• Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Read by the Pool or Beach

    I’m linking up here.

    Apparently, I keep mixing up the Top Ten Tuesday topic dates, oh, well.

    I’m not going to make this a TBR list, because that isn’t how I read. I’m going to go by what I think are a good fit for summer.

    Any sort of the feels summery, light, mild adventurous. Lots of middle-grade books, I think. Nothing too serious, magical, or dark.

    1. The Penderwicks (I’ve probably already re-read these and read the new one by the time this posts, sorry, not waiting for summer)
    2. A Bridge to Terabithia
    3. The Grandma’s Attic series
    4. The Borrowers series
    5. The Little House series
    6. Keeper of the Bees
    7. Any L.M. Montgomery, but Magic for Marigold is especially summery as are:
    8. Anne of Avonlea
    9. Rainbow Valley
    10. Jane of Lantern Hill
  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: Throwback: Fictional Crushes

    I wrote this and scheduled this months ago and apparently the topic was changed in the interim, but I’m still going to leave this.

    I’m linking up here for Top Ten Tuesday

    I’m a noodle is all I can say, I’m trying to remember by very early ones, when I really, seriously had a crush on a book character, not just theoretically.

    1. Henry from The Boxcar Children series
    2. Lewis from Little House Charlotte Years
    3. Ben from the Felicity books
    4. Drew from one of the Love Comes Softly books according to my sister (I was trying to remember all my childhood book crushes without much work, so I asked her); I don’t recall that name but I’m sure I had a least one crush from these books, I’d forgotten what I read then
    5. Laurie (of course!)
    6. Ethan from Calico Bush (Caleb was too young for my preteen/young teen self, lol)
    7. Sheftu from Mara, Daughter of the Nile
    8. Esca from Eagle of the Ninth (yeah, I liked him better than Marcus, at least in the old days
    9. Aquila from Lantern Bearers
    10. Mac from Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom
  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Worlds I’d Want/Never Want to Live In

    I’m linking up here. I think I will do five for worlds I wouldn’t want to live in and five for worlds I might.


    1. The future in The Time Machine. No words, there are no words.
    2. Alagaesia in the Inheritance Cycle. Why live in a Knock-off when you could like in the real Lord of the Rings (and whatever other worlds were copied).
    3. Panem. Because it is both disturbing and second-hand.
    4. the Harry Potter universe. Because, if you haven’t gotten the memo, I’m a scaredy-cat, and I would rather enjoy the stories from my own safe vantage point.
    5. I’d have to say Middle Earth because it is so dark and scary, unless I could live with the elves before they started dwindling or in Hobbiton. The orcs remain (thanks in part to the brilliant mind of Peter Jackson) one of the most believably and truly horrifying fictional creatures (I think in part because they, as I think was the intent, seem both so man-like and beast-like, as if to be what man at absolute depravity could be; also, I remember the shock of disgust and horror I felt when learning Morgoth bred them from elves which again, I think might have been the point; to see the contrast of what man in God’s image and under His sanctification can/ought to be and what he can be because of the fall).


    1. Narnia, if I could freeze it only into the good times.
    2. I know Rosemary Sutcliff painted a romantic and for all its seeming darkness, a rather mild conception of the little-known, so old and odd as to seem unreal, Ancient Britain, but I would like to see it, if only briefly, and through Roman or Romanized eyes (yeah, not so interested in the more brutal reality of my more likely forbearers, sorry). I’ll take a ticket to and from, please and thank-you.
    3. The world of the Fairy Rebels and Swift and Nomad, but I’d have to replace Ivy in the books, because Martin is MINE.
    4. PEI in all the Montgomery books, with someone like Barney/Jingle/Uncle Klondike with maybe a touch of Walter and Jem Blythe, thanks.
    5. If the land of The Ordinary Princess is exactly like the land in the 2015 Cinderella, and I think it should be, then that land.
  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: Best Character Names

    I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday. These are more “unique names I’d name my kids” but I like or only know plainer names for boys.

    1. Evelina from Frances Burney’s novel of same name
    2. Camilla from Frances Burney’s novel of same name
    3. Cecilia from Frances Burney’s novel of same name
    4. Ileana from Wildwood Dancing
    5. Tatiana from Wildwood Dancing
    6. Jenica from Wildwood Dancing
    7. Marguerite from Calico Bush and The Scarlet Pimpernel
    8. Armand from The Scarlet Pimpernel
    9. Percy from The Scarlet Pimpernel
    10. Lila from Marilynne Robinson’s novel of the same name

  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday Books I Disliked, but I’m Glad I Read for Bragging Rights

    1. Les Misérables. Um, yeah, you can tell when authors are writing serials and don’t have enough talent or story to fill them. Sorry, Hugo, I don’t want to read 40 pages each about a minor characters, a Napoleonic battle with the only connection a piece of thievery, and the Paris sewer system. I would like more developed characters. Oh, I grant that the story is epic, but for all those pages, not much seems to be said, developed, or completed.
    2. Brother Karamazov. A bunch of absurd, disjointed, irrational, sanctimonious philosophizing. The pathos builds and then falls flat (there isn’t a death sentence for one thing, and I got bored for another). I liked Alyosha the best, but Dostoevsky had to spoil him with some incongruous preaching at the end. No real love story. No real tragedy. No real story. Tons of awful characters. I liked all the legitimate broters, but all the women they loved were . . . I’ll go with harpies, to put it mildly.
    3. Plato’s Apology. Something for school. Don’t remember a bit.
    4. The Aeneid. Ugh, and overrated and boring. Sorry Virgil, you are no Homer.
    5. The Great Gatsby. Overrated in the extreme.
    6. The Time Machine. Horror.
    7. Into the Wild. Something for school. Bizarre, poorly written, and depressing.
    8. Cloud’s by Aristophanes. Something for school. Don’t remember a bit.
    9. We Have Always Lived in the Castle. I was disturbed by the book (at the end) and by my reaction (I was so fooled for one thing) . . . probably more by my reaction.
    10. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I liked this for the historical perspective, but I found most of the characters unlikeable, and the story featured some really freaky, vile episodes.

    I’m linking up here for Top Ten Tuesday (late of course).

  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I liked That Were In Non-Favorite/Disliked Books

    I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday.

    1. Murder Must Advertise (I love Lord Peter but dislike most of the short stories; some are the most disturbing murder mysteries I’ve ever read)
    2. Austenland (I think I liked the main guy [I liked him in the movie, so maybe this is cheating] but the descriptions were so gross)
    3. Twilight series (I liked Jacob but have a like/shame relationship with the books)
    4. I Will Repay (I liked the Scarlet Pimpernel, but I think this is one when he plays a significant shadow role)
      5. Eragon (Murtagh)
    5. House of Many Ways (I don’t like the Howl’s Moving Castle sequels, but I loved Howl)
    6. The Sign of Four (I disliked this but I like Sherlock Holmes)
    7. The Inheritance (this is cheated a bit, but I disliked the overwrought novel but loved the movie and all the characters therein)
    8. Anne of Ingleside (the most boring Anne books, but I like most of the main characters . . . in the other books)
    9. The Hunger Games trilogy (I have a like/hate relationship with the books, but I like Finnick and Peeta)
  • Reading

    Ten Lesser Known/Lesser Loved Couples from Books

    I’m joining in with Cordy’s Lovely Blog Party here. I love this, its basically a couples freebie for all of February, so low pressure. I’m going to include my Top Ten Tuesday post, write another one of these for movies, and do the tag Cordy made. And anything else that I feel like doing (I might do a small post on The Ordinary Princess and how it reminds me of the live-action Cinderella). I love learning about new stories, so if you have any unknown/under-appreciated couples to add, let me know in the comments.

    1. Martin and Ivy from Swift and Nomad. I loved Martin when he appeared in the first trilogy (Faerie Rebels), and Ivy is the perfect girl for him. I love their relationship and its complexity and progression. Martin doesn’t woo her (he isn’t like that and they have far more serious issues to think about), but he waits until she “gets” it. Rob and Linden from Rebel (the second Faerie Rebels book) are in second.
    2. Azalea and Lord Bradford from Entwined (I also love her next two sisters and their suitors; I’m trying to spoil too much here). Simple sweetness.
    3. Sophie and Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle. If you haven’t noticed, I don’t really care for sappy romances in which one or both characters are soppy, weak, and gushy. No thanks, that isn’t real romance. I need humor. And this is hilarious.
    4. The ordinary princess and her apprentice from An Ordinary Princess. I LOVED that connection to Cinderella although it is probably accidental. Friendship first, the romance, and then the revelations (actually this reminds me a LOT of the live-action Cinderella).
    5. Nell and Aquila from Lantern Bearers. My sister said they did not love each other. I’m sorry but yes, yes they did. I just love understated and intense. Their story is small in the huge picture of Aquila’s tortured life, but it is important. Another of my favorite elements to romance is intense and understated, and Rosemary Sutcliff does this well.
    6. Perry and Ilse from the Emily of New Moon trilogy (I cannot be happy about Teddy and Emily because I want to strangle them, mostly Teddy for his unmanly cowardice and weakness; that last book HURTS unbearably, I had to put it down for my last reread). I just love a child-hood based romance and besides these two are HILARIOUS individually and together.
    7. Marcus and Cottia from the Eagle of the Ninth. In the beginning Marcus is grown-up (although barely) and Cottia just a girl, so he takes a friendly interest at first, and I love that their friendship is the foundation for their romance. When he gets back, they are both thinking, “yes.” And that’s that.
    8. Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane from the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries. Oh, my stars how I love them. His persistent wooing, her persistent resistance makes for a multitude of hilarious, and later, romantic scenes. Their romance combines intensity with laughter.
    9. Peter and Donna from A Tangled Web. From their absurd love at first site, to their awesome breakup to Donna’s illness and Peter’s absurd reaction, I love these two together. I also, in a quieter way like the quieter romance between Roger and Gay and their sweet little love scene after her realization.
    10. Judy Abbot and Jervis Pendleton from Daddy Long-Legs. The build-up. The unreasoning and hilarious jealously exhibited (unbeknownst to Judy) by Daddy Long-Legs. The reveal.
  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: Significant Moments of Romantic Tension or Realization

    Happy Valentine’s Day, The Top Ten Tuesday topic for today is a romance freebie, so I went with some interesting moments.

    1. John Brooke’s proposal to Meg in Little Women. This is so classically funny.

    2. Polly and Tommy’s love scene at the very end of An Old-Fashioned Girl. It is so absurd and so completely them. And “stopping for refreshments,” ha!

    3. In Nomad, when Ivy finally “gets” it after Martin’s patience waiting (he didn’t woo or press her, just waited).

    4. Marcus sweet, simple, proposal to Cottia. They know, they knew when he came back and saw her (Eagle of the Ninth).

    5. Philippa Gorden’s letter to Anne regarding Jonas with the telling postscript (Anne of the Island). Peoples, that is the right way to do triangles. If the girl (or guy if it is guy, two girls which is unusual in my reading experience, I cannot think of one off the top of my head), cannot choose between two guys, she doesn’t care enough for either, duh. An entrance of a true love demonstrates that.

    6. The throbbing-ly intense romantic scene at the end of North and South. Read between the lines for those not so subtle hints people. This is WAAAAY more romantic than the movie which is short, rushed, unromantic, and has Henry Lennox’s jealous snake face smashed right in the middle.

    7. Whenever Mac catches Rose unawares with his absurd and persistent wooing, and she cannot remain dignified (Rose in Bloom).

    8. Captain Wentworth’s letter in Persuasion. Oh, my what intensity and passion without any gushing or grossnesss. He is mainly and to the point as always, and WOW.

    9. When Gay realizes she loves Roger and when he sees it (A Tangled Web).

    10. The burglar in the library hullabaloo that gets Jim and Nora together thanks to Anne’s meddling in Anne of Windy Poplars.

  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books from My TBR List

    Well, I have a ton of TBR lists on my library site because I organized my lists by category (to help me pick an assortment when I order). Plus I have two separate lists of interlibrary loan (or possibly some other option) possibilities (for the books not in my library system). The Top Ten Tuesday (yes, I know its Wednesday) is specifically for books that have been on my list the longest. I just remembered my old Classics Club list (I didn’t necessarily want to abandon all the books, I just didn’t want to HAVE to read them in a certain time frame), so I can pull most from there. I really don’t know for sure what I’ve had in mind the longest because I changed the Classics Club list often plus I’m picking by my likelihood of my actually reading.

    1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    2. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    3. Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (technically I’m reading this now, but I haven’t picked it up in awhile)
    4. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
    5. The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
    6. The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens (the last two Dickens novels I have left!!!!!)
    7. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
    8. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
    9. The Wimsey Papers by Dorothy Sayers
    10. Coriolanus by William Shakespeare (I have all Shakespeare’s plays that I haven’t yet read on my TBR list, but this I want to read so that I can watch Tom Hiddleston’s performance).


  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Can’t Believe I Read (or that I’m embarrassed I read or feel stupid that I read)

    I’m linking up for Top Ten Tuesday on this blog.

    1. The Uglies (I’m pretty sure I lost half my I.Q. points for not putting this down immediately)
    2. Eragon (plagiarization from every fantasy and science fiction cult universe and terribly written)
    3. The Unwanteds (similar to above and so juvenile in the silly way)
    4. We Have Always Lived in the Castle (or rather I can’t believe how I reacted)
    5. Some of the Pixie Hollow series (yeah, well below middle grade)
    6. Some of the Princess Diaries series (can we say ditsy and shallow and rather vulgar?)
    7. The Selection trilogy (decadent, superficial, desperate, embarrassing, shallow, fickle, etc.; I didn’t finish all of them but I shouldn’t even have skimmed)
    8. So Much More (bizarre)
    9. Leatherstocking Tales (I didn’t finish these; this is more, “I can’t believe these are classics.”)
    10. Les Mis (I can’t believe I had that much discipline with a little, “Why is this a classic?”)
  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Resolutions/Goals

    I am linking up here for Top Ten Tuesday. Here is a shortened version of my wildly unrealistic reading goals (for an even more absurd list see my tab above).

    1. Read some massive Russian novels (hopefully at least Brothers Karamazov and War and Peace)
    2. Read globally
    3. Read on U.S. history (keep plodding through my study)
    4. Read different writing types (poetry, essays, etc.)
    5. Find some more well-loved books (I feel like this year was mostly mediocre on new-to-me authors)
    6. Read serious nonfiction more intensively
    7. Take better notes (maybe I should have a prompt page?)
    8. Develop better reading discipline
    9. Read my unread books (mostly Christian devotional stuff)
    10. Read all my borrowed books (mostly from Mom/our basement)