July 1, 2017

Springtime Reading (Update Two)

(If you missed my original Springtime Reading post, check it out here.)

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
This was the first time I've re-read Peter Pan since I read it a few years ago. Funnily enough, I found myself rather bored with it at parts. I didn't dislike it or anything. But I think when I read this I wasn't quite in the mood for J.M. Barrie's style, so that's why the story seemed to take forever.

BUT. I still love it, and rated it 5 stars again on goodreads because my wordy, that ending. *sobs* I do love this story. I love it's sadness, it's humor, it's whimsical randomness and magic. E v e r y o n e should read this. It's such gold. 

(This was part of Heidi's Adventure of Reading Challenge)

Greenwillow by B. J. Chute
Wooow. What can I say about this absolutely beautiful book? This was my first time re-reading it. I remembered it as a sweet, lovely story but rather slow and plodding. I liked it, but I didn't love it. I was completely taken aback this time around. I love this story. I love the writing, the characters, their humor and loves and losses. It's a beautiful story with such depth, but lighthearted and just plain happy nonetheless. *hugs this book* I love it. I just love it.

Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomer
This was my first time reading this delicious summery story, and while I didn't love it as I do The Blue Castle or the Emily books (more about that anon) I did like it very, very much. L. M. Montgomery's stories are so cozily predictable, and yet she keeps them fresh and different every time, even with her classic tyrannical "clan leaders", her whimsical, "odd" heroines, and her beloved Prince Edward Island. 

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
This was soooooo good. I need to re-read more Jane Austen. Why is it I always forget how incredibly good her stories are?? I haven't read NA in f o r e v e r and it was my first time re-reading it, despite having watched the movie many times.  I'm so glad I finally re-read this, as its superiority to the film is unquestionable. I found myself laughing or smiling many times during the reading of this book, and I "re-fell in love" with the characters even more than I had previously. Henry is the sweetest, funniest hero; Catherine utterly amusing but quite relateable; and Eleanor so admirable. She's one of my role models. ;) (And oh yes, Fanny. I didn't think it was possible she could be more annoying than in the movie BUT SHE IS. UGH.) (UGH AGAIN BECAUSE SHE'S SO HORRID.) (UGH.)

Bravo again and again, Miss Austen. I sure do love your books. <3

PS. Austen's "Great Defense of the Novel" is so perfect, I actually underlined some of it in pencil. (Shhh.)

Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery
Like A Tangled Web, this was the first time re-reading the Emily books in years, and when I first read them, I did not like them.

What was wrong with me back then???

I absolutely adored all three of the Emily books this time. (Even Emily's Quest,  although I admit I got a little frustrated with all the drama between Emily and Teddy and Teddy and Ilse and Ilse and Emily.....STAHP.) 
(Emily, Teddy. Ilse, Perry. There we go.) 
(Why  was that so difficult?) 
Funny thing is....I think I may relate to Emily even more than I do to Anne. Because, let me be honest with myself, as much as I love Anne and relate to her love of nature and stories (and share her hair color), I really am not that much like her. I'm not a chatterbox around people I don't know very well, I'm not over-the-top dramatic (as in, I don't say things like "this is a wound I shall bear forever") and I totally would have accepted Gilbert the moment he asked me to marry him. :P 

Anyhow, I digress. I relate more to Emily because, though she shares Anne's whimsical, dreamy personality, she is also much more reserved and quiet and sensible. Thus why I found her a more relatable heroine.

As to the rest of the story, I loved it so so much. Emily's struggles with her family, the loss of her father, her need to write, her ups and downs of childhood and girlhood and then adulthood....it's all so real and heartfelt and wonderful. All the Emily books are now some very dear favorites. <3

(Can we talk about how creepy Dean is in the first book, though? Like....whaaat.)

Alas, I didn't read all the books on my list. Emma, Only a Novel, and Rebecca didn't make it. But that's all right. I had a very delightful springtime, both readingwise and otherwise, and now I'm looking forward to tackling some particular books this summer. I'm not going to make a series for them (because #time and all that) but I will let you in on the few particulars I wish to read: 

To Tame a Land by Louis L'Amour 
(for Jessica)
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott 
(for Olivia)
(I will try, but please understand if I have to put it off due to its length. *hugs*)
and Little Men
(for Miss March).

Here's hoping I can do it! :D


  1. Dean, once a creep, always a creep, but yes the age difference made it FAAAAAR worse in the first. When I first read these ages ago our library only had two and three (funnily enough with the Anne books, we also didn't have the first book for a long time, so I grew up with 2,3,4,5,7). I recently reread the Emily books, and I was SO agonized and angry over Emily and Teddy (it was mainly him), that I couldn't stand it (I found it increasingly painful for each reread) and put it down.

    Speaking of aggravating love stories. The Little Women books. Urgh. The last re-read (last year I think). I felt that I enjoyed Little Men and Jo's Boys more, mainly because I was disgusted with part 2 of Little Women. There is no need to make Jo retrogress and no need to make Laurie a pompous prig who marries spoiled boring Amy. Don't change his character, just find another girl for him (I've learned that is what bothers me most, not that he didn't marry Jo but that he married AMY).

    Jane of Lantern Hill is sweet but not my fav. But I just love L.M. Montgomery's writing style. I just finished The Golden Road (Story Girl #2). And I want to reread A Tangled Web. I've read 26 books/story collections, I'm not sure if I have any novels left :(, but I know she has tons of short stories collections.

    I didn't like Peter Pan (I think I read that last year). I read something recently that it isn't supposed to be happy and all that, we are supposed to learn from Peter and be saddened by people who never want to mature. But that wasn't the only thing. I just didn't care for the writing style.

    1. Hahaha! I know, right? I didn't mind him QUITE as much in the last book, but in the first it was just....UGH. Dude. What is wrong with you. :P

      Teddy was so wonderful in the first two books, and in the last it was almost like he changed character. I was sad that I didn't like him as much as I did at first. :(

      I think I might agree with you. I haven't read the book in awhile, but I have watched the movie recently. I can never quite care for "older" Laurie and his relationship with "older" Amy the same way I liked him and Jo when they were younger. Maybe you're right! Maybe if he had ended up with a different girl entirely it wouldn't be so weird.

      I love her style, too!! I can't actually think of a book of hers that I've DISliked. I just don't care for some the way I do for others. Wow! You're read a lot!! :D That's sad that you don't have any novels, left....oh well. At least she wrote all those short stories. :)

      Well, that's okay. We don't all have to love it. And the writing style IS very unique! I can see where it wouldn't be some people's favorite. (Even I have to be in the right mood for it. :))

  2. Jane Austin is such a wonderful authoress isn't she??? I mean, the way she says certain things makes me put down the book and look at the wall just so I can appreciate all the delicious feelings washing over me! She might very well be a favorite author of mine.
    (That Mr. Darcy gif is so perfect)
    And Dean! Yes! The creep! Seriously! I totally agree with you!!!

    1. Yes, she is!! I know. I do the same sometimes. :D
      She's definitely one of mine. :)
      Haha! Thanks so much, Hannah!

  3. Natalie, this post is just...I don't how to describe it. So lovely and sweet and relaxing. I just love how you're able to talk about the books you've been reading in such a simple and interesting way. I can't seem to do it myself. I just clam up whenever I try to describe a book and what I thought of it. Don't even know where to being. :P

    Ohhh! I really need to read Green Willow!! It sounds so good! (And so far your book recommendations have not gone amiss. I finished Mara Daughter of the Nile by the way. And enjoyed it very much!)

    Yes, the book of Northanger Abby is much better than the movie. But you're right. Isabella is unbearable in both. (Double and triple UGH.)

    I really enjoyed what you had to say about the Emily and Anne books. And you made me chuckle more than once, too. "Why was that so difficult?" Hahaha! I haven't even read about these couples but that totally made me grin. :D And then what you said about marrying Gilbert. Ha! That really is a glaring difference between you and Anne, now isn't it? Heehee. ;)

    I guess I should read the Emily books?

    Aww. I can't wait to hear what you think of Jo's Boys! Oh, but you are going to read Little Men first, aren't you? Because it's best to read them in order, and I think you said you hadn't read that one yet?? (Or maybe you did already read that one, and I just forgot.)

    Anyway, good luck with your summer reading!! And thanks for giving me some more reading inspiration. :)

    1. Awww. Thank you, Miss March! (It feels so funny and formal to say "Miss March". :P) Really? I'm glad you think so, because I felt as if I struggle with saying what I felt about the books! And tsk tsk. You shouldn't say such things! I think you do a splendid job of describing books!!

      Yes, you do! I think you'd like it quite a bit. (You did??? YAAYYYY. Now we need to talk about it. :D)

      But at least Henry is marvelous. ;D

      Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. And heehee, yes, INDEED.

      Yes!! You should!!

      Ohhh. *facepalm* I can never keep straight which one comes first. It just sounds more natural if Jo's Boys comes first, because obviously they're BOYS before they're MEN. But then, Little Men comes right after Little Women, so.....*shakes head confusedly.* Ah well. Thank you for the correction, I edited my post accordingly. (See? Now YOU are pointing out the mistakes in my post! And it wasn't even a math problem!)

      Thank you!! Haha! That's what I'm here for. ;)

    2. (It does sound formal, doesn't it? Perhaps one of these days I ought to reveal my real name on the internet then we won't have to trouble with silly pennames any longer. ;P)

      (Yes, we must indeed talk about it sometime.)

      You can say that again! HENRY IS THE BEST!!! :D

      Wow. I'm not sure I ever thought about it that way before, but no wonder it's confusing! Of course "boys" ought to come before "men". Haha! Don't feel bad for getting them mixed up. It was a perfectly logical misunderstanding. :) (Well, what can I say? When someone does something for me I like to do something for them in return. Because that's nice. Right? Haha. ;)) (Though...ahem. It's about time we forgot about that math problem, don't you think? ;))

    3. Oh, no! Look at that extra space in my comment!! I can't believe I did that! ('Tis dreadful. Most dreadful. :P)

    4. Hahahaha! (Enter DOWN ;P)

  4. OH MY WORD I COULD GROAN ABOUT DEAN THE CREEPY ALLLLLL DAY!!! What in the wooooorrrrlldd!!! And yes the whole major love triangle drove me nuts!! But still amazing books <3

    I'm sorry to say that those are the only ones on your list that I have read. I'm hoping to do much more reading this summer, and perhaps I will try a few of those!

    1. Haha! You too? :D But yes, as you said. They're still amazing books, despite the frustrations that came with them.

      Aww, no problem! I hope you can read more this summer. :D

  5. I wonder if I should read the Emily of New Moon books? They sound so intriguing . . . but then, I just don't have a very good track record with LM Montgomery's stories. The only one I really like is Rilla of Ingleside; and I've read Jane of Lantern Hill and The Blue Castle as well as all the Anne books. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I shall have to ponder this ;-)

    READ "TO TAME A LAND." Yes. All the yes. I just can't wait to fangirl over A Certain Ship with you *heart-eyes*

    1. I think you should try them, Jessica! Emily just seems like the kind of heroine you may like, and the books ARE good, despite a few frustrations. I understand if you're hesitant, though. Do tell me if you ever give them a try!! (Trust me, for some reason I think the Emily books are more your cup of tea than the other ones you mentioned are. I could be wrong, but...I COULD be right, too. ;))

      I HAVE IT FROM THE LIBRARY RIGHT NOW! :D I haven't started it yet, but as soon as I finish one book I'm reading, I will. :D

  6. You're going to try Ivanhoe for me?!?! *hugs you* SQUUUUEEEEE YOU'RE SUCH A DEAR!

    (But I will totally understand if you decide against it this time around, because it IS rather long. Honestly, it's about the little nuggets of epic moments in that book -- not necessarily the whole thing all the time. :-P In fact, I gave up the last time I tried to reread it *gasp*. Just couldn't get into it.)

    And I agree with you on Emily vs. Anne! She seems more relatable to me, too, although it's been a while since I've read it. I should fix that, though, because I remember not being able to put it down the first time I read it. :) (I read the first and part of the second, I believe?) (Also, you're right! L. M. Montgomery does have sort of a similar storyline to most of her tales, yet she makes them all "fresh and original," too! I hadn't thought of that. :D)

    Greenwillow was so precious, oh my word. I need to reread it. <3


    Aw, I'm sorry PP wasn't quite the thing this time! I get it, though -- I'm not ALWAYS in the mood for it myself, and I love it To Infinity and Beyond. :-P (The first time I read it, I'm pretty sure I was like, "Da heck am I reading??" because the writing style is so unique, haha.)

    I tried Rebecca once and was like "Bleh." It's still waiting patiently on my shelf. :-P I'll get around to it eventually.

    "(because #time and all that)" Haha! That was funny. :D

    This was such a neat idea for a series, Natalie! Thanks for sharing your springtime reads with us. :)

    1. Awwwww. YES! I want to. I've been meaning to do so for years, now. It really is time I at least TRY it. :)

      (I'll keep that in mind that the "little nuggets of epic moments" are in there. That'll probably help me get through, if it turns out to be slow going.)

      Yay! Glad you think so, too. And oh yes, you should read them again. (And maybe try the 3rd one, too? It's frustrating, but it does "wrap everything up". :))

      It isssss. <3 Did Heidi introduce you to that one or had you already read it? I might not have ever heard of/tried it if it wasn't for her.

      Go ahead and take it! :D

      Ohhh, you sometimes aren't in the mood for it, too? That makes me feel so much better. I know it's one of your favoritest of favorites, after all. :) (It IS so unique! That's part of what makes me love it...but also part of what throws me off sometimes. xD)

      I actually looooved the style of "Rebecca", just not some of the language they used. Still not sure if I'm ever going to read it again, to be honest...

      Thanks so much!! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. :)

  7. Oh, yes, To Tame a Land!
    You've simply got to read it! <3
    Ivanhoe is wonderful, too, if I recall correctly. it's been a while since I read it.
    Oh, by the way, I tagged you on my blog! *winks*
    You don't HAVE to do it. lol https://lakaysha.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-blue-sky-tag.html

    1. I'm hoping to, very soon! :D You like Ivanhoe, too? Cool!

      And thanks so much! Unfortunately, I really don't have time for a tag right now, but I appreciate your tagging me! <3

  8. Natalie!!! Every time you do one of these bookish posts, I end up bookmarking it and putting every book you mention on my TBR. (I'm not sure if that's a thank-you or a complaint, to be honest...) Not to mention that I didn't even know there WAS a Northanger Abbey movie??? Now I need to watch it... *sigh*

    1. I'm sorrrrryyyy....oh wait. Maybe I shouldn't be sorry. :D Good! READ ALL THE BOOKS! haha (But seriously, I DO understanding how frustrating an ever-growing TBR pile is...)
      It's a great movie!! There are some skippable scenes, though, so be careful if you try it. I could give you details, if you want.

    2. YOU SHOULD BE SORRY!!! *shakes halfhearted fist at you*

      Ohhh, that is unfortunate. I'd like to know what SORT of skippable it is so I can decide whether or not to watch it, if you don't mind divulging!

    3. All right, so Catherine's wild imagination is played out on the screen several times. You can always see those scenes coming, and while none of them are HORRIBLE they're kind of creepy and unnecessary. So whenever everything gets all dramatic and dark and spooky, go ahead and skip if you'd like to. :) (Although I kind of like the "second" imagination scene myself, since she imagines Henry saving her from a villain haha)

      Secondly, there's a scene after Catherine and Isabella are caught in the rain where they talk about the "Monk", one of the horrid books Isabella encourages Catherine to read. I skip that scene. :P There's also a scene of Catherine reading said book while in bed, and there's a narration of what she's reading and it's pretty horrid, so I skip that as well.

      Supposedly there's a scene where Catherine imagines Henry finding her in the bathtub or something, but I think it was cut out of the American dvd release, because it's not on my copy.

      There's a scene toward the end where Catherine gets a letter explaining what happened between Isabella and Captain Tilney. It shows a flashback to them going to a disreputable place together and shows them in a room where Isabella is unclothed in bed (though nothing is shown--it's just obvious she isn't wearing anything :P). I skip that scene, too.

      I THINK that's about it. I know that sounds like a lot, but with skipping it's a very enjoyable movie. :) Sorry if I didn't explain it all well enough...here's a link to a review that may help as well! http://www.charitysplace.com/review/northangerabbey.htm

      If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. :)

    4. Ohhhhhh! You know, I hadn't thought of Catherine's overactive imagination when you first mentioned it. Yeah, that makes sense... In one way, it's nice to see that they tried to artistically portray that part of the story (the book was pretty dramatic too!!! I mean, good grief, I was spooked and I used to read crime thrillers as a little girl!! Isn't it funny how Austen was MOCKING horror stories, but at the same time she was so GOOD at writing one??)

      Hmmmm... I had no idea that this had even been turned into a movie, much less such a soap-opera-y one. ;)

      Thank you so much!!!

  9. What a great batch of books! I also hug Greenwillow, and Northanger Abbey is one of my top 3 Austen faves. (I write in my own books, so I, for one, will not scold you.)

    I've only read the Emily books once, when I was in my 20s, and I liked them quite a lot. I wasn't expecting to, because my mom disliked them so much she told me I wouldn't like them, and she's almost never wrong when she predicts whether or not I'll like a book, but I guess even she is fallible now and then. Hee!

    1. Thanks, Hamlette! Aren't they so great?? (Aww, thanks! That makes me feel better. :D)

      I'm glad you liked them, too. Haha! My mom and I usually like a lot of the same books, too. After all, she introduced me to Jane Austen, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little Women. etc. I can't think of anything she's introduced me to that I haven't liked....but now that I get a lot of book recommendations from blogging I tend to introduce books to HER. haha Unfortunately it took me awhile to realize we DO have different tastes. She didn't like some of the fantasy/adventure stories I encouraged her to read. ;)

    2. Natalie, I have that problem too sometimes. If I love a book, I think my mom will too... and then it's not always true. Like, she loves classics, and I love classics, but we don't always love the same classics.

    3. You too? Aww, yeah. That's very true. It's always disappointing when my mom doesn't love a book I loved, but I do know we're not exactly alike, so I guess it makes sense. :)

  10. The photo at the top is loveliness in its purest form!!!

    Peter Pan and I have never exactly clicked, but we have a copy with illustrations of the most sparkling magic, and hours spent pouring over them as a young thing, left me with a soft spot for the story. :)

    YES, Jane of Lantern Hill is simply the definition of a "delicious summery story". Looking over my own stories, and sometimes having a creeping sensation that they are all dealing with different angles of the same challenges, I must confess I take EXTREME comfort in how predictable her stories are, too!

    Henry Tilney has to be one of the most OUTRAGEOUSLY hilarious heroes in all of literature! I began a reading of all of Jane Austen's books in the order written, but as I only made it through S&S and that was long ago, it has been much too long since I've visited NA.

    I made a gallant attempt to read Emily of New Moon once, which reading ended in failure, but after your glowing review I may just have to try it again. :)

    IVANHOE!!! That story captured my imagination in a way that very few stories have. And I never think of the book, but that Olivia flashes to mind, too; I think it must be one of her signature stories. :)

    *happy sigh* Can I just say how much I love these posts of yours? From the dreamy photo to the books you have on your reading horizon, they're beautiful in every way! Seriously, If I could name my favorite types of your posts -which I can't because, how would that even be possible??? - these might be it. :)

    1. Thank you, Éowyn!!

      I understand. But yes! Those illustrations are rather magical, aren't they? (Of course, I don't know EXACTLY which illustrations you mean, but Peter Pan illustrations tend to be whimsical no matter who drew them. :D)

      I'm so glad that encourages you! I think my writing tends to do the same. But then, it's so fun to come at the same challenge in so many different ways!

      Isn't he, though?? Sometimes I admit I think people might have been quite boring "back then", but when I read a book like one of Austen's and read about characters like Henry Tilney....I'm very much assured that fun, hysterical people existed back then, too. :D I hope you can reread NA soon!!

      Aww, really? I hope you do give it a try. Of course, it's completely understandable if you don't like it....but my opinion changed DRASTICALLY from the first time I read it to now. :)

      I think it definitely is one of her signature stories! :D And guess what? I started reading it and am on chapter 2! Yay! I'm taking it slow, but if all goes well I'm DETERMINED not to desert this story. :D

      Awwwwwww. THANK YOU, friend!! That means so much to me. *hugs*


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