Books 21-25 of 2017

I’m still reading and getting through my massive piles of books…

 

21.     I first discovered Shirley Jackson in high school, when we had to read the short story “The Lottery”. Many years later, Jackson popped up in my recommendations on Amazon. When I saw The Haunting of Hill House available on my go-to book website, I bought it. I expected more in terms of “horror”, and most of the characters annoyed me. I also had difficulty a few times in understanding what was happening. It’s about a group of strangers visiting a supposedly haunted house, and the house takes control of one of the visitors. I didn’t really enjoy it, and it’s now in my to-donate pile.

22.     I really enjoyed Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and so I looked forward to reading her sister’s famous novel. I had tried to read Wuthering Heights several years ago but didn’t get far – the older English was difficult for me to read at the time, but after reading some Austen and Jane Eyre, I figured that I would have an easier second attempt. And yes, I did! The dark vengeance, spanning two generations, was twisted and sad yet enthralling. I couldn’t put the book down.

23.     I had heard of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James many times – but never really knew what it was about. It’s a ghost story involving two children under the supervision of a new governess. Meh. I didn’t really know what was happening, and I had to resort to Wikipedia (yeah, I went there) to get the plot. This printing came with another short story, which I didn’t bother to read. This is also in my to-donate pile.

24.     Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne was such a delightful whirlwind world tour set in 1870. Fast-paced, action-packed, and spoiler alert – they did NOT travel by hot-air balloon in the book. (boo, inaccurate cover and film adaptations!) I may hold on to this book if I ever want a quick weekend read, like what I do with #25…

25.     This was probably my third time reading George Orwell’s Animal Farm – it’s that good, in my opinion, and I consider it as one of my all-time favorite books. (And I read this in an entire afternoon while getting a good suntan outside – I like short books haha.) I don’t think it had been required high school reading for me, so I can’t recall when or how/why I first read it. The satire is awesome in this book. I could reread this story and never tire of it.

 

My Bible reading: last month (July) I read Proverbs. I also finally opened up my Lutheran edition of the Apocrypha, and read the Book of Judith, which had an interesting story and a great song. I love that my study edition has copious amounts of notes and references, which gave me plenty of extra information surrounding the book. What I plan to do is read at least one apocryphal book at the end of each month. For August, I am reading Acts. I read one chapter before bedtime.

 

I now have a page (click here) where I am listing all of the books I have read over the last few years. I need to update it after Wuthering Heights soon.

 

Reviews for my first ten books

Books 11 – 15

Books 16 – 20

 

Is anyone reading anything at the moment?

Books 16-20 of 2017

I am on a roll with my reading!

To read my past reviews, click here for my first ten books and click here for 11-15. I stunk at book reports in school, so don’t expect much in my reviews! haha.

Now on to my next five books…

16 (June 2-13 2017)

16.    I saw Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We pop up on Amazon a few times as recommendations based on other titles I was searching for. I read a little bit about it, and learned that it was a basis for Orwell’s very famous 1984. So I thought hey, why not? I saw it on my new go-to book website one day, and bought it. We takes place in the future where everyone is only known by names and their days are highly regulated. And with typical dystopians, some new person shows up and throws some wrinkles into the main character’s life. I greatly disliked the “wrinkle person” (that’s what I’ll call the character haha) and I had a very difficult time understanding what was happening. The writing style wasn’t clear and seemed jumbled. I didn’t care for it, so it was mailed over to a friend who will likely enjoy it a lot more than I did.

17 (June 14-16 2017)

17.     Next up was The Stranger by Albert Camus. This was another one recommended to me on Amazon; I saw it in my local library’s Classics section, and decided to go for it. Another dud, to me. I felt that the main character was way too bland, and his lack of remorse or feeling for the main action seemed too much like a relative of mine who is up to no good lately, and I don’t care much for him anymore. It was a boring yet mercifully short book. I’m glad that I had only borrowed it and not purchased it.

(My hair is not that light; it’s the different, sunnier location of this photo and the following photo.)

18 (June 17-21 2017)

18.     Ah. Another book that I was glad to have borrowed and not to have purchased – The Awakening by Kate Chopin. I felt that the main character could have made the changes in her life in a nicer way, she was confusing, and I thought that she was selfish. There’s nothing more that I want to say about it. At least it was another mercifully short book – I didn’t like it at all.

19 (June 22-30 2017)

19.     FINALLY. A book that I enjoyed and that I recommend! I was wondering when it would happen, with the past few duds! Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court was a long return to Twain after 12ish years; I had previously only read Huck Finn, in I think 10th grade. I saw this at my library, and the idea of a late-nineteenth century American traveling back to sixth century Britain sounded interesting enough to me. It was such a fun read to follow Hank’s adventures in saving the “maidens”, introducing things like dynamite and newspapers, and his desire to overthrow the medieval feudal system. I may read some more Twain in the future.

20 (July 3-6 2017)

20.     Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage had been in my personal collection for a few years, but then some time ago I got rid of it, thinking that I’d never read it. And then I ended up finding it at a library book sale last month, and bought it again. I enjoyed following Henry’s changes throughout the book, going from fleeing to fighting. And I really liked Crane’s interesting use of colors in his imagery. While I would have liked more dialogue (I like dialogue in my books) and more specific details like the use of names instead of “the tall soldier” (I had a hard time following what each person was doing/saying), it was still a great book.

In my Bible, for June I read the Gospel of John as well as Ephesians. For July, I am reading Proverbs.

I’m already on my 22nd book at the moment (yeah, I was slow to post this… as always) so next month I should have my next batch of books!

Have you read any of these five books? What were your thoughts on them? Would you give any of them a try?

My Etsy store has a new name!

It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally made the update… my Etsy store has a new name!

I was tired of explaining my store’s former name all the time (FrauleinPfau = “Miss Peacock” in German; at the time of creating my store I was in a big German kick and I loved anything peacock [not quite as much nowadays]), and I wanted something that included my name.

So then it became a matter of finding a new shop name – something to reflect the odd assortment of handicrafts in which I dabble, and something to include my name.

Lo and behold, I found the right word – with the bonus of alliteration haha:

Misc Marica    (Miscellaneous Marica)

And of course I needed a new banner for the top of my shop’s website:

Misc Marica banner 1

My shop’s new banner; I took that background photo, incorporating a few of my items (cards, dreamcatchers, jewelry, and resin pieces)

Century Gothic is one of my go-to fonts (so clean and basic), so I knew I’d want to use it for my new “look”.

I have also added a bunch of new items recently.

Click here to see my Etsy store – and if you use the code “MISCWELCOME15” at checkout, you can get 15% off your purchase of $15 or more. Good through July 8.

 

UPDATE: I did slightly alter the shop name; it’s now MiscMarica, and has been changed in the above hyperlink as well.

Books 11-15 of 2017

I’ve read a few more books! I decided to do these in batches of five books, so that the posts would be shorter and I’d post a little bit more frequently. So, here we go…

 

11 (Apr 26-28 2017)

11. Edith Wharton had several books for sale on BookOutlet.com, so I decided to give her a try. Ethan Frome was a short story, so I thought that it would be an easy introduction. It’s a sad story of a man having to choose between a dismal wife and life, or an exciting/unknown path with the wife’s cousin. The ending was unexpected – sad, but I liked it. I look forward to reading more of Wharton’s stories.

12 (Apr 30-May 4 2017)

12. I learned about Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall from the trailer for its movie adaptation, when I saw a movie in a cinema earlier this year. The idea of a girl reliving her last day several times sounded interesting, so when I saw it for a cheap price I decided to get it. While I admit that I found it hard to connect with the main character, I enjoyed following the changes in her feelings and attitudes. I enjoyed it, and my mom is reading it now. I haven’t watched the movie yet, but I’ll watch it with my mom eventually.

13 (May 5-16 2017)

13. I have a tendency to buy every book in the classics section of my library’s semiannual book sales – and lately I’ve seen a ton of Thomas Hardy. The Mayor of Casterbridge is my first dip into Hardy, and I loved it. A very sad story of a man’s past coming back to haunt him, and his downfall. There are a few more Hardy novels in my collection, and I may be digging into another one soon.

14 (May 17-20 2017)

14. I don’t get into young adult stuff that often, but when I do, it’s a good chance that it’s from Neal Shusterman. I’ve read his Skinjacker trilogy and the Unwind dystology and adored both series. So when I saw Scythe show up on BookOutlet.com, I screamed in happiness. It came out late last year, and it will become another series. I haven’t bought this one (yet haha – I may ask my sister for it for my birthday), but I instead got this from our library. The premise of this story is that disease, poverty, hunger, and governments no longer exist – even natural death no longer exists. So, to help keep population in control, there are a special group of people called Scythes who are the only ones to end life. It was a fascinating idea and it really got me thinking about “immortality” and such. My mom, who has also read the Unwind books, loved this book as well. We can’t wait for the second book to come out! Also, I just want to say that the cover art on this was really cool.

15 (May 24- June 2 2017)

15. I don’t think that I would have ever discovered A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder by James De Mille if it weren’t for BookOutlet.com’s classics section. Seriously, that site is FANTASTIC. But anyway, back to this book. It’s one of the first “lost world” books, written in the Victorian era. It was delightfully silly and bizarre – a tropical South Pole, still-living dinosaurs, and humans who seek death, poverty, and darkness… yup haha.

In May I read 1 and 2 Corinthians; this month I am reading the Gospel of John. I found out how many chapters are in each book of the Bible, as I just want to read one or two chapters each night.

Gotta get back to reading!