A Bit of a Ramble

We did go on a bit of a ramble when this photo was taken.  Autumn is winding down now; the leaves are falling and the colors are fading. It is still beautiful.  The brightest colors have fallen and we are left with the gorgeous ambers and burnt oranges of the oaks contrasting with the green of the pines and the brown branches of the bare trees outlined against the sky. It might be my favorite part of fall, but really, I say that about every part of fall.  This is my season.  Soon we will have to bundle up and walk briskly in order to stay warm on our walks.

There are advantages to winter.  My daughter insists that snow days are one.  Is there anything better as a child than waking up on a dark winter morning to the news that school has been canceled?  Stretching before you is an endless vista of snowmen and hot chocolate and movies and the smell of baking wafting through the house.

 If you are going to have snow days then you must have good books. I am actually making a few reading goals.  That is not something I usually do.  I am a spontaneous reader, I just read whatever appeals at the moment and, for the most part, I am happy with that.  However, I have been neglecting my Classics Club list.  I was so enthusiastic when I first started and then life got in the way.  I felt that I had to pay close attention when I was reading the books on the list because I knew I had to review them.  Most of the time I just read a book and then review it if I have something to say or if some particular point or idea hits me.  Somehow, the idea of having to review meant I kept putting them off.  I was too tired or too busy to give them my complete attention so I didn't read them at all.  I have decided I am just going to barrel on through my list and if my reviews are not earth-shaking (they won't be, just warning you) so be it.  So this winter I want to cross at least six books off my list.  Minimum.  I would like it to be more but let's be reasonable here.  I am going to get distracted so we will stick with six.

Speaking of being distracted from my list, I would like a few book recommendations from any of you who are willing.  I think I need to broaden my reading horizons a bit.  I realized this when my kids started joking about how every book I read is set in England during WWII.  This is not true.  Well, not really true.  Some of them are set in England before the war.  And some are after the war.  And some are in the late 1800s.  A few are not even set in England.  I do have a bit of an obsession with England which I have mentioned before.  However, there are a lot of other countries in the world and a lot of other time periods.  Do you have a book you think I should read?  A book that has been translated from another language or is set in a wildly different time period?  I would love to hear about it.  And of course, if you have a great recommendation for a book set in England during WWII, don't hold back. I am not giving up that country or that time period.

I did read a book I thoroughly enjoyed the other day.  It was one of my daughter's books.  She loved it and insisted I read it too.  I am glad I listened to her because it was so much fun.  We read First Term at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton.  What is it about boarding school stories that is so appealing?  I loved them as a child and apparently, I still love them.  Enid Blyton is not an author I ever read as a child but I discovered her on some blog I read years ago and started buying her books for my daughter.  We are hooked.  Now we need to get the rest in the series.  It looks like she wrote another series about St Clare's.  That must be a boarding school too.  Now if only the girls have a midnight feast in one of the books my life will be complete.  I used to desperately want to have my own midnight feast.

My schedule changed quite a bit in September and I have had a hard time keeping up with blogging.  I feel like this spot has gotten a bit neglected lately.  I used to have a more flexible schedule but now if I don't plan ahead it doesn't happen.  I am hoping to do a better job at planning ahead because I enjoy this too much to give it up. I still get a feeling of intense satisfaction whenever I hit "publish" on a post and whenever someone comments on something I have written.

How do you find time for blogging?  Do you have any books I absolutely must read?


  1. I recommend Dog Boy by Eva Hornung http://www.exurbanis.com/archives/8958

    1. Thank you for the recommendation. It sounds interesting. Somehow I had never clicked through to your blog before. I don't know how that happened but now that I have discovered it I have some reading to do!

  2. I find time for blogging by writing my blog posts in tiny little scrappy bits over the course of several days, whenever I have a spare minute or two.

    I'm reading A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay right now, and... I started it this morning, and am on page 136. Not sure how that happened, except that I went outside to enjoy some sunshine after lunch and then somehow it was like 2pm cuz my kids were being weirdly good. I'm not sure I can recommend it yet because I haven't finished it, and who knows, the next 150 pages could be awful. BUT I've enjoyed all of Reay's books, though none of them quite this much!

    Books I would recommend you try:

    An Antic Disposition by Alan Gordon
    The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
    Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart
    I Never Had it Made by Jackie Robinson
    Nothing Daunted by Dorothy Wickenden
    Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

    None of those take place in England :-)

    1. Thank you for all the recommendations. I will definitely be checking all of them out. Right now I have been sidetracked from all my reading plans by a mammoth science fiction book my son wanted from the library. On the plus side, it doesn't take place in England.

  3. I don't know if you've read it yet, but I strongly recommend Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain. It's set in England during the First World War, so that's not far from your favorite era. :)

    1. Yes, I did read that last year. It was absolutely fascinating, wasn't it?