Tuesday, 23 June 2015

"Fullness of Joy Literary Celebration Tag"

I have been so very slack with my blogging of late.  We have a bit of a slower week coming up, so I shall endeavour to finish a couple of posts that I have brewing and give you an update on how life is going.

But right now I want to have a shout out to Joy from Fullness of Joy, because..... *drumroll* it's her blog's fourth birthday!!!  To celebrate this exciting occasion, Joy has set up a tag on literature to participate in,

Hence - I love that word! - hence, here are my answers to the literature tag.  Enjoy!  :)

1. What is your favourite "happy" sort of book? (a book that either has joy/happiness as a major theme, or a book that gives you a happy, cozy feeling inside).
Probably anything by Janette Oke or Kim Vogal Sawyer.  Their Christian romances are so beautiful and edifying... and they always turn out so prettily!  :)

2. Did you ever have, in your childhood/youth, a certain book that launched you into a serious love of reading which made it something bigger than a mere hobby in your life?
I honestly don't remember... I have just always loved reading and I don't think there was any one book that initiated that for me.

3. What is one overhyped novel that people nowadays term as a "classic" that you really didn't like as much as everyone else? What made you dislike it so much?
I had to read Heart of Darkness twice for school.  I'm still not sure what it's about.  It is a very dark book and - although the language in it is very beautiful (I'll give it that much) - I found it terribly dry and excruciatingly painful to try and follow any sort of a story line.  I know that a guy goes to Africa, there's an African woman (??) and an English bloke dies.  I think.

4. What makes you motivated to blog, and what is your favourite aspect of the blogging experience throughout the years you've been writing?
I wanted to start a blog for a couple of reasons.  First of all, it seemed really cool to me at the time - I mean, most of my friends had blogs.  XDD  Actually, the main reasons were that I really wanted to encourage the people in my life, and I thought a blog might help me do this.  Also - and this is a funny reason - I am h-o-p-e-l-e-s-s at keeping any sort of diary or journal.  I always start out with good intentions, but alas! despite my very best endeavours, they never come to fruition.  (Can you tell who may have been to a few too many Pirates of Penzance shows??  More on that another time...)  The same goes for my poetry.  I have SO many beautiful notebooks and journals that whenever a poetic thought hits me, I grab what ever notebook/journal/scrap is closest and write it down.  Hence - there it is again! - my journal entries and poetry scribblings are scattered throughout several volumes in absolutely no given order.  I thought that keeping a blog, thus confining everything in one place, might help me remedy this.  It hasn't.
I would have to say that my favourite aspect about blogging is sharing my poetry.  I'm sure any poet/author will be able to relate when I say that one is never quite sure of the finished product.  It's like a parent with a baby - they think their baby is the prettiest, sweetest thing that ever breathed, but outsiders can see things that the well-meaning parents can't, sometimes.  I like my work, but I am ever so grateful when others read it and give me tips for improvement.  In saying that however, it can work the other way too - we writers can be a little too critical of our work, and we need you lovely people to reassure us from time to time.  To those of you who have read my poetry and left me encouraging notes, I thankyou so, so much.  * hugs all around*

5. What are 4 works of literature that you are particularly looking forward to reading in the near future?
Up the top of my list would have to be the book thief.  Yes, I left the capitals out intentionally, as +Clare Farrelly  pointed out to me, they are not used on book or film.

Next would be Anzac Girls by Peter Rees.  I adore the TV series, but have yet to read the book.  Actually, now that I think about it, this probably doesn't class as literature, being non-fiction, but It's a book I'm looking forward to reading all the same.

Then there's Hope was Here by Joan Bauer.  I have already read this book, and I LOVE it.  It's so sweet!!  If you haven't read it, you really need to.

I also want to read Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.  We read this aloud several years ago, but I have not re-read it since despite enjoying it very much the first time.

6. What are some of your favourite non-fiction books?
I think some of my favourite non-fiction books are

  • Cheaper by the Dozen   Yes, it's a real book, written by two of the kids in honor of their father who died of a heart attack when his children were all still quite young.  It is an absolute scream, with laughter on every page.
  • Angels in the Camp A story of a Christian Jewish girl and her mother in WWII, their journey through concentration camps and how their faith in Jesus brought them through every circumstance, no matter how horrific.
  • Call the Midwife  There are three or four chapters in the middle of the book that are worth skipping, but other than that, I really enjoyed this London 1950's book.
  • Evidence not Seen  Another WWII book, I reckon this is one of the best autobiographies I have ever read.  It's about a young missionary woman to the Pacific Islands whose husband is killed by the Japanese and she is sent to a concentration camp.  Her experiences with the Japanese are nothing short of terrifying, but the miracles she sees in her camp and again in her 6' prison cell are amazing.
  • Unbroken The biography of Louis Zamperini, this book is AMAZING.  Louis was an olympic runner who was one of the few westerners who saw the inside of Nazi Germany.  Upon returning to America, he joined the air force (by accident) and ended up a Japanese POW.  Suffering horror after horror, he experienced the hand of God move in his life in a powerful way.
7.  What are some of your favourite time-periods to read about?
I LOVE World War Two books.  I'm not sure why, but I just love them.  Especially when they are about going to the concentration camps or something along those lines.  I also really enjoy reading pioneer American prairie stories.

8. Is there a special book that influenced you to do something new in your life, or changed you in a profound way?
As quite a young girl, I had some books about India and Amy Charmichael.  Right now, I can't remember which one was the first I collected, but I ended up with several that I loved to bits - literally in some cases! - and read several times.  Amy Charmichael's story inspired a real love in me for India and the beautiful children that live there.  I planned for many years to set up an orphanage in India somewhere and live the rest of my life there.  I no longer have that specific dream, but my deep love for children - particularly Indian and Sri Lankan children - remains and I hope to adopt from the sub-continent one day.

9. Do you have a favourite contemporary fictional novel?
I am about to be your typical teenage fan-girl and say I really enjoy the Hunger Games trilogy.  I find the concept of it fascinating.  And, I must confess, I am a bit of a romantic and I was so pleased when Katniss decided to marry Peeta.  ;)

10. Persuasion is a very autumnal book, and many authors and poets have beautifully described and romanticised that season, which leads to the question: why is autumn so often idealised, and does it hold that certain magic and charm to you? What is your favourite season?
Autumn - in the right locations - is magical.  Blue skies; golden, red and orange leaves on the ground; and just enough chill in the air to require your favourite jumper and maybe a scarf... autumn is beautiful.
I must say though that Autumn is not my favourite season as I am a shocker when it comes to allergies and hay-fever.  I love winter the best.  Summer is simply awful, but cozying up with a book and a cuppa next to the fire is simply wonderful.

11. There are many novels set during the era of the French of Revolution, especially books written in previous generations by authors such as Charles Dickens, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, and Baroness Orczy. Which, if any, are your favourites?
I have not read must of this genre, but I really should.  I enjoy Dickens very much, and I started The Scarlet Pimpernel and was really enjoying that too, only I got distracted to reading other things and it got left behind.

12. What excites you the most about literature and its influence in culture, and how it effects the way people think and act?
I think literature - good literature - opens people's minds to good language and English skills.  Some of the most renowned writers learned to write by reading and writing from what they read.  By reading you learn language patterns, spelling, grammar, and vocabulary.

13. Is it ever a struggle to reconcile reading fiction/entertainment with the struggles of reality, and to place the importance of fiction within one's daily Christian life and walk with the Lord?
I sometimes get emotionally entwined with whatever I have been reading/watching.  (Right now, I am still recovering from watching Alice Garvey die on Little House on the Prairie.)  I sometimes have to tell myself to snap out of my mood and get on with life.
I'll admit, there are times when I would rather read my novel than the Bible, and there are times when there are parts in books I would not have read if I had known they were coming.  There are parts of books I wish I could forget.  In all things though, I strive to glorify the Lord.  Prayer helps when I struggle against myself.

14. Would you rather you lived in the countryside of England during WW2, or in the American Prairie during the 1800s, or during the Neoplonic Wars in Europe? (basically favourite historical era/setting to live)
Blah!  You picked my three favourite historical settings!!  I think I would have to say the American Prairie.  I often wish I could have a try travelling out in the middle of nowhere as a new bride to make a life for my family.  I think it would be fun.  :)

15. What is your favourite Jane Austen novel? Do you have a favourite film or tv adaption?
My favourite Jane Austen is Pride and Prejudice closely followed by Emma.  My favourite TV adaptation are definitely the BBC Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth, and the 2009 adaptation of Emma.

16. Describe your ideal reading nook! 
My favourite reading nook is my bed.  It's tucked under a shelf just high enough for me to sit under, and it runs longways down along the built in bookshelf on the wall.   Add my quilts and a hot drink - perfect!  :D

17. Is there a particular book that is quite underrated and yet you think is undeservedly so and should be read by everyone? 
I really enjoyed The Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemmingway.  Most people I have asked said they pretty much fell asleep while reading it from boredom, but I think Hemmingway was a genius in the way he wrote it.  No, not much happens in the book but I think the genius is that he kept me reading - enthralled by the flow of the language and the thoughts f the man - despite the lack of action.  I think it is a real treasure.

18. Do you have a favourite Parable that the Lord Jesus told? What inspires and encourages you the most about it?

19. Name a book you've reread more than twice. 
Oh deary... I don't think I can narrow that down to just one... I have read the entire "Little House" multiple times.  Also Little Women, the Love Comes Softly series, and many of the Chrstian Heroes Now and Then series have been read and re-read any times.

20. The main character in one of the giveaway books (Until that Distant Day) is a superb cook. How fond are you of cooking/baking and homemaking in general? 
I love it!  I'm probably not as fond of baking as I used to be, but I find a real joy and satisfaction is cooking a meal for the family.  I also enjoy running the house and even in cleaning it for everyone to enjoy.

21. What is a book you're intimidated to read but really want to read in the near future?
Little Dorrit.  Definitely intimidating.  Have you seen the size of it??  It's huge!!  But I still want to read it... :)

22. What 3 novels (or series of novels) would you like to see adapted to film or television?
I would love t see The Witch of Blackbird Pond done as a movie.  Also Hope was Here would be lovely if done well.  I think Ranger's Apprentice would be awesome too, but I happen to know that the first movie of that is already in the works with the auditions occurring sometime in the next few months, I believe.  :)

23. What would be the first thing you would like to say to/ask your favourite author if you had the opportunity of speaking intimately with them for ten minutes?
Probably "Hello!"  XDD

In all seriousness though, I would probably thank Janette Oke for creating beautiful, Christian romances that are entirely wholesome and Christian through and through.  They aren't just sloppy books that mention God once or twice.  Seeing the characters work through their faith, and reading through passages of scripture in the novels is so uplifting.

25. Favourite quote by your favourite author?
I can't pick!  Pass... ;P

26. What is your greatest wish/purpose in picking up your own pen and writing?
To glorify the Lord and encourage, edify, and serve others.


  1. You really must finish The Scarlet Pimpernel.... I read that a while back and enjoyed that, a lot... it is such a problem when there are so many good books that need to be read... and so little time in which to read them all in!

    1. I'll add it to the list of 'must-reads' then. :) I know!! It's is a problem we shall battle our whole lives, I think... ;)

  2. It was fantastic to read your responses to this tag, Emily! I enjoyed it very much, and I smiled several times because we share similar tastes/opinions about things on several things. :D

    I love what you mentioned about the struggle with fiction/entertainment and keeping a perspective on real-life, your struggles were ones I identified with (hmm, the death of Alice Garvey was SO HORRIBLE *shudders*), and yet yes, I am likewise learning to ask God to direct me and give me wisdom in my choices and attitude as a lover of stories and literature and books, to give me understanding and appreciation of what is good, learn to apply in my life, and yet not defile myself with material that will spiritually pull me down. It's a struggle/conflict I am learning through daily!

    You'll love The Scarlet Pimpernel, I think, Emily, but even more I think you will love the "Scarlet Pimpernel" adaption set in the 1980s with Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour - that version is so beautiful and thrilling!

    I 100% second you on your thoughts on the seasons, and autumn especially (bleh, those hey fever allergies are awful, aren't they? It has been sometime since I've lived in NSW so I have kind of forgot, but here in QLD they're terrible!) I kind of like to think that winer is Australia's "autumn magic" :D

    I am quite fond of Janette Oke, and have read one book "My Heart Remembers" for Kim Vogel Sawyer that I loved a lot as well.

    Some of the non-fiction books you mentioned have piqued my interest. I really should try and look them up!

    1. *smiles* Thanks for reading and commenting, lovely - I am looking forward to reading your tags answers!

      YES!! QLD allergies are awful. Dad's family is in QLD, and I get sick every time we go up there... I don't know why that is... I just do. It's kind of funny when I stop to think about it. XD

      I love "My Heart Remembers". The other set I really love by Kim Vogal Sawyer is The Mountain Lake Trilogy. "Waiting for Summer's Return" is beautiful too.

      I think you would love all those non-fictions. If you do end up reading them, I'd love to hear what you thought (although I'll probably see it on Goodreads!)