“If a book is well written...” | 1/2 Year Book Wrap-Up
|This photo was taken while we were staying in Canberra. . .|
". . . I always find it too short."
- Jane Austen
Hello, lovelies :). I hope you're all having a blessed weekend! It's all Autumn sunshine here these days, after a rather long week of rain and flooding. It is so lovely when the sun shines; the blades of grass sparkle with gossamer and the sky is a vivid blue against the tall green eucalyptus and all is golden, icy and beautiful.
(*chuckles* since writing this up last Tuesday we've had an all-round cloudy, windy rainy past two days; hmmm, okay. . . whatever!)
I am learning how there is so much to rejoice and to be thankful for. So much beauty to take in. Wonder and joy. . . even in tears and trials, our Lord is faithful and powerful. He is always with us, even through the storm. He is worthy of all praise! Even though some things are tough, like my studies and what not, and sometimes things are just so plain hard--the Valley of Humiliation, as Bunyan would put it-- yet I am deeply happy and thankful at this time. . . He is so good.
One of the things I am loving about this Autumn (and I mean there are many things I don't like during this season. . . the hey fever, unending grey-dappled rainy-days, chilly dampness in the walls, humidity, dust-mited cardigans causing allergies, Geometry. . . ), is that I have been reading some amazing books lately, and enjoying some reading hours throughout free moments in the day!
I was in a bit of a reading-slump earlier this year, with not being totally into the books I was reading, so I was definitely glad to get inspired by some of the recent books I picked up. Let me tell you about them, just a little bit :).
Plenilune" was a chunky book that I started in December of 2014, and quite an intense one to step into the new year with, so I took my time and things got a bit rusty for a while. It was a rich fantasy with vivid characters and beautiful prose but sadly it contained too many moral grey areas for my liking, when it came to violence and magic. Also the way the theme of justice played out in this book disappointed me quite a bit, so I struggled with giving it a positive rating - I will try to come up with a full length review by and by for it though. "The Northern Light" was an interesting, fast-paced vintage read, but rather depressing. 3 stars again. Then I read "God's Tribesman", a school assigned biography for my English course, a reread but I really enjoyed it. I then finished the last few chapters of "The Princess and the Goblin" by George MacDonald which I had started last year - that was a charming tale! It was all in the midst of trudging along through tiny little bits and pieces from Erich Maria Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front" and "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens (both I am still currently reading).
|I will get back into Dickens, I will! ;)|
|Because listening to "Cinderella" soundtrack while reading. . . or doing anything, is pure, sweet bliss!|
|I am excited to read the second book in the "Masterpieces" series, "A Sparrow in Terezin" by Kristy Cambron!|
But it really started to get exciting after I picked up "The Butterfly and the Violin" by Kristy Cambron. Some books just capture one's attention, hurl one through time to the events and characters of their story and era, and just immerse you in the beauty of the prose. . . this novel was just like that for me! It was fantastic, and I was rather teary-eyed and emotional by the end of the read; also I had that crazy desire to pick up my pen and write--a sure sign of a good book for me ;). "A Cast of Stones" was an enjoyable start to a new medieval Christian fantasy trilogy, - a good dash of adventure to my reading diet! And then there was "Death by Living" by N.D. Wilson, the best dose of spiritual and devotional encouragement I had had in a long while. . . that book! (I will have to tell you about it another day, it was just so good). One of my most recent reads was "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee - that book has been on my shelf for ages and ages, and one Thursday evening I had the desire to watch the film adaption with Gregory Peck; I loved the characters of Scout and Atticus Finch so much, I just had to pick up the book that weekend. I am so glad I did! I whizzed through it, and loved every minute of it. This book has become a favourite, as have Atticus and Scout Finch <3.
Finally, this week I just finished "Sense and Sensibility" :). I was especially excited about reading this particular novel for Jane Austen (I have only "Mansfield Park" left to read for her main novels) as I had recently ordered one of the Vintage Classic editions for S&S, and it had just arrived in the mail! I think Vintage Classics are my favourite editions for literature; I just love their format and covers so much. . . (excuse the rather obsessive amount of pictures, I just had to gush a little over the beautifulness of this little book!)
|“Mrs. Jennings was a widow, with an ample jointure. She had only two daughters, both of whom she had lived to see respectably married, and she had now therefore nothing to do but to marry all the rest of the world.” |
― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
|Look, look! Inside the jacket of the book, it has these lovely zig-zag stripes ;)|
|“It is not what we think or feel that makes us who we are. It is what we do. Or fail to do...” |
― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
"Sense and Sensibility" was lovely. . . I love Elinor very much, and Colonal Brandon, and the relationship between Elinor and Marianne, her sister. I really connected with this story, and with its characters, but most especially I loved it because of the nature of the novel, and its focus on the ways in which two sisters view love, life and trials. I loved that! Of Jane Austen, my admiration of her is growing, I think. True, I am not always in the mood to read a book for her, but I have been finding that when I am, it almost always is during Autumn. I am wondering why. I suppose it has something to do with the subject of her novels, but they generally make me smile at how classic, domestic, and witty they are, in all of Austen's old-fashioned, autumnal charm!
Well, that is it, dear friends; I am glad I caught up with my reading in the past few weeks, and it has just been wonderful digging into some lovely new gems! "Death by Living", "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Sense and Sensibility" are I think my tops three favourites so far. Also "The Butterfly and the Violin" by Kristy Cambron *sniff sniff* that was such a beautiful book, and a definite favourite too. (You can check out some of my reviews for these books on my Goodreads account here: Sense and Sensibility, Death by Living, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Cast of Stones , The Northern Light)
What have you all been reading lately, and what are some recent favourite reads? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!