Friday, July 18, 2014

On My Bookshelf: Children's Classics

Previous On My Bookshelf Posts:
Fairytale Retellings
Historical Fiction
Science Fiction

High Fantasy

 C. S. Lewis once said, A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” I definitely agree with him on that. Children's stories can be read and loved by everyone.

 Here are some of my favorites.

Five Children and It by E. Nesbit

   E. Nesbit is one of the authors that got me into reading. My sister had a bunch of them on her bookshelf, and one day I decided to pick up Five Children and It. Before long I moved on to devour all of her other books.

  E. Nesbit's books are brilliant - they're funny, heartwarming, and magical. Also they are just so British!

  Five Children and It trilogy is a favorite, but I also love The House of Arden, The Enchanted Castle, and The Railway Children.

  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
 Like a lot of people, Little Women was a favorite growing up. I still adore it now.  It's the loveliest story in the world, and you can't help but fall in love with all the characters. 

 Louisa May Alcott's other books are must-reads, too. Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom are great.

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

 "One can argue over the merits of most does not argue about The Wind in the Willows." - A. A. Milne.

 Wind in the Willows is one of the sweetest little books I've ever read. It's silly, it's random, and it has awesome characters. 

 The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
 The Princess and the Goblin is beautifully written, and it has such a mysterious (verging on creepy, really) plot. 

  "Her face was fair and pretty, with eyes like two bits of night sky, each with a star dissolved in the blue."

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

 The Secret Garden has been a favorite story of mine ever since I first listened to the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre version when I little. It's such a good book. A Little Princess is wonderful, too.

       The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Little Prince makes itself out to be a simple children's story, but it's so much more than that under the surface. It's a beautiful little book.

 "Of course, an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you. But my rose, all on her own, is more important than all of you together, since she's the one I've watered."

 Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

  This one is one of my absolute favorite books. You can't help but love this story and all the characters - especially Anne.  

 The rest of the series is incredible, too, as well as Montgomery's other books. 

Do you still like reading children's books? What's your favorite children's classic?


Friday, July 11, 2014

We Take a Bath // UK, Part 2

 On the second day of our UK holiday, we headed for Bath.

 Honestly, I didn't have a clue what Bath would be like beforehand. All I knew is that there was this really cool curved street where they filmed Persuasion and that there was probably lots of baths all over the place. That's pretty much it.

Some Things I Learned about Bath:
- It's a good-sized city. Population: 88, 859
- The city was once a spa resort for Romans. They took baths and hung out with their buddies and sacrificed livestock. Fun!

|the main Roman Bath. It's so beautiful!|
|Bath Abbey|
This place look familiar at all? Hint, hint:

|who would not want to live here?|
|queue curved Persuasion street!|

 Us girls got to go to The Jane Austen Centre! It's a sweet little museum about Jane Austen, who spent several years of her life in Bath and set two of her novels there. I promise we didn't go to the UK in order to be total Jane Austen stalkers it just sort of happened.

   |left to right - myself, Rachael (my brother's girlfriend), some random person (?), my mom, my sister.|
 And that was the end of our time in Bath! On our way home, we stopped at a tiny little village called Castle Combe.

It was the darned. cutest. thing. ever.


(Also, here's Tom Hiddleston. At Castle Combe. Because War Horse was filmed there. kthanksbye.)

Question time: would you rather live in a city like Bath, or a little village like Castle Combe?


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I Don't Meet Mr. Darcy // UK, Part 1

 Waking up at 5am is not on my list of favorite things.

 That being said, two Saturdays ago I had to wake up at that unearthly hour of the morning, and I didn't mind at all. I was way too excited to mind.

 My Level of Excitement Regarding My Trip to England:
- About as excited as Mrs. Bennet was when she discovered that Mr. Bennet had indeed written to Mr. Bingley.
- More excited than Pippin was when he discovered that it came in pints. 
- Not quite as excited as the Ninth Doctor was when he realized that just this once, everybody lives.

  So: we got up, drove to the port in Dublin, and got on a ferry.

| I thought this was our ferry, so I took a bunch of pics, but it turned out this wasn't even the right one...|

  After only about 2 hours, we reached the port at Holyhead, Wales, and began our looooong car trip to the cottage (located about 50 miles from London) we'd be staying at for the week. Long car trips are hard, but we did take quite a nice detour: it was a place called Chatsworth House. A.K.A, Mr. Darcy's home, Pemberley, from the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and BBC's Death Comes to Pemberley.  

  I guess it was a kind of nice house.

|Myself, my mom, and my sister, Heather.|

 I was considering just staying there forever, but I decided that there was probably more things to see in England first.

 After that, we kept driving until we finally reached our cute little cottage in a place called Streatley. Emphasis on cute. The village was cute. The cottage was cute. This hill was...cute.

|totes cute hill|

 And that ended our first day! I'm really excited to share more about the trip. It was probably one of the best weeks I've ever had.

Also, please tell me: Who is your favorite Mr. Darcy? Colin Firth? Matthew MacFadyen? Mine is Colin Firth...but I think we all know who the real Mr. Darcy is.

Til' next time! (And I know. I can't stop watching that gif either.)