28 Mar 2008

Mrs. Darcy's Dilemma - Diana Birchall

Mrs. Darcy's Dilemma is the first Pride and Prejudice sequel I've read, and fortunately I wasn't disappointed, as Diana Birchall managed to copy Jane Austen's style better than I would have thought possible. A relief as P&P is one of my favourite books.

21 Mar 2008

Matilda - Roald Dahl

Together with "The BFG" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", Matilda has always been one of my favourite Roald Dahl stories, and one that stands the test of time well :-)

20 Mar 2008

The Red Tent - Anita Diamant

The Red Tent claims to be based on the story of Dinah (Genesis 34), but it's a very loose connection at best, and the story would have benefited from either being closer to the original or not trying to follow it at all.

Winter Reading Challenge - A Wrap-up

The Winter Reading Challenge ended yesterday, so I think it's fitting with some concluding comments.

These were the books I chose for the challenge.
# Terrier (Beka Cooper #1) - Tamora Pierce
# The Last Jew - Noah Gordon*
# Looking Forward - Marcia Willett
# Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne*
# The Hiding Place - Corrie ten Boom*
# Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank*
# Wild Magic - Tamora Pierce*
# Wolf Speaker - Tamora Pierce*
# Emperor Mage - Tamora Pierce*
# The Realms of the Gods - Tamora Pierce*
# Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - Robert O'Brien
# The Stormcaller - Jacob L. Grant

At the start of the challenge, Inksplasher wrote:
'I would like to suggest that we stretch a little. If you normally read fiction, put at least one non-fiction on your list (and vice versa). Or try a genre you don't usually read. Or try a new author chosen totally at random. But most importantly, make your list FUN so you'll want to read!'

I certainly had lots of fun, but upon looking back at it, there was an incredible number of rereads on the list (all those marked with an asterix). Compared to how seldom I reread books these days, to have a list that's 67% rereads is very surprising, and probably went quite a lot against Inksplasher's suggestion. Can't say I stretched myself a lot in any way. I've been more conscious of this for the Sring Reading Thing, so hopefully that reading list will be more diverse.

Favorite book of the challenge: Terrier
Least favorite book of the challenge The Realms of the Gods
Any new authors read in this challenge: Marcia Willett, Robert O'Brien and Jacob L. Grant.
What I learned: Rereads are lots of fun too!

18 Mar 2008

Robin Hood - Howard Pyle

Robin Hood was unfortunately a huge disappointment. A childhood illusion burst.

17 Mar 2008

Orbis Terrarum Challenge - DONE

- The Orbis Terrarum Challenge begins April 1 2008
- For the challenge each reader is to choose 9 books (for the 9 months).
- Each book must be by an author from a different nation in our world.

1) Whitethorn Woods - Maeve Binchy (Ireland)
2) Hollywood Crows - Joseph Wambaugh (USA)
3) The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (France)
4) A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khalad Hosseini (Afghanistan)
5) Wild Mountain Thyme - Rosamunde Pilcher (Scotland)
6) Long Walk to Freedom - Nelson Mandela (South Africa)
7) The Alpine Path - Lucy Maud Montgomery (Canada)
8) The No 1. Ladies Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith (Botswana)
9) A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth (India)

Wild Swans - Jung Chang

Non-fiction Five - DONE

1. Read 5 non-fiction books during the months of May - September, 2008

2. Read at least one non-fiction book that is different from your other choices (i.e.: 4 memoirs and 1 self-help)

My books:
* No Compromise - Melody Green (Biography)
* Long Walk to Freedom - Nelson Mandela (Autobiography)
* The Alpine Path - L.M. Montgomery (Biography)
* Wild Swans - Jung Chang (Memoir)
* The Five Love Languages - Gary Chapman (inspirational)

Another Blooming Challenge x2 - DONE?

More cool challenges are coming up, so here we go again :-)
Here's flower-themed challenge to get you in the spirit of the season.

1. The challenge will run from March 20, 2008 - June 20, 2008.
2. You can choose one of the four levels (or participate in several levels!)
3. You can cross-post with other challenges. You can even count the same book for different levels in this challenge!

You can see all the levels at the original challenge. I'm going for the bud-vase (DONE) and/or bouquet (DONE).

Biggest disappointment: The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
Favourite read: The Primrose Way - Jackie French Koller
Whitethorn Woods - Maeve Binchy
Wild Mountain Thyme - Rosamunde Pilcher

Extra credit:
Rose in Bloom - L. M. Alcott
Flowers in the Rain - Rosamunde Pilcher

(If I get the two 'extra credit' read I qualify for the Garden challenge as well.)

f2f - Phillip Finch

While waiting for the Spring Reading Challenge starts, I'm catching up on some of my rereads. Weirdly enough f2f wasn't nearly as good as I remembered it, but never mind. Still a quick read :-)

15 Mar 2008

Looking Forward - Marcia Willett

Marcia Willett reads a lot like Rosamunde Pilcher, so Looking Forward made for a very enjoyable and relaxing read.

12 Mar 2008

D.E.A.R. challenge - DONE

The D.E.A.R. challenge starts today for level 4 participants, so I figured it was time to post about it here :)

What is National D.E.A.R. Day? (which has just become International as D.E.A.R. stands for Drop Everything and Read. National D.E.A.R. Day is a special reading celebration to remind and encourage families to make reading together on a daily basis a family priority.

Level One: Commit to reading 30 minutes on D.E.A.R. day, April 12, 2008. It's a Saturday in case you're wondering.
Level Two: Commit to reading 30 minutes per day for three days. April 11, 2008 - April 13, 2008.
Level Three: Commit to reading 30 minutes per day for an entire week. April 6, 2008 - April 12, 2008.
Level Four: Commit to reading 30 minutes per day for an entire month. March 12, 2008 - April 12, 2008.

It can come as no surprise to you, that I've signed up for level 4. For the next month I will try to remember to write down exactly how much time I've spent reading each day. I won't be posting daily updates here, but will probably make a post with the grand total.

Edit April 13th: Well, I forgot to keep track of how long I read each day after the initial half hour was passed, but I easily made 30 mins each day - most days lots more.

9 Mar 2008

Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank

I've read Diary of a Young Girl several times before, but for some reason it made me really depressed and restless this time. I think it's time for me to read something not ww2 related.

8 Mar 2008

Spring Reading Thing - Done!

It will probably come as no surprise that I'm signing up for a Spring Reading Challenge.

Who: Anyone! Everyone! If you read, you can join :)

What: Spring Reading Thing 2008 is a casual, low-pressure challenge. There is no required number of reads to 'reach'. Just make a list of books you'd like to read (or books you'd like to finish!) this spring.

When: I bet you can guess: Spring 2008. The official dates are March 20th through June 19th.

As per usual the challenge runs for 13 weeks, so I'm picking 13 books to read for it:

The Hiding Place - Corrie ten Boom

The Hiding Place was one of the first books I ever read about World War 2, and it still stands to me as one of the most important books to read on the subject, in order to remember that God is present - even when we cannot see Him.

7 Mar 2008

Evacuation Plan - Joe M. O'Connell

Unfortunately Evacuation Plan was quite a disappointment, so it'll be going straight up on my bookmooch list. But at least it still counts for a book read :-D

6 Mar 2008

Helvedet - og en kærlig Gud - Claus Tondering

Helvedet - og en kærlig Gud (Hell - and a Loving God) is an amazing book of how to unite the belief in God's love with the reality of Hell. I've learned a LOT from it.

2 Mar 2008

Spiritual Reading Challenge - DONE

Yeah, I figured it was time to sign up for another challenge ;) The Spiritual Reading Challenge runs from March 1st to June 1st. The goal is to read three books with a spiritual theme in that timeframe.

My books are:
* Celebration of Discipline - Richard Foster
* No Compromise, The Life Story of Keith Green - Melody Green
* Hell and a Loving God - Claus Tondering

The Princess and the Goblin - George MacDonald

The Princess and the Goblin is a sweet fairytale, but I would probably have enjoyed it more, had I read it when I was the target age.