Well, I have had a very stressful week. My oldest daughter was to have her Remicade Infusion on Friday, but started coming down with a yucky cold on Monday. After a lot of back and forth doctor phone calls, I made the decision to postpone it until Monday, to allow her to have more time to heal over the weekend. Then, my poor sweet little lady woke up yesterday morning with pink eye. That meant a trip to the much hated walk in clinic. I am always so filled with anxiety in medical facilities. There is just so many sick people that do not cover their mouths. While waiting to be called, another lady was checking in and I overheard her saying she had been diagnosed with walking pneumonia. And where did she decide to sit in this tiny cramped room? Directly across from my oldest, heaving and struggling for breath. Why she didn't just go to the ER, I don't know, but I had to get both my girls up immediately and move across the room. Glad I did, because she started coughing a lot, not covering her mouth. I will never understand how a grown person feeling so ill doesn't care if they spread what they have to others, including children. I get so frustrated at these people.
My daughter was tested for strep, which she didn't have, and they tested her breathing, which was fine. She did, of course, have pink eye, which is always unmistakable. We got medication for her cold and drops for her eyes, so hopefully by tomorrow she will feel a ton better so that she can get her Remicade.
Now onto some bookish things. I was planning to relax all day yesterday and get some reading in. With the trip to the walk in clinic, I pretty much didn't get anything else done. I haven't been sleeping well, so I was really looking forward to that relaxation, and maybe a nap or two slipped in along with it. So, that will be my day today... reading and snoozing, with a bit of fun tv thrown in the mix. I have been wanting to read some short stories out of The Short Story: 50 Masterpieces. This is one of the library books I got for free from our base library closing. I really love short stories and don't have anything in my book collection like this.
I am also a bit interested in reading this book, Sounding, by Hank Searls. This was another one of the free library books I got, though was a mistake! While I was browsing, I had picked this book up to peek over it and was not interested, then started talking to the woman who had organized the library books giveaway. I didn't realize until I got
home that I had slipped it into my bag of books! I am glad for it though, upon reading the summary now, I am really interested in it. It is apparently from the point of view of a sperm whale, and the author also wrote Jaws books. It sounds pretty neat. Whales and stellar sea lions are my most favorite ocean creatures.
Another book might get thrown into my agenda today, but as of now, these two are much on my mind!
I wanted to put together a post today of my top five favorite book covers. Here they are, in order starting from my most favorite:
Wildwood by Colin Meloy. I just adore this cover. It makes me smile. It is so...full and folksy.
The Secret Magdalene by Ki Longfellow. This is just a beautiful cover for a beautiful book.
Three Theban Plays by Sophocles. Even though this is not my favorite translation, this is by far the best cover. It is just gorgeous.
Le Morte D' Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table b Sir Thomas Malory, this rendition by Keith Baines. This is the most striking cover I have seen for this book. How can you not want to crack it open?
The Official Quotable Doctor Who: Wise Words From Across Space and Time. I can't say why I like this cover so much. I just think it is so crisp, clean, and neat. My only complaint is the pop of red. Why the red? It makes no sense. A red Tardis? They should have had the pop of color be a bright blue instead, it would have enhanced this cover a lot.
And there you have it, my most favorite covers of the books I own. what about you?
Every woman should marry for her own advantage since her husband will represent her, as visible as her front door, for the rest of his life. If she chooses a wastrel she will be avoided by all her neighbors as a poor woman; catch a duke and she will be Your Grace, and everyone will be her friend. She can be pious, she can be learned, she can be witty and wise and beautiful, but if she is married to a fool she will be "that poor Mrs. Fool" until the day he dies.
It is not secret that I absolutely love anything related to England's royalty. I love any show, movie, book, especially when they are focused on the Tudors. One of my favorite shows right now is Reign, and even though the second season ended not that long ago, I found myself re-watching the first season last night on Netflix! It is such a great show! The premise of course attract me, but it is really such a beautiful show. I love the scenery, the clothing, the hair styles- love it! I have been wanting to get a book on Mary Queen of Scots (something that slips my mind until I am watching the show), which means it was on my mind last night. Since today was the very last day our bookstore was open, I decided to stop in and see if there was anything that might suffice. Why not if I can get it 50% off right now? While I would have preferred a nonfiction book, I did luck out and find a historical fiction book, so I thought I would write up a post about the few historical fiction books that I own base on England's royalty.
The first one is Queen of this Realm, by Jean Plaidy. This is, of course, about Queen Elizabeth I, someone I deeply admire. I lucked out and found this book when our base library was giving away all their books. They actually had a giant stack of Jean Plaidy historical novels, but being as I don't read these as much as I use to, I left all the others for someone else. I haven't read this one yet, but it is on my long list of books I can't wait to read!
The White Queen by Phillippa Gregory, the other author that excels at writing these types of novels (and the woman who wrote The Other Boleyn Girl that was made into a film), I purchased a while back after watching that tv show that was also about Elizabeth Woodville. The show was amazing, but I have only read a portion of this book. I still need to finish it. If you don't know about her, her story is really interesting.
The Other Queen, also by Phillipa Gregory, is the book I found today. I was actually surprised to find this! It is about Mary Queen of Scots, so I really lucked out. It is a used hardcover in great condition, and I paid only $4.50. I am super anxious to read this book. I normally read things from the view of Queen Elizabeth I, and the tv show is showing what unfolds between these cousins from Queen Mary's side- which I am finding really intriguing. I have mixed feelings about this, as I want to jump in to defend Queen Elizabeth, but am now super curious about things from Mary's side. It will be a neat read.
I use to read these types of novels all the time when I lived in Alaska. Since then it has kind of dwindled down to a rarity and find myself mainly enjoying the shows and movies- but these are three books I would like to give a try! What about you, do you like any of the historical fiction novels by either of these authors?
Last night I had a little bit of an itch to read some mythology, so I dug out my Mythology: Timeless Tales of God and Heros by Edith Hamilton. I haven't ever finished this book, and it had been so long since I read any of it, I decided to just randomly pick a section and enjoy. I settled on reading about Psyche and Cupid, which I found super interesting. First, the entire beginning of the story is extremely reminiscent of the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon. I was actually quite surprised to discover this, as I have never found such a similarity between mythology and fairy tales. The beginning of the story unfolds with Psyche marrying a man she never sees, one who arrives only in the dark of night. She then tries to outwit him by lighting a candle after he has fallen asleep so that she might see him. This in a way causes trouble in their relationship with Psyche finding herself alone. She reaches out to Cupid's mother, who claims she will help her through all of these trials, and again...more similarities with fairy tales! Her first task? Separating and organizing a huge pile of seeds! Who helps her? Mice- just like in Cinderella! There are also many other tasks that could very well resembles parts of other fairy tales that I am unaware of, but then in her last task, Psyche finds herself in a deep sleep. Yes, just like Sleeping Beauty. How does she awaken? Her lost love Cupid finds her and takes the sleep from her eyes. I have to admit, I am kind of shocked to see so many fairy tale elements going on in this story! I don't know how, but I am sure it is significant in some way. I kind of love it!
This topic is from the Broke and Bookish blog, and couldn't help but to join in after all of the books I have collected from our local bookstore closing sales. Here are the 10 books most on my mind to read or re-read this summer, in no particular order:
I have been feeling a little blah about my blog lately, so I've given it a new look. It is all decked out with Gaston and his lovely ladies! All of the photos were taken by me during a Beauty and the Beast show at Disney World a few summers ago. I just adore all of these photos because I love the bright vivid colors. Plus, I caught so many funny moments that the pictures crack me up whenever I look through them. I thought my blog needed to give a few smiles!
I've also been thinking a lot about trying to come up with something new to add to my blog. I decided to give sharing quotes on a more regular basis a try. I will be starting a weekly meme called Quotes Magotes. I have been struggling for a week or so trying to come up with a fun and creative name, and just couldn't. I asked my husband today and he suggested Quotes Magotes! I thought it was perfect, and so here is the announcement. I am thinking that for now I will be posting a quote every Monday. This quote will be pretty much on anything- any quote I come across that I just love. It could be from books, movies, tv shows, or even just from a person in my life! This next Monday will be my first Quotes Magotes posting, and I am a tad excited to be starting this new meme on my blog!
I was in the mood to browse a bookstore today, probably because I keep thinking about how I wont be able to easily enjoy that anymore. So, I took my girls back to the bookstore today, with only 5 days left before their final closing. My youngest daughter was able to find a bunch of chapter books based on Disney movies; my oldest found a few E.D. Baker books and another Star Wars one she liked. Myself, I just really had fun looking through everything today. I was savoring being surrounded by so many lovely books.
I didn't find too much I was really wanting to purchase today, but I did buy three more Shakespeare plays (Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, and The Winter's Tale). I've been wanting to start collecting Shakespeare plays for a while now and figured this was a good time to gather up a few. I used to have twelve of his plays, but I really hated the cheap bindings of the books I had and it really kind of bummed me out every I tried to read them. I eventually just gave them away and promised myself I would get his plays again in better editions. I normally hate Signet Classic books because they print too closely to the binding, making it hard to read once you start getting to the middle of the book. However, I really love Signet Classic for Shakespeare. His plays are not long enough for that to become a huge problem, especially since the spacing in plays have the words further from the binding. Plus, I love how Signet Classic has the footnotes set up to more easily enjoy Shakespeare. I am super happy to have found this Romeo and Juliet today. I already own a copy, which was my very first Shakespeare work that I read, but is for a Shakespeare beginner. My original one has Shakespeare's version on the left pages and a modernly worded version on the right pages. It is a little bit of a larger sized paperback, and is annoying to only need to read every left page now that I understand Shakespeare. I've been wanting a more simple edition for a while. I am really craving to read Romeo and Juliet now.
The only other book I got is Bran Plague. It is a sci-fi that reminds me a lot of The Host (which makes me wonder if this book is what inspired Meyer). It sounds super interesting, the idea of a colony of microbes living in her brain that share her consciousness. I liked the idea when I read (and watched) The Host, but I have never really been that impressed with Meyer's writing. I am hoping I will enjoy the writing style of Slonczewki.
Aside from all that book fun, I stopped at our local library to sign my girls up for their summer reading program. I tend to forget to do this every summer until the summer is almost over. This year I managed to remember! They have both recently gotten a ton of wonderful books from our bookstore's closing sales, so they have plenty to read. I think they will have a lot of fun reading this summer. As we were leaving, my youngest said "it's too bad they don't have a reading program for you, Mom!". Isn't it? I might just have to photocopy their record sheets and join in the fun with them. They would get a kick out of that. I also had to do some summer clothes shopping for my girls, including some swimsuit shopping. They've both grown so much! I think they are just about all set to start enjoy the summer weather!
I was finally able to return to our local bookstore that is closing to retrieve a book I placed back on the shelf. I did, however, replace the book back on the shelf, remembering why I didn't get it in the first place. The book sounds lovely, but reading the beginning chapter didn't have me thrilled to give the book a go. I am so incredibly happy I went though; you will not believe my luck!
I spent most of my time looking at the plays and poetry. I always forget how much I really enjoy reading plays until I pick one up again. Today I decided I would pick up a few more Shakespeare plays, being as I only owned Romeo and Juliet and the three Henry VI plays prior to today. There wasn't a whole lot of selections left of Shakespeare, or I should say a whole lot of selections of Shakespeare books that were actually in decent condition. Most of them had pages ready to fall out of the bindings. I settled on these three: Othello, Macbeth, and As You Like It. You can probably tell by the photo that As You Like It looks pretty old, but the binding is very nice still. The other two look practically new.
Remember way back when I said this was the specific edition I wanted of the Sophocles plays, and that my bookstore only had one copy that was damaged on the pages? Well, I sadly pause by it every time I visit the bookstore, but today I decided to flip through it one last time, longing for it to not be an OCD trigger.
There are weird brown speckles on some of the pages, as if it has been stained. With what? Who knows! Which is why it would be an OCD trigger for me, constantly having my mind wondering what gross thing was spilled upon these pages. However, I was flipping through the pages today and realized that the speckles were in a pattern through the entire book. Two pages fresh and clean, two pages with brown speckles, two pages fresh and clean, two pages with speckles. With that, and the fact that the pages are not crinkled as if they've been wet, I decided it must have been some sort of a mishap when it was printed- and I GOT IT! I am super happy to finally have this book in my hands, weird speckles and all! Considering that every time I ever see this book in any bookstore (even if new), it is always terribly damaged, this is absolutely amazing! I really love this version of the Theban Plays.
Would you believe I found another amazing find? They must still be pulling books out from the back of their store, as I have been looking for a copy of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poems since I discovered his poetry online. Apparently, his books are hard to come by! They actually had three different ones on the shelf today. I chose the thickest one that appears as though it might contain all of his works. I really love his poetry; probably one of the only poets that I feel I could own an entire book of their poems and devour it all.
I got these 5 books and let my daughters each pick out another book, so seven books total at 50%. I only paid $11 for all those books today!. You cannot beat that! It is a bittersweet though. I've gotten a lot of wonderful books lately that I can't wait to read, for so cheap! But, in about a week we wont have a bookstore...
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their blog.
2. Put the Award logo on your blog.
3. Answer the ten questions sent to you.
4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
5. Nominate ten blogs
1. What is one movie/tv dwelling place in which you would like to live? Every time I watch Chocolat, I always admire that quaint little French village, thinking how wonderful it would be to dwell there.
2. One character from a musical whom you really love?
I can't say that I am really that familiar with enough musicals to answer this question...
3. Is there a particular wardrobe item you find yourself wearing over and over?
I probably wear the same clothes over and over again. If I like it and it is comfortable, it trumps all else in my closet. But, I do really like wearing this button up sweater that is a greenish-grey color with hearts on it. It looks cuter than it sounds! I mainly wear it around the house all the time.
4. What is your favorite fruit? Strawberries, without a doubt.
5. Top five TV shows? Elementary, The Vampire Diaries, and Reign are my most favorite. Everything else aside from that tends to just be what I am in the mood for. Lately, I would fill those last 2 slots with iZombie and Friends.
6. Do you like to listen to the radio? Pretty much only if I am in the car. I love music, but oddly I don't really ever listen to it unless I am in the car. Any other time I am just singing all kinds of crazy made up songs.
7. How many pets do you have, if any, and if you don't have any, would you like one? We do not have pets, unless you count plants as pets, which I do, because we cannot own any pets outside of fish. My oldest daughter has severe allergies to cats and dogs and anything else with dander. I would love to have a cat or a dog though. I miss our yellow lab, Toby, whom we had to give away after 2 years. He was the best.
8. Do you like school? Well, I am not in school. I finished high school and graduated from college, but I am a person that thrives on constant learning. So, while I am not in school, I do fantasize about going back....for something. It will probably never happen, so I will just fill my world with internet knowledge and plenty of books!
9. Are you more inspired by the mountains, the seaside, or the country? This is a tough one, as I fancy myself to be a person that really seeks out to be connected with the earth, all aspects. However, I will have to say mountains. After living in beautiful Alaska, I terribly miss mountains. They are so incredibly beautiful, powerful, and you can just feel the life that rolls from them. The sea is probably my most inspiring, it is filled with such incredible magic and mystery, but since the question referred to "seaside"- Seaside is not quite as marveling as the sea itself...
10. Do you enjoy poetry? I do, however, I think I am an incredibly picky poetry reader. Shakespeare is my most favorite, though I am referring to his plays. Even though they are probably not technically categorized as poetry, his writing style is the most beautiful poetry I've ever come across. It amazes me how a person could think so beautifully, and create sentences that become such a masterpiece. I find myself re-reading sentences several times as I read, marveling at his gift.
1. What is your favorite fairytale?
2. What is your perfect ideal vacation?
3. What would be the perfect setting for reading your favorite book?
4. Soup or salad?
5. Would you prefer to eat out on a special occasion, or have a loved one home cook your favorite meal?
6. What is the thickest book you have ever finished reading?
7. What foreign language do you speak, and if none, what foreign language do you wish you could speak?
8. If you found a magical portal to Narnia, what would you do?
9. If you had a magical pen, and whatever you wrote with it came true, what would be the first thing you would write?
10. What would be your choice of transportation- plane, train, submarine, boat, car, motorcycle....or anything else you can come up with, fantastical or real?
I have been enjoying some of my new books lately. I started out reading Grecian Holiday by Kate Cann. From what I gathered, this was the first book in this series, though it appears each book is truly a different story with different characters, so I don't think it matters which one you start with. It started off slightly annoying, with a girlfriend and boyfriend arguing a lot over how to spend summer vacation. It was really just weird. Very immature, a very manipulative guy trying to twist things all weird. I am really hoping that the book will unfold and that the girl will realize he is not good for her. I am still struggling to figure out how old they are. They drink in bars and all of that, still in some kind of a school (college or high school?), but yet the girl and most of her friends are barely starting to learn to drive. I am so confused. It is written by a British author, so maybe a little research might clear it up. I knew before hand the book was British by the title, but I did not know prior to reading this book how different British English truly is from American English. For example, they would apparently say "the phone went" instead of "the phone rang", and "cases from the boot" instead of "luggage from the trunk" (I think). There was also a moment in the book where the weird boyfriend was complaining about one of his girlfriend's friends, calling her a "slag". I am not entirely sure of the meaning, but I was guessing "slut"? It is an interesting read though to be somewhat immersed into another culture's writing style in this way. The girl has left her boyfriend for the summer and headed off to Greece, so I am hoping lots of fun things will happen. We will see! Also, I picked up Shakespeare's Henry VI plays. I only read the first scene last night, which was 175 lines long, but I found it interesting. I noticed that I tend to gravitate towards classic pieces when I am feeling bummed, and other books when I am feeling more happy. I was feeling a bit bummed last night, so I set aside Grecian Holiday and opted for Shakespeare. This discovery is a little perplexing for me, and I am unsure what this means about me or why I am like that. Hmm. Back to Henry VI. I really don't know much about this king. I know a lot about King Henry VIII, but not Henry VI. I have been fascinated with English Royalty for some time and tend to devour anything related, whether it is movies, shows, or books, so I am interested in learning about this time period through Shakespeare. I hadn't realized Shakespeare wrote so many plays that are historically based. I must say, learning history through the poetic nature of Shakespeare is quite wonderful! I know I mentioned I was done buying books from our closing bookstore...but... There was one more book there that I had really wanted that I put back, and I am somewhat regretting it. It has been haunting me, calling to me. Everything is still 40% from what I understand, so I may go back this weekend to see if it is still there. It was a large historical fiction hardcover book about all the women in Caesar's life. I did a bit of research and discovered it is the 4th book in a series, so I may see if there are any of the others there (though I am pretty sure there aren't). I think that time period would be really interesting to read about, and I am a sucker for anything that revolves around the feminine, girl power, and all that fun stuff. I'm sure I will giddily share my purchase on here if I find it! What books have you been enjoying lately?
Last night was my daughters' dress rehearsal for their dance program, which means today was their dance recital! I absolutely love watching their dance dress rehearsals. For me, that moment is extremely emotional, and I savor every bit of it. With how much my oldest has gone through due to Crohn's Disease, it makes my heart sing watching all of those beautiful young ladies having fun with their bodies and who they are. I love watching their passion and pride for what they have worked so hard to accomplish come to fruition. It is just one of those things that gets me deep in my heart...every time. I usually try to film their dances during the dress rehearsal as well, so that during the actual recital, when the audience is more packed, I get to just sit and relax, and enjoy! So, today set the day for greatness! Then after the recital (and my girls changing into more comfortable clothes), we headed of to a lovely dinner to celebrate a recent family member's birthday. It was deliciousness. Then we stopped in our local bookstore (the one that is soon to close), to see what goodies we could find before all was gone. Apparently they are closing their doors on the 13th, which is way too soon! Everything in the store was 40% off, so I decided to browse and see what would jump out at me. The cheap prices allowed me to give some random books a try, which was really fun! My youngest picked out 5 American Girl books and a lovely book on a diary of a young lady that was on the Titanic (she is a bit Titanic obsessed), and my oldest picked out 5 more Star Wars related books and Geek Charming (there is a movie on this book that she likes quite a bit). As for me, here are my finds:
All 3 of Shakespeare's Henry VI plays. I have been wanting to read some plays lately, and really don't have any aside from the Theban plays and Romeo and Juliet. I am a sucker for trilogies (I am pretty sure being obsessed with 3 is OCD related...), so when I saw this I thought to myself, can't go wrong with Shakespeare!
I've heard good things about The Secret Life of Bees, and in all honesty, I've been really interested in bees since so many are dying out. I keep telling my husband I want to be a beekeeper, but he just laughs at me! I thought I might enjoy this story, it's the next best thing, right?
I have read about The Mermaid Chair several times online and just think this cover is so beautiful. The storyline sounds interesting, and anything even mermaid related has my attention. This was the only hardcover I purchased today, and all the books we got today were used books.
My last 3 books are these little strange ones; Spanish Holiday, Grecian Holiday, and California Holiday. I really have no idea what they are about, aside from the titles, but they have been catching my eye for quite a while in the bookstore. I think I would love to read a few books with a travel theme. I have a feeling they might be some fun stories, so today I decided to give them a try. I was actually really happy to see that all 3 of them were still on the shelf (yes, again, 3).
Beowulf, based on the screenplay for the movie that I so much love. I really didn't know much about Beowulf prior to this movie, and I loved it. I had no idea this book existed, but I am super excited I discovered it!
We ended up bring 19 books home for a total of $50. Most of the books we purchased were only $2.50 each. That will be our last stop in the bookstore before it closes, which makes me incredibly bummed. But, I am happy my girls were able to get so many books they love, so inexpensively- and I am excited to give these new random books a try and see what I like! I am still reading Star Wars Legacy of the Force Betrayal (at a very slow pace lately), but I am itching to give one of these new ones a go. Either way, I'm sure I will blog about whatever I decide to read...
Tonight we finally watched this movie. I've got to say, I absolutely loved it. I haven't been much of a fan of the previous Disney Fairies movies, simply because I am just not fond of Tinker Bell's personality. They are cute movies, Tink is cute, but her mischievous, trouble-making ways rub me the wrong way. I can't say that I fully understand why, other than I don't relate to her at all. BUT... this new movie was fantastic! There is so many wonderful undertones in this movie that I cannot get over. Of course it is the adorable fairies that everyone loves and finds so endearing, but there is also so much more. The movie touches on soul purpose, creatures misunderstood, true friendship, responsibilities, destiny, self sacrifice for the good of others- I could go on and on. The storyline was beautiful. And a little bonus for myself, Tink was not that much in the movie. I found myself watching the movie and thinking, wow, the Earth is a beautiful thing! When a movie has me thinking like that, it is great in my book, even if it is an animated movie intended for children. I will probably be picking up this movie at some point in the near future to have in our collection, as I am thinking it will be a movie I will want to re-watch many times! Oh.... and I really love it when animated movies show other animals that are not dogs, acting like dogs. It is so hilariously cute, and Disney added that into this movie just right! If you haven't seen the movie yet, I definitely recommend it, especially if you have some little ones in your life to watch it with!