"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage."
--Martin Luther

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Own the Most Books From

It's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and we're posting about the authors that we have the most books from.  I guess that should be "authors from which we own the most books", but that sounds awkward, so I'll go ahead with my possibly poor grammar.  :)  This was a fairly easy week, since it only required counting, but I had to decide whether Kindle copies counted or not.  I decided that I'd only have authors on the list if I have paper copies of their books, because often I binge-buy Kindle books, especially free ones, without reading them... but if I already had a few paper books by an author, I could throw the Kindle books into the list as well.  Without further ado:

1.  C.S. Lewis Technically, I only own three books by him, but one is all seven of the Narnia books in one volume, and another is The Signature Classics, which consists of seven non-fiction classics, so that takes Lewis to the top of the list.

2.  J.K. Rowling All seven HP books, plus Prisoner of Azkaban in German and Russian.  Yes, I know.  I have actually read the German one, but the Russian translation will probably take me the rest of my life to read.  Oh, and I have The Cuckoo's Calling on my Kindle.

3.  L.M. Montgomery All eight of the Anne of Green Gables books, and I may have a set of the Emily of New Moon series in my childhood bedroom too.

4.  Jane Austen All six of her standard canon.  Surprising no one.

5.  Margaret Atwood:  Six books.  Bonus points:  Two of them are signed by the author.  [Insert fangirl swoon.]

6.  Milan Kundera:  Five books, courtesy of my high school obsession.

7.  Charles Dickens I have three of his books in paper form, and two more on my Kindle.  I used to have more, but I think I gave away my copy of Nicholas Nickleby a while back.

8.  John Piper:  Again, I have three hard copies and two on my Kindle.

9.  Francine Rivers I have the first two of the Mark of the Lion series, plus Redeeming Love, and another book on my Kindle.

10.  J.D. Salinger Three books.

It actually surprised me how few books I had from most authors; however, I've moved many times over the last 10 years, so I ended up selling and giving away quite a lot of books, and I currently rely heavily on the public library to keep up my reading habit.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Top Ten Characters to Have on a Deserted Island

I've been on a brief hiatus, but am back now linking up again with The Broke and the Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday.  This week we're talking about characters we'd like to have with us on a deserted island.  I have limited (read: no) survival skills, so a lot of my choices are people who would keep me from perishing.  Here goes:

For Survival:
1.  Jean Valjean from Les Misérables, because of his super-human strength.

2.  Hermione from the Harry Potter series.  Not only is she an amazingly talented witch, but she's level-headed and has survival skills.  Maybe she could conjure up one of those expanding tents...

3.  Katsa from Graceling.  She's gifted with survival.

4.  Robinson Crusoe for the experience (though I've never actually read the book).

5.  Lauren from The Parable of the Sower.  She is tough as nails and knows how to survive in harsh places.

6.  Kristy Thomas from the Baby-Sitters Club series.  She has big ideas and is a bit bossy.  I feel like she'd keep this group of people in line.

For Companionship:
7.  Marmee from Little Women.  She can take care of me and encourage me to be a better person.

8.  Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter series, to keep Hermione happy and to make us all laugh.

9.  Thursday Next from the series by Jasper Fforde.  She can go into all the books of the world and keep us entertained.

10.  Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice to be my friend and give me someone to talk to.  Plus I think she'd enjoy the adventure and all the walking.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

I've Got the Fever....

...WM Fieber that is!  I love this German term, which translates as "World Cup Fever".  I am a World Cup junkie, and have been for well over a decade.  International soccer is my drug of choice, and I am unashamedly addicted.

Why do I love World Cup so much?
1.  I love the sport of soccer.  I am amazed by the athleticism of these men, who can run in terrible heat for 90+ minutes: The quick bursts of speed when the match is almost over, the shots with perfect accuracy that sail past several players to hit the back of the net, and the perfect passing.  These are part of what made me fall in love with it.

2.  I love the atmosphere.  Here in Toronto, we have people from all over the world, and I have been seeing flags decked out in flags from so many different countries.  I love the kinship I have when I ask the couriers who come by our work about their teams, and they realize that I am one of them.  I enjoy seeing the crazy fans with their costumes and face paint.  There was a US fan the other day who was sitting in the hot Brazilian sun wearing an eagle head over his face.  I can't imagine how uncomfortable he must have been, but he sure was a fan. 

Fun Spanish fan in Gdansk

3.  It brings back memories.  I've mentioned this before, but the 2002 World Cup was a huge deal for me and my friends when I lived abroad, and I can't sit through a Germany game without wanting to email my old friends and reminisce.  Likewise, Gil and I really cemented our relationship when we went to South Africa for the 2010 cup and had the pleasure of going to Poland for Euro 2012 when we were still hapless newlyweds.

With friends following the 2002 World Cup final.  Yes, we deliberately coordinated our shirts. :)

4.  I love sharing soccer with my husband.  He told me once that before we met, he was talking to a his friend's mom, who he considers kind of a second mother, and he lamented that he wished he could meet a girl who would watch sports with him.  I love that a love of the 'beautiful game' is something we share.  Over the past week, we have spent some lovely days hanging out at home, watching games, and I will miss that when the tournament is over.

If you've been following along here, it's no secret that I've been having a rough time this year.  Somehow, pouring myself into the World Cup has been like a balm for my soul, giving me at least one thing that makes me crazy happy, and reminding me of wonderful experiences in the past.  Have you been watching?  What's your team?  And of course, LOS GEHT'S DEUTSHCLAND!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Classic Books

HAPPY CANADA DAY!  Hope all my Canadian readers are enjoying the celebrations!

There, now that my patriotic enthusiasm is out of the way, we'll move on to another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted as usual by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week was a topic right up my alley; we are talking about our favourite classic books.  If you have been here a while, you know that I read a lot of classics and love them.  This week, the hardest part wasn't filling in the list, but narrowing it down.  I've limited myself to books written before 1900, just because I was running wayyy over 10, and have tried not to use too many by the same author.

1.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen:  Duh.  It's no secret how much I love this one.

2.  Persuasion by Jane Austen:  One of Austen's most adult works... and by adult, I mean more mature and not "adult-themed", of course. ;)

3.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë:  I love Jane.  She's so smart, and feisty, and she stands up for herself.  I could read this book a hundred times.

4.  Bleak House by Charles Dickens:  To be honest, I don't remember much of the plot, other than the fact that I loved it, and it is so far my favourite Dickens.  (My sister-in-law hotly disputes this and says Bleak House was the one Dickens she wanted to throw in the recycling bin after reading, so I guess it's an acquired taste.)

5.  Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy:  I thought this would depress me, but I loved it.  I was probably helped by the fact that I read it in Russia (though not in Russian, because I'd still be reading it now, 11 years later).  I fell in love with Constantine Levin.

6.  North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell:  It's a lot like Pride and Prejudice:  Feisty, thinking heroine meets stubborn and misunderstood man, but with different social issues thrown in.  Loved it.

7.  Middlemarch by George Eliot:  I loved reading a classic book that didn't end once the couples got married, so you could actually see the trials of married life.

8.  Silas Marner by George Eliot:  I bought this book for like $0.50 at a thrift store, and was surprised to find it short, but so touching.  A beautiful story of an unlikely father and daughter.

9.  Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz:  A sweeping story set in first century Rome.

10.  Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy:  I can't remember the whole plot any more, but I adored spirited Bathsheba and gentle Gabriel.  Sadly, this book made me excited to read Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and Tess left me wanting to throw things at the wall.  Oh well!

That's all for today.  I'm off to enjoy a rare day off with my husband by watching soccer and being incredibly lazy. :)