Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Review- The Borrowers

For the Key word reading challenge, the authors a-z challenge and the hard core re-reading challenge I re-read Mary Norton's children's novel The Borrowers.
Synopsis from Goodreads- The Borrowers are tiny people hidden away in houses and safe places, living off what they borrow from human Beans. Pod and Homily want daughter Arriety to be safe, never seen, but she feels lonely and trapped. The Boy visiting Great Aunt Sophy brings doll furniture in exchange for Arriety reading, until mean housekeeper Mrs Driver calls the rat-catcher.
This was a fan little re-read. The characters are quirky and cute. I'm sure I probably found it to be even better when I was a kid but I still enjoyed it as an adult. The story makes you want to go searching for some Borrowers in your house. ;)
All in all a good book. :)

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book Review- Armadale

For the monthly motif reading challenge, Victorian Bingo challenge, library reading challenge, lucky No. 15 reading challenge, full house reading challenge and the Classics Club I read Wilkie Collins's novel Armadale.
Synopsis from Goodreads: The novel has a convoluted plot about two distant cousins both named Allan Armadale. The father of one had murdered the father of the other (the two fathers are also named Allan Armadale). The story starts with a deathbed confession by the murderer in the form of a letter to be given to his baby son when he grows up. Many years are skipped over. The son, mistreated at home, runs away from his mother and stepfather, and takes up a wandering life under the assumed name of Ozias Midwinter.
This book is loaded with mystery, intrigue and murder! It kept me guessing the whole time wondering what was going to happen and most interestingly it really left me uncertain on who to root for. My poor family had to hear my expositions on this book quite a lot and oftentimes could not get me to put it down. I could frequently be heard exclaiming "I just want to know how it's all going to turn out!" It was one of those books where I saw the possibility of it ending with the "bad guys" winning but I won't tell you if they did or not!
The two Allan Armadales- I'll just call one Allan and the other one by his alias Ozias Midwinter to eliminate confusion- both had their issues in their own way. Allan was a total airhead, entirely naive and just really annoying sometimes. However, Allan was kind and considerate of others. Ozias Midwinter was a lot more discerning having been mistreated by the world since he was young. He does become blindsided and fall for the villianess but he learns in the end. I personally liked Ozias the best of all the characters in the book. I felt his struggle on whether to stay with Allan and be his friend or to leave him, worried as he was by circumstances (if you want to want the circumstances are you'll just have to read the book!). I felt that Ozias had a lot of weight on his shoulders throughout the book. In the end, I appreciate that he was able to look at the dream (okay I'm giving you one of the circumstances!) and see it's true purpose.
Miss Milroy was also quite the interesting character. She is a love interest of Allan. I'm not really quite sure what to think of her. She can be somewhat manipulative but not in a hard hearted way I don't think. However, I wonder if potentially down the road it could lead to it? Miss Gwilt's opinion of her is as an artful woman but then Miss Gwilt isn't very fond of Miss Milroy.
Now for Miss Lydia Gwilt. What a villianess! So warped, so heartlessly evil and yet we pity her so much and root for her to have a change of heart throughout the book, always wondering if possibly she could. Does she? Read the book and find out!
Seriously, I could not figure out how this book would conclude right up to the end!
This book was kind of long and in a few places I felt it drag but for the most part it kept me entertained throughout. I'm a fast reader and I tend to start skimming if it starts dragging so therefore I don't notice slow paces quite as much.
All in all I recommend the book highly! :)

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Top Ten Books which Feature Characters Who Resemble Me

The theme for Broke and Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday this week is books which feature characters who BLANK. To fill in that blank I chose to go with characters who resemble me. I hope you find this enlightening. ;)
  1. Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen- I know I've mentioned this before on the blog but my mom has likened me to her multiple times and when I take Jane Austen character quizzes it's always Catherine I come out as. 
  2. Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables and others by L.M. Montgomery- Her imagination really resonates with me as well as other qualities she possesses.  
  3. Phillipa Gordan from Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery- There's a part in the book where Phillipa says something along the lines that she can act and look silly on the outside but on the inside she is actually thinking and intelligent and so much more.... and I think that really applies to me. And yes, the actual quote sound way more intelligent but I couldn't find it try as I did to do so. 
  4. Scout from To Kill a Mockinbird by Harper Lee- I more remind myself of Scout when I was younger... not so much now probably. 
  5. Molly Gibson from Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell- I don't see myself wholly in Moll, as she is far more forbearing and kind than I will ever be but as goes keeping other people's secrets and bearing other people's burdens I can see myself a little in her. My grandpa loved the movie of Wives and Daughters and he always told us granddaughters that he wanted us to be like Molly. With him having passed away recently, I take those words deeply to heart. 
  6. Hermione Granger from The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling- Now I'm not a super genius like Hermione by any means but there are definitely times in school, especially when I'm studying for tests or the end of the semester looms nearer and nearer, that I go all Hermione and study and stress like crazy! 
  7. Lucy Penvensie from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis- Us poor younger children that get overlooked for the older siblings and are never listened to... not that I'm bitter or anything. ;)
  8. Jo March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott- I haven't re-read this in awhile (but I'll be re-reading it soon!) but from what I recall of Jo, she loves writing, she is a little hot headed sometimes and she has many of the other qualities and defects I possess. 
BONUS- Movies/TV Shows which feature characters who resemble me! 
  1. Martha Jones from Doctor Who- I am defininitely Martha in that I know I would end up falling in love with the doctor and having to leave. I would also be totally geeking out about everything and asking questions like Martha does. :) I love Martha. :)
  2. Belle from Beauty and the Beast- I recently realized that I am very much Belle. I love to read, I love my Dad despite his quirks ;) and of course a spot of adventure would be cool. ;)
I could only come up with eight but then I finished it off with two from the film department. :) If you think of a character that remind you of me let me know in the comments! :)

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Monday, April 27, 2015

It's Monday! Final Couple Weeks!

Just a couple more weeks and I'll be graduating (Lord willing)! I'm not sure how reading is going to fit in but I'm sure it will. :)

Currently Reading

  • The Valley of Vision
  • Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransom (re-read)- I'm just started reading this aloud to my brother Sunday. I'm not sure how well reading it aloud will turn out but I guess I'll find out. ;)

Finished this Week

  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton (re-read)- A nice light re-read. :)
  • Armadale by Wilkie Collins- This book kept me intrigued the whole time! Review coming soon(ish). ;)

Coming Soon in May!!!

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (re-read)
  • Dream Thief by Stephen Lawhead (re-read)
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell- I'm doing my first read-a-long for this book!

Reviews Posted this Week

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book (play) Review- Romeo and Juliet

A whole lot of DRAMA! That's what this play entailed. None more dramatic than Juliet, closely followed by Romeo. Apparently opposites don't attract...
William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet goes towards my audiobook challenge, mount TBR challenge and Play On challenge.
So you may get the impression that I wasn't crazy about this play. You'd be right. I'm not a big fan of romance and since Romeo and Juliet kind of epitomizes romance, it didn't really sit well with me.
First off, Romeo liked Rosalind first and he was crazy about her and mooning about her and blah, blah, blah. However, then he meets Juliet and suddenly Rosalind is not so hot and Juliet is perfection and he's head over heels for her. Seriously? Don't forget that their parents are feuding so they can't openly love each other.
Then, Juliet speaks to the night about her love for this guy she scarcely met while Romeo listens because he sneaked into her garden to watch outside her window because that's not stalker like at all. Then Romeo reveals himself to her and they declare their undying love for each other, blah, blah, blah. Seriously? Then the next day they decide to get secretly married because they are so in love. Seriously?
Then you know there's the whole thing with Romeo killing her cousin in a duel (which really wasn't exactly Romeo's fault... I'll give him that). So Romeo gets banished and Juliet is more heart broken over that than the fact that her cousin who she was close to was killed. SERIOUSLY??? Than Juliet's parents want her to marry Paris, who is actually a decent guy, so Juliet is in a sticky situation. The friar who married them comes up with a plan to have her fake her own death and than Romeo come rescue her from her tomb. However, there's some issues with communication so Romeo only hears that she's dead... not about the whole plan where she's not dead and he rescues her. So he plans to commit suicide over her grave. SERIOUSLY??? Unfortunately he picks a bad time to as Paris is also visiting her grave then so they fight and Paris is killed. Than Romeo downs some poison and dies over Juliet's grave. THEN, Juliet wakes up from her deathly slumber and sees Romeo lying dead and decides to commit suicide too so she takes his dagger and falls on it, killing herself. SERIOUSLY???
Than their family's show up and the only really good thing that comes out of this mess is that they decide to stop their feuding due to the deaths that it has caused.
I can't say much good about this play. I thought it was entirely over the top and mushy and dramatic and ugh. I've heard from some reviewers that people like me are missing the point of the play so maybe I am. Overall, though I tend to like Shakespeare, I am not a fan of Romeo and Juliet.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Book Review- Ivanhoe

For the re-reading challenge, literary movement challenge, alphabet soup challenge and mount TBR challenge I re-read Sir Walter Scott's novel Ivanhoe. I wanted to re-read it because the first time I read it I didn't care for it much. However, this re-read has changed my mind and I am a fan! It went from a three star to a five star on Goodreads! The back of the copy I have says that Ivanhoe was the original historical novel, which I had not known and I thought super interesting!
Synopsis from Goodreads: Set at the time of the Norman Conquest, this novel discusses Ivanhoe's return from the Crusades to claim his inheritance and the love of Rowena and his involvement in the struggle between Richard Coeur de Lion and his Norman brother John. It is structured by a series of conflicts: Saxon versus Norman, Christian versus Jew, and men versus women.
I grew up watching the 1982 film version with Anthony Andrews (best loved for his performance in The Scarlet Pimpernel made in the same year). When reading the book this time, I was amazed at how closely the film version had stuck to it and actually because I had the mental picture of the film in my head I was really able to see the book come alive for me. All of the characters are very real to me: Ivanhoe's chivalry, Rebecca's devotion, Brian de Bois-Guilbert's evil and lustful heart and so many more! It was interesting to see the dynamic of the Jews vs. Christians play out and see Ivanhoe's attitude change from mild disgust to deep respect for Rebecca.
The big bad three- Brian de Bois-Guilbert, Font-de-Bouef and de Bracy are so creepily bad, though when it comes down to it I prefer de Bracy... he has traces of honor. There was a part in the book, I think after Font-de-Bouef had been fatally injured, where Brain de Bois-Guilbert and de Bracy were arguing over who was the better Christian and I was just dumbfounded by their ridiculous arguments and their blindness to their sins!
And the action! I love a good joust! ;) It was exciting to read the jousts, sword fights and the storming of the castle in the book. Sir Walter Scott did a good job bringing them to life.
Oh and one of my favorite parts of the book is that it includes my old favorite Robin Hood and his merry men! King Richard and Friar Tuck's songs together are actually quite hilarious! Oh yeah, and King Richard is in it too and he's awesome. ;)
This books definitely fits in the Romanticism literary movement. You have the young love of Ivanhoe and the fair lady Rowena, the romantic tension of Ivanhoe and Rebecca, and the romantic tension between Rebecca and Brian de Bois-Guilbert. Obviously quite a lot of romantic tension, which I'm not normally a fan of but thankfully Sir Walter Scott is not a 21st century writer so it worked. ;)
Overall a great book and I would highly recommend it!

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Almost as hard as favorite books, today's Top Ten Tuesday asks for my favorite authors! I'll try my best. :) Besides the first and second they aren't in any particular order. This was a hard list to come up with so I've included a few honorable mentions and hopefully I haven't missed any. :)
  1. Jane Austen- This is an obvious first :)
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien- Again... kind of obvious. 
  3. Charles Dickens
  4. Agatha Christie
  5. P.G. Wodehouse
  6. Brian Jacques
  7. L.M. Montgomery
  8. Harper Lee
  9. William Shakespeare
  10. Elizabeth Gaskell
Honorable mentions
  • J.K. Rowling
  • Lewis Carroll 
  • G.A. Henty
  • Louisa May Alcott
  • C.S. Lewis
  • R.C. Sproul
  • Andrew Peterson
  • Anthony Trollope
  • Wilkie Collins
  • Dorothy Sayers
  • Ellis Peters
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • N.D. Wilson

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Monday, April 20, 2015

It's Monday! A little Respite

I made it through last week's tumultuous school activities well and now I have a little bit of a break before I take on the final stretch before graduation. I was able to go to the local homeschool convention, which was amazing and buy too many books (as if there is such a thing!) from my favorite used books vendor! I had to restrain myself from buying more even though there were so many I saw that I wanted. See what I ended up buying below!

Currently Reading

  • The Valley of Vision
  • Armadale by Wilkie Collins

Finished This Week

  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (re-read)

Coming Soon

  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton 


  • All the rest of the Anne of Green Gables series EXCEPT Anne of Green Gables as I already had it. I'm so excited about these! After re-reading them all this year I was longing to have my own copies!
  • The Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander (The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Lyre, Taran Wanderer, High King)- A favorite fantasy series growing up and one I'm planning to re-read this year. :)
  • Waverley by Sir Walter Scott- After finishing re-reading Ivanhoe and loving it, I knew I needed more Sir Walter Scott on my bookshelf! 
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier- I was already planning on reading it this year and now I have my own copy! 
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Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Disney Book Tag!!!!

I saw this over at Reviews from a Bookworm and thought it looked fun so here are my answers! Beware, my thought processes come out a lot in these tags!

Anna and Elsa- A book involving siblings

So many options for this one! I love The Lord of the Rings (Eomer and Eowyn), The Chronicles of Narnia, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice (Jane and Lizzy!), To Kill a Mockinbird, Sense and Sensibility, Swallows and Amazons, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series. There are more I'm missing I'm sure but these are the first ones I thought of. 

Rapunzel- A book that made you emotional

Recently, Rilla of Ingleside had me almost tearing up, which shocked me. I was tired. ;)

Merida- A book featuring a female warrior

The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings are what first come to mind, but I'm probably missing something obvious (and no I haven't read The Hunger Games or Divergent). 

Tiana- A book that features realistic struggles

Not sure on this one. How about Little Women? I can empathize with Jo's struggles. 

Belle- A literary book or classic

Pride and Prejudice for the win!!!

Pocahontas- A nature themed book or a book by a naturalist

The Redwall series by Brian Jacques and Watership Down by Richard Adams. 

Jasmine- A book about the desire to be free

I don't know! The first thing that actually came to my mind was The Lord of the Rings and Eowyn but the book isn't actually just about that.

Mulan- A book featuring war or battles

The Lord of the Rings!!!!!

Ariel- A book featuring curiosity or learning

The first thing that came to my mind was Harry Potter... I'm not sure why as I don't think it completely fits the description of this one. 

Cinderella- A book featuring manual labor

Hmmm... I don't know... again! Okay, I came up with Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. They're manual working in it so it counts! 

Sleeping Beauty- A book featuring sleep

What books feature sleep???? Goodnight Moon? Does that count? 

Snow White- A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins

A lot of books do! Lust- I think of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. 

Megara- A book featuring Greek mythology

Okay I should be able to think up something for this! I haven't (yet) read the Percy Jackson series so don't suggest that! I've read a lot of Greek mythology books but not fictional books based off of Greek mythology that I can think of... but I still have a funny feeling I have! Okay it's come to me! Till  We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis! 

Alice- A book featuring nonsense or a book featuring an unusual other world

Honestly the first ones I think of are Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass but that seems like cheating since this is Alice. Therefore, I'll also include The Wonderful Wizard of Oz! 

Maid Marian- A book with a canine

The Hound of the Baskervilles? ;) Where the Redfern Grows is also good and I like the movie of Old Yeller but I haven't read the book yet. 

Nala- A book with a feline

I don't know! I don't care for cats much! Oh but I do like Anne of the Island's cat Rusty! 

Well that's all! They really did include pretty much every Disney heroine ever! 

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Friday, April 17, 2015

I Mustache You Some Questions Tag!

I saw this tag over at Spoonful of Happy Endings and you all know I love tags so naturally I couldn't resist!

Four names people call me other than my real name

  1. Lo-Lo- Mostly my Dad :)
  2. Peppernut- A nickname since birth... long history behind it.
  3. Lega-Lois- After Legolas from LOTR.... that has a long history to it as well.
  4. Lois Lane- Please just do NOT ever call me this! I've never seen any Superman movies and I know minimally about Superman but I promise you basically everything I know is relate to people always relating my name to Lois Lane! I'm sick of it! Don't do it! Rant over. ;)

Four jobs I've had

  1. Waterer at a nursery
  2. Student worker at my college's library
  3. Pig farmer (not sure what my title was actually) at a pig farm
  4. No more yet but hoping for a nursing job soon once I graduate! 

Four movies I've watched more than once (I've watched plenty more than once but these are my favorite to rewatch and probably the movies I've rewatched the most... not necessarily my favorite movies).

  1. Pride and Prejudice 1995
  2. National Treasure
  3. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  4. Charade

Four Books I would Recommend (so many but I'm narrowing it down!)

  1. The Bible (of course!)
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (duh!)
  3. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien 
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Four places I have visited- I'm not much of a traveller as evidenced here. Not that I don't want to travel because I do, I just haven't much. 

  1. Costa Rica
  2. Canada
  3. Colorado
  4. Yellowstone National Park

Four places I would rather be now

  1. England
  2. Ireland
  3. Scotland
  4. Italy

Four things I don't eat (actually two... I'm not a very picky eater)

  1. Bell peppers
  2. Fish (I do eat it sometimes) 

Four TV Shows I watch (A lot.... But I'll just include some of my favorites and of course I couldn't keep it down to just four)

  1. Doctor Who
  2. Leverage
  3. Stargate: Atlantis
  4. Psych
  5. Monk
  6. Firefly

Four things I'm looking forward to this year (2015)

  1. Graduating from nursing school!!!
  2. Startin a job as a real nurse!
  3. Regaining my sanity ;)
  4. Spending more time with my family once I'm free from the clutches of school! 
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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Just a List of Random Questions Tag!

Olivia/Arwen from Meanwhile in Rivendell (which is my new favorite blog!!!!) tagged me in the Just a List of Random Questions Tag!!! 
~ Animated movies - what's your opinion?
Some of them are my very favorites and others of them make me groan. For example, Pixar movies for the most part I love them! Incredibles is a family favorite! I like a fair number of the Disney movies but there are definitely some that are just... dumb. However, normally I like Disney music though again some of it sometimes is just dumb. I can't deny it's beautiful and catchy though. I'll admit though sometimes I love animated movies because of their goofiness... just don't get too goofy on me. 
~ Do you prefer earbuds or headphones?
~ What is one thing it seems like everybody loves but you (could be a book, song, movie, author, actor, food, whatevs)?
The Hunger Games and Pride and Prejudice 2005 version 
~ Do you have flowers in your room 
No... on the wallpaper though! 
~ Do you like the sound of keys on a keyboard clicking?
Yes! As long as it's not too loud.
~ Who is one fictional character whom you absolutely loathe with a burning passion? 
Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter
~ Are you a procrastinator?
Yes! There are some things I manage not to procrastinate on but normally I do procrastinate unfortunately. 
~ Shoes or no?
At home no! Outside of my home I prefer to wear flip flops but I'll wear shoes in the winter. 
~ What are three movies that take you back to the dear old days gone forever 
Life with Father, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, The Swan Princess 
~ Pens or pencils?
It depends on the situation. Normally pens though.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Double Movie Review- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) AND (1982)

Over the weekend I watched the two most famous film versions (excluding the Disney... I'm not going there) of Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Both were good in their own way but by the end of my review you will discover which one I thought was the best!!!! (insert dramatic music here)

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!!!!! (insert more dramatic music here)

I wasn't the biggest fan of the book of The Hunchback of Notre Dame but I thought the movies were pretty good... maybe because they left out the yards of useless description? ;)

Accuracy to the Book

Both of the film versions changed the ending so that Esmeralda did not die in the end, which changed the tone of the story. It became less of a tragedy and way more of a romance. Also, they both left out Esmeralda's mother and the subplot that existed with her.
In the 1982 version, Gringoire is a lot more sensible of a guy (at least he isn't obsessed with Esmeralda's goat as he is in the book) and him and Esmeralda actually end up together in the end. In the 1939 version again Gringoire is more sensible (but not quite as sensible as he is in the 1982 version) but it's unclear whether or not him and Esmeralda end up together. Personally I thought the 1982 version worked it out fairly well since they were going for a happy ending you might as well have them end up together. However, again, the whole happy ending was wrong so overall I wish it had played out differently. Anyways, I found Gringoire to be a humorously pathetic and stupid character in the book and I would have liked to have seen more of that on screen.
Besides those two instances, the deviations from the book were slight.


I thought the casting for the 1982 version was phenomenal! My favorite was Derek Jacobi as Frollo but they were all exceptionally cast. Funnily enough, David Suchet plays Cloplin and you can scarcely tell it's him! He does not at all look like the Poirot we are used to seeing! 
For the 1939 version my main qualm with the casting was with Maureen O'Hara as Esmerlada. Now I love Maureen O'Hara in other films (Mclintock, The Quiet Man, The Parent Trap) but I just did not at all see her as Esmeralda. The rest of it the casting was fine though. 

So, overall I preferred the 1982 version, which surprised me as I thought it would prefer the 1939 version. They are both good in their own right though. :)

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books

I don't actually do "inspiring" normally but instead I tend to do "funny"  or "thought-provoking" but I'll try at inspiring. I'm also really bad at keeping track of quotes I like, so if there's a good one missing that I should have let me know!

  1. "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."- Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  2. "All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost."- The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. "I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil."- The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  4. "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."- The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. "Even the smallest person can change the course of the future."- The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  6. "Deserves it! I dare say he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."- The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  7. "Deeds will not be less valiant because they are upraised."- The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. "My advice is, never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time."- David Copperfield 
  9. "The person, be it gentlemen or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel must be intolerably stupid."- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  10. "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 me may find how bad he himself is, but pride measures by the worst, that it may hide a man from his own imperfections."- Christian Love by Hugh Binning
You may think I have too many J.R.R. Tolkien quotes but you are wrong! I don't have enough! ;)

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Monday, April 13, 2015

It's Monday! Too much school taking up too much time!

I feel as if the nursing instructors collaborated on how to make their poor students the most miserable and decided to make everything happen this week. :(
We have a health fair we need to do a presentation for and our all important pharmacology test that I kind of put off studying for until the week before this week and it's stressing me out. The health fair I could care less about... it's not going to be useful to me in the long run and is not worth that many points. However, the pharmacology is actually important and useful and is worth a lot of points. So why do I feel like I spent equal amounts of time preparing for them?!?!??!
Rant over... maybe. ;)
In better news, I was at work last week and there was a book my boss was investigating to see if it had mold and it happened to be The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, which I've read before and enjoyed. I jokingly suggested that whether or not it had mold she should just weed it and give it to me. However, she liked that idea when she discovered that it had only been ever checked out twice since we'd had it and one of the times it was I that checked it out. So is scored a free book! I should re-read it now to celebrate but I doubt that will happen any time soon. :(
I also scored a few books at Goodwill when I popped in for some therapeutic book buying after a long day of studying. :)
So here's my reading week!

Finished this week

  • King Lear by William Shakespeare

Currently Reading

  • The Valley of Vision
  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (re-read)- Definitely better the second time! I'm for sure moving my rating on Goodreads up from a three star to a four star. Not sure after that... possibly a five.

Coming Soon

  • Armadale by Wilkie Collins (as you can see this is a favorite of author of mine!)
  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Reviews Posted this Week

P.S. Please pray for Sheila at Book Journey who hosts this link up. Her son passed away a couple weeks ago. 

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Book (Play) Review- King Lear

For the Alphabet Soup Challenge, the audiobook challenge and every TBR pile challenge I've signed up or ;) I read William Shakespeare's play King Lear. I was incredibly unfamiliar with this play so I was horribly lost listening to it. After listening to each act I read the Sparknotes on it to make sure I understood what happened in it. Thankfully, I was able to keep it fairly straight in my head with that.
Synopsis from Goodreads: One of Shakespeare's finest tragedies, the work displays a pessimism and nihilism that make it a 20th-century favorite. The aging King Lear decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, allotting each a portion in proportion to the eloquence of her declaration of love. The hypocritical Goneril and Regan make grand pronouncements and are rewarded; Cordelia, the youngest daughter, who truly loves Lear, refuses to make an insincere speech to prove her love and is disinherited. The two older sisters mock Lear and renege on their promise to support him. Cast out, the king slips into madness and wanders about accompanied by his faithful Fool. He is aided by the Earl of Kent, who, though banished from the kingdom for having supported Cordelia, has remained in Britain disguised as a peasant.
Despite my unfamiliarity with this play, I did like it. I was telling my little sister about it and she said she'd though she'd heard a fairy tale like it before so I think the basic plot is probably an old and famous one. Since she mentioned that, I have recalled hazily that I read that fairly tale too. The intrigue in this story is higher I think than in most of Shakespeare's plays. The daughters... Goneril and Regan that is... made me mad! I felt sorry for Lear but felt he kind of deserved what he got for being so blinded and heartless.... kind of.  You can see his repentance throughout the play. Poor Cordelia is horribly mistreated but stays true to her father throughout and it is for her I feel the most sorry for her in the end.
The side story with the Duke of Gloucestershire and his sons was interesting. The Duke rather got his recompense for being such a jerk to his illegitimate son but again.... not really... I still feel sorry for him! Edmund manipulated all over the place just to get back at his father and his legitimately born brother. Edgar seemed like a decent guy and he cares for his father throughout it all.
Overall, an intriguing play. I would really like to watch a film version to see how it plays out on screen. It looks like there is a newer one with Ian Mckellan and then an older one with Lawrence Olivier so they're probably both pretty great. While not my favorite of Shakespeare's tragedy's, it was quite good!

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Book Review- 20,00 Leagues Under the Sea

For the Mount TBR pile challenge, the author A-Z challenge the classics club and probably many other challenges that I'm beginning to lose track of, I read Jules Verne's novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. A couple years back I read three of Jules Verne's other novels so I was fairly familiar with his works. While they are a little harder to read they are always very intriguing and I definitely found 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea one of the most intriguing of them all as it delved in to science as well as human nature.
Synopsis from Wikipedia: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas: An Underwater Tour of the World) is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870. It tells the story of Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus, as seen from the perspective of Professor Pierre Aronnax after he, his servant Conseil, and Canadian whaler Ned Land wash up on their ship. On the Nautilus, the three embark on a journey which has them going all around the world, under the sea.
The characters were all intriguing, none more so than Captain Nemo.
I sympathized with Professor Arronax along the trip. He felt like with Ned Land and Conseil he should be trying to escape but really he wanted to say and discover more on the Nautilis. Throughout the book we follow him as he tries to discover the secrets of Captain Nemo and is enthralled by the beauty and majesty of the underwater world. However, at the end, with Professor Arronax, we are disgusted and horrified by Captain Nemo and are ready to leave the Nautilus.
Overall, it was a good book and I felt like I learned so much about the underwater world, though of course there was some of what happened in the book that is scientifically impossible or just not real. It is science fiction after all. ;)

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Book Review- The Scarlet Pimpernel

After watching the 1984 film version with my family a couple weeks ago, I knew I had to re-read The Scarlet Pimpernel! Consequently I did so in one evening, straight through in two hours. Like a champ! ;) This goes towards the re-reading challenge, mount TBR and the author a-z challenge.
I grew up watching and adoring the 1984 film version and I read it for the first time back in high school. It was then I realized that the book and movie were fairly different (though to be fair the movie is based off of two of the books). However, what I also discovered was that they were both very good.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Armed with only his wits and his cunning, one man recklessly defies the French revolutionaries and rescues scores of innocent men, women, and children from the deadly guillotine. His friends and foes know him only as the Scarlet Pimpernel. But the ruthless French agent Chauvelin is sworn to discover his identity and to hunt him down.
This is just a fun adventure novel! I don't want to say to mention for fear of spoiling the story. I love the romance, the suspense and of course the wit! I can't say enough about the wit... I guess it comes out even stronger in the movie (have I mentioned how much I LOVE the movie?!?!?!?!). It's also interesting historically. I always felt like I understood more about the horrors of the French Revolution from it.
All in all I could not recommend it higher! I really should get around to reading the rest in the series as I hear they are great too! :)

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Top Ten Characters You'd Like to Check In With

Today's Top Ten Tuesday theme from Broke and Bookish is the top the characters you'd like to check in with (meaning, the book or series is over and you wish you could peek in on the "life" you imagine they are leading years down the line after the story ends).

  1. All the characters from the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling
  2. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. Emma Woodhouse and Mr. Knightley from Emma by Jane Austen
  4. Catherine Morland and Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  5. All of the characters from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings- I know you get kind of a conclusion to their story in the appendices but I would love to see more specifics and adventures! :)
  6. Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  7. Scout and co. from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird- In July we'll get too!!! Pretty excited for Go Set a Watchman! :)
  8. Shasta (aka Prince Cor) and Aravis from The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
  9. Molly Gibson and Roger Hamley from Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters- Especially as the book was unfinished... but thankfully not so unfinished that you can't tell how it's going to end. ;)
  10. Rilla Blythe from Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery- You really see Rilla mature through the book and I love it but I'd like more about her and her relationship with Kenneth! :)
P.S. I'd honestly love to peek in on all of the Jane Austen character's lives but these are the ones I'd most want to.

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It's Monday! Easter and Readlaxing

Stress and anxiety are now part of my daily life with nursing school. That's not a good thing... FYI.  Thankfully though I had a test last Wednesday that I did well on and I am de-stressed from that plus I had a great Easter weekend, spending time with family and relaxing. :) My siblings and I watched The Fellowship of the Ring and once again I'm getting that urge to re-read the Lord of the Rings. :)

Finished this week

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

Currently Reading

  • King Lear by William Shakespeare
  • The Valley of Vision 
  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (re-read)

Coming Soon

  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Armadale by Wilkie Collins
  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton (re-read)
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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Birthday Month Reading Challenge- April

March is gone and now it's on to April! I hope you all are blowing through the Birthday Month Reading Challenge succesfully. :) If you are behind don't worry, just pick up where you left off and catch up. :) I'm not going to come after you if you aren't on schedule. ;)
Here's a list of April birthday authors to hopefully help prompt you. As always, there's a more complete list HERE.
  • William Shakespeare
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Maya Angelou
  • Harper Lee
  • Booker T. Washington
  • Henry James
  • Janet Evanovich
  • Anne McCaffrey
  • Beverly Cleary
  • Robert Penn Warren
  • Lew Wallace
  • Anthony Trollope
  • Charlotte Bronte
  • Emile Zola
  • Erik Christian Haugaard
  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • Marguerite Henry
  • Gary Soto
  • Maud Hart Lovelace
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