Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What's on my Nightstand for August

What's On Your Nightstand

Last month, I read: (though I haven't posted my thoughts on most of these yet)

The Dyerville Tales by M.P. Kozlowsky(Giveaway)

The Body in the Library (Miss Marple Mysteries) by Agatha Christie

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint

It seems like I read so much more than that! I have to be forgetting something.

August Reading Plans:

I'm challenging myself to read better, and for me, that takes some planning.


The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien(This will be a reread from high school.)

Emma by Jane Austen

This is my challenge for myself as part of Annette's Summer Reading Challenge. I also just learned about Austen in August, and realized even more how perfect of a time it is to read some Austen!

A Blunt Instrument by Georgette Heyer


I read a good bit of non-fiction, but when it's not for review, I tend to do a whole lot of "cheese platter reading". Really, there's nothing wrong with that, but I want to challenge myself to read these non-fiction books the whole way through this month:

I need to finish Raising Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boysby Hal and Melanie Young. A very sweet friend gave me this book, and it's FULL of wonderful advice concerning the world of raising boys.

Parenting is Rocket Science by Beth Brown

I've already done a bit of "cheese platter reading" in this book, and it looks to be packed full of great advice, too.

When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason's Philosophy for Today by Elaine Cooper

We officially enter the world of homeschooling this school year, as Grasshopper becomes a kindergartener. I plan on mostly using the Charlotte Mason approach, and this just looks like a helpful book!

Fiction for Fun:

As far as other fiction, I'm really enjoying getting to grab whatever my mood asks me to read, so I don't want to do too much planning in that area.

I do want to finish Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters. I'm enjoying it so far!

I'd also like to read Just Jane by Nancy Moser, as part of Austen in August. I've had it on my kindle for awhile, waiting patiently.

These are a few that are especially calling my name right now, so extra reading will most likely be picked from this stack:

A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle) by Ursula K. Le Guin

Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle and The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlawby Christopher Healy. I read and loved the 1st book, The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, and I'd like to finish up the series soon. It's fun and humorous!

What kind of reading do you have planned?

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Little Jane Austen This Summer!

This summer, as part of Annette's Summer Reading Challenge at This Simple Home, I decided to challenge myself with some Jane Austen. (Charles Dickens was next in line, but I think I'll save him for Fall reading.) I've mentioned here before that I've tried to read Pride And Prejudice a few times, but I've never finished. I really DO want to finish it, and all of Austen's works! For this challenge, I'm choosing to read Emma. I've watched most of the movies based on Austen's books, and I believe Emma could end up being my favorite of the actual books. We'll see, though.

Since it's already well into summer, I better get on it! ;)


On the Jane Austen note, Miss Laurie at Old-Fashioned Charm is having a Big Jane Austen Book Giveaway, so make sure you check it out, along with her blog. It's filled with all kinds of Jane Austen-y things.

From her blog:

"This blog is dedicated to sharing my love of Jane Austen, period costume dramas, classic literature and everything old-fashioned."

And, it really is!


Which classic out there do you want to challenge yourself with?

Friday, July 18, 2014

A to Z Bookish Questionnaire

This little quiz has been going around a great deal, and since I can't find motivation to write up reviews for the books I've already finished just yet, I finally decided to throw my answers into the world. (Check out others’ answers...Michelle @New Horizons, Amy @Hope is the Word, Carrie @Reading to Know, and Barbara @ Stray Thoughts)

Author you've read the most books from: In truth, that would be Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High Series, but I’m going to ignore that! In my adult years, Jan Karon gets that award.

Best sequel ever: I'll have to go with Cybele's Secret by Marillier, because my mind is blank, otherwise.

Currently reading: I’ve almost always got 3 books going on.

“Real” copy: The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton(which is way overdue!)
Non-Fiction: Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys by Hal and Melanie Young
Kindle: Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

Drink of choice while reading: Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could say water, and claim healthy drinking, or tea, and look sophisticated? Yes, it really would :P I love some cherry Dr. Pepper, though! (which is really a new discovery for me)

E-reader or physical book: Outdoors, I prefer a physical book. Indoors, where it’s darker, a kindle is easier on my eyes. Plus, I love that I can read it at night when I can’t sleep. (The caffeine from that Dr. Pepper doesn't help. I'm sick right now, so water isn't cutting it, though. :P)

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school? I think my first date was after high school, which means I didn’t date in high school, so none.

Glad you gave this book a chance: How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks

Hidden gem book: Hospitality: In the Spirit of Love by Peggy Simpson

Just finished: The Body in the Library (Miss Marple Mysteries) by Agatha Christie

Kind of books you won't read: Horror is out of the question, because I don’t enjoy the nightmares! I also don’t tolerate profanity that surpasses the “mild” label, or sex within a story. I don’t care for violence that reaches the disturbing level.

Longest book you've read: I'm not sure, sadly.

Major book hangover because of: If this means it stayed with me long after reading it, then The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo: A Child, an Elder, and the Light from an Ancient Sky by Kent Nerburn gets that award. (**Profanity Warning**)

Number of bookcases you own: 6, if I don’t count the little nooks/shelves here and there that I put books, but do count the china cabinet I turned into a bookshelf for a large part of my non-fiction.

One book you read multiple times: Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Preferred place to read: On my porch. There’s nothing like nature reading, if the weather is remotely tolerable.

Quote you like from a book you read:

From Chasing God by Angie Smith:

"We try to fill in the gray instead of living in the black and white. We shape our theology to suit our taste, our times, our situations, and our desires. It's the mess we've made by desiring to understand Him more than we want to know Him."

It's a reminder for me to never let man turn my mind from what is plainly and simply wrote in God's Word.

Reading regret: Lots. I haven’t always made the best reading choices. Before I realized that I don’t have to tolerate profanity in books, and realized there are lots of authors that refrain from that nonsense, I read it. I read the first 3 or 4 Sookie books, y’all! (and loved them, minus the “extras”) I even collected every last book in the series(at that time, anyway) before choosing to bypass that extra “stuff”. Now, I hate starting a book, especially one I’m loving, only to have to put it down due to profanity or sex scenes. I’ve wasted my time! I also regret not reading more classics through the years, because despite my strong desire and effort now, I struggle through them.

Series you started and need to finish: The Giver series by Lois Lowry. I just finished re-reading The Giver, and now I'm on the hold list for the next 3. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase Series by Joan Aiken is another series I want to finish.

Three of your all time favorite books: (To make this easier on me, I'm going to *exclude non-fiction*, and pick the first 3 of my "favorites" in the fiction realm that pop in my mind.)

1. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
2. Entwined by Heather Dixon
3. Christy by Catherine Marshall

Unapologetic fangirl for: Anne Elisabeth Stengl(author) and Walden Pond Press(publishing company)

Very excited for this release more than all the others: *happy dance* Heather Dixon is FINALLY releasing a new book, Illusionarium!!! :D Seriously, I’ve kept a close eye, searching regularly, hoping for another one. (I'm really looking forward to seeing its cover AND reading it!)

Worst bookish habit: Sometimes I lay my book down flat on its pages, when I’m hoping to come right back to it.:S (I know, I know!)

X marks the spot: I typically use bookmarks, especially for copies that are in great condition. That’s an upgrade from the little torn pieces of paper I used to use. I sometimes dog ear pages if it’s a ratty copy. I highlight and dog ear places I want to come back to usually. It's not uncommon to pull a non-fiction book off my shelf, though, and see about 30 little pieces of torn paper marking spots.

Your latest book purchase: Do you remember my book buying ban? FAIL! I'd already bought a kindle book here and there when they went super cheap, or if it was an author I wanted to support. I went to a little thrift store a few days ago, though, and someone had apparently cleaned off their non-fiction bookshelves and young reader books. I didn’t even try, to be honest, y’all, and came home with lots of treasures. Grasshopper is SUPER excited to get into The Rescuers! My favorite finds? TWO Roald Dahl books! :D So, yep....fail! I HAVE passed up a great deal more than I would have without the challenge, though!

Zzzz snatcher book: I started Top Ten Clues You're Clueless one night just to test it out. Before I realized it, I was well into the story, and lost some sleep. Too bad I had to put it aside the next day due to the f-bomb. :P

Have you done this questionnaire, or want to? Come back and leave me a link, so I can see your answers! :)