Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas isn't Christmas

Christmas just isn't Christmas till I've seen, read, or listened to "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. This year I am a lucky owner of a paperback copy! No more waiting for the library's copy to become available.

I think my first memory of Scrooge, Bob Cratchett, and Tiny Tim was the Walt Disney version with Mickey Mouse and Co. Thankfully, I've moved on. :) Scrooge's transformation always brings tears to my eyes and I rejoice with Tiny Tim's "God bless us, everyone!"

Maybe it's been awhile since you've taken a stroll with the Spirits of Christmas - I encourage you to carve out some time to read this little book. You will be glad you did!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Remains of The Day

Some months ago I was blog-hopping and stumbled across the mention of this book. Having a vague recollection of the title (I thought it was a horror film) I was surprised to find it at the library in the teen aisle.

After reading it I wonder what kind of an impression it leaves on a high-school English class. For me it left a feeling of sadness and a sense of waste but on reflection there are many lessons to be learned from it.

Some topics that could be discussed:
  • How does being vulnerable affect communication?
  • Should duty and service be put above love?
  • How do ethics play into duty?
  • Can lost opportunities be reclaimed?
  • What are some areas of idealism that I hold onto?
I found myself willing the butler to just say "I love you" to the housekeeper, to take a risk and become a real person. He avoids pain and effectively locks away his heart until it is too late. He pulls back from living a full life and finds out how much he missed in the end.

If you are short on time Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins portray the main characters in a movie by the same title. I found I lost some of the butler's thought processes in the movie that you gain in the book but overall its pretty well done.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

CSI, Charles Dickens and "Remains"

I am still around but with summer there just hasn't been much time for reading, nor bookstore browsing.

I am working on a post about the book "The Remains of the Day" which also has been made into a movie with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.

Dante's Inferno is just sitting there...oh well.

I did get some fun, light reading in...George MacDonald's "The Shepherd's Castle" storyline keeps you guessing until the end. The uncle is a twisted character and his story could almost be a plot from CSI...it surprised me coming from a contemporary of Charles Dickens!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Reading Update

For those of you who were wondering... I am on chapter four of The Inferno and chapter five in A Godward Life. I finally made it past the first chapters!

The latest find at a book sale last Saturday and one that I haven't read yet is Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery. So that is on the list to read next.

Have any of you read Dare to Dream by John C. Maxwell? I picked that one up at a conference but haven't started it.

The sun shown for four days in a row this week but it started raining this morning. The forecast says it will last through the weekend. Hopefully I can snuggle down with a cup of tea and my books and watch the world go by. Sometimes I need to retreat from the harshness and busyness of life.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Passion & Purity

Just finished reading Elisabeth Elliott's Passion & Purity for the third or fourth time. At each reading I discover some new insight or challenge. Self-sacrifice...yuck, a hard one.

Self-sacrifice is such a foreign concept in today's culture. Yet that is what God calls us to do...love as He loved us. "Greater love has no man than this, to lay down his life for his friend." What does that look like in my daily living? At my job? Among my friends? At church?

I am struggling with this.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Attended a women's church retreat last week and have been playing catch-up since. However, that has not stopped me from starting on several books.

Current reading list:
Dante's Inferno
Dare to Dream by John Maxwell
A Godward Life by John Piper
John 3:16 by Max Lucado

These are all in various stages of completion.

Do you ever struggle to get through a book?

I'm finding A Godward Life to be extremely difficult to get into. I feel bad about it because some dear friends gave it to me on my college graduation. I've read the first three chapters many times and can't seem to get beyond that.

Maybe if I put it down and come back to it for the tenth time it will be easier! :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bright April

The calendar says it is suppose to be spring but the snowstorm over the weekend tells me otherwise.

One book that isn't on my bookshelf yet is Bright April by Marguerite De Angeli. I don't remember when I first read it but I do remember wanting to join the Girl Scouts afterwards. :)

I suppose we read the book out loud because my sister's name is April.

Anyway, it is a excellent read while waiting for spring. The story starts with the snow just melting and progresses through the seasons while we watch April grow and overcome the challenges of being African-American in the 1940's.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Fresh Agony

Life has been too busy for times of reflection. In trying to slow down I've been reading the gospel accounts of Christ's crucifixion. What a horrible way to die.

Last night's Good Friday service brought home the anguish and agony of that day in a fresh way. It wasn't the words so much as the way the person read them. I felt the pain come down through the ages with the cry..."take this cup from me!"

Such love is incomprehensible.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easy Things

A month ago I went to a conference that deals with worldviews, theology, and engaging the culture. Having attended for several years now I am prepared for the after effects… that of feeling very un-educated.

Now some of my friends say I know a lot -- but I know the truth.

I know bits and pieces about a few things on a few subjects. But the speakers at these conferences are much more knowledgeable. Each year I realize again how woefully ignorant I truly am.

So this year I was challenged by one speaker to fight against apathy and the “easy things” and do the “hard things.” He said that we have to make it a priority in our lives or else we default to the world’s standard which is to do only easy things.

Hence, I now own a copy of Dante’s Inferno which I’m going to read. I just don’t know when. :)
When I get that done maybe I’ll try John Milton’s Paradise Lost.
I don’t think I’m up to reading War and Peace.

Monday, March 17, 2008

My Favorite Chair

Posted by Picasa Do you have a favorite spot to read in?
My favorite chair belonged to my great-grandfather.

It sits next to my picture window where I can see the snow falling softly onto the evergreens.

Now that March is almost over I am reading The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It seems like a good time since spring is just around the corner though today it doesn't look like it. Two inches of fresh snow fell last night and more is forcasted for tonight.

At least I don't live in a claim shanty or a house with only tar paper for insulation. :) How the pioneers ever survived amazes me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


My friends haven’t stopped giving me funny looks when I bee-line over to the children’s section at B and N.
Why would a single gal in her right mind buy kids books?!?

They roll their eyes and move to the tables of the latest self-help books and novels.

Why do I look for children’s books? Because.
  1. They are fun to read.

  2. I’m buying for future generations. If not my own, then my future nieces and nephews!

  3. My favorites might be out-of-print someday.

  4. I have disposable income now that I won’t have once I have a family.

  5. I enjoy the hunt.

I like adult books too but there is just something about finding “old friends” that is thrilling. What reasons do you give your friends/family for buying books? Any suggestions or additions to my list?

My Dad and Benjamin Franklin

I haven’t checked recently but is Ben and Me still in print? My father introduced us to Benjamin Franklin through this book. Thankfully we’ve read more factual biographies since then. Lol!

Dad has always liked Mr. Franklin. I’ve never asked him why… I should do that some time.

What men or women have inspired you? Have you shared their story with your children?

Learning to Share

My grandmother just moved to town. She went from a nice ranch-style home to a duplex. In the process of down-sizing she let us (the grandchildren) pick out our favorite books.

I let my brother take home Munro Leaf’s The Story of Ferdinand. I liked that story but I let him have it instead. Much to my surprise I have since found that Ferdinand has been reprinted. Yeah!

What makes this book so nice in my opinion are Robert Lawson’s humorous illustrations. The pictures of the matador are so funny. I think Mr. Lawson is the first illustrator that I learned by name and started to look for his books.

A Mouse, a Princess, and Spiritual Lessons

After a recent sojourn to the nearest bookstore I came home with another book that has no space to call its own. I originally heard about it at a L’Abri conference and wrote it down in my notes.

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo is a really fun read. I can see where this would make a great read-out-loud book for evenings by the fireplace. The subtitle sums up the story – The Tale of Despereaux: being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread.

What caught my eye was how easily parents could use this unlikely hero of a mouse to begin spiritual discussions with their children.

The book talks about light and darkness, moral issues, family fidelity, good and bad leaders, envy, resentment, forgiveness and love in a charming way.

My copy has the note “Soon to be a major motion picture from Universal Pictures.”

Suggestion: Read the book before Hollywood ruins a delightful tale!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Hi there!
Welcome to my first blog and post.

Why do I need more bookshelves?
I grew-up in a book-collecting homeschool family and the most common complaint was " We need more bookshelves." Now that I am adding to my own home library it is still the same scenario!

Reading is my favorite thing to do. I enjoy browsing through friends' bookshelves to see what they like and recommend.

So, go ahead and look through my shelves. Grab a cup of coffee and let's discuss our favorite titles and which ones we have yet to read!