Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Bookish Tag

Fellow writer Annie Hawthorne has just joined the blogging world with her delightful blog The Curious Wren! Isn't that a fun name? As part of this week's grand celebration she's also sharing a story related tag and her questions were so good I sat down almost immediately to answer them. (Thank you, Annie!) She's also hosting a giveaway, so do be sure to hop over and check it all out. :) And now....

1. What was the last book you read, and would you recommend it? ~ Rules for Reformers by Doug Wilson. And yes, I would—it’s excellent.

2. Describe the perfect reading spot. ~ It’s not always where I read, but one of my favorite spots is on the floor beside my bed. The natural light combining with the blue of the room is beautiful, and you can stretch and read at the same time. Perfection!

3. Favorite book beverage? Tea? Coffee? Hot chocolate? Tears of your readers? ~ Tears of my readers most definitely! ;) But for a second choice: coffee.

4. Share favorite quotes from four books. ~ Trying to pick from some favorites I don’t mention later on...

“At the beginning of their happiness at some moments they were both ready to look on those seven years as though they were seven days. He did not know that the new life would not be given him for nothing, that he would have to pay dearly for it, that it would cost him great striving, great suffering. But that is the beginning of a new story—the story of the gradual renewal of a man, the story of his gradual regeneration, of his passing from one world to another, of his initiation into a new unknown life.” 
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

“Like a flash the keen blade fled across the hall, straight at Gerda as she stood fearless before him, and I was only just in time. I stood on her right, and my left arm caught it. The blade went through the muscles of the forearm, and stayed there, but that was of no account. Gerda’s light mail would hardly have stopped it. She gave a little cry, and I set my arm behind me, smiling. But all the men saw and roared… There was quiet then, and Gerda looked round to me. Phelim had taken charge of my arm at once, and the long blade was out, and a scarf, which some girl who had not lost her senses had handed him, was round the wound. ‘Not much harm done,’ he said, smiling at Gerda, who thanked him in words and me with a look.’” 
Charles W. Whistler, A Sea Queen’s Sailing

“…This song was joyously borne away with Mr. Dalroy in the disappearing car; and the motorists were miles beyond pursuit from Peaceways before they thought of halting again. But they were still beside the bank of that noble and enlarging river; and in a place of deep fern and fairy-ribboned birches with the glowing and gleaming water behind them, Patrick asked his friend to stop the car. ‘By the way,’ said Humphrey, suddenly, ‘there was one thing I didn’t understand. Why was he so afraid of the Public Analyst? What poison and chemicals does he put in the milk?’ ‘H2O,’ answered the Captain, ‘I take it without milk myself.’ And he bent over as if to drink of the stream, as he had done at daybreak.” 
G.K. Chesterton, The Flying Inn

“What with one thing and another—having been at a school where they didn’t play it and so forth—Rugby football is a game I can’t claim absolutely to understand in all its niceties, if you know what I mean. I can follow the broad, general principles, of course. I mean to say, I know that the main scheme is to work the ball down the field somehow and deposit it over the line at the other end, and that, in order to squelch this programme, each side is allowed to put in a certain amount of assault and battery and do things to its fellow-man which, if done elsewhere, would result in fourteen days without the option, coupled with some strong remarks from the Bench. But there I stop. What you might call the science of the thing is to Bertram Wooster a sealed book. However, I am informed by experts that on this occasion there was not enough science for anyone to notice.” 
P.G. Wodehouse, The Ordeal of Young Tuppy (short story)

5. What is your most loved fantasy read? Dystopia? Contemporary? Sci-fi? Classic? ~ Fantasy would be a toss-up between Lewis’ The Horse and His Boy and the LOTR. I haven’t read any dystopian or sci-fi and I actually haven’t read much with a contemporary setting either (after, say, settings in the 1940’s and 50’s :)), but for something that was written recently, Behold the Dawn by K.M. Weiland, and for a classic, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I absolutely LOVE both!

6. List three authors you’ve collected the most books from. ~ Off the top of my head: Shakespeare, Caroline Dale Snedeker, and Jean Bothwell.

7. What are your thoughts on magic in literature? ~ This question/answer would definitely be sufficient for a blog post unto itself.... and I know there’s a good Gandalf quote on the subject, but I’m afraid I can’t think of it at the moment. In short, when it’s in good rich stories—the truest stories of all reflecting the glorious, beautiful, dangerous, breathtaking reality bound deep into the very fiber of God’s creation—showing forth a facet of the true magic running under all this world and held secure, spilling joy from the hands of our great King—I love it.

8. What types of book covers capture your imagination most strongly? ~ I do like pictorial covers, but personally (since I read a lot of classics, etc.) the cover isn’t what generally draws me in. The romance novels I’ve read here and there, though, did capture my imagination due to being particularly classy when it came to the couples or the girl on the front, etc. :)

9. Mention the first book character that comes to mind. ~ Of course, as soon as I thought “first” here, a whole crowd came rushing forward, but I think the absolute first is Elstrid in Margaret Leighton’s Journey for a Princess. I’ve always strongly identified with her and—often uncertain yet growing into the womanly strength her birth calls her to and learning to step bravely into the unknown—she’s one of my most beloved heroines.

10. Do you lend out your books? Or is that the equivalent to giving away your babies? ~ I’ve actually gone to the lengths of acquiring double copies for some books I like loaning out so yes, most stay firmly on the home shelves. (But, of course, if you’d ever like to come visit for a week and settle down on the floor in my room to read you’re truly more than welcome—the sunlight and those blue walls and the trees outside really are  lovely! ;))

And tell me! Do we have any favorites in common?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bookshelf Tag #2!

Hello everyone! Plenty has been happening here in a full daily-excitement-of-life sort of way, including all kinds and sorts of plans and projects in the works, so I’m looking forward to sharing a “what’s been happening” post before too long (after I finish formulating my feelings about some splendiferous new-discovered stories and also finish some sewing projects ;)).

Meanwhile, Blessing Counter tagged me awhile ago with the Bookshelf Tag again, so now I’m very happily able to highlight some more of my favorites!

Describe your bookshelf (or wherever it is you keep your books-it doesn't actually have to be a shelf!) and where you got it from: A big summer project has been reorganizing our family shelves (and finding out we need to build some more ;)), so some of my books are currently in my closet, some are with other family books on shelves in the living room and music room and I now have an entire row all gathered in one place on the basement shelves! I tend to keep my “currently reading” stack on my hope chest near my bed and on my sister Éowyn’s sewing table and/or one of the chest freezers in the basement. :)

Do you have any special or different way of organizing your books? ~ Some are according to size and color and I like organizing most of the historical fiction by date, but otherwise I just switched everything over to being alphabetical by genre and author (but yet divided, so everyone has their own collection spot on the shelves).

What's the thickest (most amount of pages) book on your shelf? ~ Still Les Mis. :)

What's the thinnest (least amount of pages) book on your shelf? ~ The Persian Cinderella by Shirley Climo. (And definitely spilling over with story inspiration.)

Is there a book you received as a birthday gift? ~ North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell.

What's the smallest (height and width wise) book on your shelf? ~ A pocket size retelling of The Nutcracker.

What's the biggest (height and width wise) book on your shelf? ~ My three matching cookbooks of ethnic cuisine from Italy, Tuscany, and the Southwest.

Is there a book from a friend on your shelf? ~ Numerous titles actually... what a blessing! But one recent addition is the complete Lord Peter collection. (I’m soooo happy to have my own copy! Thank you, Hamlette! ;))

Most expensive book? ~ Of the ones I’ve bought myself, still Rider on a White Horse by Rosemary Sutcliff.

The last book you read on your shelf? ~ I’m currently reading Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson.

Of all the books on your shelf, which was the first you read? ~ Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully was probably pretty close to the first.

Do you have more than one copy of a book? ~ Yes, indeed. I believe the last double acquisition was my second copy of Howard Pyle's Men of Iron.

Do you have the complete series of any book series? ~ As far as I know thus far, I have the entire running sequence of Jean Bothwell’s stand-alone sequels to The Promise of the Rose set in India.

What's the newest addition to your shelf? ~ Laura by Vera Caspary.

(Note: it was supposed to look like this,
but alas, when I opened the mailer it
wasn't as advertised! Sigh.) 

What book has been on your shelf FOREVER? ~ Common to This Country by Munger and Thomas.

What's the most recently published book on your shelf? ~ Victoria’s The Princess and the Prince. :)

The oldest book on your shelf (as in, the actual copy is old)? ~ To Have and to Hold by Mary Johnston (1900).

A book you won? ~ Gunfighters of the Old West.

A book you'd hate to let out of your sight (aka a book you never let someone borrow)? ~ The Forgotten Daughter by Caroline Dale Snedeker.

Most beat up book? ~ One that came to me new and has been very loved, When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest.

Most pristine book? ~ I tend to be a super careful reader (incidentally and especially with my favorites) so I have quite a few in fairly pristine condition.... but maybe Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment?

A book from your childhood? ~ Children of the Red King by Madeleine Polland.

A book that's not actually your book? ~ I'm reading my littlest sister's copy of Austen's Emma just at the moment. :) 

A book with a special/different cover (e.g. leather bound, soft fuzzy cover etc.)? ~ No, I don’t think I have any—excepting my Bible, of course (a separate category).

A book that is your favorite color? ~ Yellowstone: like no other place on earth photographed by David Peterson.

Book that's been on your shelf the longest that you STILL haven't read? ~ The Scots Worthies by John Howie.

Any signed books? ~ Yes, I have one a friend wrote back when I was first working on Ellen!

Thank you so much for the tag, Blessing Counter, I thoroughly enjoyed it -- and I hope you all enjoyed as well and hopefully discovered something new and interesting! 

Now.... There's a thunderstorm rolling in (and the air is fairly charged with electricity), so I think I'll get off the internet and see if I can do some writing on A Flame Shall Spring on the other computer before supper. (Actually, I can't believe the internet stayed up this long to get the post together! ;))

And more lightning!! Okay, I think I'll head inside.... :) I hope you all have a most lovely evening!

Tell me! Do we have any bookshelf friends in common?

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