Monday, March 21, 2011

What's On My Nightstand - March

What's On Your NightstandTime again to check in the Nightstand to see how much progress we've made and to set reading goals for the following month. This meme, by 5 Minutes for Books, really is fun. I find it a good way to keep myself on track and set reading priorities for each month.

Last month I said I wanted to read the following:

Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. I was planning on reading it alongside my friend Sky but I just couldn't do it. I got a few chapters in, my eyes were glazing over, I was bored enough to not want to read anything at all and I think I just need to firmly admit and vow unto myself that I do not like Dickens and have no intention of ever reading him. I glanced back to see what happened the last time I tried to read Dickens and I see I fared no better. We are just not made for one another, he and I. (For the record, Sky didn't make it through either. So I don't feel so very alone. Our respective life circumstances right now make us more keen on light and fluffy fiction than .... well, Dickens.)

The Collected Tales of Nurse Matilda. (Linked to my review.) I did read all three books and disliked all three books about equally well. (No, perhaps I disliked the third the most because it was just more of the same.) I also watched the first Nanny McPhee movie and tried to watch the second (linked to my thoughts) and failed there too.

In Japan the Crickets Cry. (Linked to my review.) Didn't like that one either.

Apparently March was a strike-out month where as the ol' nightstand was concerned! Ah well. So we move on!

In April I plan on having a baby so I'm not quite sure what all will be read. I can only guarantee the following, as I have them in my hot little hands and am already underway with them:

Following the success of Jane Austen Ruined My Life and Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart (both linked to my reviews), Beth Pattillo is releasing her third book entitled The Dashwood Sisters Tell All. I know I'm not the only one looking forward to this read and I can't wait to share more about it. (I also have a giveaway for this one so stay tuned with happiness and gleeful expectations.)

I'm pretty entrenched in "fiction mode" which is kind of unusual for me, but given the circumstances I feel the most delightfully entertained by it these days. I'd really like to read Her Daughter's Dream, by Francine Rivers.

I borrowed this one from a friend and it's my goal to read and return it before baby arrives.

Lastly, I've been poking my way through (and am continuing to poke along) Wayne Grudem's Countering the Claims of Evangelical Feminism: Biblical Responses to the Key Questions.

This is definitely a book that I've found one must linger in and I'm formulating my thoughts as I go along. I'll talk about it in the future but it is on my Nightstand to be read and digested over the course of a few months. More later.

Beyond that I'm afraid to predict. We'll just see what happens!

Now it's that fun time of the month when I get to hop around and check out what is on everyone else's Nightstands! Happy Reading and see y'all 'round!


Serena said...

I really need to check out the Beth Pattillo books!

I like Dickens, but I've only read his lighter stuff, and only versions with notes! Have you read "A Christmas Carol"? I LOVED it. It's a short one, too, so it's a quick read.

I can't remember if you've mentioned that you haven't read Francine Rivers before, but I wanted to tell you that I HATED "Her Daughter's Dream". HATED it. Have you read the first one?

Carrie said...

I DID like A Christmas Carol. (Brevity. It's a good thing.)

I have read Francine Rivers (a few titles) and did read the first in this new series. Just waiting to finish it up. I'm now excessively curious since you hated it so!!

Janet said...

I looked for Jane Austen Ruined My Life back when you reviewed it, but the library didn't have it. I'm going to check again...

Jennifer said...

I have heard some about these Beth Patillo books. Maybe I'll have to check them out.

I'm sorry you didn't like Dickens. I read A Tale of Two Cities last year or the year before (can't remember which) and really enjoyed it. I'm hoping to read Great Expectations when I get the chance.

Melissa said...

Drats! I knew I shouldn't have looked at your always makes me add to mine! :-)

Unknown said...

Ha ha "I plan to have a baby in April." I'm hoping that yes indeed she does come in April!!

And Dickens and I are not friends either, although I haven't revisited him since high school.

A Faithful Journey said...

I have been wanting to read the Beth Patilloo books since hearing them first mentioned by you! :) This new one sounds just as intriguing!

And I keep hearing SO many postitive reviews about Her Daughters Dream...Need to get to this one as well!

Never read anything by Dickens and not sure I will ever have the desire too! :)

Happy Spring!

Anonymous said...

Okay super intrigued about the Dashwood Sisters book, can't wait to hear what you think of it!

Shonya said...

Chuckle. I had one of those months too--plowing through All the Pretty Horses (don't waste your time!).

I liked that short series by Francine Rivers, did you see my "little" review? giggle

The series wasn't as good as some of her others, but I think it's an insightful look at the mother/daughter relationship and the cycles families can perpetuate.

Lisa notes... said...

Try the audio version if you ever decide to pick up A Tale of Two Cities again. The great accents were enough to pull me through. So excited that it’s almost time for your baby!

Anonymous said...

I was all set to tell you that you must read the first book in Francine River's Marta's Legacy series before reading "Her Daughter's Dream". I loved it because the storytelling is so powerful, but be prepared to plunge in for a serious ride. There is no humor or light relief at all. I found it so real and true of relationships that it almost made me uncomfortable. And there are certain other uncomfortable parts as well. So worth the read, though, in my opinion.

Barbara H. said...

Aw -- so sad about Dickens! I mentioned I was planning to reread A Tale of Two Cities. It's one of my favorites, but it has been a long time since I've read Dickens and I am wondering if I will get bogged down in the language or excessive (for our day) descriptions. We'll see.

I do understand about wanting to read lighter fiction, though, at times. Impending childbirth is one of those times!

I enjoyed Her Mother's Hope and Her Daughter's Dream, though they were very intense.

I'll have to check out the Beth Pattillo books, Seems like there was something about the first one that made me reluctant about it, but I can't remember what now.

So many books, so little time....

Caroline said...

Charles Dickens is one of my favorite authors, but I do not enjoy Tale of Two Cities. Try reading David Copperfield...that is my favorite!

Carrie said...

Lisa Notes - I think you might have a good idea there! I'm not normally an audio learner, but maybe having something other than "dry words on a page" will help me get through this Dickens story. Is there a good mini series or movie that people would recommend that might engage me in the story?

And every time I think of Great Expectations I have flashbacks to the scene in Gone With the Wind where the womenfolk are tensely waiting for the men and are reading, "Chapter 1, I am born...." (That mental image is not particular appealing. But it's helped when Rhett walks in the door warbling and exciting things start happening again.)

Susanne said...

I liked Her Daughter's Dream, though not as much as the first book. It engaged a bit of a different writing style than the first, covering many years and that was a bit disconcerting but there was just too much to cover and would have made the book even longer. Even though it seems large it reads really fast.

Anonymous said...

I have Dickens on my TBR list. I had a similar experience with Ernest Hemingway this past month...UGH! *sigh* I hope Dickens doesn't turn out to be the same...;)

Sara said...

I so enjoy your book reviews and wanted to pass along an idea when you have your new baby.

When I had my 4th baby and was nursing (and trying SO hard to stay awake at night), I read The Complete Stories by Dorothy Sayers while I was nursing. It's a wonderful collection of Sayers' short stories. The suspense of her mysteries kept me awake and I could usually finish a story during each nursing session :)

If you haven't read this author, I would guess you would really like her.

morninglight mama said...

Oh man, what a month, huh?? Sorry nothing caught you in a good way!

Here's to hoping for happy reading with a cute baby in your arms soon enough. :)

Susan said...

Having been pregnant thrice, I can relate to finding it hard to concentrate on Dickens when you are that pregnant ... best wishes! I think the new Francine Rivers book looks good as well.

Nise' said...

Something that I did to get myself past the point where I've given up too many times on War and Peace is go to Project Guttenburg and listen (free) on audio. It helped so much! Could work for A Tale of Two Cities.

Annette W. said...

I did like Her Daughter's Dream...the mother/daughter relationship can be so fragile. I listened to it...don't think I could have read it after not loving (but still liking) the first.

Sarah M. said...

I'm really sorry you struck out again with Dickens. The start of A tale of Two Cities was rather slow and confusing. I dug out "cliff notes" just to get a grasp on the first "book". Once I had that in hand the rest of the story flew by. The ending is AMAZING! Perhaps you should try a couple of the adaptations? I heard the 1935 version with Ronald Coleman is excellent and faithful to the book. I've also heard the 1980 TV miniseries is good too. The thing that cracks me up is that the hero is played by same actor who plays Prince Humperdink in The Princess Bride.

I hope to have my review of Tale up this weekend.

bekahcubed said...

With all the comments I was going to make already said, all I have left is...enjoy reading your fluff fiction while waiting through those seemingly interminable last few weeks!

Nancy@5M4B said...

I'm sorry you had a bad reading month, I hate when that happens. I read A Tale of Two Cities in 9th grade and had a really tough time getting through it. I did read and enjoy A Christmas Carol recently.

Cassandra said...

So sorry you didn't like Tale of Two Cities!

I've had Jane Austen Ruined My Life on my to-read list for awhile. Every time I remember to look at the library, it's checked out! Of course, someone today mentioned Heavens to Betsy, by the same author. I hated that book! Hopefully the Austen series is way better.

I can't wait to get hold of Her Daughter's Dream! I liked the first one but was a bit bummed about the cliff hanger.

Looks like you have great books picked out! Happy reading!

Trish said...

Wow, March sounds pretty dismal from a reading perspective - sorry to hear that!

Loved Jane Austen Ruined My Life, so I'll definitely have to check out the other two Pattillo books you mentioned. Her Daughter's Dream was good, although I liked the first book more than that one.

Enjoy your April reading, if you get to it that is!!

Sarah M. said...

Ok, I've posted my review of A Tale of Two Cities for those interested it is here:

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