For more Quick Takes, visit Jen. And, no, I don't have one of those fancy Amazon accounts that lets me earn money when you click one of these links and buy the book. I just share my opinions on books for free because they aren't worth much more than that.
First this link, because it is more important than anything I have to say. My amazingly compassionate, loving, beautiful friends are in the process of adopting a daughter (or a pair of siblings) from Ethiopia. They already have three biological children, and they are opening their home to more. They are selling these super cool shirts to raise funds. Visit Cortney's blog to buy one. If you aren't convinced, read her story of being called to adopt. Start at the beginning or just read this post.
I have actually been making myself take time to read lately despite the insanity that surrounds me. I just finished The Alchemist, and though I don't think it was a consistently profound book, I did love it. It had many, many beautiful nuggets of truth in it, and it was a wonderful tale (fable? semi-allegory?). I think I loved it for the places it touched on Christian truth in the way I love a good movie that has glimpses of the truth in it. It's a quick read, one that had been on my list forever, and definitely worth it.
I am also finally trying to get serious about this idea of homeschooling and buckling down to read The Well-Trained Mind. I love the idea of classical education, but I am not sure I would love the practical working out of it. Anyone have any experience or advice on this? It seems so heavily academic at such an early age, and that scares me off a bit. Since my boys will already be in Chinese Kindergarten in the mornings, I don't want to overdo it. I'd love to hear from other moms of young ones who have started classical education at home.
For something less deep but just as wonderful, I just finished Adriana Trigiani's Very Valentine. I love her Big Stone Gap series and all of her books, and this new book did not disappoint. I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series.
If you are interested in China or good travel/culture books in general, you can't beat Peter Hessler. I highly recommend every one of his books, including Country Driving, of which I have only read the first ten pages. He is an incredibly talented story teller/writer/weaver of words, and you will not regret picking up one of his books.
On to visual media...We have been loving Foyle's War in the Two Square household. We get the episodes through Netflix and have gotten my husband's whole family addicted to this fantastic British murder drama set in World War II. The history is fascinating and the characters are lovably British. (Why DO we Americans have such an obsession with all things British?)
On the personal front, for those who care, we are...well...still really busy and traveling and trying to sell our house (or rent it...what to do, what to do) and making phone calls and sending letters and praying really hard that we can get to Asia by November at the latest. If you are the praying sort, please pray with us!