Friday, October 31, 2014

Book Review- Harry Potter (Re-Read)

For my re-reading challenge this year I re-read all of the Harry Potter books, not that I needed to, I've done it many times before. However, I also had to write a review for them for my my re-reading challenge and that is something I have never done before. I have mixed feelings on so much from these books but I also love them so much. Therefore, my review may be jumbled. Basically, I'm going to talk about the aspects I didn't like and assume I loved everything else. :)

First things first, I am a Christian and yes I read Harry Potter. I happen to think that the Christians that don't read Harry Potter have somewhat valid concerns, however, in my opinion if you read them with a discerning mind knowing that these books are just like any other fantasy... not real, there is little there for concern. I will probably not give my young children Harry Potter... I will probably wait until they are older or at least if they are younger read it with them so we can talk through some of the issues it presents. I read them when I was a teenager and I think that was a good age to enjoy them at while still being discerning.

So a few thoughts on the books. One of my least favorite aspects of the later books (starting in the fourth book) is their incorporation of teenager love stuff. Not that I mind there being romance in the books, just that it was too mushy, silly and over the top. On that note, I am glad that everyone ended up marrying who they did. Ron and Hermione were meant for each other no matter what J.K. Rowling says! Harry and Ginny were nice together as well though I agree with my brother in that Luna Lovegood and Harry could have worked together. I'm not sold on Ginny... I think Hermione telling her to move on from Harry was a good idea but then dating multiple other guys to get to him seemed a little ridiculous to me. However, it all turned out in the end and I'm happy with it. :)

Now I would love to hear your opinions on Snape. All through the series J.K. Rowling drove you crazy trying to figure out if he was good or bad. His story shocked me at the end I must say but I liked it. However, I don't get people liking Snape and thinking he was so romantic loving Lilly Potter all these years because frankly I thought it was rather creepy and I thought all the time that he knew her when she was living he was kind of creepy about her. Yes, he was very brave and he made the right decisions in the end, but did he make them for the right reasons? Food for thought.

I don't really have a favorite of the novels. I really love them all. The fifth was my favorite for a long time but I just can't chose anymore. I think maybe I do prefer the later ones though, despite my quibbles with their romanticism that I mentioned above. J.K. Rowling could have definitely done some tighter writing to make them shorter though... maybe left out some mushy yuck? ;) The first one though always has a special place in my heart. I feel it has more of the british humor in them that I so enjoy. It's lighter, it's more magical, it's that first glimpse into the whole magical world that Harry is entering and it's our first glimpse as well. That line "You're a wizard Harry" was the beginning of such a great adventure!

As for the movies I want to re-watch them again now that I've re-read the books but I don't really have time (which never seems to stop me though). However, from what I recall, I like the first and second, the third is pretty good but then as the books get longer the movies start having trouble accommodating, which isn't necessarily the filmmakers fault... there was a lot to incorporate into the films but maybe they should have done two parters with others besides the last. Four was okay, five made me mad and six didn't make me happier but I felt that the seventh was pretty well done as they did it in two parts. There was just too much left out of five and six and it came back to bite them later.  There was too much left out of all of them in my opinion and it came back to bite them for those too but especially in five and six. All in all though they are pretty good films. I am a book purist so don't listen to me when you want an opinion on a book to film adaptation as normally it's negative. ;) One specific note I want to make on them are that I think they didn't do justice to Ron's character and that makes me unhappy. :(

So there's my thoughts on Harry Potter. :) I'd love to hear your thoughts too so please comment!

P.S. Check back tomorrow for an important post!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Top Ten Characters I Would Want to be for Halloween

I don't really celebrate Halloween (except candy of course, any excuse to eat candy ;)) but if I could, here are my top ten characters that I would dress up as for Halloween.


  1. Eowyn or Arwen from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings
  2. Anne Shirley from L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series
  3. Lizzie Bennett from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
  4. Mary Poppins from P.L. Travers Mary Poppins series
  5. A hobbit from Tolkien's The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings
  1. Clara Oswin Oswald from the T.V. Show Dr. Who
  2. Amelia Pond from the T.V. Show Dr. Who
  3. A Weeping Angel from the T.V. Show Dr. Who
  4. The T.A.R.D.I.S. from the T.V. Show Dr. Who
  5. Rapunzel from Disney's Tangled (after her hair's been cut obviously) ;)

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Ten New Series (Books) I Want to Start

If you've been following my blog for awhile you'll know that I don't really read new books... I just don't. So this list of my top ten new series books I want to start is more of a hypothetical "if I had to read a new book this is what I would read" kind of list, though some of these I do think maybe someday I'll read. Don't get me wrong, I do read some modern books, but not a ton. The old stuff is pretty much always better. :)

  1.  Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
  2. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker- This is a book that I actually do want to read
  3. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)- Passively interested in reading this just because it's J.K. Rowling. 
  4. The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan
  5. Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston- Looks like a spin off of Ender's Game with Mazer Rackham... this I could actually seriously be interested in reading. 
  6. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer- Actually kind of interested in reading these... I've heard a lot of good things about them. 
  7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  8. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  9. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  10. Elizabeth is Missing- the psychological part from a nursing perspective kind of intrigues me. 
So do you all have any advice for modern books for someone who is almost strictly a classics reader? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts. :)

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

It's Monday! (And reading took the back burner)

I had a test this last week that I went crazy studying for so the reading I got done was super limited. It was even my school's fall break but I was so focused on studying that there was no difference for me. :( Pretty much the extent of my reading was doing a little of my re-reading through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. I'm still currently reading John Bunyan's book Prayer but besides that nil for this week. :( Hopefully though I can get a little more reading in this week betwixt my school.
How about y'all?
Linking up with Book Journey.

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Ultimate Book Tag

I was tagged by KayCee K at Wonder Struck to do the Ultimate Book Tag! Thanks KayCee K!
I'm going to tag: Smiling Shelves, Once Upon a Twilight, Chased by My Imagination, Nut Free Nerd, Spoonful of Happy Endings, Caffeinated Life, Reviews from a Bookworm, Jayne's Books, I Wished I Lived in a Library, Turn the Page Reviews, and Ravens and Writing Desks. If I didn't tag you but you'd like to join in feel free to! :)

1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Not normally.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

J.R.R. Tolkien definitely! He really gave birth to modern Fantasy.

3. Harry Potter series or the Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.

Harry Potter - 1. I haven't read Twilight. ;) 2. The characters are really well developed and well written. 3. The plot is interesting and keeps you guessing until the end.

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is it in (besides books…)?

A backpack yes, a bag just for my books... no.

5. Do you smell your books?

Absolutely! I love the smell of old books. :)

6. Books with or without little illustrations?

I don't care. If it has illustrations that's fine and if it doesn't that's fine too. :)

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?

There are definitely some children's books that have stuck with me through the years and have superior writing but there are some that reading back over them after being older I see their inferior writing. Those would probably be The Homeschool Detective Books, The Boxcar Children books and The Happy Hollister Books... I guess probably The Hardy Boy books too but I don't want to admit it! I still would re-read those books. :)

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

I can't think of any off the top of my head but I'm sure there are.

9. What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

Doctor Seus's ABCs... I got my own copy at an antique shop earlier this year. :)

10. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

My copy of Little Women is I think the thickest... not sure why.

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?

Yes. Not really at all right now besides my bog as I'm busy with school.

12. When did you get into reading?

Since birth practically. My parents read to us until we could read, which I was starting to around three or four. By around five or six I was reading pretty much exclusively on my own.

13. What is your favorite classic book?

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

14. In school was your best subject Language Arts/English?

Probably. I didn't really have a best subject. What I liked the best was reading, history, Spanish and English. I still think it is weird I ended up in a science field. :)

15. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated…what would you do?

People that give me books normally know me well enough to not give me one I will hate. If they did, I guess I would just put it on my shelf and someday when I was bored, if I felt like it was worth giving it a second chance, I would read it again. If not, there it would stay most likely.

16. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or theHunger Games?

I haven't read The Hunger Games but I have read Harry Potter and I guess a lesser known series that I would say is somewhat similar to it is The Binding of the Blades series by L.B. Graham.

17. What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while blogging?

Probably not being consistent with my blogging.

18. What is your favorite word?

I got through cycles of having favorite words. It was "beguiling" for awhile,

19. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

I'm not up on all of the differences between these so I'm just going to go out on a limb and say geek... even though that's not on the list. I'm just getting into sic-fi with Doctor Who and Stargate: Atlantis and of course I've always enjoyed Star Wars. I also like fantasy such as Lord of the Rings.

20. Vampires or Fairies? Why?

Fairies. Because I don't like Vampires and I had to chose. ;) Besides that though, I read a lot of fairy tales growing up so I've always enjoyed reading about them. :)

21. Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?

Weeping Angels... Sorry, just went all Doctor Who on you guys. :) They're one of my favorite "villains" from Doctor Who.

22. Spirits or Werewolves? Why?

Werewolves! Cause of Doctor Who. Tooth and Claw is a great episode!

23. Zombies or Vampires?


24. Love Triangle or Forbidden Love

No love triangles please! I'm not crazy about forbidden love either though but when it comes to choosing I guess it's forbidden love.

25. AND FINALLY: Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

Action packed with a few love scenes mixed in.

If I tagged you, or if you just want to hop in and answer the questions anyways, please answer the questions in a blog post and comment with a link so I can see what you said. :)
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Top Ten Places Books have made me want to Visit

Now this is a subject I feel passion about! Best part of it is that it can be real or (bum bum bum) FICTIONAL!!!!
  1. Middle Earth- Read Lord of the Rings and oh my I just want to go there! The movies' beautiful scenery doesn't help my longing. 
  2. England- All of Jane Austen's novels and any other novels set there. I want to go there so bad!!!!!!!
  3. Oz- From of course The Wonderful Wizard of Oz series. Those were my favorites as a kid! 
  4. Hogwarts- From the Harry Potter series. :)
  5. Redwall, Salamandastron, ect- From Brian Jacques's Redwall series Another favorite from when I was young. 
  6. Scotland- From G.A. Henty's In Freedom's Cause
  7. Botswana- From The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
  8. Mary Poppin Land- Is that a place? Just wherever Mary Poppins goes... it's always amazing! 
  9. Narnia- From C.S. Lewi's Chronicles of Narnia
  10. Neverland- From J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. I'd never have to grow up! Wishful thinking I know. However, growing up I must do, much as I do not want to. On a more serious note, I think a serious problem with our society is people never wanting to grow up. Thoughts on that?
So many of these are fictional... obviously I'm not fond of reality. ;)

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Monday! Studying and... reading? (ain't nobody got time for that!)

So I should be studying, but instead I read. I tell myself that it's "reading in my spare time" but it seems to cause a lot of spare time. Anyways... test this Thursday so probably I should focus more on the studying and less on the reading.

Finished this week

  • None

Currently Reading

  • Prayer by John Bunyan
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows by J.K. Rowling

Coming soon

  • That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • King Solomon's Mines by Hagard????
  • Last of the Mohicans  by ???
  • Here I stand: The Life of Martin Luther by ???

Blog Posts this Week

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Book Review: Perelandra

Finally I have gotten around to reading the second in C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy after having read the first twice. 
Here's the synopsis from Goodreads: The second novel in Lewis's science fiction trilogy tells of Dr Ransom's voyage to the planet of Perelandra (Venus). Dr Ransom is sent by the Elida to Perelandra (Venus) to battle against evil incarnate and preserve a second Eden from the evil forces present in the possessed body of his enemy, Weston. Through these works, Lewis explores issues of good and evil, and his remarkable and vividly imaginative descriptions of other worlds cements his place as a first-class author of science fiction adventure.
I haven't read tons of science fiction, though I am branching out more into that area so the genre is still new to me.  Perelandra was much harder to read than Out of the Silent Planet but its deep theology continued to impress me throughout the book making me want to keep reading. The book focused on the story of Adam and Eve and their tempting by Satan, which I found absolutely fascinating and incredibly thought provoking. 
This is a great quote from the book and one that provoked a lot of contemplation from me. 
“Whatever you do, He will make good of it. But not the good He had prepared for you if you had obeyed him.” 
Overall a great book and I would highly recommend it. :)

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Review: Christianity and Liberalism

For my Clouds of Witnesses reading challenge and my Non-fiction reading challenge I read J. Gresham Machem's book Christianity and Liberalism. This was an absolutely excellent book, so deep that I could probably re-read it tomorrow and find plenty that I missed.
Here's the synopsis from Goodreads: Machen's classic defense of orthodox Christianity establishes the importance of scripural doctrine and contrasts the teachings of liberalism and orthodoxy on God and man, the Bbible, Christ, salvation, and the church. Though originally published nearly seventy years ago, the book maintains its relevance today.
Machen lays out the liberal turn that modern Christianity has taken (even more obvious now than it was then) and looks at what scripture has to say about the changes that are being made by these liberal modern Christians. I will always appreciate someone who turns to scripture about these issues and looks deeply into them. He expressed many things that I have ranted about before... public schools, government, ect. as well as other issues. He speaks to how modern Christianity has become more allowing of certain sins in an effort to appear tolerant. He starts, with the basics though. Defining God, the church and our faith. There is so much more he goes into so I would highly recommend you read it instead of relying on my memory. ;) This book is definitely worthy of many re-reads as I feel there is always something I could be learning from it.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Top Ten Books for Readers who like Character Driven Novels

I don't normally pay attention to whether books are plot driven or character driven (or whatever other "driven" they are) so this prompt actually made me really think about that.
  1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling- The characters in my opinion are some of the best aspects of the novels. :)
  2. Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card
  3. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery
  4. Any Charles Dickens novels- Special thoughts towards Little Dorrit, Nicholas Nickelby and David Copperfield, as I remember them having especially interesting characters. 
  5. All Jane Austen novels- My favorite obviously being Pride and Prejudice. :)
  6. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  7. P.G. Wodehouse novels- Jeeves and Wooster... enough said. :)
  8. Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens)
  9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
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Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's Monday and I'm reading... books! ;)

I actually had a pretty good week of reading. I'm really far ahead of schedule with my Goodreads challenge but that's probably a good thing. Last year I barely made it so I'll be excited to finish it early this year. :)


Currently Reading

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows by J.K. Rowling (re-read)
  • Prayer by John Bunyan

Coming Soon (hopefully)

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis

Bought this week (library book sale!)

  • The Virginian by Owen Wister 
  • All Things Wise and Wonderful by Jame Herriot
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • Mark Twain's Best: Eight great short stories by America's master humorist by Mark Twain
  • A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy
  • Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  • Piercing the Darkness by Frank E. Peretti

Checked out from the library

  • Facing Grief by John Flavel
  • Indwelling Sin in Believers by John Owen
  • The Gospel of God: Romans by R.C. Sproul
  • Prayer by John Bunyan

Book Review posted this week

Tons to read in the future it looks like! That will keep me busy... though school should be what is keeping me busy. ;)

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Book Review- Christian Love

For my Non-fiction reading challenge and my Clouds of Witnesses reading challenge I read Hugh Binnings book Christian Love.
Goodreads synopsis: In this Treatise of Christian Love, the Scottish Covenanting minister Hugh Binning movingly presents the need for Christians to show by their love for one another that they belong to Christ. Basing his remarks on John 13:35, By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another, he argues, 'This badge that Christ left to his disciples: if we cast this away on every disagreement, we disown our Master, and disclaim his token and badge.' Binning describes the excellence of Christian love, demonstrating its nature from 1 Corinthians 13. he gives strong reasons why Christians should love one another, and shows that love is rooted in Christian humility and meekness, after the pattern of Christ himself. Also included in this edition are three sermons from Binning's work The Sinner's Sanctuary, an exposition of Romans 8:1-15.
First off, I've got to say that I am incredibly impressed that Binning was 25 years old when he died so whenever he wrote this, he must have been quite young... and yet already so theologically astute! Binning had a lot to say about love and how Christian love is different than secular love. He also spoke quite a bit to Christ's love for us and how that should be our standard for loving others. 
Here is in amazing quote from the book to highlight, far better than my words ever could, the wisdom and insight of this book. 
“Self-love is the greatest enemy to true Christian love, and pride is the fountain of self-love” “He whose sins are covered by God’s free love cannot think it hard to spread the garment of his love over his brother’s sins” “Humility makes a man compare himself with the best that he may find how bad he himself is, but pride measures by the worst, that it may hide a man from his own imperfections”
I couldn't recommend this book highly enough! Yes, it is sometimes difficult to read but oftentimes that just means it is even more worth the read. :) 

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Book Review- Becoming Jane: The Wit and Wisdom of Jane Austen

When I first saw this book at the library and especially with it's cover picture being from the movie Becoming Jane I immediately wrote it off. However, later I came back to it, just to flip through it and then I realized that it was actually a collection of quotes from Jane Austen's books and letters. So I checked it out. Reading it was pretty much like reading one of Austen's books only you additionally got some very hilarious and insightful quotes from letters she wrote to her sister and other relatives. It was fun to read a nice collection of some of the best of Austen's book quotes without having to read all of the books... not that I am discouraging reading all of her books at all! Reading that actually made me want to re-read them all. What I mean though is that it was a nice substitute for someone who doesn't have tons of time at the moment. :)
So all in all a nice fun read for any Jane Austen lover. :)

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Talking Tea- Chai O My!

I've got a tea buying and drinking problem. It's this cold weather! It does things to me. Anyways, I bought more tea the other day! The flavors I bought were Caramel Chai, and Chocolate Chai black teas and Moroccan Mint green tea. How could one resist such delicious sounding names??????
After trying them all, I decided they all lived up to their scrumptious names. The Chocolate Chai has a slightly odd, but nonetheless delicious, strong vanilla taste to it... like real vanilla. The caramel chai is exactly as it sounds, chai with just that hint of caramel to make it, if possible, even more delicious. The Moroccan mint is like most any other mint tea that you can get but I can tell it has a superior quality in the taste. 
P.S. I'm thinking making Thursdays tea post days? What think you? Nada? Well then tea post days they are!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Book Review- The Time Machine

For my last Classics Club spin I read H.G.Wells's The Time Machine. I wasn't totally taken with the last H.G. Wells book I read (War of the Worlds) but as I'm kind of a Doctor Who geek and into the whole time travel thing right now, I was hoping I would enjoy The Time Machine more. To my surprise I did. It didn't totally win me over or anything like that but it was an enjoyable book nonetheless. The Time Machine was not the first story to introduce time travel but it was the one that really introduced it to the general public.
Synopsis from Goodreads: With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes...and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth.  There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well.
One of the interesting things about The Time Machine was that it did not paint a pretty picture of our future but instead showed it regressing. There was still sin in the world... surprise, surprise. ;) I've got to give the hero of the story credit, he is very adventurous... and I'm not just talking about the actual time traveling he does but also about all of the exploring he does in the future and the many risks he takes. He's also quite resourceful, though sometimes a little dull... using up the matches... seriously? Get with it! ;) Though the writing was a little hard to read, it was still interesting and I can realize how ground breaking it would be in its day.
All in all, an okay book and one that you should read just to see one of the first glimpses that was offered into the world of time travel. :)

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