an ever growing pile

It is time once again for the making of my annual “To Read” list. Last year was a complete and utter failure. I only ended up reading about 3 books from my list. It’s sad, really. I remember the days when I would finish 3 three books in a week, let a alone in a year. Growing up really sucks sometimes. This year, however, I don’t have to worry about tests and essays and books only partially read (enough to pass a class.) I am determined to read and read and read, like the good old days.

This year, my sister, Bethany, provided me with the push needed to get back in the saddle. She challenged me, along with two of our other sisters, to one of those ready-made reading lists that can be found on Facebook or Pinterest. You know the ones I mean. They provide a list of categories, leaving it up to the participants to find books that fit.

There are plenty of books I could choose from. The real difficulty is narrowing it down. I have an ever growing pile of novels that are waiting to be read. I’ll probably die surrounded by piles books I meant to read. For most categories, I was able to find a book (or books) in a breeze. Others were not so easy. Do you know how difficult it is to find a book with my name in it? Pretty hard. Much harder than I thought it would be, at least. And harder more to find one that I might actually want to sit down and read. As for the “book set somewhere you’ll be visiting this year…”

They want me to fail, don’t they?

Wish me luck.

  • A book you read in school:
    • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
  • A book from your childhood:
    • The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  • A book published over 100 years ago: 
    • Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
  • A book published in the last year: 
    • Fear the Drowning Deep, Sarah Glen Marsh
  • A non-fiction:
    • The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis
  • A book written by a male author:
    • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Frank L. Baum
  • A book written by a female author:
    • Austenland, Shannon Hale
  • A book by someone who isn’t a (professional) writer:
    • Lenten Lands: My Childhood with Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis, Douglas Gresham
  • A book that became a film:
    • Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
  • A book published in the 20th century:
    • The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea #2), Ursula K. Le Guin
  • A book set in your hometown/region:
    • Where the Heart Is, Billie Letts
  • A book with someone’s name in the title:
    • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E. L. Konigsburg
  • A book with a number in the title:
    • A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  • A book with a character with your first name:
    • Ulysses, James Joyce
  • A book someone else recommended to you:
    • The Schwa Was Here, Neal Shusterman
  • A book with over 500 pages:
    • Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell
  • A book you can finish in a day:
    • Love and Gelato, Jenna Evans Welch
  • A previously banned book:
    • The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
  • A book with a one-word title:
    • Phantastes, George MacDonald
  • A book translated from another language: 
    • Beowulf, Translated by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • A book that improve a specific area of your life:
    • All Groan Up, Paul Angone
  • A memoir or journal:
    • Night, Elie Wiesel
  • A book written by someone younger than you:
    • ???
  • A book set somewhere you’ll be visiting this year:
    • ???
  • An award-winning book:
    • The Light Between Oceans, M. L. Stedman
  • A self-published book:
    • Eragon, Christopher Paolini



so many books, so little time

Every year, as a sort of New Years Resolution, I make a list of books that I fully intend on reading that year. Sadly, most of the books on the new list are the exact same as the ones on the list from the year before. Although I read as often as I can, what with school, work, and other “adult responsibilities,” I’m constantly adding new books to my list, causing the books that have been on my reading list for ages get pushed back and forgotten. At least, until the New Year rolls around again. I’m also guilty of reading and re-reading the books I already know by heart when I should be reading new books. It’s a problem. It really is.

But, this year I am determined to cross some of those seemingly permanent books off of my reading list. You’d think it would be a breeze for a book-a-holic like myself, considering there are only twenty-five books on this years attempt for mental expansion (Sorry. I was trying to be fancy. It didn’t work, did it?). However, it is also my senior year of college, and I’m sure to be busy with lots of homework and trying not to fail my last two semesters. And, frankly, books can be quite distracting. They suck me in like the creepy television in the Poltergeist sucks in that little girl. Except, I’m not sucked into some far-off dimensional space filled with slimy ghosts. The far-off dimensional space I’m pulled into is much more pleasant. Nonetheless, it’s quite a trick trying to pull myself back into the world of class readings, grammar homework, and term papers. However, I will do my best to balance these two worlds.

For those of you who are curious about which books I plan on reading, or are looking for a book to read yourself, you can find them, with their authors, below:

2016 Reading List!

  • All Groan Up: Searching for Self, Faith, and a Freaking Job! (Paul Angone)

         Considering the impending doom of my not-so-distant future of self-dependency, this       book seems wildly appropriate to add to my list. Also, I’ve heard that the author has a humor sarcastic enough to match my own. We’ll see.

  • Mansfield Park (Jane Austen)

          What can I say? It’s a classic. It’s also the only the only Jane Austen novel I have yet to read. It’s also been on my reading list for quite a while.

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum)

          I grew up watching the movie with the creepy munchkins and the oddly pink fairy woman. How much weirder can the book be?

  • Agnes Grey (Anne Bronte)
  • City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) (Cassandra Clare)

          After hearing so much hype about these books from the internet, I thought I might as well give it a shot. I mean, I’m not too old to be reading a book about a bunch of teenagers, am I? (Oh, and, in case you were wondering, I’m already on the sixth and final book. What can I say?)

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman)
  • Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell)
  • The Fault in Our Stars (John Green)

           Considering how much I cried at this movie, I’m pretty sure the pages of this book are going to be ruined by the time I finish it.

  • Lenten Lands: My Childhood with Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis (Douglas Gresham)
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (E. L. Konisburg)

           I remember listening to my sister reading this out loud to me when I was a child. I can’t wait to read it for myself. Who hasn’t wondered what it would be like to live in a museum?

  • Go Set A Watchman (Harper Lee)
  • Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy #1) (C. S. Lewis)
  • The Screwtape Letters (C. S. Lewis)
  • Kiss of Deception (Remnant Chronicles #1) (Mary E. Pearson)

           Have you started to notice how many of these books are the first in a series? I may have a dilemma. Ah, well.

  • Phantastes (George MacDonald)
  • Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside, and The Road to Yesterday (L. M. Montgomery)

           These three novels are the last in the world of Anne of Green Gables and have been patiently waiting to be read since I was in high school.

  • As Sure as the Dawn (Mark of the Lion Trilogy, #3) (Francine Rivers)
  • Lineage of Grace Series (Francine Rivers)
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer)

            My favorite kind of society.

  • Dracula (Bram Stoker)
  • Ballet Shoes (Noel Streatfield)
  • The Silmarillion (J. R. R. Tolkien)

            Now, this one is the big kahuna (that’s a saying, right?). This book has been on my reading list for so long I can’t remember when I originally added it on. I’m both dreading and anticipating finally reading it.

  • Mr. Bliss (J. R. R. Tolkien)

I don’t know about you, but I think that this seems like a pretty fantastic reading list. Now, off I go. Au revoir, my fellow book lovers!


october photo challenge update

Good evening, blog world!

Well, I am all ready for Fall: my room is littered with leaves (fake ones, of course); some friendly scarecrows and Halloween ghosts; and plenty of pumpkins. Fall break is coming up next week, and I already have a list of projects and fun things planned, which I will write more about later. For now, I found a small break from the piles of homework and studying, so I thought I would give you an update on my October Photo Challenge. Enjoy!

P.S. If you are just now tuning in, my photos for the first four days of October are in my last post, Where there are Octobers.

October 5-8October 9-10

*Click on pictures to see a larger image.


flashback to the early 2000s

Not only is today “Flashback Friday,” it is also the last Friday of summer vacation. That’s right. Next week I will be re-entering the world of late nights, early(ish) mornings, papers, exams, coffee runs, and moments of near insanity. As I prepare for this coming semester, both physically and mentally, I can’t help but think of the good ‘ole days in elementary school. Back then, the most I had to worry about was learning my letters and making sure not to pee my pants in front of my class. Or, bursting into tears because I unexpectedly spotted my kindergarten crush in the school library. (Yes, that happened). Anyways, back to the point, and away from embarrassing stories about my childhood: Here is a list of some of the things I miss most from my pre-college days. Let the flashback begin!

  1. New School Supplies

Yes, yes, I know. This isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but I loved buying new school supplies. It took a little bit of the sting out of having to go back to school. I couldn’t help but admire my new collection of crayons, markers, glue sticks, and #2 pencils. I also couldn’t help but look on with envy as my classmates pulled out brand new multi-colored push up pens, Five Star notebooks, Lisa Frank folders, Elmer’s School Glue GEL, and the amazing 64 pack of Crayola crayons out of their JanSport backpacks. My mom wasn’t a huge fan of buying the “cool” stuff. So many years wasted.

  1. Recess

This one is no surprise. Who doesn’t miss recess? 30 minutes of fresh air, “cops and robbers,” swings, and running away from the boys who liked to pull your ponytail.

  1. Scholastic Book Fairs

Book Fair week was the best week of school ever. I would begin counting down the days until the Book Fair weeks in advance. I remember walking into the library on the first day of the fair with butterflies in my stomach. I absolutely loved breathing in the smell of new books and browsing over all the latest detective gear for kids, before going home and begging my mom to give me some money to support my book addiction. Ah, the days of the Scholastic Book Fair. Those were some of the best days of my childhood. I still have (and read) some of the books I bought there.

  1. Field Trips

I can’t help but miss the exciting days when my class would take a day to go to the Oklahoma Wildlife Refuge Center, or tour the Braums Family Dairy Farm, or walk down to the Tom Stafford Air and Space Museum (located in my hometown). I could’ve done without the long rides on our dirty, smelly school busses, but I loved going on field trips. I felt so grown up, going away on a trip without my parents, and with a killer brown bag lunch (Gatorade and Pringles? Heck yes.)

  1. Super Kids Day

Oh, Super Kids Day. A wonderful day with no classes, tons (or more accurately, tens) of fun activities and contests held on the playground, and the best game of tug o’ war a kid could ask for. I don’t know if every elementary school has this, but I hope they do. This day was one of the best days of school, and a perfect way to end the school year.

  1. Pajama Day

On this day, not only did we get to wear our pajamas to school, we also got to spend the entire day sitting, or lying, on the ground with our pillows, blankies, and a good book, not to mention the wonderful snacks they would sell in the cafeteria. The nerd in me loved these days. I got to spend the whole day reading. In my pajamas. At school. That was the life.

And, that is the end of my walk down memory lane, at least for today. If this post made you smile, or brought forth some of your own memories from school, I’m glad. Now, it’s back to preparing for classes on Monday.

Pretty in Pink <3 this will basically be me on the first day back to college

(Undeniable truth from the classic 80s movie, Pretty in Pink)


hello world!

Hello, my (hopefully not imagined) readers!

Welcome to my very first blog post! If you have just happened upon this blog by chance, and have no idea what on earth it is about, have no worries! Above, I have provided some handy dandy pages describing who I am, and what I am doing here in the blog-o-sphere.

Instead of writing an introductory blog and going on and on about me, myself and this blog, I am going to jump right in and talk about something that I am very passionate about: books!


As you may have expected, and as you will discover as I continue writing these posts, I am a huge nerd. One of my favorite pastimes is reading, and some of my favorite things to read are the Lord of Rings and The Hobbit, written by the legendary author, J.R.R. Tolkien. As I was cruising the Facebook this afternoon, I noticed an article on my page mentioning Tolkien. So, of course, I had to stop and take a look, and I am very much glad I did. The article announced the publication of a previously unknown work of fantasy by none other than the fantastic Mr. Tolkien himself! Coincidentally, my sister, Shannon, posted this very same article on my Facebook page not an hour later. According to the article, it is the first piece of prose fiction written by Tolkien, and is the “powerful story of a doomed young man who is sold into slavery and who swears revenge on the magician who killed his father.”

So, as a token (ba dum tss) of my excitement, I would like to dedicate this first blog post to J.R.R. Tolkien, and to encourage all of you to take a look at Tolkien’s published works and his newly discovered story, The Story of Kullervo, after it is published on August 27th. I know that I am going to grab a copy as soon I can.

That concludes my very first post. Hopefully I didn’t bore you too much. I am nervously excited to see where this blog takes me, and I hope you are too!