Spring Reading Thing ~ 2008

Welcome to Spring and the Spring Reading Thing!


I participated last year in the Spring Reading Thing. It was my first blog carnival venture because I had just started my blog in March of 2007. Time flies when you’re blogging!

So many books to choose from to read.

Here are my choices so far. (subject to change at the whim of this reader)

Before Green Gables – The prequel to Anne of Green Gables ~ by Budge Wilson

I’m in the process of re-reading/reading for the first time some great classics. I finally just finished reading Anne of Green Gables so I’m excited to read this new book. It is also the 100 year anniversary of Anne so I thought it was a good time to read about her instead of just watching her story.

Scarlet ~ by Stephen R. Lawhead

This is the second book in the King Raven Trilogy. The first book was Hood which I read and enjoyed. Lawhead has an interesting and rich way of bringing you history in his fiction.

Inkspell ~ by Cornelia Funke

Again this is the second book in a series. I read Inkheart a while back and it kept me engaged. Funke has been compared to Rowling.

Gentian Hill ~ by Elizabeth Goudge

Elizabeth Goudge is one of my favorite new/old writers. I am trying to get my hands on all her books. This will be my 5th book of hers I’ll have read. She is another author who develops her characters well. I compare her to George MacDonald in the way he brings a persons faith and relationship with God into the everyday.

Whose Body ~ by Dorothy Sayers

If you read mystery and haven’t read Sayers, you need to. Check out her Lord Peter Wimsey Series. This series was writtten from 1923-1935.

God is the Gospel ~ by John Piper

and right now I am finishing The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

This again is in my quest to read some classics that slipped by me…

Head over to Callapidder Days on thursday morning to see more Spring Reading Lists or to join in…

ABC Wednesday ~ G is for…


G is for Gulls that we see in abundance on our Saturday walks at the beach in Ventura, California.

G is also for Anne of Green Gables that I just read for the first time. What a delightful book. I had seen productions of the series on Television. Here is a quote from the book.

“Marilla felt more embarrassed than ever. She had intended to teach Anne the childish classic, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” But she had, as I have told you, the glimmerings of a sense of humor – which is simply another name for a sense of the fitness of things; and it suddenly occurred to her that that simple little prayer, sacred to white-robed childhood lisping at motherly knees, was entirely unsuited to this freckled witch of a girl who knew and cared nothing about God’s love, since she had never had it translated to her through the medium of human love.

“You’re old enough to pray for yourself, Anne,” she said finally. “Just thank God for your blessings and ask Him humbly for the things you want.”

“Well, I’ll do my best,” promised Anne, burying her face in Marilla’s lap. “Gracious heavenly Father – that’s the way the ministers say it in church, so I suppose it’s all right in a private prayer, isn’t it?” she interjected, lifting her head for a moment.

Gracious heavenly Father, I thank Thee for the White Way of Delight and the Lake of Shining Waters and Bonny and the Snow Queen. I’m really extremely grateful for them. And that’s all the blessings I can think of just now to thank Thee for. As for the things I want, they’re so numerous that it would take a great deal of time to name them all, so I will only mention the two most important. Please let me stay at Green Gables; and please let me be good-looking when I grow up. I remain,

Yours respectfully,
Anne Shirley.

“There, did I do it all right?” she asked eagerly, getting up. “I could have made it much more flowery if I’d had a little more time to think it over.”

Now after all that you deserve one of these that begin with the letter G!


Make mine a Guinness Please…

For more ABC Wednesday click on over to Mrs. Nesbitt’s.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage. I’m working on updating my blog posts very slowly.

A Meme about Books

 Willow from Willow’s Cottage tagged me for a meme about Books. I had to think a while on this one and I’m sure my answers might change as time goes on or as my memory clears here and there…

The Bible would fill the bill for many of these answers for me but I’m going to answer with books written by human beings…

1. A book that has changed your life.

I loved Willow’s answer about Dick and Jane. I too remember how thrilled I was to be able to read those books, hold them in my hand. I even remember the smell, putting in the book mark, not wanting my reading time to ever end but I’m going to come up with something different…

I’m going to say that being able to read and enjoying reading and reading a variety of books through my life has changed my life for the better. From Dick and Jane, to the Little House on the Prairie Series, The Freddy the Pig Series, some classics, some good Christian non-fiction, George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Stephen Lawhead, R.C. Sproul. That might be cheating but I really can’t point to one book except the Bible that has changed my life all by itself.

2. A book you read more than once

Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit both by Tolkien, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead, The Harry Potter Series

(and of course all those childrens books that I read over and over and over to my kids)

3. A book you would take to a desert island.

Before I answer I was wondering… What is a desert Island? A deserted Island? An Island that doesn’t get rainfall? Anyway it for sure doesn’t sound like somewhere I’d want to be so maybe I would take a book I can escape into and be inspired by like,

The Lord of the Rings

4. A book that made you laugh.

Lots of them have but right now I am reading Anne of Green Gables and it has made me laugh a lot.

5. A book that made you cry

The last time I read the Lord of the Rings and got to the last page I closed the book and wept and thanked God that He gave someone such a talent to write like that. I also cried at the end of the last Harry Potter Book…

6. A book you wish you had written

Something classified as being a classic. But honestly I don’t know if I’d be comfortable living with such brilliance. So maybe a beloved children’s book like The Pokey Little Puppy.

7. A book you wish had not been written.

I’m drawing a blank here. There is a lot of trash out there in the form of books.

8. Two books you are at present reading.

Right now besides the book of Hebrews (I’m on a quest to try to read every book of the Bible 20x before moving on to the next) I am reading Anne of Green Gables.

9. Two books you are going to read.

I’m on a reading children’s classics kick. I’m going to read The Wind in the Willows. Then I just got an Elizabeth Goudge book called The Child From the Sea that I’ll be reading too.

10. A book you read and never figured out.

Oh this is an easy one for me. I so enjoy George MacDonald but one of his books just bewildered me. It’s called Lilith. It’s one of his fantasy books. If anyone has read it and wants to explain it to me, I’m all ears. I really think I get along better with his regular fiction not his fantasy…

So there you have it. If anyone would like to join in on this meme please do and let me know when you do…

Backwards WFMW ~ Favorite Fiction?


I love to read and I love books and I hope to visit some beautiful libraries before I die.

What is your all time favorite fiction work?

What is the best work of fiction you’ve read in the last 6 months?

Bonus: What is the best library you’ve ever been in or would like to see?

Bodlein Library in Oxford, England to inspire you. I hope to get back to Oxford on a day that Bodlein is open to the public.


“No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books.”  ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

For more Backwards WFMW head on over to Rock’s in My Dryer….

The Dean’s Watch ~ Elizabeth Goudge

 Woman to Woman is hosting a Book Review Theme today.


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I just finished the last page of this book and I’m so sad that the story has come to an end. Elizabeth Goudge is fast becoming my new favorite author. She has a great descriptive style. The same appreciation I have for George MacDonald and how he weaves a true loving relationship with God contrasted against a cold religious relationship is growing as deep for Goudge’s fiction. I love MacDonald’s Scottish Countryside settings and I love Goudge’s English countryside settings.

This story is built around the Dean of a Cathedral in an English City. Goudge develops the stories behind several characters within the city whose lives are touched and changed by the growing love of the Dean for his city and for them. I highly recommend this book to you. It can be hard to come by these books but start by checking your local library. I found this one at my library.

I published a quote from this book that you can read here.

To see more book reviews go to Seeds in My Garden and My Many Colored Days.

Spring Reading Challenge Wrap Up


  • What was the best book you read this spring? Fiction: Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers , Non-Fiction: Seeing and Savoring Christ by John Piper
  • What book could you have done without? I didn’t have a long enough book list to have to have an answer to this one. They were all worth reading.
  • Did you try out a new author this spring? If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again? Yes, the new author I tried was Dorothy L. Sayers and I will definitely read her again.
  • If there were books you didn’t finish, tell us why. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren’t worth it? I never got around to Harry Potter #6. I’ve read it before and wanted to read it before #7 came out…
  • Did you come across a book or two on other participants’ lists that you’re planning to add to your own to-be-read pile? Which ones?  Yes, Stepping Heavenward by Prentiss. I bought it and am reading it.
  • What did you learn — about anything — through this challenge? Maybe you learned something about yourself or your reading style, maybe you learned not to pick so many nonfiction books for a challenge, maybe you learned something from a book you read. Whatever it is, share! I learned that I can read a lot more than I have in the past. There is time to read. I’m a multi-book reader (more than one at a time). I’ve learned I’ll enjoy and digest non-fiction more if I only read a chapter at a time. I have a stack of 4-6 books on my nightstand and I try to read a little out of each in the evening instead of watching TV.
  • What was the best part of the Spring Reading Thing? Meeting other readers and seeing the hundreds of books I’ve never read.
  • Any other thoughts, impressions, or comments. I like to take reading a step further by recording any sections of the book that stand out to me.
  • I will definitely participate in a fall reading challenge!
  • I’ll be posting a review of  When People Are Big and God is Small soon. 🙂

Thanks so much to Katrina at Callapidder days for hosting this event so magnificently and unselfishly…

Solzhenitsyn: A Pictorial Record, 1974


How easy it is for me to live with you, Lord!

How easy it is for me to believe in you!

When my mind is distraught and my reason fails,

When the cleverest people do not see further than this evening what must be done tomorrow

You grant me the clear confidence

that you exist, and that you will take care

that not all the ways of goodness are stopped.

At the height of earthly fame I gaze with wonder at

that path through hopelessness –

to this point from which even I have been able

to convey to men some reflection of the Light

which comes from you.

And you will enable me to go on doing

as much as needs to be done.



Summer Reading Challenge 2007

Here are my list of books for the Summer Reading Challenge…better late than never. Still completing my Spring challenge books. So for the summer…

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and these….

Hood by Stephen Lawhead

Ancient Christian Devotional (year long)

Linnets and Valerians by Goudge

The little White Horse by Goudge

The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers

Have His Carcase by Dorothy Sayers

The Documents in the Case by Dorothy Sayers

Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul

Stepping Heavenward by Prentiss

Future Grace by John Piper

I’m also in the midst of my daily Bible reading. I’m reading every book 20 times starting with the shorter books in the New Testament. I’m on I Timothy right now and I’ll move to Philippians next. By the end of the summer I might have 3 more books of the Bible completed…

I might also add any good books I find at Goodwill during the summer…:)

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I hope to join the fun at Seasonal Soundings….

Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, C.S. Lewis ~ Quote

If we were perfected, prayer would not be a duty, it would be delight. Some day, please God, it will be. The same is true of many other behaviours which now appear as duties. If I loved my neighbor as myself, most of the actions which are now my moral duty would flow out of me as spontaneously as song from a lark or fragrance from a flower. Why is this not so yet? Well, we know, don’t we? Aristotle has taught us that delight is the “bloom” on an unimpeded activity. But the very activities for which we were created are, while we live on earth, variously impeded: by evil in ourselves or in others. Not to practise them is to abandon our humanity. To practise them spontaneously and delightfully is not yet possible. The situation creates the category of duty, the whole specifically moral realm.

It exists to be transcended. Here is the paradox of Christianity. As practical imperatives for here and now the two great commandments have to be translated “Behave as if you loved God and man.” For no man can love because he is told to. Yet obedience on this practical level is not really obedience at all. And if a man really loved God and man, once again this would hardly be obedience; for if he did, he would be unable to help it. Thus the command really says to us, “Ye must be born again.” Till then, we have duty, morality, the Law. A schoolmaster, as St Paul says, to bring us to Christ. We must expect no more of it than of a schoolmaster; we must allow it no less…

But the school-days, please God, are numbered. There is no morality in heaven. The angels never knew (from within) the meaning of the word ought, and the blessed dead have long since gladly forgotten it. This is why Dante’s Heaven is so right, and Milton’s, with its military discipline so silly.

…In the perfect and eternal world the Law will vanish. But the results of having lived faithfully under it will not.

I am therefore not really deeply worried by the fact prayer is at present a duty, and even an irksome one.

BBC ~ Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot

   O.K. this is kind-of cheating on the Works For Me Wednesday theme but here’s my tip for summer boredom. This tip is for the Moms…Send your kids off to grandma’s (that will help their boredom) then get your flannels on, brew a pot of tea and settle in the comfy chair and choose one of these BBC productions to escape to a quieter, gentler time… (if you have a 16 year or older daughter have her escape with you)

My daughter and I love BBC videos. I found some at a good price and couldn’t resist adding them to our viewing library. These are more typically DVD’s that we will watch over and over again so our money was well invested (in our minds anyway). I’m including a little review of the ones we’ve seen to give you an idea as to whether you might enjoy them. We like the detailed slow plot development that these longer series afford.

 Pride and Prejudice ~ Jane Austen

 Hands down our favorite. Well worth the 5 hour viewing time. This A & E version is a must have. We love this Elizabeth Bennet character Jennifer Ehle over the well acted Kiera Knightley in the new shorter version.

Wives and Daughters ~ Elizabeth Gaskell

Our charming Scottish Cinderella is just as likable as her stepmother is unlikeable in this gossip riddled tale set in the 1800’s. We’d watch this one again, not because of the gossip but the way that the heroine gracefully copes with it and her impossible stepmother.

North & South ~ Elizabeth Gaskill

Takes on the same sorts of class divide issues as Jane Austen but in the English industrial era. It may take a long time to develop but it’s worth the wait.

Persuasion ~ Jane Austen

One of Jane Austen’s later novels with a heroine that combines some of the lovable qualities of Elinor Dashwood and Jane and Elizabeth Bennett.

Mansfield Park ~ Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s most unlikeable heroine, Fanny Price, proves that the meek will inherit the earth by triumphing over the superficiality and virtue-lessness of her relatives and their friends.

Middlemarch ~ George Eliot

In this 19th century George Eliot story the plot is slow to develop and full of unlikeable characters. When the decent characters finally get their reward you don’t care anymore. Tedious but informative about some period customs and practices.

Berkeley Square

There are ten 52 minute episodes in this series that we haven’t had a chance to watch yet. It is described as a warm-hearted family drama set in turn-of-the-century-London, where three young girls come together as nannies and grow to be friends.

Dorothy Sayers Mysteries ~ Gaudy Night ~ Have His Carcase ~ Strong Poison

Dear and I are reading some of the Sayers mysteries and are looking forward to watching these three soon. These are described as three elegant murder mysteries adapted from the crime novels of Dorothy L. Sayers. Set in the 1930’s the relationship of amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane unfolds in a realm of romance and intrigue. Dear and I just watched Strong Poison the first in this series. It’s presented as a serial not a movie. It was prepared for T.V. so it’s 3 one hour long episodes on one dvd.  We really enjoyed it. We like the development of the characters as much if not more than the mystery…

 Now if you’d like more tips about how to beat the summer boredom for your kids go over to Rocks in My Dryer.