27 December 2010

Book List Líon na cúig

Hmmm, book list five, what to do, what to do. . .

Let's go with. . .

Top ten children's chapter fiction CLASSICS I have read as an adult

1. At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald
2. Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by Jack Lewis
4. The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
5. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by Jack Lewis
6. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
7. Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
8. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
9. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
10. Stuart Little by E. B. White

I also have affection for 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith and The Story of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

Also, as usual, there are several books I have yet to read or re-read that may have made the list.

Happy reading!

23 December 2010

Book List Zahl Vier

Top ten biography/autobiography books I have read in the last five years.

1. Surprised by Joy by Jack Lewis
2. Tolkien and Lewis: the Gift of Friendship by Colin Duriez
3. Jack by George Sayer
4. The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Amy Hollingsworth
5. Jack's Life by Douglas Gresham
6. Winston Churchill: An Intimate Portrait by Violet Bonham Carter
7. The Tale of Beatrix Potter by Margaret Lane
8. Audrey Hepburn: An Elegant Spirit by her son, Sean Hepburn Farrar
9. Confessions by St. Augustine
10. Girl Meets God: A Memoir by Lauren F. Winner

honorable mention: Shadow Warriors: Inside the Special Forces by Tom Clancy (I don't know that this actually qualifies as a biography but it kind of is. . . and it's a great read)

I am working on a new one called The Inklings which may have made the list if I were done with it. I also have a few Reagan bios that have not been read yet including one that speaks about his friendship w. Margaret Thatcher. May just have to make a political bios list later. . .

20 December 2010

17 December 2010

Book list Numerus Three

Out of town but still wanted to get a list out. It is kind of a cop-out list but hey, I am hanging with my sisters so I am not going to spend all day on the computer. . .

Top ten fantasy novels

1. Phantastes by George MacDonald
2. Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
3. The Great Divorce by Jack Lewis
4. The Two Towers by Tolkien
5. Lilith by MacDonald
6. The Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkien
7. The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
8. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
9. The Hobbit by Tolkien
10. Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Okay, I kind of broke the rules here but I had to.

14 December 2010

Book List Numero Due

. . .the very nature of Joy makes nonsense of our common distinction between having and wanting. -c.s. ‘Jack’ lewis

Top ten books written by c.s. lewis. I will label the non-fiction.

1. Till We Have Faces
2. The Great Divorce
3. A Grief Observed NF ; amazing, AMAZING perspective on death and life in Christ, it changed the way I look at both
4. The Pilgrim's Regress
5. Mere Christianity NF ; this book (along with the Holy Spirit, of course) brought me out of absolute rebellion and back to Christ
6. The World's Last Night and other essays; I especially love Religion and Rocketry, mainly NF
7. Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life NF
8. The Dark Tower and other stories; every story in this collection is astoundingly great, in my humble opinion
9. That Hideous Strength; though this is the 3rd book in the space trilogy it is by far, the best
10. The Screwtape Letters including Screwtape Proposes a Toast

I must admit that I have a couple NF that I have started and never finished including: Miracles, the Four Loves and the Problem of Pain. When I finally finish those I may need to switch the list up a bit. Also, following my rules I did not include any of the Narnia books which I ADORE!!

Book List Numero Uno!

Okay, so I agonized over what to make this 1st book list. I am still not sure it is the right choice but well, it is MY list for you to take from it what you will.
Also, I have set some rules for myself:
~No kiddo books on adult book lists (although what some may call children's literature I may disagree with and vice versa)
~I will DO MY BEST not to repeat books but on certain lists that may be necessary
~I will ONLY include books that I have actually read at some point in my life which may skew the lists a bit because there are definitely some EXCELLENT classics that I have not gotten around to yet
I think that is it so without further ado I give you the First List

Top ten classics with a female lead character:

1. Till We Have Faces by c.s. lewis
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
4. The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne
5. the Book of Esther from the Bible
6. Antigone by Sophocles
7. Emma by Jane Austen
8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
9. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
10. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

So there you go. I welcome comments or other suggestions.

13 December 2010

Why read?

It stimulates your brain in ways that watching television does not.
"* Neuroimaging studies using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have revealed regions of cerebral white matter with decreased microstructural organization (lowerfractional anisotropy or FA) among poor readers. We examined whether 100 hr of intensive remedial instruction affected the white matter of 8- to 10-year-old poor readers. Prior to instruction, poor readers had significantly lower FA than good readers in a region of the left anterior centrum semiovale. The instruction resulted in a change in white matter (significantly increased FA), and in the very same region. The FA increase was correlated with a decrease in radial diffusivity (but not with a change in axial diffusivity), suggesting that myelination had increased. Furthermore, the FA increase was correlated with improvement in phonological decoding ability, clarifying the cognitive locus of the effect. The results demonstrate the capability of a behavioral intervention to bring about a positive change in cortico-cortical white matter tracts."

Altering Cortical Connectivity: Remediation-Induced Changes in the White Matter of Poor Readers; authors Timothy A. Keller and Marcel Adam Just
Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

It sparks your imagination to actually work.
It is enjoyable.
You can not curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and a television in your lap. (I do NOT want to hear about how you could do it with an IPOD; that is hardly the point!)
There are a vast number of wonderful books that have been written and never been made into movies.
You can do it anytime since it will not wake anyone in the house.
You can do it anywhere; well do NOT do it in the car but other than that. . . and not at a wedding or a funeral. Okay, okay there are some places you should NOT do it but. . .
It may prevent Alzheimer's disease.
"Reading Reduces the Risk of Alzheimer’s

In his landmark study into Alzheimer’s disease, The Nun Study, David Snowdon reviewed biographies that the nuns wrote in their early twenties. He discovered that the grammatical complexity and idea density in the autobiographies reflected the woman’s potential for Alzheimer’s late in life (the nuns who entered the study had to be at least 75 years of age).

Nuns with higher grammatical complexity and idea density in their writing were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s in old age. Those nuns whose autobiographies were less complex were at a greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s.

When Snowdon and his colleague Susan Kemper shared their findings with another colleague, his response was not that of a scientist but that of a father. “What does this mean for our children?” Happily, their response provides a simple solution; read to your children.

The key that reveals a person’s potential resistance to Alzheimer’s is revealed by a person’s ability to write with a high level of idea density. Idea density relies on vocabulary and reading comprehension. Susan Kemper said it this way “the best way to increase vocabulary and reading comprehension is by starting early in life, by reading to your children.” (117)"

This one reminds me to tell you: READ TO YOUR KIDS!
It actually slows the aging process.
It prevents wrinkles and age spots and varicose veins. . . okay I made that up.
Just try reading. For recommendations try the lists I will begin making up with different labels in later posts. I welcome any comments of books you love.
Thanks to Duff for the idea for this latest post.

26 April 2010

Things I Like (Chiefly because I wish I could write as well as my sister so now I am just going to copy her)

I like arguing, almost as much as Heather does. I will not expound because she already has.

I like books. I like the feel of a nice linen covered hardbound. I like the smell of a great old book when it is not musty but just old. I like the look of pages when they are yellowed with age. I like when a book has interesting or beautiful cover art even if it is not hardbound. There is something so distinctly different about books published over thirty years ago.

I like Audrey Hepburn. Sabrina with Will Holden and Humphrey Bogart, Charade with Cary Grant, Love in the Afternoon with Gary Cooper, Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck and Breakfast at Tiffany's with George Peppard and Mickey Rooney. She made so many great movies but these are my favorites. She also had a life that meant something beyond Hollywood. She did her best to live for her family and serve others less fortunate. She was still an actress with the usual problems but I think she tried to live a beautiful life to the best of her knowledge.

I like chocolate. Really, A LOT, it's a PROBLEM. I prefer dark chocolate but will eat semi-sweet. I have lost my taste for milk chocolate since my affair with dark chocolate began but I still enjoy a Heath bar, Reeses PB in both forms and Twix. I am not a fan of white chocolate but in certain situations it works and I will eat it happily.

I like days off. I don't just mean days where I do not go to my outside of the house job. I mean days where I do not do anything that is the least bit enjoyable. Days where I play with my boy, hang out with my honey and/or my sisters and/or the 'rents, maybe enjoy some art or craft project. No dishes, no laundry, no cooking, no scrubbing of anything. And definitely no outside of the house working.

02 April 2010


So I was talking to my little one about the real meaning of this weekend. WOW! It was even more amazing than I thought it would ever be. He got upset about Jesus dying on the cross because we had not gotten to the Resurrection. He was sad that Jesus would not be able to play hide and seek with him anymore. He wanted to know why Jesus had nails in his hands. He asked why He was crying (the picture in his Bible showed sweat drops). He was a little less sad when he found out Jesus was alive again but he still did not really understand. Let's be honest, it is all a bit hard for an adult to accept or understand a lot of the time. He also said he didn't like that Jesus had to wear a dress. I guess superheroes just don't wear dresses! It was such an amazing experience sharing Jesus with my little one and I am so excited he wants to know more. He has now asked to read that part of his Bible every night for the past few since we first read it. Planting seeds to water and fertilize with God's Word and His constant help is the best part of being a mommy. Hope you all had a wonderful Resurrection Day!

26 March 2010

Look to the sky. . .

because Jesus is a comin' soon!



The links are not linking so cut and paste into a new window and PLEASE READ!

23 March 2010

Mmmmm. . .

I love food and on Tuesday I made a delicious chicken parm lasagna. I wanted lasagna but I also wanted chicken and the result turned out much better than expected. It could have been a bit saucier and a bit cheesier but it was still delicioso! It is my own recipe and I will make it again. Anyone want to share some yummy food stories of their own?

18 March 2010

Lewis on religion

Listening to God in the Dock and this particular bit was extremely interesting to me. Actually, who can not relate to this at some point in life?

The question was asked of Lewis: Which [religion] gives to its followers the greatest happiness?
Lewis: . . .While it lasts, the religion of worshiping oneself is the best.
I [know a man] who has lived a life of unbroken selfishness. . .and is, more or less, I regret to say, one of the happiest men I know. From the moral point of view it is very difficult! I am not approaching the question from that angle. As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity. . .

The world would certainly have us believe that happiness is the ultimate goal in life. Of course, Christians should know better. I do not think God wants us to be unhappy per se but I do believe that He gives us challenges in life that make us "unhappy" but grow our faith. I would like more faith any day of the week.

17 March 2010


I have been listening to Chopin a lot lately. It is so amazing how much music has changed over the centuries and yet we are still able to appreciate Frederic Chopin. I thought a small history listen might be fun. He was born 1 March 1810 in Poland. He became a published musician at the age of six and began studying composition at twelve. He lived most of his adult life in Paris and was a contemporary of Liszt. Chopin had a love affair with the novelist George Sand for approximately a decade and still adored her even when they parted ways a year before his death. He died at the young age of 39 from complications relating to his TB but not without leaving us some of the most beautifully composed piano music of all time.
That concludes my short lesson on Chopin. Now go, listen and enjoy his music for yourself!

16 March 2010


I became a Lostie after watching the first few seasons on dvd and I was hooked.

Any other Lostie's seeing the spiritual applications? I will not reveal any plot points for those of you who may decide to watch it later on dvd. I have seen stories of faith abandoned, faith found, redemption, grace and that is only what I can think of right now. I know there have been others. I will be sad when it ends this season but I hope I am not disappointed by how it ends.


If grace perfects nature it must expand all our natures into the full richness of the diversity which God intended when He made them, and Heaven will display far more variety than Hell. . . a Greek Orthodox mass I once attended. . . seemed to [have] no prescribed behaviour for the congregation. . . the beauty was that nobody took notice of what anyone else was doing. ~c.s. lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

This is one book I am currently reading. This quote leaped off the page at me. I have been in a place where I wanted to be the person who could ignore what was going on around me and worship so fully. I have also been the person who wanted others to ignore me. Communing with my Heavenly Father in a church setting seems to have distractions no matter how I pray. I am so thankful I am able to do it anyway. . .