April 12, 2007

Reading List for Spring

Ok, now that I have my son's Y9 planned out, I guess I need to start reading some of his books. I probably will not get through all of them but there are a few that look very interesting. Just a partial listing:

Witch-Hunt: Mysteries of the Salem Witch Trials
by Marc Aronson

"Aronson has produced a legitimate piece of original scholarship that is at the same time an interesting narrative. Examining the events in the Massachusetts of 1692, and immediately discounting much of what readers may already know about the trials, he answers some of the questions they will bring, but raises even more. In the brilliant introduction, the author actively encourages the rethinking of past notions of the events leading up to the accusations and hearings. He sets straight the issue of Tituba's ethnicity, the motives and means of Cotton Mather and his colleagues, and the societal contexts and compulsions of the accusers. These participants are introduced and preliminary events are related, all culminating in the hearings. At this point, some readers may get bogged down in respectable yet monotonous he-said-she-said, while others may feel the copious direct quotes from primary sources are just right. Writing with an unabashed political bent, Aronson draws intrepid parallels between Salem and post-September 11th society (as well as the 1960s), and alternately charming and shocking connections between the 400-year-old participants and classic folk- and fairy-tale characters. In the charge to form one's own deduction about what happened and why, this bold book cautions that while readers' interpretations will vary and are valid, conclusions may not even be possible." Reviewed by Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library

Peter the Great
by Robert K. Massie

Against the monumental canvas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and Russia, unfolds the magnificent story of Peter the Great. He brought Russia from the darkness of its own Middle Ages into the Enlightenment and transformed it into the power that has its legacy in the Russia of our own century. THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction
by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Widely used and appreciated since its first appearance, The Christian Life not only expounds the teaching of Scripture, but outlines its meaning for practical Christian living. It is, as J.I. Packer writes in his preface, theology that is "practical, applying Bible teaching with insight and wisdom to the condition of plain people. Christian beginners will get the benefit and the Lords older sheep, grown tough and stringy maybe, will find themselves edified and perhaps tenderized too." ChristianBook.com

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