If you cannot read all your books...fondle them---peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on the shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that you at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let them, at any rate, be your acquaintances. Winston Churchill
Thanks,Gretchen, for this quote. You can find Gretchen's blog here:http://gretchenjoanna.blogspot.com
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Last year I set for myself two reading challenges; one was Victorian Literature and the other was Elizabeth Goudge. I managed to read eight in each category; not the twelve I had intended, but probably, no definitely, more than I would have read if I hadn't made the challenges.
Here's the lists of the ones I read.
1. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-Robert Louis Stevenson
2. The Way of All Flesh-Samuel Butler
3. The Woman in White-Wilkie Collins
4. The Soul of Man-Oscar Wilde
5. Lady Audley's Secret-M.E. Braddon
6. The Story of the Amulet-E. Nesbit
7. At the Back of the North Wind-George MacDonald
8. Lady Windermere's Fan-Oscar Wilde
1. The Castle on the HIll
2. The Dean's Watch
3. Pilgrim's Inn
4. The Scent of Water
5. Linnets and Valerians
6. The Lost Angel
7. Gentian Hill
8. A City of Bells
My favorite Victorian read was Lady Audley's Secret. There's also a movie that sticks pretty close to the book and was enjoyable. I also liked Lady Windermere's Fan. As usual, Wilde is funny with everyone planning and plotting to have things their own way while getting tripped up in all the twists and turns of their actions.
My favorite Goudge book is so hard to say as I loved all of them. I'm continuing the challenge into this year as I'm planning on reading ALL her works as well as owning them all before I'm finished with the challenge. I guess if I had to pick, it would be a tie between A City of Bells and The Dean's Watch. She can't be read quickly. You don't just read her words but savor them as you would the memory of a dinner party with close family or friends. You know that good feeling of love and camaraderie you have during and after such an event. Add in a mystical wonderment to that feeling and you have the essence of a Goudge novel.
There are a few more Victorian novels I plan on reading this year that didn't get read in 2013. They are: Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell and The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade. I was going to add The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope, but he's getting his own separate challenge.
So the two main challenges for 2014 are Elizabeth Goudge and Anthony Trollope. I read 86 books last year. Each new year I usually try and beat the number of the previous year, but I'm not doing that this year. I think I've been reading too much in place of other creative projects I want to be doing. It's just easier. All I have to do is pick up a book and plop down on the couch. Beginning and completing a project is much harder but much more satisfying when it's finished.
So...I'll hopefully be reading two books a month for my challenges, one for my bookgroup, one spiritual/creative, and any other ones I can squeeze in that are new fiction from the library or something from my own stacks. One year I need to have a challenge to read what I already have in my own library!
How do you read? Do you set challenges or just fly by the seat of your pants/skirt?
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
"FIND THE REAL WORLD, GIVE IT ENDLESSLY AWAY, GROW RICH FLINGING GOLD TO ALL WHO ASK. LIVE AT THE EMPTY HEART OF PARADOX. I'LL DANCE THERE WITH YOU-CHEEK TO CHEEK." Rumi
As we pass through these golden days of autumn, I hope to fling more gold to anyone who may ask. I have so far to go before I'm living at the empty heart of paradox.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The light was so pretty late yesterday afternoon in the cotton field behind our house, that I just had to go try and capture it. Golden and soft, my favorite kind. I'll go back out today and try again. Time is short. Harvest is coming soon.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
"NO PLACE IS A PLACE UNLESS SOMETHING HAPPENED THERE...A PLACE YOU COME BACK TO TIME AND AGAIN AND STAY LONG ENOUGH TO LEARN FROM IT...A PLACE THAT EVENTUALLY FORCES NOSTALGIA ON YOU." WENDELL BERRY
I'm nostalgic about both of these places; one is where I spent the first eighteen years of my life, and the other is where we've raised our own five children and made a life for the last twenty-three years. The remaining sixteen years were spent in other houses and places, but these two hold the most meaning for me.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Never again, she vowed, would she live a noisy life that killed her dreams. They were her reason for living, the only thing that she had to give to the world, and she must live in the way that suited them best.
From A CITY OF BELLS by Elizabeth Goudge
Thursday, October 3, 2013
I keep finding nuggets of wisdom to share from this book. There will only be a few more, and then I'll be done. The above sentence resonated with me, because I've always thought I should have lived in an earlier time. My personality really isn't suited to the fastness of modern life. I have to constantly pull back, reassess, and recover. I think of all the creativity going to waste because of having to do this. Jane Austen's era appeals to me; the quietness and smallness of it.
This contrast of modern city life with 19th-century country life is contrasted in the movie Lost in Austen. I highly recommend this entertaining movie. If you're a Janeite then you'll love it! Mr. Darcy comes through time to modern-day London and calls it "an infernal hellhole". I love London but would call any large city the same. The noise and busyness is hellish to a person with a quiet temperament.
So even though I'm in the fifth decade of my life, I'm just now getting comfortable with what I have to do in order to survive and flourish in the 21st-century. Comfortable meaning that I don't feel like I have to live up to anyone's expectations anymore. Comfortable in being who I am without apologizing. Yes, I'm highly sensitive AND introverted. I'm not a terrible person because I need/want large amounts of quiet time alone. It's not selfishness. It's pure and plain survival!
So all you extroverts...try and understand your introverted friends and family. Don't pressure them to get out more and socialize. There's nothing wrong with preferring being with one or two people rather than a crowd; or even better...being alone!
Yes, I know the importance of balance. But for an introvert in this century, the problem isn't getting out enough. It's having enough quiet, alone time. That's the daily struggle.