Thursday, July 24, 2014

30 Day Book Challenge! Days 21-22: Disturbing

Day 21: What is the most disturbing book you've ever read?

It was many years ago that I began this book. I cannot remember which friend lent it to me, but I was old enough that my parents did not think a "children's book" on World War II was a bad thing for me to read. As awful as it is, everyone needs to know that history. Jacob's Rescue is about a Jewish boy, Jacob, living with a Polish family in Poland during World War II. I never finished it. While it was quite the well-written story, it was simply too well-told for the younger me. At one point in the book, the oldest son of the family with which Jacob is staying darts outside and is promptly shot by a Nazi hiding on the roof. When the author describes, through young Jacob's eyes, the father gathering the blood-soaked dead body of his son in his arms and weeping inconsolably, I almost threw up (and, as a matter of fact, did a short time later). The only other time I have been so disturbed was several years later, reading another WWII historical fiction about the concentration camps. Words cannot describe what a dark, evil history that is...

Day 22: What is a book you once loved, but don't anymore (and why)?
I am trying to think of books over which I went crazy, only to discover once I had calmed down that they weren't quite as amazing as I had previously thought. I suppose the first several books of the Thoroughbred series could apply here...

Up through about book 7ish, I still like these books, in general. When I was younger, I positively devoured them, loving the story of a girl with her horse, racing the Triple Crown, etc. Reading back over them a few years later, I discovered all sorts of things in the books which I hadn't even noticed before. Some attitudes were suddenly more defiant, there were more flirtatious, boyfriend-girlfriend relationships (mostly as you progressed into the later series) - and I had not even noticed them! That said, I still have the first 7 tucked away in my childhood-books-box; while they were not as good as I had thought the first time through, they are, still, the story of a girl amongst horses, and I like them. :)

What about you? What disturbing books should I avoid? Is there a book that you were crazy about, only to discover later you didn't care for it so much?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

30 Day Book Challenge! Days 19-20: Birthdays and More...

Do you what today is?? On this very day, 9 years ago, mum was at the hospital, mid-surgery, and Megan and Madeline- our very own M&Ms - were making their entrance into the world! Of course, we celebrated in proper twin-style: pizza, brownie-cheesecake-layer-cake, and way too many giggles!

The dresses from yours truly :)
 Please note the slightly befuddled faces in the next two pictures...

The Twinkles' bedroom has been, heretofore, a mess. When they were wee ones, they didn't want to have separate beds, so they have had only one mattress in the bunk bed for years...but as young ladies of 9, they have outgrown the share-a-bed idea. Hence, a birthday present from mum & dad that was confusedly received in small packages of plastic shapes, wires, and metal clips...

Happy birthday to the Twinkles!!


Oh yes, and I have those book challenge questions today, too, don't I?

Day 19: What is a book that you think is woefully underrated?
Easy answer. Little Dorrit, That Hideous Strength, The Ordinary Princess, The Princess and the Goblin, The Princess and Curdie, The Eagle of the Ninth, The Twelfth Imam, Wuthering Heights...I'm trying to make a point here. Pretty much all the books I like are woefully underrated.

Day 20: What is the environment in which you most enjoy reading?
Anywhere both quiet and pretty. Usually, this is my room. My first choice is always to read out of doors, but...the "quiet" factor is often compromised by wee siblings who also love the beautiful outside. :) I like to be comfortable, to not dread looking up while considering a part I just read (which if the room is awfully messy, etc, is the case), and to not be tempted to listen in on other conversations while I'm reading.

Where do you like to read?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

30 Day Book Challenge! Days 17-18: High Expectations

Happy Tuesday!! Yes, I've missed several days here in blogland - things have just been too busy and fun around here! On Saturday, we had a graduation ceremony for Rachel, followed by a triple-graduate-pie-social-party for Rachel (graduating from high school), Emily (graduating with her AA), and Ben (graduating with his BA). Saturday morning saw Rachel and I in the kitchen, getting some serious baking done (Rachel did most of it...I think we made 13 pies! Yes. There were leftovers for breakfast).

Hence, between preparation, parties and recovery (is there a better word I could have used to have some alliteration in there?), I fell behind. Get ready for 2 questions a day! :D

Day 17: What is a book you want to like, but can't get into? Why?
Hmmm...I suppose I shall say The Age of Revelation, by Elias Boudinot. It's not that I want to like it (I do like it!), but rather that I had a hard time getting into it for reasons previously mentioned: because I was trying to read it late at night, and the language and subject matter did not lend itself to such a reading. Still on my to-read list, thought!!

Day 18: Which book do you consider to be excessively overrated?

I'm rather afraid of becoming redundant here from last time I did the challenge, but I shall seek to be more fair and give an opinion on a book that I have actually read. The problem is, I usually am the one who gets excited about books most people don't care to read, so I'm slightly unqualified to label one as "overrated." Or maybe the problem is simply that I don't read books I deem to be overrated. On second thoughts, I will just wait for the opinions of to share your thoughts on the most overrated book?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

30 Day Book Challenge! Day 16: Never-Ever

This shall be possibly the shortest post I've ever written.

Day 16: What is a book you've never read and have no intention of ever reading?

The Twilight series. Any of them. Even though/especially because they take place in Seattle (although that really has nothing to do with my objections).

The End.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

30 Day Book Challenge! Days 14-15: So Many Books

No, I am not planning for this skip-a-day-double-post thing to become a habit. However, I am having heaps of fun with our beautiful SUMMER!! I know it is really and truly here because (1) my friend and I enjoyed 80 degrees and sunshine at the river yesterday...

 ...and (2) last night we had grilled pizza. Grilled. Pizza. Pretty much my favorite summer food evah. I literally (hmmm...this is an embarrassing piece of information to send out into the world wide web) drooled taking my first bite. It was gross. The drool, that is - but the pizza was to die for.

JT, or "Red" in the blogging world, was our pizza-crust-connoisseur, and has documented more pictures of this delectableness on his blog, The Case of the Red-Head JT. Just in case you too wish to drool.

But enough with the excuses of sunshine and food, and on to our book questions!!

Day 14: What is a book you regret not having read sooner?
This is, I have decided, an impossible question. Hasn't every book you've ever read been finished with the feeling of "I should have read that sooner?" Which story have you fallen in love with and thought, "Well, I'm glad I didn't read that last year"? Which thought-provoking page have you turned and thought "I am so glad I read this...but if I'd read it yesterday, I would have regretted it"? Really? Which book do I regret not having read sooner? Every. Single. One of them.

Day 15: What is a book on your "to read" list?
There are so-so-so many. It's no exaggeration to say I have at least my next 50 books planned out...and those are just ones that are top-priority. The next book on my list (after the present one I'm reading) is Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I have tried to read this book so many times...checked it out from the library twice. Had to return it before finishing twice. Bought it once, got half-way through again and then left it in an airport. Bought it again, will read it all the way through this time...although I may have to purpose not to let it leave my room until I finish it!

What's the next book on your reading list?

Monday, July 14, 2014

30 Day Book Challenge! Days 12-13: Playing Favorites

{photo credit}

Good Monday morning to you all! I will be answering two of the questions today, to make up for skipping Sunday posts. The first question is the most fun. ;)

Day 12: Who are your favorite authors?

Firstly, I have to say that I an so relieved this question isn't "Who is your single, solitary, favorite author of all time?" Secondly, I have to wonder, then, who to include and who to leave out. If I've only read one book by the author, does that qualify me to say he is one of my favorite authors? Or is it simply that I just really like that particular book? Practically speaking, there are very few authors I've met through books that I don't do I know if they're my favorites? Maybe I'm just enjoying the moment of indecision too much. Maybe I should move on and just answer the question.

- C.S. Lewis
- Charles Dickens
- G.K. Chesterton
- Rosemary Sutcliff (one of the authoresses of whom I've only read one book - but she is a fabulous writer!)
- John Milton
- Joel Rosenberg
- Baroness Emma Orczy name just a few. :)

{photo credit}

Day 13: What is your favorite book from childhood?

Put simply: I. Don't. Know. 
There is not a book that stands out above the rest as one I love the most through childhood.

The Elsie Dinsmore series was dear to my heart.
So were the Tintin books, honestly.
Peter Pan was a favorite from the time I read it - but that wasn't until "later" (about 13 or 14).
Black Beauty - in fact, any and all horse books - was an obsession for a while.
Perhaps the book I loved as a child and still love the most is The Princess and the Goblin.

In short - there are too many to count! :)

Now it's your turn! Tell me, please, your favorite authors so they can become mine, too! And tell me your favorite book from childhood so I can read it!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

30 Day Book Challenge! Day 11: Stay Home from the Movies

Day 11: Name two absolutely awful adaptations of books.

1. Hans Brinker

I've talked about this before, so no need to rehash. Simply, though, don't watch it!

2. Prince Caspian

This movie was just so disappointing in so many ways. Added story lines, detracted story lines, characters acting distinctly out of character (what in the world happened to Peter??) - I cannot even force myself to watch it anymore (except I do have to come in and meet Reepicheep each time; he was the best).

What books do you consider to be completely disrespected by their movies?