Snowed In Reads

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Today was a snow day where I live, and I was inspired to recommend some books to read when you’re snowed in. These are books you can curl up with your hot chocolate and get lost in. For me this means fantasy, but, I also have a mystery and a biography on this list.


1. Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver

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I just did a review on this series that I’ll link here. But to summarize, this book and its sequels are excellent. A fantastic and glamorous main character and her dashing husband make quite the team, despite their rocky relationship, solving the murders that they run into. I particularly love the 1930’s setting and each mystery is perfect for a day you’re snowed in.

2. Jane Austen: A Life by Carol Shields

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This book is perfect for a day you’re trapped in the house because it’s a short and engaging read lending itself for a day where you have a couple of hours for uninterrupted reading time. This is definitely a must read if you’re a Jane Austen fan.

3. Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier

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This is one of my all time favorite series. It follows two main characters, Blackthorn and Grim, as they are given a new chance at life when they are broken out of prison by a mysterious person. This story has some of the most captivating characters I’ve ever read about and beautiful and engaging writing that will keep you enthralled till the very end. Because its one of those books you’ll never want to put down, it’s a great book to read when you’re stuck inside. The beautiful setting definitely lends itself to a beautiful and snowy day.

4. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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I don’t think any snowy reads list would be complete without Narnia and its never-ending winter. This quick, wonderful read with its snowy setting is perfect for blizzard weather. Just don’t forget your cup of tea. You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.

5. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Since I mentioned C.S. Lewis, I might as well mention the other half of the pair: Tolkien and his epic, Lord of the Rings. A fantastic story, with something in it for everyone. It’s full of action, adventure, and romance. The perfect story to get snowed in with.

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2019 Goals

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It’s a little late to be posting my goals for 2019 but better late than never. I made ten goals  split into two categories; Reading Goals, and Blog Goals. And without any further ado here are my goals for 2019.

In 2019 I would like to…

  1. Read a total of at least 75 books
  2. 1/3 (or 25) of those books should be nonfiction
  3. Read at least 12 classics
  4. Have a TBR for each month
  5. Read a biography of a woman a month

My Blogging goals for 2019 are…

  1. to post more regularly- 2018 was rough, it was full of tons of changes. Hopefully, 2019 will be more settled and therefore I should be able to post more regularly.
  2. I still plan on posting one Ladies Guide per month.
  3. I plan to post at least 1 discussion post and one book review a month.
  4. I hope to post a TBR and monthly wrap-up for each month.
  5. I will also be posting regularly on my Instagram.

Nonfiction November 2018 Random Questions Tag

I had no idea what I wanted to post today so I thought up some questions I decided I would like to answer. Here’s the result.

1. What book got you into reading nonfiction?

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For me, that would have to be The Cello Suites by Eric Siblin. I picked up the Cello Suites because promised a different Bach than the one you learn in Music History class. This book definitely delivered on that promise. It was a fascinating read about Bach, the musical genius, but also about a man who got into a duel with a bassoonist and had 20 children. It also combined Bach’s story with the story of Pablo Casals, the cellist who reintroduced the world to the wonderful cello suites of Bach’s.

2. What book are you most proud of finishing (or will be when it’s finished)?

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I will be super proud if I ever finish all the books I have started right now. But the book I’m most proud of finishing is the Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant. It was a very powerful and moving read, since you are hearing about the Civil War from someone who not only was in it, but was responsible for the troops he commanded. It was fascinating hearing about Grant’s strategy his own words as well hearing about famous historical events from someone who was a part of them.

3. What is your Favorite Nonfiction book?

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And… its another book about Bach. Evening in the Palace of Reason by James R Gaines is my favorite nonfiction book as well as one of my favorite books period. The authors passion about Bach and his music really made Bach seem like a real person, not just a someone you read about. This is another book that combines two biographies in this book that was Frederick the Great who met Bach once. But the occasion was definitely a memorable one.

4. Is there a nonfiction book you would like to reread?

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One would be Evening in the Palace of Reason by James R. Gaines. But since I already mentioned that book I’ll say The Assassin’s Accomplice by Kate Clifford Larson instead. I read this book before I started the Ladies Guide to History and I would really like to write a post on the book. I found the subject, Mary Surratt an absolutely fascinating individual. An incredibly horrible person, but interesting nonetheless. The book relates how she was connected to the conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln and debates how much she was really involved.

5. Is there a nonfiction book you chose to read solely because of the cover?

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Yep, I’m definitely guilty of this many times over. But in this case, I was in the Assateague Book Store and saw a book with gorgeous horses on it. Assateague + horses, yep had to buy it. Even if it’s about the wild mustangs in the west lol. But Wild Horse Country by David Philipps actually turned out to be a good book. It was fascinating learning about the mustangs that are a feature of the landscape in the west. A very different place than the east coast where I live.

6. What nonfiction subject do you read the most of?

I find myself gravitating to women’s biographies, due to the Ladies Guide to History (hint check out The Ladies Guide to History posts). Yep mostly biographies and history for me.

7. What would you like to read more of?

I would potentially love to learn about lots of things including: music, natural history, philosophy, religion, the list goes on. But I just bought a philosophy book so I’ll probably start there. 😉

8. What would you recommend to a nonfiction beginner and why?

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I recommend Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain it seems like on a daily basis. I loved this book its extremely readable and everyone is fascinated with understanding themselves.

9. What is your most recently purchased nonfiction book?

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That would be Desert Queen by Janet Wallach about Gertrude Bell a woman archeologist in the Victorian Era

Bonus Question: If you could meet the subject of a biography or memoir who would it be?

Yep, no guesses needed here that would be Bach for me lol.

TV Show/Movie to Nonfiction Match-up

In honor of Nonfiction November, I thought I would steal an idea from last month and match a movie or TV show with a nonfiction book that would pair well.

Downton Abbey- To Marry An English Lord by Gail McColl and Carol MCD. Wallace

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This is probably the most obvious pairing on my list but its a good match. Downton Abby is an example of the phenomenon described in this book. When English Lords who found themselves in a situation where their estates weren’t as profitable as they once were a solution appeared in the American Heiress. These women and their families were looking for a way to ingratiate themselves into the established aristocracy and since they weren’t having much luck at home in America they went abroad to England where they found themselves in high demand. To Marry an English Lord is also a fantastic book to start nonfiction with since it is written in a very non-boring compelling way.

The Tudors – The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir

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This show is certainly dramatic but has nothing on the actual events that surrounded this family. Many times I found the actual events less believable than in the tv show. Alison Weir’s The Life of Elizabeth I isn’t about Henry VIII which the tv show is about but it’s about his and Anne Boleyn’s remarkable daughter. Alison Weir really brings this capricious and independent ruler to life in her biography.

Father Brown (or really any mystery series) – Manhunt by James Swanson

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The story of Lincoln’s assassination is a fascinating one. This book unfolds the story in a novel like fashion. You won’t want to put this book down even if you already know the outcome of the story. This book might not be for the most serious of Lincoln scholars but it is a fantastic read for anybody looking for an account of the conspiracy. This is another good book for nonfiction beginners.

Spirit: Stallion of The Cimarron – Wild Horse Country by David Philipps

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I absolutely loved this movie when I was younger. I found the idea of the mustangs endlessly fascinating as well as a beautiful image of the United States. This idea must have stuck with me because when I saw this book in the Assateague Island (a place where there is also wild horses) visitors center I had to pick it up. I wanted to read about these beautiful animals especially since it seems like such a different world than the one I live in. This book discusses the wild mustang’s history and the problems facing them and facing the government who has been placed in charge of taking care of them. The author’s discussion on what these animals have come to mean to the people of the United States is a compelling one.

 

If you like the TV Show Father Brown then You’ll like Reading…

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Picture From IMDB

About the Show

The television show, Father Brown is one of my favorite television shows of all time. It has everything I’m looking for in an absorbing mystery series. (Of course, the show is based on the stories by the same name by G.K. Chesterton.) The show follows the unassuming Roman Catholic Priest who solves crimes, worried not only about justice for the victim and their families but about saving the murder’s soul. The characters in this show are a definite part of why I love it. The characters include Mrs. McCarthy, the church secretary who seems at first a judging woman who hides her compassion. Lady Felicia (and her outfits, her outfits are always worth a glance) Her outgoing personality hides her real sincerity and loyalty to her friends. And don’t forget about the erstwhile Sidney Carter a bad boy who hides his drive to do the right thing. These characters and the fascinating mysteries make the show absolutely compelling. So if you enjoy Father Brown check out my recommendations.


1. Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton

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Not all the characters in the TV show are present in the stories, but if you haven’t read the Father Brown Mysteries you absolutely should give them a try. The wonderful stories are filled with adventure, mystery, and many thoughts that get you to think. The mysteries are compelling and it’s wonderful to find a series that often shows such compassion to the people who are usually portrayed as evil while in actuality they are often only human.

2. The Peter Wimsey Mysteries by Dorothy Sayers

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I can’t get over just how wonderful these books are so here I am mentioning them yet again. (And they are actually mentioned in the TV show in the episode The Bride of Christ). Peter Wimsey, like Father Brown, is often assumed to be less intelligent than he actually is. Although Peter makes a name for himself throughout the series. Dorothy Sayers also includes and doesn’t shy away from topics that are still relevant today such as a woman’s place in the world. The mysteries are just engaging and entertaining. As an extra bonus: if you like romance there is a bit of that in these novels as well.

3. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

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This one might be a bit unexpected, but I think they have the same theme. How the most ordinary and unassuming characters can accomplish the most. And the reason they can accomplish so much is that they are so unassuming. Father Brown, Frodo, and Sam aren’t after fame or glory, but rather to save people.

4. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

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If you like the historical element in Father Brown, especially all the clothes, fashion, and parties. You can find similar glitz and glamour in Rules of Civility. Although not set in the same period (Rules of Civility is actually set in the 1930s) it captures the same nostalgic feeling. But like it does in Father Brown that glamour often hides a hideous truth.

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is Here!

Today’s the day!! Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is happening now and after getting a bunch of chores out of the way, I’m ready to start! I going to be starting with Elizabeth Goudge’s A City of Bells and hopefully will finish it. Also on my TBR is Thornyhold by Mary Stewart and Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver.

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