Thursday, May 28, 2015
As you can tell, my stack is significantly less ambitious than last month's. Although my schedule is far from busy, I've been much more productive in other venues this month, which leaves me less reading time. Alas!
The top book is The Heaven Tree Trilogy, by Edith Pargeter, which I confess I haven't read yet. I've heard wonderful things about it, but thus far, I haven't touched it. I still have four days until June!
Below this, you see A.D. 30, by Ted Dekker... which I also haven't read yet. It is, for the record, the most difficult book to search for on Goodreads, because you must get the punctuation precisely correct. Two periods. No spaces. A.D. Like The Heaven Tree, I've heard great things about it.
Thirdly, we have The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas. This is a reread in honor of summer. I adore the swashbuckling, over-the-top, ridiculously improbable adventure of this book because it doesn't take itself too seriously. It knows it's crazy. This translation is by Lowell Bair, who also abridged it. I generally don't like abridging books, but I've compared it to the original, and the abridgement is very subtly, tastefully done. I watched the movie last night while re-alphabetizing some bookshelves, and it was delightful despite the massively altered ending.
Beneath that, you have The Dragonbone Chair, by Tad Williams. It's exciting to read what is often considered a classic in the fantastical canon. I'm only a hundred or so pages in, and I'm finding it somewhat technical in its exposition of the world. I feel like I have to take notes on various historical events and figures, and that isn't necessarily a feeling I relish. I still plan on finishing it... eventually.
Fifthly, I present The Gospel According to Tolkien, by Ralph C. Wood. I've barely finished the introduction, and I can already tell I'll love this book. It focuses largely on the fact that Tolkien didn't maintain a one-to-one connection in his allegory, and what the ambiguity of this means to the overall impact. I'm reading it in preparation for a grand reread of the series, then a first-time read of The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin.
Next comes The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis. This is another reread, although only barely. (I read it for the first time last summer.) This time, my Wonderful Mother is reading it aloud to me, which is truly a special experience!
And finally, squashed beneath all the other books, is my Bible. I've never read it all the way through, so I am embarking on a voyage to read it in its entirety. I just finished Ecclesiastes and am twiddling my thumbs and dithering before starting Song of Solomon, also called Song of Songs. I am perpetually amazed by the beauty, wonder, and wisdom of this awe-inspiring work.
So there is my nightstand! What are your thoughts on these books? What's on your nightstand?
Friday, May 22, 2015
For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.
See where Jace’s story all began . . .
Coming This Summer
Monday, May 18, 2015
|Isn't it lovely?|
Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with Isidore, a young human child. Their kinship is the very fabric of her childhood. When her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.
Ashlee Willis is the author of fantasy for young adults. She lives in the heart of Missouri with her husband and young son. While most of her days are balanced between writing, reading, and being a stay-at-home mom, she also finds time to enjoy forest rambles, photography, and playing the piano.
Follow her on Goodreads, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Pinterest, and on her blog.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Allow me to set the stage:
A used book sale. Bins of overflowing paperbacks crowd between stacks of hardcovers. Each costs only one dollar.
Me (brandishing a hefty volume with difficulty; arm shaking): Look, it's Schneffenborg's "The Imperial Science of Philosophy and Thought Among Primitive Agrarian Societies in the Arctic"! I'll totally read this!"
Let me be clear, readers. I will never, ever read this.
But I have no willpower when it comes to books! If it comes packaged between a cover, I'll buy it, especially if-- even worse!-- it has a faded, shaky signature inside the front cover with-- the horror!-- an interesting, vintage-sounding date like '47.
Because of this terrible habit, I owned a huge, towering bookshelf specifically for books I planned on reading. It had it all: Tolkien's The Silmarillion, a four-volume collection on philosophy, the complete works of Sophocles, the biography of Stephen Crane. I have no idea who Stephen Crane is, nor why I felt compelled to buy his biography.
This habit extends to the library, too. For example, today I was strolling through the nonfiction section, my bag bursting with books, in-- let me stress-- absolutely no position to get any more books! But the darn thing just fell into my hands, and I checked out Julius Caesar's commentary on the Gallic Wars.
|I will never read this. |
(By Adriaen Collaert (The British Museum) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
Finally, last week, I surveyed the feeble amount I had read and the towering inferno left to go and conceded defeat. I packaged up those books and returned them to their demesne, the used bookstore. I think they were glad to leave me. I wasn't a very good owner.
But in exchange for two laundry baskets full of books, the cashier gave me a generous gift card to the used book store! So getting rid of books is going to result in me getting more books!
I mused on my injured feelings for a while and summed up this situation in the following poem:
So you see, Book, there’s nothing for us but pain.
Does anyone else have this problem? I can't believe I'm the only one out there suffering from Compulsive Book Purchaser's Syndrome. Are there any methods to avoid this grievous fate? How big is your to-read shelf?
Wednesday, May 6, 2015