butterbobbin: (data books)
Current stats:
2 books total
.5 books average per week
140 pages (.25 pages per day)

Genres:
Nonfiction: 1
Fiction: 1

67. The Magician's Nephew, CS Lewis

68. The Darkness of Twilight, Steve Wohlberg
butterbobbin: (james book)
Current stats:
2 books total
.5 books average per week
326 pages (.086 pages per day)

Genres:
Nonfiction: 1
Fiction: 1

Bible books read:
Daniel, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Hebrews

Ya know... I just have not been in a reading mood this month. At all. I have books to read... just absolutely no inclination to do the reading part.

However, something I have really enjoyed about reading the minor prophets? No matter how bleak and dire the punishments predicted, there is always a ray of hope. In fact, almost all of them seem to end with some beautiful promises that start, "in that day". Referring to the new earth and the perfect peace we will experience there if we are faithful.
butterbobbin: (data books)
Book 65: Bertie Wooster Sees It Through, PG Wodehouse. 240pp

Entertaining, to be sure. Like I said the other day, my frame of mind has been hardly conducive to concentration on a lot of things... which dulled slightly the enjoyment, unfortunately, but that is not to say I'll never read another Wodehouse, because I'm sure I will.

I'm so impressed with his ability to take a complex plot as intensely tangled up as linguine on a merry-go-round and actually make it all conclude in a sensible and satisfactory manner.
butterbobbin: (james book)
Current stats:
11 books total
2.75 books average per week
3141 pages (112.18 pages per day)

Genres:
Nonfiction: 6
Juvenile Fiction: 4
Fiction: 1

Bible books read:
Luke

Totals for first three-quarters of the year )
butterbobbin: (data books)
Book 64: The Great Controversy, Ellen White. 678pp

What can I really say about this book that I haven't already said (albeit mostly in my old LJ)? It is, seriously, one of the most profoundly moving pieces of Christian writing I've ever come across, and I'm very glad that I made a conscious effort to stick to it after having set it aside for months during a dull place fairly early on.

When I sit and contemplate the battle that is going on for our souls, the simplicity of what God has ever required of His people, and the glorious promise of victory to those who endure to the end, I'm overwhelmed.

Yet there's a definite solemnity about all this, too. In very vivid language, mincing no words, does the author expound on what we can expect if we are of the final generation to live on this earth (which I'm inclined to believe we are). It's not going to be a picnic. In fact, I tremble at the very thought of what awaits us and pray the more earnestly that I personally through the grace and strength of Christ can make it through that time.

More than anything else I want to be with Jesus, and I am so thankful that through prophecy we are told what will happen so we need not guess what's what. We can know if we really care to know.
butterbobbin: (data books)
Book 62: When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time to Go Home. Erma Bombeck, 256pp

On my continuing travel reading/new authors spree, I thought I would give this one a whirl. It was all right. There were about two places that made me laugh aloud, the Mr Roberts reference being one of them. On the whole, not too impressed.
butterbobbin: (Default)
Book 58: The Doll People, Ann M Martin. 256pp

Saw this one and had to get it. I mean, I've always been hugely fascinated by stories about dolls and dolls' houses, and I was definitely curious to see how a modern-day author would handle this kind of story, especially since it deals (partly) with antique dolls.

I didn't find it great (The Dolls' House by Rumer Godden still holds first place for me there), but it was good; fresh and entertaining in its mixing of old dolls and old dollhouse with a modern, plastic doll family and house; very funny in regards to the little pesty sister who played things like "flying kitchen sink"; and the illustrations were quite nice.

The story itself wasn't always all that engrossing, but the fun of the style and interaction of characters kept the ball rolling when the plot lacked.

***

Book 59: Husband-Coached Childbirth, Robert A Bradley. 231pp

Borrowed this from our midwife, and it was enjoyable to read. There are *some* bones I could pick with it. Clearly the author is not keen on homebirth. Boo.

Also, he can't seem to resolve in his head whether a Creator made us human souls or we are just human animals in the evolutionary chain. One or the other, but seriously, make up your mind and be consistent.

Oh, and my husband is not a bad cook just because he is a man. In fact, he is quite good.

Those things aside, however, I did really find it a fun read. He has a dry sense of humour as he discusses how to handle various situations and frequently refers to "Gone With the Wind" being responsible for various myths about, say, miscarrying automatically when falling down stairs. I did glean quite a lot of good information from it while remaining sceptical about other bits and pieces.

All in all, it made me glad that we are choosing to do an unmedicated birth and made me feel a lot more ready to meet the experience rather than panicking that I won't be able to do it.
butterbobbin: (james book)
Book 57: Jacob Have I Loved, Katherine Paterson. 215pp

I've thought about checking out this book for a long time. After all, I loved "Bridge to Terabithia" in all its gut-wrenching, tear-invoking depressingness.

This one, though... I dunno. It kind of reminded me of my recent reaction to "Till We Have Faces" in that I didn't care about most of the characters. They just weren't likeable folk. I read most of it yesterday, couldn't handle any more, and today when I picked it up there was massive disconnect for the remaining few chapters, like my psyche just wasn't going to allow myself to get drawn back in emotionally.

Also, I think it's a really weird book to hand to a young person. Some of the things talked about are a little too suggestive for my liking considering the age group for which this book appears to be intended, not to mention the irreverence to God and the malicious fanaticism of some of the "Christian" characters.

I doubt I'll ever read it again. Just too depressing. Granted, "Terabithia" is too. But its focus is mostly on a loving friendship among dysfunction, rather than the outpouring of bitterness from a single angry soul among dysfunction.
butterbobbin: (data books)
Book 56: Skating Shoes, Noel Streatfeild. 245pp

This was a delightful, refreshing little book. Easy to follow, with characters both realistic and interesting. I enjoy stories of children who are learning to face life by doing rather than living vicariously through, say, television or video games. I especially liked the enterprising nature of the main character's older brother and how all the children (okay, maybe not Edward) had long-term plans they were working out to help get the family's finances straightened out. Teamwork. Very pleasant.
butterbobbin: (james book)
Book 55: We Are Not Alone, James Hilton. 231pp

I bought this one on my sole foray into Powell's Books. It still had the receipt in it. I'm surprised I paid $10 for it... Anyway, it's been sitting around for a long time and I decided tonight to read it.

Paul Muni was in the movie, which although I've not had a chance to see sounded interesting. It is an interesting story. It is about a doctor who is almost maddeningly simple-minded, and written in such a way as to make you feel as if you've entered his semi-permanent brain fog while still maintaining perfect clarity in your own. How that worked, I have no idea, but it had to take skill. I especially like the way he handled the closing scenes, so that (unless you've cheated and peeked at the end) you have no more idea than the doctor what he's being tried for.

The story isn't the most original of any, plot-wise, but the characters are strong and interesting. Is it Lost Horizon? No. But I enjoyed it.
butterbobbin: (data books)
Book 54: Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson. 324pp

I found this a tad dull. I had high hopes because I love England so much and was hoping for something a little more dynamic... I can't really explain why it fell short for me. He seemed to gripe about a lot of things. Perhaps also because there was little interaction with another person (say, Katz of "A Walk in the Woods") to liven it up? I'm not sure.

It didn't make me feel like I wanted to go to England, though, by any means. If I hadn't already been there and fallen in love with the place, it might turn me off to the idea of ever bothering.

And it was very easy to put the book down... hence why it has taken me this long to get it read.
butterbobbin: (james book)
Current stats:
3 books total
.43 books average per week
1088 pages (38.86 pages per day)

Genres:
Nonfiction: 2
Fiction: 1

Bible books read:
Matthew
Mark
Micah
butterbobbin: (data books)
Book 52: Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn, Penny Simkin et al. 475pp

This is another one I was very pleased with. If I were to buy only one reference book on this topic for my own library, this would be the one. Far better than "What to Expect" in every way (I wish I could get my $5 back for that one). It has a much more laid-back presentation, presenting fair and balanced views of all the options available rather than assuming you're automatically having a hospital birth with all the trimmings. It doesn't spend a lot of time focusing on the pregnancy part, but the childbirth/labour section was easily the best I've read so far. Lots of detail and good information (that I'll probably never remember when I need it, but that's irrelevant).

Book 53: In a Sunburned Country, Bill Bryson. 304pp

I found it a nice, educational springboard toward knowledge about Australia. Because, honestly, I really know nothing about the place besides that [livejournal.com profile] misspennycarrol lives there and that automatically makes it awesome.

Some reviewers claim that his observations are very generalised and a bit biased. This may or may not be true. Having never been to Australia and all, I wouldn't be the one to know. I do know he has a fixation on bars and pubs. Were I to go down there, the bars and pubs are not where I would be going... His fixations on dangerous wildlife are incredibly amusing and I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative.

***

Well, I've officially already made my goal of one book per week for the year, so I'm ahead of my game here. This makes me happy. Not that I intend to stop reading now, but hoping I can keep up a fairly steady pace.
butterbobbin: (data books)
Book 51: Till We Have Faces, CS Lewis. 309pp

I wasn't particularly thrilled with this one, both because I wasn't very comfortable with the setting and situation (mythology-related stories always sets me a little on edge - I feel like I'm reading about Satanism) and also because I found myself not really liking any of the characters at all.

I did finish it, although I could easily have set it aside without really caring much that I didn't find out what happened in the end. I guess I kept hoping it would get better.

Off to take stuff back to the library and, I hope, come home loaded with more.
butterbobbin: (james book)
Current stats:
7 books total (Hey... that's a big improvement over the last few months!
1.75 books average per week
1862 pages ( 66.5 pages per day)

Genres:
Nonfiction: 2
Fiction: 5

Bible books read:
Ezekiel
butterbobbin: (james book)
Book 50: Humility, the Journey Toward Holiness, Andrew Murray. 110pp

This is an updated-for-modern-readers edition. This is something I have mixed feelings about. On one hand I'm glad that such versions are available for those with less literary minds, because they can still reap the benefits; on the other hand, I loathe the dumbing-down of anything.

Still, despite the fact that this is an updated-for-modern-readers edition, I enjoyed it very much. It is VERY deep and would require many readings for the truths in it to really sink in. My brain would shut off every once in a while from overload, so it's taken me several sittings to get through it although it's a very little book. It made me think about humility in a way I have never thought of it before and made me think of how really important it is to be nothing so God can be all. Something definitely to be working on in my walk with Him, moving from "All of me, and none of Thee" to "None of me, and all of Thee!" as one old hymn puts it. (I'm paraphrasing, because I'm too lazy to go look up the hymn.)

Some quotes from the book that stood out to me )
butterbobbin: (data books)
Book 49: The First Fast Draw, Louis L'Amour. 156pp

It may be a while before it actually sinks in that I of all people actually just read a WESTERN NOVEL.

Seriously. This is ME we are talking about here.

It took me a while to get into it and adjust to the odd cadence of the narrator's voice, but by the time I got to the third chapter or so I stopped noticing that so much and was able to better focus on the story itself.

It was nice and fast-paced, did not waste time with unwieldy narrative, and while certain parts of it were predictable, there was enough that wasn't to keep me from feeling completely cheated of an hour of my life.

On the whole, not a bad read. I would like to read a couple more of his books before I really form an opinion.
butterbobbin: (james book)
Book 48: A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson. 274pp

All in all, a very enjoyable read. It was not wildly humourous, but enough so that it maintained a steady pace rather than becoming boring when he starts rambling about more educational topics: the Park Service, wildlife, survival, history, and other things. I found I learned a lot of new things about the parts of America through which he passed, and I did get quite a few laughs.

I particularly liked this bit:

"Gatlinburg is a shock to the system from whichever angle you survey it, but never more so than when you descend upon it from a spell of moist, grubby isolation in the woods. It sits just outside the main entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and specialises in providing all those things that the park does not—principally, slurpy food, motels, gift shops, and sidewalks on which to waddle and dawdle—nearly all of it strewn along a single, astoundingly ugly main street. For years it has prospered on the confident understanding that when Americans load up their cars and drive enormous distances to a setting of rare natural splendour what most of them want when they get there is to play a little miniature golf and eat dribbly food. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most popular national park in America, but Gatlinburg—this is so unbelievable—is more popular than the park."

There is NO way I'd be able to do the Appalachian Trail. That's heavy-duty. Dan could do it, but not I. Looking forward to reading more by Bryson.
butterbobbin: (james book)
Book 47: The Good Earth, Pearl S Buck. 323pp

Having thoroughly enjoyed the movie some years ago, I always intended to read the book but never got around to it until now.

It is a different animal from the movie (what book isn't?). It is more gritty and realistic as far as the tension between the family members. Overall, very sad, yet at the same time inspiring because it makes you realise things you shouldn't do.

I was talking to Dan about it, because it's an almost perfect illustration of the opposite of what our goal in life is, two parts of which is to give our children a strong work ethic and live beneath our means, using our extra money for something that really matters, such as helping someone else who actually needs it.

Because, clearly, to be rich is not the ultimate goal.
butterbobbin: (data books)
Book 46: Leave It to Psmith, by PG Wodehouse. 245pp

This has definitely been a foray into a world of literature yet untapped by yours truly. Indirectly highly recommended by one [livejournal.com profile] krikketgirl at some point in the past.

The plot is full of twists, convolutions, coincidences, and mayhem. Which, definitely, makes for a fascinating read. I wouldn't say I was laughing hysterically for about 97% of the time, but I was vastly entertained by such phrases as "a depressing musty scent pervaded the place, as if a cheese had recently died there in painful circumstances". Very enjoyable on the whole, and a pleasant introduction to something fresh and different. I'm sure I will be visiting the pages of more Wodehouse in the future.

I think after lunch I may go to the library again armed with my list of recommendations from yesterday and bring home some more words to devour.

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