Thursday, May 08, 2008

Library Sales

Don't you love them?

On the one hand, I'm sad for the public when a treasure is relegated to the library bargain bin. How many others will be deprived of this book?

On the other hand, I'm delighted when a treasure is relegated to the library bargain bin, as the public's loss is my gain.

Here are a few favorites that we scored this week at our library's sale:

Loaves of Fun is an aptly named fun, cool history of bread.

Full of recipes, too.

I've blogged before about Mistakes that Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions and How They Came to Be. It was a regular check-out for the kids.
Now, fifty cents later, we own it.

Another great, fun, and informative reference is What a Great Idea: Inventions that Changed the World by Stephen "The Dirtmeister" Tomecek.

Read more about him here.

I love to have books like Breaking into Print: Before and After the Invention of the Printing Press just sitting around for the kids to pick up. In unschooling, we call it "strewing."
Aternatively, we just call it "life" and "interesting stuff."

Cooking a Meal from the Everyday History series is similarly strewable (as are all of the above.)

That's all I have time for now, but will be back later with more worthwhile finds.


Theresa said...

Man, I wish my library had sale bins like that! Loaves of fun is one of our favorite books, btw. We make the pita bread all the time and the Challah recipe is awesome!

Patience said...

No, I do not like library book sales! I suspect my damaged back was at least partly caused by them. I'll never forget the day I had to walk about half a mile from a library sale to fairy ballet class with a 4 year old and thirty books. I spent a lot of that walk weeping.

Not to mention the damage to my purse. I find it hard enough to leave the library as it is, when I'm only borrowing books. Given the chance to buy them, I go a little nuts. There is such a thing as having too many books (especially when you move house alot). We recently gave away most of Rose's little-girlhood books, and I estimate we'd read maybe only half of them.

Beck said...

Our library book sales make me sad - they take out all of the beautiful old children's books and replace them with junk.
... but on the other hand, those beautiful old books now grace my shelves. So I win.

Ashley W. said...

Karen, I read a few of the websites and articles on Mary you shared, and can you tell me what the reasons might be for focusing on Mary? I don't understand why we would study and get to know her so much (as one of the articles said) when we can get to know our Savior Himself directly. She was just human like us, no?
I'd like to hear your thoughts, for I am not too familiar with most Catholic doctrine. Thanks!

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Thanks, Karen-- I just added the Mistakes book to my bottomless Amazon cart!

Sarah said...

Thanks for the great list. Our library just opened a permanent used book sale area. Fortunately for my wallet and my overflowing shelves it's at the main branch not the branch in our neighborhood so I won't be going too often.

Karen E. said...

Ashley, you asked:

"can you tell me what the reasons might be for focusing on Mary? I don't understand why we would study and get to know her so much (as one of the articles said) when we can get to know our Savior Himself directly."

That's an excellent question. The short answer is: It's not that we should get to know Mary at the *expense* of our Savior, but that it is fitting to get to know Mary out of *love for* our Savior.

Neither Catholic doctrine nor Mary herself would want us to elevate Mary to a level equal to our Lord. The Catholic Church condemns worship of Mary. But to learn about her, to appreciate and admire her "fiat", her "yes" to God, her complete and utter faith in Him, is not worship; it is, rather, the act of learning from another disciple. And, it can be a valuable part of a faith journey that brings us closer to Jesus.

You asked, "She was just human like us, no?"

Yes, she certainly was! And, again, I want to stress that the Catholic Church teaches that Mary was and is human -- she is not divine, and she is not to be worshipped.

The Church carefully defines its terms, and teaches that while we are encouraged to respect and honor Mary, we are never to worship her.

But, why all the attention on the honor and respect? Why pay any attention to her at all if she's merely human, as we are?

Well, one very good reason is that God Himself paid attention to her. He chose her -- chose her to be the mother of Jesus. That alone inspires awe, doesn't it? A mere human was chosen to be the vessel that would bring our Lord into this world. It amazes me. And it naturally makes me want to honor and respect Mary, just as I honor and respect my own mother, and the mothers of people I love.

The fact that I love someone leads me, on a natural level, to want to offer respect and gratitude to the person who "gave" me that friend/husband/pastor, etc. On a greater level, then, I want to offer Mary the respect, love and gratitude that is her due for what she "gave" us: Jesus Christ Himself.

Not that she gave us Jesus through any act or merit that was her own doing. No, of course it was by God's grace. But *He* decided to have a human being participate in that process, and so in honoring Mary, we are honoring God's choice and His way of doing things.

When I think of Mary, I imagine the mother who really, truly, physically took care of Jesus: she nursed Jesus, wiped His brow, picked Him up when He fell, fed Him, watched Him learn to walk and talk, rocked Him in her arms ... she had a spectacularly close relationship with Him, a singular and unique relationship. And I want to learn from that.

One other way in which to think of it is this: do you have Christian friends whom you feel are excellent examples to you? People who walk so closely with God that you enjoy finding out more about how they pray, what they think, where they came from, how they found God, etc.? It's the same with Mary. "Getting to know Mary", or learning from her discipleship, is a way of striving to grow closer to God. The mother always points to her Son, and He's where we want to be. When you strive to learn more about your friends and their walks with the Lord, you're not looking to replace Jesus with that friend: you're looking for Jesus, and your friend is helping you.

I hope that makes some sense, as this is off the top of my head, and I'm typing quickly and not proofreading. :-) But, if it doesn't, I hope you'll write again and I'll try to explain it a bit better.