The Top 10 Things on my Bookish Bucket List

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List. According to the ladies of The Broke and the Bookish, this may include things like meeting authors, reading x many books per year, finishing a daunting book, etc. This week’s list is in no particular order.

1. Meet Marissa Meyer

marissa-meyerThere are several authors I like and would enjoy meeting. But since Marissa Meyer is really becoming my favorite “current” author, I’d have to say she’s the author I’d definitely geek out/fangirl over the most if I had the chance to meet her, and I really hope to have the opportunity some day!

2. Visit a Hunger Games filming location

HenryRiver4When my husband and I went to Asheville last year, I looked into tours that took you around the District 12 village that was set up for The Hunger Games movie. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t going to work out for that trip, but since both the Asheville area (where they shot the first movie) and Atlanta (where they shot a lot of Catching Fire) are both very attainable drives for us, I hope I can visit some of these set locations sometime.

3. Finish Les Miserables… preferably this year

les-miserables-bookI started reading Les Miserables at the beginning of the year with the intention of reading small snippets at a time, hopefully finishing it by the end of the year. Well, I am reading it, and I do think it’s very good, but it’s hard to for me to read too many chapters in one sitting because of the way it’s written. And let’s just say at my current pace I am not set to finish by the end of the year. But maybe I can pick things up. Or maybe I’ll finish next year…

4. Read Harry Potter

harry-potter-seriesYes, I know. We’ve already discussed this. Let’s move on.

5. Read Lord of the Rings

LOTR111I’m crazy intimidated by this classic trilogy, but I want to read it.

6. Become a Published Author

snoopy-writerMy ULTIMATE bookish goal!

7. Take an archery lesson so I can feel like Katniss for a day

katniss-archerI think this is self-explanatory.

8. Read ALL of C.S. Lewis’ books

cslewisbooksSo I’d like to consider C.S. Lewis my favorite author of all time, but can I do that without having read all his books? So far I’ve read all of The Chronicles of Narnia and Till We Have Faces cover to cover, and I’ve read snippets of The Screwtape Letters and several of his nonfiction books. I own The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity, and let’s not forget that Lewis also wrote a space trilogy. Needless to say, I have a long way to go, but everything I’ve read by him so far I have enjoyed.

9. Read to my future children

bedtime-story2This seems like a really simplistic thing to say, but I’m sure it’s harder to put into action. I would like to tuck my kids into bed every night possible, and again, whenever possible, I want to carve out the time to read to them/with them. I think instilling books into a child’s life is important, and of course it is a great way to spend quality time with your child. I hope I will put this into practice one day.

10. Read all 6 of Jane Austen’s novels

jane-austen-booksI’m already halfway through with this item, and plan to continue reading one Austen novel a year until I’m finished.

What’s on your bookish bucket list? 

Review: Till We Have Faces

Sorry, but this review will be a little different due to the fact that this was a hard book to review. I bought Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis in college after a recommendation from a friend, but it has taken me this long to finally get around to reading it. There were a couple of times that I tried to start, but it’s not the sort of story that grabs you from the beginning. In fact, the whole story is pretty slow-paced, though the book is not all that long. It’s “a myth retold” of Psyche and Cupid, who I knew nothing of going into this. It might have helped to know beforehand, but knowing after did not help me feel an absolute resolution from the end. Nor did it help me fully understand all the things I know C.S. Lewis was probably trying to say and I feel I did not quite understand. This book could be slow, confusing, captivating, clear, mysterious, or thoughtful, and who knows, maybe that’s the point.

tillwehavefaces

The ending did not feel very resolute for me. At some point, I found myself connecting with the main character, Orual. I wanted the answers to her questions just as she did. Why did the gods demand her sister? Or did they? What happened to her on the evening she last saw her? Why would they make her suffer? The ending that I felt was supposed to reveal all this did not give me all the answers I hoped for. Maybe I missed the point. Or maybe the point was we can’t know all of God’s mysterious ways.

While reading reviews of the book on Goodreads while still trying to process it all, I learned that C.S. Lewis started writing this book when he was an atheist, but at some point stopped, and then picked it up years later when he was a Christian. I didn’t see any clear parallels to Christianity or theology, which again, makes me wonder if I missed something. I saw a couple of theories and ideas in reviews, but I didn’t want to read too many of them because I wanted to figure it out myself. Well, over a week later I haven’t. Maybe years from now, I’ll try re-reading it.

Here’s what I will say. This book is based on a myth, and mythology does not really interest me much. C.S. Lewis was a much smarter man than I am, so I believe there is a message in here I am missing. Though it was slow in parts and not always exciting, there were parts that piqued my interest and kept me turning the page.

I’ve had an extremely hard time deciding on a rating for this, and nothing feels right. 3 stars feels like a slap to Lewis since this was his favorite work, and four stars makes it seem like I was just a little bit more into it than I was. I don’t want to do a half rating, and I can’t for my Goodreads rating, but I’m giving it a 3.5 anyway. I liked it. I almost really liked it. It was just a hard read in the sense that I just don’t completely understand it and that frustrates me.

If you’ve read Till We Have Faces, please let me know your thoughts! And if you haven’t read it but are considering it, I would recommend you check out multiple reviews before deciding if it’s your cup of tea, unless you really love Lewis and just want to read it for that purpose alone. I don’t believe it would be a waste of your time.

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What book was hard for you to process? 

The Book I Finally Read

This week’s Book Blogger Hop question is: “What book have you’ve been meaning to read forever AND you finally did?”

book blogger hopI would say The Last Battle, as the last book of The Chronicles of Narnia. Because really, I’ve been meaning to read the entire series for years, and it took me a few years to finally get through them all once I finally had the courage to start Prince Caspian after worrying that it just could not be as brilliant as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

thelastbattleAdmittedly, some of the books are much better than others, but The Last Battle was a pretty solid ending for the series. Just for fun, here’s how I would rank the series from favorite to least favorite:

1. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

2. The Silver Chair

3/4. Tie between Prince Caspian & The Magician’s Nephew

5. The Last Battle

6. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

7. The Horse and His Boy

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is still my favorite because it started it all and is really the best stand-alone story. I think The Silver Chair is absolutely great, however, and comes in a very close second. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, however, is slow at the beginning, but thankfully picks up later, and unfortunately, The Horse and His Boy does very little for me and I am not sure if I understand what it contributes to the story overall.

Any other Narnia fans out there? Which of the books is your favorite? Or, what book did you put off for a long time before finally diving into it?