Monday, November 24, 2014

It's Monday and I'm Looking Forward to Thanksgiving Break!

On Friday I had my last pharmacology test for nursing school, which I did well on as well as my last lecture for the semester! I can't believe I'm so close to the end! :) However, I still have a test, a clinical performance evaluation and a final left. :( Right now though, I am looking forward to relaxing a little with family and friends over Thanksgiving break before diving into the finale of the semester. :) Hopefully I'll also get to enjoy some time with my books. :)

Finished this week

  • Prayer by John Bunayn
  • Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper 

Currently Reading

  • Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James (I read one chapter and then never picked it up again. Not that it didn't look interesting but I've been busy reading my other books.)

Coming Soon

  • Here I Stand: The Life of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton (TBR Pile Challenge)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo (TBR Pile Challenge)
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Classics Club spin)
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

It's Monday! Pharm Test on Friday!

My second Pharmacology test, which is the first of my menagerie of "end of the semester tests and stuff" mentioned last week, is this Friday. It's over heart and athsma drugs! So pumped (pun totally intended). ;)
In other news, I sold my 3 ½ month old piglet. While he was fun to have around, he was draining my time too much and there was stuff coming up where I wouldn't be around to take care of him so it was best for both of us to part ways. The picture though is a quick collage I pulled together just to see how he had grown in the time I had him. When I got him he was a half starved couple week old piglet but by the time he left he was quite the porky chap. :)
So reading... actually I've been doing pretty well with it this week. No books finished but I'm almost done with two that I'm reading.

Finished Reading this Week

  • None

Currently Reading

  • Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
  • Prayer  by John Bunyan
  • Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James

Coming Soon

  • Here I stand: The Life of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

Reviews Posted This Week

P.S. Don't forget about signing up for my Re-Reading Challenge and my Birthday Month Reading Challenge.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Book Review: King Solomon's Mines

For my TBR Pile Challenge and my Classics Club challenge, I read H. Rider Haggard's novel
King Solomon's Mines. There's been a lot of movies based off of it apparently but from what I've seen not many good adaptations unfortunately so if you've seen those movies (especially the modern ones) be warned it is different! It isn't a romance at all, it's just a fun British adventure novel.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Touted by its 1885 publisher as “the most amazing story ever written,” King Solomon’s Mines was one of the bestselling novels of the nineteenth century. H. Rider Haggard’s thrilling saga of elephant hunter Allan Quatermain and his search for fabled treasure is more than just an adventure story: as Alexandra Fuller explains in her Introduction, in its vivid portrayal of the alliances and battles of white colonials and African tribesmen, King Solomon’s Mines “brings us the world of extremes, of the absurdly tall tales and of the illogical loyalty between disparate people that still informs this part of the world.”The novel tells of a search of an unexplored region of Africa by a group of adventurers led by Allan Quatermain for the missing brother of one of the party. The men find danger, hardship, myth, lost tribes, cruel kings, and evil sorceress, and overcome all. Through a series of adventures the men escape near-certain death, with pocketfuls of diamonds from "King Solomon’s Mines", enough to make them rich for life. It is the first English adventure novel set in Africa, and is considered to be the genesis of the Lost World literary genre.
I found the book to be light and fun with interesting characters and a good plot. The best part of it was how delightfully British it was. The men were men; gentlemen having a good adventure while rescuing people and discovering treasure. :)
I'd definitely recommend it. :)

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

50 Questions- Classics edition

A fun link up that the Classics Club is doing. :) 
  1. Share a link to your club list. HERE
  2. When did you join The Classics Club? How many titles have you read for the club? (We are SO CHECKING UP ON YOU! Nah. We’re just asking.) I joined in January 2014. I've so far read 20 titles.  :)
  3. What are you currently reading? Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper... and then non club related, Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James (still skeptical about this one), and Prayer by John Bunyan
  4. What did you just finish reading and what did you think of it? I just finished King Solomon's Mines by H. Ryder Haggard and I thought it was pretty good. 
  5. What are you reading next? Why? After I'm done with Last of the Mohicans I need to read Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo and Here I Stand: The Story of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton for my TBR Pile challenge. 
  6. Best book you’ve read so far with the club, and why? Hard question! I'm not sure there is a single answer for it. I loved Little Dorritt and Our Mutual Friend by Dickens, but I also really enjoyed Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South... and then there was... NO! Too many good ones... must resist! 
  7. Book you most anticipate (or, anticipated) on your club list? Probably the aforementioned books and The Princess Bride
  8. Book on your club list you’ve been avoiding, if any? Why? Withering Heights... I've heard negative things about it. 
  9. First classic you ever read? I was raised on classics so I really couldn't say. I know I read The Lord of the Rings when I was seven but that's the only one that comes to my mind right now. I'm sure I read books like Little Women and Anne of Green Gables before that though. 
  10. Toughest classic you ever read? Great Expectations.... I still just get shudders thinking about Miss Havisham. I'm hoping to re-read it next year though so maybe I can garner a greater appreciation for it. 
  11. Classic that inspired you? or scared you? made you cry? made you angry? Inspired me? Hmmm... so deep...  Most of the classics have made me think and inspired me in some way or another. I think though that Pride and Prejudice, will always stick with me the longest.
  12. Longest classic you’ve read? Longest classic left on your club list? That I've read... probably With Fire and Sword, Lord of the Rings, and Anna Karenina. Left to read... War and Peace. 
  13. Oldest classic you’ve read? Oldest classic left on your club list? That I've read? I was going to say Augustine's Confessions but I'm pretty sure I've read stuff by Josephus and then if we want to count the Bible well.... Left on my list? The Shakespeare plays I think. 
  14. Favorite biography about a classic author you’ve read — or, the biography on a classic author you most want to read, if any? I think the only classic author biography I've read is Invincible Lousia, which is about Louisa May Alcott. 
  15. Which classic do you think EVERYONE should read? Why? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen... because it is the BEST! ;) Besidse that though, I think it has a thought provoking plot, characters that will make you laugh, shake your head, and grit your teeth at, and amazingly witty dialogue. 
  16. Favorite edition of a classic you own, if any? Hmmm... Since I've just recently been building up my library of my favorite books, I haven't actually read my copies yet. So I'll go with my parents copies that I grew up with... and that would be our edition of LOTR that had all three together in one beautiful book that now is unfortunately falling to pieces. :(
  17. Favorite movie adaption of a classic? The 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice hands down. There is NO equal! 
  18. Classic which hasn’t been adapted yet (that you know of) which you very much wish would be adapted to film. Good question... I'm not sure which ones haven't been adapted yet...  Thinking... thinking, googling, googling... The Silmarillion. That would be a very cool adaptation... HOWEVER, if Peter Jackson did it, he had better not butcher it like he did The Hobbit. Also, adapting P.G. Wodehouse's Blanding's Castle series would be interesting as well. :)
  19. Least favorite classic? Why? There are those... Probably Ivanhoe, Captain BloodThe Phantom of the Opera, Lorna Doone and The Scarlet Letter. This is why I love Goodreads; instant access to which books I rated lower. 
  20. Name five authors you haven’t read yet whom you cannot wait to read. There are few authors I haven't read yet but I'll put on my thinking cap. These really aren't authors I want to read so much as I'm excited about their books... if that makes sense. ;) John Buchan (39 Steps), Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan of the Apes and Princess of Mars), Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca), Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind), and Flannery O' Conner (The Complete Stories of Flannery O' Conner). 
  21. Which title by one of the five you’ve listed above most excites you and why? Probably Rebecca
  22. Have you read a classic you disliked on first read that you tried again and respected, appreciated, or even ended up loving? (This could be with the club or before it.) Well there are lots I want to re-read to give me a greater appreciation for them. However, this year I did re-read Mary Poppins and Peter Pan, and while I don't recall loving them as a kid, I definitely loved them this second time through. 
  23. Which classic character can’t you get out of your head? Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Knightley. 
  24. Which classic character most reminds you of yourself? I know that answer.... Catherine Morland (from Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey)... much as I hate to admit it... she is very much me. 
  25. Which classic character do you most wish you could be like? Much as I would love to be Eliazabeth Bennett (from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice), I think that it would be better for me to be either Fanny Price (from Jane Austen's Mansfield Park) or Anne Elliot (from Jane Austen's Persuasion). The latter two are just so kind, sweet and selfless. 
  26. Which classic character reminds you of your best friend? Probably Anne Elliot or Fanny Price. She's super sweet, kind and selfless. :) Love ya' eBeth. 
  27. If a sudden announcement was made that 500 more pages had been discovered after the original “THE END” on a classic title you read and loved, which title would you most want to keep reading? Or, would you avoid the augmented manuscript in favor of the original? Why? I don't know about this. Probably would avoid it for the longest time but then give in. I can't chose one. There's no books that really stand out to me as needing more to them. 
  28. Favorite children’s classic? You keep asking for extremes! This is difficult! I'm going to just chose one without overthinking it and say Anne of Green Gables
  29. Who recommended your first classic? My dad. He was always choosing my books when I was growing up and if it wasn't for him I wouldn't have read what I did and wouldn't currently be reading what I am. :)
  30. Whose advice do you always take when it comes to literature. (Recommends the right editions, suggests great titles, etc.) My dad and mom's as well as my siblings. Sometimes I'll take the advice of fellow bloggers. :)
  31. Favorite memory with a classic? Well I cried over Bridge to Terebethia, which is weird because I do NOT get emotional over books or movies. In fact, that's the only one I've ever cried over. 
  32. Classic author you’ve read the most works by? Dickens. 
  33. Classic author who has the most works on your club list? Dickens. Still so many more left to read. 
  34. Classic author you own the most books by? I think Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Shakespeare,Charles Dickens  and Tolkien. 
  35. Classic title(s) that didn’t make it to your club list that you wish you’d included? (Or, since many people edit their lists as they go, which titles have you added since initially posting your club list?) He Knew He was Right, Upstairs Downstairs, Princess of Mars. 
  36. If you could explore one author’s literary career from first publication to last — meaning you have never read this author and want to explore him or her by reading what s/he wrote in order of publication — who would you explore? Obviously this should be an author you haven’t yet read, since you can’t do this experiment on an author you’re already familiar with. :) Or, which author’s work you are familiar with might it have been fun to approach this way? Edgar Rice Burroughs. 
  37. How many rereads are on your club list? If none, why? If some, which are you most looking forward to, or did you most enjoy? None... because there were so many I needed to read I didn't think there was any point in adding ones that I wanted to re-read to an already very long list. 
  38. Has there been a classic title you simply could not finish? I have never not finished a book. 
  39. Has there been a classic title you expected to dislike and ended up loving? Picture of Dorian Grey and Lord of the Flies
  40. Five things you’re looking forward to next year in classic literature? Reading new authors, reading new books, reading, reading reading! ;)
  41. Classic you are DEFINITELY GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year? There's a lot but I really want to get in No Name and Armadale  by Wilkie Collins. I also really need to finish the second part of J.R.R. Tolkien's Book of Lost Tales. I read the first part this summer and then ever got around to the second part. 
  42. Classic you are NOT GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year? War and Peace just might not make it next year... I have goal of 100 books for next year and with that number I may have no time for that chunkster. 
  43. Favorite thing about being a member of the Classics Club? The spins! They challenge me to read books I might not have gotten around to for awhile. :)
  44. List five fellow clubbers whose blogs you frequent. What makes you love their blogs? Karen, Ruth, Elyssa, Julie and just recently Fanda
  45. Favorite post you’ve read by a fellow clubber? I loved Fanda's post with her responses to these questions. 
  46. If you’ve ever participated in a readalong on a classic, tell about the experience? If you’ve participated in more than one, what’s the very best experience? the best title you’ve completed? a fond memory? a good friend made? Never have yet... hopefully someday. :)
  47. If you could appeal for a readalong with others for any classic title, which title would you name? Why? I think Lord of the Rings would be pretty neat. 
  48. How long have you been reading classic literature? Since birth? 
  49. Share up to five posts you’ve written that tell a bit about your reading story. Reviews, journal entries, posts on novels you loved or didn’t love, lists, etc. Here goes! I like my Top Ten Tuesday's list of my Top Ten Classic Books, my Top Ten Tuesday's list of my Top Ten Secondary Characters I Enjoy in Austen, my Top Ten Tuesday Book Quotes, my post about why Jane Austen's novel aren't romance,  and my Eight Must Read Books
  50. Question you wish was on this questionnaire? (Ask and answer it!) A picture of my bookshelf! Cause I'm really proud of it. I reorganized it the other day to accommodate my many more books I'm accumulating. :) 

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Top Ten Tuesday- Top Ten Characters You Wish Would Get Their Own Book

This week for top ten tuesday the topic is "Top ten characters you wish would get their own book".

  1. Luna Lovegood from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series
  2. Merry and Pippin from J.R.R. Tolkien's LOTR
  3. Gandalf from J.R.R. Tolkien's LOTR
  4. Aragorn from J.R.R. Tolkien's LOTR
  5. Legolas and Gimlie from J.R.R. Tolkien's LOTR
  6. Mr. Collins from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice... can you imagine the potential for a satirical novel on Mr. Collins... and Lady Catherine de Bourgh too of course??? :)
  7. Reepicheep from C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia 
  8. Jane Bennet from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
  9. Tom Bombadil from J.R.R. Tolkien's LOTR... though actually I am pretty sure there is a book about him but I haven't read it yet so let's pretend I'm still in ignorance. ;)
  10. Eomer from J.R.R. Tolkien's LOTR
As you can see, my LOTR and Jane Austen love shines ever bright. ;)

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

It's Monday! So it begins...

I'm now officially one test, one pharmacology assessment, one clinical performance examination and one final away from Christmas break! So close... and so far! :( I feel like this whole month is going to be a roller coaster careening right into December and the dreaded finals week... so it begins....
So... on a brighter note... how's reading been going?

Finished this week

  • King Solomon's Mines by H. Ryder Haggard

Currently Reading

  • Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
  • Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James
  • Prayer by John Bunyan

Coming Soon

  • Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo 
  • Here I stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton
We'll see what gets done this week. Last of the Mohicans is kind of a tedious read, and that's from someone who enjoys Dickens, so I'm not sure how long it will take me to read it. I like it so far though, just hard to get into.
On an non book related note, any other Doctor Who fans out there? What did y'all think of the finale? Just watched it today and I'm still not sure how I feel about it... it was kind of heartbreaking... and I don't get emotional over movies/TV shows. If you've seen it you know what I mean. 

Linking up with  Book Journey.

P.S. Be sure to check out my 2015 Hard Core Re-Reading Challenge HERE, and my 2015 Birthday Month Reading Challenge HERE

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I want to Re-read

Now this is a topic near and dear to me! I actually made a list not too long ago of books I want to re-read that is currently 293 books long and still growing (will be posting it in the near future). However, I won't bore you with that list right now and just share the normal ten... and by ten I mean a cheating ten and by cheating ten I mean I may put several books from one author on the list and count it as one. ;)
If you are interested in doing a heavy duty re-reading challenge in 2015 I have opened up the sign-up page for my 2015 Hard Core Re-Reading Challenge and you can view it HERE.
  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee- I re-watched the movie recently and it just gave me a yearning to re-read the book. I remember enjoying it when I first read it but I think I could get a lot more out of it now. 
  2. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain- I read them back in the day and I'd like to re-read them now. I remember enjoying Huckleberry Finn but I don't remember enjoying Tom Sawyer as much.
  3. David Copperfield and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens- Two of Dickens' novels that I wasn't as crazy about when I read them but they are two of the first I read so I'd like to give them another chance as they are some of the most highly acclaimed. Plus, David Copperfield is one of my Dad's favorite books and he thinks that my not loving it as he does is a serious character deficit. ;) Since my Dad is normally an excellent judge of books, I feel that probably I should give it another try. :)
  4.  Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul- This book made a big impact on my spiritual life back when I read it my freshman year of high school and I would love to re-read it now that I'm older. 
  5. Little Britches and others in series by Ralph Moody- These are essentially the male version of Little House in the Big Woods. I enjoyed them as a kid but never read the last three so I'd like to re-read these so I can read the last three with more understanding. Plus, they are great books so I want to re-read them anyways. :)
  6. Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss- I've mentioned my wanting to re-read this a few times here on the blog but essentially my reasoning is that I didn't like it when I first read it several years ago but my siblings insist it is an exceptional book so I'm going to try to re-read it. I think part of the reason I disliked it is because it is one of the few books I read after watching the movie and I loved the movie and the book and the movie are just not the same. 
  7. Emma by Jane Austen- This is the only novel of Jane Austen's that I'm not absolutely in love with. I love the Kate Beckinsdale movie but the book I just found somewhat tedious. Not saying at all that I didn't like it, I just did not enjoy it as much as Austen's other books. Mr. Knightley is almost my favorite of Austen's heroes. I have been assured by my brother though that it is better with a re-read so I am going to try that. 
  8. Little Women and other in series by Louise May Alcott- Such as classic and one that I have always loved. I'm not re-reading this one because I'm trying to like it better but because I love it so much. :)
  9. Howard Pyle's The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood and The Story of King Arthur and His Knights and Roger Lancelyn Green's King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table and The Adventures of Robin Hood. These books are how I came to know of the legends of Robin hood and King Arthur as a kid. Watching The Adventures of Merlin has reminded me how little I recall. So I'd like to re-read them to refresh my memory. 
  10. P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster novels- I don't think there are words to describe the wonders of Wodehouse's novels. Pretty much they are just classic, amazing british humor at its absolute best. It's been awhile since I've read his Jeeves and Woosters series so I would love to re-read those. 
There's so many more books I'm dying to re-read but these are my top ones.
Again, if you have a long list of re-reads you want to tackle next year be sure to go to THIS blog post to sign up for my re-reading challenge. 
I'm also hosting the 2015 Birthday Month Reading Challenge and you can check that out HERE.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Classics Club Spin #3

Time for another Classics Club spin! If you are unfamiliar with how classics club spins work, basically I am going to make a list of twenty books from my Classics Club book list and next Monday The Classics Club is going to "spin" a number and whatever book it is that corresponds with the number on my book list I will have to read before January 5, 2015. This has always challenged me to read something maybe I was putting off to read and is tons of fun. :)
So here's my list!

Books I'm dreading

1) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
2) The Divine Comedy by Dante
3) Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
4) Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
5) War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Books I'm neutral about

6) Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
7) Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
8) Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs 
9) The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
10) Dracula by Bram Stoker
11) The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
12) The 39 Steps by John Buchan
13) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
14) The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
15) An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

Books I'm excited about! 

16) Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw
17) Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesslinger
18) The Way we Live Now by Anthony Trollope
19) Armadale by Wilkie Collins
20) No Name by Wilkie Collins

I'm excited to see what I get so check back Monday to see the result of the spin! 

P.S. Be sure to check out the two reading challenges I am hosting for 2015! The Hard Core Re-Reading Challenge HERE, and the Birthday Month Reading Challenge HERE

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