I surpassed my 2019 goal in August, I believe. But I’d still like to work on my new-to-me reading until December. I haven’t had to resort to much re-reading (I add all my re-reading to my goal, so that I know how much I re-read and so it doesn’t count towards my 100+ new reads), but I might have to increase that since I feel like I’m losing motivation, we shall see. And then I’m going to make sure I have the colored-illustrated version of Narnia to read along with the audio versions on Audible.
All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot. I finished the third James Herriot collection on Audible. I love these, although this one featured a jarring suicide story and then followed with another one about depression. I could have done without those, I just wanted animal stories with pleasant or funny people stories. I like living in a safe bubble that only I puncture if and when I chose.
The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay. Ultimately shallow.
Barchester Towers and Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope. Oh, I’m VERY happy with this series of Trollope. It’s very readable and quite funny. His characters are all complex and developed, though not in the traditional sense, more that you very much know they are human, even the women, something Dickens couldn’t or wouldn’t do. I’m not sure when I want to watch Dr. Thorne on Amazon, I think I want to make it through the series, just so my perception of later books isn’t affected even though though each of these books focuses on new sets of characters with mentions of old ones, I just don’t want anything affected. I also discovered that BBC has a radio drama of The Barsetshire Chronicles available on Audible (!!!).
The Unknown Ajax and Venetia by Georgette Heyer. I enjoyed the first well-enough even though the (rare) not-rake hero was a bit self-righteous towards the end. The first part was quite funny. Venetia, well, the worst type of Heyer rake AND the “older” heroine was more like the obnoxious younger ones in her defense of him. And oh, this one DRAGGED. I seriously thought of putting it down multiple times.
The Man in the Brown Suit, The Sittaford Mystery, They Came to Baghdad and Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie. Apparently I enjoyed these well-enough since I gave them all three-stars. I think I have one Christie mystery left that I haven’t read.
A Fashionable History of Hats and Hairstyles by Helen Reynolds. Interesting book aimed at children for historical hats mostly. I wish I could find better adult resources, but the ones I got didn’t have illustrations, which is RATHER important for this subject!
Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze by Elizabeth Enright. It took me a month to finish this. I’m obviously not the intended audience, but I still feel like at a young age, I wouldn’t have liked this as well either. It focuses on the younger two of the family following clues around, I feel like it reaches a younger, narrow age range than the first three books even though its the last of the series.
Because of Endgame, I was inspired to watch Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp. I preferred the first. I was annoyed by Ant-Man when I was first introduced to him in Civil War, and so I wasn’t inspired to watch his movies, but like almost everyone, he was amazing in Endgame, so I was intrigued and went back and watched his movies. They were quite fun, especially the first.
Now, if you don’t care about fan-girling, you can skip this (I usually find it annoying too, but, well here we are), but really, watch That 70’s Show.
I was still watching That 70’s Show well into August. I pretty much ended watching at the 6th season but skimmed for Jackie and Hyde parts in the 7th. I’d been skipping more and more starting with season 5. Then I turned around and started over skipping in all the seasons but increasing to end somewhere in 6. Man, I love all the good stuff in the show and am so disappointed that it could have been so much better. TV people have got to stop being so greedy and trying to add ridiculous plot-lines and heart-wrenching and/or petty drama that ruins characters simply to extend seasons.
This doesn’t matter nears as much for a mainly episode based show like Psych (although it’s still annoying), but this show need more continuity. And everyone was SO old. Extending the show 5 seasons was quite enough of a stretch between age and plot-line.
Jackie and Hyde should’ve gotten together in season 3, Eric and Donna should’ve gotten back together in season 4, Kelso should’ve kept goofing around and maybe gotten a job (he clearly wasn’t meant to pair off or grow up as fast as the others), and they should’ve let Fez keep his sweetness and sass instead stripping it from him and ramping up his pervy-ness and also, not made Caroline crazy, they were so cute originally. They should’ve rounded out everyone’s growth and set them on their first year out of high-school with happy hints for the future in season 5.
I have so many words I wrote on Jackie and Hyde (and the whole show), but I’m going to keep it short since I will have to gather and collect them (and maybe next re-watch I’ll have a post including why I just love Hyde and their relationship), and because other people have already written some awesome posts such as this one on their relationship and all the depth (a must read). This one is good too.
Here’s a light one from Playbuzz.
For any other heart-broken Jackie and Hyde shippers (Zenmasters), here are some playlists
This one is on all their background sweet moments, like I mean, this was one of my favorite things, so natural and sweet, I’ve never seen anything like this in film or tv. I mean that sets the tone for everything.
So many bloggers I follow did this tag and had such interesting questions, I answered in the comments and then as I found more questions, I decided I’d might as well put all my answers here.
What is your favorite genre to read?
I feel like my favorites don’t necessarily have a “genre” always. I’m more drawn to authors, meaning, if I like an author, I will try all their works, but that doesn’t mean I will like any other author in the same genre. I do like many mystery authors though, but I wouldn’t say, I’d read any mystery book simply because it’s mysteries.
What was the best book you read for the first time last year?
I listened to the audiobook All Creatures Great and Small narrated by Christopher Timothy, best decision ever. I’m still not sold on audiobooks overall, but this is the type of book and narrator that brings out the work far better than merely reading it would. I’m currently on the 3rd of the series.
Do you remember when you first began to read? What drew you to it?
I apparently struggled to read, but my parents read aloud to us. I remember my dad reading the American girls books. Also, Mom used the 5 in A Row homeschooling curriculum which focuses on the Charlotte Mason method, using books to learn, so we had lots of lovely illustrated books.
How do you arrange your books? By color? By title? By author? By series? By something else altogether?
I keep my Barnes and Noble leather and Penguin clothbound editions separate and try to group them by color. Everything else has been divided between nonfiction and fiction, then fiction by author. But I’m going to be redoing my room plus have some newer paper backs and hardbacks that I might keep separate because they are pretty.
New books or used books?
New or like new, yet then I’m afraid to touch them, and might just end up reading a library version instead.
What tends to send you into a reading slump?
A lack of interest to try anything in my current library horde because I don’t know if I’ll like it or not. A determination to plow through a book I’m not enjoying but have disinclination to read. It’s better for me to put such a book down for a time and pick up another. Occasionally, an addiction to another form of entertainment. Usually that seems to come during the reading slump, but sometimes it’s before.
What tends to pull you out of a reading slump?
A easy read or an old favorite, this year thus far it’s been majorly Georgette Heyer, M.M. Kaye, and Mary Stewart
What’s the first book you can remember reading?
I, apparently, struggled to read. I can’t remember a first. I do remember getting the American girl books, and for some reason, I thought Kirsten was read to me, but I managed Felicity on my own? Or maybe I’m dreaming, those were advanced for someone who couldn’t really read.
First person or third person POV?
3rd all the way. First person only rarely.
What’s the longest series you’ve ever read? (It can be in terms of page numbers, amount of books in the series, or any other method of calculating.)
I’m pretty sure it’s Harry Potter, I feel I looked up word counts of books and that came up on top.
What book world would you least like to enter?
Well, the Hunger Games seems kind of cliche, but yeah, any dystopia (I loathe that genre overall).
Do you own any autographed-by-the-author books?
A book about regency times, it’s packed away and I can’t find it easily on Goodreads, so I don’t have the title.
What is your favorite place at which to buy books?
Currently, Barnes and Noble, ordering I mean, I usually buy giftcards at a huge discount (discount #1) and then wait for a discount from my membership card (discount #1).
Who is your favorite sibling duo/trio/etc in literature?
The Penderwicks are all I can think of from a quite scan of my Goodreads favorite books, I’m sure I have others though.
What’s one genre you used to avoid, but now love?
I’m not sure I really have this, classics is too broad, I didn’t read many classics as a teen, well, I didn’t read much as a teen as I struggled with it, but I don’t uniformly love all classics. And I can’t really think of any genre that I love that I hated. I’m more likely to be surprised by liking one book out of the genre. For example, I don’t tend to enjoy biographies because of the tone and the not so great historical accuracy (of perspectives, of comparison, of relative importance etc.), but I seriously enjoyed Tolkien’s bio, but that one book doesn’t convert me to the genre, but to the author.
Have you ever liked a movie adaptation better than the book? Which book? Why?
Eva mentioned this in one of her posts, I pretty sure everyone who has ever read the book and watched the movie prefer the movie for Alcott’s The Inheritance. I think sometimes I enjoy versions of Emma (movie or webseries) to book, because I can’t stand Emma herself, and the while not written in first person (I’m opposite to you on that, I can struggle with first person a lot) it is effectively written in her point of view, which is an obnoxious one.
Name one thing about your favorite genre that you absolutely can’t stand. Something you wish you could change.
That there aren’t enough well-written books in it? I always feel that I’m running out of authors I can respect whose books I can also enjoy.
When was the last time you shipped a non-canon book couple?
I don’t think I usually do, because 1) I generally read books where the author fits the characters together well 2) Most of the books I read don’t have true love triangles. Most rivals are either a bad guy or a boring guy, etc. 3) If I don’t like the way the book is going, I won’t finish it, and 4) I don’t really care to put couples who wouldn’t work in the actual story world together. I’m more likely to not like a couple or not like how one character ends up being bad, than actually having another couple in mind.
Jo and Laurie are the main couple I can think of, because it SHOULD be canon. I feel like there may be some smaller side characters couples I’d like together (like Luna and Dean), but nobody I’m really crying about.
How often do you write ‘rant reviews’? Or do you prefer to keep quiet if you didn’t like a book?
I’m better at criticism than elucidating why I like something, so yes to the ranting.
Thoughts on Charles Dickens? Love him, hate him, in-between him?
In-between. I loved much about his writing and conception, but the VERBOSITY, my stars, it’s hard to get through the books. Also, I do prefer a bit more character development, and his females are usually the worst in that department, they often lean toward only one characteristic. I haven’t read him in awhile though (because of all. the. words.).
Paperback covers: glossy or matte?
Matte, more elegant.
What was your favorite series as a child?
I had lots, but I’m going to go with Little House. I was definitely in a “Pioneer” phase, loved the books, sewed many sunbonnets from the sewing book, played “Pioneer,” played the Oregon Trail over and over.
What classic book do you feel most obligated to read?
Well, I have started War and Peace on Serial Reader ages ago, so I really want to finish it.
If you could run away with any fictional character, who would it be?
The first that popped into my mind was Martin from Faery Rebels trilogy and the Swift duology. I don’t know though, I think a Rosemary Sutcliff hero would be lovely, escaping would be the accurate term for that escapade though.
What is your true opinion of Agatha Christie?
She’s WAY overrated from an artistic standpoint. But I do like her books (not all) for an escapist read. I think I’m often disappointed though, or at least lately.
What’s the last book you read that made you see red?
I’ll TBR any book that makes me see red. The last I can think of was Prairie Fires an alleged biography about Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’d already read Pioneer Girl so found the information about Laura redundant. But that wasn’t the main issue, the tone was absolutely condescending and demeaning to everyone, Laura, the reader, etc. And I can’t stand when non-historians touch history, this is usually the result.
What book would you most like to see turned into an ACCURATE movie?
I’m always afraid of my favorites being touched, also, I don’t think movies can accurately bring out what I love if I love the good-writing. I think a good series of Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries would be awesome. Plenty of the wit is verbal in those, so not too much would be lost.
If you could recommend any book, what would it be?
Well the Faery Rebels (middle-grade blends the ancient celtic faeries, the origin of Tolkien’s elves, not Disney fairies in modern Britain) trilogy and the connected Swift Nomad duology by RJ Anderson, they do not get enough love. I was lent them by and acquaintance (only the first two are available in the US) and the bought them on Amazon.uk.
So Georgette Heyer has a few varieties of leading men:
- Her favorite who comes in two styles, the middle-age rake who may be flagrantly and/or offensively still a rake (I can’t STAND these) or have that more in the background or past history (the above two feature the latter). Not always (maybe not even usually handsome, but almost always “distinguished,” often Corinthian, always the sportsman, always careless of everyone’s opinion. Always wealthy and titled, I think.
- The young-rake (I think I’ve come across him once, Sherry in Friday’s Child).
- The not-rake (a couple times), vary in type (may be a decent gentlemen, may be a bit of a dandy, may be a soldier everyone thinks is low-class but isn’t).
- The good boy (I’ve come across him once, Charles in The Grand Sophy). Usually the good boys are sententious prigs who stay sententious prigs. Charles doesn’t and between him and Sophy (one of the best heroines) this book is one of the best.
- The (always) beautiful (usually) bland teenage (almost always) idiot heroine. Sometimes Heyer starts out misleading you to think “strong-willed” and with a brain only to disappoint later, usually this is a bland “innocent” or just a fool (think These Old Shades). This type is always paired with a rake. Often with the worst one. Usually these pairings make my least favorite stories, with the exception of Friday’s Child because the plot is good and the young rake and his friends are hilarious.
- The young one (usually early twenties?) with a brain and personality. Usually these get the not-rake or good boy. Almost always or always have one of the more unique plots.
- The slightly older young ones are are “on the shelf,” they could be mid-to late twenties. They are always possessing of a brain, and usually of a personality, but not always. May have one of the more unique plots, or more likely they may have the chaperone of a silly girl meets some rake connected to silly girl or girl’s lover plot-line variation or some version of responsible older sibling narrative.
Rose Cottage and Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart. Not my favorites, the first is better, the last was rushed, undeveloped, and yet another of her stories were I preferred the bad guy (he had more personality and development).
Lady of Quality and The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer. These feature the less-offensive rake and demure “on-the-shelf” lady pairings. I’m going to do a quickie post on her character types.
Three Times Lucky (Mo & Dale Mysteries, #1), The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing (#2), The Odds of Getting Even (#3), and The Law of Finders Keepers (#4) by Sheila Turnage. This are lovely, just right what I needed when I needed it. They have the same Southern sparkle and charm as A Snicker of Magic and The Key to Extraordinary. So much personality, such fun, such closeness. Mo reminds me of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. There is that same charm and pull there, but without the bad things, the hard things (and these are not classic level), I’m just talking about the overall small-town, charm.
70s Fashion Fiascos: Studio 54 to Saturday Night Fever by Maureen Valdes Marsh, Fabulous Fashions of the 1970s by Felicia Lowenstein, and The 1970s Decade in Photos: Protest and Change (reread) by Jim Corrigan. So That 70’s Show sent me on a 70’s, particularly, 70’s fashion, binge. The first books was a fiasco in terms of organization, I’m not sure you’d get much from it as a stand-alone. I watched THE ULTIMATE FASHION HISTORY: The 1970s series on YouTube for a more coherent understanding of 70’s fashion (be aware that the punk rock section, which appears twice, in the main and in a high light, contain x-rated material!). From what I gather the strict standard of fashion that had been in vogue for centuries began to be broken in the 60’s and by the 70’s we had modern fashion. I had previously though there was a 70’s “look”, but it was made up of many different trends (jeans for example), all of which continue to this day with more specific details (flared jeans, boho look) coming in and out of modern trends. As well as making permanent the break away from formality.
A Circlet Of Oak Leaves by Rosemary Sutcliff. Another of her smaller “children’s” works from that Antelope Books series.
Passenger to Frankfurt and Endless Night by Agatha Christie. Didn’t care for either of these, the first had potential, some interesting characters and romance but that was mostly shoved aside for a weird dystopia/mystery (don’t like) that felt like WWII, the Cold War, and paranoia all cut and pasted together. Well, we had WWII, just write about that?!
Frank James has this hilarious series in which he portrays each Myers-Briggs type in a particular situation. The most recent one is students and I think that is my favorite (works for college too), but retail workers is close too.
Another YouTuber Bogdan Yakubets (he doesn’t have a playlist) also does these type of videos. He has different ones from Frank James, I think the 16 personalities in a Fight is the funniest, but then I tend to be combative type.
I have this folder full of links for link posts, and I feel like I’ve used these before, but I didn’t see the posts, so oh, well.
Personality Geography of the United States. This is so interesting. Kentucky is one of the most introverted and turbulent. Um, yeah.
World Personality test. This categorizes some major countries by personality (each country has one), and then matches you to your country personality match. You then can see which country you got, which countries would also work for you, which countries wouldn’t work for you, and then the stereotype map (how others view the countries) and the introspection map (how countries view themselves). I guess the most accurate place would be when the view of others matches the view of themselves (biases cancel out).
I got Germany, I think the first time a few years back, which is VERY rules based, so NO. This time I got Argentina, but I thought they were supposed to be the snobbier country of South America(?), so I don’t think that would work either. I’m not a chill person, but I only want to be around chill people (those are the only people who could handle me, lol). What is the most laid-back country?
I’m joining the It’s So Classic Blog Party here at Rebellious Writing.
I saw posts about this party, but wasn’t super interested (I really don’t have tons of mental energy right now, not really reading much) until I saw all the posts with this tag which were fun to read. I’m not going to tag anyway since a) I’m lazy and unmotivated, b) I’m just linking up to the source and c) Almost everyone whose blog I read and who still posts regularly about books has already been tagged.
What is one classic that hasn’t been made into a movie yet, but really needs to?
I’m scared when filmmakers get their hands on my favorites. I think I’m more wanting re-do’s at the moment.
What draws you to classics?
The feeling of erudition? The quality of timelessness in perception, prose, etc.
What is an underrated classic?
I think that the Charlotte Brontë’s less discussed books are better written than Jane Eyre. I adore Dorothy Sayer’s Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries and KNOW they are far higher quality of books than the insanely popular Agatha Christie novels.
What is one classic that you didn’t expect to love, but ended up loving anyway?
I don’t know, maybe the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, I went in with total ignorance. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a book I was going to dislike or hate, just loved books I didn’t know much about. I enjoyed Dickens more than I thought, but I’m not sure “love” is appropriate, they are so long, and they don’t tend to be relaxing which is what I most want.
What is your most favorite and least favorite classics?
My favorites are many L.M. Montgomery novels. So many are just balm to my soul.
Frankenstein is an example of trash that is made famous when an untalented upper-class teen girl hangs around a group of famous actually talented rakes.
What is your favorite character from a classic? Or if that is too hard, one is your favorite classic character trope (e.g. strong and silent, quiet sidekick, etc.)
I’m a sucker for really snarky, witty, confident men (e.g. Lord Peter Wimsey).
What’s a popular classic that you felt wasn’t actually that great?
Other than Frankenstein which is the worst, Les Mis, Rebecca, and The Great Gatsby are WAY overrated.
Who is your favorite classic author?
In your opinion, what makes a classic a classic?
Brilliant writing (prose, insight, characterization, wit) and lasting through the ages. Unfortunately, I think that the latter is based on circumstances, not always on worth to talent ratio, meaning, I wonder if many books are lost that would be just as good if not better, simply because they didn’t catch the public’s whim at the right moment.
Relating to newer books, what attributes does a book need to have in order to be worthy of the title “classic”?
I think it should only be writing quality and not popularity but popularity can ensure that something will last.
I didn’t read much in July. I brought several books on vacation and barely read at all. I was not in the mood, but my younger sisters started watching Psych and got me hooked again. I’d meant to rewatch those at some point. I remember one blogger recently asking if people preferred Monk or Psych. Since at that point I’d watched Psych 7 years ago and Monk recently, I wasn’t sure. Oh, it’s Psych all the way. I was SO thrilled that this show stood the test of time for me. The first time I watched it the 7th season was still airing, and between waiting for episodes and not likening the feel anymore, I quit in the early episodes of that season. This time, I quit sooner. I actually feel the show falls in quality in season 6. But before that, yes, just my thing.
It’s also the first real adult U.S. television show I watched. I think Castle was next, but I didn’t really watch that in order, not sure that will have the same appeal either. Any show needs to end many seasons sooner than it does. Even ones I enjoy. The other shows I’ve watched in more recent years like Parks and Rec and Friends, well, I don’t think those will stand the test of time. I didn’t enjoy them near as much as expected. Television shows are such a “commitment” to me, that I usually (now anyway) see things on Pinterest or clips on YouTube and watch, then I have to feel like starting them.
I’d seen clips and quotes from That 70’s Show years ago, but I wasn’t ready to commit, nor I think able to handle that humor then, don’t get me wrong, Fez almost always crosses the line so far he isn’t even in sight (why couldn’t they have focused more on his naivety and sweetness?!), and there are things the other characters say that bother me too, but oh, my, now, I LOVE this show. And by this I mean the early seasons plus Jackie and Hyde, there are only 6 (5 and 6 are a joke for most characters as they are overused, flattened, or made out of character and their plot-lines are mostly soap operatic) seasons, 7 is a joke (as Jackie and Hyde join the character and plot devolution and soap opera drama) and some stupid fanfic got made into a season unwatched, unmentionable, nightmarish. I think the show should’ve stopped at 4 or 5 after putting Jackie and Hyde together in 3. I don’t like everything in Jackie and Hyde’s relationship (all the drama which is such lazy writing, plus so out of character for Hyde), but wow, overall one of my (if not my) favorite couples ever, I knew they were going to be together before starting the show, and I was shipping them so hard. Of course the writing fell short of this couple’s potential starting at the end of 5 and reappearing again in 6 and then ruining everything later. All this sounds like I hated the show, but I loved the beginning plus Jackie and Hyde so much that the disappointment in the later seasons hurt. So much potential wasted.
Dad bought Avengers: Endgame the day it came out on digital and we watched it that day. I hadn’t cared for Infinity War, I was barely paying attention by the end (probably shouldn’t watch dramatic/action films on my laptop), but I greatly enjoyed this one. And Thor, oh, my. The I got up the next day and watched Spider-Man: Far from Home which was the main reason I’d wanted to watch Engame, while I enjoyed it (although I got there 10-15″ after it started), it didn’t live up to my expectations (this is why I just CAN’T be allowed to look forward to movies!!!). I didn’t care for the plot, it felt kind of “filler.” Plus a bit disappointed in Peter and M.J.’s romance, it felt rushed and not as cute as it should’ve been, perhaps it should’ve been slower and resolved in the next movie.
Now for the books.
Then There Were Five and The Four-Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright. #2 and #3 of the Melendy family, very charming, possibly a bit lower than middle-grade? Except something sad/scary in #3, so parents should preview first.
The Chief’s Daughter by Rosemary Sutcliff. Another short story, probably the shortest of hers yet.
Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie. Not my fav.
Thornyhold by Mary Stewart. Enjoyable, a bit different than her usual.
Imaginarium: A Graphic Novel by Amanda Kastner. I’m not usually into graphic novels (I want to work on that). I follow this artist on Instagram, and helped fund her Kickstarter for this. Her illustrations are charming.
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear. Definitely more what I was looking for than The Power of Habit. I read this fast, because I want to get it to read slower and closer.
Death in Berlin and Death in the Andamans by M.M. Kaye
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter. I’d originally wanted to watch the Tolkien film, so I order tons of biographies as prep, this is the official or best one, I’d realized. I started with that. I enjoyed it so much, and I normally don’t like biographies. It is so well-written and Tolkien was such an interesting person. I actually prefer Narnia to LotR, but Tolkien to Lewis. His mind, interests, and skills, absolutely fascinating. I’ve read the Silmarillion as it’s been put together (by his son I believe) from his manuscripts, but this book made me mourn that Tolkien didn’t finish it himself. That was his true fictional life’s work, LotR was merely a side path.
Pandemics: A Very Short Introduction by Christian W. McMillen and Epidemiology: A Very Short Introduction by Rodolfo Saracci. I believe I wrote reviews for both of these on Goodreads, I know for the former I did.
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. I found this from a list Catherine from Based on the Book had posted. I found it quite enjoyable. A bit odd reading about Corfu from this decidedly unromantic point of view after reading This Rough Magic earlier this year.
How to Be a Perfect Christian: Your Comprehensive Guide to Flawless Spiritual Living by the Babylon Bee. The Babylon Bee is a Christian satire site or a satire site by Christians, like a Christian or written by Christians version of the Onion. Unlike most Christian media nowadays, it is decently clever. However, apparently some people are born without the ability to understand sarcasm (trust me, I’m sure my family thought I was for a while, but I’ve learned and appreciate it) or to learn it. Also, sometimes some topics need to be handled with kid gloves. Anyway, I personally have enjoyed articles from the site (and skits from John Crist pointing out some issues), however, this book, except for a few things (the quips about the denominations are a scream), I found this depressing and in poor taste; it’s not the same as articles on foibles, it comes across as mocking the motivations of every Christian. Yes, there are problems with American Christendom certainly, but I think that this assumes everyone is acting with terrible motivation rather than in ignorance or conformity or just blundering through. I think is the kind of thing that Pharisaical doctrine obsessed people and non-Christians with issues would use badly. I think this would wound rather than convict.
The Warden by Anthony Trollope. I’d tried Trollope before but didn’t care for that book (The Way We Live Now) and not sure I cared for satire. I found it painful not funny, but is satire supposed to be laughing funny? Anyway, another blogger, Elisabeth Foley, mentioned The Chronicles of Barsetshire, so I’ve started these. I did enjoy this one, and I did laugh at this.
The Gabriel Hounds and Touch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart. Not my favorite, although the setting of the first was exotic, I guess I found the story a bit bland. The latter was set in England but the atmosphere was more interesting, however, both involve cousin romances, though the latter is, thankfully more distant. As someone in a state notoriously mocked for cousin marriages because, you know, hillbillies and all that, I find it odd that modern upper-class (well, maybe upper-class in this situation is an explanation) cousin marriages in England were happening so recently. I mean everybody knows the hillbilly jokes, and I can allow (i.e. try to ignore) the Jane Austen stories and to a lesser extent (because set more recent than JA) Eight Cousins because they were so far back in time (still not excusable though, I know people had qualms even then), but that is mostly way back then. These books were published in the late 60’s to 70’s!
Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley. Eh, over-hyped in my small bookish world, found it a bit sanctimonious.
I’ve been pretty burned out lately (clearly that doesn’t take much to happen), and I opted out of the Jane Austen festival. Oh, well, I’ll have a head start for next year. I do have some projects I finished and vacation photos, but I’ll have to wait until I have more motivation. Meanwhile Ivy Miranda at Revealed in Time nominated me for this tag. Considered yourself tagged if you want to answer her questions.
1.) Favorite time period? Probably depends on what movies I’m watching or books I’m reading. I’m really loving old screwball (30’s, 40’s) comedies lately with the glamorous gowns.
2.) What fictional character (from either book or television) would you want to be? I’d like to stay me but be in an L.M. Montgomery novel.
3.) What three wishes would you ask the Genie from Aladdin? To give me the career I would love, to make me a more beautiful version of myself, to give me poise.
4.) Would you rather raid the Galaxy with Han Solo or dig up relics with Indiana Jones? Raid with Hans, more exciting (yet easier to run away) plus less skeletons (I HATE skeletons, used to be one of my phobias, not sure it is phobia level right now).
5.) What frightens you the most? Being powerless.
6.) Do you collect anything? Intentionally? Teacups, sort of, which is ironic since I don’t really care for tea. Unintentionally: fabric, yarn, etc.
7.) Do you like the supernatural (vampires, werewolves, etc.)? If so, what are your favorites? I have to say I’ve not read much of this (easily frightened plus lots of the books are quite silly). Vampires SEEM more attractive, but I think they’d be more dangerous, plus I was team Jacob (in the books, never seen the movies and don’t find Taylor Lautner attractive).
8.) What is the first song you remember hearing? Probably a hymn, “Joyful Joyful, We Adore Thee” was an early favorite.
9.) What’s the most amount of books you’ve read? In a year, as an adult? 140 last year, but many of those were rereads.
10.) Whose your favorite and least favorite celebrity? Whoever I have the biggest crush on at the moment and whoever is the most obnoxious at the moment.
11.) What is your favorite candy or dessert? (you can answer both). Most of them? I’m like all-sweet tooth.
I’m not going to do all the illustrated books (I think I might do that for a freebie). I’m picking books (mostly series) from when I was strongly reading on my own. I’m going with favorites then that I’d want my kids to read.
I guess my age was maybe 9 to early teens or maybe 9-12 for most of these? (And yeah, that’s childhood for me. I was a kid until maybe 14-15). Lot’s of historical fiction (although not the Historical Diaries or whatever they were called that my sisters and others loved, I think those were a little too realistic for me to handle then based on my memories of my unsuccessful attempts). My introduction to Rosemary Sutcliff came right on the heels of these age.
- The American Girls. Felicity, Josefina, Kirsten, Addy, Samantha, Molly at first, then later Kit, I was growing out of them a bit when Kaya arrived (and she’s the last of the quality ones in my opinion).
- The Little House books and the Caroline books (and the Charlotte ones I read when I was a bit older).
- Boxcar children (we were all obsessed with these).
- The Borrowers (The Borrowers, The Borrowers Afield, The Borrowers Afloat, The Borrowers Aloft, and The Borrowers Avenged) by Mary Norton.
- Grandma’s Attic series and Grandma’s Attic Novels (In Grandma’s Attic; More Stories from Grandma’s Attic; Still More Stories from Grandma’s Attic; Treasures from Grandma; Sixteen and Away from Home; Eighteen and on Her Own; Nineteen and Wedding Bells Ahead; At Home in North Branch; New Faces, New Friends) by Arleta Richardson. Our friends read these allowed while we sewed or whatever (I think I was bit older maybe preteens to early teens?).
- Narnia. My dad read these aloud to us twice.
- Sarah’s Journey Series (Home on Stoney Creek, Stranger in Williamsburg, Reunion in Kentucky, Whispers in Williamsburg, Shadows on Stoney Creek) by Wandra Luttrell (so, apparently these are middle-grade Christian fiction but I remember these being good, granted they were favorites).
- Annie Henry: Adventures in the American Revolution (Annie Henry and the Secret Mission, Annie Henry and the Birth of Liberty, Annie Henry and the Mysterious Stranger, Annie Henry and the Redcoats) by Susan Olasky
- Calico Bush by Rachel Field (Hitty is waaay more famous but this was the first one we read, and I’m not sure if I read Hitty at all, if so it was recently).
- Bobbsey twins (to round out the list, these were books I read at my grandparents). For some reason, I never got into the Nancy Drew books or the Hardy boys. I did look at Trixie Beldon, I think those are probably more interesting. I wish I’d read all these when I was younger, some books you can love only if you start young.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.