April 24, 2017

Springtime Reading (Update One)

This springtime I've found myself selecting my reading material with more deliberation than usual. Spring is forefront in my mind, and so every time I go to my shelf and choose a book, I can't help but pick one that reminds me of the season. I've re-read a few springtime favorites, and I've tried a few that I never used to like, but now find I love.

But to point. Being that my reading has been structured around springtime, I thought I'd give you an update of what all those stories are, and what I hope to read before the end of spring! (Hopefully this will also give you some new book recommendations. That's always a  welcome thing, am I right?)

Catrin in Wales by Mabel Esther Allan
Ever since I first read this book two years ago I loved it. (Read my original review here.) Now, finally done with my second re-read, I find it just as much a favorite as ever. I honestly don't know how to put it in words, but this book is really, really special and dear to me.

*Reading this book was also part of the goal I set for Heidi's Adventure of Reading Challenge* Check it out here!*

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Again, this was my second re-read. I did this one early in the springtime, in March, because at the time I was yearning for spring and reading this book seemed a good way to satisfy myself despite the gray and muddy weather outside. (Thankfully those days are completely past, YAY.)  I enjoyed this book just as much as I did the first time. It's odd in places (aherm), and most of the characters do things I don't approve of (aHERM). But on the whole, the story is so captivating (ha) and magical. And despite having next to nothing in common with Cassandra (other than being writers), I find her a very relatable and sympathetic heroine.
 (Despite her annoying love life, urgh.)
(He's just so nice.)

A Tangled Web by L. M. Montgomery
This is also a second re-read, and my goodness, what a change of opinion this time around! Quite on a whim, I picked this up and started reading it and couldn't put it down. The first time I read this I was close to eleven years old. Maybe that's why I found it insufferably boring the first time. I have no idea. But this time--this time! It was humorous, delightful, and just all around gold. Montgomery hardly ever disappoints, and I'm so glad I wasn't re-disappointed by this one!

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Eeeeee! I just finished reading this darling book, and all I have to complain about is where has it been all my life? I might have read it once when I was a wee thing, but most of my memory of the story comes from a movie version. :P But my foreknowledge of the general storyline, this book wouldn't let me go. I kept looking forward excitingly to whenever I had moments of spare time to read it. Seriously. This book is beautiful. I love it to death.
(Don't ask me who I ship Mary with once they're all grown up, because I don't know.)
(Yes, I do. Probably Dickon.)
(After all, Colin and Mary will grow up together like brother and sister. And he'll become a famous scientist and lecturer. <3)

And that's it! Now, you probably studied the photos above (if you're anything like me), and am waiting for me to mention all the other books. Well, those are books I'm hoping to read, especially Peter Pan and Northanger Abbey, for Heidi's Adventure of Reading Challenge.

Here's my full list of "hopefuls":
Peter Pan
Jane of Lantern Hill
Northanger Abbey
Emily of New Moon
Only a Novel

As of this moment, I have started Jane of Lantern Hill (hear that, Éowyn? :)), which is coincidentally the only book on my list that is not a re-read. (So far it's delightful, but we shall see. :)) (I have high hopes.)

Well! Now all we have to do is wait and see if I can conquer my list before June 21st! I was going to give myself until the end of May, but since June 21st is the official first day of summer, why not give myself more time? ;) Hee.

What books have you been reading this spring? 
Do you have any "springtime" favorites? 
Have you read any of the books listed? 
How has your spring been as of late?


  1. OOH! You will love Jane of Lantern Hill. One of my all time favorites! You have some awesome books in your spring reading list!

    1. I'm NEARLY done with it, and enjoying it a lot! :) Thanks so much, Victoria!

  2. Lovely pictures!
    I have read:
    The Secret Garden
    Northanger Abbey

    I Capture the Castle caught my eye because I have read othere things by Dodie Smith. Have you ever read The Hundred and One Dalmatians?

    Good Luck on your reading!

    1. YAY that you've read all those! They're fantastic. I have not read 101 Dalmations, but I do want to, very much. It sounds adorable. :)

      Thanks, MovieCritic!

  3. Hello Natalie!
    My name is Sarah Levesque and I am the Assistant Editor of Fellowship and Fairydust Publications, a Christian-based online magazine and blog. We are currently looking for new contributors to join our merry band, and we think you'd be a perfect fit! I particularly enjoyed your post on the 10 Reasons You Should Not Write a Book - the pictures/gifs made it perfect!
    Our goal at F&F is to inspire faith and creativity and explore the arts through a spiritual lens. We publish everything from original fiction to fanfiction to spiritual reflections to book and movie reviews. Check out our websites (yes there are two - we're working on consolidating) at thefellowshipoftheking.net and inkandfairydustmag.org. Please let us know what you think by emailing us at inkandfairydust@gmail.com! Looking forward to hearing from you!
    Sarah Levesque
    Assistant Editor
    Fellowship and Fairydust Publications

    1. Awww, thank you so much, Sarah! I really appreciate your offer! Unfortunately, I honestly don't have time for another writing project right now. Between my own writing and blogging and "real" life, I sometimes feel overloaded as it is. :/
      It was super nice of you to ask me, though, and I hope all future endeavors with your magazine/blog goes well!

  4. How has my spring been so far? BUSY.

    But I'm almost done . . . yay!!!

    I really am kind of interested in reading "Resistance" and those other books this summer, if I can find them anywhere. They sound intriguing :-) Do you think I would enjoy "Catrin in Wales"?

    1. Awwww, yeahh....but YES! Soon you'll be on summer break! VERY excited for you. :D

      YES PLEASE DO READ RESISTANCE. Here's a pact--you read "Resistance" and I'll read "To Tame a Land". How about it? (Just kidding, I'll read TTaL sometime, anyhow, but still. ;))

      Hmm, good question. Part of me thinks you would enjoy "Catrin in Wales". It's a very gentle, lovely story...and I know you like stories like that, right? I'd definitely suggest giving it a try if you can find it!

    2. Aw, thanks!! Till Wednesday . . . till Wednesday . . .

      Hey, that sounds like a great pact!! I will totally take you up on that, actually :-) I am so excited to start reading fiction again, it ain't even funny. You have no idea.

      I do indeed! I'm a big fan of gentle :-) Maybe I'll find it sometime and check it out!


      Great!! Aww, yay! What do you plan on reading first, fiction-wise? Any particular?

      Aww, then you definitely should!

  5. What a delicious spring-ful bunch of books! The only one I don't see on your list that makes me think of spring is Under the Lilacs by Louisa May Alcott.

    1. Aww, thanks, Hamlette! I remember my mom read "Under the Lilacs" awhile ago. I can't remember if she liked it very much, but I'll definitely look into it. :)

  6. YOU'RE READING JANE OF LANTERN HILL!! Eeek. I LOVE that story! It's definitely my favorite of L.M. Montgomery's books. :D I hope you enjoy it the whole way through!

    My dad just finished reading The Secret Garden aloud to the family. (I didn't actually listen to the whole thing this time, but I read it to myself years ago so I'm pretty familiar with the story.) And then we watched a movie version of it and YICK! We did not like the movie at all!! It was TERRIBLE!! (In our humble opinions, that is...heehee. ;)) We're going to try a different version, and hopefully it will be better. :) Which adaption have you seen by the way?

    I love the pictures in this post!! Really, Natalie, you're so good at photography!! They're beautiful! :D

    1. YES! I READ it, in fact. It was very delightful! Not my favorite L. M. Montgomery (ha; I guess we do have some differences ;)) but still very good. I'll mention it when I do my second spring reading "update". ;)

      How fun! Does your family do all-together readings for the benefit of your younger siblings, or do you all enjoy it? Either way, that sounds like such a nice way to enjoy well-loved books. :) Ohhh, which movie version did you not like? I can't remember exactly which was the one I watched when I was younger, but it might have been the 1987 version. I started watching it on youtube, and though a lot of it is very different from how I pictured things, I'm enjoying it. Well, I take that back. I WAS enjoying it while I had a cold, but I have yet to finish watching it yet. :P I want to, especially since I read that Colin Firth plays Colin as a grown up at the end! This I want to see! ;)

      Awwww! THANK YOU!

    2. (Yeah, I guess we do. Surprising isn't it? Haha. ;)) You've probably read a lot more of Montgomery's books than I have. The only other one's I've read are Kilmeny of the Orchard and most of the Anne books. What is your favorite L.M. Montgomery book?

      Well, I think in this case it was probably more for the benefit of the older kids. We used to read together as a family all the time, but haven't so much in recent years. My dad of course reads to my younger siblings all the time, but I think a couple of the older boys were missing the reading times we used to have, so when we gave Daddy a set of Frances Hodgson Burnett books for Christmas it was suggested that he read them aloud to the whole family. (Of course "the whole family" just means everyone who is at home at the time, and who feels like listening. I didn't actually listen very often myself because I was doing other things.)

      The version we saw was made in 1993. It was rather creepy and weird. And didn't have a nice feel to it all. We are now watching an adaption from the 70s, which is actually really long and a bit slow in places, but the characters are much more endearing. You've seen the 1987 version? Ohhh! That's neat! 'Cause that's the other version we got from the library, and the one we're going to watch next. :) It has Colin Firth in it?? Now I really want to see it!! :D

    3. (Well, being this the the first time we've disagreed out of, say, a hundred discussions, I guess we cna live with that. ;P) I HAVE read quite a few, I admit it. I haven't read "Kilmeny", though! I'd like to. Ooh, that's hard. If not one of the Anne books, I'd definitely say "The Blue Castle". I just love it so dearly.

      Oh, how cool! That sounds like immense fun. Has your Dad read all of the Frances Hodsgon Burnett books aloud already, or will you be starting another one soon? I've only read "The Secret Garden" and "A Little Princess".

      Ooh, okay. I'll keep that in mind. ;) I'm glad you're enjoying the 70's version so far! And I hope you like the '87 version when you see it! I should finish it soon so we can talk about it together. :D

    4. (Haha. I guess. :P) And here's where I say--AGAIN--that I really need to read the "The Blue Castle". Ha. I feel like I'm always saying that. ;)

      Yes, he's read all of them now. There were only three in the set. "The Secret Garden," "A Little Princess," and "Little Lord Fauntleroy."

      Yup, we decided the 70's version was the best. We're book purists around here and it was the closest to the book. ;P Also, it had a much more pleasant feel all around because they didn't hype up the creepiness of it. (And the kids were cute, too. :)) As to the '87 version. Oh dear. Did you like it? Because...uh...I sort of strongly disliked it. *gulp* (Not another thing we disagree on! Natalie! This is painful! Haha. :P Just kidding. Though I admit, I do prefer to agree because it's just more fun that way. Heehee. ;)) I think I must be very picky about movies. But anyway, I did enjoy the part with Colin Firth. It was really cool seeing him in another movie. :D

  7. Ah, I loved this post, Natalie! :D

    That's such a fantastic idea - to actually pick the specific books you want to read in a season. Huh... I think I shall do that next spring. :D (If I remember. :P Maybe I'll put it on my calendar, as a fun thing to do on the last day of winter.)

    First of all, all the pictures here are beauteous!! <3

    You know what? I've never read any of these books! :O (Well, besides Peter Pan.) I'm very familiar with several of the stories (I've seen movies, or maybe had a little children's version read to me of it) but I've not read any of the books.

    Ahem. Well, it isn't spring here. :P (I still can't get my head around why you guys have seasons that don't correspond with months... although come to think of it, I guess it's to do with the spring/autumnal equinox...)
    But anyways, to answer your question, I've been reading not too much... I read the Lord of the Rings series while we were away on holidays, and I read a biography on the life of John Newton, and now I'm reading "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" (SO GOOD :D)!

    I actually don't read books for their seasons, to be honest. I don't normally re-read that much, and if I do it's on a whim. I just plod along with whatever I'm feeling at the time. ;)

    Oh, and as random completely unrelated note - that picture of the couple ice skating together is SO DARN CUTE!!! Do you have a strong affection for ice skating, or was it just 'a pretty picture'? :) *sigh* It's so darling!!! I wish I was the girl in the picture, and I wish I could skate well and I wish we had snow. :P

    Lovely post!

    ~Miss Meg

    1. Thank you, Miss Meg!!

      Ooh, I can't wait to hear what books you choose! I hope you have fun with it. I find it so. :D

      THANK YOU! <3

      Oh my. Well, you must remedy that as soon as possible. (I'm reading Peter Pan right now!) If I had to recommend ONE to begin with....hmmm. Actually, that's rather impossible. But wait! This means you've never read a Jane Austen book? Well, I'd recommend THAT first, or, if you'd rather, try "The Secret Garden" or one of the L.M. Montgomery books. :)

      Wait...what do you mean by having seasons that don't correspond with the months? I'm confused. :P

      Your reading sounds great! I NEED to re-read the LOTR books...and ooh, how was the biography on John Newton? I'm familiar with him because of "Amazing Grace" (the hymn AND the movie and book!) but I haven't read anything about him.

      That's all right. I've always been rather horrible about re-reading too, but lately I've been trying to make it a priority. :)

      Aww, glad you liked it! Haha, well, I DO enjoy ice skating (though I'm not very good) but yes, mostly I just thought it was an adorable, lovely picture. :) (Come visit Michigan in the wintertime! We have snow! :D)

      Thank you!!

    2. No, I've never read a Jane Austen book! My Mum never allowed me to read them until I was older (though I am well acquainted via movies with P&P, S&S and Emma!) but I intend to read them soon. :D

      Oh, well, our seasons 'correspond' with the months, because summer starts on the first of December, autumn starts on the first of March, winter starts on the first of June, and spring starts on the first of September - the FIRST. Not the 23rd or 22nd or something hard to remember like that. :P

      Yes, the biography was quite good - fast paced and interesting to begin with, but the middle sagged somewhat and the ending was a leetle bit too slow for my taste, but y'know, informative and stuff. :P He had a very eventful life (it was pretty crazy, really).

      Ooohh, did someone say snow?!! Where are the tickets?!!! ;D)

      ~Miss Meg

    3. Yay!! I hope you love them when you read them! :D

      Ohhhh, I see. Haha! I admit that does sound much more simple and organized. :P Although saying summer starts in December, etc. messes with my mind! Haha. But, if I switch it out everything you said to the opposite season, it all makes PERFECT sense.

      Nice! What biography was it, exactly? I wouldn't mind reading it sometime. :)

      Heehee! Well, I'm afraid I don't have any tickets at the ready. In fact, we don't have snow right now either, but just check back in next December/January. ;)

    4. Haha, yes, it DOES make perfect sense. ;D

      "Through Many Dangers" by Brian H. Edwards. :)

      Hehe, okay - will do!! :D

      ~Miss Meg

    5. Thanks! I'll add that to my to-read list. ;)


  8. I wish I had a really good book to read right now. I'm in a reading rut. It's awful.
    But anyway, I wanted to let you know that I tagged you here:
    It's optional of course, it's not like I can force you or anything ;), but I would like to read your answers!

    1. Awww. Well, try any of the ones of this list! They're all fantastic.

      Thank you so much! I haven't read the post yet, but I'll comment when I do. ;)


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