Friday, November 30, 2012

Questions about Books and Reading

I almost forgot that, way back in June Sandy of Somewhere Only We Know tagged me with some book related questions. I started answering them, saved the draft, and then forgot about it. Well, better late than never, right?

1. Do you read the Acknowledgements written by the author in the back of the book?
Yep. I read the dedication page too. And I try to guess who that person might me. Sometimes authors make it easy (To my wonderful husband...) but sometimes it's like a little mystery.

2. Did you start blogging because you love writing and perhaps want to be a writer, or just for the genuine love of books?
I started blogging because I enjoy writing. My first blog came about when a message board I took part in started hosting blogs. Then I moved to Blogger and started over. I deleted the first blog (and I'm no longer part of that message board either).

I didn't realize that I was supposed to have a "niche" back then but this blog has gradually become more about books and reading than I originally intended. Books are one of my passions and I enjoy talking about them, adding to my "to be read" stack, and seeing what other folks are reading.

3. What is your favorite genre?
Hmm...probably mysteries. I go more for the "cozy" type rather than the blood and guts type.

4. What's the first book you remember falling in love with?
Little House in the Big Woods. Still my favorite Little House book.
The first book that I read to myself and fell in love with was probably Anne of Green Gables. My grandparents gave me a set of all the Anne books when I was around 10. I still have that set. I loan them to my ten year old, but she has to give them back. And I had to buy her a copy of Anne of Green Gables. Mine is cracked, worn, and much loved.

5. What kind of music do you like?
I love almost all music. No rap, no hip-hop, very little techno. Other than that, I love almost anything. The stuff I'm most likely to listen to: Big Band, movie soundtracks, and Bluegrass inspired stuff (Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers) Post Thanksgiving through New Years I'm all about Christmas music.

6. Do you create a playlist in your head for books you read?
Not really. But for the novel I'm writing, I've tried to think about what music certain characters would listen to.

7. Do you prefer happy endings to books or not so much?
Yes, I'd say I prefer happy endings. Sad endings are OK (and sometimes that's the only proper way for a story to end), but I wouldn't want to read all sad stories all the time. And ambiguous endings generally just annoy me. I want to know what happens!

8. Do you prefer series or stand-alone books?
I love a good series. Like I said, I want to know what happens. With really great characters I also want to know what happens next.

9. Do you develop character crushes? If so, which characters have you developed crushes on?
Oh my, how much time do we have? OK, first ones that come to mind: Gilbert Blythe, Peter Pevensie, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightley, Henry Tilney, Captain Wentworth, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Peter Wimsey, Ramses Emerson...And just in case you're worried, trust me, none of these literary heroes has anything on my own Prince Charming. I could write a story with a hero based on him but people would think it was too fantastic to be true. He's that awesome.

10. Do you partner with your local bookstore/library?
Not sure exactly what this means. I love our local library. The librarians know us and they like us. (This is important. Mean librarians are ridiculous. Librarians should be good, sweet, guardians of knowledge, can I get an Amen?) Philip has given several programs at our library, so I guess that's like partnering with them.

I do not, alas, have a local bookstore. I buy books at our library sale, online, or at the thrift store.

11. Is there a genre/theme/characteristic that you see repeated in your reading that's beginning to annoy you? 
Present tense. It worked for The Hunger Games but the conceit is really starting to wear thin with me.

So, if you feel like answering some book related questions (or if you just need some free Blog fodder), rather than tagging 11 people, here are a few questions I have for anyone interested:
1. Do you give books as gifts?
2. If so, what's your favorite book to give?
3. Have you kept a beloved childhood book and, if so, what is it?
4. What's your first book related memory?
5. Have you ever read a book I recommended?
6. Are you a Hardback or paperback loyalist?
7. Do you have any book related pet peeves?
8. Is there a classic book you feel like everyone has read but you?
9. Is there a popular modern book you refuse to read?
10. Have you ever made a literary pilgrimage? (Jane Austen's house, Mark Twain's house, etc?)
11. Do you stick with a book to the bitter end or do you bail if it's not clicking with you?

I'd love to see your answers so let me know if you play along!
P.S. Thanks for tagging me, Sandy! Sorry I didn't get around to this sooner.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WWW Wednesday

• What are you currently reading?
Too many different books. And far too many that blow my brain circuits and make me want to read a quick mystery or something as a restorative:
The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers. Still working on this one, still following the discussion at Ordo Amoris.
The Pilgrim's Guide: C.S. Lewis and the Art of Witness edited by David Mills. This would be going faster if I'd stop re-reading passages and stop trying to read half of it out loud to Philip when I think he would enjoy it.
These Last Days: A Christian View of History edited by Richard D. Phillips & Gabriel N.E.. Fluhrer. Borrowed from Pastor Dad. Quite interesting and I try to read a lot of this one to Philip too, even though he already told me he would read it when I finish. I just can't help it.
Clutch of Constables by Ngaio Marsh. Started this one as a break from the other heavy theological reading. Also because most of these Marsh mysteries have been loaned to me and I'd like to return them before I forget that they're not all mine.

And I still have a book mark inPacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 but it should probably be listed under "What I'll read next" because it's getting pushed pretty far down in the stack.

• What did you recently finish reading?
Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids by Dr. Kara Powell & Dr. Chap Clark

OK, but not great. Rather too dependent on a social gospel in parts. Nothing groundbreaking.
Killer Dolphin (also known as Death at the Dolphin) by Ngaio Marsh. Interesting, diverting mystery. (Although I would like to point out that all these Marsh mysteries set in theaters never even consider that the backstage crew could be guilty. Which seems odd, right?)

• What do you think you’ll read next?
The aforementioned Pacific Crucible or maybe
Freedom's Forge by Arthur Herman.

Or maybe another mystery will jump to the top of my stack...

What are you reading right now?
This post is linked to WWW Wednesday at Should Be Reading.
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Action taken with these links could result in compensation for me. Opinions are my own.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Random Monday

How was your Thanksgiving? Full of good stuff, I hope. My favorite thing on Thursday was a nice long talk (via cell phone - but I sure wish it had been in person!) with my sister Lulu.

Then on Friday we had a family get together with much of my husband's family. Lots of food, lots of laughing, and lots of picture taking. My sister-in-law's sister (did you catch that?) came to take pictures of the family. I hope these turn out well. Miss Lili wasn't feeling well so her mouth is open, her nose is running and she really didn't feel like smiling for most of them. Let's just say Philip's Photoshop skills are going to be put to the test in this case.

Saturday was the drive home and the annual "Start the Christmas music" extravaganza. We restrained ourselves and only listened to four or five of our many CDs. First play honors went to:

Sara Groves, O Holy Night


Today is Back to Reality Day. The grocery, the library, and SCHOOL, glorious School, are on our agenda.

Speaking of Back to Reality Day, Philip and I did our Christmas budget today. Yikes. That's all I want to say about that.

And I need to share this story about Lili with you before I forget. We don't eat at McDonald's that often (I know some of you are shocked that we eat there at all) but lately, when we pass a McDonald's Lili calls out, "Time to eat!"

Which is often since we have to pass one to get home from our church. Lili catches sight of the Golden Arches = "Time to eat!"

No other fast food establishment affects her this way.

I should probably turn in my "Semi-crunchy Homeschool Mom" card now, right?

Happy Monday, everyone! It's a beautiful day out there (and no, I am not being sarcastic)!
This post is linked to Random Monday at Not Inadequate.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

1 Thessalonians 5: 8-24
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
Rejoice evermore.
Pray without ceasing.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Quench not the Spirit.
Despise not prophesyings.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Abstain from all appearance of evil.
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
You know what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving? (Other than the obvious things like salvation, life itself, my husband, and my children...)

I'm thankful that the Bible tells us to give thanks IN every thing and not FOR every thing. Those little prepositions make a big difference.

The ESV puts it like this: "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

See? Thanksgiving is more about Who, not what. It's about who He is and who I am in Him, not necessarily about things or events.

I'm thankful for that. Thankful for all things? Nope. Thankful in all things? That's my goal.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Weekend Links - November 17, 2012

November is just flying by. I love that Thanksgiving is early this year - it gives us an entire week left in November to get things done before the December rush.

For Thinking:
  • Calling Teenagers to Treasure Christ More Than All Things. My oldest is only 10 (almost 11) but we're already planning for her adolescent years.  (And, P.S. Most Christian adults have a problem with this too.)
  • Good to remember: Parenting is Hard for a Reason. One thing I remind myself (often): parenting these children God has given me is one way - perhaps the primary way - I am being sanctified by Him. Christian marriage and Christian parenting are less about happiness (although happiness is thankfully a major part!) and more about holiness.
  • On a related note, I love this post: Redeemed Characteristics in Your Children. Imagine that stubborn streak used for God's glory!
  • Considering adolescence in our culture, Sheila Gregoire asks, When Does Childhood End? This perpetual adolescence into our twenties and even thirties is ridiculous.
  • I told you I was following along with Ordo Amoris and the discussion on Dorothy Sayers' book The Mind of the Maker. I enjoyed Cindy's post about Chapter II and also the points about whether we're creating or consuming things in our time spent on the internet.
  • I hope we never need this post but I'm saving it just in case one of our daughters ends up susceptible to these: Natural Healing for Bladder Infections. One of our daughters had a tough time with this when she was little, even to the point of having a doctor ordered ultrasound to be sure she didn't have some anomaly. Thankfully, it turned out fine and she's never had another. 
  • Jamie shares a great list: 7 Ways to Make Your Words Mean More.
For Fun:
Pins of the Week:
Loved this cozy spot:

Thought this outfit was adorable (and now I want a red print dress and red boots...)

Need to try to make these Orange Scones for my husband because he loved them at Panera long ago before they stopped serving them:

Need to make these for myself because I can't get enough Seafood lately:

There you go! Quite a list this week. And that may have to tide you over for a bit. I'll be out of town for most of Thanksgiving week so I'm not sure what that will do to my blog plans.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
This post is linked to Saturday Linky Love at Vanderbilt Wife. Come share your links and see what other folks are sharing.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Five Question Friday

1} What snack/drinks do you eat at the movies?
None because I am far too frugal to pay those prices. Also: the last movie I went to was a year ago. See: too frugal. Going to the movies is not really my thing and taking children under the age of five to the movies is REALLY, REALLY Not My Thing, like I would rather have a gynecologist appointment than take toddlers to the movies.
If money were no object and I actually went to the movies more than once a year, I'd probably want a Cherry Coke and some Sno-caps. The popcorn always smells good but I know from experience that it never tastes as good as it smells.

2} What's one food you refuse to ever try?
Balut.

Otherwise, I'll generally try anything once. And I love a lot of foods that other people seem to hate: oysters, squid, artichokes, asparagus...I could go on.

3} What's your favourite nail polish color?
Don't have one. Rarely ever paint my nails. Can't stand for my daughters to have their nails painted, either. (Nail polish on little girls = immediately chipped = immediately untidy looking little girls) If I do paint my nails or toenails, it's generally a pale pink or white.

4} What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Listening to Christmas music when it's over.

Philip and I have never owned a house large enough to host Thanksgiving for ourselves. So we've never really established traditions for our family, which would make me sad if I thought about it too much. So I don't. I just look forward to cranking up the Christmas music. Christmas = lots of traditions for us.

5} What are your least favorite words in the English language?
Moist, vomit, insurance, construction, and spinster.

I could go on, but I won't.

What words would make your list?
 Five Question Friday is being hosted by Kate's Life this week.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WWW Wednesday

• What are you currently reading?
I have four (yes, 4) going right now:
1. The Hole in our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung. Highly recommended. I'll definitely be talking more about this later.

2. The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers. I wish I had Sayers' brain, no doubt about it. I'm reading this and following along with the discussion hosted by Ordo Amoris, although I haven't joined in.

3. Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 by Ian Toll. Started this one and got to page 89 before I got my next book in from the library and started reading it instead.

4. Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies by Ben Macintyre. I'm a little over half way through this one. Riveting stuff.

• What did you recently finish reading?
Last novel finished:
Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann. Christian thriller.

Last non-fiction finished (this morning!):
Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow.

• What do you think you’ll read next?
These are the three in my stack that I think will win the "Read Me Next!" lottery:
1.One for the Books by Joe Queenan. My husband heard about this book on the radio and picked it up for me because he thought I would like it. (My love language may be books. That would not surprise me at all.)

2.The Pilgrim's Guide: C.S. Lewis and the Art of Witness edited by David Mills. A collection of essays. I never get tired of reading books by or about Lewis.

3.Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids by Dr. Kara Powell.

How about you? What are you reading right now? Anything I should add to my stack?
This post is linked to WWW Wednesdays at Should Be Reading. 
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Action taken with these links could result in compensation for me. Opinions are my own.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Random Monday

1st - Happy Veteran's Day. I'm not sure if "Happy" is the right way to say it, but "Thank you, thank you, thank you, Veterans" might be. Amazon is giving this album away for free today:

You probably need to get it. Just be ready to choke up a time or two. (Or maybe I'm the only one who tears up any time I hear "Taps". Seriously. Any movie with a military funeral and I'll be a gulping, eye swiping mess.)

And speaking of choking up, you probably need to check out this post from Ashleigh Baker: This Is To You, The Military Wife

2nd - Happy Anniversary to my grandparents, even though they do not read my blog. Actually, they don't even have a computer. (!) You know what they do have? 61 years of marriage. Sixty-one! I'd like to know where they should collect their medal because, seriously, 61 years of staying married deserves a medal.

3rd - My cousin's little girl said this the other night: un-defeatable. At first I though maybe she invented it (as a mash-up of "undefeated" and "unbeatable", obviously) but it turns out it is a real word. I love it. So there you go, my new favorite word. (I'm sure you were wondering)

4th - people are starting to ask what the girls want for Christmas. Nothing. They want for nothing, therefore they need nothing. Not what you wanted to hear? I have no idea. I'm guessing anything with 57 million pieces would please them. Their favorite toys appear to be (based on how often I pick them up): random Legos, Barbie shoes, Polly Pocket skirts, the odd playing card, one or two single pick-up-sticks, baby dresses, crayons, and snips of notebook paper. Does that help you with your shopping list? If you really want to make Sweet Pea's (5) day, give her paper, rolls of scotch tape, and colored pencils. Or just the scotch tape. That would probably do it.

5th - After several beautiful, unseasonably warm days we are back to dreary, rainy weather. Which means I need to make a cup of hot chocolate & curl up on the couch with the novel I'm currently reading.

Or, you know, start school work with my children. That needs to happen too.

What's up in your world this Monday?
This post is linked to Random Monday at Not Inadequate.