Happy birthday, America!

Something to read today: The Declaration of Indepedence

"The Rocket", 1909

“The Rocket”, 1909

Some good Fourth of July books?

John Adams, by David McCullough. Also, 1776 by the same author, which is a lot shorter, but just as good. (It’s also one of our book club selections!)

The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara, about the Battle of Gettysburg, which took place July 1-3, 1863, and is also the basis for the film Gettysburg.

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July book: Moloka’i, by Alan Brennert

I am really excited to share this book in book club, for a few reasons. One, it’s a great novel about something most people probably don’t know a lot about: how the Hawaiian government handled leprosy/Hansen’s disease by shipping those with the disease to the island of Moloka’i, forcibly separating them from their families, usually for the rest of their lives. Two, it has two new Saints from the Catholic Church in it: St. Damian of Molokai, and St. Marianne Cope, who was a Franciscan sister who ran a house for girls with leprosy on the island. Sr. Marianne was recently canonized.

Moloka’i is told from the perspective of a young girl who is diagnosed with leprosy and sent to live on the island. That choice of narrator provides such a rich variety of experiences, as she grows up in a very different place than most little girls do. The compelling narration is one of the best elements of the story.

If you’d like to read along with us, feel free! Even if you’ve already read it, I always approve of re-reading. 🙂

Book Club Reading List July-April 2014

So we’ve cobbled together a book list for our meetings through April 2014. We’re taking December off because that month just gets crazy. Here they are!

July: Molokai by Alan Brennert (2004)

August: Nothing Daunted by Dorothy Wickenden (2012)

September: Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini (2013)

October: Midwife of the Blue Ridge by Christine Blevins (2008)

November: Evangelical Catholicism by George Weigel (2013)

January: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (1814)

February: The Last Time I Saw Paris by Lynn Sheene (2011)

March: Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (2011)

April: 1776 by David McCullough (2007)

Book Club meeting #2: Extreme Makeover by Teresa Tomeo

Book #2 in the TBC Book Club was a huge hit–all of us would give it two enthusiastic thumbs up! While the main audience for this book is Catholic women, we think that anyone could benefit from it: Catholic men, and other Christian men and women.

Tomeo talks about how women can walk the line between being holy, but also being “in the world” by offering her own life makeover. Here are the points:

  1. See yourself first and formose as a daughter of the King
  2. Receive the Sacrament of Confession regularly (something that all of us BCs are working on!)
  3. Make a concerted effort to silence the noise in your life (No TV in your room! Make dinner time a media-free zone, etc.)
  4. Remember that the Blessed Mother is watching you.
  5. Brush up on your Catholicism
  6. Remember that ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ
  7. When it comes to news media, consider the source. (EM, 157)

We had a long (3 hour plus!) discussion on media–not making the TV the focal point of your life; taking time away for silence, which fosters prayer; not constantly checking cellphones or always having the iPod buds in; finding clothes that are flattering and pretty; what we like–and don’t–about being girls; how “tempting” the opposite sex is a two way street (guys–keep your imaginations under control!); how things, in general (like TV) are not evil inherently, but depends upon how it is used.

For Catholic Women, Bl. John Paul II gave us the idea of “Feminine Genius”, which is a great gif to us. Men an dwomen were indeed created differently–but both in God’s image. But we are not the same! And our differences are what make up special. Tomeo talks about our differences and bolsters the courage of young Catholic women to be the beautiful creations God made us to be.

November’s Selection: Tuesdays with Morrie

Most people have heard about, and read, our November book, Tuesdays With MorrieBut that doesn’t diminish it’s suitability for Three Bookish Girls!

We are planning on alternating sacred/secular books each month, starting with the secular, although Tuesdays With Morrie also has a definite religious angle. As Catholics, we study the Four Last Things–death, judgment, hell and heaven. So Morrie can facilitate conversation on how we, as young Catholic women, can prepare for those things here and now.

Have you read the book? Do you have questions you’d like to see us discuss? Leave a note in the combox!

Emily