Stewart's first book in her Merlin series -- placing him in history and a time period and fleshing out the story of the enchanter from the wilds of EnStewart's first book in her Merlin series -- placing him in history and a time period and fleshing out the story of the enchanter from the wilds of England in the 5th century. I just love her take on the Arthurian legends, and had forgotten how she draws you in and makes you believe it really could have happened just that way. Merlin in these books is more of a scientist, an herbalist, an engineer, but he also has The Sight, which allows him to see glimpses of the future. So there is magic, but also plenty of drama and human passion and greed and glory, pain and celebration. He is a product of his time -- the old Roman order collapsing, the barbarians invading from all sides, but there is a strength and vision to this Merlin where he sees a better future for all of England. If there is offense in his views of women, it is Merlin's own and I take it as such, b/c I have read most of Mary Stewart's other woks and she has plenty of strong, independent female characters. This is just not their story....more
I actually picked up a copy of this at the library while looking up books for my sons. Then, I got home and realized I had my own copy! It must have bI actually picked up a copy of this at the library while looking up books for my sons. Then, I got home and realized I had my own copy! It must have been 20+ years since I've read it, but I enjoyed it as much as the first time. This is just a charming story, written a few years before Anne of Green Gables and similar in style. I just adored her prose and descriptions, and now that I found out there is a sequel, I'm on the lookout for it to read next!...more
It's been almost a month since I finished this and I still have no words. I did write a fantastically long review immediately after that got erased soIt's been almost a month since I finished this and I still have no words. I did write a fantastically long review immediately after that got erased somehow, but it will have to wait until another day. Just know this -- all the hints and glimpses and shadows of greatness in the first three Wingfeather books all come to fruition here, and if you were disappointed with anything about the first in the series, it is worth it to read through them all, especially this one. Because the culmination of the Wingfeather's story and everything that came before is redeemed in this final book, which like all the grand old tales will live on forever in the imagination of many children....more
Read this quickly on a whim over the weekend. We found a book of Maps at the library that had one of Antarctica. It holds up well from my adolescent dRead this quickly on a whim over the weekend. We found a book of Maps at the library that had one of Antarctica. It holds up well from my adolescent days. I was probably as naive about political climates as Vicky when I was in high school. Now, having visited the southernmost tip of Chile in college (Punta Arenas) and actually having seen an iceberg made this all the more enjoyable to re-read. Also, though the poetry leaves something to be desired and the intrigue of Vespugia makes me wish L'Engle had stuck more to experimental science to drive this plot instead of emerging countries, I still remember the thrill I had of reading this not long after it first came out in print. A new L'Engle novel! Austin series! There are some beautiful descriptions, especially from Adam II's journals, and many little gems that kept me reading....more
I finally, finally read this book! What was I thinking waiting so long? I finished it in a couple of days and was reminded why people like Lewis and KI finally, finally read this book! What was I thinking waiting so long? I finished it in a couple of days and was reminded why people like Lewis and Keller and others have used images from this beautiful story in their writings. "Follow the thread."
Favorite quotes: "People must believe what they can, and those who believe more must not be hard upon those who believe less. I doubt if you would have believed it all yourself if you hadn't seen some of it.”
" 'I never had such fun!' said the princess, her eyes twinkling and her pretty teeth shining. 'How nice it must be to live in a cottage on the mountain!' 'It all depends on what kind your inside house is,' said the mother."
"Now listen. If ever you find yourself in any danger - such, for example, as you were in this same evening - you must take off your ring and put it under the pillow of your bed. Then you must lay your finger, the same that wore the ring, upon the thread, and follow the thread wherever it leads you.' 'Oh, how delightful! It will lead me to you, grandmother, I know!' 'Yes. But, remember, it may seem to you a very roundabout way indeed, and you must not doubt the thread. Of one thing you may be sure, that while you hold it, I hold it too.'"
I have a nice hardbound edition from a library book sale. Bless those children who will miss it now that it is out of circulation and pray they find another. I can't wait to read this with my own children....more
Has it really been 25 years since the film version of the Princess Bride was released? One of my all-time favorite movies, and this is a case where thHas it really been 25 years since the film version of the Princess Bride was released? One of my all-time favorite movies, and this is a case where the book, perhaps, might even be slightly more entertaining. (Is that possible?! I would never freely admit it.) I haven't read this since high school, so I forgot that Golding also wrote the screen play. Some of the best lines from the film are straight out of the book! Plus, there's all sorts of imagined backstory and asides about S. Morgentern (the original Florinese author, you know) as well as Mr. Golding's own "connection" to this classic fairy tale. I'd say this is a book for 10 year-olds on up, and, if possible, is even funnier the second time around. Fans of the movie will certainly love it, but it's for anyone who loves a good story with sword fights and princesses and daring-do....more
As a child, I loved Frances Hodgson Burnett's other classic, The Secret Garden. Somehow, though, I never read this tale about the little boy from AmerAs a child, I loved Frances Hodgson Burnett's other classic, The Secret Garden. Somehow, though, I never read this tale about the little boy from America who discovers he's heir to an earl's fortune and travels back to England to meet his grandfather.
From my knowledge of pop culture, I wrongly assumed that Little Lord Fauntleroy would be a spoiled brat. In fact, Burnett's description of the child make him out as one of the most kind-hearted, generous, selfless souls, who probably would only exist in the pages of a novel such as this. Somehow exhibiting only the best of his family's traits, young Cedric (for that is his Christian name) manages to be strong, kind, brave, athletic, handsome, and thoughtful pretty much 24/7. If there is original sin, this kid doesn't display it yet. In our day, his innocence might come across as false and hollow, but in its proper setting seems most genuine and earnest.
As a character, the little Lord stands in stark contrast to his grandfather, who, apparently is a crotchety old gentlemen of noble birth who has spent his life caring only for himself. Most of the plot deals with what happens after the two characters finally become acquainted, and many interesting twists and turns abound.
As a parent, one of the things I noticed in this book were the way young Cedric's manners, thoughtfulness, and charming personality ingratiated himself with everyone he met. Though most of these traits seemed to be due mainly to his own sweet nature, his mother's gentle upbringing had a strong influence on him. Her calm and caring attitude makes me want to strive to become a "Dearest" to my own boys, to be someone in whom they would like to confide and spend time recounting their days.
I stumbled a little over some of the dialogue, as Burnett has a unique way of spelling certain dialects, but felt it would have been better to read it aloud to the boys anyway that try to "hear" it while reading it to myself. I think she originally wrote it for her own children, so perhaps it was meant to be spoken aloud.
Overall I found the story and characters delightful, though somewhat flat. However, I'd like to read it as a family just to introduce my boys to Cedric, a model of politeness and good breeding, a young hero to emulate in word and deed, if at all possible.
On a less serious note, I will forever associate this book with They Might Be Giant's alphabet song: "F is for fun, F is for fun, F is for Fauntleroy. That's little Lord Fauntleroy to you." And so, it will always be one of my favorites. ...more
The author does an excellent job of celebrating the graces repeatedly bestowed upon Newton, and he shares numerous examples of God orchestrating eventThe author does an excellent job of celebrating the graces repeatedly bestowed upon Newton, and he shares numerous examples of God orchestrating events and people to spare Newton's life and bring him into a relationship with Christ.
Overall, it was a quick introduction to the compelling life story of John Newton, but was sometimes difficult to read because of the writer's distracting style. The short bursts of information might be better served as teachable sections instead of one continuous, flowing narrative.
A wonderful, touching young adult book by one of my favorite authors, dealing with a young girl's relationship with the natural world, particularly doA wonderful, touching young adult book by one of my favorite authors, dealing with a young girl's relationship with the natural world, particularly dolphins. Recommended to those dealing with grief in its many forms. Beautiful and mesmerizing. When I first read this at age 13 I wanted to be a marine biologist, but reading it now, years later, I realized I was always more like Vicky and am really supposed to be a poet. I'm certainly glad I majored in English after all and continue to read great literature, just as Jeb advised her to do in the book....more
Read this chapter by chapter for the first time with Jacob. I was only familiar with Charlotte's Web, but this felt like a good second. I like that thRead this chapter by chapter for the first time with Jacob. I was only familiar with Charlotte's Web, but this felt like a good second. I like that the ending wasn't "happily ever after" and the story of the mouse's adventures were entertaining. My son's take: "It's great. But that's how it ends? Why did they just stop when he's still looking? But I love it." From the mouth of a 5 year old....more
Read this again during Lent 2012. Might have been 12 years since I last read it, back in college when it was first recommended to me on a spring breakRead this again during Lent 2012. Might have been 12 years since I last read it, back in college when it was first recommended to me on a spring break service trip. Good, probably better than I remember. I think I appreciated more of her prose and her stories this time around, but also understood better where we disagree. Still, I think this collection of essays is an entire testament to grace and the God who loves lavishly, despite our choices or our circumstances. The story about the lady at church who gives them dimes was just wonderful. Well worth the read, especially for the difference in perspective for me, a sheltered Southern girl. Curious now to read the book about when Lamott becomes a grandmother....more