Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I've Owned For a Long Time

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven't Read Yet. I've only been blogging since February, so this has the potential to be a very long list :) Therefore, I've decided to tweak it slightly and list Books That I've Owned Since 2014 (Or Earlier). There are still quite a few more than ten, some of which I have had for quite a number of years :)

(My book buying habits kind of increased a lot in the last couple of years, though, so I have a LOT more unread books acquired in 2015 and 2016. I also didn't include non-fiction in this list, and left out a few books that I own but am not sure if I want to read or not. So that the list didn't get TOO long.)

(Most of these I do really want to read - even the ones I've had for a number of years. I'm just good at procrastinating books (especially if they're long), and tend to be more attracted to shiny new ones.)

 
The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
I don't know how many years I've had this book; about thirteen or fourteen, I think. I've started it several times and enjoyed what I've read, but somehow always been distracted before continuing. I literally have no idea why I haven't read it yet.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
I'm kind of reading this ... very slowly. I think this one is kind of excusable though :)

The Light Princess and Other Stories by George MacDonald
I've read the first two stories, but never got around to reading the others

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
I've had this about 8 years, and started reading it twice but got distracted. The writing is gorgeous, and I am totally planning to read it ... sometime.


The Forgotten Garden and The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
I've had both of these for years and haven't even started either of them (unusually for me). Mostly because they are both pretty long and thus reading them requires a commitment; I'm a little intimidated by really long books.

Elizabeth, Captive Princess and Elizabeth and the Prince of Spain by Margaret Irwin
These are books two and three of a trilogy that I bought as a single volume. I read book one, Young Bess, in the summer of 2013 and I enjoyed it ... but have I got round to reading the sequels yet? No.

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

I bought this a few years ago, but haven't got around to it yet.
 
The Painted Garden by Noel Streatfeild
I enjoy Noel Streatfeild's books and have bought and read several since I bought this ... so I don't know why I haven't read it yet.
 

Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
I started reading Great Expectations a couple of years back and got about halfway through. I keep intending to try again. I haven't started the other two because I feel like I should read GE first (I had it first, and have tried to read it already). But maybe I should just read the others since I feel like I might enjoy them more...
 
The Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson
I've read bits of this. But not all of it yet.

Last Train from Kummersdorf by Leslie Wilson
I bought this years ago and started reading it but never finished it. I keep intending to go back to it but haven't yet.
 

Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy
I did struggle a lot with the dialect when I started reading this before. Maybe I'll go back to it sometime. (I have seen the film, so I sort of feel obligated to read it.)

The House of Windjammer by V.A. Richardson

This sounded kind of interesting when I bought it, but I haven't been able to get into it yet.

The Case of the Deadly Desperados by Caroline Lawrence
The Roman Mysteries series by the same author were basically my favourite books when I was about 13 - so I bought this as soon as it came out. I probably should try to read it soon...

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
This is another book I've had for years and still not read. Hopefully someday :)
 
 
Feel free to leave a comment and a link to your TTT post if you've participated!


Monday, 22 August 2016

It's Monday! August 22nd


badge
 
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Date. Due to illness and busy-ness I haven't been able to read as much as I would have liked, but I still managed to finish one book, and make progress on some others. Hopefully this week will be a more successful reading week than the last.
 
Books finished this week:
11235712
Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I didn't really know what to expect going into this since it is different from what I usually read, but I had heard good things about it so I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did, because it was really good - and now I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series to find out what happens next!

Currently reading:
I keep starting books and not getting around to finishing what I was reading - so the number of books on my "currently reading" pile keeps growing! However, the books I'm currently actively reading (as opposed to books I'll probably pick up again in a week or two when I've hopefully finished some of these) are:

On the Loose by Jenny B. Jones
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Mullan
The Forever Girl by Alexander McCall Smith
Life with God by Richard Foster
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
 
What I plan to read next:
I'm not sure what I'll end up reading next - I tend to just pick up whatever I feel like reading - but here are three books I'm hoping to get to soon:

Five Magic Spindles by various authors
Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

What have you been reading lately? Feel free to leave a comment!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set in the Middle Ages

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Books With X Setting. I've decided to do a list of books set in the Middle Ages. I read a lot of historical fiction and this is one of my favourite time periods. All of these books are ones I've enjoyed, to varying degrees.
 

 

Gatty's Tale by Kevin Crossley-Holland

The story of a young girl who journeys to Jerusalem. I reread this recently and wrote about it here.

 

The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Penman

The story of Richard III, told in nearly 900 pages. It's very long, but definitely worth reading.

 

The Queen of Last Hopes by Susan Higginbotham

The Wars of the Roses again, but from the opposite viewpoint.

 

Crusade by Elizabeth Laird

The stories of two boys on opposite sides of the conflict.

 

Matilda Bone by Karen Cushman

A children's book about a young girl trying to find her place in the world.
 

 

The Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mysteries by Sarah Woodbury

I've actually only read three of these books, but I enjoyed them a lot. I've reviewed two of them here.

 

The Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters

Again I've only read the first three of these, although I have the fourth book on my TBR pile and hope to get to it soon.

 

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by Simon Armitage

I haven't read much poetry, but I enjoyed this more than I expected to. The original is a medieval poem by an unknown author, telling the story of one of King Arthur's knights.

 

The Arthur trilogy by Kevin Crossley-Holland

The story of a boy living in twelfth-century England, who is given a "seeing stone" which allows him to watch events taking place in King Arthur's court, whose life parallels his own.

 

The After Cilmeri series by Sarah Woodbury

This is a time travel/alternate history series about two modern-day American teenagers (and a few others, later on) who travel back to medieval Wales and fight to keep it independent from England.
 
 
Have you read any of these books, or do you have any other suggestions for good books set in this time period? Let me know in the comments, and feel free to add a link to your TTT post if you've participated this week!

Monday, 15 August 2016

It's Monday! August 15th


badge
 
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Date. I haven't participated for a few weeks, so there will be a lot of books mentioned in this post :)
 
Books finished since last post:
Poems of John Milton, selected and edited by Claire Tomalin. I quite enjoyed this book, at least the bits that I could understand :)

Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber. I did enjoy this a lot, although it didn't quite live up to my (admittedly very high) expectations.

Miriam by Mesu Andrews. This was alright. Read my review here.
  
Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe. An entertaining read.
A Cathedral Courtship by Kate Douglas Wiggin. Review here.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. I actually really enjoyed this, although it was different to the series.

Monks-Hood by Ellis Peters. This was the third book in the Brother Cadfael series, and I enjoyed it just as much as the last one.

Currently reading:
Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson. I really need to get around to finishing this!
 
Penelope's English Experiences by Kate Douglas Wiggin. I'm finding this entertaining, but not as much as her other books that I've read.

On the Loose by Jenny B. Jones. I've had this on my Kindle for ages and not got around to it, but I am enjoying it a lot.

What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Mullan. I've only read the first few chapters of this, but I'm finding it interesting so far.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer. This is different to what I usually read but I'm enjoying it a lot so far.
 
What I plan to read next:
Five Magic Spindles by various authors
The Wouldbegoods by E. Nesbit
Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Growing Summer by Noel Streatfeild

I haven't posted for a while since I've been pretty busy lately, but I'm hoping to post a bit more over the next couple of weeks.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Monthly Recap: July


# Books Read in July: 9

Books Read in July:
Gatty's Tale by Kevin Crossley-Holland (****)
Rivals of the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer (***+)
Practically Perfect by Hilary McKay (***+)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (*****) (Classics Club)
Poems of John Milton, selected and edited by Claire Tomalin (****)
Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber (****)
Miriam by Mesu Andrews (***)

Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe (****)
A Cathedral Courtship by Kate Douglas Wiggin (****+)

Best Read this Month: To Kill a Mockingbird

Non-Review Posts:
Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Under 2000 Goodreads Ratings
Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Bookish Facts About Me
Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set Outside the US and UK
Six in Six (Mid-Year Review)
Happy Birthday, Emily Brontë!

Currently Reading:
Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
Chronicle of a Last Summer by Yasmine El Rashidi
Monks-Hood by Ellis Peters

What I Intend to Read Next:
Five Magic Spindles by various authors
Plenilune by Jennifer Freitag
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I'd also like to reread some books next month - I have a long list of books I want to read again but tend to get distracted by new books! So I'm hoping to make time for some rereads this summer.

This is a scheduled post, since I'm currently away, so the list of books read is not 100% final. I'll update it if I end up finishing anything else in the next few days.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Happy Birthday, Emily Brontë!


http://www.abm-enterprises.net/emily.htm
Emily Brontë, circa 1833
Today marks what would be the 198th birthday of Emily Brontë, She is of course most famous as the author of Wuthering Heights, which I've yet to read, but I have read and enjoyed several of her poems, so I decided that today would be a good day to share one of them:

            No coward soul is mine
            No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere
            I see Heaven's glories shine
            And Faith shines equal arming me from Fear

            O God within my breast
            Almighty ever-present Deity
            Life, that in me hast rest,
            As I Undying Life, have power in Thee

            Vain are the thousand creeds
            That move men's hearts, unutterably vain,
            Worthless as withered weeds
            Or idlest froth amid the boundless main

            To waken doubt in one
            Holding so fast by thy infinity,
            So surely anchored on
            The steadfast rock of Immortality.

            With wide-embracing love
            Thy spirit animates eternal years
            Pervades and broods above,
            Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates and rears

            Though earth and moon were gone
            And suns and universes ceased to be
            And Thou wert left alone
            Every Existence would exist in thee

            There is not room for Death
            Nor atom that his might could render void
            Since thou art Being and Breath
            And what thou art may never be destroyed.

Friday, 29 July 2016

A Cathedral Courtship by Kate Douglas Wiggin

14332685

I've wanted to read this book for quite a while - I read Rose o' the River by the same author last summer and really enjoyed it, and this one sounded quite interesting, but somehow it has taken me a year to get around to reading it. In the end, being a very short book, it only took an hour or so to read, but I'm glad that I finally got around to it.
 
Kitty Schuyler is (somewhat reluctantly) taken to England by her aunt to tour various cathedrals - a trip which is supposed to be "improving", which Kitty is not especially thrilled about. In the first cathedral, they come across a young man, another American visitor who is making a sketching tour of cathedrals. Finding the itinerary which Kitty and her aunt have mislaid, and having fallen in love with Kitty at first sight, he decides that since both he and they are making the same tour, he may as well go along with them. So follows a series of meetings in various places around the country; romance ensues.
 
The story is told alternately by the two main characters, in diary format. Although they both come off as a bit shallow, they are still likeable, entertaining characters, especially Kitty, who clearly has a love of literature. She makes references to a few classic books, and there is a part of the story where she is given a copy of Persuasion, that was one of my favourite parts (I shall say no more so as not to ruin it, but if you are a fan of Persuasion you must read this book, just for that part).
 
Overall, this was a sweet, light-hearted romance; I could have done with it being a little longer just so that the story could have been told in more detail, but it is definitely well worth a read. I'll probably wait a lot less than a year before reading another of Kate Douglas Wiggin's books.
 
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
 
Note: I read the Kindle version available from Amazon, which not very well formatted (although still readable), so if you want to read this I would recommend downloading from Project Gutenberg (the version without the cover image is better).