Tuesday, November 18, 2008

List of 26: To Read

Of course this isn't exhaustive. After all, I'm working with a set number. Since I don't like to feel I've come to the end of good books, it's nice to keep a running list. If anyone has a recommendation for something to add, I'd love to hear. That's what the comment box is for. ;)

  1. Nicholas Nickelby --Dickens
  2. Orthodoxy --G.K. Chesterton
  3. Unpopular Opinions --Dorothy Sayers
  4. Confessions --St. Augustine
  5. Persuasions --Douglas Wilson
  6. Jane Eyre --Charlotte Bronte
  7. Beowulf
  8. Unfinished Tales --J.R.R. Tolkien
  9. Autobiography --G.K. Chesterton
  10. St. Francis of Assisi --G.K. Chesterton
  11. Mind of the Maker --Dorothy Sayers
  12. Jungle Book --Kipling
  13. Standing on the Promises --Douglas Wilson
  14. Future Grace --John Piper
  15. Passionate Housewives Desperate for God --Jennie Chancey/Stacy MacDonald
  16. Linnets and Valerians --Elizabeth Goudge
  17. The Dean's Watch --Elizabeth Goudge
  18. The Pursuit of Holiness --Jerry Bridges
  19. A Good Man is Hard to Find --Flannery O'Connor
  20. Bound for Glory --R.C. Sproul, Jr.
  21. Against Christianity --Peter Leithart
  22. The Little Boy Down the Road --Doug Phillips
  23. Family Driven Faith --Voddie Baucham
  24. Surprised by Joy --C.S. Lewis
  25. Mere Christianity --C.S. Lewis
  26. The Abolition of Man --C.S. Lewis
This is the end of the lists of 26. Next time I make a list, I think I'll work with an easier number. Say, 3. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

List of 26: Books I Didn't Like

When I read a book, I write it down in my reading log, and rate it according to a color system. These books got yellow--the lowest possible rating. It's interesting to note that half of the books on the following list were read at least ten years ago. There are several possible conclusions I can come to from this: (a) I read a lot of bad books when I was younger. (b) My pre-reading weeding system is better now (c) I'm not so picky anymore (d) There are more bad children's books that adult books. Probably none of these is true. And if I was up on my logic, I'd know what fallacies these represent!

Anyway, I've listed these in reverse chronological order. (most recently read first) I've tried to note why I didn't like a book, but after number 13 I simply couldn't remember.

  1. Reading Like a Writer --Francine Prose (Valuable insights mixed with poor choice of examples. Ugh! These moderns!)
  2. And There Were None --Agatha Christie (see my review)
  3. The Moving Finger --Agatha Christie (mystery unfair to reader; uncalled for appearance of Miss Marple 3/4 of the way through)
  4. Somebody is Going to Die if Lilly Beth Doesn't Catch That Bouquet --Gayden Metcalfe (reads like a gossip column)
  5. Thrones and Dominations --Sayers/Jill Paton Walsh (see my review)
  6. Manners --Kate Spade
  7. A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove --Laura Schenone (Bleak feminist outlook.)
  8. Do Butlers Burgle Banks? --P.G. Wodehouse (it's awful when a good writer is evidently trying too hard!)
  9. Style --Kate Spade
  10. The Revenge of Anguished English --Richard Lederer (I actually got quite a few laughs from this. But the off-colour humour and profanity spoiled the book for me. That stuff stays in my head.)
  11. There and Back Again --Sean Astin (profanity)
  12. Biffen's Millions --P.G. Wodehouse (another title that just doesn't compare to his best stuff)
  13. A Matter Of Trust --T. Elizabeth Renich (poor writing and choice of subject matter considering age of target readership)
  14. Smeller Martin --Robert Lawson
  15. Belles on Their Toes --Frank Gilbreth
  16. I Discover Columbus --Robert Lawson
  17. Texas Tomboy --Lois Lenski
  18. A Picture of Freedom --P.C. McKissack
  19. Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie --Kristina Gregory
  20. A Daughter of Zion --Bodie Thoene
  21. Struggling Upward and Other Works --Horatio Alger
  22. The Glorious Conspiracy --Joanne Williamson
  23. Mandie and Joe's Christmas Surprise --Lois Gladys Leppard
  24. The Fabulous Flight --Robert Lawson
  25. Paddington Takes to T.V. --Michael Bond
  26. I Will Adventure --Elizabeth Janet Gray

List of 26: Favorite Poems

I've been somewhat obsessed with the number 26 recently. Why, I prefer to leave a mystery. Although, anyone who has known me for a while probably won't find it that hard to guess. ;) Anyway, I've been amusing myself by adjusting various lists to this particular length. Since I don't have any new book reviews, I'll post a few of these instead. Enjoy. Or not. Depending on whether you happen to be list lover like myself.

These poems are not in any particular order. If I've mentioned a favorite of yours, please comment. If I've left yours out, share it. Maybe it will turn into a new favorite! I've purposely left out hymns, because those make up a whole list in themselves.

  1. Alter? --Emily Dickinson
  2. I sing to use the waiting--E. Dickinson
  3. The Thousandth Man --Rudyard Kipling
  4. Given in marriage --E. Dickinson
  5. He ate and drank --E. Dickinson
  6. Sonnet 116 --Shakespeare
  7. Afterflakes --Robert Frost
  8. Jabberwocky --Lewis Carroll
  9. Rime of the Ancient Mariner --Coleridge
  10. Sonnet VI --Elizabeth Browning
  11. Sonnet XXVI --E. Browning
  12. Halfway Down --A.A. Milne
  13. There is no frigate --E. Dickinson
  14. Eletelephony --L. Richards
  15. Father William --Lewis Carroll
  16. My Love --James Russell Lowell
  17. Sonnet 18 --Shakespeare
  18. The Village Blacksmith --Longfellow
  19. The Walrus and the Carpenter --Lewis Carroll
  20. Little Orphant Annie --James Whitcomb Riley
  21. When the Frost is on the Punkin --J.W. Riley
  22. I Never Saw a Moor --E. Dickinson
  23. It Dropped so Low in my Regard --E. Dickinson
  24. At Least to Pray is Left --E. Dickinson
  25. That I Did Always Love --E. Dickinson
  26. Sneezles --A.A. Milne
Maybe this should have been the "Emily Dickinson (and a few others)" list. Must be pretty obvious who my favorite poet is!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Birthday of a great man

Today is Martin Luther's birthday. Here are a few of my favorite quotes, in honour of a man who was used by God to bless so many who came after him.

"It is pleasing to the dear God whenever thou rejoicest or laughest from the bottom of thy heart." --Martin Luther

"To be gloomy before God is not pleasing to him, although he would permit us to be depressed before the world. He does not with me to have a long face in his presence, as he says, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked [Ezek. 33:11] and 'Rejoice in the Lord'. [Phil. 4:4] He desires not a servant who does not expect good things of him." --Luther, Table Talk #122

And lastly, a long quote from the only major work that I have read by Luther, The Bondage of the Will:

"...God has surely promised his grace to the humbled: that is, to those who mourn over and despair of themselves. But a man cannot be thoroughly humbled till he realises that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, counsels, efforts, will and works, and depends absolutely on the will, counsel, pleasure and work of Another--God alone. ....he who is out of doubt that his destiny depends entirely on the will of God despairs entirely of himself, chooses nothing for himself, but waits for God to work in him; and such a man is very near to grace for his salvation."

Friday, November 07, 2008

Need something humorous?

I recommend reading Umberto Eco's essay, How to Organize a Public Library. I laughed my way through it for the first time this morning.

Finishing books has not been my strong point this fall. Hence my lack of posts on the blog. However, I am beginning to make some headway. Currently, I'm working through Here I Stand, a bio of Martin Luther. And of course, A Passion For Books, where I discovered the above-mentioned essay. :)