• Reading

    Cordy’s Lovely Blog Party Tag

    I thought I wouldn’t have enough mental space to be able to participate in Cordy’s Lovely Blog Party, but I’d forgotten about the tag, and this year she made it so much more interesting, I can’t wait to see everyone’s answers!

    Isn’t it romantic to be serenaded?
    Depends on the situation, I can imagine some I’d love (whispering or softly singing a song that I like in a quiet moment), but quiet frankly, most of the times I’ve seen it or that people think it should be done . . . I’d either die of embarrassment or laugh in his face.

    Isn’t it romantic to have pet names for each other?
    Ugh, ugh, ugh. NO!

    Edit: I’m assuming pet names such as “Benny-Boo-Boo” or whatever from How to Lose a Man in 10 Days (though this isn’t used seriously and so is absolutely hysterical) or “Molly-wobbles” from HP. NOT terms of endearments such as “my love” and “honey” and “my darling.” Those I do find romantic, unless of course they include, “mon infant” and “Monseigneur” used in such a way, UGH.

    Isn’t it romantic if he wants you to look him in the eye?
    Probably, and he will probably have to tell me. What is this referencing? “Look back at me?”

    Isn’t it romantic to be carried across the threshold?
    I guess it could be, it’s so overused though.

    Isn’t it romantic to receive flowers and chocolates?
    I love flowers and chocolate and will always take them, but I think the cliche takes away the romance, plus my mom gets us candy at every holiday, so its not only for romance.

    Isn’t it romantic to get caught in the rain?
    Maybe more funny or adventurous. But the funny and adventurous IS more my kinda romance.

    Isn’t it romantic to dance?
    It can be. I think this plus singing softly is the most traditionally romantic thing on the list for me.

    Isn’t it romantic if he asks for your parent’s permission to marry you?
    No, its more just the polite/correct thing to do.

    Isn’t it romantic to be rescued?
    Or its just chivalrous of him?

    Isn’t it romantic to stargaze?
    Maybe, maybe just more fun.

  • Daily Life

    The New Year Tag for 2018

    What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?
    I’m a hobbit, especially this year. I can’t think of anything major.
    Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make one this year?
    I made a ton of goals and while I met some parts of the goals, overall I don’t think I made a success. Yes, I’m definitely having goals. I’m trying to make them more general upfront, and then I will break them down into more achievable steps and plans.
    My resolutions were…
    I posted them around this time last year if you really want to see them.
    Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Yes, my sister-in-law to my first niece (first niece or nephew, is there a group word for that?).
    Did anyone close to you die?
    What countries/states did you visit?
    Florida (the states we drove through to get there don’t count). In other words, back to normal; so much for my dreams (I missing the key ingredient of bravery, since I apparently cannot drive 2 hours in my own state to see the total solar eclipse, over a year, and I’m still disgusted with myself). I’ve been made aware that around this area there are two states, the one you live in and Florida.
    What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
    Financial independence.
    What date from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory?
    My niece’s birthday.
    Did you move anywhere?
    What was the best month?
    All the ones after my niece has been born (the last 3.5).
    What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    I’m not sure. Maybe spending more time with family.
    What was your biggest failure?
    All things financial and career (per usual).
    Did you suffer illness or injury?
    What was the best thing you bought?
    I didn’t have major purchases, but I bought a lot of unique handmade and vintage items. I posted about the art fair already. I think I have yet to post about some of the other trips.
    Whose behavior merited celebration?
    Anyone who didn’t do or say anything awful.
    Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
    Everyone who did.
    Where did most of your money go?
    School and make-up and skincare, I think.
    What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    My niece.
    What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?
    I don’t go to concerts.
    What song/album will always remind you of 2018?
    I’m so not a music person, should probably work a bit on that. I have listened to the Greatest Showman music, probably the most current music.
    Compared to this time last year, are you:
    1. happier or sadder? Happier or more positive at least, I hope, I think?
    2. thinner or fatter? Ouch, definitely fatter.
    3. richer or poorer? Um, less in debt.
    What do you wish you’d done more of? 
    Saved money.
    What do you wish you’d done less of?
    Spent money. Shared too many words and emotions at work (i.e. trust no one).
    What was your greatest musical discovery?
    Like I said, not a huge music person. But I have enjoyed learning about Christmas carols in Stories Behind the Best Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins. And as folk music is definitely my favorite genre, I enjoyed watching and listening to this bluegrass clogging video.
    How did you spend Christmas?
    With family, I’ll probably post about it soon.
    How are you spending New Year’s?
    Well, typing this post, I opted not to go with my family to friends. Tomorrow, per usual we have people over (to avoid people having run-ins with drunk drivers) for homemade doughnuts, ping-pong, and board games.
    Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
    Social media.
    What were the best books you read?
    The best books were old favorites for fiction. I did enjoy starting Stephen Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle and Diana Wynne Jones’ Crestomanci books as well as a few others, but no loves there. I appreciated a lot of the health and disease books I read and Sleep Smarter which I want to buy and use like a manual.
    What were the best movies you watched?
    I Am Dragon, Spiderman: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Bringing Up Baby, and Monkey Business.
    Did you fall in love in 2018?
    What was your favorite TV show?
    Yeah, I’m NOT a television person.
    Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
    What did you want and get?
    Spiderman: Homecoming, The Hollow Crown, and The Magic of Ordinary Days.
    What did you want and not get?
    Books with beautiful covers on my wishlist.
    How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
    What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    Probably watched a movie? And later we did a family month birthday (we have 5 in that month). Apparently I didn’t do a birthday post, not sure why. But I need to work better at documenting memories, it’s disturbing what I can’t remember. I turned 28.
    What kept you sane?
    Easy books, funny movies, my room.
    What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    Financial and career security.
    Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
    Hmm, I think I did more fawning on old favs (including really old ones like Gregory Peck and Gary Cooper), Tom Hiddleston, oh, wait. I know a good one. When we watched She’s the Man, my sister and I were drooling over young Channing Tatum (let’s be real, the major reason I wanted to watch that). I also fancied the men in I Am Dragon. But I can’t think of anything that matched my Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tom Hiddlestown rages (those later two, especially Hiddleston were more like “real” crushes, cringy I know).
    What political issue stirred you the most?
    We don’t do politics here.
    Who did you miss?
    No one.
    Who was the best new person you met?
    Most new people I’ve met have been work people.
    Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.
    Always have an emergency fund.
    Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
    Five things I want to do in 2019:
    Achieve financial stability
    Implement patterns to make my life easier
    Travel more
    Maybe get out of my shell more (that’s not really a want but a should)
    Develop my talents more.

  • Reading

    Little Women Blog Party Tag

    I’m joining Molly Rebekah’s A Ramble Through the Woods Little Women blog party; Abby from Lavender Spring is her co-host. I think the focus is mainly on the 1994 film version, so that is how I will be answering the tag questions (also, I strongly advise listening to the soundtrack Molly uploaded whilst answering the questions). I’m a glutton for punishment; Jo and Laurie’s ending is one of the most devastating storylines in literature.

    1.) Is there anything from the book that you wish were in the movie?
    Well, I wish nothing had been changed (that I liked; I would totally be okay with the directors putting Laurie and Jo together). The John and Meg proposal scene is one of my favorite proposals in literature. I love the chapter “Secrets” and the ensuing results (note: the Anne of Avonlea movie plagiarizes part of this chapter as well as other parts of Little Women; I’ve been meaning to go into that into more detail, and I even purchased the screenplay just for that purpose . . . one day, one day).

    2.) If you could change one point of the plot, which would it be?
    I think we all know my answer to this one. Jo and Laurie. I think I need to re-read and devote an entire post to this.

    3.) In Chapter 13, the March sisters and Laurie talk about “Castles in the Air,” basically their unrealistic but lovely hopes and dreams. What is your castle in the air?
    I’m pretty sure mine is basically like Meg’s.

    4.) What would you most like to see in a new adaptation of Little Women, whether in book or film? Any specific actors, setting, or time period changes?
    An accurate portrayal with actors and actresses the CORRECT ages (most of those girls looked way too old or weren’t even girls anymore). I would prefer better costumes, they were very underwhelming.

    5.) What is your favorite dress from the movie?
    The peach one Amy wears when she gets her letter about Beth. This one; I cannot for the life of me find a better photo that shows the lovely skirt. I also love her hair style.

    6.) Which March sister(s) do you relate to most?
    I’m probably like all of them, except Beth. I have Jo’s temperament with Meg’s domesticity and wishes and Amy’s taste and some of her wishes.

    7.) Do you have a favorite film adaptation of Little Women?
    I like parts of 90’s film (music and Laurie) and part of the 30’s one (most accurate John and Meg proposal scene).

    8.) What is your favorite quote from Little Women? (Movie quotes count!)
    Hard to pick and I’m too lazy to get out of bed, walk two steps and grab the book, and peruse it. So I will grab a light one from Goodreads and hope it is accurately quoted.

    “Jo’s nineteen hair-pins all seemed stuck straight into her head, which was not exactly comfortable; but, dear me, let us be elegant or die!”

    9.) Do you have a favorite scene from Little Women?
    I’m going to go by book “scenes.” The proposal as before mentioned; the whole saga of Jo submitting her story/Laurie’s secret as before mentioned; the picnic . . . yeah the book is better.

    10.) Aside from the March sisters, who is your favorite character from the story?
    Um, LAURIE!!!!!!! I do like John Brooke in the book though, the movie doesn’t get him at all right.


  • Reading

    A Lovely Blog Party Tag

    I’m joining up here.

    Jo and Laurie: Name a couple that should have stayed friends…or did stay friends…
    I disagree . . . most emphatically on the Jo and Laurie friendship point. And I’m not coming up with anything; I feel that I usually agree with couples or I dislike a first couple but they break up/don’t work out, and I like the next couple (you know like Roger and Cynthia changes to Roger and Molly or Charlie and Rose changes to Mac and Rose). Or I feel that if I don’t like a couple I don’t like the book. I mean there may be ones that fit this question, but I cannot think of any right now.

    Jane and Mr. Rochester: Name a couple that looked like the chances of a happily ever after were next to none!
    Owain and Regina in Dawn Wind. Paul and Knife in Knife.

    Jane and Mr. Bingley: Name a couple that is just sooo happy!
    Creel and Luka in the Dragon Slippers Trilogy.

    Mattie and Guard from Friendly Persuasion (a favorite).

    Kit and Ella: Name your favorite fairytale couple
    Um, Kit and Ella or their literary doppelgängers, Peregrine and Amethyst from An Ordinary Princess.

    Azalea and Lord Bradford from Entwined.

    Molly Gibson and Roger Hamley: Name a couple where the woman is basically ignored by the suitor until the end of the story (frustration at it’s finest!! 😛 :P)
    Well, Tom doesn’t exactly ignore Polly in An Old-Fashioned Girl, but he is stuck and oblivious to his and her feelings until the very end.

    Philip is totally clueless as to Elnora’s feelings (and stellar comparison to his idiot girl) in Girl of the Limberlost.

    Sarah and Jacob Witting: Name a couple that found love later in life
    Sir Tristram Shield and Sarah Thane from The Talisman Ring. Well at least HE is old and decrepit according to HER. They were the best part of this book.

    Lucy Snow and her French professer in Villette.

    Don Lockwood and Kathy Seldon: Name a couple from a musical
    Margy and Pat from State Fair.

    Adam and Millie in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (one of my favorites).

    Phil and Judy in White Christmas (oh, yes, they ARE a couple).

    Anne and Gilbert: Name a couple that didn’t start out on the right foot
    Jamie and Molly from Keeper of the Bees started in a very odd way, and then had a quite a bad time for their first “real” moment.

    Anna and Declan in Leap Year. Oh, my word do they get off on the wrong foot . . . and remain off-kilter for quite a while which of course leads to a TON of funny moments.

    And of course, Simon and Nicole in How to Steal a Million (one of my favorites). Shooting and meeting a burglar, that doesn’t sound like a great start.

    Faramir and Eowyn: Name a couple with the sweetest love story
    Ray and Livvy in the Magic of Ordinary Days. A couple that wasn’t supposed to be real, that wasn’t supposed to work.

    Ivanhoe and Rebecca: Name a couple that should have been together
    Laurie and Jo!

    Jo and Anya from Roman Holiday (another favorite).

    Max and Liesel from Book Thief.

    Spiller and Arietty from The Borrowers series (wow, those books left off in a very unsatisfactory way; I’m not sure that was supposed to be the end or that is how bad it felt).

  • Reading

    Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge

    I discovered this challenge from this blog.

    I have a book of my own (or Mom’s; I think she let me have it or I pulled it from a give-away box? Probably should check on that, lol) that I wanted to read as part of my attempt to read all the books I own. This book is Little House in the Ozarks: A Laura Ingalls Wilder Sampler: The Rediscovered Writings.

    I will probably also see about reading some books from this list the challenge hostess provided. I’ve already read Pioneer Girl (the original manuscript for the Little House books). I’d also like to read some of the books Rose Wilder Lane wrote (questionably) utilizing her mother’s manuscript.

    I grew up a “pioneer girl.” I loved the Little House books (the shorter children’s illustrated versions first) from a small age. I dressed up in what I considered “pioneer” fashion and sewed sunbonnets from The Little House Sewing Book. I played the computer game “Oregon Trail” over and over. I read the Kirsten books and used the cookbook and play book and poured over the craft book (the first named is on my shelf, I’m not sure what happened to the other two, should find that out).

    A couple years ago we visited Laura, Almanzo, and Rose Wilder’s house in the Ozarks, and one day I’d love to visit all these places this blogger mentions as well as all the other sites.

    Note: the hostess is offering a giveaway as well, one option is a Laura Ingalls Wilder cookbook!!!!!

  • Daily Life

    New Year’s Tag and Links

    New Years Tag

    What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
    Drove downtown.

    Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make one this year?
    I had four general goals which I wrote down and don’t have access to at this moment. I doubt I reached them.

    What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?

    What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory?
    Well, it should be my sister’s wedding, but apparently I started going senile in 2017.

    What was the best month?

    What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    Paying off a massive amount of debt.

    What was your biggest failure?
    Not taking CLEP tests.

    What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    Paying off said debt.

    What was an unexpected surprise? 
    A pay raise before I even started the job.

    What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    Having a job for more of it.

    How did you spend Christmas?
    With my family.

    How are you spending New Year’s?
    In FLORIDA!!!!

    Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017:
    Sometimes the best thing is to dismiss/ignore/stop people/events/books etc. who/that are stupid/mean/out of my control. That is a re-learn in some respects.

    Compared to this time last year, are you: 
    Happier or sadder? Happier.
    Thinner or fatter? Probably about the same.
    Richer or poorer? Richer

    Five things I want to do in 2018:
    Be a financial adult
    Be healthier
    Travel outside the U.S.
    Significantly develop my talents
    Learn things I’m weak in (math and languages)

    What kept you sane?
    Optimism and my family.

    Did you move anywhere? 
    Ha, no we are low moving family.

    What countries/states did you visit? 
    Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida (some of these of drive through or quickie).

    Where did most of your money go?
    Paying down debt.

    What was the best thing you bought? 
    New clothes and shoes? Brand new books? I couldn’t really make significant purchases this year.

    Did you suffer illness or injury?
    No, I’ve never suffered even a mildly serious injury, and I rarely get sick.

    What did you want and get?
    Lots of things from my gift list.

    What did you want and not get?
    So many things.

    Did you fall in love in 2017?

    What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    27 and see here.

    Did anyone close to you give birth or get pregnant?
    No births but lots of babies in 2018; three family babies and one friends (so far).

    Did anyone close to you get married?
    My sister got married in April. Her wedding took up the first third of the year (she had a rather short engagement).

    Did anyone close to you die? 

    Who was the best new person you met?
    I didn’t really meet anyone new.

    How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?

    What was the best book you read?
    Economics in One Lesson, Basic Economics, The Vanishing American Adult, and The Intolerance of Tolerance.

    What were your favorite books of this year?
    The top-rated fiction books (that were new to me) on my Goodreads are Blood Feud, The Golden Road, The Nick of Time, and Daddy Long-Legs.

    What was your favorite TV show?
    I try find any new-to-me ones because I’m not a T.V. person.

    What were your favorite films of this year?
    A bunch of Hallmark ones like Love Blossoms and Summer Villa.

    What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?
    I don’t like concerts.

    What song/album will always remind you of 2017?

    What was your greatest musical discovery?
    I don’t have any.

    Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
    Do you notice I’m lacking in the music category?


    Your Year in Review

    Try this 12 month challenge or this one.

    A Year of Sweaters. I really would like to try something like this, but for me, it would be more specific, like the year of cardigans. I’m not sure how much pullovers are my style.


  • Reading

    The Finally Fall Book Tag

    I’ve seen this post so many times, so I thought I answer it too. See here and here plus another Autumn reading post here.

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

    2. Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.
    A lot of Rosemary Sutcliff books deal with loss or grief, but Outcast heads that list. I would say it deals with tragedy and the loss and grief involved.

    3. Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.
    Because I’m really annoying, Albion’s Seed.

    4. In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.
    I think I’d what to live on the same street with the Penderwicks and Geigers.

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

    Not completely fall colored. But this is my reading/library shelf right now.

    6. Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.
    Any of the Grandma’s Attic books.

    7. The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read.
    I’m not super into creepy. How about Entwined.

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

    9. Fall returns every year: name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon.
    I’ve got Blue Castle and Bookthief on my shelf to re-read, but I’m scared of not liking them as much or at all. Some re-reads don’t hold up.

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

  • Reading

    How I Choose My Books Tag

    I found this tag here and thought I would do this.

    Find a book on your shelves with a blue cover. What made you pick up that book in the first place?

    An Old-Fashioned Girl by L. M. Montgomery. I saw it on my grandparents’ bookshelves, and when they downsized, I got to keep it!

    Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy but did. Why did you read it in the first place?

    I brushed off some middle-grade novels because they were middle-grade novels, um people, those are what are blossoming now. But stupid me. Specifically, Harry Potter (I was caught by the fourth movie), and the Penderwicks (I got into these after all my sisters raved about them).

    Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick a book at random. How did you discover this book? 

    Wuthering Heights. Um, well, it’s well known?

    Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?

    Knife by R. J. Anderson (well, the trilogy and the duology that followed). It sucked me right.

    Pick a book you discovered through book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?

    Blue Castle. I didn’t discover it, but I had written it out because of mistaken understanding, and when lots of bloggers started raving about it I had to try. My library had to get a new copy, and I saw the lovely cover and read the beginning, and I was drawn right in, and DID it live up to the hype!

    Find a book on your shelves with a one-word title. What drew you to this book?

    Entwined. Twelve dancing princesses retelling. Another blogger recommendation.

    What book did you discover through a film/TV adaptation?

    Pride and Prejudice. Friends introduced my sister to the ’95 adaptation, and then other friends brought it to a sleep-over.

    Think of your all-time favourite books. When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?

    All-time favorites? That is a bit concrete and permanent. Rosemary Sutcliffe novels (introduced through school, around age 14) are some of my longest loved books.

  • Reading

    Books as Cake Tag

    I’m still trying to tie up things for my new blog, and because I’m still learning how to prepare and not wing everything, this is taking much longer than I expected because I’m constantly finding out new things. So, here is another tag.

    I’ve seen a few versions of this tag, but I don’t like some of the cakes/haven’t had some and didn’t think all the choices fit, so I scrambled them up from the sources and then scrambled the tag up and also added my own cakes and categories.

    Dark Chocolate Cake: a Dark Book You Enjoyed
    All the Light You Cannot See. This is possibly the darkest book that I’ve read and enjoyed, but I’m not sure I’d read it again. I know too much about WWII (and yet hardly a drop), and I kept adding to what the writer said in my head.

    Chocolate Cake: a Book You’d Recommend to Everyone
    That would have to be non-fiction, sorry, I don’t think people have the same fiction tastes. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer. An amazing history of the colonization of the United States that explains SO much of our history and culture. Oh, I’m sorry is does that sound like a vegetable book to you? Well, it shouldn’t. I found it quite readable for a scholarly work and absolutely fascinating in content and organization.

    Angel Food Cake: a Light Read (because vanilla cake ISN’T light people)
    The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye. Princess and fairytale stories are my go-to light reading category.

    Vanilla Cake: a Romance
    I’m going to put something different from Blue Castle although that is good, everyone seems to be talking about it so instead I will choose The Harvester by Gene Stratton-Porter.

    Red Velvet Cake: a Favorite Mystery
    Whose Body by Dorothy Sayers. What caught me and held me to the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries. There are few boring ones, but the ones with him and Harriet Vane!

    Cheesecake (cause I’m not a cheesecake fan): a Book You Didn’t Finish
    So many, I don’t remember them all. I didn’t think them worth finishing after all. The most recent unfinished book was the first of Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather saga. I did appreciate his humorous references to popular fantasy novels and the ridiculous amount he sculled from them. However, that is not enough for a story. His characters were awful and the story slow. And the scatological humor and other gross 6-year old boy descriptions made me want to gag regularly; this was SO unnecessary and beyond distracting. I ended up skimming and sending back to the library.

    I don’t feel compelled to finish books. I dislike the check box mentality. To-dos are for accomplishing worthy activities, not simply to complete something. Don’t waste your time merely to complete something. and there are too many good books in the world and too many good things in the world to waste time on bad and mediocre books.

    Carrot Cake: a Book You Had Mixed Feelings About (I’m not sure I really HAVE mixed feelings about books, I’m a bit take it or leave it)
    I’m going to go with Jacob Have I Loved. I loved the writing, but the story has some content issues, and I didn’t find the ending (and the ending writing quality) satisfying.

    Pound Cake: a Book with Great Writing (because the best poundcake has perfect texture)
    So many books have great writing. That is a HUGE reason why I like them. And I like reading whole spades of books from authors whose writing I liked. No, wait. I’ve found one. The Book Thief. I loved the writing for that, but when I tried another of his books, his writing style didn’t translate well for that story, it felt overwrought, absurd, and out of place.

    Ice Cream Cake: a Book with All the Layers and Details
    I’m going to go with a recent re-read, A Tangled Web. So much going on here. So many lovely details that you forget and love to find again when re-reading.

    A Teeny Tiny Petit Four (since every other cake fills you quite up): A Book that Left You Wanting More
    Okay, I’m going to be lazy and pick an unfinished work: Sandition. Oh, it looks to be one of her best novels and best heroes! There are so many books that leave me wanting more to various degrees. More about continued generations, more about the characters’ lives later, more details.

    Cupcakes: a Favorite  4+ Book Series
    I’m cheating, sort of. My sisters and I consider R. J. Anderson’s Faery Rebel trilogy Knife (Spell-hunter in U.S.), Rebel (Wayfarer in U.S.), and Arrow the beginning part of a series with the duology (Swift and Nomad) following because of the same universe and characters and the chronology. I think only the first two are available in U.S., but I ordered them all from Amazon U.K. so all the covers would match together.

    Fruitcake: a Book that Was Not What You Expected
    Dr. Strange and Mr. Norrell. I expected more of a usual style of fantasy, but this was almost like Dickens plus magicians. Odd too in other ways.

    Strawberry Cake: Your Favorite American Novel
    I haven’t read many U.S. classics and don’t like what I’ve read. I prefer children’s classics, and I will go with A Bridge to Terebithia. I love Katherine Patterson’s writing.

  • Reading

    The “100 Books the BBC Think Most People Haven’t Read More than 6 of” Tag

    I found this post via Olivia’s blog here, but MovieCritic made it here.

    Also, I’m not sure there is any evidence that the BBC ever made such a list or made such a claim. Nevertheless, this tag is fun.

    The ones I’ve read (17), I’ve highlighted. I plan to read some of more of these titles. I’m not absolutely certain about all the ones I’ve skimmed or started (or which is which), so I didn’t mark those. Many of the others I’ve never heard of. I’m not going to tag anyone, but feel free to tag yourself.

    1.  Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen 

    2.  Gormenghast Trilogy –  Mervyn Peake
    3.  Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë 
    4.  Temple of the Golden Pavilion – Yukio Mishima
    5.  To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee 
    6.  The Story of the Eye – George Bataille
    7.  Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë 
    8.  Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell 
    9.  Adrift on the Nile – Naguib Mahfouz
    10.  Great Expectations – Charles Dickens 
    11.  Little Women – Louisa May Alcott 
    12.  Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
    13.  Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
    14.  Rhinoceros – Eugene Ionesco
    15.  Baron in the Trees – Italo Calvino
    16.  The Master of Go – Yasunari Kawabata
    17.  Woman in the Dunes – Abe Kobo
    18.  Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger 
    19.  The Feast of the Goat – Mario Vargas Llosa
    20.  Middlemarch – George Eliot
    21.  Gogol’s Wife – Tomasso Landolfi
    22.  The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald 
    23.  Magic Mountain – Thomas Mann
    24.  War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
    25.  Ferdydurke – Gombrowicz
    26.  Narcissus and Goldmund – Herman Hesse
    27.  Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky 
    28.  The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
    29.  Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll 
    30.  The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
    31.  Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy 
    32.  The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
    33.  Tom Sawyer / Huck Finn – Mark Twain 
    34.  Emma – Jane Austen
    35.  Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe 
    36.  Delta Wedding – Eudora Welty
    37.  The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini 
    38.  Naomi – Junichiro Tanizaki
    39.  Cosmicomics – Italo Calvino
    40.  The Joke – Milan Kundera
    41.  Animal Farm – George Orwell
    42.  Labyrinths – Gorge Luis Borges
    43.  One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    44.  A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving 
    45.  Under My Skin – Doris Lessing
    46.  Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery 
    47.  Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy 
    48.  Don Quixote – Miguel Cervantes 
    49.  Lord of the Flies – William Golding
    50.  Absalom Absalom – William Faulkner
    51.  Beloved – Toni Morrison
    52.  The Flounder – Gunther Grass
    53.  Dead Souls – Nikolai Gogol
    54.  Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
    55.  My Name is Red – Orhan Pamuk
    56.  A Dolls House – Henrik Ibsen
    57.  A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens 
    58.  Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
    59.  The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky
    60.  Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    61.  Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
    62.  Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
    63.  Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman
    64.  Death on the Installment Plan – Celine
    65.  Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
    66.  On The Road – Jack Kerouac
    67.  Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
    68.  Pedro Paramo – Juan Rulfo
    69.  Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
    70.  Moby Dick – Herman Melville
    71.  Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
    72.  Dracula – Bram Stoker
    73.  The Metamorphosis – Kafka
    74.  Epitaph of a Small Winner – Machado De Assis
    75.  Ulysses – James Joyce
    76.  The Inferno – Dante 
    77.  Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
    78.  Germinal – Emile Zola
    79.  To the Light House – Virginia Woolf 
    80.  Disgrace – John Maxwell Coetzee
    81.  A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
    82.  Zorba the Greek – Nikos Kazantzakis
    83.  The Color Purple – Alice Walker
    84.  The Box Man – Abe Kobo
    85.  Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
    86.  A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
    87.  The Stranger – Camus
    88.  Acquainted with the Night – Heinrich Boll
    89.  Don’t Call It Night – Amos Oz
    90.  The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
    91.  Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
    92.  The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
    93.  Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
    94.  Memoirs of Hadrian – Marguerite Yourcenar
    95.  A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
    96.  Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
    97.  The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
    98.  Hamlet – William Shakespeare 
    99.  Faust – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
    100.  Metamorphosis – Ovid

  • Reading

    Would You Rather, Jane Austen 2nd Edition Plus Mr. Darcy’s Inner Struggles

    I’m borrowing these questions from Cordie. My sister kept mentioning and sending me Mr. Darcy’s Inner Struggles on Pinterest, and I only recently realized how many of them exist, so I set about trying to find them all. Here is the original source. The link is to the beginning, scroll down to see the earliest, and then go to the next page and repeat. Enjoy, they are hysterical (note, some language).

    1. Would you rather summer at Abbey Mill Farm with the Martins or spend the winter in London with your aunt and uncle?

    2. Would you rather be carried away in the moment and insult someone in company or be overcome by horrid imaginings and have to confess your thoughts to someone you admire?
    Oh, I’d far likely do the former, and I would probably prefer it too.

    3. Would you rather marry Mr. Bingley or Robert Martin?
    Mr. Bingley. We can see in the book that he’s intelligent, kind, sweet, etc. while I only know that Mr. Knightley thinks Robert Martin could.

    4. Would you rather tour the lake country or visit the seaside?
    Tour the lake country. I’m rather tired of the Southern default to Florida. Do we have to do the same thing a trillion times? Although, the British beach would be new to me, but I’m trying to translate my experience here. I’d go to Colorado lakes or mountains before another beach trip if I had my choice.

    5. Would you rather entertain Miss Bates or Mr. Collins in conversations?
    I think Miss Bates would be easier and less embarrassing. I’d rather listen to Mr. Collins safely from afar though for amusement.

    6. Would you rather sing a musical piece at a gathering while hiccuping every other line or take a great tumble while dancing?
    Fall. Definitely.

    7. Would you rather be deceived by Willoughby or Wickham?
    I would rather be deceived by someone more clearly wrong and far less interesting, like Wickham, but I’m sure I’d more likely be deceived by Willoughby’s good (superficial) qualities.

    8. Would you rather fall head over heels in love with a man who turns out to be engaged or fall for a man too busy loving someone else to notice you?
    If the engaged man loved me, then the engaged man.

    9. Would you rather ride in a carriage or upon a horse to an evening party?
    A carriage; I’d want to still look nice when I got to the party.

    10. Would you rather accept advice from Mrs. Weston or Elinor Dashwood?
    Mrs. Weston? I don’t know. I prefer advice from people who have both more of a claim to experience and more mildness and humility of manner. But I wouldn’t call Elinor a know-it-all.

    11. Would you rather have as a companion Jane Fairfax or Charlotte Lucas?
    Probably Charlotte as she talks. I talk a lot, but I don’t like talking to silence; I want a response.

  • Reading

    Another Book Tag

    I will use all the interesting tags I find regardless of whether I’m tagged specifically or generally. I found this one here.

    1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?
    For fiction, probably the three tiny Barnes and Noble books I bought ages ago of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Ivanhoe. How I wish I’d snatched up more, but I didn’t know all the books they had at that point in my life. I did find The Secret Garden at Goodwill a couple years ago. I wish Barnes and Noble would put those out again.

    For all times, excluding Bibles, Good Housekeeping’s the Illustrated Book of Needlecrafts. I used that so often in the earlier knitting days before I discovered reams of stitches and aids online.

    2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?
    My last read was the second book of ND Wilson’s Outlaws of Time: The Song of Glory and Ghost. I’m still reading Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry, and I’m also reading Dombey and Son (I just picked up where I left off months ago, and thankfully, the book starting to pick up in interest at that point). As to what I will read next, well, I am a bit random and moody in my reading. I have mostly reference books and history books, but A History of the Arab Peoples by Albert Habib Hourani and Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution are my priority. I have a Georgette Heyer novel, but I might have to make a quickie run to the library or raid my sisters’ shelves or something for some fiction to help me finish my nonfiction (yes, that is how that works).

    3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?
    Code Name Verity is popular in the blogosphere, and I wrote a post about my issues with it.

    4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?
    Many books on my Classic Club list. Except I’ve now pretty much decided not to force myself on some of them.

    5. What book are you saving for retirement?  
    Anything I’m not motivated to read now that I might be interested in then.

    6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?  Wait for the end!
    If I’m enjoying the book, then I try to wait until the end. But if I’m not and decided not to finish reading, then I will skim the rest.

    7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?
    Boring, although I like looking for the author’s family at the end.

    8. Which book character would you switch places with?
    Maybe Nell, in Lantern Bearers, so I could marry Aquila and experience ancient Britain.

    9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)
    Well, the books from my grandparents’ collection that I got after they downsized or that they gave to me earlier remind me of their old library (it was a bedroom that had a glass door; they had a computer in it, and they had a full bookshelf, a double full bookshelf, and three half bookshelves, or something like that plus boxes of books in the closet). I got several of the books I’d only ever read there (Mother was a gift, but Old-Fashioned Girl and At Boarding School with the Tucker Twins* I got to take), but there are a few for which I wish I’d remembered to ask (To Have and to Hold and A Long Fatal Love Chase). And I wonder what happened to their Bobbsey twin books?

    10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.
    I think the above is interesting because two of the books are antique copies, but another interesting one is that my grandmother bought me a book about regency times at a JA festival and the author signed it.

    11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?  

    12. Which book has been with you most places?
    I didn’t personally own most of my books when I was younger. Maybe my American Girl books. Although I gave them to my sisters (or they appropriated them) after I got older.

    13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad later?
    I didn’t have too much required classic reading. And I loved a lot of the historical fiction we were assigned.

    14. Used or brand new?
    If used is like bran’ new, then both, if not, then bran’ new.

    15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

    16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?
    The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott (and I watched the movie first, but the book is silly)

    17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?  
    I like reading about the different food although I’m not sure it would make me hungry. L.M. Montgomery often mentions food that sounds quite delicious.

    18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?
    Um, no one? I’ll try what I think interesting of many people’s recommendations, but I don’t implicitly trust to like all any one person’s suggestions. Everyone has different tastes, even my sisters although I may take their advice more seriously than I would other people . . . even though the advice may be “you wouldn’t like it.”

    19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?
    No, I don’t think so. I don’t know how to define out of my comfort zone . . . if I start liking it, then it IS in my comfort zone. Books that seem different or unusual in subject or style, like The Outsiders and Book Thief, might be easier for me to answer. And I just did. Books that I consider out of my comfort zone would fall into genres I invariably dislike or at least feel somewhat indifferent toward, e.g. Science Fiction.

    *I love most of this book, but be forewarned I had to eliminate some pages because of MAJOR racist language and issues (none of this is remotely integral to the story, not the main theme like in say The Deerstalker or something).