Wednesday, January 2, 2019

What's On Your Nightstand - November & December

What's On Your Nightstand

This is a long post since I'm combining two months into one. I had some very good months for reading despite the holidays. I have had to spend quite a bit of time in doctor's offices so that has given me quality time! In December I dived into quite a bit of P.G. Wodehouse's novels. I think he is such a brilliant writer and my favorite series of his is the Jeeves and Wooster books. I'm not sure what January holds since I have family coming to visit, so the Nightstand will look light and hopefully I can add to it throughout the month.

From October's Nightstand I read:

  • Arabella by Georgette Heyer - This story was slow going for me this time, which I think was due to the story. It eventually hit it's stride and became enjoyable. I have always felt Heyer writes so well when she included kids in her stories. This one focused more on a dog than kids, but she worked her magic very well with it.
  • The Dog Who Wouldn't Be by Farley Mowat - I heard this book recommended on a Schole Sisters podcast. I read it to myself looking for a read aloud for my kids, but ended up choosing something else. I later read Owls in the Family, but I think this books stories about the owls were better than Owls in the Family. If I picked one to be a read aloud it would be this book. 
  • (un)Natural Mom: Why You Are the Perfect Mom for Your Kids by Hettie Brittz - I love a good book about personalities and my mom had heard the author interviewed on a radio program. While I wanted to like this book it ended up not being my cup of tea. I didn't agree with her dividing of the personalities and honestly, just had a hard time relating to much of what she said.
  • Spiritual Mothering: The Titus 2 Model for Women Mentoring Women by Susan Hunt - This was an inspiring book about mentoring, but it really was about the need for it and the encouragement to do it. I would of liked to see some ideas given to help me go in this direction.

In November I also read:

  • The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald - This was my youngest daughter's literature read which I read aloud to her. My daughter enjoyed this book though she just knew that Grandmother was an ogre. I think she was a little disappointed that she wasn't in the end.
  • Silas Marner by George Eliot - This was my two older kids' literature read for Term 1. They asked me a couple of years ago for me to read aloud their literature which is always enjoyable. I have been a fan of Silas Marner since I read it in high school. Though not my favorite George Eliot story this is still a very satisfying read.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe - I started reading this book last school year to my older kids, but then summer happened upon us and I ended up having them finish it on audio. Since I was so close to the end I set it by my bedside to get completed. This is my second reading of Uncle Tom's Cabin and it was just as good of read this time as it was last time.
  • Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple - There were thing about this book that I liked. Her view on the Northwest was one. I thought the beginning of the story was very compelling, but I think the author herself lost her way by the end, plus it had way too much language it which was totally unnecessary IMO. 
  • Virgil Wander by Leif Enger - This is my second Enger book that I have read, but I haven't read the one everyone raves about, Peace Like a River. I find Enger's stories odd, but compelling. I do think he has a way with words, but I do spend a lot of time hashing out the story in my mind. Maybe, that's the point.
  • Everybody Reads: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Hadley - I picked this up due to vamping up my job's Facebook page. I found it an easy read and I found some good little nuggets of wisdom concerning writing.
  • Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels - This was an enjoyable read and I am inspired to paint (actually for my husband to paint) my walls white. This is not suggested in the book, but the author talks about her house that had pig-colored walls and while mine aren't quite pig-colored they are a funky tan color.) When I told my husband I wanted to paint our walls white he looked at me like I grew a new head. 
  • A Touch of the Infinite:Studies in Music Appreciation with Charlotte Mason by Megan Hoyt - This was another inspiring read, though I'll need to re-read again to get all the ideas out of it.

In December I read:

  • The 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith - I have been wanting to get back to reading aloud to my kids and since it was Christmas I picked up 101 Dalmatians. It's not technically a Christmas story, but it has a lovely nod to Christmas. My older kids weren't too happy about reading it, but I think in the end they it received their approval and they enjoyed the creativeness of the author.
  • The Luck of the Bodkins by P.G. Wodehouse - I always enjoy P.G. Wodehouse, though I would have to admit this isn't his finest writing. That's okay because Wodehouse always makes me laugh.
  • Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat - A short little book about the author's time of owning two owls. This is a quick read and I think it would be a great book for a child who is just getting into reading chapter books. I did feel his book The Dog Who Wouldn't Be was a better choice of the two.
  • Quick Service by P.G. Wodehouse - Another Wodehouse. Not his quippiest (Is that a word?) writing, but still enjoyable.
  • Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity by Rebekah Merkle - This was an excellent read. I kept reading portions of it aloud to my husband. Very eye opening about the feminist movement, but she offers hope and it's not in a sappy "let's go back to the old days" kind of way. Highly recommended!
  • Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare - I read this with The Play's the Thing podcast. The reading and the conversation on the podcast was enjoyable. 
  • Becoming MomStrong: How to Fight with All That's In You for Your Family and Faith by Heidi St. John - Another encouraging read. Since Heidi St. John is from the NW I have heard her speak quite a bit which is one reason why I didn't pick up this book for a while. I'm not sure what prompted me to finally do it, but I'm glad I did. For mom's who are raising kids for the Lord and are thick in the trenches of fighting. Highly recommended!
  • I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel - A book about reading and books what more can you ask for? This is a lovely book and anybody that loves to read are going to find themselves smiling and agreeing with the author's stories and observations. Another excellent read! 
  • So Close to Amazing: Stories of a DYI Life Gone Wrong...and Learning to Find the Beauty in Every Imperfection by KariAnne Wood - I wanted to enjoy this book, but found it to be a meh read. I think the title is very misleading. 

I listened to:

  • How Right You Are, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse - #12 in the Jeeves and Wooster series. While I liked this book I think the previous book in the series (see below) stood head and shoulder above this one. 
  • Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit by P.G. Wodehouse - #11 in the Jeeves and Wooster series. This book is Wodehouse at his finest! I rate it right up there with Aunts Aren't Gentleman which I read earlier this year and sang it's praises. Jonathan Cecil is does an excellent Bertie and Jeeves.
  • Keep It Shut:What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All by Karen Ehmen - I had a lady in my church ask me if I had read this and while I did own it I hadn't read it yet. I found it available to check out from Overdrive so I downloaded it and gave it a listen. Boy, did I ever need to hear this. I have worked hard through the years to "keep it shut" but I do fail quite often (especially with family members). This was a great reminder to watch what I say or how I say it. I definitely want to re-read this and will probably read the hard copy that time.
  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst - This was another book that came highly recommended. Again, I found it available to check out through Overdrive. I have read other books by Lysa TerKeurst, but I just had a hard time relating with the topic. Even though I did finish the book, I was very turned off by some of her biblical examples and felt she was really twisting and even adding to them to fit her topic rather than just letting the Bible speak for itself. 

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