Friday, December 15, 2017

20 Questions Book Tag

I saw this on Nut Free Nerd and stole it... cause that's what I do!
  1. How many books are too many in a series? I've never thought about this before. I don't think I've ever read a series where I thought to myself "this is getting too long". If a series were getting too long I don't think it would be about the number of books but about the content in them. 
  2. How do you feel about cliffhangers? I'm normally fine with them as long as they aren't over the top dramatic and unnecessary. A well done cliffhanger keeps me turning the pages.
  3. Hardback or paperback? Growing up my parents motto was that hardback was always better because they held up longer. Now that I'm a book buyer I do tend to buy a majority of paperback books as evidenced by my bookshelves. They are cheaper. However, I know my hardbacks will last longer so when I can I do like to buy hardbacks. The feel of paperbacks does tend to be more comfortable though.... which is of course why they wear out sooner. There's a lot to be said either way. 
  4. Favorite book? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. 
  5. Least favorite book? Gulliver's Travels... I can't stand it. 
  6. Love Triangles, yes or no? I haven't read a lot of books with love triangles and when I did they were never my favorite part. They just don't tend to add anything to the story and become distracting from the real plot.
  7. The most recent book you couldn't finish? I don't normally pick up books I'm not going to finish. When I start a book I normally plough through even if I'm hating it, which I know is a waste of my reading time normally but I'm stubborn. So at this time I can't think of anything. 
  8. A book you're currently reading? So many! The one I'm most proud of right now though is War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I'm inching through it day by day and actually enjoying it. It's going to be a long read though. 
  9. Last book you recommended to someone? I'm always so hesitant to recommend books. It's a pride thing probably... I'm afraid they won't like it and judge me for liking it.  Recently though I had a conversation with my cousin, who shares pretty similar reading tastes with me, and I recommended several books to her. I know the first one I recommended because she hadn't read it yet, even though last time I recommended books I told her to, was The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery. So good!!!! Everyone should read it.
  10. The oldest book you've read? Besides the Bible, I think from looking it up The Oddyssey by Homer. I had to read that for high school. I get so confused by the stupid BC dates that are going down instead of up! 
  11. The newest book you've read? Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, which was published in September of 2016. I don't read a ton of new books. 
  12. Favorite author? Jane Austen and J.R.R. Tolkien... that was authorS right? 
  13. Buying books or borrowing books? My shelves attest to the fact that I can't resist buying books. But I buy pretty much all of them used! Ideally I should get more from the library and then only buy them if I loved them but that's not what happens. 
  14. A book you dislike that everyone seems to love? Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. It's not universally loved but it definitely gets more love that I can comprehend. 
  15. Bookmark or dog-ears? Always a bookmark! I've used anything and everything to makeshift as a bookmark rather than have to dog-ear. 
  16. A book you can always re-read? Well obviously Pride and Prejudice and Lord of the Rings. I'm always getting more out of them overtime through. However, for a little variety.... I would say J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series... I never get tired of it. 
  17. Can you read while hearing music? As long as it's music without words I'm normally ok but otherwise it can be kind of distracting. 
  18. One POV or multiple POVs? I'm ok with either. As long as they're written well the number of POVs should make no difference. 
  19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days? That depends on the book. At this point in my life I normally don't have the time to sit down and read a book in one sitting but if it's good enough I will make time. I miss the days when I was a kid and would curl up and read book after book. 
  20. One book you read because of the cover? I don't think I've read a book because of the cover. I do too much research on each book I read. 
I hope you enjoyed reading this tag! Feel free to steal it as I did and join in the fun.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Book Review- Adam Bede

For the Classics Club and the Classics Club Spin I read George Elliot's Adam Bede.
Synopsis from Goodreads: In the early days of the Napoleonic Wars, Adam Bede is hardworking carpenter with enormous physical strength and considerable force of will. But Adam has a single flaw, his blind love of Hetty Sorrel, a vain, shallow dairymaid who spurns Adam but is easily seduced by the local squire. The bitter and tragic consequences of her actions shake the very foundations of their serene rural community.While Adam Bede represents a timeless story of seduction and betrayal, it is also a deeper, impassioned meditation on the irrevocable consequences of human actions and on moral growth and redemption through suffering.

First off I'm going to try to avoid spoilers in this review but the comments are a free for all! I do love discussion so I'd love to hear other's thoughts.
I had mixed feelings about reading this book. Before this of George Elliot's novels I'd only read Middlemarch (which was meh) and Silas Maner (okay). It has been several years since I read any of her novels and I didn't have terribly good memories. I do think I can better appreciate her novels now though than I did back then. I would have hated Adam Bede if I'd read it years ago... kind of like I felt pretty meh about Middlemarh when I read it hears ago. Still though, I wasn't particularly fond of Adam Bede. I did find it intriguing and thought provoking.
None of the characters were particularly my favorite though. The title character, Adam Bede, is a great guy. He's a disciplined and virtuous man. He's got a major flaw though hand one that's hard to ignore... he's deeply in love with Hetty, who is a vain, self-centered flirt. She's a jerk and an idiot. She's also naive which I think is supposed to make us pity her. In case you missed my subtle clues... I really don't like Hetty. There's another person you dislike though.... though somehow I hated him less than Hetty, which wasn't really fair. Arthur Donnithorne is portrayed as a complex character who wants to do the right thing but never follow through. He's also very self-centered and in my opinion doesn't think there should be any consequences to his actions because he's rich and privileged. He disgusts me too. In fact, the more I write about him the more I dislike him. However bad those two characters are, though, Elliot makes you pity them both. She doesn't seem to attribute much guilt to them even though they both do a multitude of guilty offenses. On the other hand though we have Dinah, a female methodist preacher who is very passionate about her faith. I'm not going to get into an argument here but I do disagree with women being preachers. Since that how it was in the book I just went with it. Dinah is the moral center of the book. She is a virtuous women who is passionate about her calling as a preacher. She gives forgiveness and grace easily She is the only person to really embrace Hetty after the scandal erupts. You're supposed to love her and really that's what ends up happening. I like the other pastor in the book Mr. Irwine. He's also a virtuous and caring man and while he doesn't embrace Hetty per say he does still care for her and try to help her amidst the scandal.
Now one thing I find interesting is George Elliot's sense of morality in her books. However, looking her up I get a better idea of who she was and why books are the way they are. Now, for those who don't know who might be confused and wondering why I keep calling George Elliot "her", George Elliot was the pen name for Mary Anne Evans. Marry Anne had a pretty immoral life and did not identify as a Christian. So that helps to explain her messed up morality in her books.
By the end of the book I was just hoping that the right characters would end up together so that the book would at least have a satisfying conclusion. However, I will say George Elliot is a good author and the psychology of her novels keeps them intriguing. I'll probably read more of her books. They're just not my favorite. I like my books to be though provoking but I also want them to be light and happy.... I like Jane Austen... and George Elliot is no Jane Austen.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

It's Monday! In the Christmas Spirit

I saw a picture on Facebook and got carried away so here's my finished project!

I'm never crafty but I almost felt it doing this. And who wants to guess who's stocking is who's? Hint... the stockings represent our personalities pretty well.
We're almost done with the nursery but the mess of painting it and moving furniture around is holding me off from putting up the Christmas tree yet. Anyways once I put the Christmas tree up I'll feel like I need to have presents under it.... and yeah.... a little behind on that.
Reading right now is a little slow. I'm reading a lot of long books. I wouldn't have finished any books this week but I wasn't feeling well on Friday so I laid around and read most of the day.

Currently Reading

  • Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • God Is by Mark Jones 
  • The Mortification of Sin by John Owen
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey 

Finished this Week

  • Adam Bede by George Elliot 

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Book Review- A Princess of Mars

For the Classics Club I read Edgar Rice Burroughs novel A Princess of Mars.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Suddenly projected to Mars, John Carter found himself captive of the savage green men of Thark. With him was Dejah Thoris, lovely Princess of Helium. And between them and rescue lay a thousand miles of deadly enemies and unknown dangers.
I've wanted to read this ever since watching its film adaption John Carter. Did I really like John Carter? Not particularly but I read a review of it that mentioned the book and how much the reviewer enjoyed it so since I semi-enjoyed the film I decided to read the book.
The book is much better!!!!
A Princess of Mars is a fun sci-fi, adventure romance. This was my first Edgar Rice Burroughs novels so I wasn't  sure what expect but now I'm excited to read more of his books.  It's one of the first science fiction novels (read the wikipedia article on science fiction's beginnings... it's so interesting!). I'd say it's much more engaging that most early science fiction novels I've read. It was written in a serial format though so it probably had to be. A lot of the earlier science fiction novels focus so much on the science that they leave the fun behind. A Princess of Mars does not. There's some science but there's lots of fun adventure and of course romance as well.
John Carter is a Civil War hero and after the war goes prospecting in Arizona. While there through a series of events ends up transported to Mars. What follows is adventure and intrigue as he meets the green men of Mars and tries to navigate their cruel system. As the book progresses he meets a different people of Mars... the red men of Mars and most specifically Deja Thoris... their proud and beautiful princess. As they both try to escape the cruelty of the green martians they fall in love. (duh) I really like John Carter. He's such a noble character and the deep love he carries for Deja Thoris is endearing. All of the characters in the book were interesting and you pretty much either loved or hated them. I also really liked the dog like creature Woola that John Carter befriends. Dogs are truly a man's best friend... even if they're Mars dogs. ;)
A little note.... most book covers of A Princess of Mars show Deja Thoris in bikini like garb. That's honestly better than what she actually wears in the book... which is nothing but jewelry so the reader is given to understand. Don't let that turn you off from the book though. Her lack of clothing is only mentioned just as much as I just now mentioned it. It's not dwelt on at all and it's not sexual. Is it ideal? No. But I didn't find it distracting from my enjoyment of the book.
So overall I really enjoyed this book and I'd definitely recommend it for those who enjoy adventure romance novels and wouldn't mind a little sci-fi sprinkled in it as well.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

My Life in Books Tag

Another tag to steal! I saw this one over at Wonderland Creek and here I am doing it... cause I can.

Find a book for each of your initials

L- Leave it to Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse 
F- Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
K- Killer Angels by Michael Shaara  

Count your age along your bookshelf... What book is it?

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Pick a book set in your country

I'll go one better... one set (partially) in my state. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. 

Pick a book that represent a destination you'd love to travel to

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen... especially Darbyshire. 

Pick a book that is your favorite color

I love blue and teal. I have a lovely copy of Tolkien's translation of Beowulf that is a gorgeous teal color. 

Which book do you have fondest memories of

Probably reading Brian Jacques's Redwall series. His books have brought me so much joy and comfort throughout my life.

Which book did you have the most difficulty reading

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman... it's poetry and I don't do well with poetry.

Which book on your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you read it?

War and Peace by Tolstoy most definitely! To be fair I am currently reading it but it is still most definitely going to give me the biggest accomplishment of my reading life. 

Well that's it! Feel free to steal the tag if you so desire! 

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Monday, December 4, 2017

It's Monday! Holiday Thoughts

We're now past Thanksgiving and on to Christmas. Thanksgiving is such a delicious holiday and currently I'm still thinking about turkey covered in gravy and leftover turkey sandwiches. Yum! Sadly, my husband is not a turkey fan so if I make turkey now I'd be the only one eating it.... hmmm... maybe that's not all bad. I am looking forward to Christmas though. More food! My family has a long history of making so many delicious treats for Christmas. We love peppernuts, date pinwheels, coconut joys, peppermint bark, coffee fudge, poppyseed roll and so much more! Just listing them off makes me drool! Is there more to these holidays besides the food... maybe... but this pregnant woman mostly is thinking about the food. I do love giving gifts though and Christmas is prime time for that. I love giving gifts all year around really. I'll see something I know my siblings or my parents will like and I get it for them and then it's the game to see if I have the self control to hide it until it's their birthday or Christmas or if I'm going to give in and give it to them early. I'm already so excited about the gifts I'm getting for people. I obviously get super excited about getting gifts to. I spend all year putting together the perfect Christmas wish list and since my birthday is not too long after Christmas it doubles as a birthday wish list too. Obviously a lot of books make it on to the list. I can't wait to see which ones I get!
I was so excited that I got my Broke and Bookish Secret Santa gift this weekend! It really kicked off Christmas for me. Aliza Shandel got the gift again for me this year and once again it was awesome! She puts so much thought into her gifts it's so sweet! Look what she got me this year!!!

She got me the books; I am Malala, As You Wish, and Daddy-Long Legs. I'm so excited to read them!!! Then she also got me a candle, some bee balm, chocolate (yum!), a herbal tea sampler (I've enjoyed the two flavors I've tried so far!) and this super cool glass! What fun!

In my reading world recently it's been going pretty decently. Here's what's up!

Currently Reading

  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 
  • Adam Bede by George Elliot
  • God Is by Mark Jones
  • The Mortification of Sin by John Owen 
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey

Finished Recently

  • The Four Feathers by A.E.W. Mason
  • The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay
  • A Princes of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (audiobook)

Coming Soon

  • Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Book Review- The Four Feathers

For the Classics Club I read A.E.W. Mason's classic novel The Four Feathers.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Just before sailing off to war in the Sudan, British guardsman Harry Feversham quits his regiment. He immediately receives four white feathers—symbols of cowardice—one each from his three best friends and his fiancée. To disprove this grave dishonor, Harry dons an Arabian disguise and leaves for the Sudan, where he anonymously comes to the aid of his three friends, saving each of their lives.Having proved his bravery, Harry returns to England, hoping to regain the love and respect of his fiancée. This suspenseful tale movingly depicts a distinctive code of honor that was deeply valued and strongly promoted by the British during the height of their imperial power.
I grew up watching a film version of this book so I've known the story for years though of course the movie differs from the book. The book was originally written in 1902 and while an adventure novel also has a healthy dose of romance imbedded in it. I was a little worried I would find it slow paced since it was an older adventure novel but that was not the case at all. The book kept me intrigued throughout with the adventure and the romance. It was also beautifully written in terms of human emotions. I was moved for each character. I liked Harry a lot and Ethne was great though sometimes I was a little peeved with some of her decisions. Ethne is one of the more interesting classic adventure females though... sometimes I feel like the females get lost in the classic adventure novels but she had a strong character that kept her in the spotlight too. Durrance was a complicated character and I'm not sure if I liked him or not. I pitied him.
Overall I enjoyed the book and I'd recommend for those who love a classic adventure novel. It's not as good as Scarlet Pimpernel but it stands on it's own for sure.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Book Review- A Raisin in the Sun

I read A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry for The Classics Club.
Synopsis: This lauded drama follows the Youngers, an African-American family living together in an apartment in Chicago. Following the death of their patriarch, they try to determine what to do with the substantial insurance payment they'll soon receive. Opinions on what to do with the money vary. Walter Lee wants to make a business investment, while his mother, Lena, is intent on buying a house for them all to live in -- two differing views of the American Dream.
I really didn't know much about this book before I read it except that it was a play and was written by an African-American author. I hadn't really enjoyed the last American play I'd read.... Death of a Salesman... so I didn't have high expectations for this one. However, I was completely blown away by how much I enjoyed A Raisin in the Sun! I found each chapter in the Younger family intriguing in their own way. I didn't necessarily like them all but each of their emotional journeys were fascinating. I'm not sure I had a favorite character as they all had too many faults for me to love them but as I said they were so interesting. Walter Lee annoyed me the most probably though you do feel sorry for him. I feel like he's so insensitive to his wife. On the other hand, I feel like his wife, Ruth, doesn't really listen to him. They both have a lot going on and their relationship ends up being complicated. Beneatha is an intriguing character and I'm not quite sure what we're supposed to think of her or what I do think of her. I liked her for the most part though. The mother and matriarch of the family, Lena, is a women with a lot of pride and then desire to further the family's fortune. She works hard for the family. For the most part I like her too.
So all of that to say... I liked the book, the characters were interesting and I think it gives one an intriguing glimpse into what it was like to be an African-Americna family in that time period.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Disney Princess Book Tag

Hamlette tagged me in the Disney Princess Book Tag (see her answers HERE)! This is one of those rare times when I was actually tagged in the tag and I didn't just steal it. ;)

1) Snow White: Name your favorite classic

Easy! Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. 

2) Cinderella: Name a book that kept you reading well past your bedtime

Recently The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay. I kept reading and reading and it was eleven o clock before I knew it.  I only went to sleep because my husband came to bed and we had a long day the next day (Thanksgiving). So many different books have kept me up at night before... I distinctly remember Agatha Christie's Sleeping Murder keeping me awake. 

3) Aurora: Name your favorite classic romance

Still Pride and Prejudice so I'll have to think up something new... The Scarlet Pimpernel maybe? 

4) Ariel: Name a book that's about sacrifices and fighting for your dreams

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. Those women definitely fought hard for their dreams. The answers for this questions and question 9 are interchangeable. 

5) Belle: Name a book with a smart and independent female character

First though is Elizabeth Bennet but I can't keep using Pride and Prejudice! So Emma Wodehouse from Jane Austen's Emma it is! 

6) Jasmime: Name a book with a character that challenged the social conventions of his or her world

Scarlette O'Hara from Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. I do not like her but she definitely challenges the social conventions. 

7) Pocahontas: Name a book with an ending that was a roller coaster of emotions

First thing I thought of was Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. I was racing through the ending just wanting to know what happened so the emotions would stop emoting! ;) 

8) Mulan: Name a book with a kick-a** female character

Each of the books in The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer had some pretty awesome female characters. Scarlette was probably the most kick-a** though actually not one of my favorite characters. And then of course there's Eowyn.... 

9) Tiana: Name a book featuring a hard working, self-made character

Carry on Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham. So inspiring! Just read it! The answers for this questions and question 4 are interchangeable. 

10) Rapunzel: Name a book that features an artist

I can no think of anything! I'm blanking! Jane Eyre paints. So Jane Eyre it is. 

11) Merida: Name a book that features a mother-daughter relationship

The obvious answer is Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters but they're kind of all terrible mother-daughter relationships. For a good mother-daughter relationship though Little Women for sure. 

12) Anna and Elsa: Name a book that features a great relationship between siblings

Pride and Prejudice's Jane and Elizabeth... but I can't use that again.... so.... Little Women.... but I can't use that again... so....
Here's a few books I can think of with great sibling relationships: Harry Potter series (specifically thinking of the Weasley family), Hardy Boys, the Little House in the Big Woods series, and The Viking Quest series. I love good family relationships in books. :)

Hope you enjoyed this fun tag and feel free to steal it!   

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Location Book Tag

I saw this tag over at Nut Free Nerd and had to steal it.

1. You’re sat in a coffee shop trying to read when a group of excited six year olds come in with their parents and begin screaming in the play area. Which book can you push past the noise and lose yourself in?
Really about any book as long as I'm enjoying it.

2. Your (rich) friends dare you to spend the night in a haunted house for an undisclosed but inevitably large sum of money. Which book do you bring to distract yourself with?
A children's book I think. Something light and funny to keep me distracted. Mad Scientist Club, Wizard of Oz, Phantom Tollbooth all come to mind.

3. Though the landscapes are beautiful, your delayed train journey is starting to drag. Which book do you take out?
Lord of the Rings. It's long enough for several train trips.

4. It’s beach time! You have your family and friends around you and don’t want to miss out on the conversation too much but still want to read. Which book do you choose?
I'm bad at trying to follow a conversation and read. Tuning people out I can do but if I'm trying to do both that's a disaster. I'm a terrible multitasker.

5. You’re backstage ready for your big emotional scene but the tears just won’t come. Which book do you get out to make you cry?
Right now with being pregnant a lot of things can make me emotional. Normally it would take a very special book to do the trick but currently I'm vulnerable. Probably something romantic will do the trick though. When I read Dear Mr. Knightley a couple months ago it made me tear up.

6. You’re camping in the woods with your friends and you’re the first to wake up. Which book do you read under the early morning light?
Wind in the Willows. The description is beautiful and I think it would be perfect out in the wild in the early morning light.

7. You’ve had an amazing day on your solo trip but now that you’re back at the hotel, you’re starting to feel a little homesick. What do you read to feel less lonely?
Anne of Green Gables maybe?

8. You’ve been invited for an interview for a place at a prestigious university. Which book do you lay flat on your knee to hide the cover while you wait?
I'm not really embarrassed by anything I read but if I had a younger book I would feel a bit childish reading it if I were interviewing for a place at a prestigious university.

9. The book exchange stall at the library finally has the book you’ve wanted for so long, and you have a book in your bag that you’ve been dying to get rid of. Which do you give away, and which do you take?Most books I've been dying to get I have now. Currently though I'd really like to try out a Lynn Austin book, l specifically Wonderland Creek, to see what all the fuss is about so if I saw it I'd definitely grab it. To get rid of though definitely either The Sound and the Fury or Leaves of Grass. I disliked both and I regret that I bought them... though I spent very little on them.

10. You were just browsing the children’s section of the library and boom, you’re hit with a sudden blast from the past. Which book have you found that you haven’t seen for years but that you used to love as a child?
Hmm. Maybe Wolves of Willoughby Chase? That was a dear favorite as a child. I also read Beauty a lot. Either of those would fill me with nostalgia. But pretty much any children's books gives me nostalgia. I'm just a nostalgia maniac!

Fun tag! Feel free to steal it if you so desire. That's what I do. ;)

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