Saturday, October 19, 2013

I Cannot Live Without Books

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."
~Jane Austen

I really, really love blogging.  It's one of the best things that's ever happened to me, truthfully.  Don't worry, I'm not going off on another tangent about why I love blogging so much-- you can read this post if you want a little more sap and slop about all that-- but I did want to preface this post with a wee disclaimer so there are no broken hearts or anything once I've said my say.

See, I'm taking a blogging hiatus for the month of November, and it's not because I don't love you guys anymore.  It's really because of two reasons-- the first is that I want to do NaNoWriMo this year and the second is that I want more time for reading.

Yeah, I love books better than my blog, deal with it.
...Okay, well, maybe I love them equally.

At any rate, lately I've been feeling that I spend wayyyy too much time on the computer and don't take enough time for reading, which is pathetic considering I'm now a high school graduate and technically DO have time for all the reading I neglected during my junior and senior years of high school. (Well, actually I read a great deal during those years but a lot of it was Required and not necessarily Desired.)  And though I do love reading other people's blog posts and writing my own and wasting time on Etsy and Pinterest and Goodreads, it will do me good to take a month off from all that.  This is going to be a full-on Internet break, you see.  Except for email.  I shan't neglect my friends THAT much.  :D

So this post's purpose is twofold-- first to alert y'all to the fact that I'll be disappearing from the blogging world on November first (I'll catch up on all of your posts in December, hopefully!) and secondly to ask you for book recommendations.  Because hey, if I'm going to do a boatload of reading in November, as I hope to do, I want to have a good long list to draw from.  And that's where you come in.

If you could recommend to me any two books that you've loved, which ones would they be?

Go for it in the comments-- and if you mention a title I've read already, we can have a nice little chat about it. And if you want me to return the favor and recommend books to you, I'd be happy to do so.  Only until the 31st, of course.  After that, I'm outta here.

But never fear, I shall return. To haunt you.  Once December gets here.  The Ghost of the Christmas Present, heh heh heh.

...Okay, that was dumb.

P.S. And I'm not actually putting my blog on hold until November begins, so you can expect a couple more posts before this month is out.  I just wanted to write this now so if anyone wants to recommend books, they can do so before I gooooo nowwwww and leeeeeeeave youuuuuuu.


Miss Melody Muffin said...

Ah, yes, I totally understand the 'too much time on the computer and not enough time reading'. I try to cram my reading in throughout the day- in-between everything else, and thus do both books and computer... but I often don't succeed as well as I'd like. *sigh*

Now, I shall have to think about what two books to recommend. I have sooo many that I LOVED. *goes off to put on thinking cap* I shall return with my recomendations. :D (And, I'm very glad to hear you will still be emailing.)

klgazo said...

Yay! As of now I'm first to comment. :) I normally don't, but when there's book recommendations to be had....

But only two books? You're cruel, Miss Dashwood. ;)

I can't stick to only two.

The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul is excellent, definitely a heavy theological read, but it changed the way I looked at the entire Old Testament. Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freeman is also delightful. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg is a kids book, but it's just plain fun, and a regular read on long road trips. Killer Angels by Michael Shaara is also a bit heavy, with quite a bit of fighting - it's about Gettysburg, after all - but it's extremely well written and presents both sides rather creatively.

Those are the best I can think of for books you might not have read or heard of before. :)

Melody said...

You know, m'dear, your choices in quotes really leave somewhat to be desired. The one you opened this post with, for instance. I mean... what.


AKA, YOU USED MY FAVORITE QUOTE SQUEEE. (Well, one of them. But possibly very favorite. :D)

Nonsense. Of course you love books better than your blog. I mean, without books, what would you even have to blog about?? O_O

I haven't been doing nearly enough reading either. I'm thinking about having a TV break. (As in, movies and stuff.) Although I suppose that should include internet videos too and... well... you know. :P

Ha, ha ha... you were talking about how many posts there are when you come back after two days. Imagine a month. Good gracious.

I have no book recommendations at present... anything I LOVED, you've already read, except for things from a long time ago and I'm not even sure if I can say I love them anymore because it's been too long. Haha.

I'm VERY glad that you will not be abandoning your email. Heehee. I think I would suffer from withdrawal symptoms. :P Although I shall miss you elsewhere. Sniff. It just won't be as funnn.
Full on except for email... and... ;)

But hey, to make up for not reading your blog posts, since you're doing so much writing I'll have more of thaaat to read, riiiight? :D

Of course, that might actually have more of an impact if I finished what I have right now. (Although as I said, I won't send you more comments till you reply to my old ones. Ha. ;D)

elle alice said...

I just finished "Kisses From Katie", which is amazing! One of the best books I've ever read!

Also, Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love is a gem!

Alexandra said...

I would say whaaaaaat, except that I rarely blog anymore anyway, so I'm not one to judge. :P

Okay, books I've read that I loved... The Guernsey Potato Peel Pie and Literary Society is a GEM. Written in a very Agatha Christie/P.G. Wodehouse style. LOVED it.

I've been woefully behind in reading myself, just started doing more again in the last few weeks. :)

Alexandra said...

Silly me, it's the other way around...Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. :P

Beth Claire said...

Totally understand....this is a very admirable plan!

To Read:
Gone With The Wind (Magaret Mitchell)
Number the Stars (Lois Lowry)

Beth xxx

Natalie said...

A great book is Eloise of Westhaven: Not Just a Kid. I have it reviewed on my blog if you'd like to check it out. I would recommend it to anyone of any age!

Hannah said...

Oh I LOVE giving book recommendations! I actually wrote you a really long list of book recommendations originally but now I've just re-read your post and can see that you only want two recommendations. So with that in mind...

1. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
This is an amazing book. Du Maurier was partly inspired by Jane Eyre when she wrote it and you'll notice that they have some similar elements. I love this book because it's so powerful and suspenseful and gothic and I have so much compassion for the anonymous narrator.

2. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
This book is hilarious! Gibbons wrote it as a parody of the melodramatic, rural-set novels that were popular in her time but a knowledge of those works is by no means essential. I love this book because it's so funny and well-written and it reminds me of Jane Austen. The genre parody reminds me of Northanger Abbey and the heroine reminds me of Emma Woodhouse.

I was also going to recommend Leroux's POTO to you but I'm fairly certain that you said you were planning on reading that anyway? I'd also recommend Markus Zusak's The Book Thief to you. This isn't a cheat because I'm not actually recommending that you read it over November! :D I'm just recommending that you read it before February. because that's when the film adaptation comes out. I don't know about you but I always try to read books before I see their adaptations. Anyway TBT is a beautiful and deeply moving read and it's set during WWII. And it's got Death as a narrator! It's been a while since I read the book but I'm going to give it a re-read before the film comes out.

Emma Jane said...

I think it is very admirable of you to take a break from internet. I've actually been comtemplating taking a break from blogging myself for the past month, but then I keep changing my mind. : ) But then, I don't really spend a whole lot of time on the internet anyway so it's not as if I'm missing out on doing other more important things. I have grown to love blogging, but I will always love books more. : )
As for recommendations, I have quite a few. First of all, I highly recommend anything by Lynn Austin and Linda Byler; they are my two favorite authors and I absolutely adore their books. And I think everyone ought to read True Grit at least once in their life, seeing as it is one of the most amazing books ever! Another one of my favorite authors is Julie Klassen, and I think you would really like her books. She writes Christian regency romances, kind of in the style of Miss Austen. It's not a though she copies her or anything, but you can kind of tell that's where a great deal of her inspiration is coming from. : P
Hmmmm....what else? Oh! I almost forgot! Christy by Catherine Marshall is another of my favorites, and it's one of the most powerful books I've ever read. The TV series from the '90s is very good as well. I highly recommend both!


Anonymous said...

I'm not a voracious reader, but it still seems cruel to me that you would make us choose just two books to recommend! I could probably go on all day!

I am hoping you will not object if I recommend two Christian classics and two secular classics!

For Christian classics, I would recommend Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss and The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer.

In the area of secular classics, I really enjoy Daddy-Long Legs by Jean Webster and Emily of Deep Valley by Maud Hart Lovelace.

-Eric Faith

BatZion Francesca said...

Book recommendations... hmmm... only two... this could be hard... ;)
Okay, I second those who recommended 'Rebecca' and 'The Book Thief'... Good books. Though not warm and fuzzy. Still, good doesn't have to be warm and fuzzy. :)

My first recommendation is 'The Tenant of Wildfell Hall' by Anne Bronte. I loved that one.
Second... erm... let's break free from classics for a moment... 'Like Dandelions Dust' by Karen Kingsbury. Tear-jerking with warm fuzzies. :)

Good luck with NaNoWriMo! I plan to do that as well... just not entirely sure how it'll go. :/


Kiri Liz said...

Understand you completely, Amy. Since I'm planning on doing Nano again this year, I'm stepping back from involved posts and simply doing the 30 Day Middle-Earth Challenge that Melody and I are hosting. Sure, it's lazy blogging at its best... or worst, depending on how you look at it, but hey! Nano only comes once a year. I mean, the real Nano. I've done the 50K challenge in other months, but there's something special about doing it during the actual month.

Okey dokey, now I'm rambling. We will definitely miss you next month, but I sincerely hope that you have a marvelous break. Oh, and be sure to tell us all about the wonderful books you read! :D

Two book recommendations??? Hmm... don't know if I could pick just two. Do you have a specific genre of book that you were looking for? I'd say all things Dickens because those are my absolute favorite books right now. Yet, knowing you, you've probably read them all or have them on your to-read-soon list. Umm... in adventure, I'd say either Regina Silsby's Secret War (about a girl during the American Revolution) by Thomas J. Brodeur (there's also a sequel called Regina Silsby's Phantom Militia), or Isle of Swords (and its sequel Isle of Fire) by Wayne Thomas Batson which is a really good series about pirates. Or..... you simply must read Joan Bassington-French's Christmas at the Tittletons. No, I'm not biased because I happen to know the author, but it is an excellent holiday murder mystery! I'd also say I love The Princess and the Sage and Only a Novel, but I'm pretty sure you've already read those two books. ;)

Elisabeth Grace Foley said...

Two? Just two? Well, I see why; if you didn't put some kind of a limit you'd be swamped. :) So I'll stick to two. Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley—a splendid adventure of Elizabethan English explorers. One of my favorite novels. And my favorite read of this year, Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart—gorgeously written mystery/suspense/touch-of-romance from the 1950s, set in France.

Lily of the Valley said...

Hello Amy!

I could not pass up an opportunity to recommend two books, and to say 'ello, of course! ;)

So, my two book recommendations:

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim is positively delightful. This book stole my heart not only because I loved the authoress's style, but because she has such an insight into human nature. I do hope you enjoy it as much as I!

Second, I suggest The Shuttle, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. While the story was a little hard for me to get into at first, I stuck with it and was very quickly entranced by it. Seriously, I could not set it down - my eyes were riveted to the page! It has a Jane Austen reference, and, in my opinion, the most gorgeous scene at a ball I've ever read.(Not to mention the ending left me feeling hopelessly romantical and satisfied)

If you get to reading these sometime, I would ADORE hearing what you think of them. Happy Autumn!

Jane B said...

Well, I'll miss your posts but yes, it is good to take a break from the internet. It does get kind of possessive!

Now for two book recommendations. Only two! Ok, so it's more like two author recommendations but...

1. The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery. I love anything and everything by LMM but this one has to be my favourite. It is classed as one of LMM's "adult" books but it's really not much different from Rilla or something like that. Basically old maid Valancy breaks free from family & societal restrictions and lives how she always wanted too. Not much more to say apart from that I just love this book! You can find it free online here ( (And A Tangled Web by LM, is also just as good [yes, sorry, I slipped in another recommendation!])

2. Georgette Heyer: any of her books but my favourites are "Cotillion", "Arabella" and "Friday's Child". If you love Jane Austen, you'll appreciate Georgette Heyer. She writes delightfully light & witty romances and her regency era research has been done very thoroughly. I can't recommend her highly enough!

Anonymous said...

We'll miss you but reading is infinitely better than the internet! And now everyone is taking my recommendations so I'll have to put my thinking cap on!

1. Five Children and It by E. Nesbit. Yes, it's a children's book but delightfully written and a classic that I'd recommend to anyone. Any of her children's books are great but this is one of my favourites.

2. William by Richmal Crompton. Yes, it's another children's book but hey what's wrong with children's books, especially classic ones? Crompton's William series are set in England in the 1900s (1920s - 1950s) about a very typical British family with a very typical eleven year old boy (the protagonist) and his two older siblings. Hilariously written and a favourite childhood series of mine :)

oh and I must second Eric Faith's recommendation of Daddy-Long-Legs and Jane B's Georgette Heyer recommendation (try Arabella to begin with!). You'd love love love those books! :)

Have fun on your hiatus and write some reviews of the books you do read!

- The Elf

Ginny@RandomActsofMomness said...

"I Capture the Castle" by Dodie Smith. It features the most delightful heroine since Anne of Green Gables, and it's my desert-island novel.

I also echo commenter above who raved about "Nine Coaches Waiting" by Mary Stewart. Her novels are faaaaaaabulous. You can't go wrong with "Nine Coaches," or "The Ivy Tree" or "Madam, Will You Talk?"

Happy reading!

Hamlette said...

You're doing Nano! Cool! I've done it six times and won it 4 times., and it is always fun. I'm not participating "for real" this time, but I'll be using the time to finish off my current novel and work on some short story ideas that have been rattling around in my head a while. If you want to be Nano friends, I'm Hamlette there too -- friend me if you want :-) And good luck!

Alicia Showalter said...

Oh -that's great that you are taking the time to focus on reading and Nano - but I can say that I will miss reading your posts! :) Oh I have a lot of "good reads" as you know... but I am unsure of any that you haven't read already.... Oh dear! I can say though that Stepping Heavenward was a really good book - Jenny F. lent it to me awhile back. It is very thought-provoking. Hmmm I honestly can't think about a book to recommend to you - because most of my favorite books you have already read (or recommended to ME)... Jane Eyre?? haha :D How about a movie.. I told you this already but we could watch The Man From Snowy River or even Ever After (the good version) together? Let me know if you discover any new and amazing reads. I am so behind in my reading, it is so depressing! School and work take up so much time... ya know how it is! I must make time for it though. Same with journaling... ;) Well, anyway sorry for the long and rambling comment - enjoy the Fall weather with a good book in hand! Hope to see you soon. ;)

Hamlette said...

Forgot I was going to recommend a couple books! I love The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer. Both are period pieces, the first set in the 1910s and the other in the 1940s. Apprentice is about a teenage girl who meets Sherlock Holmes, and Society is about English people who have survived WWII.

Joan said...

I think your idea is a good one. Maybe I should stop getting on the internet as often as I do. Some of the time I do have a good excuse though. I'm taking some online classes for school this year.

Have fun reading!

Katy-Anne said...

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. 'Nuff said. Methinks you have probably already read it.

And 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. This is one amazing book that everyone should read. It's that good.

Enjoy your month of reading/writing!

Robert said...

I also agree with the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society book.
I would pick Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson and The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye.

Raechel said...

Aww, you're doing Nano? I always wished I could do that...but when I tried, I failed, and now I am too busy working on completing my very first novel. So, another Nano year gone by and I still have not done it. Oh well -someday!

And books!! Gotta love books. I saw someone already recommened "Kisses from Katie" by Katie Davis and "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers (both very good), so I shall recommend two other books...

"Pearl in the Sand" by Tessa Afshar (ALL three of her books are AMAZING!!)
"North and South" by Elizabeth Gaskell - English piece. Amazing BBC movie and book. Loooove it :) (And Mr. Thornton. *Cough cough*)
Happy reading and writing!!