to read The Good Master by Kate Seredy.  

The Good Master

  • Format Paperback | 192 pages 
  • Dimensions 130 x 198 x 14mm | 162g 
  • Publisher Penguin Books Australia 
  • Language English Edition 
  • ISBN10 - 014030133X 
  • ISBN13 - 9780140301335 
  • Puffin Newberry Library

From Book Depositiory: "No child should miss out on the adventures of headstrong Kate, a girl from Budapest who spends summers with her cousin Jancsi on his father's ranch in Hungary. Horseback races across the plains, country fairs and festivals, a dangerous run-in with gypsies, and the chores and the joys -- and the colorful cultural trappings -- of daily life in pre-war Europe create a vivid, unforgettable world."

I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed this historical novel.  Headstrong Kate (Seredy herself) is not at all what Jancsi or his family expected. She is sent to live with her cousin Jancsi and Uncle Nagy on their family farm on the Hungarian plains. Uncle Nagy is known by all as "The Good Master" for his wise and gentle ways.  Kate is soon caught up in the daily life of the farm and soon opens the eyes of those around her to the wonders all around them that they take for granted. She soon calms down and develops a sounder set of values.

This books captures you with is vividly detailed scenes and beautiful illustrations by the author.   You will read about the history and stories of the people of Hungary through the people who touch their lives.

The sequel is The Singing Tree which takes Kate and the family through World War I, when Jancsi's father must join the army and he is left in charge of the ranch, which becomes a refuge for family, neightbors and war orphans.

 Author - Kate Seredy

  • 10 November 1899 to 7 March 1975
  • Born in Budapest Hungry
  • Immigrated to the USA 1922
  • Study at Academy of Art in Budapest for six years.
  • Earned a living illustrating lampshades, greeting cards and sheet music.
  • Illustrated for other authors including Caddie Woodlawn 
  • Illustrated her own books.
  • The Good Master is her first and most popular book.
  • She wrote several books which are still in print and available for purchase on Book Depository.

Do you have any historical novels you enjoy?

Linking with BW3 on Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Joseph Dreamer of Dreams by E. Traylor (2/52 Books in 52 Weeks)

Welcome to week two of 52 Books in 52 Weeks. This week I chose a biblical novel to enjoy.  I first encountered the author when I was in high school.  I read Samson which opened my eyes and heart to the reality of scripture and I began to realise just how real each of the people in the bible stories really were.  Years later I found a fabulous christian bookshop in Christchurch (Christian Value Books) and encountered books by Ellen Gunderson Traylor and began collecting her novels. 

Joseph Dreamer of Dreams

  • Format Paperback | 247 pages 
  • Publisher Harvest House Publishers 
  • Language English 
  • ISBN10 0890816999 
  • ISBN13 9780890816998  

I really enjoyed reading this book again. JOSEPH is a story of politics, passion and a peculiar example of GOD at work in the lives of men and women.

The Author

 Who are some of your favourite biblical story tellers?  I have three or four more on my shelf I am aiming to read later this year.

Thursday, 7 January 2021

The Reading Life by C.S. Lewis (1/52 Books in 52 Weeks)

Welcome to week one of 52 Books in 52 Weeks. To launch my year of reading I chose The Reading Life by C.S. Lewis. I spent many years avoiding CS Lewis books and a few years back as a family we listened to and read aloud the Narnia series by Mr Lewis and really enjoyed his writing.  I received this book for Christmas and the title really called to me when deciding which book to commence the challenge with and I am so pleased that I did read it.

 No Book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty. ... The only imaginative works we ought to grow out of are those which it would have been better not to have read at all - C.S. Lewis The Reading Life.

The Reading Life


  • Format Paperback  
  • 192 pages 
  • Dimensions 129 x 198 x 15mm | 170g 
  • Publication date 15 Oct 2020 
  • Publisher HarperCollins Publishers 
  • Imprint William Collins 
  • Publication City/Country London, United Kingdom 
  • Language English 
  • ISBN10 0008307121 
  • ISBN13 9780008307127 

Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certian truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books.  - C.S. Lewis The Reading Life.

Available to purchase

From Book Depository

  •  "The revered teacher and bestselling author reflects on the power, importance, and joy of a life dedicated to reading books in this delightful collection drawn from his wide body of writings."
  • "Cultivated from his many essays, articles, and letters, as well as his classic works, The Reading Life provides guidance and reflections on the love and enjoyment of books. Engaging and enlightening, this well-rounded collection includes Lewis' reflections on science fiction, why children's literature is for readers of all ages, and why we should read two old books for every new one."

 The book is divided into two parts: On the Art and Joy of Reading (15 chapters) and Short Readings on Reading (37 chapters). The appendix contains Journal Exercises for Reflecting on Your Reading Life.

[A child] does not despise real woods because he has read of enchanted woods: the reading makes all reall woods a little enchanted - C.S. Lewis The Reading Life.

The Author

The greatest cause of verbicide is the fact that most people are obviously far more anxious to express their approval and disapproval of things than to describe them. - C.S. Lewis The Reading Life.

I'm so pleased I chose this book to commence my year of reading. It is a beautifully compiled book with thought provoking moments.  I loved the quotes which are enlarged throughout the book.  

I had two favourite chapters: Why Children's Stories are not Just for Children and How to Murder Words.  

I really enjoyed what C.S. Lewis had to say about Tolkien in  The Achievements of J.R.R. Tolkien.

This is a fabulous book and deserves a spot on any bookshelf.

What are you reading?

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