Tuesday, August 28, 2018


At some point reality has to set in and I think it's finally set in for me. Back in 2014 I set up my Classics Club list and made a goal to finish my list of books by January 2019. Due to some lazy reading, pregnancy and baby I've fallen behind enough so that I just am not going to make that goal. 2020 is a nice even number though right? So my new goal for my Classics Club is January 2020. I've realized recently that I have gotten so bogged down in my Classics Club list that I haven't been taking the time to enjoy some lighter reads. Just last week I sat down and re-read The Blue Castle for my book club and it was such a wonderful reading experience. I think I need to have more reading times like that. If I read one chunky classic after another of course I'm not going to want to read as much. I need breaks. I still love my classics and I always will but just reading classics isn't healthy. I want to enjoy reading again.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Book Review- Just So Stories

For the Back to the Classics Challenge I re-read Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Kipling's own drawings, with their long, funny captions, illustrate his hilarious explanations of How the Camel Got His Hump, How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin, How the Armadillo Happened, and other animal How's. He began inventing these stories in his American wife's hometown of Brattleboro, Vermont, to amuse his eldest daughter--and they have served ever since as a source of laughter for children everywhere.
I read this one for book club but I was so excited to read it as I hadn't read it since I was a kid and the version I read was a kid's version so I was excited to get the "real" version. Just So Stories is full of fun little stories about how different animals got their different characteristics... for example how the elephant got its trunk, which was one of my favorite stories. It also had a story about how the written language came about. The stories are fun and witty. The pictures are great and their captions are even better! It was great to revisit this collection of short stories. It had been a long time since I'd read any Kipling (since Jungle Book year and years ago) but it's prompted me to start Kim, which I'm enjoying so far. I look forward to reading more of his books.

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Monday, July 30, 2018

It's Monday! Lazy Reading

I haven't put out an It's Monday post in quite a while now! Honestly I've barely been reading recently.  I was doing a lot of reading while nursing but of late I've been watching Netflix instead. I'm throughly ashamed of myself! I really need to get back in a groove as I still have over twenty books left on my Classics Club list and only until January to read them. I know it won't be the end of the world if I finish them after my deadline but I'd really like to.
So here's what's been up in my reading world in the last few weeks.

Finished in the last few weeks

  • The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield
  • The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (audiobook) 
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (book club pick)

Currently Reading 

  • Kim by Rudyard Kipling (audiobook)
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky 
  • Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • God Is by Mark Jones 
I need to finish some of these before I start anything new I think. I do have a Classics Club spin coming up I'll be participating in that I'll start something new for but that should be it for right now.

And to wrap up here's a few pictures of my little time stealer.

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Classics Club Spin July 2018

Another Classics Club Spin which I desperately need to compete in because I'm falling dreadfully behind in my list. Cause I'm lazy I just took the books from my last list, took out what I've started/finished since and then replaced those. So it's pretty much the same with just a few subtractions and additions. And that last sentence sounded very mathematical. Dear me!
Anyways be sure to check out the challenge HERE. It's always lots of fun. If you aren't yet a part of the Classics Club what are you even doing? Join now! They've recently been doing some revamping and are still in the process so it's going to be even bigger and better! What better time to join in the fun!?
  1. Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane by P.L. Travers
  2. Mary Poppins and the House Next Door by P.L. Travers
  3. The 39 Steps by John Buchan 
  4. Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson 
  5. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  6. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
  7. Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
  8. Cyarno de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
  9. Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
  10. Beau Geste by P.C. Wren
  11. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  12. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson 
  13. The Red and the Black by Stendhal 
  14. The Epic of Gilgamesh 
  15. Richard III by William Shakespeare 
  16. Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring
  17. Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare
  18. They Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charle Dickens 
  19. The Tempest by William Shakespeare 
  20. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare 
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Monday, June 11, 2018

It's Monday! I Baptize Thee a Hobbit!

These past couple weeks I've been reading a lot and I'm almost caught up to be on track with my Goodreads goal to complete 50 books this year! The year is not over yet and there's many more books  to be read! I can't wait! I'd left a lot of my scary Classics Club books until the end but I'm actually enjoying a lot of them!
Our little Hobbit was baptized this past Sunday. It was a beautiful covenant celebration with the church and family. As a classic procrastinator I finished her baptism gown and cardigan the night before her baptism!

Our little Hobbit in her baptism gown.

Currently Reading

  • The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield
  • Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky 
  • The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (audiobook) 
  • God Is by Mark Jones

Finished Recently 

  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison 

Coming Soon

  • Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare 
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (book club pick!)
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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Book Review- The Portrait of a Lady

For the Classics Club I read Henry James novel The Portrait of a Lady.
Synopsis from Goodreads: When Isabel Archer, a beautiful, spirited American, is brought to Europe by her wealthy Aunt Touchett, it is expected that she will soon marry. But Isabel, resolved to determine her own fate, does not hesitate to turn down two eligible suitors. She then finds herself irresistibly drawn to Gilbert Osmond, who, beneath his veneer of charm and cultivation, is cruelty itself. A story of intense poignancy, Isabel's tale of love and betrayal still resonates with modern audiences.
I didn't know anything about The Portrait of a Lady before I read it so had no idea what to expect. I ended up enjoying it though hand I hope to read more of Henry James in the future. I'm surprised I did enjoy it though as it did not have a happy ending and most of the characters left a lot to be desired.
You are immediately drawn to the protagonist, Isabel. She is kindhearted and independent. Her cousin  Ralph convince his father to leave her the majority of his fortune on his death. This causes her independent spirit to have independent means. Unfortunately she is taken in by the conniving Gilbert Osmond who she marries. What ensues is a miserable marriage, which becomes more and more miserable as the story unfolds. Before attaining the fortune Isabel turned down two offers of marriage. I wasn't terribly fond of Caspar Goodwood, Isabel's American suitor. He's horribly pushy and annoying. I did like Lord Warburton, Isabel's English suitor, for the most part but he had some issues as well. Overall though my favorite suitor was not even really her suitor... her cousin Ralph. You know he loves her, though the story is not quite clear if he loves her as a cousin or as a lover. His selflessness truly makes him the best character in the story.
The most despicable character in the story is clearly Gilbert Osmond. He's narcissistic, controlling and cruel. He takes this out the most on Isabel but he also is horrible to his sweet and submissive daughter Pansy. I hated him and while I'll never be a fan of divorce I was begging Isabel to leave him.
There's even more interesting characters in the story that I don't have the time to cover. Henry James truly created a fascinating story especially in his characters but also in his plot that will surprise you as it unfolds.
Even though there isn't a happy ending I would definitely recommend this book.

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Monday, June 4, 2018

It's Monday! Road Trip with a Baby

Over Memorial Day weekend we went up to Minnesota to introduce our little Hobbit to family. It was a great trip but quite the experience with a baby. You've never road tripped until you've road tripped with a baby. It takes ten times longer! Thankfully she does travel pretty well and mostly sleeps in between feedings. It did give me a little more time to read though as thankfully she does sleep well in the car. Thank goodness I'm having the time to read because the Classics Club deadline is approaching faster then I'd like!

Currently Reading

  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes
  • The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (audiobook)
  • God Is by Mark Jones

Recently Finished

  • Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling (book club pick)
  • The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
  • Intensity by Dean Koontz
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (FINALLY!!!!)

Coming Soon

  • Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare
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Friday, June 1, 2018

20 Books of Summer 2018

I participated in the 20 Books of Summer challenge back in 2015 and somehow have missed participating in it again up until now! It's hosted by 746 Books and is just a fun way to set a goal of reading 20 books for the summer.
So here's my list of 20 books I'd like to complete this summer. Most of these are from my Classics Club list that I need to finish up but there's also some other books mixed in there so I don't get bored. Not that classics are boring but I just need some variety.
  1. Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare
  2. Richard III by William Shakespeare 
  3. Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson 
  4. Moby Dick by Herman Melville 
  5. The 39 Steps by John Buchan 
  6. The Mystery of Edwin Drood
  7. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky 
  8. The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  9. Cyarno de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
  10. East of Eden by John Steinbeck 
  11. Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes 
  12. Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
  13. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
  14. At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon
  15. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
  16. Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer WOrth
  17. Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth
  18. The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum 
  19. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  20. The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs  
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Friday, May 25, 2018

Book Review- The White Company

For the Classics Club I read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel The White Company.
Synopsis from Goodreads: "Now order the ranks, and fling wide the banners, for our souls are God's and our bodies the king's, and our swords for Saint George and for England!" With that rousing proclamation, twelve hundred knights ride into battle, accompanied by the stalwart archers known as the White Company. Fueled by their appetite for glory, this motley crew of freebooters stands united in their unswerving devotion to the company commander, Sir Nigel Loring. Short, bald, and extremely nearsighted, Sir Nigel's unprepossessing appearance belies his warrior's heart and his chivalrous nature. The rollicking adventures of his company during the Hundred Years War center around Sir Nigel's loyal squire, Alleyne Edricson. Raised in the sheltered confines of a monastery, young Alleyne comes of age amid the rough-and-tumble of armed conflict and the bewildering ways of courtly love.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is of course most famously known for creating the iconic Sherlock Holmes. However, he also wrote other novels including the historical novel The White Company.
The protagonist Alleyne, is a young man who grew up in a monastery but now has taken to the world. He joins up with the noble knight Sir Nigel and becomes his squire, while simultaneously falling in love with Sir Nigel's feisty daughter. Sir Nigel takes a group of men, entitled the White Company, out into battle and Alleyne joins them. What ensues is a series of adventures that keeps you entertained throughout.
If you enjoy good swashbuckler you'll find The White Company right up your alley. There's noble knights, fair maidens, sword fights, jousting and everything else in-between. It kind of makes me think of Robin Hood, Ivanhoe, Waverly The Scarlet Pimpernel and those sorts of books. There's almost an aspect of King Arthur in it too in how they go questing. Overall fun and would recommend!

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Book Review- The Grand Sophy

It's been my goal to read one of Georgette Heyer's books for a few years now and with reading The Grand Sophy I finally have completed that goal!
Synopsis from Goodreads: Resourceful, adventurous and utterly indefatigable, Sophy is hardly the mild-mannered girl that the Rivenhalls expect when they agree to take her in. Kind-hearted Aunt Lizzy is shocked; stern Cousin Charles and his humorless fiancée Eugenia are disapproving.With her inimitable mixture of exuberance and grace Sophy soon sets about endearing herself to her family, but finds herself increasingly drawn to her cousin. Can she really be falling in love with him, and he with her? And what of his betrothal to Eugenia?
I've often heard Georgette Heyer compared to Jane Austen... which I can understand.... though Georgette Heyer is like the not as talented cousin of Jane Austen. Many of the same aspects are there: interesting characters, wit, romance and an interesting plot. Jane Austen just does it better... I would also say there's a certain amount of depth to her books.... a knowledge of people that she infuses in to her books... that is lacking in Heyer's novels. However, Heyer's books... at least so far as I can tell from The Grand Sophy... are still quite enjoyable.... though I would say rather a guilty pleasure. However, it's probably not fair to compare the two authors. They are both good in their own right.
So... how did I feel about The Grand Sophy? I loved it! More then I though I would. In fact I felt guilty for how much I enjoyed it. It wasn't great literature but it was just fun! I loved Sophy herself and I see myself a bit in her. Sophy is unconventional, she's fun but she still somehow keep her head on straight (for the most part). Everyone can't help but love her even when they're frustrated with her! She was maddening at times and often she left me questioning her ideas but she always came out on top. The other characters were great as well. Cousin Charles really grows on you as the story progresses and you can totally see where THAT is going. Eugenia is dreadfully dull... she kind of makes me think of Mary Bennet. Augustus Fawnhope is a riot! He's a poet in the true Wodehouse sense. Lord Charlebury is such a good egg. I like him a lot. How dare he succumb to mumps while courting Cecelia though?
This was such a fun and outlandish book and I'd recommend it all around. I can't wait to read more Georgette Heyer!

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