Links I love and what’s on my nightstand.

Links I love and what’s on my nightstand.

My favorite finds from around the web:

• .23 signs your Jane Austen addition is getting out of hand. “Who needs reality when you’ve got Mr. Darcy?”

Book reviewers: are you a teacher or a shredder? “I realize now that I should have written critical reviews, too. To remain silent on a book that didn’t live up to my expectations was to do a disservice to readers of my review blog.”

The 1979 6-year old: less reading, more range. “Crossing streets? Turning corners? Even though I suspect I did it myself, I can’t get my head around it. I have two kindergarteners this year (and one will be 6 in just a few weeks), and I check on them if I let them walk solo to the bookstore’s bathroom.”

What I’m reading this week:

The Secret Garden. For the first time. FINALLY.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Also, finally.

• Listening to: These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine. Again, finally. My mom’s been telling me to read this for ten years. (Hot tip: if you think you might ever read this, don’t go read the Amazon description because it gives everything away.)

On the blog:

What I’ve been reading lately: the new and the notable.

Gretchen Rubin’s Shrine to Children’s Literature.

Mind maps: what they are and how to use them.

Have a great weekend!

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28 comments

  1. Trish says:

    I read The Secret Garden for the first time as an adult. It might be my favorite book (you know, aside from LOTR which doesn’t count as a normal book in all fairness) and if Secret Garden isn’t my favorite, it’s always the book I wish I’d written as I read it. I actually loved the book more the second time I read it, which seemed an impossible task.

  2. Courtney says:

    Frances Hodgson Burnett is one of my favorite authors! I absolutely love ‘The Secret Garden,’ and perhaps ‘A Little Princess’ even more (I own fewer than a dozen physical books, but those are two of them). ‘Little Lord Fauntleroy’ is also great. There’s often such a wonderful element of magic in her books, but it tends to be something the characters create for themselves, rather than something external. I also can’t help but love the main character in each book. Please let us know what you think once you’ve finished!

    • Anne says:

      I didn’t know she wrote Little Lord Fauntleroy! We had a friend who lived right off Fauntleroy Way in Seattle, and he always made Little Lord Fauntleroy jokes when we came to visit. I knew it was a classic story (and feel fairly familiar with the plot thanks to him) but didn’t know the author.

  3. Dana says:

    The Secret Garden is one of my favorite children’s books ever. It is a story for all ages actually and so beautifully written. 2 years ago when I read it to my last group of 2nd graders they were absolutely enthralled with it and every day on the playground they played Secret Garden and actually made their own secret garden space at the edge of the woods with rocks and moss. In the spring we planted flowers and vegetables there.
    I read that in December and went on to read many other wonderful chapter books to them but at the end of the year they voted that as their favorite. All of the wonderful themes of friendship, possibilities, change, , faith, magic, transformation, love of the natural world, perseverance are all there. Are those not the things we want to teach our children and ourselves?
    Now you have made me want to read it again! : ) I also love The Little Princess by her as well. My mom read that to me when I was a young girl and it is one of my favorite memories of childhood.

  4. Karen says:

    You’ve inspired me to read The Secret Garden again–such a favorite! Have you read Mandy, by Julie Andrews Edwards? It was another childhood favorite that I passed on to my daughter, who adored it, too. I think I need to have a children’s lit re-reading year!

  5. I’m also reading These Is My Words right now. I tried switching to audio because I was having some trouble getting into her voice on paper, but after two minutes of audio I turned it off because the narrator seemed monotone and without the accent I had been imagining for the character. Are you enjoying the narration?

    • Anne says:

      I understand what you mean. If I’d listened to the sample I might not have bought it: it took me a good hour to get used to it. But I persisted because so many people told me they LOVED the book AND the audio. I am enjoying it at this point.

  6. SoCalLynn says:

    I couldn’t stand it if you don’t love The Secret Garden! I think I love it more than Little Women, though I read both of them numerous times as a child. I read it to my youngest daughter when she was about 10 and it was magical for us both.

  7. Danette Roark says:

    I loved The Secret Garden, but my all -time fave is Anne of Green Gables. I was reading a little over my head when I found it at the library, it felt so good to be reading something the librarian said was too hard for me to read:)

  8. Ash says:

    I have recommended These Is My Words about a million times since I read it in the fall. Such a beautiful love story (even though after the first few pages I did wonder if anything good would ever happen!). I’m reading the sequel, Sarah’s Quilt, right now.

  9. Jenny says:

    Um, at the top of your blog it should have had the disclaimer “I’ve never read the secret garden.” How did you learn to love Jane without Frances as a gateway drug???

  10. Sara K. says:

    Oh, The Secret Garden is one of my all-time favorites! You will love it 🙂 I may need to re-read it soon myself.

    On a related note, my favorite movie adaptation of this story was the Hallmark Hall of Fame version. It’s maybe less well known, but I found it very true to the book. Bonus, Colin Firth makes a brief appearance!

  11. Pam says:

    I really like the round up you do on the weekend. I often pass along the links to others so they can read it, too. 🙂

    FYI – The link for These is my Words goes to Smoke and Bones.

  12. Tessa says:

    The Secret Garden is one of my favorite books PERIOD. It was my first favorite book as a child, and even as an adult I still love it so much. So so much 🙂

  13. Shvetal says:

    Hello.
    I read your blog regularly though I have not (ever?) commented on it. I wanted to recommend two books to you that I read recently and that I think you may enjoy. The first is “The Home Maker” by Dorothy Canfield Fisher and the second is “Ballet Shoes” by Noel Streatfeild.
    I know that you have a lot of books on your TBR list, and that a recommendation from an absolute stranger is not the same as a recommendation from a friend whose taste you are more familiar with. I will nevertheless leave these two suggestions with you and perhaps you will enjoy these books.

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