Ponder Eternity, Eternally

Collectively Considering with Scripture as our Rubric

On Books: Reading and Writing January 31, 2007

“Reading is a privileged pleasure because each of us enjoys it, quite complexly, in ways not replicable by anyone else.  But there is enough structural common ground in the text itself so that we can talk to each other, even sometimes persuade each other, about what we read: and that many-voiced conversation, with which, thankfully, we shall never have done, is one of the most gratifying responses to literary creation, second only to reading itself.” –Robert Alter

CHAPTER ONE BOOK CLUB.  Select group of blue stockings. 😉 We meet in our homes whenever it suits us.  JK.  Seriously, we’re still struggling on a regular meeting time & hope to land on a set date sometime soon.  We’re aiming at the 2nd Thursday of every month.

This is a closed Facebook Group but you can contact me if you’re interested in joining.  Facebook is the mode of communication we use to keep informed of our reading list & meeting dates.

Books we’re reading in 2014:

January: The Rent Collector, Camron Wright

February: The Aviator’s Wife, Melanie Benjamin

March: A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith


2010-11 READING SCHEDULE: (Click on the highlighted title below for a link to Amazon’s page.)

OCTOBER: ‘Frankenstein,’ by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

NOVEMBER: ‘John Adams,’ by David McCullough

DECEMBER: ‘A Christmas Carole,’ by Charles Dickens

JANUARY: ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin,’ by Harriet Beecher Stowe

FEBURARY: ‘Like Water for Chocolate,’ by Laura Esquivel

MARCH: ‘Portrait of Lady,’ by Henry James

APRIL: ‘The Agony and the Esctasy,’ by Irving Stone

MAY: “Undaunted Courage” by Steven Ambrose

JUNE: ‘A Single Shard,’ by Linda Sue Park

JULY: ‘Galileo’s Daughter,’ by Dava Sobel

AUGUST: ‘The Closing of the American Mind,’ by Allan Bloom

SEPTEMBER: ‘The Great Divorce,’ by C.S. Lewis


16 Responses to “On Books: Reading and Writing”

  1. Janelle Says:

    I just read “A Tale of Two Cities”
    I don’t know how to underline on this page.

  2. Nanette Says:

    What’d you think of it? I read it in Jr. High & remember loving it. I’ve wanted to re-read it but haven’t gotten around to it. What prompted you to read it now?

  3. Paula Wood Says:

    Since I am in the last semester of classes for my master’s program in Marriage and Family Therapy, I am reading too many books at once to mention, but one that is especially interesting to me is entitled “Forgive for Good.” It is written by Dr. Fred Luskin the director and cofounder of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project.

    I am finding it an interesting challenge to “counsel” what I consider to be spiritual principles (I am not sure that ALL principals aren’t TRULY “spiritual principles!!!”)in a manner that is considered ethical by professional standards. Forgiveness is one of these principles of power….

    Nevertheless, in my search and with answered prayers, I am finding “tools.”

    I think that this book might be one of them. I am not that far into it as of yet, I will have to let you know…

    Meanwhile, if anyone is interested in joining me in my experience, I would ENJOY THE COMPANY!!!!

    Paula Wood

  4. Nanette Says:

    Paula, your efforts are commendable! You’re sure to bless the lives of those you counsel.

    Today I saw “A Mary Heart in a Martha World,” or something like that at Sam’s Club. I have too many books on my reading to-do list, so I didn’t buy it. But it sounds like something a counselor might enjoy/need to read. I’d love a review by anyone having read it.

  5. erin Says:

    One of my mission companions recommended a novel called Peace Like A River by Leif Enger, and Bud and I both read it. It surprised me, and left me very reflective on one of our most important opportunities as parents – the opportunity to pray earnestly for our children.

  6. Kim Stewart Says:


    With Nanette’s help I found this website!! It is my first blog!! These books sound great. I was wondering which of them are written by LDS authors??

  7. erin Says:

    Peace Like A River is not by an LDS author. It was a bestseller a few years ago I think.

  8. Nanette Says:

    I just finished “How The New Testament Came To Be,” the published 35th Annual BYU Sidney B. Sperry Symposium lectures. It was terrific reading, taught me a lot and very conversational…I almost felt like I had been able to attend the symposium. I recommend it to anyone interested in the origin of the New Testament.

  9. Bari Says:

    Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling (Richard Bushman) started me on a history jag. I first read a biography of Wilford Woodruff to learn a bit about the end of polygamy to go along with what I had learned about the beginning of polygamy. Then I read 1776 (David McCullough) to get a little understanding about the environment Joseph Smith and my own forefathers were born into. Followed by a biography of George Washington and one of Alexander Hamilton (Ron Chernow). These biographies collectively lead me to want to know about how the Lord uses flawed individuals to make His plan work. Right now I am reading A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare. Very interesting to see how this obviously talented artist was successfull in attracting a large enough audience that we today are aware of his work.

    I love this blog. Thanks so much Nanette. love to you all-bari

  10. Nanette Says:

    Bari, Paul sprained his ankle this weekend & in an effort to keep him off it, I bought him the new biography of David O. McKay. My dad had read it & enjoyed it as much as Rough Stone Rolling. Paul read that last year, loving it & vowing to re-read it for greater comprehension. (I’m reading it now.) The McKay book is subtitled “the rise of modern mormonism.” Dad said it gave him new insight in how the church has evolved and dealt with difficult issues & GA personalities. Perhaps you’d enjoy reading it, too, if you’re still on the biography band wagon. 🙂

  11. Erin Says:

    I loved Rough Stone Rolling, too, very much. Also loved 1776. Right now and reading The Killer Angels again, have long been fascinated Joshua Chamberlain’s personal character. I have a quote by him on my bulletin board: “We know not of the future, and cannot plan for it much. But we can hold our spirits and our bodies so pure and high, we may cherish such thoughts and such ideals, and dream such dreams of lofty purposes, that we can determine and know what manner of men we will be whenever and wherever the hour strikes that calls to noble action…. No man becomes suddenly different from his habit and chrerished thought.”

  12. Nanette Says:

    Erin, years ago I began “The Killer Angels” and not being a student of history had a difficult time keeping characters straight…who fought for whom, etc. It was a chore at the time so I put the book down. If I were to approach the book again, do you have any suggestions for simplifying the characters w/o having to take copious notes?

  13. Nanette Says:

    Erin, what bullitin board are you referring to in #11?

  14. Erin Says:

    Someone asked me the same thing this week – I guess it never occured to me that I have to keep track of what is going on – what I love about the book is what the people are thinking about and how they react to dilemmas etc., their faith or lack thereof, their influence upon one another, their ability to perceive reality accurately or not, and what it all leads to in terms of world history – especially Chamberlain’s reaction to the seemingly impossible situation on Little Round Top. Maybe watching the DVD first would help with keeping track? I have it (It is called “Gettysburg”).

    The Chamberlain quote is on my bulletin board in my office. A long time ago in a ward council training on the other side of town our stake president gave it to us. It took me awhile to make the connection between the quote and Bud’s favorite book (Killer Angels) and then I read it and it is one of my favorites now, too. I hopefully am going to remember to run copies of the quote to bring to the great works thing on the 27th.

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