I have to tell you, I have been exploding with excitement over this project, but decided it was easier to just wait until there was something to show for it before mentioning it! I was thrilled when a few weeks ago Katherine contacted me about a project which involved cataloguing books and creating a monthly and seasonal reading list for Orthodox families. Since then, we have been busily inputting data to create a list of books organized by month.
As of now, we have compiled a list of books from our own experiences. This list contains a month by month list of books focused on the life of a single saint. We are also compiling a list organizing those books which contain multiple lives, and that will be added as it is finished. We are also in the process of creating a section for the feasts of the Church Year, and as we compile each list, we are also making note of the historical date and geography of each. The next part of this project involves both a chronological and a geographical list which may be used as a help in planning history and geography studies. It is our vision to share a series of printable lists appropriate for each of the Cycles of Grace notebooks.
This is a work in progress, and we both appreciate your prayers as we continue to expand this list. We are now going to set about searching through the catalogs of Orthodox publishers in search of books not yet listed. If you have a favorite title on the life of a single saint, please leave a comment so we may add it to this list.
We have chosen to include select titles that are not published by Orthodox sources. Katherine explains this best:
"We made the decision to include a small amount of carefully selected, well-written and beautifully illustrated children's literature on the lives of the saints of the Orthodox Church, even if they were written or published by a non-Orthodox source. As a parent, you will have to make the decision as to whether or not you wish to include these books in your family's home library. Whether to only choose books written from the perspective of an Orthodox mindset or to expand one's library to include books written by other Christians or secular authors is the decision of the parent. "
As to reviewing these titles, or categorizing by reading level, that is beyond our scope. Our hope is that each parent will be assisted in making decisions through the reviews of the publishers, by using the links provided with this list. Katherine has carefully linked as many books as possible to Orthodox publishers, in hopes of supporting their efforts to produce more quality literature for Orthodox families. In some cases, when an Orthodox publisher could not be found, a link to Amazon was included. If you know an Orthodox source for purchasing any of the books linked to Amazon, please leave a comment. We also greatly appreciate the kind correction of any errors or omissions in the project.
I am providing a permanent link in my sidebar, where you will find the pages for Reading Through the Year of Grace. Our hope is as each month approaches, we can simply look over the list, and pull the appropriate books to include in our daily readings. Considering the time of year, this list could make a wonderful Christmas wish list - to be passed along to grandparents and godparents to help add to your personal libraries. I intend to print each list off, highlighting the books I own, and file them at the front of the appropriate Cycles of Grace notebook.
Please keep us in your prayers, that God may help us be faithful in this and in all things.