#DesertIslandReads | Blog Update
|Would my desert island have such a beautiful view as this little bay near our home? Please say it will!|
Hello, lovely readers! Here I am at last, scribbling away at a long belated post! First of all, I've got a little blog-keeping update to share with you all.
It's that time of the year again - November - the year is swiftly coming to a close. It's the month of scribbles, mad studying and a general determination to finish the year with some important goals tucked under the way and with a happy bang! :) Sadly, I'll not be doing NaNoWriMo this year, much as I'd love to, because of an intense study-month (cheers to all of you doing it, fellow inklings!). However, I will be taking an online-break during November, just to focus on my studies and get in those extra goals before the end of the year. I haven't been that much around blogger-land the past few weeks, so I already feel like I haven't been contributing much to my blog (which makes me sad, because I love blogging and have so many blogging ideas to share with you all!), but every now and again I just need a total break from the internet to get the job done, stay focused and think through things, enjoying living daily without other cyber distractions and procrastinations :). I look forward to coming back in December, though, Lord willing, with lots of posts to share with you, my lovely enthusiastic readers, a good amount of studies done and dusted (they're a LOT!), and with a renewed creative inspiration/enthusiasm for this happy little corner of cyber-space :)
Throughout the month, I will be off facebook, instagram, google+ and blogger. . . I'll also be mostly off my email as well, though occasionally I will check them throughout the month. If I haven't responded to your messages/emails yet, that's why, but please know that I hope to get to them soon and appreciate them (and you!) so much <3.
Through November I will be featuring some lovely blogging friends of mine on Fullness of Joy blog who will contribute some delightful guest-posts, so please stay tuned for that! ^_^
October was a huge-reading month for me with lots of fantastic novels read - I can't wait to share them with you on Fullness of Joy, but you can check my updates on Instagram and Goodreads for mini reviews for now :D. For November, I'm hoping to predominantly read non-fiction and poetry - mostly because I feel the need to really refresh my heart and mind spiritually and emotionally, but also because. . . well, non-fiction is not quite as distracting as my fiction reads and therefore I feel less likely to procrastinate ;). Some of the books on my November TBR are Notes from Tilt-A-Whirl by N.D. Wilson, The Cost of Discipleship by Detriech Bonhoeffer, Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Eliot, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, Silas Mariner by George Elliot, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Coldridge (both books for school), Rebecca by Daphne De Maurier, Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, Selected Poems by T.S. Eliot, Beowulf translation by Burton Raffel, Hamlet by Shakespeare, and Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias. . . quite a pile! ;)
Speaking of books and what to read, there has been floating around the internet a hashtag called #DesertIslandReads where you share 8 of the books you'd wish to have with you if you were deserted on a desert island. I loved the idea so much, I thought it would be fun to do it as a sort of tag and share with you what books I would wish to have with me in such a dire situation. I've modified the number to 10, actually, just because I couldn't help it. . .
The whole idea is quite novel - because if I were stuck on an island with no internet/communication, my first thought should be for a way to escape or get out of my predicament - maybe a practical handbook or guide to how to build a boat or build a shelter for myself out of palm-branches and find food (head-nod to Chesterton). But as I have a bit of an imagination, we'll pretend there's no means of escape and that I'm provided with the basic needs of life, and nothing more, and that all I really need is companionship and something to keep me engaged. Without further ado, here are the top 10 books I'd wish to have with me on a desert island!
God's Word is all and enough for all my longings and needs, and if I had no book on earth, but the Bible, I'd be the happiest person, because His Word is rich and powerful and Life itself! How wonderful it would be to dig up and read all those glorious chapters and study the Bible in-depth for hours, if I were on a deserted island! I've been struggling with distractions and wanting to read more committedly in my Bible-devotions lately, and I really am hoping that this online break will be an encouragement to me to set aside more time, especially in the evenings to meditate on God's Word. Daniel, David and Joseph are particular accounts that have been dear to my heart lately, and I want to revisit them so much.
-The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
I think you all know by now my love for J.R.R. Tolkien's books, and what a powerful and inspirational blessing they've been in my life. If I could have no other book aside from the Bible and one other, I'd most positively would wish to have the Lord of the Rings with me on a deserted desert island. It would be so hard to not be able to come back and read quotations from the books and reread my favourite passages and spend time in the wonderful company of my dear fictional companions - Frodo and Sam, Merry and Pippen, Gandalf and Aragorn. . . Eoywn and Galadriel! As C.S. Lewis said in praise of Tolkien's book, "Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn cold iron. Here is a book which will break your heart."
-The Hobbit by J.R. R. Tolkien
I think I will need to have some Hobbit cheer in such a dire circumstance, and oh, The Hobbit is such a cosy, comforting and encouraging book! I could not part with it, I don't think.
I am positive I need Tolkien's full legenderium with me in my life, and The Silmarillion would be no exception. I read it a few years ago, but I so want to go and read it again, and just treasure the stories and characters and themes! As it also is a bit of a challenging read, it would be a perfect companion for me and give me that little bit of hope in the dark, and a refreshing ointment to a weary heart.
-North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
While technically this may not be the most appropriate desert read (it's all about people and relationships!) this book is so beloved to me and so close to my heart, I'd so want to have it with me, and just be able to reread it again and treasure this beautiful, moving, gripping classic. It would also remind me of what life with people is like, and all the dreams and struggles and heartaches and lessons, both painful and beautiful in life. I'd want to have Margaret Hale and John Thornton as people I could revisit and see come alive on the pages while alone on an island by myself. . .
-War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
This is rightly an epic! I've been so wanting to read this humongous classic for a while now, and so intrigued by Russian literature and Russian authors (Tolstoy, Dystovosky, etc) that this would be the perfect opportunity to dig into a story with such scope and magnitude. I loved the miniseries I watched for War and Peace, and though it had some tough themes, I was deeply moved by it as well. I like Prince Andrei especially, and Princess Maria. . .
-Bleak House by Charles Dickens
I've been in such a Dickens roll lately, with reading David Copperfield and watching most of the period-dramas available for Dickens' book adaptions that I had not already seen before (Nicholas Nickleby, Our Mutual Friend, Bleak House. . . ). It's been EPIC, folks! I'm coming to really love Dickens' novels, and am constantly amazed by how he draws his plots together and all those characters! Wow. Bleak House BBC miniseries especially moved me - it was at times so miserable and heartbreaking, but so worth all the tears I cried! The plot, themes and characters were so rich, and the episodes so beautifully acted and filmed! I want to read all Dickens' novels now, but most keenly "Bleak House" I think. Also a perfect read because of its size #lovepicbigbooks.
-The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Coldridge
I first heard about this poem recently as an assigned piece for my literature course, but I read it this month and loved it so keenly, I'd definitely like to have a piece of poetry like that with me in an island alone - it would comfort me with a reminder I'm not the only one going through a horrific odyssey, but it would also keep me from shooting beautiful albatrosses for food! ;)
-A Collection of 19th Century Poetry
Lately I've been getting more keen about reading poetry, with sampling small bits of Wordsworth, Keats, Tennyson, and T.S. Eliot's poetry. Much as I appreciate the lyrical beauty of poetry, it's always been something of a challenge to read and grasp fully, so I really want to develop a keener taste for poetry, an appreciation for reading it, and for the understanding of its themes. I think I'd especially appreciate a collection of 19th century Romantic poetry, and would love to dig more into such poets like Christina Rossetti. A big collection like that would be a beautiful thing to have to read and treasure on an island.
-"Morning and Evening", book of daily devotions - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
There are so many devotional books I want to read and treasure, and Elisabeth Eliot was definitely vying for a place on this list because I love her writing so much, and her books are such an encouragement for me in many of the daily struggles of my life, just in learning to wait silently and rest in the Lord patiently, learning Christian obedience and joy in Christ, the meaning of love and sacrifice. . . however, I thought perhaps something even more appropriate on a desert island would be a daily reading by Spurgeon. What gems and true spiritual encouragement/edification can be found from this giant of the spiritual faith! And look, he wrote something about solitude and silence which I think would be a great opportunity if I were on a desert island. . . ;)
"There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them . . . Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God's Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord. . . " - Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
So, dear friends, that is my list of books that I'd take with me on a deserted island! Out of necessity, I've left out some of my favourite authors and books - C.S. Lewis, Rosemary Sutcliff, Patricia St. John, Jane Austen. . . but it was definitely fun to try and think of the kinds of books I'd wish to have close to me in such a circumstance. What books would you wish to have with you if you were all alone on a deserted island without any internet or form of entertainment? I tag Schuyler, Annie, Emily D, Mirriam Neal, Emily H, Cait, Ana, Jessica, Suzannah, Sarah, Joy, Jenelle, Esther, and Dani to do the #desertislandreads challenge as well, and have fun with it :D. Also if any of you would like to do this tag, please feel free to be tagged and go right ahead and do it. I'd love to see your book-lists!
Until my next post though, I'm off to my own island of studies and books and solitude. Please pray for me that the Lord will help me accomplish all my study-goals, as I'm feeling quite overwhelmed at the moment. It's going to be a busy November. . .
Lord willing, see all in a month!