Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Book Joy

Books bring me joy.

I LOVE Books. Here are some of the bookshelves in our home (on that, for me, books are a big part of what makes our house 'home'!)(the first picture, is of the book AND toy bookshelves in Maggie's room - James thinks there are too many books in there. I think there are too many toys.):

In the next one the empty shelf is an awful blot, I know - an attempt to convince James that we don't have enough books, and we still have lots of places to put them. Everytime I bring home a new book I manage to put it somewhere else, keeping this shelf free for all the other books we have yet to fit in. He thinks there's a limit on the amount of books you should have...sigh... :) But he pretty much lets me have my way, and has been known to buy me books on occasion :)

Some of the random bookshelves around our home...

We may also have a basket or two...

I want to share with you my very favourite books :) (you should see my excited little grin right now :)) Here are some of my favourite picture books:

Let me tell you about them :D

Top left is one of my FAVOURITE favourites :) Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley. It won Children's Book of the Year in 2008, and it's really sweet. Since then the author, Aaron Blabey has written Stanley Paste, and Sunday Chutney. They're all really sweet and have great illustrations and messages. He's also written a book called 'The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon' which I know nothing about :) The other three are great for children though!

The next one across from that is 'Ruby Makes a Friend' - really sweet book!! Lovely pictures, cute story :) Next across, is one of three books in the picture collage illustrated by Katz Cowley. The other two are The Wonkey Donkey and Willbee the Bumblebee :) The Wonkey Donkey and Willbee the Bumblebee were both written by Craig Smith, who does the CD's that all three of the books contain. These books are FANTASTIC!!! And so funny! :) LOVE the illustrations, The Wonkey Donkey is definitely my favourite :) Such a funny text :) Maggie only currently has Willbee the Bumblebee - the other two I pulled out of the present box to photograph - she'll get them maybe for her next birthday :)

So that's three of the pictures. The last four are in the bottom left corner of the collage. Where the Wild Things Are is a classic, that has a movie made of it which I've never seen but heard not to bother. Maggie loves roaring her terrible roar and gnashing her terrible teeth along with the wild things! :) And the other three are just random books my Mum and Aunty Debbie gave me or Maggie, which are sweet or funny and have great illustrations :)

Then of course there are the Disney books. I love the classic storybooks (top) - and hunt out the old versions at op shops and second hand book fairs. I have done pretty well this way, and have most of them - not all pictured here. I used to have a bunch of new ones but I gave them away to my parents and sisters when I managed to find the 'real' (old) ones :) Hm - I just noticed there are two 'Pocahontas' books - who wants it? :) I also love Disney books in other formats - and in collections, like 'Adventure' stories or 'Friendship' stories pictured beneath the classics :) Beautiful pictures, and it's fun to read books when you're young, when you already know the characters or stories. It can be empowering and help children with confidence when they're learning to read.

Above are some of my very favourites for older children/young adults. Top left is 'Goodnight, Mister Tom', one of my very favourite all time books. I still read it every year or so, and cry at all the right bits. But it's a beautiful story. If it's on this page, it probably has a happy ending. I'm all about happiness :) Read that one. Next to it are 3 copies of Heidi. A picture book version, the original and a condensed version of the original. Heidi was always my favourite book when I was young. I just loved it, and it still makes me what to eat thick slices of bread with cheese whenever I think about it. I just love it. Bottom left is a two-in-one classics book, with The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. Gorgeous books for little girls. A Little Princess is definitely a favourite favourite, and The Secret Garden has grown on me with age. I really love A Little Princess though - all girls are princesses :) I like the way it teaches little girls to behave. All these old books are filled to the brim and bursting at the seams with good moral lessons and values - reading them now it's funny to me that I didn't notice it so much when I was younger! But I digress. One along from that is the 'What Katy Did' books :) My favourite is What Katy Did at School, and I always loved the chapter when Katy and Clover receive their Christmas package from home, and go through each sweet gift with such joy, and their friend Rose Red run in to join them. I often used to open it to there and just read that chapter. I did not enjoy the beginning, where Clover and Johnny went to stay with that old lady in her incredibly hot house. I usually skipped it. And the three collections on the right - Anne of Green Gables (just what I've found at book fairs - I want them all!), the Narnia Books (dreadful movie cover versions on a great sale! - I want them all too!), and Little Women/Good Wives - I would love Jo's Boys and little men sometime too - I am continuing my hunt :) Oh, and in the corner is a collection of the first 5 of the Little House on the Prairie books. Theses are oooold! If you want to learn how to do anything at all from scratch, read these - they're fabulously fascinating, and it's just wonderful to read about their isolated, happy, hard working existence!

What else shall I show you...

The Magic Faraway Tree and Wishing Chair series. Tammy bought these for me in an old set - semi rare, and such a wonderful gift, I LOVE them so much!! They've just actually released a new set of the picture books which is a relief for me on behalf of future generations. I wish every child could. They are perfectly wonderful imaginative books. My Dad used to read them to us all before bed, and I went to bed with all sorts of wonderful characters and faraway places dancing in my dreams :)

Enid Blyton was something of an author genius. She was wonderful, and I used to devour her books like chocolate (I know, right? :))

Here are some others of hers I've managed to get my hands on so far...

My parents bought me the entire set of Famous Five books for Christmas last year...!!! I have read these so many times, I loved them growing up, so much!!! :)

And here are a few I've randomly managed to pick up:

I would love to get my hands on her fairy books, and her 2 boarding school series. Mallory Towers and St Claires. A friend I've come to know lately went to boarding school for some of her high school time, and I feel like I've met a celebrity. Those books made boarding school such an exciting world, what a magical place to have been a part of! :) Again, these books are packed full of morals and values - vicarious teaching, love it :)

Okay I'm done with Enid Blyton for a bit, I promise :) What else have I got for you...

Ah these...

Are a little bit genius :) James' Nana and Koro got Maggie one ages ago - they live a long way away, and you record yourself reading this book to a child as a gift. Maggie freaked out a bit by it at first, but then asked for 'Nana Koro book' all the time, and loved it. So I suggested my parents do one for Maggie for Christmas as well - and they gave her 2 (the 2 on the right - the one on the left is the 'Nana Koro Book'). It makes me laugh to hear the way they recorded theirs, chatting to the girls. The girls love them though, especially Maggie (being old enough to notice it a bit more :)) and it's fun to have family read them sweet bedtime stories sometimes.

Oh, here's a tiny bit of Noddy. Fun fact: Enid Blyton wrote that too! :)

What else...

Ah, our every single night bedtime story! :) We are in the New Testament at the moment, and Maggie loves looking at the pictures, and pointing out 'Ana!' in all the pictures of the baby Jesus!! :) When I ordered these at first, I didn't realise there was a Doctrine & Covenants book as well so I got it recently and we haven't read it yet! As soon as we finish the New Testament this time we'll get it :) You can get them from here :)

But a book collection wouldn't be complete without some serious Roald Dahl! Here's what James and Maggie gave me for Christmas last year, much to my delight!! :)

Isn't it fabulous?! :) I just need a few more volumes to complete the Roald Dahl section of my book collection - Revolting Rhymes, Dirty Beasts and a few others. I love his poetry, it's brilliant. There's no fault to find in Roald Dahl. He's absolutely brilliant and fabulous and definitely an original :)

Oh and here's some Eric Carle:

They're gorgeous. One day I will buy The Very Hungry Caterpillar, something I can barely believe I don't have!

Oh and you may have seen them in the picture before, but can I tell you about some of these in more detail?

Dr Seuss. If you don't know who that is, I don't know where you've been all your life. But they're fabulous. See that collection up the top there? The Wonderful World of Dr. Seuss? A Christmas present this year from Mum and Dad, yay!! :)

Little Golden Books. Need I say more? Even James loves these - his Mum used to buy them for him with the groceries sometimes - we collect them at Op Shops :)

And I love these - the book set to the left, below. They're from Target, and Maggie really adores them. She loves reading the 'Sorry' book and saying 'sorry' with me on every page, and 'thankyou' and sharing and being kind and learning why we use manners, etc. I love them, and I love it that she loves them! They've been great for Family Home Evening lessons! :) I didn't know they'd be quite as cool as they have turned out to be for Maggie.

The three books below which are published in the same style are by Jackie French, illustrated by Bruce Whatley. The first one, Diary of a Wombat is an international bestseller, and won a bunch of awards. It's cute and funny, and I love it. The other two - Josephine Loves to Dance and Baby Wombat's Week are cute too, but not quite as good as Diary of a Wombat :) Oh, and have you seen 'Gallop' or 'Waddle'? You can buy them at bookstores and at Target too - they're scanimation, they're a lot of fun :)

As I got older I fell in love with this series:

The Billabong books, by Mary Grant Bruce. I'm missing 3. One day I'll get them. I love them. On the left of the first, is 'Golden Fiddles', also by Mary Grant Bruce. I've read this one many times too, love it. These are all kind of teenage fiction, but they're definitely old. I don't know how teenagers would respond to them today. But they are set in Australia in the early to mid 1900s in the outback :)

Now for an all time, favourite favourite favourite bunch of books:

I know, you love them too. Who doesn't? :) I love them all. Every single one. I want all the volumes individually, but can't yet justify buying them, seeing as I own the entire collection already. I'm feeling like some classics at the moment, I think I'm on the brink of my annual Jane Austin complete works read :) At that time of year I start speaking like I'm from the books. I expand my vocabulary and wish to converse more :) Nobody ties up all the loose ends nearly so nicely as Jane, except, I'm told, Charles Dickens. I haven't read a lot of Dickens, but I actually just bought a few classics on a great sale the other day, which I haven't read the originals of before:

I've just started the Prince and the Pauper, and feel so sad to know they're in these awful switched realities until the end of the book! I'm excited to read these though :) Don't you love the feel of a sweet smelling classic? New Paper? :) Or old? :)

I also love biographies:

I hope to have all the biographies of the Prophets before too long. The next one I want though is the old President Kimball Biography!

And I love their teachings. Once you finish reading their biography, you want to read every word they ever said or wrote! :)

Here are some other great church books (and the biographies again, sorry about that! :))

Faith Precedes the Miracle is wonderful. I love it. I love the things Spencer W. Kimball wrote and said! He was so loving but straight! And Lectures on Faith is kind of a must have. Mum and Dad have bought us such beautiful versions of The Holy Temple, and the books in the middle - The Autobiography of Parley P Pratt, Jesus The Christ and The Infinite Atonement. We also have a leather-bound Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, but James keeps that - he loves that book! They're all such wonderful books too - I used to read The Holy Temple when we were first married and I was home alone at night, to help me feel peace (I always freak out :P). It's wonderful. I love the beautiful copies of things, so was stoked (along with James) when Tammy bought us the heirloom copy of The Book of Mormon for Christmas this year (top right)!! :) It's awesome - it's got places for family trees, ordinations, baby blessings, baptisms, missionary service, children, etc. I want to put it in a special box away somewhere, but James wants to use it and see it often. At the moment we're in a compromise-ish - it's in our bookshelf, not in its box! :)

Doesn't this bookshelf look great?

I can't imagine why James doesn't like books everywhere!! They're gorgeous! :)

Speaking of church books though, I love John Bytheway! I realised doing this that I only have a few of his books:

But we have a lot of his talks on CD on our computer.

And I love books like these:

That are the uplifting, motivating kind of 'Professional Development' books for me as a wife and mum :) I like reading these while I'm on my fabulous treadmill. Especially The Greatest Career - it's such a 'get up and at 'em'boost! :)

Here's what's on my bedside table at the moment:

A lot of parenting stuff :)

In other books, I LOVE this semi-new book!! (new compared to most of my old classics collection!)

I couldn't put it down :) They didn't even do too bad a job with the movie!

I have some other books here and there, tucked away in different places, and a few good children's church books that are in our church toy bag, but those are some of the very favourites that I own.

Here are some very favourites that I would LOVE to own, but don't yet:

The Work and the Glory by Gerald Lund - a nine book historical novel series, following the early history of the church from before the church was organised, to when the pioneers arrived at the Salt Lake Valley. Love!

Cynthia Voigt's Tillerman series (including 'The Runner') Hard to get a hold of, unless I rob my parents, but really good. I don't know if students still read 'The Runner' for middle school English, but we used to!

The Twilight Series - I'm almost ashamed to write this on my blog! But back before the movies were rocking the socks of every teeny bopper on the planet and making me groan with disgust, I loved the books, which are 1,000,000 better than the movies, in every way, and just way different! My plan is to not look at the movies or think about it for a few years, try to forget it all, and then read the books again, and hope I can still enjoy them. My least favourite movie adaptation of a series, ever, but I couldn't put the books down. 'The Host' is quite interesting too - a good read, totally weird :)

Harry Potter - modern classics. I want them :) I want a pretty box set, and to add them to my 'read every semi-often' rotation of books :) They're really quite brilliant!

The Hobbit - I always found it a little easier to digest than The Lord of the Rings, though I'd like that too. I can't wait to see what they do with the movie! I love that The Hobbit is kind of the younger version of Lord of the Rings - I enjoyed it around age 10, but Lord of the Rings definitely took longer!!

The Hunger Games - Totally awful but fantastic. I hate awful horrible things, so my family are surprised how much I loved these. LOVED these. Looking forward to seeing what they've done with the movie in March!

Ronia, the Robber's Daughter - I used to love this when I was a girl. I think I must've read it at least 10 times when I was younger, but it made a Vinnies trip when I wasn't around - I don't think anybody thought anybody read it. I recently looked it up and it's available on second hand websites, so hopefully I'll be able to pick it up at a good price one day.

The 'Drina Dances' books - 'Drina Dances in Italy', and 'Drina Dances in Exile' we used to own, but somehow they made it to Vinnies along the way as well. There are 11 though, and I'd love to have them all one day! I think they were fun little girls books.

There are some other interesting books I've read in the last year or two - Mum lent me 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' which I really loved. It's set back in World War II I think, and was such a different perspective. Mum has found a lot of excellent reads from going onto the goodreads website and seeing them recommended. I haven't done it yet cause I'm afraid of getting addicted!! But I just take all of Mum's recommendations :)

I also recently loved the Vampire Academy series!! Not exactly Jane Austin, but not exactly easy to put down once I picked them up, either!! Don't judge them by their covers - I don't know what they were thinking with their cover art. There are 6 books in it, and then there was a spin off series, which I read the first one of - big mistake, since the rest aren't out yet!! But I really enjoyed them. Just an easy, addictive read :)

And on that note - I'd better go and do some housework :) I just wanted to share some of my book love. Because I really do love books.

It's a wonderful thing for children to love reading - it will give them such an amazing foundation for their schooling. If you can read to your children just once everyday, and if they can see you reading, and if books are around in your home and they learn to think of books in a positive way, it will help them so much at school! If your child goes to school with negative feelings towards reading it can put up a block that will impact their schooling, and not just in English - mathematics and literacy are very much linked! Everything they'll need to do will be based somewhat in reading! So my love of books is not just for them in themselves, it is for helping my children learn to love reading, and all children to learn to love books and the wonderful lessons you can learn and the stories they contain, and the wonderful help they can be in learning literacy and equipping you to be successful at and most importantly to enjoy learning at school! :D

Can you see why I want to become a teacher librarian if I ever go back to work?? :)

Does anyone have any other recommendations of fabulous books??? Childrens?? Adults?? History?? Church?? Novels?? Series?? :)

I love books :)


Sandy M. said...

I love that you love books :) I enjoyed this little stroll through your current book garden, thank you :)

Stace said...

Awesome post :) I love collecting books too - I shipped back boxes of books when we came home. You have such an awesome collection! Have you read Fishers of Men series by Gerald Lund? I LOVED it.

Stace said...

Also - I can totally see you as a librarian!! Would be a cool job! :)

Jessima said...

Totally love your collection. Had no idea you had so many. Makes me look at my books and think i have none - haha!

Well I know which library I will go to to borrow books from ;)

See ya soon!

Dianne said...

You may not remember me from old Institute choir days, but I love checking out your blog from time to time. And I just had to comment when I found out you like reading the "What Katy Did" books - I love them too and didn't know anyone else knew about them!

As for finding cheaper books, try www.bookdepository.co.uk - free shipping from the UK and much cheaper than here in Australia. I also have a 10% voucher from them for a friend if you need it... They have Jo's Boys for half price at the moment.

Abby said...

Ah Stacey I love that series too! Something else I could rob from Mum and Dad.. :)

And Dianne of course I remember you! The What Katy Did books are classics, I'm glad you love them too! :) I just recently discovered the Book Depository - how great is it?!! :) 'The Help' was my first purchase from there, and I have to not look at the website too often - they have such great prices!! I got the 10% off voucher but haven't been looking so that I won't go crazy, but I will have to check out Jo's Boys, thankyou for letting me know! :) Have you been to the Lifeline Bookfair?? It's on twice a year in Brisbane, and it's incredible.

Anonymous said...

I'm lovin' all the books Abby!

talz said...

hey Abs, you know that letter M made from buttons in Maggie's room - I started arranging one for Gemma but I don't know what to stick them down with, did you use a hot glue gun or something else?

Tammy Lorna said...

This post totally made me laugh. We're obviously sisters, because I'm just as much of a book geek as you are. I love that your list of children's series in particluar are exactly the same as mine. Ronia the Robbers daughter, for example... who else has even HEARD of that book?! And the boardingschool books by Enid Blyton? Totally need them all :)

And I also spend a lot of time standing in front of my bookshelves staring at spaces I'm dying to fill with books. (as in, my roommates have starting commenting on how much time I spend staring at my bookshelves and rearranging the books in them). I love the church books, the novels (old and modern classics), young adult/older child books, biographies (anyone inspiring or interesting) and history. Can't get enough of them.

And we both know that it's not our fault we're like this, because we aren't actually the 'original' Munro book geeks... MUM!!!!

Summary: Books are great because they have two awesome purposes:
1) You can READ them
2) they look FABULOUS in bookcases!

xo Tammy

PS. I have a couple of book vouchers from my birthday that I still haven't used yet... might spend some time on the book depository tonight?... lol!

Lauren said...

I love that you have so many books! They look sooo lovely :) This is why I will never buy a kindle... despite the convenience. Also Tammy showed me the Alana Aston photos and you look beautiful in them! Your girls are so adorable :) x

Beth and Robbie said...

Wowsers that was a massive post! But a very enjoyable one :) I'm jealous of all your books...I'm totally using you as my library too :)
I really want the far away tree series! I'll have to start looking. They're so great :) And all the others you have.
I'm quite impressed :) I want them all :)

Kate @ Back to Basics Tuition said...

Dear James, there is no such thing as 'too many books'. It's like the term 'fun-run', it just doesn't exist. Love Kate. PS cool animal skittles up there! ;) ♥