butterbobbin: (data books)
30. I Am What I Ate... And I'm Frightened!!! Bill Cosby, 184pp
This was a pathetic reading month, particularly because this was the only book I completed. And it was annoying.

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for June: 184
Total page count: 6655
Nonfiction: 20
Fiction: 1
Juvenile fiction: 8
Juvenile nonfiction: 1
Rereads: 1

31. AdventureCat Goes to School, Susan Clymer. 72pp
A friend of mine found this at a garage sale, and since we have an orange cat, she picked it up for me. Truly, the story is NSG, but I LOVE the artwork and would give that a much higher star rating - such fuzzy feline adorableness. This book is worth it just for the cute drawings of cats.

32. Rule Britannia, Daphne du Maurier. 352pp
This one was... well, odd is really the best word for it. At first it was a little boring, then it picked up, then it got so disgusting I almost couldn't keep reading, then it started to get really good, and then it... ended. And it ended in a way that seemed a bit anticlimactic. I was expecting Mr Willis to end up being something more than he was, or the US to kill everyone, or something absolutely bizarre that I couldn't dream up happening at the end, a la "House on the Strand".

All in all, an entertaining read, but Daphne must have just been past her author-ian prime by this time - most of the books I like best by her had already been written. This one almost didn't feel like it was even written by her. There were things that proved it was, but it was just not as powerful.

Also, USUK was a very unfortunate acronym.

33. Jungle Stories, Eric B Hare. 130pp
A thoroughly enjoyable read about mission work in Burma in the earlier half of the 20th century.

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for July: 554
Total page count: 7209
Nonfiction: 21
Fiction: 2
Juvenile fiction: 9
Juvenile nonfiction: 1
Rereads: 1

May Books

Jun. 1st, 2011 09:50 am
butterbobbin: (james book)
25. Majestie: The King Behind the King James Bible, David Teems. 261pp.
This was an pretty easy read and a look into history to a man I previously knew nothing about. The author's style is a little stilted, in my opinion: incomplete sentences abound, and he has a casual and almost flippant way of relating history at times. That being said, I found it very educational and interesting to learn more about the world that gave us the KJV.

26. Arms Wide Open: A Midwife's Journey, Patricia Harman. 286pp
I enjoyed this book a lot. I resonated with the author's longing for getting back to basics and being good stewards of our planet, and, of course, her desire to restore natural childbirth as an option for today's women. It was written in an almost conversational style, a series of snapshots from the author's life that string together into a beautiful whole. I liked this style - the shortness of each section made it easy to read the book in fits and starts and not lose track of anything. (I have a very busy toddler and am interrupted constantly...) The writing was concise, elegant, eloquent. It brought tears to my eyes and made me laugh too. I would read this again and plan to read more from this author.

27. At Home, Bill Bryson. 452pp
I learned what a mudlark is. I learned that 1/10 of a six-year-old pillow's weight is "sloughed skin, living and dead mites, and mite dung" (and consequently have decided, at the soonest possible opportunity, to replace one of my own pillows which is, oh, 25 years old or more). I learned so much, in fact, that my brain couldn't take it all in and I'll have to read this one again.

28. I'm a Stranger Here Myself, Bill Bryson. 288pp
This was grand. There were a few slow spots for me, but almost every chapter got a smile or a laugh, and the income tax chapter had me laughing so hard I had to keep putting the book down to collect myself. The Highway Diversions chapter also had me going. The billboards he describes... Wall Drug, anyone?

"These [attractions] were always disappointing, but that wasn't the point. You weren't paying seventy-five cents for the experience. You were paying seventy-five cents as a kind of tribute, a thanks to the imaginative person who had helped you to pass 127 miles of uneventful highway in a state of genuine excitement."

29. Testimonies for the Church Vol. 3, Ellen White. 575pp
I fiiiiiiiiiinally finished this one. It just seemed more tedious than the previous two, though there was still a lot of really soul-searching stuff in it that I benefitted from. I've set myself a goal to finish Vol. 4 in June, because I still would really like to read all 9 this year.

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for May: 1862
Total page count: 6471
Nonfiction: 19
Fiction: 1
Juvenile fiction: 8
Juvenile nonfiction: 1
Rereads: 1

***

Because I'm ahead so far, I decided to up my goal to 52.






2011 Reading Challenge





2011 Reading Challenge



Jael has


read 28 books toward her goal of 52 books.


hide








butterbobbin: (james book)
Since I'm not going to be completing any more today... here's March's list.

15. Josefina Learns a Lesson, Valerie Tripp. 67pp

With my credit from Jan's Books I went and started fleshing out my AG book collection. They had books 1-5 of Josefina, so I got all those and started reading them. This one was okay but felt a little bit scattered, like it didn't know where it was going.

16. Josefina's Surprise, Valerie Tripp. 67pp
I liked this one better, but I always did like the Christmas AG books a lot.

17. Happy Birthday, Josefina! Valerie Tripp. 67pp
Didn't go for the "healer" aspect in this one. Otherwise okay.

18. Josefina Saves the Day, Valerie Tripp. 67pp
This was a fun one. And involved a violin. :-p

19. A Song for Grandfather, Jean Boonstra. 96pp
I'm not quite sure how Jean Boonstra managed to pull off what is so clearly an Adventist version of the American Girl books, but manage she has. They're not illustrated, which I think is really rather unfortunate, but the font and layout is pretty much identical to the AG books.

Anyway, when I saw Jan's Books had two of this series I snapped them up so I could see what they were like. Not really very deep (again, think American Girl), but for the age group it's meant for it would be grand. This is the first of 4 books about Sarah. I liked it.

20. Sarah's Disappointment, Jean Boonstra. 96pp
4th book in the series about Sarah. Pretty good.

21. Testimonies for the Church Volume 2, Ellen White. 712pp
Slightly more tedious than volume 1 for a couple of reasons, but primarily because a large chunk of the book was dedicated to addressing issues with the ministry and other stuff that was less personally applicable than in volume 1. There were, however, still a lot of good things to think about.

One quote in particular stood out to me toward the end of the book: "I saw that all should search their own hearts and lives closely to see if they had not made the same mistakes for which others were corrected [in the Testimonies] and if the warnings given for others did not apply to their own cases. If so, they should feel that the counsel and reproofs were given especially for them and should make as practical an application of them as though they were especially addressed to themselves."

This is how I have felt many times so far whilst reading these volumes. I am so far short of the goal of perfection in Jesus, and I am thankful that His righteousness is sufficient and that He is full of grace and help to me as I strive daily to become more like Him. I'm becoming more interested in healthful living not just as a duty but as something that I'm seeing to be of much benefit, for instance. I'm coming to understand more how much prayer needs to be part of my daily life. Since Molly was born, I've really been faily at keeping in touch with God through prayer, and I want to change that.

*Book I started and didn't finish: The Shadow of Kilimanjaro by Rick Ridgeway. It wasn't a horrible book, but neither was it that interesting. It was a week overdue and it seemed no matter how much time I spent reading it I was making no headway at all, so I decided to skip it, return it, and pay my fine.

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for March: 1172
Total page count: 4609
Nonfiction: 12
Juvenile fiction: 8
Juvenile nonfiction: 1
Rereads: 1
butterbobbin: (james book)
6. The Pacific Crest Trail, William R Gray. 196pp
Typical National Geographic book: lots of pictures (which I loved), text fairly well-written but still a bit tedious to read all at once. After reading "A Walk in the Woods" I was interested in learning more about our own trail. We passed one of the access points thereto in our recent snow hunt, and both of us thought it would be fun later this year if possible to walk part of the trail.

7. Time of Wonder, Robert McCloskey. 62pp
I've never read this book despite having grown up with "Blueberries for Sal" and "One Morning in Maine" and a plethora of McCloskey's other books. I really enjoyed the different art in this one as well as seeing the familiar (albeit unidentified in the text) family of Mom and Dad and an older Sal and Jane.

8. Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, Randy O Frost and Gail Steketee. 279pp
Cut because I wax wordy )

9. The Full-Plate Diet, Stuart A Seale et al. 143pp.
This book is beautifully, cleanly laid out with eye-popping photography and quite good information about food and practical, accessible ideas of how to incorporate a plant-based diet into daily life.

Considering that it's supposed to be based on the Adventist health message, however, I was a little perturbed at the overall casual "meat and dairy is okay" attitude. They didn't promote the use of meat and dairy but neither did they really talk about good reasons to avoid it except for a very brief blurb at the end of the book. The basic premise is "eat more fibre" (which, in a plant-based diet, you will get a lot of), but it seemed a bit too simplistic. Or maybe I'm just sceptical.

10. Maine, Deborah Kent. 143pp
From the children's section. Not the most interesting book I've ever read. Had nice pictures.

11. Labour of Love, Cara Muhlhahn. 256pp
Ih. This was okay. The first half was really not much to do with midwifery at all. When she finally did get to talking about her work it was more interesting. Her attitude comes off as being really rather arrogant and proud of how wonderful she is, which was annoying, but she did have interesting things to say about her work and the current condition of industrialised maternity care. I thought it was ridiculous that she promoted the use of castor oil, though, and subscribed to the notion that if you have little to no morning sickness you're having a boy. Sure. Neither I nor my one friend had much nausea at all with our girls and Frances was much worse than me with Josiah.

There was a lot that rubbed me the wrong way, I guess.

12. Meet Josefina, Valerie Tripp. 85pp
I've never read the Josefina books and decided it was time. I just love the artwork and enjoyed the story as well. It's not hard to predict what's going to happen, of course, in future books. Hehe.

13. The Good Old Days - They Were Terrible!, Otto L Bettman. 197pp
This was an excellent peek into some of the realities of the Gilded Age: the dirt, the grime, pollution, crime, terrible education systems, blah blah blah. For me it provided a lot of context into why Ellen White was so adamant that the people of God move out of the cities, and why she stressed cleanliness and so forth. Very insightful and written with a humourous style that keeps it from being totally depressing. I also really enjoyed the period illustrations that he used that were caricatures of what the people were dealing with in those days.

14. Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer. 203pp
I've read "Into Thin Air" before, probably 10 or more years ago now, and it impressed me very deeply, so I thought I'd pick up another book by the same author and see how I liked it. Not at all what I was expecting, but interesting. I have a hard time sympathising with the man it's about in many ways. Although I can see a little why he didn't like his dad, I strongly believe nothing is able to be accomplished by hatred/anger in relationships and to just up and disappear seems like a cruel thing to do. It was a sad story for sure.

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for February: 1564
Total page count: 3437
Nonfiction: 11
Juvenile fiction: 2
Juvenile nonfiction: 1
Rereads: 1
butterbobbin: (data books)
1. On the Way Home, Laura Ingalls Wilder. 101pp
A tad on the dull side in the body of the book. I agree with some other reviewers that the truly interesting parts are the beginning and ending written by Rose. However, while Laura's journal isn't that exciting, it is interesting to get a snippet of what daily life was like for them including
current prices of land and food.

2. A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson. 274pp
I've been literally CRAVING to read this book again for about a week or so. This rarely happens, but oh it felt so good to read it again.

3. All Creatures Great and Small, James Herriot. 437pp
I honestly wasn't expecting to like this one much, not being a huge fan of animal stories... although I liked the illustrated Herriot stories for children when I was little (Moses the kitten, etc.) HOWEVER... it was the best book I've read in a long time. Herriot is a masterful storyteller, concise, entertaining, and touching. The shortness of the chapters made it easy to drop the book to take care of something and then pick it up again after a bit.

But the suspense. drove. me. mad. I'm sure he did it on purpose, but WAS IT REALLY NECESSARY to make me WAIT 20,000 chapters between each Encounter-with-Helen? Cruel. Just cruel.

4. Across China, Peter Jenkins. 343pp
I enjoyed the "Walk Across America" so much that I was sure I'd enjoy this book as well. It dragged a bit in the early chapters - I think there could have been less "how-do-I-tell-Barbara" and more jumping right into it. Once the travelogue started I was hooked. I know so little about China/Tibet and it was really, really fascinating to me.

Of course, I cringed in annoyance when he asked some of the Tibetan folks how they had their babies with no hospitals close by. Um. Yeah. Seriously, dude? But aside from that, it was grand.

5. Testimonies for the Church Volume 1, Ellen White. 718pp
This was a really interesting peek into the history of our people, with a lot of thought-provoking passages.

Total page count: 1873
Nonfiction: 5
Rereads: 1

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