lovely blog party: couples for couples tag

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On the one hand, I’m really totally not in the Valentine’s Day mood this year.

But on the other, this tag has been floating around the blogging world for a while now and today’s pretty much the perfect day to answer it.  So here goes…


Ivanhoe and Rebecca: Name a couple that should have been together

Cath and Jest (Heartless).  I’m still reeling from the emotional pain of this relationship.  Jest was perfect and Cath would have been perfect had Things Gone According To Plan and then he was MARTYRED and Cath became a stupid monarch and it was all kinds of awful.


Jo and Laurie: Name a couple that should have stayed friends…or did stay friends…

Any girl in Robin’s life besides Marian (BBC Robin Hood, you know).  Kate and Isabella were huge mistakes.  In fact, I can’t decide who was a bigger mistake for Robin – and that’s saying something not great about Kate because, I mean, Isabella ending up killing Robin and all.



Jane and Mr. Rochester: Name a couple that looked like the chances of a happily ever after were next to none!

Katniss and Peeta  (The Hunger Games). *bawls*  They both could’ve died a hundred times over and Peeta gets brainwashed in the worst possible way and for most of the series it’s like there’s not even a thought of a happy ending for them.  And it’s incredibly heartbreaking.


Jane and Mr. Bingley: Name a couple that is just sooo happy!

Barney and Valancy Snaith (The Blue Castle).  Now I want to live in a tiny cabin and be outrageously happy every day… ❤

Kit and Ella: Name your favorite fairytale couple

That would be Flynn/Eugene and Rapunzel (‘Tangled’).  Unless we’re talking fairytale retellings, in which case I sooooo ship all the couples from the Lunar Chronicles. (Except Kai and Levana.  Because that’s just gross.)  But, yes, Eugene and Rapunzel are golden.


Molly Gibson and Roger Hamley: Name a couple where the woman is basically ignored by the suitor until the end of the story

Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot (Persuasion).  Captain Wentworth is kind of jerky and I don’t much care for him, but he and Anne are a good couple.  Except for the whole ignoring thing.


Sarah and Jacob Witting: Name a couple that found love later in life

Konrad and Lisette (Songs in the Night series).  They weren’t too old when they finally got married (late forties, at most) but it took so long for them to find each other after the events of the second book in the series.  One of my favorite ships ever.


Don Lockwood and Kathy Seldon: Name a couple from a musical

Don and Kathy (‘Singin’ in the Rain’).  Because I couldn’t think of any other musical couple that I shipped as much as them.  From their highly unorthodox first meeting to ‘You Are My Lucky Star’, I’m entranced by their love story.


Anne and Gilbert: Name a couple that didn’t start out on the right foot

Belle and the Beast/Adam (‘Beauty and the Beast’).  Definitely didn’t start out on the right foot. 😀


Faramir and Eowyn: Name a couple with the sweetest love story

Lucy and Jack (‘While You Were Sleeping’).  THEY ARE THE MOST ADORABLE COUPLE EVER.  It’s so cool how they gradually fall in love without even realizing it and, sure, it’s a little clichéd, but also incredibly sweet.  Plus, the movie itself is one of the coziest, loveliest films I’ve ever seen.



How many of these couples do you ship, too?



ten movies I like better than the books they’re based on

The book isn’t always better…


‘Frankenstein’ (1931)Frankenstein remains my least favorite book of all time.  The movie wasn’t too much better, but at least it was more interesting and Boris Karloff is awesome.


‘Mary Poppins’ (1964) – In the book, Mary Poppins is quite unpleasant and vain and I really don’t understand why so many children and adults found her appealing before the Disney film came out.  Anyway, the movie is near and dear to my heart and I’m interested in the sequel that’s hitting theaters this year.


‘War Horse’ (2011) – A short, dull book into which Steven Spielberg breathed new life. (Plus, Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch sharing scenes?  I rest my case.)


‘The Little Prince’ (2015) – Okay, so I do like the book.  But it was a little strange and unintelligible (to me, at least) and while the movie is much the same, I like the new plot and Jeff Bridges’ voice acting and the aching (yet strangely hopeful) melancholy pervading almost every scene.


‘Brooklyn’ (2015) – The movie was a romantic gem, the book was long and boring.


‘How to Train Your Dragon’ (2010) – The book and the film don’t share much recognizable material between them, but I infinitely prefer the film.  The book is comedic, I suppose, but the movie has comedy and heart. (And gorgeous music.)


‘Little Women’ (1994) – I really do like Little Women.  But Louisa May Alcott’s writing tends to get on my nerves (so much moralizing!) and the 1994 film has a magical glow about it that never fails to move me. ❤


‘The Inheritance’ (1997) – Another Alcott novel, and this one is chock full of Elsie Dinsmore-like characters and plot points.  The movie is a lot better, with a fine cast, good music, and a good story that feels more ‘inspired by’ rather than based on the book.


‘True Grit’ (2010) – Part of my liking the movie better than the book may have been because I watched the movie first and it followed the book so closely that the book’s sparse writing style made me feel like I was reading a script for the movie.  Whatever the reason, I much prefer ‘True Grit’, the movie to True Grit, the book.


‘Little Dorrit’ (2008) – Partly cheating, because it’s a miniseries, but the book is as long as a miniseries, so it works.  I like how certain characters (especially John) were presented better on screen than on page.  And this version is really special to me personally, so there’s that.



What are some movies you prefer to the books they’re based on?


the twenty questions book tag

Snatched this tag from You, Me, and a Cup of Tea.


1. How many books are too many in a series?  I have never read a series that I felt was too long.  However, I don’t particularly like the trend I’ve seen lately where popular YA authors publish a dozen prequels and bridges and short stories because if you really love the series, you’re running around trying to collect them all and you buy them separately, but then they put them all into a single volume with a SPECIAL BONUS STORY NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED and it’s a mess.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?  Love them if I have the next book right there, ready to be read.  Hate them if the reverse is true.

3. Hardback or paperback?  Paperbacks are more personable in my opinion, but hardcovers look nicer.  It’s a toss-up!


4. Favorite book?  The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  Whenever I re-read it, it always gives me such a warm, glow-y feeling.

5. Least favorite book?  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  Could not stand it.

6. Love Triangles, yes or no?  If you put a love triangle in your book, it had better be perfect.  And since it won’t be, please don’t.  Some of my favorite books have love triangles but there’s only one or two I can actually stomach.  The Hunger Games series is one and I think it’s because Katniss doesn’t ever spend three pages angsting about who she’s going to chose. (Also, Divergent and the Lunar Chronicles didn’t have a love triangle, but there was still plenty of romantic tension.  It can be done, people.)


7. The most recent book you couldn’t finish?  Hamlet, Globe to Globe.  It was super interesting well-written but there were a lot of f-bombs. *sigh*

8. A book you’re currently reading?  Nothing at the moment, but I hope to start The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin soon.

9. Last book you recommended to someone?  Gregor the Overlander.


10. The oldest book you’ve read?  The Iliad?

11. The newest book you’ve read?  A Sidekick’s Tale by Elisabeth Grace Foley.  A western comedy that I heartily enjoyed.

12. Favorite author?  Jane Austen. ❤


13. Buying books or borrowing books?  Buying.  But borrowing will work in a pinch.

14. A book you dislike that everyone seems to love?  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  For starters, I really shouldn’t have read it in the first place because there’s soooo much swearing and content to wade through.  Also, no teenagers on earth talk like that.  Also, I don’t think John Green understands much of what cancer is really like and it kind of makes me angry now.

15. Bookmark or dog-ears?  WHY WOULD YOU MAR THE PRECIOUS PAGES OF PRECIOUS BOOKS.  (So…bookmarks all the way.)


But this is also sacrilege.

16. A book you can always re-read?  The Outsiders.  Any Jane Austen book.  Ender’s Game.

17. Can you read while hearing music?  Technically I can, but I’d much rather not.  Especially if it’s vocal music instead of instrumental.

18. One POV or multiple POVs?  One point of view, usually, unless the author can pull off multiple POVs very well indeed (examples: Wendy Mass, Lynn Austin, and Orson Scott Card).


19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?  Depends on the book.

20. One book you read because of the cover?  I don’t know if I’ve read any book specifically because of the cover, but I do tend to pick up free Kindle ebooks based mainly on the cover’s quality.

Feel free to do this tag if you want!


the ‘proving BBC wrong’ book tag

So, a while back there was a furor in the book blogging world because the BBC posted a list of one hundred books they were certain most people hadn’t read more than six of.  It became a tag and since I was looking for a quick + easy blog post idea, I decided to give it a try.

The Rules:

1. Be honest.

2. Put an asterisk next to the ones you have read all the way through. Put an addition sign next to the ones you have started.

3. Tag as many people as these books that you have read. (Not happening. :P)


1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen*
2. Gormenghast Trilogy – Mervyn Peake
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte*
4. Temple of the Golden Pavilion – Yukio Mishima
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee*

6. The Story of the Eye – George Bataille
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte+
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9. Adrift on the Nile – Naguib Mahfouz
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens*
11. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott*
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy*
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Rhinoceros – Eugene Ionesco
15. Baron in the Trees – Italo Calvino
16. The Master of Go – Yasunari Kawabata
17. Woman in the Dunes – Abe Kobo
18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19. The Feast of the Goat – Mario Vargas Llosa
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. Gogol’s Wife – Tomasso Landolfi
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald+
23. Magic Mountain – Thomas Mann
24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy+
25. Ferdydurke – Gombrowicz
26. Narcissus and Goldmund – Herman Hesse
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky+
28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
33. Tom Sawyer / Huck Finn – Mark Twain
34. Emma -Jane Austen*
35. Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
36. Delta Wedding – Eudora Welty
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38. Naomi – Junichiro Tanizaki
39. Cosmicomics – Italo Calvino
40. The Joke – Milan Kundera
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell*
42. Labyrinths – Gorge Luis Borges
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45. Under My Skin – Doris Lessing
46. Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery*
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. Don Quixote – Miguel Cervantes
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding*
50. Absalom Absalom – William Faulkner
51. Beloved – Toni Morrison
52. The Flounder – Gunther Grass
53. Dead Souls – Nikolai Gogol
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen*
55. My Name is Red – Orhan Pamuk
56. A Doll’s House – Henrik Ibsen
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens*
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59. The Idiot – Fodor Dostoevesky
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63. Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman
64. Death on the Installment Plan – Celine
65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas+
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Pedro Paramo – Juan Rulfo
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens*
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. The Metamorphosis – Kafka
74. Epitaph of a Small Winner – Machado De Assis
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Inferno – Dante+
77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. The Light House – Virginia Woolf
80. Disgrace – John Maxwell Coetzee
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens*
82. Zorba the Greek Nikos Kazantzakis
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Box Man – Abe Kobo
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. The Stranger – Camus
88. Acquainted with the Night – Heinrich Boll
89. Don’t Call It Night – Amos Oz
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery*
93. Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pychon
94. Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas+
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare*
99. Faust – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
100. Metamorphosis – Ovid


So, I’ve read sixteen of these books and started reading seven.  Pretty passable, I’d say.  And there are a few titles on this list that I’d be interested in reading in the future.

If you want to take this tag, please do!



mini book reviews {#3}

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes – Forbes wrote something supremely special when she wrote this book.  The prose is simple and clear and evocative of the time period.  The characters are lovable or villainous.  And the British soldiers are not horrible monsters, which I appreciated.


IMO, Johnny looks vaguely like Luke Skywalker on this cover.  I think it’s the hair.

A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes – I’ve wanted to read this book for forever.  Christian dystopia with such an intriguing premise and such a gorgeous cover?  Yesss.  It was a highly entertaining book, full of heart and brilliant characters.  My only complaint is that the next two books are so hard to find.


Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt – Had some iffy content (and for a Bethany House publication at that) but Hunt’s writing style is entrancingly beautiful and I’ll never read the book of Esther the same way again.


The Fangirl Life by Kathleen Smith – Blech.  I expected it to be something different (re: good) but it was mostly feminist drivel wrapped up in a package of vaguely fandom-related talk and ‘life advice’.


Wickham’s Diary by Amanda Grange – I’ve been a fan of Amanda Grange ever since reading Mr. Darcy’s Diary (though Mr. Knightley’s Diary is #no for me) and this little novella was entertaining, though I wish that Grange had lengthened it and gone ahead to the events in Pride & Prejudice.


The Reluctant Godfather by Allison Tebo – Hey, you know what?  You can just read my full review here.


Brionne by Louis L’Amour – This book will always be special to me because I read it in one night at a cool hotel on The Great Road Trip.  Said cool hotel was cool because it had a little lending library in the lobby with books that were actually good.  Children’s literature classics, adult classics, Louis L’Amour books, and so on.  Not simply Danielle Steele and Dan Brown.  Anyway, Brionne is one of the better L’Amour books I’ve read.  The main character is very awesome and sympathetic and his wife is GREAT and, yep, I loved it.


SADDEST COVER EVER. (Also, check out this cover ’cause I love it as well.

Have you read any of these books?  What’ve you been reading lately?


my top ten favorite books of 2017

2017 was a great year for me, reading-wise.  I read quite a few more books this year than I did in 2016, which I’m pretty proud of, and most of the books I read were good, if not great.  You can check out my list on Goodreads and here are my top ten picks from that list. (These are in no order whatsoever.)


The Four Feathers by A.E.W. Mason – The Four Feathers was an engrossing read that left me with a true book hangover.  The uniqueness of its characters and the richness of Mason’s writing captured me completely.


Hamlet by William Shakespeare – Hamlet has become my favorite of Shakespeare’s play.  Admittedly, I’ve only read a few, but still.  I love so many of the characters and the text is amazing.


The Candymakers and the Great Chocolate Chase by Wendy Mass – A sequel to one of my favorite books in the world?  Yesyesyes.  At first I was a bit annoyed with how Mass was writing Phillip’s character (he’s my favorite and he was a bit nasty at the beginning of this) but everything ended up being worked out and explained and the result was brilliant.


Winter by Marissa Meyer – I COULD JUST HUG THIS BOOK AND ALL THE CHARACTERS.  It might seem strange to put the last book in a series on this list, but Winter more than deserves its place here.  Such a huge, weighty, rich book. *cannot get over the feels*


Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl – I read the sequel before reading this book, so I knew the fate of a Certain Character and it was stupidly heartbreaking to read.  But also very well written and atmospheric and all that.


The Siren by Kiera Cass – Liked this one better than the Selection series, to be honest.  There’s some weirdness, with the Ocean being personified, but it’s beautifully written and the characters are ones you can really root for.


The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel – Excellent non-fiction revealed mainly through dialogue.  I read this book in anticipation of the Pureflix movie and the book is a hundred times better.  I don’t hesitate for a moment in saying that everyone should read it.


Holes by Louis Sachar – Much like the movie and I love both almost equally. (The movie gets a little bit more of my love, though.)


The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay – Reay is a great author (Dear Mr. Knightley is still my favorite of hers, though) and the themes in this book greatly resonated with me.  Truth and courage and breaking free and…yes.  Rarely have I read a book that truly spoke to me on so many levels.


I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka, Martin Ganda, and Liz Welch – HUGELY inspirational and heartwarming and eye-opening.  So, so good. (Though I didn’t appreciate some of the language.)

Other favorites include Defy the Stars (Claudia Grey), A Name Unknown (Roseanna M. White), A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness), Wishing for Tomorrow (Hilary McKay), Cloaked (Rachel Kovaciny), Fear is the Key (Alistair Maclean), The Daybreakers (Louis L’Amour), Black Widow: Red Vengeance (Margaret Stohl), all the other books associated with the Lunar Chronicles (Marissa Meyer), Empire (Orson Scott Card), A Time to Die (Nadine Brandes), Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (Nabeel Qureshi), Esther: Royal Beauty (Angela Hunt), and the two Malcolm books (W.H. Beck).

Wow.  That’s a lot of books.  What are some favorites you’ve read this year?


P.S. I know that 2017’s not done yet, so if I read any mind-blowingly amazing new books between now and 2018, I’ll come back and add them to my list of other favorites.

my life in books tag

Snatching this from Naomi’s lovely blog, Wonderland Creek.


Find a book for each of your initials.

E – Emma by Jane Austen
J – Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
R – Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery
S – The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

Count your age along your bookshelf.  What book is it?

Macbeth by William Shakespeare.  Used to be my favorite of the Bard’s plays, but has recently been overturned by Hamlet.

Pick a book set in your country.

There are many to chose from, since I live in Canada and have several of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books, but I’ll go with The Blue Castle.  I love it so much.


Pick a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to.

The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan, because it’s a goal of mine to someday visit each of the five D-Day beaches.

Pick a book that is your favorite color.

There’s not many purple books on my shelf, but I’ll go with my copy of Sense & Sensibility (by Jane Austen, of course).  The book’s cover isn’t purple, but the spine is and that counts.

Which book do you have fondest memories of?

My copy of Cloaked (by Rachel Kovaciny) brings back a lot of good memories – reading drafts and giving my thoughts and, of course, my time with her and my time in America in general.


Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

Usually, I don’t keep books on my shelf that gave me a difficult time of reading, but I admit that Code Name Verity (by Elizabeth Wein) was a hard, confusing slog the first time I read it.  It’s improved on me, though, so I still have my copy.

Which book on your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it?

The Second World War by Antony Beevor is huge and looks amazing and I’m sure I’ll feel very proud, accomplished, and knowledgeable about WWII when I get around to reading it.


This was such fun!  I hereby tag anyone who’s read any of the books mentioned in this tag. 🙂