• Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: Unpopular Bookish Opinions

    I don’t know if all of these are unpopular, they are just opinions/arguments (not the same thing) I rarely see expressed or are expressed and then scorned. But I have a limited exposure.

    A lot of these are my ideals. I’m SUCH a mood reader. I feel like I need some escapist reading. I don’t read near enough deep books. But I do think that I should, I just have to have a lot of easy (but still quality) reading on hand, plus ways of planning and motivating myself.

    1. Show, don’t tell. If I feel like the author is telling me something, forcing something, rather than displaying it, then they’ve failed to convince me (ahem, Jo and Laurie). Books aren’t mere explanations, they are story, art (perfection, okay, maybe an exaggeration). A reason, I think for my avoidance of contemporary fiction.
    2. Prose, description, characterization, interpersonal relationships, wit, etc. are more important than plot to me, and, (I think) in terms of literary merit at least equal to plot. I feel that this is also why I dislike so much of contemporary writing.
    3. I dislike the didactic in all forms, and obvious preaching isn’t art, even though some obviously gifted people squeeze it into their books. This goes back to showing, not telling. Y’all, I could find a preacher for anything, but I don’t want preaching, thanks, there is far too much of it already. And I’ve had far too much of it already (and probably done too much of it . . . like now, lol). Again, another reason I tend to avoid contemporary fiction.
    4. I like my realism idealized (I’m wanting to explore this more later). Basically, when I’m reading a “real” life setting, I’d like it to be idealized, not perfect, just not sordid or mundane or petty.
    5. Gritty “true to life” isn’t an asset (and isn’t necessarily true to life). Dark doesn’t equal deep. “Realism” can be vicarious reading or voyeurism. I want to escape reality and/or have my mind, ideals, etc. uplifted.
    6. I like my fantasy realistic. I don’t even know how to describe what I mean about that, but maybe I just mean well-written? I guess I want believable circumstances in a fantasy world, exciting, fanciful, yes, but still “human” I guess? Actually, now that I’m thinking of it, I generally prefer, low fantasy, and this is probably part of why.
    7. Quality over quality. All books are NOT equally good, well-written, etc. Taste and comprehension are two different things. You can like different genres from other people. But sometimes one genre may be notorious for being shallow and silly.
    8. Reading is not a hobby. Everyone who can read is a reader. People who don’t regularly read are still readers. Everyone should read as a form of mental exercise, to learn, to be inspired, I think reading for entertainment is good, but that is not the sole purpose of reading, rather an additional purpose.
    9. Interpretation isn’t up to the readers. Reading comprehension matters, like listening matters.  The author chose specific words, for specific reasons. Obviously, we are going to disagree, not understand, view things through our own lenses. But we should try to understand what the author is saying. And then form opinions on what is said, described, etc. Not the actual meanings.
    10. Reading well matters. Our brains are muscles, reading well is important to our personal development, to our knowledge, to our comprehension, to our families, to our culture, to society, to life. And I don’t mean “current” event copy+paste type reading. I mean read just a tad beyond your comprehension, and then when you get comfortable, a tad more beyond that.
  • Daily Life

    5 Things Tag

    Mother's Day Card

    Eva and Olivia did this tag recently, and I thought it would be fun to steal it.

    5 Things You’ll Find in My Purse

    I don’t think I have anything unusual in my purse, also, I have a smallish, crossbody since that seems to work best for my current situation, so not much will fit in, although I’ve managed to squeeze in a paperback before.

    1. Timecard for my temp job
    2. Various papers, cards, etc. related to my (will remain unnamed) side gig
    3. New sunglasses
    4. Pens
    5. Tiny notepad

    5 Things You’ll Find in My Bedroom

    1. A hoarder’s supply of yarn
    2. A hoarder’s supply of fabric
    3. A hoarder’s supply of toiletries
    4. Books including some of the 52 (the two interlibrary loans were allowed past the 50 limit) library books I have out. The rest are with me at my grandparents
    5. A budding collector’s supply of pens and markers (this is what happens when you watch bullet journal videos)

    5 Things I’ve Always Wanted to Do

    1. Make a full regency outfit for the Jane Austen festival (I’m hoping I will manage that for this year)
    2. Go to England and Ireland (at least, I theoretically want to travel, but I can’t seem to make myself drive out of my city, or even really into it)
    3. Be fit
    4. Sew a considerable portion of my wardrobe (part of the hang-up here relates to 3)
    5. Be proficient in a multitude of art mediums and handicrafts (I’m learning to streamline this)

    5 Things That Make Me Feel Happy

    1. Watching tv with my grandparents
    2. Holding my precious, baby niece
    3. Cuddling my sister’s precious mini cat (she looks like a kitten, courtesy of being a runt, but she’s grown)
    4. I have to steal Olivia’s because this is especially true for me this year, finishing a book and updating my Goodreads to reflect that. I then look at how I’m (currently) crushing my reading goals
    5. Similarly, using my mildliners to fill out the squares of my habit chart

    5 Things I’m Currently/Was Recently Into (I feel like I’m in between things)

    1. Mary Stewart romantic suspense novels. I know I’ve not ranked some of them high, but that is because I didn’t like the romance part of these particular ones. When thinking over this, I realized I kind of have three separate rating systems/points: morality, quality, and likeability. I usually focus on the first two and usually the first two are what affects my liking or finishing the book or not. But occasionally I find book that meet these standards but not the last.
    2. M.M. Kaye mysteries (she only wrote a few, and I think I’ve exhausted all of them except the one I skipped and one our library doesn’t have). I was reading these few with the Mary Stewart novels and kind of got them mixed up although they are different genres. They both often have such exotic (to me) settings (Cyprus, Crete, Corfu).
    3. Watching Monk with my grandparents. Well, I was until Sharona was replaced. Everything changed. I would’ve been okay if no one was substituted in or a totally different side character (this woman is a caricature of Sharona’s role), but now I’m done. I want to watch the later ones (that round up the show) when she returns.
    4. Taylor Swift songs again. I don’t know how to explain how little of a music person I am. Everyone seems to have Spotify or Pandora, but to me it’s huge that I installed Spotify on my phone. And I really don’t like much music, and what I do like I really have to in the mood for. Taylor Swift seems to have a song for everything or that fits any period of life? I was trying to figure out why I liked her stuff overall while with other pop singers I only like a song or two. I think it’s because the music is important, I mean the instrumentals. It’s not just a stripped background accompaniment. And her vocals go well with the music, they fit in but don’t drown (as opposed to the songs that ARE the vocals, I don’t like those). I think the lack of this is part of why I tend to prefer instrumentals (I love the Piano Guys versions of everything), soundtracks, and more tradition/folk music (and Peter Hollen’s covers!). I just think pop is not really good, and now I think I’ve indentified (for a non-musical person), why I really don’t care for it. I prefer not to HAVE to focus on the lyrics. Her lyrics are less inane too. They are also quite . . . psychologically interesting? I can’t agree with much of the overall tendency, but yet it’s all sort of hilarious?
    5. Backing up my TBR list. I can place any orders I want directly from the library lists, so I’ve tried to clear up any other collections of books. I’ve never found the Goodreads TBR list particularly useful for me. I use it occasionally, but I’m trying to immediately add any books I read about straight to my library lists, so I’ve cleared out most of my Goodreads list (a couple times over the years). I also had a bad habit of just bookmarking blog posts and such instead of directly adding them to shelves. I cleared out that folder. I previously had a list on Amazon for interlibrary loans but transferred that a while back to an Excel workbook. I then realized that if anything happened to the library site or if I moved, I’d lose years worth of TBR collecting. So, I’ve been backing that up on a separate sheet of the Excel workbook. I will have to put items on both the library lists and the Excel one from now on, but I think it is worth it. I just need to brush up my lists (make the formatting match, clear out any duplicates, etc.). I’ve included all reference books, cookbooks, etc. on the list as well, anything I want to look at. The total of the interlibrary loan possibilities plus the regular list currently stands at 1960. I know I do have a few duplicates to clear out. Possibly also books I’ve read and haven’t removed or kept on the list to reread (not usual). Bear in mind that TBR to me means that to-possibly-read. So TPR, I guess.

    5 Things on My To-Do List

    1. Find second job or a different one entirely
    2. Finish my second associate’s degree in about a year (possibly two)
    3. Get fit
    4. Complete my Regency/Federal outfit for Jane Austen festival
    5. Complete the art project I have in mind for a (very) late Mother’s Day present. In the interim I made her a smeared (as much as I’d love to blame being a leftie, I’m sure most of the blame is my impatience and carelessness) doodled calligraphy card. I used AmandaRachLee’s doodling tutorials for lavender and for butterflies (the tutorial starts at about 4:36).
  • Daily Life

    Blog Update: All My Old Posts Are Available Now

    I couldn’t figure out or did something wrong when trying to transfer my blogger blog posts over the first time. But for some reason, I only had to try one thing this time (pretty sure it was redoing what I did before), and it worked. So all the posts that I left on my old blog are available here now. I’ve also updated my template and added tags, so I’m pretty pleased with myself. I’ve also updated some of my pages as well.

    I rejoined the Classics Club, so I will be writing more individual reviews, and I feel like I’m getting more motivation back to write more opinion posts. For awhile I was burned out and just burned on opinions (still don’t love rants and opinions-presented-as-sermons-or-facts . . . for obvious reasons). I think I’m better able to think through things and to write in a way that is perhaps less antagonizing? I want to try to utilize my book journal more (that makes it easier to write more thoughtful reviews and opinion posts) and just put more thought into things. I think I’ve been reading too passively and quickly recently.

  • Daily Life

    Link Love: Character

    Advice from a mom. I have a hard enough time responding sometimes.

    How to deal with nightmare guests one and two. And perhaps how to see if you are one. One of the
    most aggravating things about rude people is when hosts don’t deal with them.

    The comment in section six of this blog post. Um, that should be a caution/stop sign for us!!! I’m really good at dredging things up that I’ve done, I’ve got a good memory, I’m sensitive to reactions, but what if I didn’t know/wasn’t thinking about the reaction, didn’t see the reaction?

    Honesty online. Ranting, raving,  and complaining ties in here. People do that too much with friends, and it’s never a good idea at work, why would it be online? It is not fake to be “reserved.” To be careful. The Internet isn’t your diary, oversharing (over-familiarity) repels, oversharing creates a false sense of knowing people. Online you are missing a relationship, you are missing body language and tone and context (hello, why all emotional and subjective issues are dangerous online).

    Gratefulness list. This isn’t new, but sometimes hearing an idea in a different way makes it seem more appealing.

  • Learning and Exploring

    Link Love: Quotes

    People, Pinterest is not the place to be deep, to give a history/social message. I go on there to pin pretty things. To laugh. There is a time and a place for everything, and I think Pinterest as a soap box is obnoxious and sloppy.

    I’ve heard and read many misattributed (or not attributed) quotes, and so one day I decided to check a quote on my Pinterest quote board, yeah, the person didn’t say it or in those exact words. I feel like a fool and promptly deleted my board. If I’m not going to research fact-based Pinterest posts (quotes, historical Pins, etc.), then I shouldn’t pin them. I’ve since deleted my liked Goodreads quotes as well. I found this quote checking site indirectly through another person’s link.The original article spoke of finding the absolute original quote . . . and then left out the earliest similar version in their story . . . unlike this site. I think you can submit quotes you want to be researched too.

    And a manner of speaking I need to learn.

    And quotable characters? How about Algernon Moncrieff. I love how his character is translated in the Web Series In Earnest (which did and does not get enough love, so go watch it!). Also, Ernest’s reactions.
    Episode 4 The comments on marriage.
    Episode 6 Algie’s running commentary. Yeah, the whole episode.
    Episode 11 This whole episode, but especially the “three is company” conversation and “work hard at something pointless.”
    Episode 39 At the end.

    This quote link-up looks fun . . . just make sure you double-check everything you read and post.
    I’m very bad at filling this in, but I’m trying to keep a quote journal, but I need to do more than book quotes, I need to fill in basically all the lines of How to Steal a Million.

  • Learning and Exploring

    Personality Again and Links

    I’m sure I’ve posted too many personality posts, but I am continually finding interesting articles or blog posts.

    I enjoy taking these for fun . . . but then it gets too complicated and too rule based. Too many little boxes. Meyers-Briggs is fun for FUN but it’s not a good tool for serious issues (well, not much in psychology is really, much of it is quite frankly, opinion, psychologists are NOT medical doctors, psychiatrists are). The T/F is the one where I really saw an issue. That is NOT a continuum. Plus, I always wonder how honest people are about their faults. Anyway. I have a hard time placing myself in these boxes; nevertheless, I find this interesting
    I’ve read about HSP. And well, it smacks of the same special snowflake snobbishness that the introvert obsession does. And then there is this, perhaps we are just extremely selfish and irritable?
    Speaking of, is there anyone else that cannot handle certain senses? I have a low smell toleration and low noise toleration. I can’t seem to have too many sensory things going on at once.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    About Fandoms

    I’m not big into fandoms. I think they can be super annoying and people can be weirdly obsessed. I think it is especially odd if the fandom is something that really won’t last very long. Do fandoms annoy anyone else? I suppose I do sort of fangirl sometimes, but when I go overboard or watch others go overboard or find too much fanart, fanfiction, I get disgusted or annoyed with what I originally liked, you know?

    I really liked all the fanart with fanfiction of the HP Marauder generation in Pins on Pinterest, but with my interest came overindulgence, and I found some stupid, sickening stuff. So that and watching the movies (which I don’t really care much for) has rather harmed my careful spacing of my re-reads.

    And I know I hate when people mess with the oh, so sacred book and story!

    I like to constantly read new novels and give myself space to come back to old favorites after a long interlude. Hence my love of the library. Maybe part of all this is I didn’t read much as a teen, and so I don’t have such a long-read list that I can more naturally have huge gaps in favorites.

  • Learning and Exploring

    Character Links

    I know I’ve been bombarding you all with links, but I’ve been trying to declutter my bookmarks and putting links in posts is a way to share and save.

    Traits of people with high EQ (and fully functioning and ethical conscience; I posted a link about the dangers of high EQ earlier, this is a very important point to consider)
  • Daily Life

    Balance in Hospitality

    The best way to deal with issues is with preemptive measures like these: 

    ~Limit number of guests.

    ~Limit time.

    ~Ask other people to bring food.

    ~Set up a clean-up plan so all family members help.

    ~Put out toys, games, etc. that are durable and put away anything easily broken or precious.

    ~Limit range of house and grounds (make sure the parents and their children both hear).

    Passive aggressiveness only enables the offendors to hurt other unwary hosts, and unforgiveness or harshness hurts the sensitive or sane guests, so

    ~Ignore irritations and small issues, don’t make guests feel bad for small issues (or even some bigger issues); they should still feel welcome if they act like sane people. Just make sure boundaries are clear. Here are some books on hospitality. My family has always been hospitable, so our problem is not with welcoming.

    ~Respectfully ask for help or cessation (depending on the situation) when guests are continually excessively inconsiderate.

    ~Address the beyond rude guests with their sin strongly (we’ve had a HUGE issue, so I’m not talking about the above).

    I cannot share the major issues, but I will share one lesser issue. We had an irate neighbor (of course, I think this neighbor looks for offense; they’ve watched us in our yard and clearly weren’t thrilled that a family of 6 kids moved next door) ring our doorbell about guest kids trespassing (and another innocent guest had to answer the door and take the heat); we have 3 acres, that is plenty of room to explore.

    How to be a good guest.

  • Learning and Exploring

    How to Deal with the News Links

    Yes, I know the election is old news, but these are (mostly) general and timeless attitudes and responses.

    A safe and hospitable home no matter the news and ways to cope with the news cycle and paying attention to news close to home

    Ways to pray on election day

    News consumption News is biased in so many ways. One major way is toward anger and fear and gloom and doom. That is not honest.

    Opinions and beliefs are not the same thing

    9 Sins the Church is Okay With All of these are quite tied to this posts title, believe me. Along with a dose of arrogance and self-righteousness

    Kind over Epic

    And Lord of Ring responses to the world and evil This is a serious article and quite good

  • Culture and Entertainment

    I’m Just Not a Social Media Person

    I deleted my Instagram, again, this time really trying it (not all out like a professional but more than just having an account). I feel like that I need to enjoy whatever online or digital tool I use for its own sake. Social media that I don’t find personally helpful and interesting are not worth merely using as a tool for blog promotion, at least right now. Any marketing that eventually came out of it isn’t worth the effort (I really dislike of selling and advertising).

    The only big social media that I use are Pinterest and Blogger.

    I love blogging. I love finding and reading blogs. I am inspired to knit more. I discover new (to me) books and movies to try. I find more natural beauty options I love the sewing and fashion inspiration. I just really feel that my little curated collection of blogs is so often truly, practically inspirational. Oh, sure I’ve wasted time on blogs that I don’t benefit from, but overall, I think the blog world is worth my time. I think blogging myself is enjoyable, especially since I can schedule, and so I am planning to make more of an effort to grow it into possibly a bit of job.

    Pinterest is another love of mine. I did get my account in the extremely early stages during which you had to be invited, but I didn’t understand or use it much until it really sprang into life. Then I went crazy. I think that Pinterest is a great search engine and curating site even with the changes I dislike. The blog promotion is a nice side benefit.

    Ravelry and Goodreads both have social media capabilities which I may at some point use (or use again), but right now I enjoy them for their main capabilities.