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?


  1. I think you're right about magic in literature--it has to be done properly, but if it IS, then it can actually help readers understand a lot of important things about God and about life. Like, for example, the Narnia books.

    That piece from "The Ordeal of Young Tuppy" is also one of my favorite Bertie-and-Jeeves quotes :) Do you have a favorite of the Jeeves novels, by the way? Mine is definitely "Thank You, Jeeves." It's just so perfect.

    1. jessica,
      I'm so glad you agree!

      And hurrah for another favorite Wodehouse quote! ;) Yes, I actually do have a favorite Jeeves novel. The Code of the Woosters is the first Wodehouse I read (which is partly why it's a favorite), but it's also so tightly woven and linguistically perfect that, apart from anything else, I still think it's one of his absolute best, and it's (almost) always the one I first recommend to anyone. :) And yes, I've read Thank You, Jeeves multiple times, too and love it! "The contents of the bed, reading from left to right consisted of.... etc." ;) "There's a corpse on the floor!" "No, there isn't. I should have noticed it." (Not to mention that Chuffy's probably my favorite of all Bertie's friends. :D) "Do you keep pigs, Chuffy?" "Black Berkshires...." "There's good money in pigs." And then the uncle bit.... Absolute perfection! ;D

    2. YES. And don't forget this one: "It was difficult to say with any certainty which of the pair was getting the better of it. If in sporting vein, I think I should have been inclined to put my money on the clock. But I was not in sporting vein . . . All I could think of was that this bally Five-Year-Planner was smashing up the Wooster home."

      And the last two lines just makes me melt, every time:
      "Thank you, Jeeves."
      "Not at all, sir."

    3. jessica,
      (paraphrasing) "It's the devil, sir. He's in there murdering, Mr. Wooster, sir." ;D

      "Is the devil in, sir?" It was a comparatively simple question. Able to be answered with a 'yes' or 'no', but it seemed to take Chuffy back a bit. ....To run this bird up the drive, kicking him at roughly ten second intervals was, with Chuffy, the work of a moment."

      "Shall I tell you some of my horrible experiences in that house, Mr. Wooster?" "Do -- we have the night before us."

      "Rummy when you come to think of it, isn't it? That I'm paying this fellow good money to go chasing me about with carving knives."

    4. "If that's not Life," I said, for I was in philosophical mood, "what is it?"

  2. The quotes you used were quite interesting. The only from Charles W. Whistler's A Sea Queen’s Sailing especially stood out to me. What is it about?

    Hahaha, having double copies for the express purpose of loaning out is so smart. Speaking of loaning out, I actually just lent Behold the Dawn to a friend of mine at church. She really loves Robin Hood and the crusaders time period, so I thought she'd enjoy it. She likes it a lot! Just though you'd be interested in knowing I'm creating more fans of that wonderful book that you introduced me to! :)

    1. Natalie,
      I'm so glad you enjoyed them! And I'm so happy you were able to lend out Behold the Dawn and SO glad your friend loves it, too! ;D How fun!

      And oh my goodness..... The Sea Queen is positively delicious. Words fall short to describe the pure beauty and refreshment of it! In short, it's about three men (a Scots jarl, an Irish prince, and a Saxon ship master) who all fall into company and rescue a Norse princess who has been left as good as dead. They're all being chased by the same Sea Wolves and they basically sail all over the North Seas escaping and getting help etc. to go back and recover her kingdom. In the process, the main two characters are also being introduced to Christianity. And it's a delightful romance. :) It's an old book, but I've read quite a few old books and this one has a remarkably different style. Whistler captured the medieval flavor so tremendously well, while is entire approach is really quite interesting. It's pretty expensive, but there are some reasonably priced copies on Ebay (if you can, the old 1900-ish brown covered copy is the BEST) and it's also available on Kindle. I don't know if the kindle edition has been messed with or is missing anything (you know how that can sometimes happen), but it is available for free.

      And....and....and..... oh, yay!! I just looked it up and Gutenberg FINALLY has it!!!! :D (They didn't use to.) Here's the link -- it should work, but let me know if it doesn't:

      I hope you can read it as I think you'd love it! :)

    2. Heidi,
      Thank you! It certainly sounds like a lovely story-and thanks for the link! It works and I hope I can read the book sometime. Unfortunately I'm really bad at reading books on the computer (I downloaded a free kindle book a couple of months ago and still have not finished it!) but it's so handy to have them on your computer. :)

    3. Natalie,
      Oh, good! I'm so glad it works. Yes, I don't like reading stories on the computer either (it's gets your eyes and it just isn't the same -- excellent compound reasons to avoid it), but I agree that it IS super handy, especially for hard to find and out of print titles. And maybe that way with Sea Queen you can look it over on the computer and then decide if you like it.... that would work, too. :)

    4. Yes! I feel exactly the same way. :)

  3. What a splendid post Heidi! I might have to "borrow" these questions *winks*. Would you mind at all?

    1. Sarah,
      Thank you! And yes, indeed -- I saw your post and I'm so glad you did it!! I have some sewing to do yet this afternoon, but I'm hoping to comment over there before too long.... ;)

  4. I like your choices for most loved fantasy novel. I'd probably put The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe above The Horse and His Boy, but that's just because LWW was the first Narnia book I read, or actually had read to me. So it has pride of place. The Hobbit and the LOTR also up there. I'd also place Till We Have Faces in a top spot.

    For Sci-Fi, well, I never read much of it. Anne McCaffrey's Dragonrider novels always seemed more like fantasy rather than Sci-Fi. I'd go with The Great Explosion by Erik Frank Russell. For classics, Persuasion by Jane Austen.

    Authors I have the most books from: C.S. Lewis, Agatha Christie, and Martin Luther.

    1. George,
      I actually read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe first as well -- and I think what you "first" read definitely often has a bearing on your favorites list. LOTR and TH&HB are probably about even favorites for me, but LOTR is so magnificent and massive it's hard to even think of it in the same category as a stand-alone novel. :) I haven't read McCaffrey's Dragonrider novels or The Great Explosion -- I'll have to look into them. And thanks for answering some of the questions!

  5. I love Wodehouse!! And reading corners are one of the Best Things In Life, and I'm NOT KIDDING :)

    1. Rosie,
      Yay for another Wodehouse lover! :) And oh, no indeed..... I didn't think you were! ;)

  6. Aww! My dear Heidi! Oh, your sweet comment just brightened my day...I am SO happy you were inspired by something on Beautiful Girlhood, and it makes my day to know that! I am THRILLED that you sewed your own beautiful peasant is such fun, isn't it...? And yes! They're so comfy and pretty too...being a bit fuller figuered myself, I have battled for simply aaaages to find the right style of top for me, and those 3/4 sleeved blouses are really perfect! Thanks for letting me know you tried it...*smiles*...
    I have come to the conclusion that I am an absolutely terrible blog reader! Dear me...the time is just flying by, and I don't get to stop by my sweet friends blogs too often anymore...*sniff*
    But...I must tell you what a lovely post this was...I am glad you like The Horse and His Boy too! It is my absolute favourite of all the Narnia books! If only I had a talking horse...*sigh* - I'd be delighted! Hee!
    Now, I am off to pay this dear new blogger a the name of her blog!
    You keep well, dear Heidi! And again, I am so glad we now have the same style of've inspired me to get sewing again...its been awhile!
    Have a perfectly splendid day!
    Hugs and love,

    1. Kelly-Anne,
      I'm so happy you loved hearing about it! And yes, I love it so much I actually pulled the pattern out again and am already planning a second one -- this time with antique-y white tonal roses on light blue. :) I'm looking forward to it!

      And I'm so glad you enjoyed the post -- thank you for telling me! I thoroughly understand. Seasons of life come and go and this one is definitely busy for me, too. (Which is wonderful, but does make it hard to fit everything in.... ;P)

      I hope you have a lovely day as well! :)

  7. When I loan out books, I am wont to launch into a lecture about No Crumbs and Thou Shalt Not Bend the Spine of Paperbacks. I don't loan out books much. Movies, I'm much more lenient about, lol. Harder to destroy, I guess. Also, one DVD is much like another, so it doesn't have that personal connection a book does.

    (I don't loan paperbacks to my mother. She is an inveterate Spine Destroyer, and fairly unrepentant about it. I would rather buy her a copy of her own than loan her a paperback of mine.)

    1. Hamlette!
      You made me smile with your lecture specifics. I don't lend books often outside my family as I start feeling foolish and/or like I have some sort of obsessive issue or something if I start giving too many directions. :) Now with my family..... I'm afraid my poor sisters have gotten the lecture many times. :P But everyone in the family is really quite well trained about *shudder* Not Leaving Hardbacks Open Face Down To Mark Your Place Because It Can Loosen The Binding.... and Not Eating Certain Messy Things While Reading. :D (But that's probably mostly my mother's hard work bearing fruit, I'm just on self-volunteered police duty. :))

      With DVD's I do tend to get nervous they'll get a scratch or something, but my '04 N&S does have a mysterious and substantial scratch just at the beginning of the fourth episode, which may or may not be part of it. ;)

    2. My father-in-law is terrible about eating while reading and getting food all over books. Isn't that weird? I used to eat my lunch while reading when I was working, and it was never a problem. Huh.

      Of course, the DVDs do vary -- if it's something hard to find or expensive, I'm much more loathe to loan it out. But most movies, I'm pretty willing to let people borrow. But if they don't return it after 2 or 3 weeks, then I get grumpy and mutter about them to myself. I must admit that earlier this year, I went and bought a second copy of a favorite movie because someone had borrowed it and kept it for a couple of months and I really wanted to watch it, but didn't want to ask for it back, and... yeah. Now I have two copies, one to loan and one to love, hee.

  8. I love to read and I am writing a book report on North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. (Love it. It's a must read)
    I love fantasy, and I was wondering if there are any good fantasy book recommendations. Thanks!!!!

    1. NorthboundTrain,
      Oh, lovely! It sounds like you're enjoying your book report. ;) I'm looking forward to writing a book review for N&S sometime. I'm pretty sure I've read it three times in its entirety and I'm planning to read it again next year, so maybe after #4 I'll be able to put something together!

      Hmmm. If you love fantasy, I'm guessing you've probably already read some J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis?


Oh, you're thinking of leaving a comment! How entirely lovely -- thank you and please do!! :) I just ask that all comments be God-honoring and edifying. (And btw, I LOVE comments on old posts! ;))

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