Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Top Ten Books You Can't Help But Read in One Sitting

The theme for this week's Top Ten Tuesday over at Broke and Bookish is a Read In One Sitting Theme: ten of the shortest books I've read, top ten books I read in one sitting, ten books to read when you are short on time, top ten books that will make you read the whole day away, etc.
So I'm going with my top ten books I can't help but read in one sitting or I did read in one sitting.

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling- One of her only books you can read in one sitting
  2. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien- Yes I've read this in basically one sitting. Traditionally when I'm re-reading the trilogy I read The Two Towers the fastest... I read it in two days once. So technically two sittings but that's not bad for LOTR. 
  3. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum- I read it in like two hours just last month. I had to get it done for book club and while I was pretty sure I could go off of memory from my previous re-reads I didn't want to risk it. 
  4. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee- I read this one in two hours too. 
  5. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket- I'm working through the series right now but each time I pick up one of the books it's less than two hours and I'm done. They're quick and fun reads. 
  6. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis- Or any of them in the series. They're quick, fun and easy to read. Especially The Horse and His Boy obviously! 
  7. Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw- Love this book. Fun, suspenseful, romantic historical fiction. You can't help but read it in one sitting! 
  8. The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery- I couldn't help but read this one in one sitting either. I LOVE this book! LOVE IT!!!! If you like Anne of Green Gables but want something a little older than READ IT!!!! 
  9. Little House one the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder- All of her books are great one afternoon reads. And so nostalgic! 
  10. Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange- Most of the books in her Diary's series I read in one sitting. 
  11. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein- I think I read it over two days but it was fast! That book engaged me like few have before. 
  12. Carry on Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham- One sitting cause it's SO GOOD!!! 
  13. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransom- I read almost all of the books in that series in one sitting or two. They're so much fun! 
Okay I have to cut myself off here. I know I went over but there are actually so many more I could list here! 

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Monday, March 20, 2017

It's Monday! Hidden Figures

I was a little better about reading this past week. I finished Hidden Figures finally! I really enjoyed the book and I learned so much but it isn't simply a fictional novel as I expected. It was meticulously researched and with the historical and scientific aspects of it the book was not an easy read. Just because it wasn't easy though doesn't mean it wasn't good. So yes.... read it! And then watch the movie. Both are great.

Finished this past week

  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shatterly

Currently Reading

  • Catching Foxes by John Henderson
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen (audiobook) (re-read)

Coming Soon

  • The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Tag

Meredith at On Stories and Words is having a Beauty and the Beast week over on her blog and has this fun tag which I couldn't resist!

1.When did you first experience Beauty and the Beast? I grew up with it! It was my favorite Disney film as a child and continues to be my favorite now.
2. In what forms(book, movie, retelling) have you experienced Beauty and the Beast? I've watched the Disney film obviously and I've read various children's versions of the story and Andrew Lang's in his Fairy books. I read Beauty by Robin McKinley, which was one of my favorite books as a child. I think I've seen part of an old black and white French version too. I also saw our local Christian Youth Theater put on a production of it that was excellent. Some would call The Phantom of the Opera a version of it and I've read it and seen the film. When I was looking up books that are considered Beauty and the Beast adaptations just now one that popped up that I was surprised by was Scarlett by Marissa Meyer. It's supposed to be Little Red Riding Hood but when I thought about it really does have some strong likenesses to Beauty and the Beast too.
3. Who is your favorite character in Beauty and the Beast? Belle! She loves reading, adventures and has a quirky father. That's me! ;)
4. What is your favorite song from the cartoon Beauty and the Beast? The opening song... Belle. It sets up the movie so perfectly and resonates with me. Of course Be Our Guest is another great one.... all of the songs are awesome!
5. If you were turned into a piece of furniture what you want it to be? Hmmm. Deep question. I'm not great with fashion but I do love dressing up so maybe a wardrobe? It's so fun to get all pretty for no reason!
6. What would your dream cast for Beauty and the Beast be? (This can be as elaborate or simple as you desire.) Hmmm. Never really thought about that. I don't have an answer for this one.
7. If your school were performing BatB which character would you want to play? Belle! Obviously!
8. Like Belle, do you enjoy reading books multiple times? Absolutely! If it's a true favorite I will read that book so many times it falls to pieces.
9. If you were to write a retelling, what would you change? No thoughts on this yet.... never really thought about it before. I think it would be fun to do though and now I am going to muse on this.
10. Are roses your favorite flowers? No.... I like them but not my favorite. My favorites would probably be chrysanthemums.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Top Ten Books on my Spring 2017 TBR List

And a random picture of my beautiful niece
because the world needs more pictures of her! 
I'm really hoping with the wedding preparations that I can actually get in ten books this spring. Not sure but hopefully! Because of that I'm going to go ahead and list the ones I've already started but want to finish this spring. The rest of the books (except the last one) are ones that I borrowed from my Aunt while I was in Minnesota this past Thanksgiving. I'm excited about reading them all but have started none of them! Pathetic.

  1. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (already started)
  2. Catching Foxes by John Henderson (already started) 
  3. Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey (already started) 
  4. The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer and Anne Barrows
  5. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  6. Home by Marilynne Robinson
  7. Lila by Marilynne Robinson
  8. A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
  9. The Problem with Pain by C.S. Lewis
  10. Persuasion by Jane Austen (audiobook) (re-read)

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Monday, March 13, 2017

It's Monday! Busy and Sick

I used to never be able to understand why other people didn't read as much as I do. During nursing school I started getting an inkling and now with all of this wedding planning going on I'm starting to understand. I'm not quite sure how wedding planning is more time consuming and anxiety inducing than nursing school but apparently it is. I just don't have much time to read anymore and when I do have time I don't feel like it or I'm too tired to. Just this past week I was sick and had to stay home from work and even then I just vegged and barely read a drop. It's kind of pathetic really.
I did get a few things done in the way of wedding planning though. Invitations got ordered finally and my recipe book I was writing out from my mom's recipes. I'm pretty proud of that one. I'm always finding new recipes online and trying them out but reality is that my mom's recipes are the ones I'll always go back to so I wanted to make sure I copied them down before I get married.
I've been reading Hidden Figures for book club but it's harder to read than you would think so I didn't actually get it finished before we met, but I was certainly not the only one. I did watch the movie and loved it! I'll finish the book soon.... I do really like it but it's just a slow read.

Currently Reading

  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly 
  • Catching Foxes by John Henderson (for premarital counseling)
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey 

Finished Recently

  • Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas (also for premarital counseling... though we started it before we actually got engaged) 

Coming Soon

  • The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
I borrowed six books form my aunt when I was there for Thanksgiving and I've read none of them yet! My goal is to read them before I get married because I'm horribly afraid of losing them in the move. We'll see if I can fit them in between my premarital counseling reads! 

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Monday, February 27, 2017

It's Monday! Of Engagement and Reading

This past weekend my brother got a few shots of Brian and I for an engagement photo shoot. Nothing too fancy but lots of fun.
I have been reading but not as diligently as I should be. It's been insanely busy at work and then when I'm home I'm wedding planning or spending time with Brian. For an introvert that's really draining! Because of my initial wedding planning panic though I've gotten most everything done except some details that can't be planned until closer to the date. I also have an incredible sister-in-law who's done this all before and is an indispensable support. Plus whenever we meet for wedding planning I get to see my adorable niece so there's that too.

So here's what's up in my reading world.

Currently Reading

  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly 
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey 
  • Sacred Marriage by Gary L. Thomas

Finished Recently

  • Hithchiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (re-read)- I re-read this one for book club and read it the day of in about two hours. #likeaboss ;) 

Coming Soon

  • Catching Foxes by John Henderson- I kind of need to get this started ASAP as I have pre-marital counseling Monday evening (tonight!!!) and I need to have three chapters read by then. 
And now more of what you really came for... our engagement photo shoot pictures! 

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tag: I Love Austen Week!

Hamlette at Hamlette's Soliloquy is having an I Love Austen Week! Umm yes please! Go check it out pronto HERE!!!! One of the delightful parts of this week of Austen is a fun tag to fill out, which I shall do below post haste!

1. Which did you experience first, a Jane Austen book or a movie based on one?
I was born and raised on the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice as well as the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility and the 1996 version of Emma (The Kate Beckinsale one). It wasn't until I was ten that I read Pride and Prejudice and the rest of the books came not long after. The've consumed me body and soul!

2. What is your favorite Austen book?
Pride and Prejudice hands down. I also really like Northanger Abbey. I love them all!!!!!

3. Favorite heroine? Why do you like her best?
Lizzy Bennett. She's funny, clever and basically everything I wish I was.

4. Favorite hero? Why do you like him best?
Mr. Knightley and Henry Tilney. They are both great brotherly figures. They don't mind telling the harsh truth. And Henry Tilney is HILARIOUS!!!! :)

5. Do you have a favorite film adaptation of Austen's work? 
The 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice... duh!

6. Have your Austen tastes changed over the years? (Did you start out liking one story best, but now like another better? Did you think she was boring at first, then changed your mind? Etc.)
I've always been a pretty big fan of Austen. The first time I read Pride and Prejudice it wasn't my favorite but it soon became my favorite. Emma has definitely grown on me a lot in recent years.

7. Do you have any cool Austen-themed things (mugs, t-shirts, etc)? (Feel free to share photos if you want.)
I have some Jane Austen themed bookmarks, which I love.

8. If you could ask Jane Austen one question, what would you ask her?
Which version of Pride and Prejudice is the best? ;)

9. Imagine someone is making a new film of any Jane Austen story you choose, and you get to cast the leads. What story do you want filmed, and who would you choose to act in it?
Mansfield Park! For Fanny Price I would cast either Claire Foy (Little Dorrit) or Anna Maxwell Martin (Bleak House). I could see either of them doing a great job with the roll. For Edmund I don't have anything specific in mind though I've seen others cast Dan Stevens (Sense and Sensibility '08) in the role and I think that could work. Part of me really wants to cast Johnny Lee Miller (Emma '09) but then I remember that he already did the role in the 1999, which I haven't seen. I wonder though if Matthew Macfayden (Little Dorrit) could play the role?

10. Share up to five favorite Jane Austen quotations!
Only five? Ha! You mean five for each book right? ;) And sorry, some of these are pretty mushy... I'm a newly engaged I can't help it! Normally I'd be all over her funny quotes but I'm simply too sentimental right now.

"It is a truth universally acknowledge that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife."- Pride and Prejudice

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”- Pride and Prejudice

“I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh.”- Pride and Prejudice

“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love”- Pride and Prejudice

“An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.”- Pride and Prejudice

“Mary wished to say something very sensible, but knew not how.”- Pride and Prejudice

"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more."- Emma 

“Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again."- Northanger Abbey

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Monday, February 6, 2017

It's Monday! Wedding Planning

I've been spending a lot of time these past couple weeks wedding planning (see THIS post for why). So not as much reading is getting done as should be. I'm ploughing through the Series of Unfortunate Events though. Those are ridiculously easy to read though. I finished all of the ones I had checked out from the library early last week and now I noticed that all I'm reading right now is non-fiction so I had to remedy that so I started Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
And because I can't get my mind off the wedding here's some of my favorite Pinterest pictures I'm using as inspiration. I'd never used Pinterest before I started wedding planning for the very reason that I knew I'd get sucked in... and sure enough.... I'm sucked in!

And now reading! 

Finished in the past two weeks

  • The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
  • The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
  • The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
  • The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
  • Jeeves and Wooster by P.G. Wodehouse (audiobook)

Currently Reading

  • Sacred Marriage by Gary L. Thomas
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey 
  • Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams 

Coming Soon

  • Catching Foxes by John Henderson

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Monday, January 30, 2017

My Little (Big) Secret

I've ben keeping a secret from my blog readers. I think though it is time to tell all... especially considering how far things have gone.

Back in April I met a guy.

He liked Tolkien, Doctor Who, reading and theology. Just my kind of guy.

Naturally we started dating. Our favorite dates included going on long walks, watching movies, playing games and debating everything from Tolkien to theology. Most every Sunday he would come and spend time with my family and I.

When he sat through all five hours of Pride and Prejudice with me and then read it... I knew he was the one.  When he put up with my craziness, not to mention my family's craziness.... I knew he was the one. When I drug him through fields, rivers and over fences for a "relaxing" walk and he never complained... I knew he was the one. But most of all, when he said "I love you" and asked me to marry him... I knew he was the one.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing

So yes... we're engaged!!!!! I'm so excited to start this new journey in my life and I would covet your prayers as Brian and I prepare for marriage.

I cannot help but quote Jane Austen from her novel Pride and Prejudice: “I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh.”

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Book Review- The Eyre Affair

27003Finally! I've been recommended this book for years now and I was so excited to get it in the secret santa. It was the first book I picked up this year because I couldn't wait to read it.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, veryseriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.
As a book lover, and more specifically a classics lover, I couldn't help but be fascinated by this book. It's a book nerd's dream. As a time travel aficionado this book was also a success.
Thursday Next made a fun protagonist and Acheron Hades a chilling villain. The other characters popping up in the book, like her dad and her uncle I also really enjoyed. The plot and writing was quite clever, though I feel like it sometimes tried to be too clever. The side plot of who wrote Shakespeare was intriguing and it's (semi) conclusion was surprising. I wonder if it gets continued in the next book in the series as I don't feel like we have a proper conclusion for that yet?

Overall I enjoyed it but I did have some qualms. There was some (not a copious amount but it was there) language in it that I didn't appreciate and frankly wasn't necessary. I also really wish that we could have seen more of Thursday's and Landen's relationship because I almost wanted her to get with Braxton instead because I felt like we knew him better. And yes, I get that the whole relationship thing is supposed to be mirroring Jane Eyre and that Braxton is St. John Rivers. However that actually annoyed me as I liked Braxton and I didn't want that analogy drawn because I thought it was unfair to him as he is far better than St. John Rivers.

Overall I'd recommend it. Next time I read it I'll definitely be going through it with whiteout though.

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