Milly-Molly-Mandy meets What Katy Did

Today I’ll share a couple of short passages from books I’ve been reading recently with my children. Both made me laugh, though I guess the context also helps. The first is from Susan M. Coolidge’s What Katy Did: “Imogen was a bright girl naturally, but she had so read so many novels that her brain wasContinue reading “Milly-Molly-Mandy meets What Katy Did”

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers

I am currently reading and hugely enjoying Maria Augusta Trapp’s The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. It is difficult to read some of the early sections in particular without thinking about (or humming) The Sound of Music but, as the story progresses, we get a lot that isn’t in the movie. It comes as something ofContinue reading “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers”

The Jesuits in China

  The first Jesuit missionaries to China were a really fascinating group and Liam Matthew Brockey’s Journey to the East provides many new insights into their mission. Whereas previous accounts tended to emphasise the Jesuit mission to the imperial court, Brockey conclusively shows that they also made a big impact in the countryside among ordinary folk too.Continue reading “The Jesuits in China”

Catechism of the Seven Sacraments

It doesn’t look much like a traditional catechism, does it? But don’t be fooled. The Sacrament of the Seven Sacraments is a deeply orthodox book that draws on Pope Benedict XVI’s covenant theology and is a direct response to Pope St John Paul II’s call for a New Evangelization. The characters may be made out ofContinue reading “Catechism of the Seven Sacraments”

Simone Lia’s ‘Please God, find me a husband’

Simone Lia’s Please God, find me a husband is a wonderful graphic novel which contains some very funny scenes as Simone seeks God’s will for her life. There are a great couple of pages which describe her not altogether successful attempts to meditate while on retreat, for instance, and a very funny section which describes her attemptsContinue reading “Simone Lia’s ‘Please God, find me a husband’”

St Thérèse of Lisieux and Reception of the Eucharist

I won’t draw any conclusions from the passage that follows but will leave the words of the saint to speak for themselves: “The day after my first Communion was still one of happiness, but overcast with melancholy. Marie had given me such a lovely dress, and I had lots of other presents, but these thingsContinue reading “St Thérèse of Lisieux and Reception of the Eucharist”

Escape from the Tower of London

I wrote yesterday about Fr John Gerard’s plan to escape from the Tower of London in 1597, a story I must have read as a child, but had then completely forgotten, even though it has everything you could possibly want from a great escape story. Having bribed his guard, so he could gain access toContinue reading “Escape from the Tower of London”

Pat Reid’s ‘My Favourite Escape Stories’

This was one of my favourite books when I was a child. I have vivid memories of Charles I’s attempted escape from Carisbrooke Castle, Oliver Philpot’s ‘Trojan Horse’ escape from Stalag Luft III and Pierre Mairesse Lebrun’s vaulting of the fence at Colditz. However, I had completely forgotten the first chapter, which is an extractContinue reading “Pat Reid’s ‘My Favourite Escape Stories’”

Heidi, the Prodigal Son, and Patience

The precious book that Heidi receives in Frankfurt contains a story which she returns to time and again: the story of the Prodigal Son. Why should this story, in particular, matter so much to her? On the face of it, the prodigal son’s experience is utterly different from Heidi’s. He turns away from his father:Continue reading “Heidi, the Prodigal Son, and Patience”