Tag Archives: Books

The Ultimate Austen

If I had a lot of free time on my hands, and fewer brain cells, and some more money, I would start a new blog/project.  I would make it my goal to read and review every Jane Austen knock-off book out there. 

I would have to first master my deep-felt moral opposition to this genre.

And then, after cataloguing and analyzing the mounds and mounds of these works, I would write my own Jane Austen knock-off/sequel/diary/whatever.  And it would be the perfect storm of Jane Austen knock-off.

It would, however, take me a really long time to get to this point, as you cannot take one step in a bookstore without seeing three of these books.  I find it morbidly fascinating.  I would be reading for quite a while.

Have I written about this before?  I know I’ve thought about it, but I couldn’t find an actual post.

So, any sponsors for this venture?



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Like I really needed something else to help me procrastinate..

Last week.  Was.  Horrific.  Oh my gosh.  I don’t even want to think about it.

There were a few good points.  One or two.


1.  My college supervisor observed me teaching, and it went phenomenally well.  Like, super amazing.  (My mom acts completely non-surprised: ‘I’ve always said you could do anything you put your mean little head to, I mean, your stubborn little head to.’  Thanks, Mama.)


2.  I won a book (One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins) from the ever fabulous Finny, and it came in the mail last week!!  First pickles, and now a sewing book?  Her blog must really like me.


The book is so great; I’ve been carrying it around with me since it got here Thursday afternoon.  I’ve already post-it-ed about a dozen projects I want to try.  The styling is pretty great.  I took a few pictures, but then my camera batteries died on me.

Only 12 school days until Thanksgiving!!  And after this week, it should be pretty easy!  And then only a week of class and a week of finals until Christmas break!!!  Ahh!  Today I started getting into kind-of a Christmas-y mood, which usually doesn’t happen until after T-giving, which is one of my favorites.  I’m making a mental list of things I want to do this holiday season.  I’ll have to write it down for you.  and me.  My mom’s decided that this is going to be the year of quality family Christmas time.  And I’m more than okay with that. 

Gosh, I can’t believe that this year is almost over!  In five weeks, I’ll have four weeks of vacation..I’m dreaming of wool felt ornaments, and quilted hot water bottle covers, and good books, and all kinds of lovely things..

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Daring Girls Reading List

Just found a link to that reading list I wrote about the other day; thought some of you might be interested to see what’s on it.  Scroll down to pages three-five. 


Speaking of mother-daughter book clubs (the first two pages of the link, for those of you non-link-clickers), I always push books into my mom’s hands.  She’s just finished reading four books by Liz Curtis Higgs set in Scotland in the 1700s.  The other day I came home from school and she said, “There’s my wee bonny lass.”  No more Scottish Highlands literature for her for a while!

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Can I just read for a living?


One of my favorite things is to walk through my house and see every single member of my family reading a book.  It makes me think twice about having a t.v. in my future home (although I am rather attached to Glee, and Project Runway, and The Hills/The City<-don’t mock) (and speaking of, there’s this girl in one of my classes who looks just like a heavier-set, brunette Whitney Port.  Sometimes I think about this when I should be taking notes on Russian politics.)

So.  Where were we?  oh yeah..Books.

So I realized not to long ago that I have missed out on a lot of ‘the classics’ over the course of my life.  My dad just finished reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  (Just for the fun of it–wtc?! )  He’s taking a break with a John Grisham, then he’s going to read To Kill a Mockingbird.  When he told me this, I remembered that I have never read TKAM, but have always planned to, someday, maybe.  You know.  When the urge hits me.  So we went to Barnes and Noble, bought the cheapest edition of the book, and he told me that if I wanted to read it while he was reading his other book, I could.  So I figured, what the heck, and read it.


Oh. My. Gosh.  How have I made it through 21 years of my life without reading this book?!  It was so great; and it completely reaffirmed my resolution to go back and make up for some of the (well-known) classics I’ve missed out on or not fully appreciated the first time around.  I started making a list, and figured I’d try to read at least one classic a month.  Then, I was flipping through my copy of The Daring Book for Girls (no. 1 book I wish had been around when I was nine or ten), and they have three pages of “Books That Will Change Your Life”.  This includes everything from Ramona to Wuthering Heights (incidentally, the classic I had made a mental note to reread in November).  So I’ve pretty much decided to just work my way through this list.  I’ve read probably half of them or so, but many not since I was a kid, so I think I’m going to reread them.  And then, because this list, although it’s excellent, doesn’t include several of my childhood favorites, I think I’m going to make my own list.  Of course I will tell you all about it.  You know I love to talk about books.  If you want to read along, maybe we can have our own virtual bookclub..

What would be on your list of girl classics and other books that will change your life?


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Fall is here and I love it!

A little while back I was wearing this outfit:


And I got the following comment from a random guy I passed: “That’s a serious look.  I like it.”

I chose to believe he was referring to my outfit, which was a serious look for a rainy Wednesday on a college campus, and not the look on my face (which was probably very serious, too, as I had a test in an hour and it was just all-around a stressful day).  Here’s the ‘serious look’ without my ‘His Girl Friday’ trench:


That belt is what I imagine a corset would feel like.  It reminds me of a passage from Eight Cousins: ‘ “…The idea of cramping a tender little waist in a stiff band of steel and leather just when it ought to be growing,” said Dr. Alec, surveying the belt with great distaste…’  Oh, what we do for fashion..

The dress and the belt and the boots came from a fall break getaway to Chattanooga with a couple of friends from school, but before that was a family reunion in Knoxville.  Some pictures from a Tennessee weekend:


We stopped at Mayfield on the way for ice cream.


Of course there was frisbee, and cards,


and all manner of silliness.


We slept in a pop-out camper–super fun, once the little third cousins stopped terrorizing us.  (It was also super fun to laugh at the antics of the little third cousins–a whole bunch of little boys who looked alike, full of that little boy bravado.)

The next day the family dropped me off in Chattanooga on the way home.  There was lots of eating, talking, Facebook stalking, walking, and shopping.  Highly anticipated was the fabulous used bookstore, McKay’s (and you know I have a phobia for used books, so for me to say it was fabulous means that it really is).  I’d never been before, but oh-my-gosh, I’m going back, and with a sack or two of books to trade in.  The haul:


Jill’s books (about 50 books total, most of those chapter books are stacks of multiple copies)


Beth’s books (again, just over 50)


And..my books..haha..I thought Jill and Beth were going to push me off the top of Lookout Mountain to get my hardcover copy of Hate that Cat.  We love Sharon Creech.  Who doesn’t love Sharon Creech, right?


They had their chance when we rode the Incline Railway.  The track is at a 72 degree angle.  I don’t know if you know this, but 72 degrees is practically straight up. 


The view from the top.  Pretty fabulous.

Kind of like this weather.  Which reminds me: this cool weather–it’s doing wonderful things to my hair, which is almost, just almost, back to a length I actually like.  By Thanksgiving, baby, when it’s time to see the other half of the Tennessee family.  I’ll have some more frisbee-card-playing-top-of-a-hill pictures for you then, too.  Ah, fall.  Are you here to stay this time?

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Meet the Author


Beverly Lewis, aka one of my top three favorite authors of Christian fiction ever, was in a town 45 minutes from my house last Tuesday afternoon.  So you better believe I loaded myself up in my car and headed up there!  I’ve been reading Beverly Lewis books for the past 6 years or so.  I started with the Abram’s Daughters series, which is still my all-time favorite.  If you’re going to read any of her books, start with those.


She is just as super-sweet in real life as you would expect from reading her books.  You have no idea how much strength I had to summon to ask to have my picture taken with her; I am so incredibly bashful.  I felt very brave for even going by myself and standing in line with all those other ladies, feeling very out-of-place and conspicuous in my hot.pink.cardigan(sidenote: I may have been the first (only?) person in line under the age of 40).  Afterwards, I stopped by Sonic for what may be the perfect snack (tater tots and a Dr. Pepper with crushed ice) and read the first few chapters before I had to head back to class.

All in all–great afternoon!

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Lazy Hazy Crazy: Summer Reading 09

In the past, I’ve been pretty good (to say the least) at keeping lists of the books I’ve read..This summer, not so much.

Oh, I read.   I just didn’t keep track of it.  I read (in no particular order):

  • Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery, completing the Anne of Green Gables series (my favorite is still Anne of the Island, which I reread)
  • O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society–I really enjoyed this book!
  • I read a children’s book about Carl Sandburg, and then visited his house (more on that later), and then fell head over heels for his poetry.
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson–an extremely moving book..
  • I got on a sad book kick at an inopportune time, resulting in my sobbing over Each Little Bird that Sing by Deborah Wiles..
  • And then The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  I sobbed my eyes out, and I pretty much never cry while reading..
  • Impossible by Nancy Werlin tried and failed to produce tears
  • Part of my bridesmaid present was Set-Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy, which sent me on a Eric and Leslie Ludy bender.  I read When Dreams Come True, When God Writes Your Love Story, Authentic Beauty, When God Writes Your Life Story, The Bravehearted Gospel, and Meet Mr. Smith.  Powerful stuff.  I need to read God’s Gift to Women.  And they have some new stuff coming out early next year–excitement!
  • I reread The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom.  Wow.  Just.  Wow.
  • I flipped through a book of wedding customs at work (the children’s dept at the library) and was asked to read some to the rest of the workers.  Which resulted in one of several proposals (or propositions, more accurately) that I received this summer..
  • Read a bunch of Andrew Clements books.  Very good “school stories” for the 9-12 y.o. set.
  • I felt very studious and overacheiver-ish when I read The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller and Book Crush by Nancy Pearl.
  • I reread Pride and Prejudice and a favorite from my piano competition days: Broken Chords by Barbara Snow Gilbert–kind of a perfect teenage book.  Makes me want to fall in love with a boy who plays piano.
  • Kind of a perfect teenage book I discovered: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
  • And another: My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger–very sweet..Baseball, Mary Poppins, musical theater, young love..sounds like a winning combination for a YA book to me..

As one of my teachers says, life’s too short to stay with a book you don’t like or a man you don’t love, so there aren’t any flat-out bad books on this list.  Right now, I’ve kinda run aground, reading-wise.  I think it’s time to start utilizing my college library and the inter-library loan system again..I’m thinking of rounding out my Ludy experience and exploring P.G. Wodehouse.  Do you have any suggestions for me?


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