Friday, June 28, 2013

What I'm Into [June 2013]

    June has absolutely flown by, especially since I spent a good ten days of it in recovery from having my wisdom teeth out. I will say without any reserve that the Saturday and Sunday after having my wisdom teeth out (they came out on a Thursday) were officially the worst weekend of my life, since I ended up with a dry socket that I couldn't get packed until Monday. Thankfully it has all been uphill from there, despite going to the oral surgeon's office with more frequency than I've ever been to a doctor's office in my life. The one great part about having surgery? I've finished nine books this month!


This month I finished seven new books, re-read two, and started two that I haven't not yet finished. Here's what I read:

  • The Once and Future King, T.H. White. Based on the epic of King Arthur, this book took me a whopping two months to read. Six-hundred and seventy-seven pages later, I'm so glad I stuck it out and finished it. The Once and Future King is a true epic, and even though I had to return it to the library and re-check it out, I would highly recommend it, although if you're a slow reader it may take you a long time. It was surprising to me how little I knew of the Arthur epic, but this was a great introduction.
  • Jayber Crow, Wendell Berry. This is the book that Anne encouraged me to finish, despite my lack of interest in the first one hundred pages or so, and I am so grateful that I finished. Once I got past the slow beginning, this book got mehook, line and sinker. I was practically sobbing by the end. Thoughtful, beautiful, compelling. The audio book is free on Noisetrade: download it and listen!
  • 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, Jen Hatmaker. I read this book in two days while in agony over my teeth, and then I went and cleaned out my closet. This book was witty, funny, and compelling, and it will make you take a second look at the way you live your life. I wrote more about it here.
  • The Penderwicks on Gardam St. & The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, Jeanne Birdsall. The second and third installments of the Penderwicks series, these delightful little books are fun and entertaining. Each lasted me about a day, but I love reading a bit of children's fiction each month. 
  • Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell. Despite the fact that Elizabeth Gaskell died before writing the final chapter of Wives and Daughters it was well worth the read! This book took me a full ten days to read, it was exciting, thoughtful, and engrossing. Imagine Jane Austen + Cinderella (without the ball) + the prodigal son, and you've got a bit of an idea what the general plot is. Highly recommend!
  • The September Society, Charles Finch. Don't waste your time with this one. Although the story was entertaining and I wanted to like the characters, the author seemed more interested in telling the entire history of Oxford than spinning the mystery. He also kept including minute details that had no point whatsoever in the story"so-and-so thought about the cold morning and grabbed his cloak to bring along" when we never needed to know whether he had his cloak with him or not. 

This month I re-read The Sherwood Ring, by Elizabeth Marie Pope (historical  fiction + fantasy and a bit of romance, love, read it) & A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken (the true story of a young couple and their journey towards Christianity with the aid of C.S. Lewis. If you've never read this, and you enjoy C.S. Lewis, take the time to read it. You won't regret it.)

I'm currently in the middle of Tale of Two Cities, Macbeth,  and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (re-read). 

TV and Movie-wise

Favorite movie I watched this month was Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Allison and I both agreed that we may not have enjoyed it so much if we hadn't read the book beforehand, but it really was a delightful movie, and Amy Adams was perfect in the part of Delysia LaFosse. 

We finished the second season of Sherlock, so now we are anxiously awaiting the third season. It's amazing how hooked you can be after only six episodes!

On the Web

new in my blog feed: 
Suzanna Paul at The Smitten Word for her thoughtfulness and clear writing style.

on the blog: 

most popular posts of the month were: 

Favorite Links: 

"Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What's missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments."
How Not to Be Alone: On Technology and Compassion

"Psychologists who study empathy and compassion are finding that unlike our almost instantaneous responses to physical pain, it takes time for the brain to comprehend the psychological and moral dimensions of a situation. The more distracted we become, and the more emphasis we place on speed at the expense of depth, the less likely and able we are to care."
Love the Lord with All Your Voice: Why Singing is a Spiritual Disciple

"For most of my students, singing is a means of expression—a way of drawing out what is in us (the ex in expression). Athanasius very nearly inverts their reasoning: The first and most important outcome of singing the Psalms is impression. In singing, the truth of the Psalms is drawn into the depths of one's being rather than out of the depths of one's being."
The Pace of Modern Life (via xkcd)

" Conversation is said to be a lost art ...Good talk presupposes leisure, both for preparation and enjoyment. The age of leisure is dead, and the art of conversation is dying." 
Oh, and I jumped on the Pinterest trend! You can find me here.

Teaching Wise

This month I hosted a one-week piano intensive for three of my jr. high students. It was one jam-packed week, followed by a group recital and ice cream sundae party celebrate my students' hard work this semester. Even though most of my students will continue taking lessons through July, the student-only recital felt like a last hurrah for my studio, since there's no way I can pull off one more recital like I was hoping too. I'm going to miss them all so much when I move in away in August!

for more What I'm Into Posts, head over to HopefulLeigh where I'm linking up!

what have you been up to this month?


  1. Have you seen the BBC adaptation of Wives & Daughters? Excellent. :)

    1. i just had someone else recommend it! Now I really have to go get it and make time for those four hours or however long it is. :)

  2. Jayber Crow...I cried so much over that book! It's truly beautiful and I learned so much about community life through it.

    1. Yes - I haven't cried that much over a book in a while! totally worth the boring beginning!

  3. Jayber Crow - ugh. So good. Love me some Wendell Berry!!

    1. What else have you read by him? anything else you'd recommend?

  4. The Hatmaker book has been on my radar for a while now.

    And I just added Wives & Daughters to my Goodreads to-read list. Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. READ IT READ IT! it's such an easy read, even my mom who doesn't have a ton of time to read got through it in a week or so, which is pretty fast for her!
      I look forward to seeing Wives and Daughters in your What I'm Into line up in a month or two!

  5. ooh, i love berry but have never read his fiction. *runs to the library* i really enjoyed TOAFK in school, love me some benedict cumberbatch, and that essay about talking to little girls is perfection.

    thanks for the link. pleased to meet you, jessica:)

    1. Suzannah - thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read! I've so enjoyed reading your blog this month, I'll be sticking around for a while!

      What else by Wendell Berry is good?

  6. I love the movie version of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day but I have yet to read the book. I've heard the book is lovely. I'll get around to it one of these days! Glad Suzannah has found her way into your Reader. She's a good one!

    Thanks for linking up with What I'm Into.

    1. Ahhh you have to read Miss Pettigrew, she's hilarious, even better than the movie, though the movie was a blast.



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