Wednesday, August 1, 2012

First, What are You Reading, Volume 24: The Quotable Edition

Here are my answers to the four questions I ask on the first of each month:
first, what are you reading?
what do you like best about it?
what do you like least?
what's next on your list to read? 

As always, I hope you'll consider your current reads on your blog and/or sharing here in the comments or on Facebook.  Happy reading!

First, what are you reading?  

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Also, Magic for Marigold, a lesser-known novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

What do you like best about them?

I’m re-reading the great Tolkein books to and with our 9-year-old son.  I’m not sure our family will be seeing the movie version of The Hobbit when it comes out at Christmastime (, but I want our family to be introduced to the real books before seeing any movie versions.   I haven’t seen the movie versions of The Lord of the Rings since they were out in the theater many years ago, when my kids were far too small to see them.  I’m not really sure if I’m ready for them to see those movies, but we are definitely becoming a more Tolkein-aware house at the moment.

The Hobbit has so many great quotes, I want to keep running for my iPhone (where I keep quotes these days) while I’m reading it aloud.  Because it’s usually downstairs “docked” for the evening, I don’t get to do so, and I want to remedy that somehow.  Maybe I’ll just have to keep a pen and index card with me.  Here’s one that I wish I could find a way to put up somewhere in our house:  

It’s the description of Elrond’s house, (also known as the Last Homely House), where the dwarves and Bilbo have their last respite before heading towards their dangerous adventures:

“His house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.  Evil things did not come into that valley.”

My other favorite quote would have to be the frequent times when Bilbo thinks something along the lines of “Not for the first time did Bilbo wish he were back in his tidy hobbit-hole.” 

Magic for Marigold is a sweet story about a girl being raised by an eccentric assortment of relatives, and her adventures.  My favorite quote here is at the end of an exchange between Marigold and her melancholic mother.

“’I don’t think you were a coward at all, dearest.  You were very brave to go right on when you were so afraid—and keep going on.’

‘If I could have picked my mother I’d have picked you,’ whispered Marigold.”

What do you like least about them?

The Hobbit is just great through and through; there’s everything to like and love about this classic.

Though I hate to admit it, there is a reason that Magic for Marigold is not well-known. It’s not the best of LM Montgomery’s work—it’s more an assortment of vignettes than a cohesive story.  Still, the characters are loveable and it’s a thoroughly enjoyable read.  It’s especially worthwhile for Anne of Green Gables lovers, or young people who might want a fun summer read.

What’s next on your list to read?

Our family is recently back from vacation with extended family, and I have a lot of great suggestions from my siblings of good recent reads.  I’ve got a lot of library requests in at the moment.

So, what are you reading these days?  Any books you would like to share?


  1. Well, I'm glad the first of the month is here again for this post.

    I've just been sitting by the pool, drinking cold frothy beverages, reading 50 Shades of Grey... thinking it was about the colors of religious orders' habits. Okay, bad joke. I'm not reading 50 Shades. Should I be? Everyone else is.

    I am trying, rather unsucessfully, to read Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict. It was recommended to me by a friend who was gushing over it, and she's not Catholic, so I figured I should try. I am failing. By the way that the words flow, it seems like it should be read aloud. Maybe I should try that. I'm just not smart enough, but I feel all guilty when I try to read all these "great" books by such holy Catholic men and women, but can't because I fall asleep after two pages or find my mind rereading the same paragraph four times but not comprehending anything. Because I lack understanding, I then make the idiodic assumption that I really am not a very good Catholic. What to do?

    I'm also re-reading Gift of the Sea by Ann Morrow Lindbergh. It has been years since I read that one. It is much more my speed. I just have to keep the book where the kids won't reshelve it every time I set it down. I suppose I should put my stuff away once in a while. Novel idea.

    I'm also reading Miracle of Santa Anna (I think that's the title). It is good so far. I'll probably check out the movie when I'm done.

    Oh, and for the little kids, I am reading the Magic Tree House series. Seriously, I could have written those. I get why it is popular, and yet it frustrates me how they are so annoyingly simple and formulaic. Now all Pope Benedict needs to do is have a little chat with Mary Pope Osborne, and then I'll be golden.

  2. Bree, for a tiny little split second I thought, "WHAT???????" when you mentioned your first "reading." Thanks for the laugh, and thanks for being in the minority here with me.

    Are you actually reading the Magic Tree House series out loud to your kids? When one of my kids was learning to read we would each read a page and I thought I would go completely batty from the "dialogue" and "plot." I gave up screaming after one, and resorted to my old favorite, truly a loved series in our house (though also formulaic in its own sweet way) The Boxcar Children.

    I normally love BXVI's writing, but I found Jesus of Nazareth slow going. It's really theological, and I just find that more difficult than say, Salt of the Earth, which was a dialogue with a journalist.

  3. Handsome Husband just got back from a trip. On the plane sitting next to him was a woman reading her bible. In front of her, a woman reading 50 Shades. It is too funny.