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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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday FREEBIE!!!

This week's Top Ten Tuesday theme over at Broke and Bookish is a freebie!!!! I wasn't sure what exactly what I wanted to do but as I look back over my lists over the years most of time they are permeated by classics because that's what I mostly read. So today for this freebie theme I thought I would make a list of my Top Ten Favorite Modern Books! By modern I mean in the last couple decades.... in other words... for me, not a classic.... yet! I'm also excluding non-fiction to make my choosing easier. I'm also excluding books published posthumously (ahem Tolkien).
This post is for those of you who for some reason are reading my blog but don't like classics. I made this for you. ;)

  1. The Giver (whole series) by Lois Lowry 
  2. Rakkety Tamm (whole Redwall series) by Brian Jacques 
  3. Harry Potter (whole series) by J.K. Rowling
  4. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith 
  5. Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card
  6. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
  7. Odd Thomas and Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
  8. Binding of the Blades series by L.B. Graham
  9. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak 
  10. On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (whole series) by Andrew Peterson
  11. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  12. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  13. The Martian by Andy Weir 
  14. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Could I actually narrow it down to ten? No! Do I ever? No! It was incredibly hard to get this list down to just fourteen. I drew a line at 1990, which helped a little bit. 


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Monday, January 23, 2017

It's Monday! Back to Tea

A couple months ago my parents started complaining I had too much tea (true) and that I never drank it (unfortunately also true). To prove them wrong I started drinking my tea again and to my delight I have rediscovered my first love... tea. I've finished a few of the boxes of tea already, another win so my parents won't complain I have too much. However, last evening I bought another box of tea... it was only one though!
Anyways.... reading.

Currently Reading

  • Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey

Finished in the past couple weeks

  • The Bourne Supremacy 
  • Cousin Phyllis by Elizabeth Gaskell (audiobook)
  • The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde 

Coming Soon

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events- The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (I read the first book years and years ago and now I'm watching it on Netflix and it's making me want to read the whole series now!)
I'm not sure what else is to come next. I really want to finish Total Truth before I start another non-fiction book but it's pretty long so that may take me awhile. I'll also be starting a new audiobook soon but I'm not sure which one yet. 

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

Almost exactly four years ago my grandma had a stroke. Last week she passed away. In a way it was a relief. She has suffered so much since her stroke and it gives me great joy to know she is not suffering anymore. I derive the greatest joy though from knowing that she is with Christ in heaven.
Grandma was an incredible women. She was the third of fifteen children and naturally helped raise the younger ones. She got her teaching degree and went on to teach a couple of years before meeting my grandpa and marrying him. Grandpa and her celebrated sixty years of marriage, had three children and fourteen grandchildren. Shortly after their sixtieth anniversary grandpa passed away. A couple months ago grandma got to rejoice in her first two great-grandchildren. Grandma found her greatest joy in caring for people. Besides faithfully serving her family, Grandma also served her church and community. She taught Sunday school for about fifty years and was involved in the children's ministry at her church in many other ways as well.
Growing up I remember how patient and self-sacrificing she was. When the family was together for a week she would make three full meals a day BY HERSELF for all twenty plus of us. It was only in the last couple years before her stroke that she would let any of us help her and even then only a little.
There's so much more I could say about my grandmother but I would just echo what my uncle said in her eulogy... Not one of us, her husband, children and grandchildren would be where they are today if it hadn't been for her. It is without a doubt that when she passed away God welcomed her into heaven saying "Well done, good and faithful servant."

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Monday, January 2, 2017

It's Monday! All Things New

It's Monday and a New Year! Currently I'm gone skiing in Colorado with the family and some friends. With the road trip I should be reading a fair amount.
I love the newness of the new year (yeah that sentence read weird). I feel like I can dive into reading with a fresh perspective and renewed energy. I'm excited to see what reading goals I complete this coming year.
A local used bookstore was having an after Christmas sale so naturally I bought more books. A lot of Wodehouse and some Trollope too! I just love books. :)

Currently Reading

  • The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum 
  • Sacred Marriage by Gary L. Thomas
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey

Finished this Past Week

  • none :(

Coming Soon

  • The Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard 
  • The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum 
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Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 End of Year Book Survey

Once again this year I'm linking up with Jamie at the Perpetual Page Turner for the end of the year book survey.

Number Of Books You Read: 78
Number of Re-Reads: 29
Genre You Read The Most From: I'm not sure. I don't separate my books out like that normally. I'd guess fantasy/sci-fi though between re-reading LOTR, Chronicles of Narnia and reading The Lunar Chronicles.

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

Non-fiction- The Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin and runner up would be The Sovereignty of God by Arthur W. Pink. I read a lot of really good non-fiction this year so it's hard to narrow down.
Fiction- The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Re-read- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (Obviously!)

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens. Easily my least favorite Dickens I've ever read.

 

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Dracula by Bram Stoker. I wasn't sure quite what to expect but the few expectations I had quickly dissolved. I liked this much more than I anticipated I possibly could.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I don't push a lot of people to read books I like because I feel I have too eclectic and old taste in books that they won't enjoy them. However I did get a friend to read Pride and Prejudice and my little sister read The Blue Castle. I suppose you could say I got a lot of people to read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children because I chose it for book club but I hadn't even read it either at that point. 
 

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Best series I started? Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle. I can't wait for N.D. Wilson to put out more in this series!

Best sequel of 2016? Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Best series ender of 2016? Son by Lois Lowry and Winter by Marissa Meyer
 

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Fiction- Elizabeth Wein with Code Name Verity

Non-Fiction- Arthur W. Pink with The Sovereignty of God
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I read a good handful outside of my comfort zone this year and many were quite good. I enjoyed the Lunar Chronicles and the Martian, which would fall in the sci-fi genre I think and that's not a genre I normally read.
 

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Probably Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.
 

 9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Without a doubt The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I've already wanted to re-read it THIS year! I loved it so much. READ IT!!!!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

Outlaws of Time by N.D. Wilson. Before I read it I was entirely intrigued just by the cover!!! 


 

11. Most memorable character of 2016?

Mark Watney and Jason Bourne... who coincidentally are both played by Matt Damon in the film versions.
 

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

Re-Read- The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien and then The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

First time read- All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

Non-Fiction- The Sovereignty of God by Arthur W. Pink, Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert  and Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts from an Unlikely Convert both by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield.

Fiction- The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
 

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

So many! Namely- The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Matilda by Roald Dahl, Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert  and Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts from an Unlikely Convert both by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield. 
 

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016? 

I don't keep track of favorite quotes as well as I used to but this is one I really appreciated. 
"I think that too many young Christians fornicators plan that marriage will redeem their sin. Too many young Christians masturbators will redeem their patterns. Too many young Christian internet pornographers think that having legitimate sex will take away the desire to have illicit sex. They're wrong. And the marriages that result from this line of thinking are dangerous places. I know, I told my audience why over 50% of Christian marriages end in divorce; because Christians act as though marriage redeems sin. Marriage does not redeem sin. Only Jesus himself can do that."- Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield 

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?


Shortest Book- Lady Susan by Jane Austen (re-read) 89 pages

Longest Book- Winter by Marissa Meyer 832 pages

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

I don't think any books really shocked per say this year but there were some that surprised me. I think probably Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein did that the most.
 

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Barney and Valancy from The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery!!!!!!
 

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Verity and Maddie from Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Of course Sam and Frodo and Legolas and Gimli are some other favorites but I've LOTR so many times I'm not sure they technically count anymore.
 

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Still The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery!!!!
 

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

The Blue Castle by Lucy maud Montgomery! My fellow classics loving bloggers recommended it and obviously from this post it's a favorite.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

Captain Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles probably. Also Barney from The Blue Castle.
 

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

I only read one 2016 book and that was Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle by N.D. Wilson, which I loved.
 

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Besides my LOTR/Silmarillion re-read this year of course cause that's the best world building you will EVER see.... Besides that.... Probably the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.
 

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Matilda by Roald Dahl, Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw (re-read) and once again THE BLUE CASTLE!!!!
 

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

I'm not a crier. The Blue Castle did almost make me cry... a happy cry though.
 

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Would I be sued if once again I said THE BLUE CASTLE!!!! Probably... so I'll go with Son by Lois Lowry.
 

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

No book particularly crushed my soul but I guess the closest would be Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

The Complete Stories of Flannery O Conner. Her stories are so bizarre and unique that you're not sure whether to love or hate them. Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs was also quite unique.
 

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. It made me mad because it was poetry and for the most part I dislike poetry. Honestly I should have just not read it. 

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?

Lover of Lembas!!! Check it out!
 

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?

I don't know! I'm not particularly fond of my reviewing capabilities. I guess I'll go with my review for Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield and then just because The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery because I love that book so much I'm sure the review I wrote of it is spectacular too!!!
 

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Bout of Books!
 

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?

Having my fifth blogiversary this past January!
 

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Learning to let go and recommit. See this post HERE

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

According to my blogging stats my film review of Love and Friendship.
 

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

None. They've all been pretty well loved.
 

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I loved discovering new blogs this year and of course Thrift Books... an online used bookstore and very dangerous for me.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

See referenced post in question six of this section. I completed some of my reading challenges but not all. I originally set a Goodreads goal of 105 books but then lowered it to 80 books but I didn't make it there either. That's okay. Letting go. :) 
looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde and The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

The Door Before by N.D. Wilson (100 Cupboards prequel!) and Outlaws of Time: The Song of Glory and Ghost by N.D. Wilson. 
 

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I don't really keep track of debuts so none so far.
 

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

As mentioned above. Outlaws of Time: The Song of Glory and Ghost by N.D. Wilson
 

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

Read more non-fiction, find joy in my reading and blogging and not over commit myself.
 

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

None.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Top Ten Favorite Reads of 2016

This week's Top Ten Tuesday theme is my top ten favorite reads of 2016. It's always hard to chose favorites but I finally narrowed it down and by narrowed it down I mean I had to go with thirteen not ten and even then it was excruciatingly hard!!!! They're in no particular order except the order I read them in.
  1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  2. Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange 
  3. What does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality by Kevin DeYoung
  4. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  5. Son by Lois Lowry
  6. The Martian by Andy Weir
  7. The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  8. The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert  AND Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts from an Unlikely Covert by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
  9. The Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin
  10. The Sovereignty of God by Arthur W. Pink 
  11. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  12. Craving Grace by Ruthie Delk
  13. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler 
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