Monday, November 13, 2017

It's Monday! Ice Possible

I am that friend. 
There's nothing I hate more than getting in my care and turning it on and the words popping up on it's screen "Drive carefully, ice possible." It jus makes me want to go back inside and curl up in my nice warm bed. That has been the fairly consistent message I've been getting recently as I get in my car at ungodly hours of the morning to head to work. My body hates cold weather and I lived any further north I'm not sure what I'd do. Whenever we go visit our relatives in Minnesota I find it go be a love/hate trip. I love to see them but I hate being there in the cold, and probably icy and snowy, weather. Yikes! Gives me the shivers just thinking about it.
On to warmer, cozier topics. Books!

Finished this Week

  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry 

Currently Reading

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

Coming Soon

  • The Four Feathers by A.E.W.  Mason 
  • The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay 

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Classics Club Spin #16

It's been a long time sine I've done a Classics Club spin but I need to get that list done so this is just a bit more incentive.
Here's the rules
  • Go to your blog.
  • Pick twenty books that you’ve got left to read from your Classics Club List.
  • Try to challenge yourself: list five you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, re-reads, ancients — whatever you choose.)
  • Post that list, numbered 1-20, on your blog before Friday, November 17th.
  • That morning (11/17), we’ll announce a number from 1-20. Go to the list of twenty books you posted, and select the book that corresponds to the number we announce.
  • The challenge is to read that book by December 31, even if it’s an icky one you dread reading! (No fair not listing any scary ones!)

Books I'm Dreading

1) The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
2) East of Eden by John Steinbek
3) Moby Dick by Herman Melville 
4) Adam Bede by George Elliot 
5) The Mill on the Floss by George Elliot 

Books I Can't Wait to Read

6) The 39 Steps by John Buchan
7) Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
8) Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
9) Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring 
10) Cyarno de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand 

Books I Feel Neutral About

11) Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevesky 
12) Kim by Rudyard Kipling 
13) Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes
14) Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
15) Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Free Choice (Shakespeare)

16) Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare (mine)
17) Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare (mine)
18) The Tempest by William Shakespeare (mine)
19) Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare (mine)
20) Richard III by William Shakespeare (mine)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Top Ten Books I Want my Future Children to Read

I haven't done a Top Ten Tuesday in a long time partly because the themes haven't appealed to me and partly because I've just been lazy. However the theme of the top ten books I want my future children to read especially appealed to me with expecting our first children. I love books, my husband loves books so I'm pretty sure we're going to bring up some book lovers. The books I've listed are ones that I loved as a kid and are quality books.  I didn't include any picture books or older level books but stuck with more grade school books. Of course it was hard to narrow down to just ten books so sacrifices had to be made.

  1. The Mad Scientist Club by Bertrand Brinley 
  2. Detectives in Togas Henry Winterfield 
  3. Freddy Goes to Florida by Walter R. Brooks
  4. Redwall by Brian Jacques
  5. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  6. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery 
  7. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
  8. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll  
  9. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  10. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
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Monday, November 6, 2017

It's Monday! Goals

It's been a better week with reading. I've been evaluating my classics club list and making a plan to get it completed. I'm always super goal oriented in the fall/winter though. I don't know what it is but I love to make big plans in the cold weather that I fail to complete in the warm weather.

Finished this week

  • Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot- SO GOOD!!! 

Currently Reading 

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

Coming Soon

  • Something off my Classics Club list 

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Book Review- The Once and Future King

For the Classics Club I read T.H. White's novel The Once and Future King.
Synopsis from Goodreads- Once upon a time, a young boy called “Wart” was tutored by a magician named Merlyn in preparation for a future he couldn’t possibly imagine. A future in which he would ally himself with the greatest knights, love a legendary queen and unite a country dedicated to chivalrous values. A future that would see him crowned and known for all time as Arthur, King of the Britons.
During Arthur’s reign, the kingdom of Camelot was founded to cast enlightenment on the Dark Ages, while the knights of the Round Table embarked on many a noble quest. But Merlyn foresaw the treachery that awaited his liege: the forbidden love between Queen Guinevere and Lancelot, the wicked plots of Arthur’s half-sister Morgause, and the hatred she fostered in Mordred that would bring an end to the king’s dreams for Britain--and to the king himself.
I had heard many good things about The Once and Future King before I read it from fellow bloggers. Not long before I started it, though, I heard probably the only negative review of it from my dad, who I tend to see eye to eye with on books, movies and the like. That made me a little nervous but I still went into it with high expectations, assuming it would be one of those few books my dad and I disagreed on. Now having finished it though I think I find myself somewhere in the middle. I did enjoy it but I can also see the flaws my dad saw. I feel it's different than any other Arthurian legend book I've read. Now, to be fair, I haven't read Le Morte d'Arthur by Mallory, which White seems to have based The Once and Future King off of and heavily references. My memory isn't perfect on those books and I know the legends do vary but I feel like there was a fair amount in The Once and Future King that I don't recall from the other books I've read. One thing I found interesting was that I feel White tried very hard to make you understand each character and even if you couldn't like them to at least pity them. He was fairly successful but as with each time I read an Arthurian legend my heart is left cold for Guinevere and Lancelot. This book actually made my heart even colder towards Guinevere than I usually am. It let me sympathize with Lancelot slightly and I feel he became a far deeper and more complex character but I still in the end found him weak and unlikable. You like Arthur for the most part but there are times (like when he pulls a Herod and tries to get of Mordred by killing all the babies) that he's quite unlikable. In the end though he seems like a naive dotard. He's caught up in his ideal and fighting against everything to keep it from falling apart even though it already has. And really.... was his an ideal actually an ideal? There is no such thing as utopia. Even before everything completely fell apart things were a mess. Knights were killing each over (I'm looking at you Orkney faction!) left and right and Arthur forgave them left and right. The book is somewhat of a political commentary, which is interesting.
Overall, thats' what this book is... interesting. As an adaption of the legends it's unique and I am glad I read it. At some point (probably not in the too near future) I'll be going back to some of the other Arthurian legends novels I've read to see how they compare and eventually I'll actually read Mallory's Le Morte d'Arthur.

Overall, while reading this, I remembered how sad the legends are and how much I enjoyed the TV show Merlin for giving me a lighter and more family friendly version.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

It's Monday! The Once and Future Lois

How I feel when thinking about holiday cooking. 
I finally got one book shaved off of my "currently reading" list.... The Once and Future King. I'll have a review up here in not too long. The weather has dropped here in Kansas and I even turned the furnace on. My mind turns with the weather to Thanksgiving and Christmas. They're two of my favorite holidays and that may or may not have to do with the food. With the colder weather my musical preferences have turned to Ella Fitzgerald and Norah Roberts. They're soothing music seems perfect for curling up with a cup of hot tea and a blanket. Hot tea and blankets naturally lead you to cozy books. Curling up with a good book just seems like the right thing to do in the cold months ahead and I'm looking forward to much of it.

Currently Reading

  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • God Is by Mark Jones
  • Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot 
  • The Mortification of Sin by John Owen
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (re-read) (audiobook)
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey 

Finished Recently

  • The Once and Future King by T.H. White
I'm still not sure if I'll be starting anything new yet until I finish one of my nonfiction books but we'll see. If I do it will most likely be something off of my Classics Club list. 

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Monday, October 23, 2017

It's Monday! Sixteen Weeks

I'm now sixteen weeks pregnant! Part of me can't believe I'm that far along already and part of me is ready to fast forward a bit... not too much just a bit. Let's not get too crazy. Here's a couple sixteen week bump pictures I took recently because I was getting complaints of lack of bump pictures. There just hadn't been a super evident bump yet. I could tell but it was hard to tell in pictures. Now though it's starting to pop out more.

Anyways.... reading. I've been a bit better about reading recently but still have a lot to do. My goal is to focus on completing my classics club goal and not worry about any other reading challenges... not worry too much that is.... I still worry a little. ;) To really kick that goal off I started reading War and Peace (my greatest reading fear) on the Serial Reader app (thanks Julie for recommending it). I'm finding reading War and Peace much more tangible right now thanks to the app and actually enjoyable. I still have many other books to go on my classics club list but getting War and Peace out of the way will be a blessing.
My book club chose to read Call the Midwife for the next month which was my excuse to finally get it read! I was so excited about that and I can't wait to read the other two books in the series.

Currently Reading

  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  • God Is by Mark Jones
  • Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot
  • The Mortification of Sin by John Owen
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (re-read) (audiobook)
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey 

Finished Recently

  • Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth 
I'm not wanting to start anything more (unless I have to like for book club or something) until I finish The Once and Future King and at least one of my nonfiction books. I don't know why I insist on reading so much nonfiction a the same time! 

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Finally Fall Book Tag

Once again I'm stealing a tag because I can. I saw this over at Coffee, Classics and Craziness and at Edge of the Precipice and it looked like fun! It's actually feeling like fall here in Kansas now. We had a hot September but just in these last couple weeks, really since October started, it's started to cool down. I do like fall but it seemed like such a dramatic change from hot to crisp that I'm still pouting a little about it all. The pouting is partially fueled by the fact that my husband likes to leave the windows open all of the time so the house is colder than I'd like it. Thank goodness for fleece Batman pajamas. It does feel like the perfect time though to be curling up with a good book and a hot cup of tea though so I'm hoping this will fuel some more reading in my life. Unfortunately I also desperately need to get my continuing education completed to renew my nursing listen coming up in just a few months. I'm well underway but I need to get it all wrapped up. Work before play and all of that you know.
Anyways, back to the tag!

1. In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting!

My first though is the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. His books truly painted pictures with words. I could see the scenery and taste the food he described. And now I want to re-read all of his books so badly!!!! 

2. Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.

I'm stealing Eva's answer but it's so good! Definitely The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. How it deals with death is beautiful and unique and I love it.

3. Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

So many!  I don't read a lot of non-fiction but I love the ones I do get around to. The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer was very influential on me a few years ago. I liked Quiet by Susan Caine. I'm not sure if Hidden Figures is considered non-fiction or historical fiction but that definitely taught me something new. There's so many theological books I've read that have taught me so much.... John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion and Arthur Pink's The Sovereignty of God pop to mind. I'm reading John Owen's The Mortification of Sin right now and it's challenging me a lot. As I said... so many!

4. In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.

The Weasley family! I love them dearly.

5. The colorful leaves are piling up on the ground: show us a pile of fall-colored spines!

6. Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.

The first book I thought of was The Book Thief but I've already used that so I'll go with The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

7. The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read.

Dracula by Bram Stoker was my creepiest read so far I think. I read it last year and LOVED it! So different than what I was expecting. I've also read some pretty creepy Dean Koontz books but Dracula is what really stands out to me right now.

8. The days are getting colder: name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

First book that comes to my mind is Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I'm not sure why but it did. Children's books tend to warm my heart and that series is pretty much always guaranteed to.

9. Fall returns every year: name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon.

I've already mentioned Brian Jacques' Redwall series but besides that I've been thinking about the J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series because I've been rewatching the movies with my husband. I've also been wanting to re-read A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh and Richard Adams' Watership Down.

10. Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: share your favorite cozy reading “accessories”!

A cup of hot tea and a warm blanket. 

Monday, October 2, 2017

It's Monday! What's Happened?

Life has been busy I'll admit but that's no excuse for my slacking reading. I haven't had an It's Monday post in a while either. So actually I do have a little to update... still my reading progress is sad. I was thinking recently about how my Classics Club challenge finishes up in 2019 on my 25th birthday and I'm only a little over halfway through it. I started out strong the first couple years and I've really slacked off since then only getting a few in every year. I'm not sure what's going to happen there but I'd really like to finish it in the time I designated but most importantly I just want to finish it to say I did it. There are lots of books I'm excited about reading still left on the list. Forget my other reading challenges... I've even more woefully behind one them than my Classics Club challenge. Oh well.
Truth is, with getting married, managing a household and now a baby on the way my life is legitimately more busy than it used to be. I have a nursing license that will need to be renewed soon, a social life I pretend to keep up and did I mention that I'm pregnant.... that's exhausting by itself. Oftentimes I just want to lay down and shut my eyes... not lay down and read a book.
Ah excuses. I have lots of them. My goal right now is to take care of my legitimate excuses first and then brush aside my not so legitimate excuses and take the time to read some more.
With that in mind... here's what's been going on in my reading life of late.

Currently Reading

  • The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  • Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey
  • The Mortification of Sin by John Owen
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charle Dickens (audiobook) (re-read)
  • God Is by Mark Jones

Finished in the past couple months

  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson 
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay- See my review HERE.  
I don't want to start anything new until I shave a couple books off of my currently reading list.... I have a terrible habit of reading far too many books at the same time. To be fair though Let Me Be a Woman I'm reading with my mentor so the progress is slower and God Is is a devotional that Brian and I are doing together so naturally it will be slower.
So here's hoping my reading picks up like I dream it will!

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Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Bookshelf Project

Even before we were married I knew Brian and I were going to need new bookshelves to accommodate both of ours growing library. It took us almost three months but we finally got them! Brian put them together and I worked on cataloging all of our books. I already had a system but I decided to put my database online and then go ahead and add Brian's book to my catalog as well.
While I have a stronger fiction than non-fiction selection, Brian definitely has a stronger non-fiction selection. Mostly his library consists of theology but he also has lots of philosophy, politics and science books with a healthy dose of nerd books. He has a Klingon Dictionary!!! Why would you need that?!?!?!?! Never mind my Tolkien Dictionary.
It was a lot of fun to catalog and sort the books though. I love books. It was a lot of work too and I got burnt out way faster than Brian did. Pulling out of my books out of their boxes and sorting them out took forever and at that point putting them on shelves seemed like an unnecessary step. ;) Brian persevered though thankfully and all of the books ended up on the shelves. I anticipated our books combined filling our new bookshelves plus our old ones. Actually though the books only filled the new bookshelves and one more. Which makes me excited that I have room to buy more books!!!!! As my mom reminded me though.... fill them wisely. The bookshelves we have left though are mostly half bookshelves with cupboard space in the other half so we don't have tons of room left. But still.... room for more. :)
And here's some pictures of our bookshelf project.

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