Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top Ten Books I'd Love to Read with a Book Club

Today's theme for Top Ten Tuesday is my top ten books I'd love to read with a book club if I had one.  These are all books I've read before but I'd love to read again with someone to discuss them with. There were so many I thought of that I ended up with more than ten. Oh well! :)
  1. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  2. 1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell
  3. Farenhiet 451 by Ray Bradbury
  4. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  6. Till We have Faces by C.S. Lewis
  7. The Bible
  8. Any Shakespeare
  9. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  10. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn
  11. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  12. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  13. Guilliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

It's Monday and School has Struck!

Last week brought the beginning of my last semester of nursing school! It's a scary and exciting feeling all at once. My first exam is later this week and the thought terrifies me. However, I'm liking my teachers a lot and I'm excited to be back with my same group of nursing students. We've all been through so much crazy fun and insane stress together.
I've been floundering on my reading though and Goodreads told me the other day that I was one book behind! My first reaction was, "Already? It's too soon!", but then I picked up a quick re-read and completed it in about thirty minutes so now I'm back on track. However, I do need to be a lot more diligent with my reading this year if I expect to meet my goals.
On that low note... what's up in my reading world? ;)

Finished this week

  • Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia Maclachlan.

Currently Reading

  • The Valley of Vision
  • Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (re-read) (audiobook)

Coming Soon (hopefully)

  • Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges
  • The Young Carthaginian by G.A. Henry
  • Peace Like a River by Leif Enger 
  • Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransom

Book Reviews Posted this Week

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #2

I'm back for my second Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.


  • Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (audiobook)


  • The Holiness of God, Chosen by God, Pleasing God (three in one collection) by R.C. Sproul- I picked this up at my church's "book table" for a great price. I've already read Chosen by God and it's one of my favorite but I have yet to read the others. 
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Friday, January 23, 2015

Book Review- Book of Lost Tales

I've finally finished J.R.R. Tolkien's The Book of Lost Tales! This will go towards my Full House challenge (It's a borrowed book) and my Classic Club challenge.
The Book of Lost Tales is split up into two parts which are in separate books. I read the first part/book last summer and the second this past month.
Here's the synopsis from Goodreads for the two books: The Book of Lost Tales stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor, for the Tales were the first form of the myths and legends that came to be called The Simarillion. Complete with commentary and notes.This second part of The Book of Lost Tales includes the tale of Beren and Luthien, Turin and the Dragon, and the only full narratives of the Necklace of the Dwarves and the Fall of Gondolin. Each tale is followed by a commentary in the form of a short essay, together with the texts of associated poems.
So as you can see from the synopsis, The Book of Lost Tales is basically the early form of Tolkien's better known work The Silmarillion. J.R.R. Tolkien's son, Christopher Tolkien, compiled the book from notes and writings of his father.
Eriol (later changed to Aelfwine) is a traveler who is shipwrecked upon an isle where the last of the elves dwell. There he stays and every evening he is told of the tales of long ago, the tales of ancient Middle Earth. Many of these tales made it into The Silmarillion but in a more edited and refined version. Personally I preferred the first part better. It reminded me of Greek mythology and I felt like the story telling aspect of it flowed better. In the second part, I felt the stories didn't flow as smoothly and Christopher Tolkien had a lot more commentary, which was understandable as the notes that his father left behind weren't as clear for these sections and sometimes even contradicted themselves. However, this caused the book to flow less smoothly.
Overall I did enjoy these books but I think I prefer The Silmarllion. They earned four out of five stars for me on Goodreads.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday- Book to Film Adaptations

Today's Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie! Oh the possibilities! ;) I decided to go with my top ten book to movie adaptations. I tend to be a book purist and my motto is always "the book is better than the movie". However, there are some great book to movie adaptations out there. :)

  1. Number one is without a doubt the 1995 miniseries of Pride and Prejudice. It is my favorite "movie" and book. This is a great adaptation for how incredibly close it is to the novel, the perfect casting and of course the beautiful scenery. You can watch this movie and get 90% of what was in the book, which is quite a lot more than I can say for most book to movie adaptations. 
  2. Second would probably be The Book Thief. Now the movie isn't amazingly close to the book like Pride and Prejudice is, though it isn't far from the book by any means. However, I think that the movie leaves aspects out of it that I disliked in the book, making the movie actually one of the few I would say is better than the book. That is just my opinion. I do love both the book and the movie. :)
  3. Next I guess would be The Lord of the Rings trilogy, though I suppose no movies have given me greater aggravation or have sparked as much complaining about how the book was better than the movies. I love the books, they are my second favorite (just behind Pride and Prejudice of course) and I grew up with the movies. Peter Jackson got a lot right with the movies  but he also got a fair amount wrong... some of which I've reluctantly forgiven him for and some of which I find unforgivable. You can read more about that in THIS POST. Bottom line, I love the book and the movies. :)
  4. To Kill a Mockinbird is a family favorite that I was raised on. It wasn't until I was in high school that I read it and fell in love with the book as well. They are different but both great in their own way. I'm really looking forward to re-reading it this year. 
  5. The 1982 version of The Scarlet Pimpernel was another family staple growing up and when I read it in my teenage years I adored the book as well. Though the book and movie are different they are both great. 
  6. Anne of Green Gables was a childhood favorite and the film was no less. A beautiful adaptation that while not perfect, is pretty close. 
  7. A recent book to film favorite is Little Dorrit. The 2008 miniseries has great casting and follows the story pretty well with only slight deviations. 
  8. I read The Prisoner of Zenda a few years ago and then watched the 1937 film version, which is a masterpiece as well. It stays pretty well to the plot and has excellent casting. 
  9. Nicholas Nickelby is a great Dickens and I was raised on the nine hour Shakespeare theater adaptation, which is as much a classic as the book. However, it is really long. 
  10. The Swiss Family Robinson was a staple in our family growing up and is a movie I still love to go back and watch. When I read the book some years ago I was disappointed. The truth is, the movie is almost completely different from the book so the book threw me for a loop and frankly I found it boring. It has been my plan to re-read the book now that I'm older for some time now and though I do not think I will get to it this year, I should be getting to it in 2016. 
A few honorable mentions would be:
  • The Princess Bride- This was a favorite growing up but it was only a couple years ago I discovered there was a book it was based off of. This last year I read and enjoyed it. However, I think I like the movie better, probably because I was biased though. They are both good. :)
  • Sense and Sensibility (1995)- Another film I was raised on and then I read the book for the first time probably when I was in middle school. While again not a perfect adaptation, I believe it well captures the chapters and storyline of the original classic. 
  • Emma (1996)- There have been multiple versions of Emma but the 1996 one is the version that stands out to me and the one I was raised on. For me, Kate Beckinsale is Emma and this version, while not perfect captures the spirit of Austen and tells the story beautifully. 
  • The Help- I thought the movie was a decent adaptation and of course while not as good as the book, I think they did a good job of telling the story.
  • Treasure Island to Treasure Planet- Different stories in a lot of ways but both great. Who would have thought that you could take a classic children's tale and make it sic-fi and it still be good. 
  • The Harry Potter movies- I have a lot of gripes about them but they aren't bad. :)
On a side note, a couple books I haven't read but I have seen the movie of and have enjoyed are The 39 Steps and Rebecca. However they are on my Classics Club list so I hope to read them some day soon. Books I have read but haven't seen the movie of are God and Generals and Killer Angels (Gettysburg). I have heard the films are excellent so I'm looking forward to watching them soon.  Also, I haven't read the book or seen the movie of Gone with the Wind but I've heard they're both excellent so I look forward to reading it for the Classics Club as well and hopefully adding it to this list. :)

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

It's Monday and I've been Skiing!!!!!

I know I didn't post last week. All last week I was gone skiing in Colorado with my family. It was an absolute blast though so I'm not sorry one bit. ;) I planned on doing some reading while I was gone, especially a most craved LOTR re-read, but in the end I was so busy I didn't read anything until the way home when I finished the audiobook of Anne of Green Gables and Tolkien's Book of Lost Tales part 2. Also, I turned 21 a couple weeks ago! Check out the details HERE. Tomorrow (Tuesday) school commences. :( Hopefully it won't cut into my wonderful reading time too much.

Finished this week

Currently Reading

  • The Valley of Vision
  • Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (audiobook) (re-read)

Coming Soon

  • Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges
  • The Young Carthaginian by G.A. Henry (re-read)
  • Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Book Reviews posted in the last couple weeks

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #1

This year I have decided to join in on the Stacking the Shelves weekly meme, which is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. I've seen this one floating around for a long time and I guess now the time is ripe to join in. Basically Stacking the Shelves is about highlighting the books that you bought, got from the library, got as a gift, borrowed, etc. The idea is they came into your possession somehow. ;) I don't always have books finding their way into my possession so I probably won't participiate in this meme every week but when I have books (and time) I will. :)
Today since it's my first time I'm going to include everything I've gotten this year so far.


  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (audiobook) 
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling- Not for me but for my brother... he's finally reading them! :)


  • A Child's History of England by Charles Dickens
  • Coronation of Glory: The Story of Lady Jane Grey by Deborah Meroff
  • The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope


  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers- My birthday gift from my parents! I've wanted this for years. :)

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Bout of Books #2- Day 5

Yesterday was the fifth day of Bout of Books. I didn't get much done actually in the way of anything.
While I was doing dishes I listened to three chapters of Anne of Green Gables. After that I watched one episode of The Adventures of Merlin and then watched far too many Studio C YouTube videos. They're addictive people. :( Number one reason I should never get on YouTube... I never get off. ;)
In the evening before bed I did read one prayer from The Valley of Vision, as is my new custom. I always have to read them twice because they are incredibly theologically dense. I'd definitely recommend it.
With family coming in today and last minute preparations I doubt I'll get much reading done but I'll try my very best. At the least I'm sure I'll listen to Anne of Green Gables. :)
How is everyone else doing on their Bout of Books?

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I'm 21!

This past week I celebrated my 21st birthday!
Did I have a first drink? Yes I did! I had a little bit of wine... maybe four ounces and about that much of a light beer as well. Neither were much to my taste but I think I will try some other alcoholic beverages in the future. I was thankful to have that first drink with my family and friends. We also had a chocolate peanut butter cookie dough cake, which was delicious! To top the day off I got a Doctor Who T-shirt and Doctor Who trivial pursuit as well as the book The Valley of Vision, which is a collection of Puritan prayers. I will be making my way through it this year.
On my birthday my sister and I began our fifth game of Canasta. We had both won two games and our competitive natures are going into this last game, which determines the winner of the best out of five. Unfortunately she won the fifth game so we have started our sixth and we're going for best out of seven now. I'm determined to win!!!
The family also played a game of Apples to Apples on my birthday, which was fun as always. I didn't win... I rarely do, but it was still quite enjoyable. Apples to Apples is just one of those games that is fun even if you don't win.
All in all it was a great birthday! I still need to get my license renewed but I have a 45 day grace period and there's no way I'll wait until the last moment for that... right? I mean... I don't have a history of waiting until the last moment... do I? ;)

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