Somehow I managed to read two books before we moved. I actually had picked up Emma for a quaint little re-read, then remembered the "no Austen" promise I made in my last post and put it back. Instead, I grabbed a book based on one of my most favorite movies North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. And no, it is not referring to the Civil War as I, and several of my friends, once thought. It's about the difference between the north (industrial) and the south (farming) of England. And naturally with a little romance thrown in. I got the book for Christmas right after Jack was born and thought that I had never read it, but about halfway into it I realized that maybe I had. I'm still not quite sure. Anyway, it's one of my all-time favorite novels. And if you don't feel like reading a long book, the movie is also fantastic. Someday I'm going to convince my husband to sit down and watch it with me since it is a bit economical.
Ever since my semester in Oxford studying Jane Austen I've been digging footnotes. I love the Penguin classics with the introductory notes (usually written by some uber-intelligent doctoral fellow) and the little numbers directing you to the back half where you can get the full background of just one word or phrase. So while reading North and South I found out Gaskell was good buddies with the Bronte sisters. Which led me to my next selection Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte. Actually, I had originally planned on re-reading Jane Eyre (I know, I know, I'm such a re-reader) but then remembered I'm not crazy about the first few chapters of that book. And it is a touch depressing, which didn't suit my start-of-summer mood. Agnes Grey was a lot shorter too and we were moving in a few days so it seemed the better choice. And, once again, about halfway through the book, I realized I had read it before. This book is okay, I actually enjoyed reading the introductory notes more than the actual story. I think all the Bronte's books are dark and depressing. Plus it reminded me of my days as a Nanny in college. *shudder* Bad memories.
Then we moved and I took a break from reading for a while. During our camping vacation I read the classic The 5 Love Languages. I really want to read the one for kids but figured I'd start with this one, especially since it was sitting in my mom's house and I needed something to bring to the campground. I used to think my love language was "Acts of Service." My husband assured me it was not. :) After reading the book I'm pretty sure it's actually "Words of Affirmation." So lay it on me people! Haha, just kidding. Jon is a bit more difficult. He's somewhere between "Gifts" and "Acts of Service" with maybe a little "Words ..." thrown in there. We're still trying to figure that one out. We think Jack is a "Quality Time" kind of boy. He wants to be with either Mommy or Daddy all day. Then again, he also likes "Touch." That kid gets so many back massages and head scratches ... and he gets a kick out of all our cheering and hooraying when he does something good so maybe he's a little "Words..." too. I think most kids are combos anyway.
I ended up finishing the Love Languages book on our first day of camping. Thankfully, my mom returned one of my all-time favorite, non-fiction books in the whole world Feminine Appeal by Carulyn Mahaney. I had lent it to her last summer and she's been reading and re-reading it this whole time. So yes, I re-read another book. But this one is just that good. I'll probably read it once a year for the rest of my life. Or until I get it right. Anyway, if you're a wife and/or a mom I would highly recommend this. The information is based in Titus 2- what it means to be a biblical woman, and honestly, it gives me fresh vision each time I read it. It's one of the most challenging, yet hope-full books I have ever read. Now, doesn't that make you want to go out and buy it THIS INSTANT? I hope I don't let you down.
And finally, my mother-in-law lent me If I Gained the World by Linda Nicholswhile we were home last weekend. I wasn't crazy about it, but was certainly thankful for something to keep me occupied on our drive to and from NY to visit Jon's grandparents, and then back down to Maryland. Which explains how I was able to finish all 600-some pages of it in 3 days. It's not bad, just not incredible. Certainly no Francine Rivers. :)
And with that said, I'm off to re-organize our bookshelf and pack up all the books that didn't make "the cut" tihs move. Hopefully I can find a few good reads for our upcoming beach vacation!