Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top Ten Books You Recently Added to Your TBR List

Today's Top Ten Tuesday theme from Broke and Bookish is books I've recently added to my TBR list. I've recently added a ton of books for various reasons so I'm just going to list the ones I'm most excited about. :)
  1. Boys of Blur by N.D. Wilson- I've loved all of N.D. Wilson's books so far so when I heard about this one I was instantly intrigued, especially when I read one person's review of it likening it to Beowulf
  2. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee- I think we're all excited about this one! :)
  3. A bunch of a Elizabeth Gaskell novels- I've enjoyed her two novels I've read so far (Wives and Daughters and North and South) so I'm interested to read more. There's one called Lois the Witch!!! Naturally I'm intrigued. ;)
  4. Upstairs, Downstairs by John Hawkesworth- I've heard about this from various sources but mostly in relation to a miniseries of it that the BBC did. 
  5. A bunch of Anthony Trollope novels- He has a lot of novels! And with the funniest names too! For example: The Macdermots of Ballycloran and Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite
  6. All the rest of Shakespeare's plays- I had a majority of Shakespeare's list on my TBR list already but a while back I went and added all of them down to the most random ones no one's ever heard of. 
  7. Various Tolkien works- Such as Tales from the Perilous Realms, The Unfinished Tales and Bilbo's Last Song
  8. Amanda Grange's Austen heroes diaries (i.e. Mr. Darcy's Diary, Mr. Knightley's Diary, ect)
  9. The last three books in the Giver quartet- Gathering Blue, Messenger, Son
  10. El Dorado: Further Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel and others by Emmuska Orczy- I loved re-reading The Scarlet Pimpernel so much and I really need to get around to reading the others in the series! 
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Monday, March 30, 2015

It's Monday! Senioritis is setting in!

So when I graduated from high school I never had senioritis. As I've always said, I never really felt like I was graduating from high school when I did as I had already been attending the community college for two years at that point and already felt graduated.
Now, I have senioritis in full swing! I'm having a very hard time focusing on my studying and instead I'm focusing it on... you know, reading and watching TV shows. :( Just a few more weeks and I'll be graduating! I need to focus on school for just that much longer! How hard can it be? ;)
I have had some pretty consistent reading recently, which is great for reading but not so great for school. My friend and I went to an antique store the other day and I picked up three bags full of books, which you can read about in my Stacking the Shelves post linked below. :)

Finished this week 

  • Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery (re-read)
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy (re-read)

Currently Reading

  • The Valley of Vision
  • King Lear by William Shakespeare
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

Coming Soon in April!!!

  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (re-read)
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Armadale by Wilkie Collins
  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton (re-read)

Reviews posted this week

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Me and My Music

I love music! I would say I have a good variety of music I listen to but then again there is still some music I definitely don't listen to by choice. Because I know you really care what music I listen to ;) today I'm going to share about my music.
I'm just going to run down each playlist of mine because that's how I like to separate out my music on iTunes.

Allison Kraus

This is music from a CD that my best friend gave me. I don't listen to it a ton but every once and awhile the mood will take me. One of the songs on the playlist is separate from the disc and I listen to it a lot more often but that's mostly due to fact that it is in my Indulgences playlist also, which I'll get to later. :)


I grew up on Bach and while he is not my favorite of the classical composers (okay I know technically he is a baroque composer not classical but sometimes I just group them all together so there!). The harpsichord really grates on me for some reason and a lot of his music is harpsichord music. However, I do like playing his music on the piano because it's on the piano.... not a harpsichord. ;)


I love Beethoven's ninth symphony a lot! It's not something I listen to all of the time... normally just when the mood takes me but it is one of my favorite classical pieces (again, I know it's romantic time period not classical but get over it! ;)). I also have some of his piano concertos. 


I have one piece by Bolero- Ravel. 

Call Me Madam

This is one of my many musical soundtracks that I have. I was addicted to this one for awhile. As my friends and family know, I normally will be stuck on one song or one CD for a long time, not getting tired of it until long after everyone else is. Call Me Madam was one of those for quite awhile. It has a lot of fun music.

Celtic Woman

I'm a big fan of the Irish women's musical group Celtic Woman. I even got to go to one of their concerts once. I have multiple CDs of theirs. 


This is a bunch of instrumental christmas music I got for free for a reason I don't remember. 


This is my playlist of various Christian music. I have everything from hymns to Hillsong. My favorites on there are When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (to the tune of The Water is Wide), Bless the Lord O My Soul, and Blessed Be Your Name. However, my favorite hymn of all time is Be Thou My Vision... I'd just rather sing it than listen to it. 

Classic Rock

This has a bunch of random classic rock songs. Beach Boys, Frank Valli and the Four Seasons, Billy Haley, a couple Elvis Presley songs and more. This is what I listen to when I want to swing dance. :)


I don't listen to him a lot but when I do it's Hoe Down... it's a lot of fun! 


This playlist has a crazy assortment of Disney music! Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid (the story is kind of dumb but the music is incredible!), Frozen, Tangled, Enchanted, one song from Hercules (I hate the movie though) and one song from Mulan. It's always fun to listen to a little Disney music. :)

Doctor Who

This is my odd collection of various Doctor Who music including the show's theme song, the companions' themes, the doctors' themes, and a couple parody songs. 


I'm not quite as big of a fan as my younger brother but I do enjoy Dvorka's 9th symphony. My brother is seriously obsessed with it!

Fiddler on the Roof

The story makes me sad but I love the music! 

Gaelic Music

This is a collection of music by Gaelic Storm and The High Kings, two gaelic bands that I love! I have a ton of favorites in this playlist and I listen to it a lot! Gaelic music is just so fun! 

Gilbert and Sullivan

One day a few months ago I went on a kick and listened to nothing but Gilbert and Sullivan all day! So then I had to upload more of their music onto my computer to add to my collection. They're all in separate playlists by the title of the operetta. This playlist just is a "best of" collection. If you aren't familiar with Gilbert and Sullivan you should be! They were a duo who wrote operetta's together. Sullivan wrote the music and Gilbert wrote the lyrics/play. They're hilarious plays and so much fun and the music is just the same! 


I love Grieg's piano concerto and the piece "Morning". 


He has some great symphony's that I should probably listen to more than I do. 

Home for Christmas

This is Celtic Woman's Christmas CD. I just didn't want to put it in the same playlist as their other music as it's Christmas music. 


This is the playlist I'm probably most embarrassed to admit what songs are in it. This song has the widest assortment of songs. I called it Indulgences as it has music that I feel are indulgences.... duh! However, it's morphed into favorites/music I don't know what playlist to put it in. It started out with three songs and has now grown to 25 songs but it's fluctuated a lot. For example, I used to have my Piano Guys music in there but I moved it out when I got so much of it I thought it deserved it's own playlist. So what am I embarrassed about in this playlist? My pop music. It's dumb music I know but it's so catchy that I get sucked in! I don't listen to the bad pop music never fear, it's just dumb. I do have some classic country music in there as well such as Devil Went Down to Georgia. I have a lot of parody songs in here too. I also have one Julian Smith song and one Rhett and Link song. The majority of the songs in this playlist are in my top twenty-five most listened to songs. I just listen to this playlist a lot. I'm trying to get away from that now. 


I have his Midsummer Night's Dream music as well as his Songs without Words and The Hebrides. I love them all! 


Meaning Handel's Messiah. I don't think I need to tell you that this music is amazing! 


Probably my favorite classical composer! I have a lot of his music. 

Music Man

I love the music from this musical but the storyline is kind of dumb! I was definitely on a kick with this one for awhile. 

My Fair Lady

The music in this movie is amazing!!!!! And it's a hilarious movie. :)


This playlist has a wide assortment of opera music. This is definitely a playlist that I have to be in the mood to listen to. I'm very selective about the opera music I listen to as well because some of it is just boring.... I'm sorry opera lovers. 

Orla Fallon

Orla is a former member of Celtic Woman and this playlist contains one of her Christmas CDs. 

Pachebel's Canon

This is a CD that has a million different variations of Pachebel's Canon. 


I listen to his music every once and awhile. I have his violin concertos.

Patsy Cline

I have a deep love for Patsy Cline's music. It's kind of an indulgent music. It makes me feel sentimental and romantic. :) My Dad is actually a big fan of Patsy Cline as well which I found funny. 

Pavarotti Christmas

You know Pavarotti? Famous Tenor? Yeah, well this is a collection of him singing Christmas music. 

Piano Guys

Here's my collection of music by the group Piano Guys that I mentioned earlier. They're music is a lot of fun and is great for listening to when I'm studying because it is pretty much all instrumental. 

Pirates of Penzance

One of the aforementioned Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas and probably my third favorite. :)

Praise and Glory

A CD full of instrumental hymns that are beautifully arranged!

Rhapsodies Enesco/Liszt

This playlist contains a collection of rhapsodies by Unesco and Liszt... if you couldn't gather that from the title. ;) Rhapsodies are tons of fun to listen to. :)


I'm not sure why both composers are in the same playlist but I'm going to assume that it was because they were on the same CD. They have great piano concertos.


Some beautiful piano concertos.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

My favorite musical! It's just so hilarious, fun and quirky and the music is great! 

Singin' in the Rain

Probably my second favorite musical. The music is classic and the movie is hilarious! 


So I'm looking at the music in this playlist and wondering why it's entitled Smetna. There is only one Smetna piece in it and the other three songs are by different composers. I'm just going to assume that they were all on the same CD again. 

Sound of Music

Another musical! :)


One of my favorite playlists and a great one for when I am studying as all the music on here is instrumental except one song. Now you may be asking the same question my brother did, "Why is this one called Soundtracks when you already have separate playlists with soundtracks from musicals?" Good question. This playlist has soundtracks to films that aren't musicals. It contains lots of LOTR and The Hobbit music as well as music from period drams such as Little Dorrit, Pride and Prejudice, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Lorna Doone and then additionally has some music from John Williams such as the music from Jurassic Park, Indian Jones and Star Wars. 


Probably my favorite composer from the Romantic time period. I love his 1812 overture, Capriccio Italiano and Marche Slave. I also have his music for Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake. Additionally I have his piano concerto and violin concerto, which are also great!

The Gondoliers

Probably I shouldn't have "The" in front of that title, which is why it got alphabetically placed down at the bottom of the list as I didn't for any of the others. However, there we are. The Gondoliers has my favorite music from Gilbert and Sullivan. It's so beautiful, fun and catchy. 


I love his four seasons. I have a variety of his music. :)

So that's all the music I have! :) I wish I had Gilber and Sullivan's "The Mikado" on my computer but though my family has the CD I have't gotten ahold of it yet to put it on my computer. I also need to get "The Phantom of the Opera" on my computer.

Please don't ask what songs are in my top 25 most played because I'm too embarrassed to admit to them.... especially the top one. However, I would find it humorous if you guys commented and tried to guess them! If you guess enough right I might even admit to them! I'll be impressed if you can guess, which pop songs I listen to.

I hope you found this post interesting! Do you listen to any of the same music I do? Do you have some music recommendations for me?

With all these reasons to comment, you really don't have an excuse not to... just saying. ;)

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Stacking the Shelves #4

Thursday my friend and I visited an antique store (she's an antique store junkie) and I brought in three bags of books from it! Buying books from antiques stores is so much fun because you get such beautiful old copies and you can find the classics there! There were so many I didn't bother making a list. However, I took pictures of my now stuffed full shelves for you all. A few highlights of my new books are listed here though. :)

I can't find a place for all of my silly ceramics
so right now they're just crowded on to the bottom
shelf with my nonfiction, cds, dvds, cookbooks and
scrapbooks. I think my diploma may get crowded out
as well along with my candles, tea pot and tea cup. :(
  • Four nice hardback copies of Agatha Christie novels
  • Little Men by Louisa May Alcott- I've had Little Women for a couple years but have been looking around for it's sequel for awhile and I'm excited I found it!
  • Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester- This is on my classics club list and I'm excited to get it! I loved the TV series based off of the novels. 
  • The Adventures of Unc' Bill Possum by Thornton Burgess- This isn't my favorite of Burgess's novels but I was just so excited to find one there that I couldn't resist getting it. It's a beautiful old copy of it too! Burgess's books were some of my favorites growing up. 
  • The Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope- I was surprised to find this. They are an old series that my Grandma grew up reading and so did I. :)
  • The Tower Treasure by Franklin W. Dixon (aka the first Hardy Boys book)- Yeah they're kind of juvenile but I have fond memories of them!
  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder- Somehow I did not have a copy of this yet! Remedied now!
  • Charlotte's Web by E.B. White- In perfect preparation for my planned re-read of this children's classic this year. 
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince- I now have four, five and six of the Harry Potter series that I've picked up form various sources. Someday I'll have the complete series. ;)
There were tons of books there that were abridged copies of childhood favorites. I do NOT buy abridged books so this kept frustrating me as I would find a book I wanted than see that it was abridged. Why on earth would you abridge Anne of Green Gables????
All in all it was a great trip and I brought in a beautiful haul of books! However, let's not mention how much money I spent okay? ;)

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Update on the 2015 Audiobook Challenge!

I've been booking it (pun totally intended) for the audiobook challenge so far.... at least as far as my standards go. ;) Already I've listened to six audiobooks and I'm currently listening to a seventh! Last year I only listened to six all year long so this year is definitely a step up! As I signed up for the Stenographer level, which is 10-15 audiobooks, I'm already halfway through! It's been a lot of fun listening to audiobooks and I'v especially enjoyed Barbara Caruso's narration of the Anne of Green Gables books.
The audiobooks I've listened to so far are listed below.

  • Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery (re-reads)- Joint review for the whole series HERE
  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare- Review HERE
  • Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (re-read)- Review HERE
  • The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde- Review HERE
And I'm currently listening to King Lear by William Shakespeare
I'm looking forward to listening to more audiobooks as the year goes on! :)

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Book Reviews- The Anne of Green Gables Series

I didn't fancy writing a review for each of the Anne of Green Gables books so instead I grouped my reviews for all of the books in this one post. They were all re-reads.

Anne of Green Gables

I listened to a beautiful audiobook version of this narrated by Barbara Caruso. This has been a much re-read book in my past and once again I was blown away by it. The characters are perfect and the story is heart wrenchingly beautiful. Anne, Matthew and Marilla make the story for me and the spicy secondary characters like Mrs. Allen, Miss Stacy, Dianah and of course Mrs. Lynd just make it even better. Listening to this story made me long for my fanciful childhood even more but watching even Anne grow up reminded me that it must happen to us all. Seeing that Anne still kept much of her same imaginative spirit also reminded me that even as grown ups we can still act and think a bit childishly at times. :)

Anne of Avonlea

Once again a lovely audiobook narrated by Barbara Caruso. This second installment in the series brings the introduction of Davy and Dora, twins who Marilla takes charge of. They're a great addition to the story in my opinion and like Anne help Marilla. It's fun to see Anne start teaching a school of her own and develop relationships with her students and begin to make new friends. Mr. Harrison is hilarious and his parrot... love it! :) Some of Anne's odder theology comes out in this but it's still a great book. :)

Anne of the Island

Can I just say Barbara Caruso is an awesome narrator? If possible, she makes the books even better!  Anne of the Island just really frustrates me at times. The whole time I'm just thinking that Anne needs to say yes to Gilbert and it drives me crazy! I just don't think she realizes that she loves him but she has a ton of time to think it out and still she doesn't! Come on Anne! Then, I was so upset with her romance with Roy Gardner. I don't think she led him on exactly, because she honestly thought she liked him and was going to marry him but still she kind of blew it! She was having warning signs for a couple months or so before he proposed to her that maybe she wasn't in love with him and she kept ignoring them! She should have been figuring it out sooner and backing off so Roy didn't have to go through that heartache. However, at the end I was just so happy that Anne and Gilbert got together I kind of forgave her.
I feel like this book was a lot about Anne being brought down if you know what I mean. She had high opinions of her writing and the flowery speeches but then her story got rejected. She had a tall dark and handsome ideal and then she realizes that he really isn't the man she wants to marry. I think she matures a lot in this book through her many mistakes.
Besides that though I loved the whole atmosphere of Patty's Place and Anne's roommates and Aunt Jamesina. I didn't remember this book very well so when Phillipa Gordon popped up I didn't remember who she was or what happened with her and initially I didn't care for her much but by the end we had gotten to know her better and had seen her mature and get married to Jonas and I really loved her. I can see myself a bit in Phillipa.

Anne of Windy Poplars

This book is slightly different from the others in that is told mostly in the form of letters from Anne to Gilbert. It's kind of a space filler in the series. Don't get me wrong, I do like it, but it's just kind of there instead of I feel being especially unique like many of the other books.
One of my disappointments about this book is that it scarcely has Gilbert in it. However, there are once again a variety of new characters that Anne meets that spice up the story beautifully. Overall, it was still a beautiful and fun book full of antics that only Anne could have.

Anne's House of Dreams

They're finally married! I think with Anne we feel her sorrow and joy as she leaves Green Gables for good and moves with her new husband Gilbert to Four Winds Point. Once again new and interesting characters are introduced and Anne attempts to solve the worlds problems. ;) The saddest part of the story is Anne losing her first child Joyce. It's incredibly heartbreaking but I think Montgomery did the right thing in writing it like that... I say that from an author's point of view. Overall, I guess I would have to agree with people that the books kind of start losing their uniqueness and creativity at this point but they're still lots of fun to read. :)

Anne of Ingleside

Now Anne has five children and in the book she gives birth to a sixth and last. In this book we get more of her children's antics but however old Anne is she never stops her own antics. :) Even though as always with the Anne books I loved it, it is probably my least favorite of the Anne books.

Rainbow Valley

This one really just focuses on Anne's children but it's lots of fun. The Meredith children get into trouble that we thought only Anne could achieve. ;) This book is pretty sweet. :)

Rilla of Ingleside

Just a little ways into this book I began to realize that I really related to Rilla. She's a young girl, struggling with being young and learning to growing up and then being sort of forced to grow up in the midst of war and raising a war baby (I'm kind of jealous of that.. the baby not the war). I actually staid up late one night to finish the book... I had half of it left and didn't plan on finishing it that night but I obviously got carried away. Because it was so late and I was tired (that's my excuse here!) I almost cried three times during the book! I don't cry over books so this astonished me! It was a pretty heartbreaking book though. It is one of my very favorites of the series and a beautiful ending to it.

Random thoughts on characters

So as I was finishing up the series I was thinking a lot about Susan, their maid/nanny/cook. Sometimes, I feel that her character is a little forced and that she is supposed to make us laugh but sometimes instead I just feel like her comments are predictable. She's always saying the same kinds of things. Eventually she got on my nerves a little. I actually thought it interesting to compare her to Rebecca Dew from Anne of Windy Poplars as she is somewhat similar to her. However, I always liked Rebecca and she never got on my nerves. I guess I found her more original. Thoughts anyone on these two characters? 

Concluding thoughts

It has been an incredible amount of fun re-reading the Anne of Green Gables series. I don't know how many times I've re-read the books but I think this time was unique as I was reading them as an adult (at least I like to think of myself as an adult) and experiencing them in different formats (audiobooks and real books). I have so much nostalgia built up around those books and the films that I don't think anyone could ever convince me to even think about disliking them. Montgomery created such a variety of fun, quirky, interesting and real characters that I think we can all find someone to relate to when we read them. If you haven't read them, I don't know how you're still living but with your final breaths of life read these books and then re-read them! ;) You won't regret it! 

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book (Play) Review- The Importance of Being Ernest

For the Play On challenge, TBR pile challenge, Audiobook challenge and Classics Club I read Oscar Wilde's classic play The Importance of Being Ernest.
I knew the story somewhat from watching the 1952 film version years ago with my mom but I didn't remember a lot of it.  I'm intrigued to watch the 2002 Colin Firth version... though I hear it isn't strictly accurate to the book.
Goodreads Synopsis- Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor. Jack Worthing has wooed Gewndolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jack's ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jack's country home on the same weekend the "rivals" to fight for Ernest's undivided attention and the "Ernests" to claim their beloveds pandemonium breaks loose. Only a senile nursemaid and an old, discarded hand-bag can save the day!
This play had me laughing a LOT! :) I know this is totally sacrilegious but the line "It's a divorce made in heaven" made me laugh so hard! My copious laughter was mostly due to the fact that I'm always saying "It's a match made in heaven."
Yeah, I have a low threshold of humor. ;)

Anyways.... moving on!

This is one of the funniest plays I've read (I guess the correct term is "listened to"). It's a delightful mixture of W.S. Gilbert and William Shakespeare. Oscar Wilde is so witty and the premise of the play is genius and hilarious rolled into one!
There's not much more to say on the matter but to recommend it to you for many hearty laughs! :)

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top Ten Books from my Childhood I want to Revisit

As my readers know, I'm hosting a re-reading challenge this year to encourage myself in my re-reading endeavors. I have a list of almost 300 books that I want to re-read in the next several years. So for today's Top Ten Tuesday I'm just narrowing it down to ten that I'm planning on getting to this year. :)
  1. Little Women and others in series by Louise May Alcott- A classic series. :)
  2. The Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery- I'm in the middle of re-reading them right now actually. They are just as good the first time as the... wait a moment... I'm not quite sure how many times I have read this series. A lot.... let's just say a LOT! ;)
  3. Swallows and Amazons and others in series by Arthur Ransom- These books always made me want to go sailing as a kid. :)
  4. The Book of Three and others in series by Lloyd Alexander- One of my favorite fantasy series growing up. I re-read these books many times when I was young. 
  5. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy- I adored the 1984 film version growing up and then read the book some years back and loved it too despite it being different. I'm excited to revisit it. 
  6. The Chosen by Chaim Potok- A very interesting book. I remembering learning a lot more about Jewish culture from it. 
  7. Carry on Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham- This is a great book and if you haven't read it you should! It won a newberry award back in the day, which should be clue enough to you that it's worth it. 
  8. The Young Carthaginian by G.A. Henty- Henty's books were some of my favorites as a kid. It was from his historic novels that I developed a deep love of history and though I do not acclaim any deep knowledge of it, to this day I still love history. :)
  9. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White- I've wanted to re-read this every since working at the pig farm last summer... and then, you know, naming my piglet Wilbur. ;)
  10. Emma by Jane Austen- Of all of Jane Austen's books this is my least favorite.... not to say I don't like it though! I'm attempting to re-read it to help me develop a deeper appreciation for it. 
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Monday, March 23, 2015

It's Monday! Where did Spring Break Go?

And just like that Spring Break has passed and it's back to school today! :( I had a marvelous time though and was able to spend a lot of time with my little sister and the rest of my family while also doing some (probably not enough) school work. I was also able to finish up season three and start season four of Leverage, which is my new obsession. With my little sister I watched Ever After, which I only had ever watched once before years ago. I thought it was better this second time than the first time but it's still only a so-so movie but quite sweet. :) The family all watched The Scarlet Pimpernel together, which is a family favorite. It has sparked a longing to re-read the book as soon as possible, which is perfect as I was already planning on re-reading it this year. We also got to watch Star Wars: A New Hope! :) Additionally, after long last, I got around to watching The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. It was way worse than I thought it would be. :( Worse than The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.... which is saying something. My brother and I groaned though the whole movie.... it's what we get for being book purists... but even without the book, it's not a great movie. :(

Finished this Week (with all the reading I got done this week I'm on track according to Goodreads!!!) 

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (re-read)- Read my glowing review HERE
  • Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (re-read)- Read my raging rant HERE
  • Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery (re-read)
  • The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde (audiobook)

Currently Reading

  • The Valley of Vision
  • Rilla of Ingleside  by L.M. Montgomery (re-read)

Coming Soon

  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy (re-read)
Also be sure to check out The Bookshelf Tag

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Bookshelf Tag!

I am on a tag roll recently! I love doing them! This one was created by Raindrops and Roses. :)

Describe your bookshelf (or wherever it is you keep your books-it doesn't actually have to be a shelf!) and where you got it from.

I got my bookshelf a few years back... probably from Wal Mart but I don't remember. My bookshelf is at my parents so I also keep a stack of books at my house so I have a ready supply on hand. 
My current bookshelf layout. I say current
because I'm about ready to run out of space.
And yes, I have a ridiculous number of ceramics
on my shelf. They're ones I made back when I was
 in 4-H and I don't know what to to with them! 

Do you have any special or different way of organizing your books?

I sort them by alphabetic order by author's last name. That's how my dad always sorted them so I just thought that would be the easiest way. Additionally I sort the books by the author in alphabetic order by title.

What's the thickest (most amount of pages) book on your shelf?

After some diligent searching through the page numbers of thick books on my shelf I discovered it's my new copy of The Complete Works of Shakespeare- 1263 pages! 

What's the thinnest (least amount of pages) book on your shelf?

The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence- 61 pages. I actually have two copies of this book as two people gave it to me for a graduation present and one actually has more pages than the other- different versions. I thought it was going to be my copy of Dr. Seuss's ABC but it's 63 pages. :)

Is there a book you received as a birthday gift?

I received The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers for my birthday this year. :)

What's the smallest (height and width wise) book on your shelf?

Once again it's The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.

What's the biggest (height and width wise) book on your shelf?

And also once again The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. 

Is there a book from a friend on your shelf?

My best friend eBeth actually started me out on my book collection. A good chunk of the books I own are ones she gave me. She would always give me her duplicates. I know she supplied my whole Chronicles of Narnia collection and she also gave me my copy of Persuasion. I'm not sure what else... a lot! :) I have an awesome friend. 

Most expensive book?

Probably The Complete Works of William Shakespeare but I didn't actually have to pay for it because I had a gift card! :)

The last book you read on your shelf?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (it was a re-read)

Of all the books on your shelf, which was the first you read?

Probably Dr. Seuss's ABC, which makes me laugh. :) 

Do you have more than one copy of a book?

I have two copies of The Horse and His Boy, The Two Towers, Tom Sawyer, and Killer Angels. The last two I didn't mean to get two copies of but I forgot I already had copies of them. That's okay though... they're great books so two copies is better than one. ;)

Do you have the complete series of any book series?

I have the complete series of the Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings (I guess that's a trilogy not a series but whatever!). I really want the complete series of Anne of Green Gables! 

What's the newest addition to your shelf?

I just got a big haul from the used bookstore last week. :) It includes all of Amanda Grange's Austen heroes diaries, my second copy of Killer Angels, The Last Full Measure, Life Expectancy, Elephants Can Remember, The Harlequin Tea Set, Hercule Poroit's Christmas and Animal Farm. 

What book has been on your shelf FOREVER?

Probably the Chronicles of Narnia. 

What's the most recently published book on your shelf?

Henry Tilney's Diary by Amanda Grange- 2011

The oldest book on your shelf (as in, the actual copy is old)?

 I'm not going to look through all my books but I looked at the oldest looking ones and I think it's my copy of Jane Austen's Persuasion- 1960.

A book you won?


A book you'd hate to let out of your sight (aka a book you never let someone borrow)?

I'm pretty generous with lending out books. I'm not sure there's one I'd not lend out. However, my Complete Works of Shakespeare is pretty nice I'd had to lose it. 

Most beat up book?

My copy of The Voyage of the Dawn Treasure is in two pieces and one of my copies of The Two Towers is pretty beat up too. 

Most pristine book?

The Complet Works of Shakespeare. 

A book from your childhood?

Anne of Green Gables and Little Women

A book that's not actually your book?

At first I thought that they were all mine but then I remembered that my copy of Much Ado about Nothing, isn't exactly mine. We read it for 4-H reading group some years back and my mom bought multiple copies so we'd have enough to go around and I kind of just held on to it. 

A book with a special/different cover (e.g. leather bound, soft fuzzy cover etc.)?

My copy of The Valley of Vision has a leather cover. It feels really luxurious! :) 

A book that is your favorite color?

My copy of Beowulf has a beautiful teal color... which is my favorite color... I love all shades of blue. :) 

Book that's been on your shelf the longest that you STILL haven't read?

Probably The Czar by Deborah Alcock. I really need to get around to reading it. I've had it for a couple years now. 

Any signed books?

Not on my shelf but on my parents shelves we have several signed copies of Brian Jacques novels from when we went to a signing/talk from him. I even have a picture with him. :) 

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Book Review- Gulliver's Travels

My poor family and friends have had to hear my rant and rave about Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels for the last three weeks or so as I've listened to it. Thankfully I am done with it and they will no longer have to hear my grumblings. ;)
Gulliver's Travels goes towards the literary movement reading challenge and the hard core re-reading challenge.
Synopsis from Goodreads: 'I felt something alive moving on my left leg ... when bending my Eyes downwards as much as I could. I perceived it to be a human Creature not six inches high' Shipwrecked and cast adrift, Lemuel Gulliver wakes to find himself on Lilliput, an island inhabited by little people, whose height makes their quarrels over fashion and fame seem ridiculous. His subsequent encounters - with the crude giants of Brobdingnag, the philosophical Houyhnhnms and the brutish Yahoos - give Gulliver new, bitter insights into human behaviour. Swift's savage satire view mankind in a distorted hall of mirrors as a diminished, magnified and finally bestial species, presenting us with an uncompromising reflection of ourselves.
Never before have I disliked a book so much. Never before have I wondered so much how on earth a book was a classic. This was even a re-read for me! WHY WAS I RE-READING THIS????? I get that it's a satire. But the satire, as my Dad agreed with me in saying, is largely lost on modern day, which in my opinion, rather negates it being a classic as classics are always relevant. I did get some of the satire, but not much of it, and I highly doubt most people my age would get any of it. Some of this satire on government was humorous. Also, some of... no, I'd say most of... the satire was just dumb. Additionally, there seems to be an extreme lack of God in this book.
Gulliver aggravates me to no end! He's absolutely full of himself! I was actually somewhat happy when he gets compared to a Yahoo.... I liked him being take down a notch. Incidentally though that section is my least favorite of the book. The fact that he doesn't want to go home to his family makes me MAD. The fact that when he gets home he doesn't even want to associate with his family disgusts me. All of the other times when he got back from strange lands he was a little disoriented at first but then he recovered quickly but apparently not this time! I feel sorry for his family as never in the whole book does he seem to have any particular love for them.
I reconciled myself slightly to Gulliver about halfway through the book when I realized it was like Mr. Collins (from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice) was writing a story about himself as the hero and his travels. Then it made a lot more sense. Trust me, the book gets a bit better when you think about it that way. Sometimes Guiliver would say something and I'd think "That's just what Mr. Collins would say!" However, it only made it a little bit more bearable.
The book was really boring. I mean REALLY boring! Gulliver drones on and on about stuff that nobody cares about that he thinks we care about. I read that it's considered a satire on "traveler's tale" which maybe the reason for that but it's still not good!
Side note- Far too many references to urinating and defecating were included in the book that just made me wonder WHY???? They weren't important! They were just disturbing most of the time. Don't even get me started on the women of Brobdingnag and all that went on there! If you've read it you know!
If you don't understand how much I dislike this book at this point you haven't been reading been reading this review! This is my least favorite book of all time and never before have I rated a book one star on Goodreads until now. I was telling my father how much I hated it and he told me that he too did which consoled me a lot. When I read it the first time back in high school, I was reading it for school and my Dad said he was sorry he had us read it. I've already decided I'm never making my kids read it!

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review- To Kill a Mockingbird

Back in high school I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time and I liked it. Now, a few years later, after an enjoyable re-read, I can now say it's one of my favorite books of all time. :)
To Kill a Mockingbird will go toward the banned books reading challenge, re-reading challenge, monthly key word challenge, what an animal challenge and women's challenge.
Naturally I grew up watching the incredible film version starring Gregory Peck so I always knew the storyline of To Kill a Mockingbird. However, with the book, you dig so much deeper and you get even more as of course only a book can do. :)
Here's the synopsis from Goodreads (unfortunately a little sparse in the synopsis area and a lot stronger in the "this is an an amazing and award winning book area")- The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbirdtakes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos.
I'm not really sure where to start with a review for this book. So much has already been said about it that I doubt I'm saying anything original.
I guess I'll talk about a few of the characters that were left out from the movie or maybe underplayed in the movie that I felt added yet another great layer to the book.

Maudie Atkinson

She was actually in the movie but I felt was an underplayed character. In the book you see how much she cares for the children and loves helping them out and you just get more of her in general- her opinions and convictions.

Mrs. Dubose

Another severely underplayed character in the movie. In the book, after she insults Atticus, Jem tears up her flower bed. As a punishment he has to go read to her every afternoon after school. After she dies (she was very sick) Atticus tells him that she was trying to break her morphine addiction and by Jem reading to her she was able to keep distracted from taking her morphine. This all is very touching and I think the children learn a lot from it. I wish the movie had included it but as it wasn't an essential part of the story, I can see why it wasn't included. 

Miss Stephanie Crawford

This character was completely left out of the movie. Basically she is the neighbor across the street who loves to gossip and share her opinions. 

Uncle Jack Finch

Atticus's younger brother. He seems a lot like Atticus to me and I really liked him. As Scout said though, he had a lot to learn about raising kids. :)

Aunt Alexandra

Atticus's sister. Earlier on in the book I didn't like her as much but as it goes on you begin to appreciate her more. Even though she can be a snob she really does care about Atticus and the trial. 

There are handful of other characters that were left out of the movie but these are the ones that stick out to me.

The three main characters, Atticus, Jem and Scout, I can't say enough about how much I love them. I noticed this time reading it though more about Jem and the struggles he's growing through with growing up. I sympathized with him but then I also sympathized with Scout. I loved how she ran around in overalls as I was quite a bit of a tomboy as a child. Her innocence and bluntness were sweet and often uncomfortable. I imagine she has a lot to learn before she'll be a lady. ;)

Overall, I just love this book! I know this is a disorganized and abnormal review but that's me all over. ;)
I'm now more intrigued than ever for Go Set a Watchman to come out later this year. :)

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Epic Reads Tag

Holly over at Nut Free Nerd posted this tag and she tagged everyone who hadn't done it yet so that's me! ;)

If you could invite one author and one of their fictional characters to tea, who would you invite and what would you serve them? 

Good question! Since we're talking tea I think the only logical answer here is Jane Austen! As for which character, I'd say either Elizabeth Bennet or Henry Tilney. I'd serve them a traditional English tea. :)

Which book do you wish the author would write a prequel for? 

Yikes! Tricky question. I think I'd agree with Holly and say Harry Potter. I'd love to read a prequel with Harry's parents and company.

Which two characters (not from the same book) do you think would make a good couple?

Well this is something I've never thought about. I'm honestly racking my brain and nothing comes to mind! 

If you ran into your favorite author on the subway and you could only say one sentence to them who is it and what would it be?

Well running into Jane Austen when she is almost 200 years dead would be quite an experience! However, I would say something that tried not to reflect how strange I felt it was to be running into a skeleton on the subway. Something like "fancy seeing you around here Miss Austen!" ;)

What book made you a reader and why?

I can't think of any specific book that made me a reader. I like to say I was born a reader. My Dad made a big influence in my reading and it was really thanks to him I am the reader I am today. 

Your bookshelf just caught on fire! What is the one book you would save?

One book One book? This is horrible! Considering I just bought some more books this makes me feel terribly sad! However, I suppose I would have to grab Pride and Prejudice

Which dystopian world would you want to live in and why?

The number of dystopian books I've read I can count on one hand. I can list them here for you! 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World, and The Giver. I wouldn't want to live in any of those worlds! I suppose overall thought I'd chose the world of The Giver

What is your most epic read of all time?!?!?!

Personally I feel the word "epic" is overused nowadays. However, there is one book on this blog that I tend to refer to as epic because it is indeed worthy of that title. Obviously this book is The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien!!!! 

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top Ten Books on my Spring 2015 TBR List

Spring! I love the sound of that word and boy am I ready for it! Today with Broke and Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday meme I'm writing about the top ten books on my Spring 2015 TBR list.
  1. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  2. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (re-read)
  3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  4. Armadale by Wilkie Collins
  5. Little Women by Louise May Alcott (re-read)
  6. Dream Thief by Stephen Lawhead (re-read)
  7. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  8. A Child's History of England by Charles Dickens
  9. The Young Carthaginian by G.A. Henry (re-read)
  10. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
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Monday, March 16, 2015

It's Monday! Spring Break!

It's Spring Break!!!!!!!! My excitement can't be contained! It's time to do some school projects, study, get some reading done and watch some movies I've been meaning to watch. :) I also brought in a great book haul this week to add to the nice book haul I brought in the week before. You can read all about them in my Stacking the Shelves post. :) My shelves are getting really full though! It used to be I had one shelf of books on my bookshelf and the rest had knick knacks on them. Now I have three shelves about to burst, the top shelf with knick knacks and the bottom shelf with some school stuff, my cookbooks and some CDs and DVDs. In the near future I think the knick knacks ect. will be displaced. :)

Finished this week

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry- After having it checked out from the library since last fall, it took me an hour and a half to read!  Read my book review HERE
  • Anne of Ingelside by L.M. Montgomery

Currently Reading

  • Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (re-read) (audiobook)- Okay I don't know why I'm re-reading this. I remembered disliking this book when I first read it but now I HATE it! I was relieved when talking to my Dad to hear that he hated it too. At least I'm not alone. 
  • The Valley of Vision
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (re-read)

Coming Soon

  • Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery (re-read)
  • The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde (audiobook)
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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Book Review- The Giver

Finally! After having it checked out from the library since last fall, I have at last read Lois Lowry's novel The Giver. Considering it took me an hour and a half to read, I really should have gotten it sooner. The Giver will go towards the full house reading challenge, monthly motif reading challenge, library reading challenge and the Newberry reading challenge.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
Because I read this after Brave New World I think I had a different perspective of it then I would have if I hadn't read it beforehand. For me, The Giver is like a children's version of Brave New World. I liked both of the books, I'm not sure if I have a preference between them.
So moving past my comparisons there.... I did like the book. I have read only a handful of dystopian books and not the mainstream ones that have come out recently so I really don't know much about the genre. Despite what I said above, I think maybe after all it is my favorite dystopian novel I've read so far. The characters were each unique and the world that Lowry set up was nicely laid out. I could really feel and sympathize with Jonas's frustration as he received more and more memories. When he watches his father "release" the baby I too was horrified. The ending is ambiguous but I hear that it gets ironed out in later books. I'm interested to read them sometime in the future but unfortunately I don't think I'll have time this year. Hopefully next year. :)

Quick thoughts on the movie. I watched it the day after I read the book so I had a pretty strong memory of the book in my mind plus as always I'm rather a book purist when it comes to book to film adaptations. However, I don't think I'm overly perfectionistic when I say that this is one of the loosest book to film adaptations I've seen. It wasn't necessarily a bad movie if you look at it just as a movie, but it was a bad book to film adaptation. I will say one thing I liked about it was that they had it in black and white and then changed it to color as the movie went on to show how the people saw the world and then how Jonas comes to see the world.

All in all, I recommend the book but take your chances with the movie. :)

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #3

I've really hit the jackpot these last couple weeks with books! My shelves are getting really full!

Barnes and Noble's Haul

I brought in the below haul from Barnes and Nobel, which I wrote about last week so read more about that HERE
  • The Completes Works of William Shakespeare
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  • Beowulf translated by J.R.R. Tolkien

Used Bookstore Haul #1

As a reward for myself for doing well on my test Thursday, I stopped by my town's used bookstore. I've meant to stop there for awhile now but I never had. I'm glad I did because I grabbed a great haul! 
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • The Princes and the Pauper by Mark Twain
  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  • The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
  • All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Vanity Fair by William Thackeray 

Used Bookstore Haul #2

I went back to the used bookstore after my last class period before Spring Break and accumulated some more books and spent probably more money than I should have. :) I've heard good things about the Diaries but I'm slightly apprehensive. Buying them was a scary step for me but I hope they pay off in the end. :)
  • Killer Angels by Michael Shaara- I found out when I got home I already had a copy of this but I love the book so much that I'm not going to complain that I now have two copies. :)
  • The Last Full Measure by Jefferey Shaara
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
  • Hercule Poroit's Christmas by Agatha Christie
  • The Harlequin Tea Set by Agatha Christie
  • Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie
  • Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange
  • Captain Wentworth's Diary by Amanda Grange
  • Edmund Bertram's Diary by Amanda Grange
  • Henry Tilney's Diary by Amanda Grange
  • Mr. Knightley's Diary by Amanda Grange
  • Colonel Brandon's Diary by Amanda Grange
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Friday, March 13, 2015

The Classics Booktag

I saw this book tag over at Fly but it originally came from It's a Book World. I love tags and I love classics so I'm going to fill it out! :)

An overhyped classic you didn't really like

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald- I hope to re-read it sometime and see if maybe my opinion has changed with time. 

Favorite time period to read about

Whatever the Pride and Prejudice time period is. ;)

Favorite fairy tale

Hmmm. Good question. I'm partial to Beauty and the Beast but that might be because of the Disney film. 

What is the most embarrassing classic you haven't read yet

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Top five classics you'd like to read soon

  1. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  2. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  3. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens
  4. The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde
  5. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Favorite Modern book/series based on a classic

Beauty by Robin McKinley 

Favorite movie version /TV-series based on a classic

1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice obviously!!!

Worst classic to movie adaptation

The 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and the 2007 adaptation of Mansfield Park are tied. I've heard the 1999 adaptation of Mansfield Park is pretty bad but I haven't bothered with it.

Favorite editions you'd like to collect more classics from

Hmmm. I don't normally pay attention to additions but let me think. I'd say the Barnes and Noble collectibles are very nice indeed and I'd love to have more of them. :)

An under hyped classic I'd recommend to everyone

I feel like Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey don't get the credit Jane Austen's other novels do so I'd say those two. Also, Our Mutual Friend, Little Dorrit and Hard Times are three Dickens novels I read last year that I don't hear as much about either that are awesome! 

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Chocolate Book Tag

Arwen over at Meanwhile, In Rivendell... posted answers to a Chocolate Book Tag and I love the idea so I'm posting my answers too. By the way, you should definitely check out Arwen's blog! I just found it recently but I love it already! :)

Dark Chocolate (A book that covers a dark topic)

The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang- I read this last year and it is so sad and definitely dark. However, it's non-fiction so let me think of a fiction novel also. :) So I'm thinking of C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters. It definitely has dark themes about sin but is incredibly interesting. If you haven't read it you should! Someday I mean to re-read it. 

White Chocolate (A light and humorous read)

I read a lot of light and humorous books. I love any books by P.G. Wodehouse... they are all very light and humorous. 

Milk Chocolate (A book with a lot of hype that you're dying to read)

The Golem and the Jinni- There's probably not as much hype about it now but I remember a year ago or so everyone was raving about it. I'm hoping to read it this year. :)

Carmel-Filled Chocolate (A book that makes you feel all gooey inside) 

You know, despite my not calling myself a romantic over and over again on my blog, I do find that I have a soft spot for a nice romance. However, I still don't like straight up romance and I don't like anything over the top mushy gushy. Anyways... I digress... Any book that has a happy ending where the guy and girl get together in the end makes me feel pretty happy. I tend to get a really sappy grin on my face to be honest (blushes). To be honest, Pride and Prejudice is the first book I think of that makes me feel like that every time I finish it. 

Wafer-less Kit-Kat (A book that surprised you)

I'd have to agree with Arwen and say Beowulf. It wasn't at all what I expected and I LOVED it! 

Snickers (A book you're going nuts about!)

Recently probably Beowulf and Peace Like a River. However, long-term the books I will forever go nuts about are Pride and Prejudice and The Lord of the Rings

Hot Chocolate with marshmallows (The book you turn to for comfort)

Hmmm. There are a lot of books that I have gone back to time and time again that aren't comfort reads necessarily but I definitely go back to them like they're an old friend. They're also not necessarily exemplary novels, I just love them. :) These would be Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, This Present Darkness, Piercing the Darkness, The Harry Potter series and Coronation of Glory

A Box of Chocolates (A series you feel has something for everyone)

I think I'd agree once again with Arwen and say The Chronicles of Narnia. 

So now I'm craving chocolate! ;)

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Top Ten Books for Readers Who Like Jane Austen Novels

The theme for this week's Top Ten Tuesday is the to ten books for readers who like "blank". I had an incredibly hard time coming up with something to fill that "blank" because I feel so hesitant to compare books and say if you like this one you'll like this one. So if you liked this but don't like this... DON'T SUE ME! ;) So to fill that blank I have finally chosen "for readers who like Jane Austen's novels" because I feel I'm always in a safe zone with Jane Austen. ;) What embodies Austen's novel for me is that they are a simple story with nothing too crazy going on, no sword fights or kidnapped damsels in distress, but just a story that tells a lot about people, about human nature, in a very witty and original way and throws some romance in with it too. :) So I've tried to reflect that in the below selections.
  1. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  2. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  3. The Warden by Anthony Trollope
  4. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
  5. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  6. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  7. Little Women by Louise May Alcott
  8. Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery
So yeah, I couldn't come up with ten but oh well!
In case you are wondering, I didn't put any Jane Austen spin offs on this list... I've only read two and I wasn't impressed with either.
Also you should read Miniatures and Morals: The Christian Novels of Jane Austen by Peter Leithart. It's a great commentary on Jane Austen's novels. 

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Monday, March 9, 2015

It's Monday! What I've Learned

As I mentioned last week in my It's Monday post, this past weekend I had my church's women's retreat. As always, I came away feeling rejuvenated and with maybe a little better understand of the wonder and glory of my savior. This time I especially felt reminded of the fact that God has a plan for our lives and He's been working it out since creation and He will carry it through to completion. Overall I'm feeling refreshed and ready for one more week of school before spring break!

Finished this week

  • Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery (re-read)

Currently Reading

  • Anne of Ingelside by L.M. Montgomery (re-read)
  • Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (re-read) (audiobook)

Coming Soon

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (re-read)
I had some great book hauls this week half of which you can read about HERE and the other half I haven't written about yet so coming soon! :)

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Blessed with Books

For a crazy circumstance in which I didn't think I was doing anything that incredibly helpful or selfless, I was given a $50 gift card to Barnes&Nobles as a thank you! Well that's like a book lover's dream come true is it not? Funny thing is $50 can go really fast when buying books. Since it was something special, I wanted to get nice books and go with quality over quantity. Here's what I got!

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

What a beautiful edition am I right?

Beowulf translated by J.R.R. Tolkien

I just read Beowulf translated by someone else earlier this year and I loved it but I'm excited to get a translation by one of my favorite authors. 

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

I re-read these a couple years ago and was blown away by the absurdities and wit that Carroll created in these two books. 

Two Doctor Who Bookmarks

Because I work my love of Doctor Who into everything. ;) These were just nice little bonuses. :)

Overall I'd say I'm incredibly blessed with books! :)

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Top Ten Books You would Classify as All Time Favorites from the Last Three Years

Thankfully I've been using Goodreads for about three years now so I'm actually keeping track of what I've read what year. Unfortunately, though, that won't help me with narrowing this list down to ten favorites. I have linked my reviews if I wrote one. So here we are in no particular order.

  1. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger- I just read this book a couple months ago and it was an instant favorite. It's a different kind of book but I love it! :)
  2. The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton
  4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  5. Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card
  6. Wives and Daughters and North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  7. The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
  8. The History of the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien- This books was fascinating for anyone who's a Tolkien geek (like me) or is interested in writing (like me). No wonder I loved it. ;)
  9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak- I actually prefer the movie but the book is also great. 
  10. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  11. Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
Okay so in the end I couldn't choose just ten and I'm not really sorry. There has been a large number of incredible books I've read in these couple years and it didn't feel right to leave any of them out. 

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Monday, March 2, 2015

It's Monday! Another test and then Retreat!

So life as always is pretty crazy. I'm preparing for yet another nursing exam waiting and longing for May and graduation. So close! And still so far. Yeah I just quote Disney... it's been a rough week. ;) Thankfully, my church's women's retreat is at the end of this week! :)
I finished listening to Anne of the Island this week and then I zipped through reading Anne of Windy Poplars next. However, I'm upset because even though Barbara Caruso narrates an audiobook of it, the State library I've been getting these from doesn't have Anne of Windy Poplars! :( So that's why I had to read it. Don't get me wrong,  I love actually reading books and that's what I normally do but Barbara Caruso is an awesome narrator and I just find the Anne books even better (if that's possible) with her narration. Thankfully though she does Anne's House of Dreams and the library does have that one. After that though I'll have to read them. However, I found with reading Anne of Windy Poplars that audiobooks do really take a longer time as I got through Anne of Windy Polars in just three days whereas the audiobooks normally took me two weeks or more. So all that whining about not having audiobooks may be rather hypocritical. Especially as I'm turning over the idea of just reading Anne's House of Dreams instead of listening to the audiobook as planned as I really like getting through books quickly.
I know what you're thinking... I just had to read a whole paragraph of her whining and now she decided it's nothing to whine about? I'm a very indecisive person people! Anyways, I'm listening to Gulliver's Travels on audiobook this month and I don't want to have to be listening to two audiobooks at the same time but I don't want to put off re-reading the next Anne book because Anne and Gilbert get married in this next one!!!! So yeah.
So as always today I'm linking up with Book Journey to bring you my week of reading. :)

Finished this week

Currently Reading

  • The Valley of Vision

Coming Soon (Hopefully)

  • The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde
  • Guilliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (re-read) (audiobook)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (re-read)
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery (re-read) (audiobook?)

Book Reviews Posted this Week

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Birthday Month Reading Challenge- March

Congratulations on making it through February! Now on to March! If you've fell behind don't stress out! Just catch up as you can. :)
Here's a list of some authors with birthdays in March for my Birthday Month Reading Challenge. Be sure to check out the more complete list HERE.
  • Albert Einstein
  • Dr. Seuss/Theodore Geisel
  • Ralph Ellison
  • Iris Chang
  • Howard Pyle
  • Andrew Lang
  • Lois Lowry
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • Kenneth Grahame
  • Ezra Jack Keats
  • Tennessee Williams
  • Robert Frost
  • Anna Sewell
  • Sid Fleischman
  • Marguerite de Angeli
  • Virginia Hamilton
  • Patricia MacLachlan
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