Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Top Ten Books of 2017 (so far)

This week's Top Ten Tuesday theme is my top ten books of 2017 so far. Sadly I've only read about twenty books so far this year but they've all been great so I can't really complain. Here's my top ten though in no particular order. I didn't include any re-reads.

  1. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  2. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
  3. The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  4. Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
  5. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
  6. The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
  7. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  8. Depression: Looking up From the Stubborn Darkness by Edward T. Welch
  9. Home by Marilynne Robinson 
  10. Intended for Pleasure by Ed and Gaye Wheat

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Monday, June 26, 2017

It's Monday! Married Life

It's now been a little over four weeks that Brian and I have been married. It's been crazy fun as we figure out life together. Our current adventures include figuring out how to shop together (we're getting better at it!) and cooking together. A couple weeks ago we spent time shopping for furniture for our home and in between furniture stores found time to stop by a used bookstore and Lois got too many books. It was Brian's idea to go in though! I warned him how dangerous they are for me!
Then this last weekend we got to have people over for dinner for the first time in our home! Obviously a little nerve wracking for me hosting people for the first time but so much fun too!
I love being married and most especially I love being married to Brian. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us in our marriage.
So reading... Nothing really new since the last time I posted. Still reading the same books. I got a little further in In the Presence of My Enemies but that's it. I'm almost done with it though!
We got our official wedding pictures back last week so I hope to share them here with y'all in not too long. I love how they turned out. Here's just a few for now though and by a few I mean I couldn't stop uploading pictures but this is a few compared to the over six hundred photos I have to sort through.

All of the photos were done by SR Photography and if you're in Kansas you should definitely use her!!! 

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Monday, June 12, 2017

It's Monday! Marital Bliss

I am married!!!!!! We got back from the honeymoon last week. It was amazing and I loved every minute of it. ALL OF THE MINUTES!!!! ;) I'll write a more detailed post about it sometime in the future but just know it was a blast! We went to Charleston, South Carolina and let me just say that if it weren't for the heat I would move there in a heartbeat. Brian is an incredible husband. So sweet, kind and considerate. Being married to him is so much fun and sanctifying at the same time. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us.

Yes, I did get some reading done while I was away. I've found that now I'm not planning a wedding anymore I have more time to read. I love it! I did notice that at this moment I'm currently reading all non-fiction, which is a first. Maybe signaling in a new period in my life? Don't worry, though, I'm not a boring old married lady yet. I'll get some fiction in there soon enough!

Finished Recently

  • Home by Marilynne Robinson 

Currently Reading

  • The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Kelelr
  • In the Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham
  • Catching Foxes by John Henderson
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey 

Coming Soon

  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson 
That's all for now! I've included a couple wedding shots in this post. I've got a couple back from my photographer already, which I love, and I can't wait to get the rest soon! 

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Nine Truths and a Lie.... Book Style!

I saw this meme over at The Once Lost Wanderer who got it from Brona's Books and I guess it's just floating around right now so I picked it up! The problem is I blog pretty thoroughly about my reading and then I'm also quite thorough on my Goodreads account. So first off... NO looking at Goodreads for answers! I decided to go with books that I read before I started blogging to try and throw you off the scent more. Please don't scour my blog either to find the answers as even though I might have read it before I started blogging I've mentioned many previous books on here before. Play fair people.
So here we go.
Here's a list of ten books... one is a lie. Guess which book is the lie in the comments!

  1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolsto
  2. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  3. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare 
  4. Captain Blood by Rafel Sabatini 
  5. Lorna Done by R.D. Blackmoore 
  6. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  7. Castaways of the Flying Dutchman by Brian Jacques 
  8. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  9. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  10. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway 

Have fun playing!  I know I said I wouldn't blog again before the wedding but this was too fun to pass up and I needed to get my mind off wedding planning for a bit.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Robin Hood Week Tag Answers

I know I'm supposed to be focused on my wedding right now and not blogging but it's ROBIN HOOD WEEK!!!!!! Go check out the festivities over at Meanwhile in Rivendell!
Olivia has some great questions to kick off the week so here are my answers!

What was your first exposure to Robin Hood? My family grew up watching the 1938 version with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Haviland. It's still a favorite for us. I actually didn't get exposed to the animated Disney film until later though I was still young. I watched it when I visited my uncle and aunt and I loved it so much it was all I would watch the whole time I was there. Needless to say everyone else got quite sick of it. I don't think I've actually seen it since then as my parents don't have it. In retrospect it wasn't that great but still fun. 
On a scale of 1 to 10, how big a fan are you? Hmmmm. Six? I had a phase in my childhood where I read a ton of books about Robin Hood and I've always loved the movie but I know there's plenty of areas in the Robin Hood that I haven't delved into. 
How many versions and spin-offs of the legend have you experienced? I've watched the 1938 film, the animated Disney film, another adaptation that I can't even find on IMDB at this time and then I've read Howard Pyle's and Roger Lancelyn Green's books on him. I think I've read a couple other books but I don't remember authors. I also watched the first season of the BBC show thanks to Olivia begging me to. ;) I enjoyed it but I just haven't made it back to it yet. I really want to watch Robin Hood Men in Tights but I haven't made it there yet either. 
What is your favorite version of Robin Hood (can be book, movie, TV series, anything)? Probably the 1938 film. 
Are you one of the lads? (Meaning, have you watched/are you a fan of the BBC show?) As I said above, I've watched a season and hopefully will make it back for the rest of it in the future. 
Who is your favorite Merry Man? I like Little John a lot and Friar Tuck.  And of course Robin Hood himself is awesome. 
Do you have a favorite portrayal of Lady Marian? I've enjoyed every portrayal of her honestly. No real favorite. 
Do you have any interest in or aptitude at archery? Interest? Yes! I've always wanted to learn archery. Aptitutide? Well... I've never actually tried. 
Fact or fiction -- which do you think? I think there's probably some truth to the legends. How much is fact and how much is fiction I'd be hesitant to say. Regardless, it's a fun story. 
Do you think Robin Hood has been "done to death," or are there still new twists that can be found? In some ways I think it has but I'm also not against remakes as long as it's a fresh perspective and isn't stupid. Is that too much to ask? ;) 

Well there are my answers! Go check out the fun at Meanwhile in Rivindell and join in!
Also, go check out some fun giveaways over at Hamlette's Soliloquy. She's giving away many of the books and movies I mentioned!

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Monday, May 22, 2017

It's Monday... Five Days!

I've noticed that most of my posts nowadays have been permeated with things like... got engaged, getting married, just two months, just one month, ect. Well I'm not a trend stopper so I'm excited to say that from today it's FIVE DAYS UNTIL BRIAN AND I GET MARRIED!!!! We are beyond thrilled and overwhelmed with God's grace to us in bringing us together and leading us to where we are now. I have this week before the wedding off from work which will be great to give me time to pack up things and get all of the last minute details done.
I'm not sure how I'm getting reading done right now but somehow I am. I can't deny my first love! ;)
So here's what's up in my reading world!

Finished Recently

  • Intended for Pleasure by Ed Wheat
  • In Freedom's Cause by G.A. Henty (audiobook) (re-read)

Currently Reading

  • In the Presence of My Enemy by Gracia Burnham 
  • Home by Marilynne Robinson
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey
  • Catching Foxes by John Henderson

Coming Soon

  • The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller

Obviously I won't be blogging again for awhile as we'll be gone on our honeymoon. Frankly, I think I won't miss it while I'm away, though of course I'll be happy to come back to it. :)

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bout of Books- May 2017

Part of me says I don't have time for Bout of Books right now... the other part of me says I need Bout of Books to motivate me to read right now! So yeah.... I'm signing up for Bout of Books!
Here's what it's about....
Bout of BooksThe Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
My goal for Bout of Books is to finish Home by Marilynne Robinson and read Lila by Marilynne Robinson. I'd love to do more but I'll stay conservative.
Interested in Bout of Books? Click on the link above and get in on the fun!!!

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Monday, May 1, 2017

It's Monday! One Month Out!

Life seems to be flying by right now... flying and standing still. The wedding is now less than one month away! It seems so close and yet so far away.  I keep see-sawing between exhilirating joy and terrifying anxiety. I'm so excited to be marrying Brian but a little afraid of the changes that will be happening. I guess though Brian is the person with whom I'd most like to be facing these changes.
This past weekend I was able to enjoy a women's retreat at church where we were blessed to have Gracia Burnham speak. I didn't know who she was before the retreat.... which shocked my mother.... but now that I do I'd say if you don't look her up and learn her story. Absolutely inspiring! Additionally she's such a sweet lady and so personal. I got her books and I'm so excited to read them!
And speaking of reading.... here's what I've been up to in the reading department recently!

Currently Reading

  • Home by Marilynne Robinson
  • In the Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham 
  • In Freedom's Cause by G.A. Henty (re-read) (audiobook)
  • Catching Foxes by John Henderson 
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearce

Coming Soon

  • Another pre-marital counseling book 
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (hopefully)
Obviously I've overbooked myself in the reading department! I need to finish Home and Lila before my wedding as well as my pre-marital counseling book..... I'm doomed! Time for some reading therapy to help me get through the wedding stress! 

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Book Tag

I've seen this tag awn a few different blogs and naturally had to steal it!

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest? I'm not even sure. Probably my Chronicles of Narnia collection.

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next? Currently I'm reading Home by Marilynne Robinson. I just finished Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Next I'm not sure. There's another book I need to read for premarital counseling and then once I'm done with Home I'll read the next book in the series Lila.

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated? Gulliver's Travels. HATE IT. And Wutheirng Heights. I guess not everyone likes it but a lot must because it's a classic.

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t? At this point I'm really worried I'll never get to War and Peace. I really want to though... but I might not.

5. What book are you saving for retirement? Maybe it should be War and Peace? ;)

6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end? Wait until the end of course! I honestly have a hard time comprehending people that read ahead.

7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside? Interesting but let's get to the good stuff!

8. Which book character would you switch places with? Anne Shirley AFTER she came to Green Gables.

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?) I tend to associate every book I read when I was working at the pig farm with the pig farm. More so than anything I've ever read in another location. This especially goes for Little Dorrit as not only did I read it there but I watched it there. Our Mutual Friend as well I definitely link strongly to the pig farm.

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way. I can't think of any of my books that I've acquired in an interesting way. I've got them from many random sources: gifts, book sales, giveaways.... stole from my parents. ;)

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person? I've given away a lot of books before... not for a special reason though that I can think of.

12. Which book has been with you most places? Probably my Bible.... I guess. That's what I consistently take with me when I travel. Besides that the books I'm traveling with vary.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later? I enjoyed Ivanhoe a lot more when I re-read it a couple years ago than when I read it back in high school.

14. Used or brand new? If I can get it brand new for a decent price then great! Otherwise I'd rather pay less for a slightly used book.

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book? No.

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book? Sacrilegious! However, I do kind of like the movie of The Book Thief a little more than the book.

17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included? All of Brian Jacques's books made me hungry. How could they not.?Every feast was described with such tantalizing details.

18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take? My dad's.

19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving? Cinder and the rest in the Lunar Chronicles. I rarely read YA novels and sci-fi fairy tales aren't something I read normally either. ;)

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A-Z Book Tag

I saw this tag over at A Spoonful of Happy Endings and had to do it!

Author you've read the most books from
Agatha Christie.... she wrote a lot of books and I've read them all. 

Best sequel ever
Hmmm.... Love The Two Towers, love the Harry Potter sequels and love the Anne of Green Gables sequels. 

Currently reading
A lot but I'll just highlight one... Catching Foxes by John Henderson

Drink of choice while reading
Water, hot chocolate or tea.
E-reader or physical book
Physical book though I do like my kindle and ebooks are growing on me.

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school
Henry Tilney hands down. He makes me laugh but isn't afraid to challenge me. 

Glad you gave this book a chance
Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Heard lots of hype about it but never read the series until just last year.

Hidden gem book
Coronation of Glory: The Story of Lady Jane Grey by Deborah Meroff. If you like historical fiction you'll love this beautiful and historically accurate look at the life of Lady Jane Grey.
Important moment in your reading life
I don't even know where to begin. I don't even really remember first learning to read very well. I have hazy recollections. I was pretty young. Obviously though that was very important. Every time I've read Lord of the Rings has been important as well as Pride and Prejudice. Those two books are my favorite and every time I read them I get more out of them. I'll never get tired of them and they'll never stop being important to me. 
Just finished
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Kind of books you won't read
I'll try most anything at least once except erotica obviously. I don't really read horror but that's just because I haven't yet bothered to pick one up. It's not off the table yet. 
Longest book you've read
Having to check Goodreads for the answer to this... and the answer is The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. That is a compilation but I really did read it all in one big hefty book. So besides a compilation book the answer would be Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. 

Major book hangover because of...
Weird term... I'm not sure how to answer that.
Number of bookcases you own
I own one regular bookshelf. I have my spinning bookshelf. I also just recently got a bookshelf for free second hand but I went ahead and moved it into Brian's house since it didn't make sense to move it into my house and then move it into his house in just a month or so. 

One book you have read multiple times
Pride and Prejudice, Lord of the Rings, Coronation of Glory, This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness, Harry Potter series
Preferred place to read
In my bed, on the couch... anywhere comfy. 
Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read
"You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." 
Reading regret
I regret reading some books... Gulliver's Travels, Leaves of Grass, The Sound and the Fury, Beloved, The Austen Project's Northanger Abbey
Series you started and need to finish (all books are out in series)
The Wingfeather Saga... I still need to read the last book The Warden and the Wolf King
Three of your all-time favourite books
Pride and Prejudice, The Lord of the Rings and Leave it to Psmith if I have to chose.
Unapologetic fangirl for...
I'm an unapologetic fangirl for whatever books love. Especially Pride and Prejudice and Lord of the Rings though.
Very excited for this release more than all the others
The next book in N.D. Wilson's Outlaws of Time series. 
Worst bookish habit
Reading multiple books at a time. 
X marks the spot: start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book
Most all of my books are off my shelf right now because I boxed them up and sent them to Brian's.  :(

Your latest book purchase
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late)
I stayed up pretty late to finish up Gilead last week. 

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Monday, April 17, 2017

It's Monday! Depression and Anxiety

This past week I finished a book that I've been reading for quite a long time but has never shown up in my It's Monday posts and it took me awhile to even put it on Goodreads. Why? Cause I was a little ashamed... though I shouldn't have been. The book is Depression: Looking up From the Stubborn Darkness and as is obvious from the title it deals with depression though it also deals with anxiety. I started reading it two years ago with my mentor... it's taken us a long time (she's a much slower reader than I am) but I've finally finished it! Back when I started it I was in the midst of nursing school. With my grandma's stroke and then my grandpa's failing health I had begun to deal some with anxiety and depression but nursing school dramatically increased them both... especially my anxiety. Anxiety and Depression were not something really talked about growing up and unwittingly I became under the impression they were something we didn't talk about. That's not my parents fault at all and I do have a very open relationship with them both. Thanks to my mentor as well as my parents my anxiety and depression never got too bad. This book was a huge encouraging influence on me as well and was incredibly helpful. It didn't read like one of those self help books... it was practical and biblical wisdom with real stories from real people who had dealt with these issues. I cannot recommend it enough whether you are struggling with anxiety and depression or are a friend or family member of someone dealing with anxiety or depression.
Now I'm not saying that I'm "cured" or that I ever will be. But I'm in a much better place than I used to be. Yes I get anxious sometimes though I really don't get depressed too much anymore. I'm equipped now to deal with those issues when they come. Will I always respond perfectly? No! But by God's grace I'll respond well at least most of the time.
Final thoughts before I get to my normal It's Monday business... If you are dealing with anxiety and depression know that you are not alone and do not be afraid to get help. :)

Finished this Week

  • Depression: Looking up From the Stubborn Darkness by Edward T. Welch
  • Gilead by Marilynn Robinson 

Currently Reading

  • Catching Foxes by John Henderson
  • In Freedom's Cause by G.A. Henty (audiobook) (re-read)
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey

Coming Soon

  • Home by Marilynn Robinson 

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Top Ten Most Unique Books

This week's Top Ten Tuesday theme over at Broke and Bookish is the Top Ten Most Unique Books You've Read. This topic was used back in April of 2014 so I'm not going to include any of the books from that list but if you want to check it out just go HERE.
But now for an all new list of unique books!
  1. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams 
  2. The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  3. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  4. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  5. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  6. The Martian by Andy Weir 
  7. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  8. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
  9. The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis
  10. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Monday, April 10, 2017

It's Monday! Spring is here!

Kansas weather is all over the place. It decides to be spring in January for a few days and then back to winter and then spring and then winter and then spring and just back and forth and back and forth. Once January hits I feel like the weather is especially unpredictable! I think I can semi-safely say now though that we are maybe, hopefully enjoying a spring that is not going to turn back in to winter tomorrow... maybe.
The red bud tree in our yard is in bloom and the lilac bush as well. Not to mention the dandelions! ;) The weather has been pretty gorgeous and I'm loving it! I feel like it's the best weather though on the days I work. :(

Currently Reading

  • Gilead by Marilynne Robinson 
  • In Freedom's Cause by G.A. Henty (audiobook) (re-read)
  • Catching Foxes by John Henderson
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey

Finished this past week

  • Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (re-read) (audiobook)

Coming Soon

  • Home by Marilynne Robinson

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Book Reviews- The Lunar Chronicles

I know this review is a long time coming considering I read these last year but finally here's my review of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. The Lunar Chronicles are composed of four books; Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter. They are sci-fi retellings of classic fairytales including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves respectively.

I wasn't sure about these book when I first heard about them but when I finally got over my skepticism and decided to pick them up I was hooked! Sci-Fi retellings of fairytales sounds really out there and like a recipe for crappy books but Marissa Meyers really made it work! They were fun, clever and engaging. I really enjoyed all of the books for the most part, which is a lot to ask of a series sometimes. I was amazed at how well Marissa Meyers wove the stories together integrating the original stories with the future seamlessly.
I wasn't as big of a fan of the book Scarlet but that was because I just wasn't as a big fan of the character or her love interest. Overall, the parts I normally didn't like in the books were when they got too romantic. Give me some action and cut the kissing! ;)
My favorite character was obviously Captain Carswell Thorne. Can we just say Flynn Ryder? And who doesn't love Flynn Ryder? Can we just say Han Solo? And who doesn't love Han Solo? So yeah.... enough said. Girls can't help but love the rogue with a hidden heart of gold. I really like Cress too... so yeah... serendipitous that... SPOILERS!!!! ;)
If you like sci-fi, a little romance (or a lot at times), fairy tales and some humor then these are the books for you!
P.S. Marissa Meyer also wrote some in-between books that I've not read yet so I cannot comment on those yet though they do look intriguing!

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Monday, April 3, 2017

It's Monday! Two Months Out!

Brian and I are now officially a little less than two months out from our wedding! Let the panicking commence! Thankfully most everything is already planned. Doesn't stop me panicking though. ;) My ring finally came! Brian designed it for me. It is so beautiful and unique and I absolutely love it. It was worth the wait! I only got to wear it for about a week though before we had to take it in to get resized though. :(

Currently Reading

  • Gilead by Marilynne Robinson 
  • Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (re-read) (audiobook)
  • Catching Foxes by John Henderson 
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey 

Finished Recently

  • Persuasion by Jane Austen (Re-read) (audiobook)
  • The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Coming Soon

  • Home by Marilynne Robinson 
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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Book Review- Hidden Figures

Today I'm reviewing Margot Lee Shatterly's book Hidden Figures.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets and astronauts into space.Among these problem solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South's segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America's aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly these overlooked math whizzes had shots at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam's call, moving to Hampton, Virginia, and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.
Even as Virginia's Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley's all-black West Computing group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War and complete domination of the heavens.
Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the civil rights movement, and the space race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA's greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades as they faced challenges, forged alliances, and used their intellects to change their own lives - and their country's future.
Going into reading this book I expected it to be a historical novel. Emphasis on novel. But it wasn't simply a novel. I would say biography. It was meticulously researched and with the historical and scientific aspects of it the book was not the easy read I expected. Did that turn me off from it though? Not at all. It made me love it all the more. After adjusting myself to the book I was sucked right in to the lives and times of these women. Mathematics, physics, civl rights and history were just a few of the subjects I learned. I also learned about where hard work, dedication, gumption and spirit can get you in a world that is continually blocking your progress. I found the story of Mary Jackson petitioning the school to let her attend the night classes so she could become an engineer particularly inspiring. It is obvious that the author did a lot of research for this book and I commend her for it. 
Overall, one of the most lasting impressions this book gave me was how hard these women were willing to work for what they wanted and highly education was valued amongst them. These are two things that sadly I do not see as much in this present day. 
A little note on the movie. I enjoyed it a lot, just as much as the book to be honest. It mainly focuses on what happens with the space program and less emphasis is put on what happens before that so you don't get the back story the book provides. 
My thoughts... read the book and watch the movie!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Top Ten Books You Can't Help But Read in One Sitting

The theme for this week's Top Ten Tuesday over at Broke and Bookish is a Read In One Sitting Theme: ten of the shortest books I've read, top ten books I read in one sitting, ten books to read when you are short on time, top ten books that will make you read the whole day away, etc.
So I'm going with my top ten books I can't help but read in one sitting or I did read in one sitting.

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling- One of her only books you can read in one sitting
  2. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien- Yes I've read this in basically one sitting. Traditionally when I'm re-reading the trilogy I read The Two Towers the fastest... I read it in two days once. So technically two sittings but that's not bad for LOTR. 
  3. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum- I read it in like two hours just last month. I had to get it done for book club and while I was pretty sure I could go off of memory from my previous re-reads I didn't want to risk it. 
  4. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee- I read this one in two hours too. 
  5. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket- I'm working through the series right now but each time I pick up one of the books it's less than two hours and I'm done. They're quick and fun reads. 
  6. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis- Or any of them in the series. They're quick, fun and easy to read. Especially The Horse and His Boy obviously! 
  7. Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw- Love this book. Fun, suspenseful, romantic historical fiction. You can't help but read it in one sitting! 
  8. The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery- I couldn't help but read this one in one sitting either. I LOVE this book! LOVE IT!!!! If you like Anne of Green Gables but want something a little older than READ IT!!!! 
  9. Little House one the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder- All of her books are great one afternoon reads. And so nostalgic! 
  10. Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange- Most of the books in her Diary's series I read in one sitting. 
  11. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein- I think I read it over two days but it was fast! That book engaged me like few have before. 
  12. Carry on Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham- One sitting cause it's SO GOOD!!! 
  13. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransom- I read almost all of the books in that series in one sitting or two. They're so much fun! 
Okay I have to cut myself off here. I know I went over but there are actually so many more I could list here! 

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Monday, March 20, 2017

It's Monday! Hidden Figures

I was a little better about reading this past week. I finished Hidden Figures finally! I really enjoyed the book and I learned so much but it isn't simply a fictional novel as I expected. It was meticulously researched and with the historical and scientific aspects of it the book was not an easy read. Just because it wasn't easy though doesn't mean it wasn't good. So yes.... read it! And then watch the movie. Both are great.

Finished this past week

  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shatterly

Currently Reading

  • Catching Foxes by John Henderson
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen (audiobook) (re-read)

Coming Soon

  • The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Tag

Meredith at On Stories and Words is having a Beauty and the Beast week over on her blog and has this fun tag which I couldn't resist!

1.When did you first experience Beauty and the Beast? I grew up with it! It was my favorite Disney film as a child and continues to be my favorite now.
2. In what forms(book, movie, retelling) have you experienced Beauty and the Beast? I've watched the Disney film obviously and I've read various children's versions of the story and Andrew Lang's in his Fairy books. I read Beauty by Robin McKinley, which was one of my favorite books as a child. I think I've seen part of an old black and white French version too. I also saw our local Christian Youth Theater put on a production of it that was excellent. Some would call The Phantom of the Opera a version of it and I've read it and seen the film. When I was looking up books that are considered Beauty and the Beast adaptations just now one that popped up that I was surprised by was Scarlett by Marissa Meyer. It's supposed to be Little Red Riding Hood but when I thought about it really does have some strong likenesses to Beauty and the Beast too.
3. Who is your favorite character in Beauty and the Beast? Belle! She loves reading, adventures and has a quirky father. That's me! ;)
4. What is your favorite song from the cartoon Beauty and the Beast? The opening song... Belle. It sets up the movie so perfectly and resonates with me. Of course Be Our Guest is another great one.... all of the songs are awesome!
5. If you were turned into a piece of furniture what you want it to be? Hmmm. Deep question. I'm not great with fashion but I do love dressing up so maybe a wardrobe? It's so fun to get all pretty for no reason!
6. What would your dream cast for Beauty and the Beast be? (This can be as elaborate or simple as you desire.) Hmmm. Never really thought about that. I don't have an answer for this one.
7. If your school were performing BatB which character would you want to play? Belle! Obviously!
8. Like Belle, do you enjoy reading books multiple times? Absolutely! If it's a true favorite I will read that book so many times it falls to pieces.
9. If you were to write a retelling, what would you change? No thoughts on this yet.... never really thought about it before. I think it would be fun to do though and now I am going to muse on this.
10. Are roses your favorite flowers? No.... I like them but not my favorite. My favorites would probably be chrysanthemums.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Top Ten Books on my Spring 2017 TBR List

And a random picture of my beautiful niece
because the world needs more pictures of her! 
I'm really hoping with the wedding preparations that I can actually get in ten books this spring. Not sure but hopefully! Because of that I'm going to go ahead and list the ones I've already started but want to finish this spring. The rest of the books (except the last one) are ones that I borrowed from my Aunt while I was in Minnesota this past Thanksgiving. I'm excited about reading them all but have started none of them! Pathetic.

  1. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (already started)
  2. Catching Foxes by John Henderson (already started) 
  3. Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey (already started) 
  4. The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer and Anne Barrows
  5. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  6. Home by Marilynne Robinson
  7. Lila by Marilynne Robinson
  8. A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
  9. The Problem with Pain by C.S. Lewis
  10. Persuasion by Jane Austen (audiobook) (re-read)

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Monday, March 13, 2017

It's Monday! Busy and Sick

I used to never be able to understand why other people didn't read as much as I do. During nursing school I started getting an inkling and now with all of this wedding planning going on I'm starting to understand. I'm not quite sure how wedding planning is more time consuming and anxiety inducing than nursing school but apparently it is. I just don't have much time to read anymore and when I do have time I don't feel like it or I'm too tired to. Just this past week I was sick and had to stay home from work and even then I just vegged and barely read a drop. It's kind of pathetic really.
I did get a few things done in the way of wedding planning though. Invitations got ordered finally and my recipe book I was writing out from my mom's recipes. I'm pretty proud of that one. I'm always finding new recipes online and trying them out but reality is that my mom's recipes are the ones I'll always go back to so I wanted to make sure I copied them down before I get married.
I've been reading Hidden Figures for book club but it's harder to read than you would think so I didn't actually get it finished before we met, but I was certainly not the only one. I did watch the movie and loved it! I'll finish the book soon.... I do really like it but it's just a slow read.

Currently Reading

  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly 
  • Catching Foxes by John Henderson (for premarital counseling)
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey 

Finished Recently

  • Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas (also for premarital counseling... though we started it before we actually got engaged) 

Coming Soon

  • The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
I borrowed six books form my aunt when I was there for Thanksgiving and I've read none of them yet! My goal is to read them before I get married because I'm horribly afraid of losing them in the move. We'll see if I can fit them in between my premarital counseling reads! 

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Monday, February 27, 2017

It's Monday! Of Engagement and Reading

This past weekend my brother got a few shots of Brian and I for an engagement photo shoot. Nothing too fancy but lots of fun.
I have been reading but not as diligently as I should be. It's been insanely busy at work and then when I'm home I'm wedding planning or spending time with Brian. For an introvert that's really draining! Because of my initial wedding planning panic though I've gotten most everything done except some details that can't be planned until closer to the date. I also have an incredible sister-in-law who's done this all before and is an indispensable support. Plus whenever we meet for wedding planning I get to see my adorable niece so there's that too.

So here's what's up in my reading world.

Currently Reading

  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly 
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey 
  • Sacred Marriage by Gary L. Thomas

Finished Recently

  • Hithchiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (re-read)- I re-read this one for book club and read it the day of in about two hours. #likeaboss ;) 

Coming Soon

  • Catching Foxes by John Henderson- I kind of need to get this started ASAP as I have pre-marital counseling Monday evening (tonight!!!) and I need to have three chapters read by then. 
And now more of what you really came for... our engagement photo shoot pictures! 

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tag: I Love Austen Week!

Hamlette at Hamlette's Soliloquy is having an I Love Austen Week! Umm yes please! Go check it out pronto HERE!!!! One of the delightful parts of this week of Austen is a fun tag to fill out, which I shall do below post haste!

1. Which did you experience first, a Jane Austen book or a movie based on one?
I was born and raised on the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice as well as the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility and the 1996 version of Emma (The Kate Beckinsale one). It wasn't until I was ten that I read Pride and Prejudice and the rest of the books came not long after. The've consumed me body and soul!

2. What is your favorite Austen book?
Pride and Prejudice hands down. I also really like Northanger Abbey. I love them all!!!!!

3. Favorite heroine? Why do you like her best?
Lizzy Bennett. She's funny, clever and basically everything I wish I was.

4. Favorite hero? Why do you like him best?
Mr. Knightley and Henry Tilney. They are both great brotherly figures. They don't mind telling the harsh truth. And Henry Tilney is HILARIOUS!!!! :)

5. Do you have a favorite film adaptation of Austen's work? 
The 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice... duh!

6. Have your Austen tastes changed over the years? (Did you start out liking one story best, but now like another better? Did you think she was boring at first, then changed your mind? Etc.)
I've always been a pretty big fan of Austen. The first time I read Pride and Prejudice it wasn't my favorite but it soon became my favorite. Emma has definitely grown on me a lot in recent years.

7. Do you have any cool Austen-themed things (mugs, t-shirts, etc)? (Feel free to share photos if you want.)
I have some Jane Austen themed bookmarks, which I love.

8. If you could ask Jane Austen one question, what would you ask her?
Which version of Pride and Prejudice is the best? ;)

9. Imagine someone is making a new film of any Jane Austen story you choose, and you get to cast the leads. What story do you want filmed, and who would you choose to act in it?
Mansfield Park! For Fanny Price I would cast either Claire Foy (Little Dorrit) or Anna Maxwell Martin (Bleak House). I could see either of them doing a great job with the roll. For Edmund I don't have anything specific in mind though I've seen others cast Dan Stevens (Sense and Sensibility '08) in the role and I think that could work. Part of me really wants to cast Johnny Lee Miller (Emma '09) but then I remember that he already did the role in the 1999, which I haven't seen. I wonder though if Matthew Macfayden (Little Dorrit) could play the role?

10. Share up to five favorite Jane Austen quotations!
Only five? Ha! You mean five for each book right? ;) And sorry, some of these are pretty mushy... I'm a newly engaged I can't help it! Normally I'd be all over her funny quotes but I'm simply too sentimental right now.

"It is a truth universally acknowledge that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife."- Pride and Prejudice

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”- Pride and Prejudice

“I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh.”- Pride and Prejudice

“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love”- Pride and Prejudice

“An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.”- Pride and Prejudice

“Mary wished to say something very sensible, but knew not how.”- Pride and Prejudice

"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more."- Emma 

“Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again."- Northanger Abbey

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