• Culture and Entertainment

    Favorite Audiobooks and Radio Dramas, Edited

    Auditory only media wasn’t my thing usually. Except of course for Adventures in Odyssey, but then again, that was following my younger sisters’ lead. I still have a hard time thinking audiobooks are “reading” you simply cannot process them the same. But jobs have forced me to learn to appreciate audiobooks and the like.

    Because I’m very erratic/moody in my interests, I’ve bounced around between music, podcasts, Audible, sometimes in overall weekly or monthly themes of one of them, sometimes within one day.

    I’ve tons in my Audible library now since I’ve bought/earned extra credits and coupons plus done the years membership AND discovered you can return purchases if you don’t like the book. Edited: I’ve discovered returning books once done is considered gaming the system, so I’m not going to do that again, unless I truly disliked the book/quality or something like that.

    My first introduction to audiobooks and radio dramas was when I was on audiobooks.com a couple years ago (in order to endure an agonizingly boring temp assignment), I listened to the BBC Jane Austen radio drama, which I adore (and which included Benedict Cumberbatch and I believe Blake Ritson). I’d not heard or understood of radio dramas.

    Then I picked up the James Herriot books read by Christopher Timothy, and oh, my what jewels, especially the first two. I’m on, the fifth now I think. I still was wanted to “count as read” the books, so I tried to read the paperback of the second, um no, Christopher Timothy truly brings them alive, I was too spoiled to do anything but listen. Our library only had the first two on audio, so it was then I went to Audible for a trial, and I don’t know that I’ve cancelled although I paused for a while. The audiobooks in the publication order (in U.S. regular book order anyway) are:
    All Creatures Great and Small
    All Things Bright and Beautiful
    All Things Wise and Wonderful
    The Lord God Made Them All
    Every Living Thing

    Once firmly ensconced in the Audible world, I got back on the track of BBC radiodramas.  Thus far I’ve listened to Jeeves and Wooster, and I was giggling and gasping with laughter out loud at work multiple times. Highly recommend. Then I listened to The Importance of Being Ernest (I swear between, watching the movie innumerable times, reading it twice, and watching the webseries In Ernest, but mostly watching the movie, I should have this memorized) and An Ideal Husband.

    In my library but not listened to yet are multiple more radio dramas: Lord Peter Wimsey, The Barchester Chronicles, My Family and Other Animals, Two sets of Dickens, and the Brontes works. There are many more than this. I think perhaps, I do prefer radio dramas, or bringing to life reading combined with that style of writing that is the James Herriot experience. I do have some regular audiobooks on my list other than Herriot, but Narnia I was trying to read along with because I wanted the experience of the books, and so I got impatient and quit listening. And also, I do think I prefer doing work or something while listening, that is the only way to at least possibly focus.

    In addition to the BBC radio dramas and regular audiobooks, Audible also has tons of The Great Courses, which is an AMAZING resource (I would also love to try their streaming service which has audio and video), so I’ve listened to John McWhorter’s The Story of Human Language. This one does require more especial focus, and I’ve had to “rewind” and relisten to catch things I’ve missed, but OH, if you love language and the tantalizing bits of learning the Wired youtube channel has given, you will LOVE this course. I feel like maybe listen once, then listen again with notes? But then I do love making everything complicated. I’ve still not finished this yet because I’ve got even less focus even before all this happened, and I never was great in the first place.

    My most recent listen (and one I’m “checking out” as if from the library) is Rhett and Link’s Book of Mythicality. I’m not a super fan of much of their gross youtube eating tests or whatever. Ok, I rather HATE that sort of thing, but their personalities and backgrounds are so funny and unique plus being Southern, and I really paid more attention to them after they started visiting and talking about their childhoods in North Carolina, they were hysterically crazy boys, and their descriptions of the stuff they did are hilarious. I think funny in the way they are is hard to find. Like it’s just part of them, everything they do, it’s not trying too hard or anything, they are genuinely crazy people who are funny and weird and confident about it, without you know being the “I’m SoO difFerEnt and WeIrD.”

    I’ve been listening to some of their podcasts, “Earbiscuits” and have laughed out loud. Some of the book is rather strange to listen to, like it’s better to read, and some of it is boring, at least to me. But they narrate it themselves and still have such funny parts (for some reason, I think I found the section on their hair the funniest thus far, they did try crazy stuff, but it’s the way they describe everything that is just hysterical, like they can’t even do mundane stuff in a mundane way) and often include people that are part of their story, like telling their romances with their wives, who give their versions, in their own voices. Also, its so light, that I do have to have much brain power to listen to, but it’s obviously not a gem I will keep.

  • Daily Life

    What I’ve Been Listening To: Podcasts

    I’d go insane at work if I didn’t have something to listen to while I’m at work. For awhile music was enough, then James Herriot books which I still haven’t finished. I then started listening to the College Info Geek podcast.

    I’ve been listening through Spotify because the Google podcast app wouldn’t show on the lock screen, I had to unlock phone to do anything every time, and that really isn’t good for work.

    • I follow and have tried many podcasts, I have a huge playlist to try, but I’m SO picky. And moody.
    • I need to find the tone/audio/voices smooth/calm more chatty in vocal tone (my favorites seem to be mostly mid-west and softened southern accents).
    • It needs to be pithy, not rambling unless the rambling (like Rhett and Link and the guys on College Info Geek) is also witty and/or informative.
    • I don’t like feelsy and/or veering into pseudoscience podcasts
    • I can’t STAND subtle dissing (which I realize I have a problem with doing myself) when the person then turns around and reinvents the wheel. Or anything else of the humble-brag or self-righteous variety.
    • I’d rather the subject matter be positive too. I’ve got some history podcasts in my library but they all seem so depressing. I also tend to veer towards informative podcasts. I know there are different genres, like story or “news” (NOPE) or whatever. I could do story if it was sort of radio dramas or something.

    I’d really like to listen to podcasts I really like, but thus far that is only the guys from College Info Geek. I wish Ramit Sethi had a podcast of his own. I’ve listened to one he was a guest on. I’d really love if MuchelleB did a podcast as well.

    The College Info Geek. This isn’t only applicable to college, and since the guys are my age they’ve been moving away from that. I’ve listened to almost every episode from the last few years and am sad it’s ending and hoping their new podcast starts soon and is as helpful. I really like the guys and what they have to say. I follow Thomas Frank on YouTube which is why I started the podcast. I’ve exhausted this podcast, and I’ve made a list of episodes to go back and listen in my free time when I can take notes.

    A Strong Sense of Place. This is a new podcast I first heard about on What Should I Read Next. It features books around countries or geographical things (like the sea). Oh, I want to read so many of these. This podcast is SO good and the title is so apt. I need to check out the blog because I think they often have a matching post with extra resources such as recipes to go with the area!

    The Beautiful Mess Podcast. It features some self-improvement, some art and design, and general lifestyle. It’s also new, and I think I’ve listened to most of the episodes. This is another problem, I exhaust my favorites so fast!

    What Should I Read Next . . . selectively, some are good, most are boring to me.

    One Great Book. Overall I preferred this to the above (both by Anne Bogel), and of course, I’ve exhausted it, and this one is currently on hiatus or possibly done.

    Earbiscuits. Also selectively. These guys are so interesting and funny.

    The Perfectionism Project. I want to like this more, it has really good information, but I have a harder time focusing and having patience. It needs to be scripted/edited down.

    If I find any new I like I’ll do another post, I’m open to suggestions (PLEASE), I find it hard to find good podcasts.

     

  • Daily Life

    How Not to Go Crazy (I Hope) (Updated)

    Call 211 and look at the website. I learned about 211 at work, it’s an organization that connects people in need (whether of food, money to pay bills, or to find a school for your special child, and newly, covid-19 help). I’m sure more people are in need of this than ever. It’s national but works with state and local agencies to connect you with services you may not have been aware of.

    I’m in an open office with people who talk and get too much info/misinfo. This is crazymaking. I’ve noticed a couple of internet people doing crazymaking stuff to so I’ve unfollowed them.

    I don’t want to focus on the virus here, but I want to state some principles I think should be followed/am trying to be followed/I expect from anyone I have interaction with. And then back to positive programming.

    Your sources for Covid-19 (say it correctly, coronavirus is a group of viruses) are the CDC and the WHO. Dr. Mike is one doctor, and he points people to these sources, he is helpful for understanding, but the CDC and the WHO are THE resources. They have the states, recommendations, FAQ’s, question forms, etc. If you see questionable studies or actions people are doing (such as fabric masks and claims about packages), email CDC, the more people who ask, the more likely that will be added to their FAQ’s.

    Any rando who thinks they have special insight from God, themselves as gods, their anecdotal experience, their favorite news sources, a random doctor, a single study, etc. is NOT an authority on anything but stirring up ignorance, fear, conspiracy, and panic. Half-truths, truths mixed in with falsehood are the most confusing and concerning. And we don’t need more sermons, monologues, etc. mind your own p’s and q’s!!!

    Your sources for state-wide rules, updates, etc. is your governor and state and local (some locales have extra rules) government. Your governor may be doing press releases, and your state government may have a website. I suggest that if you are curious about other states, you start from these sources for them.

    Your source for country-wide (such as border closures, travel bans, etc.) rules is the federal government.

    Very carefully fact check any news story you may see against these sources (maybe bookmark them, keeping tabs open would only encourage obsessive checking). I’d suggest only searching for specific items, not following the news. Please realize that stand-alone studies and trials aren’t definitive.

    Set times/days to check/update yourself. Obsessive checking will not only drive you crazy, it doesn’t help anyone else.

    Block or unfollow as best as possible anyone who doesn’t follow these very basic principles. If you are at work with these people (like me), try and see if you can find noise-cancelling headphones if that doesn’t interfere with your job. Walk away if you can. Follow the rules even if they are possibly based on misinformation, better safe than sorry. Try to make following said rules easier (like being more organized, making signs, and reminders). Perhaps if the talk is so bad, see if you can move your desk or ask your boss to say something or speak to people yourself. Keep your eyes open for better opportunities.

    Play games, watch movies, etc. with family, Facetime/Google duo your grandparents and others you can’t visit.

    Try to find/curate and encouraging online community. I’ve been really happy with all the positive things going around (with a few exceptions) among the Instagrammers I’ve follow, they’ve shared things to do, made group online activities, etc. That and enjoying time with family has reset me from work.

  • Daily Life

    Reframing Quarantine and My Current Plans

    I’ve already been very isolated, seeing just my family and coworkers, mostly shopping online, and this was supposed to be the year of change for that. Well, that is obviously not working out well. In addition, while I had started my plans out strong, I never actually finished the plans or implemented much and was in quite a slump. So, I decided that I’m going to act as if the quarantine is as unfamiliar for me as for everyone as a means of resetting myself (since I’ve been in quite a slump).

    Reading

    • Read the books I’ve borrowed from family and perhaps more in our family collection.
    • Read those that I like of the 23 library books that I have, I’m SO glad I tend to get tons of library books. I’ve heard some libraries have curbside pickup option, and I’ve asked the city system I use, but the way things are I doubt we’ll get that, it seems risky. So:
    • I’m SO glad I have tons of rereads in my own collection, and I may read more that I have “due” this year.
    • Actually work through the self-development/personal help books that I’ve bought as work books.

    Handicrafts and Room Revamp

    • Make curtains, paint/stain/refinish some furniture, and finish setting up my room.
    • Sew an apron (I recently rehauled all my stuff and came up with some fabric I realized I could use to make an really adorable apron) and headband (we’ve been watching Hometown on HGTV and love Erin’s headbands and style).
    • Start really stashbusting my yarn. I’ve been take clips of all my shawl patterns and organizing these by shawl type in Evernote, so I don’t have to open up every single pdf to see what the pattern is. SO helpful.
    • Work on my darling embroidery project, I’ve held onto those old magazines for years (they have to be 70’s or maybe 80’s, Ill have to check).

    Miscellaneous

    • Finish/edit/reframe all my 2020 plans and actually start working on habits.
    • Try and keep and improve on my routine and not fall further into a slump.
    • My blog domain is set to renew, and I’ve been meaning for years to put additional work into my blog, so I think now is a great time for that.
    • I have like 80+ drafts, yikes! So I want to cull these, finish, and schedule those that I want to publish.
    • I’ve got several new glorious 1000 piece Disney puzzles to work on as seen on my Instagram.
    • Participate in the positive Instagram environment I’ve found (basically lots of my favorite bloggers who are sharing happy things).
    • Job search, I currently have a job, but I’m mentally under-utilized plus it’s got very archaic skills. I was wanting to go ahead and search, for potential new opportunities and weekend jobs, but I hadn’t tried very hard when this happened. Now, I’m trying to prepare for if I need to find a job.

     

  • Daily Life

    Liebster Award

    Catherine at Based on the Book tagged me with the Liebster Award. I always love any sort of tag, it means someone else did part of the brainwork for a blog post, lol. And continuing with my laziness, I’m not going to think of questions or tag people, but if you want to answer her questions, she included anyone who wanted in her tag.

    1. Which book have you re-read the most and why?

    I wish I’d kept better track of my rereads. I know I’ve read Pride and Prejudice at least 3 times I think. And HP too. But I’ve also read North and South three times, at least. And that is definitely more of an accomplishment I think. I want to read that one again, it is just so rich and ripe for analysis (I’ve written pages of my impressions of it). Plus its alway interesting to compare books with period drama adaptations (the reward of watching North and South was the catalyst of my first reading and rewatching inspired at least one if not both rereads).

    2. Which Hogwarts house would you put yourself in?

    Ravenclaw all the way. I’d be wishing for Ravenclaw like Harry wished against Slytherin. But I’d also have to wish against Slytherin as well. I’m not sneaky, but I’m not . . . well nice, good, whatever. I consider it a great accomplishment if I ever attain a neutral, bare minimum level of civility that would probably only be considered so in another unfriendly country.

    3. What is your favourite fictional friendship?

    I’m sure I have more but Sarah Jane and Mabel from Grandma’s Attic popped into mind, since their friendship was the main focus of those stories. Childhood best friends who get into scrapes together from tiny children to adults is always a fun plot.

    4. If you could bring back one TV show/series what would it be?

    Well, I think most shows need to end well before they do. And I don’t mean just are long US shows, Sherlock crashed and burned after two seasons, imho. So I’d prefer to go back in time and redo That 70’s Show, putting Jackie and Hyde together sooner. Cutting out lazy shock plotlines. Keeping Eric and Donna as good characters and sucking all the creepyness out of Fez and working in the truly good bits from the older seasons (there were some good burns). And fitting everything in 4 or 5 seasons.

    5. Which historical figure would you like to read a book about?

    I’m FAR more interested in time periods than individual people. Probably someone who had a mysterious end, I’d want to know what actually happened?

    6. Who was the last fictional character you fell in love with?

    I was in a little in love with the leading men in my some of my favorite Mary Stewart and M.M. Kaye books, but I think Max from This Rough Magic was my favorite.

    7. What’s your go-to karaoke song?

    Can’t sing and have never done karaoke.

    8. Which Disney princess/character was your childhood favourite?

    I watched Lion King, Pocahontes, Jungle Book, and Cinderella, were I think major features in my childhood. I know we owned Beauty and the Beast, at least I think we did. But for some reason, I don’t remember that one being watched as much. Maybe it was. But I think the first three made a bigger impression, which is funny, since I was already afraid of my own shadow as a child, perhaps that was the fascination.

    9. Listening to any good podcasts lately?

    Yes, sort of, I’m picky and moody. I have a podcast post in the works.

    10. Have you read any Charles Dickens and do you have any recommendations? (I feel like it’s time I read one.)

    I’ve read most of them. They do feel like a lot of work because they were serials and you definitely feel it. They are also very glum in setting, tone, etc. And well, it’s hard to like/relate to a lot of the heroines (usually the love interests of the heroes), namby-pamby or goody-goody Victorian as portrayed by a Victorian man.

    I also feel like everyone is very opinionated about their individual favorites, I mean it’s highly individual. You could always start with the more famous. Tale of Two Cities is a fav for many (I haven’t read it in years) and it’s short. But I personally think Nicholas Nickleby is a more fun one plus it has at least two recent adaptations one of which features a baby Hiddleston as a minor character. I think that Little Dorrit is also a good one with a wonderful adaptation, and less stereotyped, more full whole person characters including the heroine.

    I feel like I’m due a reread. I’m more of a Trollope person myself since starting the Barchester chronicles. I wonder why he’s not as famous? He is definitely more, refined I guess? More dry sarcasm, more realism in the gentry and nobility in the country rather than lowerclasses in London Less caricature and more foible based.

    11. Any fun websites you like to waste time on?

    Besides Youtube (probably could make a favorite youtubes page and post) which is a weak substitute for good old-fashioned blogs and my few favorite blogs (I need to update my list), and Instagram which is an excellent substitute for facebook, Pinterest, and ah, the WHO and CDC for obvious reasons . . . I resorted to my history which gave me shopping sites (from crafts and historical fashion to shoes and Amazon), banking and cc sites, and following my random interests/trains of thoughts on Google, apparently nothing very interesting. Oh, wait, Spotify (for podcasts mostly at the moment) and Audible (I should do a post on that soon too), have saved my sanity at work for most of my time there although I can’t focus on much at the moment).

    I should (I get to, I was listening to a podcast that said to reframe in grateful terms, I get to work, I get to learn, etc., especially apropos now) use:

    Seterra (that excellent geography site I keep forgetting about even though I have it bookmarked)

    Bluprint (formerly Craftsy, I have tons of purchased classes)

    Creativebug (I have few purchased glasses)

    Duolingo (I’m currently making Duo very sad)

    CodeAcademy (no time like the present to learn to new tech skills).

    Any suggestions? I know lots of services/sites/apps are offering free trials during this social distancing/quarantine period (and oh, it WILL be much longer, my sister keeps saying, “when I graduate” and “when I go back to school” her senior year is ruined). I’d like to make a list of those too.

  • Daily Life

    Quarantine Humor

    If you aren’t currently attempting to drive yourself insane trying to discern what is real from the limited actual stats and find possible grains of truth amid too early/misreading/ignoring of statistics and blaming/frothing political divisiveness and blame by the media and everyone who never cared about disease/hygiene/epidemiology/pandemics, listening to irrational coworkers quoting the above mentioned groups, wondering if I’m you are crazy, feeling how pathetic it is that you already apparently lived under quarantine, etc. . . . . you may enjoy some humor, from my favorite hilarious youtubers of course. Of course you might just need it after trying to figure out that “sentence” above. Anyway.

    Every Mom in America Right Now

    Enneagram Types in Quarantine. Which are you? I’m (in this video) something of 1 and 5, if it was cholera, yeah I’d be my more usual 6 (or 6-5-7 blend, like most personality tests, I’m not sure). I’m more 6 regarding people at the moment.

    16 Personality Types Under Quarantine. Which are you? In this case I’m INTJ and INTP.

  • Reading

    Jane Austen’s Leading Men or Heroes Ranked (Tentatively)

    Thinking about this after Katie’s comment on this post. But I’m due for rereads, so I may have to revisit this post. I know my top two. Also, movie portrayals matter, I watched many of the movies before reading and have watched the films many times sense. I think with many of the characters, the book leaves some openness in interpreting the characters (not all of them), actually, to me the some of the most famous (Darcy, Knightley, and Brandon) are that way. Because they are older/more reserved maybe?

    1. Captain Wentworth. Decisive, military, passionate, I do have to wonder though, how well this would work in reality. I mean does a Marianne-type character work with admittedly something of the male-equivalent in intensity.

    2. Henry Tilney funny, kind, honorable. This I know would work for me in reality.

    Now for the others. I do think I’d pick Mr. Knightley next (or would I?), but I’d prefer John Knightley from the 2008 Emma. That smart-aleck and family loyal character is absolutely my style. I’m not sure what I think of Knightly, I’m not sure he’s as clearly defined, all the movie versions are sort of accurate in a way, but also not. He can seem a bit too, puppy-dog, like trailing after Emma which I don’t like. So maybe I would pick Bingley next although. Bingley and Edward Ferrars I kind of group together. I have difficulty respecting them, and I’m afraid I’d steam role right over them, but I’d pick them over the melancholy Brandon, or the boring (!) Darcy.

    Bingley, precious and sweet but too easily led. But he doesn’t do anything wrong, and he does come back without prompting, I think, although with some hints maybe, or encouragement after seeing Lizzie. My understanding was Darcy said something to him after he came back, but like I said I’m due for a reread.

    Edward Ferrars. Grow a spine dude. It’s not honorable to love another and stay engaged, sorry, that isn’t actual faithfulness. However, he is funny.

    Edmund Bertram. Ah, Edmund, I loved you so much until I despised you so much. And yet, I still think I’d want him before Colonel Brandon. I mean if Edmund hadn’t fallen for Mary, or at least for that long and so hard. Early Edmund would be closer to the top.

    Darcy. I belong to the Darcy is overrated club.

    Colonel Brandon. I’m afraid the unfairly ancient and/or slimy casting of Colonel Brandon has forever tainted him to me. If Matthew McFadyen had played him (ala Arthur Clennam) as I think would have been ideal. I think he needed to be brought to life in such a way as too make him appealing. He’s too melancholy a person for me ideally.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Fairy Tale Tag

    I found this tag on Hayden’s blog Leatherbound, and the tag originated here on Fairy Tale Central. I’m realizing there are so many more fairytales I need to read and find retellings of. I used to be more interested in those, these questions are bringing back my interest.

    – What’s an obscure fairy tale you love?

    “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” I don’t think this is super obscure, but I’ve never heard of a movie version but only book versions, and quite frankly, I think I prefer it not to be tainted with film.

    – If you got to choose Disney’s next animated princess movie, what fairy tale would you choose to be adapted?

    I feel like I wouldn’t want anything too special, it might ruin it, make it less mystical and romantic. I think “The Princess and the Pea” would work nicely. Maybe “Rumpelstiltskin.”

    – What is the first fairy tale you remember hearing when you were a child?

    I grew up with Disney so those, but I feel like “Hansel and Gretel,” “The Three Little Pigs,” and The Gingerbread Man (those are fairy-tales, right? Or what would they be called) were early too (and scarring, at least the first two).

    – If you were to embark on a fairy tale quest, what necessities would you pack in your bag?

    In my magically (like Hermione’s) expanding bag: a wand, a special potion like Father Christmas gives Lucy, a horn like Susan’s, an invisibility cloak, a magic lantern, a shield, and a magic map (something of a mix between the Marauder’s Map and the book from Ella Enchanted plus a magical geographical map). And I suppose I’d need a sword or something. Just to cover my bases. This fairy tale would be called “The Quest of the Paranoid Princess.”

    – What’s your favorite fairy tale trope?

    The obscure to beloved Cinderella trope. Just all the warm fuzzies.

    – If you could be any fairy tale character archetype (the princess, the soldier, fairy godmother, talking animal, mischievous imp, wise old woman, evil stepmother/sister, etc.), who would you want to be and why?

    The princess. I love romance and princely heroes.

    – What animal/mythical creature would be your sidekick for fairy tale adventures?

    A unicorn. Jet black with a silver horn.

    – What is your favorite historical era, and what fairy tale would you love to see in that setting?

    One of my favorites that I think would fit a fairy tale setting would be ancient/Celtic Britain. But I also love R.J. Anderson’s Faerie Rebels which are traditional Celtic fairies (as opposed to Disney-esque ones) in modern Britain (as are the 13 Treasures series).

    – If you could change a fairy tale’s villain into a hero, who would you choose and why?

    I can’t think of any right off the bat.

    – Do you prefer fairy tales with happy endings or sad/tragic endings? why or why not?

    Happy! I’m not super positive, and I need super positive endings.

  • Reading

    Rereading Planning

    As I’m a highly picky mood reader, I tend to reach for my favorites a lot, but as I also tend to tire/bored of things thanks to my obsessive repetitiveness, I try to space out my reads. I’ve handwritten lists, but this time I added another tab to my books excel file (for my TBR lists, one tab that is interlibrary loan, one for those at my library), to which I added all my favorite books using Goodreads as a guide, the dates I’d read them previously (if I had them) and the dates I could read them next, generally 4-5 years. I ended up with 30 books and authors I could read in 2020.

    I have an Evernote workbook dedicated to fun. And I was working on seasonal files (food, activities, movies, books, etc.). I’d already had a general breakdown of books for the seasons, and I used my 2020 reread list to update this for this year (and will add to it each year, unless I get bored and find another system . . . which is also a habit of mine). As it currently stands here is my seasonal rereading possibilities list:

    Winter

    • Narnia
    • Lord Peter Wimsey
    • Entwined 
    • Wildwood Dancing 
    • Middlemarch, Eliot
    • Dickens
    • Aunt Jane’s Hero
    • Scott’s Poetry and Ivanhoe 
    • Evelina
    • Romeo and Juliet (February)
    • Friendship and Folly and all the ones I haven’t read

    Spring

    • Anne of Green Gables series
    • Grandma’s Attic series (towards summer)
    • Spring-ish (not main ones) LM Montgomery
    • Gail Carson Levine
    • Gaskell novels
    • Little Women and sequels
    • To Have and to Hold 

    Summer

    • Magic for Marigold 
    • Jane of Lantern Hill
    • A Tangled Web
    • Snicker of Magic 
    • Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom
    • Key to Extraordinary 
    • Sarah’s Journey series
    • Annie Henry series
    • The Borrowers series
    • To Kill a Mockingbird 
    • Katherine Patterson books
    • Much Ado About Nothing 
    • Mother 
    • Abby books

    Fall

    • Blue Castle (end of summer/early fall)
    • Emily trilogy
    • Pat duo
    • Celtic mythology book
    • Brontë novels
    • Sherlock Holmes
    • An Old Fashioned Girl 
    • Thirteen Secrets trilogy
    • The Screwtape Letters

    Christmas needs a little work, but I have plenty of time before that comes around again.

  • Reading

    2020 Reading Challenge

    I started with the The 2020 Christian Reading Challenge  (removing all the Christian theology gives a good challenge for anyone), cut out anything I didn’t want, expanded or changed the global section, and utilized a prompt or two from The Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. I’ve a few more on here, but they are a little too personal at the moment. I don’t tend to follow these too well, but we shall see. I’d like to mostly focus on the geographic ones, if I can do a continent or area in a month I will be good.

    After I wrote these out, I was listening to this and this episode on the What Should I Read Next podcast which mention global reading and a strong sense of place (a term which I love and which I want from the novels I’m reading, I don’t want a book that could be set anywhere, I want the flavor of the place . . . or the book just belongs on a basic TBR). Both feature sources (and another podcast, this podcast, y’all, looks amazing) that I’m hoping will help me find something I can at least manage to read.

    1. A European classic
    2. A book about a European country
    3. An African classic
    4. A book about an African country
    5. A Middle-Eastern classic
    6. A book about a Middle-Eastern country
    7. A Far East Asian classic
    8. A book about a Far East Asian Country
    9. A South American classic
    10. A book about a South American country
    11. A Canadian classic
    12. A book about Canada
    13. An American classic (or maybe one a month or one every other)
    14. a book about America
    15. A book on the sciences outside of my interest
    16. A book published the decade you were born
    17. A biography
    18. A history book
    19. A book aimed at women
    20. A Book from a best of 2019 list
    21. A book more than 200 years old
    22. A book you think will make you a better person
    23. A book on the current NYT bestseller list
    24. A book that won an award
    25. A book about food
    26. A book about joy or happiness
    27. A memoir or autobio
    28. A book about art
    29. A book about relationships or friendships
    30. A book you own but have never read
    31. A book aimed at men
    32. A graphic novel
    33. A book about marriage or singleness
    34. A book on money or finance
    35. A book about reading or writing
  • Reading

    2020 Reading Goals

    I’m going to aim to do what I did last year, set my Goodread’s Challenge to be 100, but as I want this to be new-to-me books, I’m going to increase the challenge by one book every time I reread a book (and this makes it very easy to count my rerads).
    • Read 100+ new-to-me books.
    • Use my book journal (I need to keep this and pen near by current read).
    • Continue to buy my best self-improvement/inspiring books (such as Atomic Habits, Steal Like an Artist) and reread them while using them like workbooks.
    • Follow my rereads list and guides (more on this in another post).
    • Find more favorite authors (I’ve got a whole list to try I culled mostly from everyone’s year end favorites).
    • Ireland, Celts, Celtic Mythology because I want to.
    • 40 nonfiction at least 10 self-improvement (GTD and other ones I keep returning plus from my list) and 20 more intense/scholarly (and of these 5-10 U.S. History).
    • Papau’s books, Dad’s books. I’ve had one book of each on my shelf for like a year, and I know there are several more I want to read.
    • Actually finish WAR AND PEACE !!!!!! I think I need to print a character guide or find an app or something, my notes I think were part of the hold up last year, I made it a chore.
    • Maybe push for Lewis more since Hamlette is reading them this year?
    • 12 Classics Clubs reads and reviews, since I’d apparently forgotten about this. Surely one Classic’s club read a month isn’t too hard? And Lewis is part of my list.

     

  • Reading

    2019 Reading Summary

    Per my Goodreads Year End Summary:

    • I read 124 books (7 of these were rereads) which was approximately 32,117 pages
    • The shortest book was Goody O’Grumpity by Carol Ryrie Brink at 32 pages
    • The longest book was Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope at 576 pages
    • My average book length was 259 pages
    • My average rating was 3 stars
    • The most read book I read was The Hunger Games, read by 6,036,145 people
    • The least read book I read was Imaginarium: A Graphic Novel by Amanda Kastner, read by 3 people

    Here are some other things I calculated. I didn’t keep my books in excel, I need to do that and Goodreads still hasn’t fixed the date part in their excel export list, so some of these (those that aren’t on their own shelves or rereads) are estimates.

    • I read 15 Georgette Heyer novels
    • I read 14 Mary Stewart novels
    • I read 5 M.M. Kaye mysteries
    • I read 7 Agatha Christie mysteries
    • I reread 7 books
    • I read approximately 50 more light fiction books
    • I read approximately 16 popular/light non-fiction books
    • I read well under 10 classics
    • I read well under 10 serious nonfiction