Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

2011 Book Awards and Reading List

Wow, what happpened last week? It looks like I posted several pictures that I don't remember taking and writing several posts about things that I don't remember happening... Oh well, back to life as usual.


I realized that January is almost over and I haven't made my annual book awards list. These are my favorite books that I read last year (not necessarily books that were published last year).

Best Fiction book I read this year: Tie: Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset and The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Best History book I read this year: Those Terrible Middle Ages! Debunking the Myths by Regine Pernoud

Best overall Nonfiction I read this year: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Most difficult book I read this year: The Roman Republic by Michael Crawford (and not necessarily because the information was difficult, but because his writing style was so unengaging and dry)

Most Beautiful book I read this year: Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset

And here is my 2011 book list:
  • Nathan Coulter by Wendell Berry 12/11
  • His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle 12/11
  • Romulus by Jacob Abbott 12/11
  • Ashamed of the Gospel by John MacArthur 12/11
  • I Will Repay by Baroness Orczy 12/11
  • Alexander the Great by Paul Cartledge 12/11
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen 12/11
  • Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs 12/11
  • Those Terrible Middle Ages!: Debunking the Myths by Regine Pernoud 12/11
  • The Talisman by Walter Scott 12/11
  • Travellers' Rest by James Enge 11/11
  • The Vampyre by John William Polidori 11/11
  • The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle 11/11
  • The King Must Die by Mary Renault 11/11
  • Rasselas by Samuel Johnson 11/11
  • Refuting Evolution by Jonathan Sarfati 11/11
  • Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl 11/11
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 11/11
  • Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos 10/11
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky by Peter Letihart 10/11
  • Rupert of Hentzau by Anthony Hope 10/11
  • The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliffe 10/11
  • How to be Free from Bitterness by Jim Wilson 10/11
  • The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope 10/11
  • Salamandastron by Brian Jacques 10/11
  • The Babylonians: An Introduction by Gwendolyn Leick 9/11
  • My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse 9/11
  • The Wood Beyond the World by William Morris 9/11
  • The Iliad by Homer (Richmond Lattimore, trans.) 9/11
  • Charles Dickens by G. K. Chesterton 9/11
  • All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque 9/11
  • The Peterkin Papers by Lucretia Hale 9/11
  • Paradox and Truth: Rethinking Van Til On the Trinity by Ralph Smith 9/11
  • Peter the Great by Jacob Abbott 9/11
  • Charles I by Jacob Abbott 8/11
  • Mary Queen of Scots by Jacob Abbott 8/11
  • The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece by Paul Cartledge 8/11
  • Queen Elizabeth by Jacob Abbott 8/11
  • Vathek by William Beckford 8/11
  • Roverandom by J.R.R. Tolkien 8/11
  • Margaret of Anjou by Jacob Abbott 8/11
  • Richard III by Jacob Abbott 8/11
  • At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror H. P. Lovecraft 8/11
  • William the Conqueror by Jacob Abbott 8/11
  • Walking Across Egypt by Clyde Edgerton 8/11
  • The Battle of the Books and Other Short Pieces by Jonathan Swift 8/11
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan 8/11
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco 7/11
  • Julius Caesar Jacob Abbott 7/11
  • The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander 7/11
  • Richard I by Jacob Abbott 7/11
  • On the Art of Reading by Arthur Quiller-Couch 7/11
  • Hannibal by Jacob Abbott 7/11
  • Cleopatra by Jacob Abbott 7/11
  • The Roman Republic by Michael Crawford 7/11
  • Alexander the Great by Jacob Abbott 6/11
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle 6/11
  • The Symposium by Xenophon (H. G. Dakyns, trans.) 6/11
  • Reflections on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis 6/11
  • Classical Education and the Homeschool by Wesley Callihan, Douglas Jones, and Douglas Wilson 6/11
  • On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers 6/11
  • Mossflower by Brian Jacques 6/11
  • Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm 6/11
  • Talking about Detective Fiction by P. D. James 6/11
  • Ancient Greece: A History in Eleven Cities by Paul Cartledge 6/11
  • One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp 6/11
  • Rome and Italy by Livy (Betty Radice, trans.) 6/11
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows 5/11
  • Mattimeo by Brian Jacques 5/11
  • Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic 5/11
  • The Case for Classical Christian Education by Douglas Wilson 5/11
  • From Silence to Song: The Davidic Liturgical Revolution by Peter Leithart 5/11
  • The Astonished Heart by Robert Farrar Capon 4/11
  • Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education by Douglas Wilson 4/11
  • On the Character of a True Theologian by Herman Witsius 4/11
  • The Man Called CASH: The Life, Love and Faith of an American Legend by Steve Turner 4/11
  • The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson (Arthur G. Brodeur, trans.) 4/11
  • Journey into Narnia by Kathryn Lindskoog 4/11
  • The C.S. Lewis Hoax by Kathryn Lindskoog 4/11
  • Through Joy and Beyond by Walter Hooper 4/11
  • Father Brown: The Essential Tales by G.K. Chesterton 4/11
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis 4/11
  • Hangman's Holiday by Dorothy Sayers 4/11
  • Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler 4/11
  • The Poetic Edda: The Heroic Poems (Henry Bellows, trans.) 3/11
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell 3/11
  • Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew 3/11
  • Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith by Greg Bahnsen 3/11
  • The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx 2/11
  • Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder 2/11
  • Redwall by Brian Jacques 2/11
  • Origins of the Alphabets: Introduction to Archaeology by Joseph Naveh 2/11
  • Kristin Lavransdatter: The Cross by Sigrid Undset 1/11
  • Man of Blessing: A Life of St. Benedict by Carmen Butcher 1/11
  • Slave by John MacArthur 1/11
  • Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy Keller 1/11
  • Poems from the Old English (Burton Raffel, trans.) 1/11
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 1/11
  • Life of Dante by Giovanni Boccaccio (Philip Wicksteed, trans.) 1/11
  • La Vita Nuova by Dante Alighieri (Dante Gabriel Rossetti, trans.) 1/11
  • The Family by J.R. Miller 1/11
  • Kristin Lavransdatter: The Mistress of Husaby by Sigrid Undset 1/11