29 December 2017

52 Books in 52 Weeks ~ 2017

This post contains the books I read through in 2017.

The number beside each book is my personal rating for the book, or audiobook, at the time of reading with the range being:
(1) = would not recommend,
(2) = some interesting aspects but not one of my recommended reads,
(3) = would recommend.
(4) = Really good (or worthy) read, would definitely recommend
(5) = Excellent book, highly recommend

The next few were ongoing, sip, reads so I’m adding them here:
A: How to Read Slowly  ~  James W. Shire (3)
B: Consider This ~ Karen Glass  ()  (still not finished, just cannot get into this book)
C: The Christian Family ~ Larry Christenson (4)
D: Christian Living in the Home ~ Jay Adams (4) 

(As in previous posts, I haven't include the books I'm reading for my own extra-mural studies;  and,  the titles in green are ones I pre-read as possible reads for the children.  This year’s list seems to be heavy on  pre-reading titles, before handing them to Daisy.)  
1:  KJV Life Application Study Bible:  The Books of;   I Samuel, and, I & II Corinthians, John, Proverbs, Acts    (5+) the bible linked is lovely to use!
2:  The Marshmellow Test ~ Mischel    (2)   pre-read before Jay was to study it. Skip it.
3:  Brat Farrar ~ Tey   (3)   Interesting reading after I got past the excerpt with a casual attitude to pre-martial relationships.   Mature themes, not for Daisy
4:  A Bunch of Sweet Peas ~ Henry Donald    (4)   a lovely read! Recommend
5:  Towards Zero ~ Agatha Christie     (3)   I found the themes in this book really sad: Adultery, mental breakdowns, attempted suicide, murderer is a manipulative narcissist.  Going to use this as a discussion base *with* the children
6:  Ordeal by Innocence ~ Agatha Christie   (2)   Not for Daisy. Mature themes. Nature versus nurture in an adoption setting is the under laying theme in this one – and it’s not a positive portrayal. 
7:  Gift of the Sea ~ Anne Morrow Linberg (currently a 3 ….. This has become a sip listen for me)
8:  Cold Comfort Farm ~ Stella Gibbons   (1 )  meh!  not for me
9:  George MacDonald ~ C.S. Lewis (2)
10:  Ender's Game ~ Card    (2+)   I didn't think there was anything so wonderfully amazing in this book that Jay 'needs' to read it.  We’d want to edit out crass language and cursing.
11:  The False Prince ~ Nielsen    (4)   interesting story. Clean! Not for sensitive children.
12:  A Night Divided ~ Nielsen  (4) pre-teen book. Clean.  Emotive issues.
13:  The Girl Who Drank the Moon ~ Kelly Barnhill     (3+)   Modern fairy tale/fantasy.   Tried to find info to check out author’s worldview as I couldn’t quite work out the message she was ending with?
14:  The Clocks ~ Agatha Christie (3) okay for Daisy
15:   In The Market for Murder ~ T.E. Kinsey  (3)  archive until Daisy’s a bit older.
16:  Juno ~ Fleur Beale  (2)  seemed to be a push to justify adultery.   details 'mystic' powers.
17:  The Man Who Was Thursday ~ G.K. Chesterton  (2+)
18:  At Bertram's Hotel ~ Agatha Christie   (2) Previewing Christie titles for Daisy?  She's keen to go through the unabridged editions.   Content too mature for Daisy (15).  Mother abandons child for hedonistic life style, bigamous adultery, and patricide.  The dramatised version didn't seem to highlight those things as much.
19:  4:50 From Paddington ~ Agatha Christie  (1) The graphic detailing of the murder put me right off - didn't help that I was listening to it late at night :-P
20:  Enemy Brothers ~ Constance Savery   (3+)
21:  When My Name Was Keoko ~ Linda Sue Park  (3)    For me, A Single Shard, and, A Long Walk to Water are the bench marks for Parks other books to attain to J  I may have appreciated it more if I was reading this aloud to children during a study of Korea.
22:  The Zookeeper's Wife ~ Diane Ackerman   audio, dropped.  Didn’t like narrator, Managed to procure a reasonably priced printed copy = Christmas time reading. J
22:  In Farleigh Field ~ Rhys Bowen  (1) audio. dropped, due to story content
22:  Strangeways to Oldham ~  Andrea Frazer   (3 audio) the narrator took a lot of getting used to, I ditched this a time or too: Ended up being a gentle flufferton/cosy mystery listen.
23:  News of the World ~ Paulette Jiles  (audio)   (5) Such a good book!!  The WTM moms recommended it.  Has 2 small cursing excerpts.  Child prostitution is one of the topics (not graphic or detailed).
24:  Cotillion ~ Georgette Heyer  (3)   presented us with an opportunity to discuss  infatuation with an ‘idea’ of someone,  versus growing to love someone of character.
25:  Last Ditch ~ Ngaio Marsh   (0)   trying to find one more (acceptable content) Marsh audio for Jay to listen to is not any easy task.  Definitely not this one.  Emotional adultery, nyphomania, incest. Dropped!
26:  Opening Night ~ Ngaio Marsh   (1)  Marsh’s world view does not match with mine :-/  Adultery between the lead actors, a marital rape scene is alluded to euphemistically, suicide.
27:  Hand in Glove ~ Ngaio Marsh  (1) 
28:  Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha ~ Dorothy Gilman   (3)   
29:  The Riddle of the Sands ~ Erskine Childers (3lots of sailing detail, the story line  ambles along at a gentle pace.
29:  When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales from Neurosurgery ~ Frank T. Vertosick (profanity!! dropped)
30:  Death Around the Bend ~ T.E. Kinsey (2-3)  Cosy mystery.  Themes in the book others may like to know about too: bullying, which ended in a suicide; adultery, revenge killings.  Not for Daisy! 
31:  Unbroken (Y.A edition) ~  Laura Hillenbrand (4++) has a few graphic swear words.
32, 33, 34:  William Monk Series.    Books 2-4 ~ Anne Perry (1)      See my reviews over at audible if you’d like a heads up on themes in these Victorian era books and why I ranked them so low. 
35:  The Reluctant Widow ~ Georgette Heyer  (5)  Favourite repeat listen. A light, easy listen, mystery.
36:  Mrs. Queen Takes the Train ~ William Kuhn (1)
37:  Murder in an Irish Village ~ Charlene O’Connor  (1-2storyline started out  interesting. Not recommending, needed to edit out LOTS of swearing.  Adultery is a theme.
38:  Pennies for Hitler ~ Jackie French (3)  pre-teen book
39:  Just as I Am ~ Billy Graham  (4++)
40:  Pilgrims Rest ~ Patricia Wentworth  (2) not for Daisy, the perpetrator of the crimes is a psychopath … I think that aspect ruined the story for me 
41:  The Case of William Smith: Miss Silver bk 12 ~ Patricia Wentworth (3)  okay for Daisy. Want to discuss how to deal with manipulators and narcissism though. One character is gifted with both those traits and is also a bigamist.  Wentworth has set them up as the ‘obvious’ bad guy.
42:  Off With His Head ~ Ngaio Marsh (1) odd story!
43:  Eternity Ring: Miss Silver bk 14 ~ Patricia Wentworth  (2)  one of the key characters is a spoilt brat. Not recommending, ho-hum story
44:  The Secrets of Wishtide ~ Kate Saunders (4) has societal/class related issues of the era this story set in.  A cosy, ambling mystery.
45:  Monday the Rabbi Took off ~ Harry Kemelman (3+) contains a few crass comments.
46:  The Detectives Assistant ~ Kate Hannigan (2+) children’s book.  Author really pushes the envelope on a feministic based thought that woman can do anything a man can do (not actually true ;)  A woman can do many things that a man can do.)
47:  Stop Walking on Egg Shells ~ Paul Mason (4)  (N/F study book)   I don’t normally include my study/coursework books here; but, I wanted to notate this one for others who may be interested as I found it the easiest title to read on dealing with someone who has a boarderline personality disorder.
48:  Books that Made History: Books That Can Change Your Life Pt.1 (The Great Courses) (4)
49:  Colour Scheme ~ Ngaio Marsh  (3Finally found another Marsh mystery book that Jay can read through to complete his Golden era, NZ author, portion of literature studies for this year.  As per most Marsh books, there are some odd themes in this story too, though they aren’t as bad as ones I’ve encountered in some of her other books.
50:  The Murder of Roger Ackroyd ~ Agatha Christie (3okay for Daisy. Themes for discussion:  sacrificing moral principles/marital promises for money, suicide.
51:  Bath Tangle ~ Georgette Heyer (2) not my favourite Heyer. Not for Daisy at 15yrs - emotional infidelity/engagements entered into for wrong reasons.  Good for conversations later
52: Spider Web ~ Agatha Christie (3) okay for Jay. Not for Daisy.  For others that like to know themes in books: drugs addiction leading to child neglect/abuse (inc attempted rap3). Charming personality masking lack of moral compass.
53: Celia’s House ~ D.E. Stevenson (3) very Mansfield Park.  Good for compare and contrast.  Okay for Daisy.  Themes for discussion: the author seems to be promoting reincarnation, old Celia comes back as Celia. Emotional infidelity.  Others may like to know, cousins marry each other in this book.   
54: Elbows off the Table, Please ~ Jo Seagar (4) N/F cookbook
55: The Ones ~ Daniel Sweren-Becker (2) For others that like to know content issues: Promotes s3xual activity between highschool teens as acceptable.  Storyline is interesting concept, writing/characters in the story is/are rather formulatic. Not a title Daisy needs to read.
56: Echo ~ Pam Ryan (3young teens audiobook.  The extra musical performances on this are so well done. Modern times Fairy Tale, contains magic and a witch (at the start).  Available for NZ library users through ePukapuka.  Daisy read this as ranked it as a (3)
57:  Julie Biuso's Never-ending Summer  (2)   N/F cookbook
58:  Creating a New Old House ~ Russell Versaci   (4N/F  Interesting!  Library book.
59:  Be Your Own Builder ~ Keith “ The Blockinator”  (4)
60:  Black Potatoes ~ Susan Bartoletti   (3) sober, gritty
61:  The Riddle of the Sands ~ Erskine Childers  (4) (pub 1903) enjoyable ambling mystery.  Skip if you don’t like stories heavy on sailing facts. purchased $0.98 whispersync kindle first, meant the audiobook was $4.49
62:  The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir: A Novel ~ Jennifer Ryan (1audiodrama  see my review here 
63:  Freddy and Ignormus ~ Walter Brooks (3)   child’s audiobook
64:  Introverts in the Church ~ Adam S. McHugh (4)
65:  These Old Shades ~ Georgette Heyer  (4) (relisten. audiobook for gardening tasks) showcases a “fop” of the 1700’s, filled with societal issues of that era.
66: Winter in Thrush Green ~ Miss Read (3)
67:  Aggressive Girls, Clueless Boys ~ Dennis Rainey (4) N/F. Christian perspective
68:  A Question of Honor  bk:5 ~ Charles Todd / narrator Rosalyn Landor (4) underlying theme of children sent home from India to Britian in the late 1800’s and bullied & mistreated by their British carers.  No graphic, or explicit details of the abuse is given. Okay for Daisy at 16yrs.  Would make a good tie-in to a study on Rudyard Kipling, and, for anyone wanting to read The Moonstone.
69:  An Unwilling Accomplice  bk:6 ~ Charles Todd / narrator Rosalyn Landor (2)
70:  The Nazi Hunters ~ Neal Bascomb / narrator Jason Culp  (4)
71:  The Nonesuch ~ Georgette Heyer (3(repeat listen for me) ok for Daisy.  Themes to discuss: a pretty face/ugly character, open communication in relationships.
72:  No Wind of Blame ~ Georgette Heyer (3) (repeat listen for me) ok for Daisy in 2018
73:  Paul Temple & the Margo Affair (BBC Radio Collection) (4) repeat holiday listen
74:  Black Sheep ~ Georgette Heyer (3(repeat listen)

Still working my way through these tiles
A:  Picture Miss Seeton bk.1 ~ Heron Carvic   (3 I selected this audiobook due to Phyllida Nash's narration.- perfect.  The story originally started out with a very 'golden era' mystery feel to it.  Miss Seeton is not golden era, she's an elderly, ladylike, spinster in a more modern time who has psychic drawing, as in artistic, powers,  practices yoga, and has an umbrella as her lucky talisman.  Carvic repeatedly refers to "Alice in Wonderland" throughout the book - I eventually made the connection - which explains why the book has a slightly offbeat, Madhatter, tone to it.  
The ending has that same Madhatter feel to it, it doesn't resolve the question, "What happened to the body in the cupboard?".
Extra content others may like to know about before handing to your teen: Carvic has his villain in the book ruthlessly ending someone's life (I wasn't prepared for it, the author just tossed it down the 'rabbit hole').  The story centres around drugs, their pushers and victims.
I think I'll skip book 2, child killings are a topic I choose to not read about in fiction. 
B:  When Sorry Isn’t Enough ~ Gary Chapman & Jennifer Thomas  N/F. Christian.
C:  In This Grave Hour ~ Jacqueline Winspear  The narrator has a slightly depressive voice so I elect to skip all the repeat references to (the years back) tragic death of her husband and a subsequent miscarriage. (The author includes this in every.single.book.  IMO, it’s unnecessary, repetitious detail at this point in the series.) 
D:  The Invisible Child: On Reading and Writing Books for Children ~ Katherine Paterson
E:  The Zookeeper’s Wife ~ Diane Ackerman
F:  Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret ~ Dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor N/F. Christian

08 November 2017

Our Months Ahead ~ Oct til Dec

Regular Blog posting is definitely a back-burner activity for me this year, yet I still keep an updated record, offline, of what we are hoping to achieve each week.
We are currently three weeks ahead with our proposed literature/Church History schedule for books to study/read and Daisy has completed one of her English courses, Essentials in Literature, for this year, and has a few weeks worth of work left to complete on the other one, Essentials in Writing.
Jay is taking a much slower pace with Te Kura (NCEA) based subjects than we had imagined at the beginning of the year due to other educational irons, of his own interest, he has in the fire.
I'm not going to talk much about Te Kura based NCEA courses until we've completed our journey; however, I will say we've been tempted to ditch the whole NCEA, credit collecting, process for Jay a time or two :-P

And as promised, in a previous post, a few pictures of our nosy cows.  Whatever we're doing they want to see or, worse, be involved in it.
Ringside seat.  The neighbours steers rush to the fence to see what we're doing
The electric fence is the only thing keeping our calves from getting VERY close.
L. Mozart,  R.Mocha
L. Beethoven,  R. Bach.  Yes, all our cattle have names.

Scheduled Learning (updating as time allows)
The Book of Acts 

Book Basket for Oct-Dec
The Abolition of Man  ~ Lewis  (audio) 
The Misanthrope ~ Moliere   (1666)  (audio)
Stories ~ C.S Lewis
Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques cover art
Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques ~ The Great Course (audi0.  we purchased this from audible as one of their daily deal offers.)

Church, Literature, & Book Basket
Book Basket for Oct-Dec:  
The Church Ages
Book of Proverbs ~ KJV Life Application Study Bible
Leaders and Misleaders ~ Van Heerden  (business. NZ)
Image result for margin swenson
Margin ~ Swenson  (business. Christian)
Three Men on The Bummel ~  Jerome  (humour)

Audio’s schedule to listen to Oct-Dec:
Sparkling Cyanide cover art

Church History & Geography    
Rose Book of Charts      p. 46  AD1900 

History, Literature, & Book Basket: 
Book Basket For Oct-Dec:
Bible study with mum, continue
The Church Ages
Three Men in a Boat ~ Jerome
The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn ~ Hoobler

Oct-Dec Free Reading/audios:
the following titles are all very light reading; as Daisy is neck deep in reading and fact compiling, for a research paper
Image result for journey under warning
Journey Under Warning ~ Locke
Young Pioneers ~ Lane
Prisoner B-3087 ~ Alan Gratz   (available thru NZ  e.pukapuka)

Audio’s scheduled to listen to Oct -Dec:
The Three Musketeers ~ Dumas  1625+    switched book to audio.  Purchase $0.00 kindle first and get the audiobook read by John Lee for $0.99 
Mrs Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha ~ Gilman    continuation with our worldview study:  others may like to know this title includes psychics, Zen Buddhism, fame & multiple marriages, terrorists
Sherlock Holmes, unabridged, mysteries (various)  Daisy's sweet friend, Fleur, got Daisy interested in listening to Sherlock Holmes' (non-dramatised) stories again.  They've been card crafting while they listen.


04 November 2017

Critter Picture Post Oct 2017 ~ Cute Girl Lamb Included

I asked Rebekah if she could take some more pictures of her family's cute lamb for others to enjoy too:
Here is that adorable Girl Lamb a bit older and full of lamb styled mischief ♥
The belt that was holding her jumper on in these photos now fits as her collar (which is what it was designed for).
Too Cute!
Shrubs and rose leaves tastes SOOOO good
A kiss for the mower
Sadly, the Lamb cuteness ends there.  What follows are just pictures of a few of our pets n critters. 
Leroy, our Bichon, smiles for the camera
Chess, Seal Point Burmese. My human hops out, I jump in. Bliss

Our lambs love to play "king of the castle' on this dirt mound
Leroy waiting for his lick at the milk bowl.  Elsie purposely goes slow!