Category Archives: reading

Friday fill-ins #130

1. She had a great handbag!

2. Rollie is my by my side always! And sometimes under my feet!

3. I know this: If it gets any hotter Texas is going to turn into one great big tortilla chip!

4. Be still, Rollie. It isn’t dinner time yet!

5. These words apply to me: Uh, I don’t have a clue!

6. Outside the sun was shining.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I am looking forward to a few more episodes of “Sex and the City”, tomorrow I might attend the great big fabric/notion sale at Berry Patch Fabrics, and Sunday I want to go to church and either read or quilt or cross stitch — so many choices!


Reader Rantings –“The Bumper Book”

In my opinion, reading is, by far, the best pasttime. It is portable, if you read in the daytime it doesn’t require electricity, you can read as long as you want or stop when you want — not subject to network programming schedules and definitely NOT preempted by a “special report” and, if you use the public library systems (which we all should do), it can be free. What more could anybody want in the way of entertainment?

I was a voracious reader as a child and young adult and my love of reading was “inflicted” on my children because I began reading to them the moment they were born. We would visit the library every two weeks, tote home armloads of books and read and re-read our favorites.

One of my favorite books was “The Bumper Book” by Watty Piper and illustrated by Eulalie. It was published in 1946 by Platt & Munk. To my young eyes, this was the most gorgeous book imaginable. The illustrations are very old-fashioned, rich, colorful and interesting — the more you look at them, the more you see. The stories and the verses are familiar and can be read over and over again.

This book is, sadly, out of print. It can be obtained, for a pretty penny, on Ebay but I found a copy at our local antique mall. I just felt that our Moochi would lose out if he didn’t have a copy of this book so I searched until I found one. I think I got it for a reasonable price (define reasonable!) of under $50. It was in pretty good shape and I was pleased that I was able to find it.

I have read the book to Moochi several times and while I think he enjoyed it I know I did! Everytime I read the alphabet verse I get tickled and I still know “Christopher Robin” by heart — such wonderful memories — every child should have them!

So, the next time you are looking for a special gift for a child, try to find a copy of “The Bumper Book”. It might not be perfect anymore but that worn cover will just be an indication of how much it was loved and used by a child before.

Gone but Not Forgotten — My Genealogical Search

Aside from my family and my faith, I have four interests in my life — quilting, cross stitch/embroidery, reading, and genealogy. I wouldn’t call them passions, I am passionate about my family and faith but I would say that I am drawn to these activities from somewhere deep inside. They are activities that have rooted themselves in me, planted and encouraged by others and I find no better way to spend my “alone” time .

The two activities that have the deepest meaning to me are genealogy and quilting and they are linked. My interest in quilting began with my great-grandmother, Maggie. One evening in her home, watching her and my grandmother hand piece quilts was the most fascinating thing I had ever seen. They even let me join in and the fire was fueled forevermore.

This same great-grandmother was the basis for the love of genealogy. My father’s family had always held family history in geat esteem and had kept the family story alive. I grew up hearing historical accounts of my family’s migration from Tennessee to Texas in covered wagons. I learned about our family’s place in the founding of this country and this government. It was pretty awesome as a child and the interest never left me. In fact, it just expanded to include my maternal family and my husband’s family, as well.

I have decided that this blog is a good venue for collecting and sharing these stories, maybe some photos, for family members that might be interested either now or in the future.

A few of the names that I research are Boyett (and all variations of the spelling), Cocke, Watkins, Conn, Davies/Davis, Webb, Palmer, Brinkley, Rantz. This isn’t a complete list but the most immediate list. The areas that I research are Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, England, Wales.

So, if you are interested, come back and join me on my travels through my family search.

Booking Through Thursday

“What, in your opinion, is the definition of a ‘reader’. “A person who indiscriminately reads everything in sight? A person who reads BOOKS? A person who reads, period, no matter what is?” Or, more specific. Like the specific person who is reading something you wrote.”

In my opinion a reader can be all of those things or just one of those things. A person who reads everything in sight — a voracious reader — while maybe not particularly discriminating, is still reading and probably a great deal. A person who reads BOOKS is indeed a reader. A person who reads for school or work is also a reader.

However, when I think of a “reader” I think of a person who truly loves to read, regardless of the genre. I think of a “reader” as one who becomes involved with the characters and plotlines and plunges into the story (or article) completely.

In my opinion, a “reader” is someone who is passionate about the pasttime, regardless of what he/she is reading but gets into it, enjoys it, looks forward to the next adventure and realizes that the ability to read is a life changing gift.

“Like the specific person who is reading something you wrote”. Yes, she defines the term “reader”.


Yay! I have been tagged! This is my first tagging and I am thrilled because I love, absolutely love, all these questionnaires and bulletins and things. So, here goes!

1. Who is your all time favorite author and why?

This is difficult to answer because I have several authors that I gravitate toward which is bad, because I probably ignore many others that would be very good. Jan Karon comes to mind immediately. The Mitford series was very captivating for me although some reviewers found it to be milque toasty. I loved every minute of it and couldn’t wait to get the next book. Barbara Taylor Bradford is another favorite. I thoroughly enjoyed all the “Woman of Substance” series. I will also read and re-read Shirley Jackson. While I read “The Haunting of Hill House” more than once, I really enjoyed “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” more. I received my first copy of it for Christmas when I was about 14 and loved every page of it. I can’t leave out Grace Metallious of “Peyton Place” fame. I seem to really like books that are soap opera-like. Doesn’t say much for my reading taste, does it?

2. Who was your first favorite author and why? Do you still consider him or her among your favorites?

I think the first author that I remember being struck by was Kate Seredy –“The Good Master”. Every year we had required reading lists — a thing of the past, I am sure — and she was the first author that I remember reading most of her books. I really enjoyed her books because they took me into a different culture than my own and I found her descriptions — mostly of the clothes — to be quite enchanting. While I haven’t read her in a good number of years, I am looking to collect her books if I can find them of the same vintage that I read them.

Other authors that I enjoyed as a child were Doris Gates “Blue Willow” and Lois Lenski “Strawberry Girl” and I do have those books in my library.

3. Who is the most recent addition to your list of favorite authors and why?

Well, I have to say that Barbara Pym, introduced to me recently by JLSHall is a new favorite as is Miss Read. I am enjoying them because they write “comfortable” books. I am not good with science fiction or deep intrigue, although I am beginning to enjoy mysteries other than Nancy Drew but I tend to read books that are either historical fiction or more family drama sorts of things.

I have never been to “into” romance novels once I moved out of the “Gidget” stage but I am involved with a Romance Challenge that is allowing me to revisit the genre. I have chosen a couple of Debbie Macomber books for that. However, I have to add that I did obtain my daughter’s name from a Harlequin novel that I was reading at the time so I guess romance novels really don’t deserve the discredit they so often get. I will let you know how it goes.

4. If someone asked you who your favorite authors were right now, which authors would pop out of your mouth? Are there any you would add on a moment of further reflection?

Spontaneously, I would probably mention the ones I have already mentioned above because I am reading some of them now. However, I would have to add Beverly Lewis, Henry Winterfeld (can’t leave out “Star Girl”), Larry McMurtry, JD Salinger, Barbara Delinsky, Belva Plain, Rosamunde Pilcher, James Howe (you gotta love “Bunnicula”), Kim Edwards. Oh, I don’t know, there are so many out there it is really hard to say.

I don’t know six people to tag so I will probably tag Monique and Mary Kathryn.

Booking Through Thursday — What is Reading, Fundamentally

IMHO — reading is feasting your eyes upon the written word and ingesting the meaning therein. I think all of the examples, except audiobooks, constitute reading. There are many types of reading, for example, reading for pleasure, reading to gain information or instruction, required reading as in a classroom, necessary reading as in street signs but for it to be “reading” it has to include the visual action of looking at the written word.

I think that “reading” changes with different stages in our lives. As a child, reading comic books for instance is reading as much as reading textbooks. As an adult, one may read for his/her job or education. People read novels and literature for pleasure. It is still all reading and all beneficial.

I think that reading is the single most important skill a person can acquire. If a person can read, he/she can accomplish anything.

Did I actually answer the question?

Booking Through Thursday

When somebody mentions “literature”, what is the first thing you think of? (Dickens? Tolstoy? Shakespeare?)

Do you read “literature” (however you define it) for pleasure? Or is it something you read only when you must?

When you say “literature” I immediately think of my senior English class in high school. Somehow the word “literature” and Beowulf seem to go together to me. But, on further review, I guess I look at most fiction as literature. I mean, after all, isn’t some of the more contemporary fiction going to be upheld as great literature somewhere down the road?

For the most part, I read for pleasure. I read to escape to another place and put myself in the shoes of another for a while. I choose to read, it isn’t something that is forced on me anymore — i.e. I am not in that sr. English class anymore. I find, though, that I am wanting to go back and read, for pleasure, some of the things I read then because I HAD to.

On the other hand, I do read a great deal for information. As a quilter and a needleworker I read to learn more about those activities. Still, it is for pleasure.

As a child, I wanted desperately to learn to read — the newspaper fascinated me. Somehow I knew it would always serve me well and I was right — just give me a book and I am a happy camper.