Day Seven of the 10 Day Blog Challenge. Today is the day I’m supposed to talk about four books. Out of the thousands of books I’ve read in my lifetime, picking only four to talk about is even harder than picking out five favorite foods for the last challenge post. [ Previous Blog Challenge posts can be found here: Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five , and Day Six.] I love to read and have many, many “favorite” books, but if I must narrow it down to four, so be it.
1. Actually, I’m not limiting my choices to four books, because Number One is a set of books, not just one book. The Narnia Series. I read them long, long ago in the order in which C.S. Lewis wrote them. Even though the publisher now had the series renumbered in supposedly chronological order, I think they should be read in the original order. This order: a. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe b. Prince Caspian c. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader d. The Silver Chair e. The Horse and His Boy f. The Magician’s Nephew and g. The Last Battle
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is probably the best book of the series, but I have read them all many times and still enjoy reading them. I remember being so astounded the first time I read it as a young girl. After I read the part where Aslan gives his life in the place of Edmond, is mocked and tortured, and comes back to life, I put the book down and exclaimed, “Why, that’s just like Jesus!” I had never heard of the word allegory then, but I read all the books, over and over, loving them. I’ve read criticism from modern critics about the books, but those criticisms are primarily from those who are anti-Christian and from an anti-Christian viewpoint. That should not be a judgement on the books, which will be forever classics.
2. My next choice is also a series: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. I first read this series in college. At that time, there wasn’t much fantasy for adults and this was a full-blown, beautifully written, epic fantasy. I devoured them, and then I read them over again. When my older children were about 8 and 10, I read them aloud to them as bedtime reading, a chapter every evening. They loved them. I must admit, when reading them aloud to my kids, I did skip part of the descriptive passages, to keep their interest. And still, every few years, I dig them out and reread them. If you know The Lord of the Rings only from the movies, I’d suggest you get the books and read them. One modern criticism is that the books are too slow. If you must have action, more action, then skim through the paragraphs of description, but the books have many little subplots and characters that are missing from the movies.
3. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book, first published in 1942, last reprint in 1946. This is my mother’s cookbook, the only one she ever had. Oh, she had several pamphlets published by various companies, newspaper recipes, recipes written on 3×5 cards, but only the one real hardbound cookbook. As the oldest of 11 living children, she grew up cooking. She mostly cooked food that didn’t require recipes. This is the cookbook she consulted when she needed a recipe. She used it for yeast rolls for Thanksgiving. Her meatloaf was from this cookbook, with some modifications. I baked my first cookies from this cookbook. It is not in good shape, but I treasure it and always will.
4. My fourth choice is not a book, but an author: Grace Livingston Hill. She wrote Christian romance books in the early 1900s. Her books are very dated now, since some of her plot lines depend heavily on class distinctions that are no longer valid. Also some plot lines depend on her main characters losing their money in the depression and being too poor to eat, etc. Welfare today makes those plot lines obsolete. But, if you read her books as historical novels, then you can accept the plots that today are totally unrealistic. (Such as a lady never going out in public without her hat and gloves.) She knew how to tell a good story. There was always something happening (at least in her best books–she wrote over a hundred). If you don’t like openly Christian fiction, don’t bother trying her books. You’d hate them. However, if you do enjoy reading about Christians having trials, leading others to Christ, then you might try reading her books. Many are still in print.
Those are my four book choices, even if I did adapt my choices just a little. 🙂
Next post in the 10 Day Blog Challenge is Three Films. Don’t forget to check on Fridays for my guest posts. Last Friday’s Guest Post was To Publish…Or Not by Angela McGill