How Christianity Changed the World by Alvin J. Schmidt A good counterargument for the "religion ruins everything" crowd, at least as far as Christianity is concerned. Schmidt goes back to the very beginnings of the Christian faith to show how much good it has done in the world, while he doesn't deny the errors committed by those who acted in the name of Christ but who nevertheless went against Christian teaching. Schmidt explains how the establishment of the first hospitals and orphanages, the abolition of slavery, the elevation of the status of women, and advances in science, to name just a few topics, are the direct result of faith in the Bible.
The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge I loved this book from the first page! I'm reading it s-l-o-w-l-y and savoring every sentence. I've wanted to read Goudge for a long time now, but she is hard to find in used bookstores! I was given an Amazon gift card for Christmas and after much pondering, decided to use some of it to get three Goudge books: The Dean's Watch, Gentian Hill, and this one. One of the things I most love about it is the attention paid to the houses and housekeeping. I think I developed a taste for glimpses of domestic life while reading the Anne series by L.M. Montgomery and I still enjoy descriptions of houses and how people live in them. I also very much like Mary, the heroine of The Scent of Water. My Amazon gift card was well spent!
A Series of Unfortunate Events This highly enjoyable series is available on Netflix. The casting is excellent, especially Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf. I remember him from his Doogie Howser days and knew he had been successful on Broadway, but I hadn't seen him in anything for a very long time. Count Olaf's various incarnations give Harris the opportunity to showcase his versatility, and it is immense. This show has me laughing out loud at times. Highly enjoyable, even for adults!
The Great Interior Design Challenge Also available on Netflix, this is the decorator's version of The Great British Baking Show. Amateur designers compete to become the next big thing in the world of interior design. It's fast-paced and fun and keeps my half hour on the treadmill from descending into drudgery.
Easter is the most important feast of the entire liturgical year and is always a joyous celebration. Some highlights:
This actually took place on Saturday. Elizabeth and Justin were hosting a gathering of 25 people on Sunday at their house, but I wanted to have a smaller celebration with just immediate family as well, so we kicked off the festivities a little early at our house. It was a great time!