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50. The Barber Who Wanted to Pray, RC Sproul. 40pp
This was really sweet. The pictures border on being a little too cartoony for my usual taste but I still like them: very detailed, very rich colours. I like that this is a true story and that it has such a positive lesson, making a richer prayer life something to be grasped. It even got me thinking as an adult and I look forward to incorporating these lessons into my own prayer life as well.

51. William and His Twenty-Two, Mabel R Miller. 159pp
This is a small piece of Adventist history, written for children about 9-13ish. A LOT of names to try to keep straight (the 22 refers to the 22 children of this William, not a gun). Very interesting and fun stories.

52. Moses the Kitten, James Herriot. 32pp
Haven't read this for years, but Carpenters had it and so I revisited it. *squish*

53. Only One Woof, James Herriot. 32pp
I'm sure I probably read this as a child, but it sparks only very vague memories.

54. Hergé, Son of Tintin, Benoit Peeters, 424pp
A fascinating look into the life of the man behind Tintin. Not a particularly admirable man, I must say, in most regards, although his talent is undeniable. It was interesting to read Peeters' analyses of the various Tintin adventures and get some insights into what inspired them. I had no idea that so many of the earlier ones especially were triggered by real world events at the time - you kind of lose that immediacy when you don't read it when it's written, I guess. There are a number of Tintin adventures I'm just not comfortable with and never really have been, but thankfully there are still some good ones too.

55. Depression, the Way Out, Neil Nedley. 265pp
A most helpful and encouraging read, with solid science and common sense teaching one how to deal with anxiety and depression by implementing lifestyle changes. I would recommend this as a read for anybody who deals with depression either in oneself or a loved one, because it's practical and the method targets the causes of the disease rather than just masking symptoms.

<lj-cut text="And now for the Awards">
Month with most pages read:
May, with 1862 pages

Most Helpful Self-Help Book:
Depression, the Way Out

Book I Read Yet Again, Totalling 4 Times in 4 Years:
The Great Controversy

Best non-marathon reread:
A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson

Most Intriguing Non-Fiction:
Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

Book I Was Sure I'd Hate and Ended Up Loving:
All Creatures Great and Small, James Herriot

Best Fiction:
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Best Children's Book Previously Unread:
Cornelli, Johanna Spyri

Stupidest Book:
I Am What I Ate...and I'm Frightened!!!

Most Egotistical Piece of Egotism:
Labour of Love

Best Book About China:
River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze

Best Memoir:
Arms Wide Open: A Midwife's Journey

Book Most Likely To Provoke Controversy When Read In a Public Space:
The Great Controversy? (And yes, Marie, I stole that award title from you)

Best Book Chosen Randomly Because the Title Made Me Snort:
The Good Old Days, They Were Terrible! Otto L Bettman

Most Fascinating Excursion Into the Past:
At Home, Bill Bryson

Author I Read Most:
Ellen G White (GC plus Testimonies 1-5)</lj-cut>

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for December: 952
Total page count for 2011: 13,111
Nonfiction: 29
Fiction: 5
Juvenile fiction: 13
Juvenile nonfiction: 8
Rereads: 4

verity83: (james book)
I feel like I just posted October's book list!

44. Still More Stories from Grandma's Attic, Arleta Richardson. 157pp
I was asked to do children's story at church at the end of November, so this was the beginning of my quest to find a story I could tell. I didn't end up using any of the stories from it, but it was fun to revisit this favourite from childhood.

45. The Secret Church, Louise A Vernon. 128pp
This was my favourite book as a child for many years. Again read hoping maybe for children's story fodder, but the story was too complex to condense down to five minutes.

46. For Time and Eternity, Allison K Pittman. 384pp
[ profile] ruthette was reading this (free on Kindle). I really don't read much fiction any more, especially Christian fiction, which I have a general personal vendetta against - but because it was free and about a topic I'm intrigued with at the moment (Mormonism), I gave it a read.

It was interesting. In fact, I liked it more than I thought I would - it wasn't well-written, but made a lot of interesting points. I think the part that stood out to me most was the part where Kimana (the Native American maid) makes the point to the main character that, had Jesus really come to the US as the Mormons teach, her people would have passed such a monumental story down through the generations.

I think I'd read the next books if the library would have them, but would never go out and buy them. Am mildly curious to know how she plans to wrap it all up.

Also really liked the author's little "interview" thing at the end of the book. It was nice to see her call Mormonism by its right name and not try to be all ecumenical about it. :-)

47. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Brontë. 576pp

So, as I said, it is true that I have for the most part lost my taste for fiction, but I really enjoyed this (balanced with making sure I was keeping up with my devotional reading alongside). It was movingly written and full of quite sound Scriptural principles, barring the interesting interpretation of "hellfire burning for aeons=purgatory", which obviously I found objectionable. Man's choice for God or against Him is sealed by death; if flames could purify the soul, then Christ need not have died. But I digress.

I admired Helen's sturdy devotion to morals: like Jane Eyre, she is willing to sacrifice what might be perceived as making one happy for the satisfaction of a clear conscience before God.

I did not expect the ending it had; quite honestly it was building up in my mind as hopelessly tragic, and I was relieved to find out I was wrong. Is that a spoiler? Sorry.

48. My Bible Friends Vol. 4, Etta B Degering. 120pp
This is something I read to Molly for bedtime over the course of several weeks. I love "My Bible Friends". They're so colourful and simple and bright, but thoroughly classic.

49. Say Hello to the Snowy Animals, Ian Whybrow. 20pp
Very cute. Molly loves the fuzzy animals on all the pages and laughs at the noises they make (or, more specifically, all the silly gestures and noises I make imitating them).

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for November: 1385
Total page count for 2011: 12,159
Nonfiction: 27
Fiction: 5
Juvenile fiction: 13
Juvenile nonfiction: 4
Rereads: 4
verity83: (data books)
41. Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks, Juliet Eilperin. 270pp
This had a slow start for me, and then it picked up. It bogged down again at one point about halfway through (political stuff) and if I hadn't been determined to finish it THIS WEEK (because I've been reading it since JUNE) I probably would have set it aside again.

There was a lot that was really interesting about sharks in this book that I did not know previously, and I feel I learned a lot. I didn't care so much for the overwhelming amount of text devoted to the political and activism sides of Saving Sharks. Not because I don't appreciate their efforts, but because that's just not interesting reading for me.

For more concision, I would have given it 4 stars.

42. Testimonies for the Church Volume 5, Ellen White. 894pp
What a very, very long book. NINETY-ONE CHAPTERS. I really enjoyed it, though. I have Volumes 6-9 left to finish now, but I'll take those up later: I have time to get The Great Controversy in this year and it's really important to me to make sure I read that every year.

43. The Connected Family, Paul and Carolyn Rayne. 159pp
This is the book that accompanies the video series that we're watching on our Wednesday night parenting class at church. I decided to go ahead and finish the book now to get my pathetic book count up by one. Very, very down-to-earth, practical information and methods of becoming close with your children so that you can effectively lead them to God. I recommend it highly for anyone who has children or is thinking of having them.

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for September: 1323
Total page count for 2011: 10,774
Nonfiction: 27
Fiction: 3
Juvenile fiction: 11
Juvenile nonfiction: 2
Rereads: 2
verity83: (james book)
It's a few days early, but I will not have time to read much more before it'll be October, so here's this month's list.

36. Beekeeping for Dummies, Howland Blackiston. 333pp
A great overview of beekeeping with plenty of illustrations and so forth. I must be destined for beekeeping, because his description of the love and attachment one develops for one's bees fit me to a tee.

37. The Bible Story, Vol. 1: The Book of Beginnings, Arthur Maxwell. 190pp
Started going through these for Molly's bedtime/our evening worship reading. Not very consistent about it, but it has been fun.

38. River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze, Peter Hessler. 402pp
I'm not sure even where to begin with this one, because the topic of China is so vast and as always, books about China leave my mind swimming - in a good way. So much to process, and so much fascination. I really enjoyed his perspective as a teacher, because the excerpts from his students' papers are so telling and evocative.

39. My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George. 177pp
For about the first half of this book, I was not all that impressed. It's written in a very spare narrative that left me rather indifferent to the story. It picked up a bit somewhere around the middle.

I wouldn't say I disliked it - I just would have enjoyed a little more emotional punch to go with the character development, which was the more interesting part for me.

Or maybe I just wasn't in the right frame of mind.

40. Cornelli, Johanna Spyri. 275pp
I always enjoy a good Spyri read, and this did not disappoint. It follows more or less the usual Spyri formula, and therefore the ending wasn't too hard to predict (although it wasn't QUITE what I predicted, it was about right).


12 books to go to complete my goal of 52 books this year - I'm barely keeping up, and hope I can do it!

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for September: 1377
Total page count for 2011: 9451
Nonfiction: 24
Fiction: 3
Juvenile fiction: 11
Juvenile nonfiction: 2
Rereads: 1
verity83: (james book)
I wonder if I can pass 10,000 pages this year. I did over 11,000 last year... would be nice to at least maintain that. I don't anticipate passing up the well-over 16,000 pages I read in 2009.

That being said, here are the whopping two books I completed in August.

34. Testimonies for the Church Vol. 4, Ellen White. 657pp
The series started to pick up for me again in this volume: back to more practical pointers that apply to all, not just select groups (e.g., ministers and other church leaders). I enjoyed. Going to hold off on volume 5 temporarily, to give me a chance to get caught up on the other 4 books I'm embroiled in currently.

35. The Call of the Wild, Jack London. 208pp
This did not have a sad ending, although there were sad moments in it. I enjoyed it quite a lot, although there were times when I felt like there was some Deep Socially Relevant Message for that time that I couldn't quite grasp - my mind is too tired to try to process any Deep Socially Relevant Messages at this time.

Also, I read this as a free download on GoodReads, so it's harder for me to grasp deep and elusive concepts in what I'm reading when it's not on the printed paper page.

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for August: 865
Total page count for 2011: 8074
Nonfiction: 22
Fiction: 3
Juvenile fiction: 9
Juvenile nonfiction: 1
Rereads: 1
verity83: (data books)
30. I Am What I Ate... And I'm Frightened!!! Bill Cosby, 184pp
This was a pathetic reading month, particularly because this was the only book I completed. And it was annoying.

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for June: 184
Total page count: 6655
Nonfiction: 20
Fiction: 1
Juvenile fiction: 8
Juvenile nonfiction: 1
Rereads: 1

31. AdventureCat Goes to School, Susan Clymer. 72pp
A friend of mine found this at a garage sale, and since we have an orange cat, she picked it up for me. Truly, the story is NSG, but I LOVE the artwork and would give that a much higher star rating - such fuzzy feline adorableness. This book is worth it just for the cute drawings of cats.

32. Rule Britannia, Daphne du Maurier. 352pp
This one was... well, odd is really the best word for it. At first it was a little boring, then it picked up, then it got so disgusting I almost couldn't keep reading, then it started to get really good, and then it... ended. And it ended in a way that seemed a bit anticlimactic. I was expecting Mr Willis to end up being something more than he was, or the US to kill everyone, or something absolutely bizarre that I couldn't dream up happening at the end, a la "House on the Strand".

All in all, an entertaining read, but Daphne must have just been past her author-ian prime by this time - most of the books I like best by her had already been written. This one almost didn't feel like it was even written by her. There were things that proved it was, but it was just not as powerful.

Also, USUK was a very unfortunate acronym.

33. Jungle Stories, Eric B Hare. 130pp
A thoroughly enjoyable read about mission work in Burma in the earlier half of the 20th century.

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for July: 554
Total page count: 7209
Nonfiction: 21
Fiction: 2
Juvenile fiction: 9
Juvenile nonfiction: 1
Rereads: 1

May Books

Jun. 1st, 2011 09:50 am
verity83: (james book)
25. Majestie: The King Behind the King James Bible, David Teems. 261pp.
This was an pretty easy read and a look into history to a man I previously knew nothing about. The author's style is a little stilted, in my opinion: incomplete sentences abound, and he has a casual and almost flippant way of relating history at times. That being said, I found it very educational and interesting to learn more about the world that gave us the KJV.

26. Arms Wide Open: A Midwife's Journey, Patricia Harman. 286pp
I enjoyed this book a lot. I resonated with the author's longing for getting back to basics and being good stewards of our planet, and, of course, her desire to restore natural childbirth as an option for today's women. It was written in an almost conversational style, a series of snapshots from the author's life that string together into a beautiful whole. I liked this style - the shortness of each section made it easy to read the book in fits and starts and not lose track of anything. (I have a very busy toddler and am interrupted constantly...) The writing was concise, elegant, eloquent. It brought tears to my eyes and made me laugh too. I would read this again and plan to read more from this author.

27. At Home, Bill Bryson. 452pp
I learned what a mudlark is. I learned that 1/10 of a six-year-old pillow's weight is "sloughed skin, living and dead mites, and mite dung" (and consequently have decided, at the soonest possible opportunity, to replace one of my own pillows which is, oh, 25 years old or more). I learned so much, in fact, that my brain couldn't take it all in and I'll have to read this one again.

28. I'm a Stranger Here Myself, Bill Bryson. 288pp
This was grand. There were a few slow spots for me, but almost every chapter got a smile or a laugh, and the income tax chapter had me laughing so hard I had to keep putting the book down to collect myself. The Highway Diversions chapter also had me going. The billboards he describes... Wall Drug, anyone?

"These [attractions] were always disappointing, but that wasn't the point. You weren't paying seventy-five cents for the experience. You were paying seventy-five cents as a kind of tribute, a thanks to the imaginative person who had helped you to pass 127 miles of uneventful highway in a state of genuine excitement."

29. Testimonies for the Church Vol. 3, Ellen White. 575pp
I fiiiiiiiiiinally finished this one. It just seemed more tedious than the previous two, though there was still a lot of really soul-searching stuff in it that I benefitted from. I've set myself a goal to finish Vol. 4 in June, because I still would really like to read all 9 this year.

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for May: 1862
Total page count: 6471
Nonfiction: 19
Fiction: 1
Juvenile fiction: 8
Juvenile nonfiction: 1
Rereads: 1


Because I'm ahead so far, I decided to up my goal to 52.

2011 Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge

Jael has

read 28 books toward her goal of 52 books.


verity83: (james book)
Since I'm not going to be completing any more today... here's March's list.

15. Josefina Learns a Lesson, Valerie Tripp. 67pp

With my credit from Jan's Books I went and started fleshing out my AG book collection. They had books 1-5 of Josefina, so I got all those and started reading them. This one was okay but felt a little bit scattered, like it didn't know where it was going.

16. Josefina's Surprise, Valerie Tripp. 67pp
I liked this one better, but I always did like the Christmas AG books a lot.

17. Happy Birthday, Josefina! Valerie Tripp. 67pp
Didn't go for the "healer" aspect in this one. Otherwise okay.

18. Josefina Saves the Day, Valerie Tripp. 67pp
This was a fun one. And involved a violin. :-p

19. A Song for Grandfather, Jean Boonstra. 96pp
I'm not quite sure how Jean Boonstra managed to pull off what is so clearly an Adventist version of the American Girl books, but manage she has. They're not illustrated, which I think is really rather unfortunate, but the font and layout is pretty much identical to the AG books.

Anyway, when I saw Jan's Books had two of this series I snapped them up so I could see what they were like. Not really very deep (again, think American Girl), but for the age group it's meant for it would be grand. This is the first of 4 books about Sarah. I liked it.

20. Sarah's Disappointment, Jean Boonstra. 96pp
4th book in the series about Sarah. Pretty good.

21. Testimonies for the Church Volume 2, Ellen White. 712pp
Slightly more tedious than volume 1 for a couple of reasons, but primarily because a large chunk of the book was dedicated to addressing issues with the ministry and other stuff that was less personally applicable than in volume 1. There were, however, still a lot of good things to think about.

One quote in particular stood out to me toward the end of the book: "I saw that all should search their own hearts and lives closely to see if they had not made the same mistakes for which others were corrected [in the Testimonies] and if the warnings given for others did not apply to their own cases. If so, they should feel that the counsel and reproofs were given especially for them and should make as practical an application of them as though they were especially addressed to themselves."

This is how I have felt many times so far whilst reading these volumes. I am so far short of the goal of perfection in Jesus, and I am thankful that His righteousness is sufficient and that He is full of grace and help to me as I strive daily to become more like Him. I'm becoming more interested in healthful living not just as a duty but as something that I'm seeing to be of much benefit, for instance. I'm coming to understand more how much prayer needs to be part of my daily life. Since Molly was born, I've really been faily at keeping in touch with God through prayer, and I want to change that.

*Book I started and didn't finish: The Shadow of Kilimanjaro by Rick Ridgeway. It wasn't a horrible book, but neither was it that interesting. It was a week overdue and it seemed no matter how much time I spent reading it I was making no headway at all, so I decided to skip it, return it, and pay my fine.

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for March: 1172
Total page count: 4609
Nonfiction: 12
Juvenile fiction: 8
Juvenile nonfiction: 1
Rereads: 1
verity83: (james book)
6. The Pacific Crest Trail, William R Gray. 196pp
Typical National Geographic book: lots of pictures (which I loved), text fairly well-written but still a bit tedious to read all at once. After reading "A Walk in the Woods" I was interested in learning more about our own trail. We passed one of the access points thereto in our recent snow hunt, and both of us thought it would be fun later this year if possible to walk part of the trail.

7. Time of Wonder, Robert McCloskey. 62pp
I've never read this book despite having grown up with "Blueberries for Sal" and "One Morning in Maine" and a plethora of McCloskey's other books. I really enjoyed the different art in this one as well as seeing the familiar (albeit unidentified in the text) family of Mom and Dad and an older Sal and Jane.

8. Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, Randy O Frost and Gail Steketee. 279pp
Cut because I wax wordy )

9. The Full-Plate Diet, Stuart A Seale et al. 143pp.
This book is beautifully, cleanly laid out with eye-popping photography and quite good information about food and practical, accessible ideas of how to incorporate a plant-based diet into daily life.

Considering that it's supposed to be based on the Adventist health message, however, I was a little perturbed at the overall casual "meat and dairy is okay" attitude. They didn't promote the use of meat and dairy but neither did they really talk about good reasons to avoid it except for a very brief blurb at the end of the book. The basic premise is "eat more fibre" (which, in a plant-based diet, you will get a lot of), but it seemed a bit too simplistic. Or maybe I'm just sceptical.

10. Maine, Deborah Kent. 143pp
From the children's section. Not the most interesting book I've ever read. Had nice pictures.

11. Labour of Love, Cara Muhlhahn. 256pp
Ih. This was okay. The first half was really not much to do with midwifery at all. When she finally did get to talking about her work it was more interesting. Her attitude comes off as being really rather arrogant and proud of how wonderful she is, which was annoying, but she did have interesting things to say about her work and the current condition of industrialised maternity care. I thought it was ridiculous that she promoted the use of castor oil, though, and subscribed to the notion that if you have little to no morning sickness you're having a boy. Sure. Neither I nor my one friend had much nausea at all with our girls and Frances was much worse than me with Josiah.

There was a lot that rubbed me the wrong way, I guess.

12. Meet Josefina, Valerie Tripp. 85pp
I've never read the Josefina books and decided it was time. I just love the artwork and enjoyed the story as well. It's not hard to predict what's going to happen, of course, in future books. Hehe.

13. The Good Old Days - They Were Terrible!, Otto L Bettman. 197pp
This was an excellent peek into some of the realities of the Gilded Age: the dirt, the grime, pollution, crime, terrible education systems, blah blah blah. For me it provided a lot of context into why Ellen White was so adamant that the people of God move out of the cities, and why she stressed cleanliness and so forth. Very insightful and written with a humourous style that keeps it from being totally depressing. I also really enjoyed the period illustrations that he used that were caricatures of what the people were dealing with in those days.

14. Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer. 203pp
I've read "Into Thin Air" before, probably 10 or more years ago now, and it impressed me very deeply, so I thought I'd pick up another book by the same author and see how I liked it. Not at all what I was expecting, but interesting. I have a hard time sympathising with the man it's about in many ways. Although I can see a little why he didn't like his dad, I strongly believe nothing is able to be accomplished by hatred/anger in relationships and to just up and disappear seems like a cruel thing to do. It was a sad story for sure.

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for February: 1564
Total page count: 3437
Nonfiction: 11
Juvenile fiction: 2
Juvenile nonfiction: 1
Rereads: 1
verity83: (data books)
1. On the Way Home, Laura Ingalls Wilder. 101pp
A tad on the dull side in the body of the book. I agree with some other reviewers that the truly interesting parts are the beginning and ending written by Rose. However, while Laura's journal isn't that exciting, it is interesting to get a snippet of what daily life was like for them including
current prices of land and food.

2. A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson. 274pp
I've been literally CRAVING to read this book again for about a week or so. This rarely happens, but oh it felt so good to read it again.

3. All Creatures Great and Small, James Herriot. 437pp
I honestly wasn't expecting to like this one much, not being a huge fan of animal stories... although I liked the illustrated Herriot stories for children when I was little (Moses the kitten, etc.) HOWEVER... it was the best book I've read in a long time. Herriot is a masterful storyteller, concise, entertaining, and touching. The shortness of the chapters made it easy to drop the book to take care of something and then pick it up again after a bit.

But the suspense. drove. me. mad. I'm sure he did it on purpose, but WAS IT REALLY NECESSARY to make me WAIT 20,000 chapters between each Encounter-with-Helen? Cruel. Just cruel.

4. Across China, Peter Jenkins. 343pp
I enjoyed the "Walk Across America" so much that I was sure I'd enjoy this book as well. It dragged a bit in the early chapters - I think there could have been less "how-do-I-tell-Barbara" and more jumping right into it. Once the travelogue started I was hooked. I know so little about China/Tibet and it was really, really fascinating to me.

Of course, I cringed in annoyance when he asked some of the Tibetan folks how they had their babies with no hospitals close by. Um. Yeah. Seriously, dude? But aside from that, it was grand.

5. Testimonies for the Church Volume 1, Ellen White. 718pp
This was a really interesting peek into the history of our people, with a lot of thought-provoking passages.

Total page count: 1873
Nonfiction: 5
Rereads: 1

November 2016

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