August 4, 2019

what I've been reading lately, part 1

What I've been reading lately:

My reading pace definitely slowed down over the summer (and really towards the busy time at the end of school, too), but I'm excited to see my schedule clearing up a bit and I can make more time to read again as school is back in session.

Little Women:

I know I watched the movie as a little girl, but I don't remember ever finishing this book until this year. There were many things I loved about it. But I actually really don't agree with who ends up with who. Just sayin.'

"What a pleasant life she might have if she only chose! I don't envy her much, in spite of her money, for after all rich people have about as many worries as poor ones, I think."

"If I don't seem to need help, it is because I have a better friend, even than Father, to comfort and sustain me. My child, the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning and may be many, but you can overcome and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father as you do that of your earthly one. The more you love and trust Him, the nearer you will feel to Him, and the less you will depend on human power and wisdom. His love and care never tire or change, can never be taken from you, but may become the source of lifelong peace, happiness, and strength. Believe this heartily and go to God with all your little care, and hopes, and sins, and sorrows, as freely and confidingly as you come to your mother."

"Then let me advise you to take up your little burdens again, for though they seem heavy sometimes, they are good for us, and lighten as we learn to carry them. Work is wholesome, and there is plenty for everyone; it keeps us from ennui and mischief, is good for health and spirits, and gives us a sense of power and independence better than money or fashion."

"She preferred imaginary heroes to real ones, because when tired of them, the former could be shut up in the tin in the kitchen till called for, and the later were less manageable."

"But someone did come and help her, though Jo did not recognize her good angels at once because they wore familiar shapes and used the simple spells best fitted to poor humanity."

In the Heart of the World: Thoughts, Stories, and Prayers of Mother Teresa

I really enjoyed this short, little book. It was the first ive read anything more than a simple quote by Mother Teresa. I am curious to read more about her life one day, but this was a good place to start.

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not come. We have only today. Let us begin."

"And the best way to show your gratitude is to accept everything with joy."

"We may not be able to give much, but we can always give the joy that springs from a heart that is filled with love."

"There are many people who can do big things, but there are very few people who will do the small things."

"I think a smile generates a smile, just as love generates love."

"There are poor people everywhere, but the deepest poverty is not being loved."

"I know it is impossible to relieve the world's suffering unless God's people are willing to surrender to God, to make sacrifices, and to suffer along with the poor."

How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen

I will admit I did more skimming than reading. The book was fine. The good principles are there. It just wasn't one that pulled me in or changed my life.

"With every moment of your time, every decision about how you spend your energy and your money, you are making a statement about what really matters to you."

"In sacrificing for something worthwhile, you deeply strengthen your commitment to it."

"Instead, most of us will face a series of small, everyday decisions that rarely seem like they have high stakes attached. But over time, they can play out far more dramatically."

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

So different from the movie! And from the play "Wicked." But it was a nice read.

"No matter how dreary and grey our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home."

"I shall take the heart, returned the Tin Man, for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world."

"But that doesn't make me any braver, and as long as I know myself to be a coward I shall be unhappy."

"All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. True courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty."

"The Wicked Witch was both surprised and worried when she saw the mark on Dorothy's forehead...and seeing the silver shoes began to tremble with fear, for she knew what a powerful charm belonged to them... but she happened to look into the child's eyes and saw how simple the soul behind them was, and the little girl did not know of the wonderful power the Silver Shoes gave her. So the Wicked Witch laughed to herself and thought, 'I can still make her my slave, for she does not know how to use her power.'"

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

I mostly feel neutral about this kid lit book--I didn't necessarily like it, but I didn't dislike it either. I walked away with two unexpected takeaways though. First, how to run better. It was a teeny tiny part of the book, but I had just started running for exercise when I read this so when she coached him to lean forward, hands loose, arms in, etc. I took it to heart and it made a big difference in my own running. Ha! Second, it made Shakespeare sound enjoyable and something that I might desire to read one day, without an english teacher forcing me to.

"You can't really say a lot if the whole time you're wondering if everyone else is thinking about the thing you're not supposed to be thinking about , because you are afraid the thing you are not supposed to be thinking about is going to harrow you with fear and wonder. Or something like that."

"Maybe that's why he dressed in black all the time. Maybe it's why he was never happy. Maybe he looked in the wrong places trying to find himself. Or maybe he never had someone tell him that he didn't need to find himself. He just needed to let himself be found."

"And it really doesn't matter if we're under our desks with our hands over our heads or not, does it?' 
'No,' said Mrs Baker. 'It really doesn't matter.'
'So why are we practicing?'
She thought for a minute. 'Because it gives comfort..People like to think that if they're prepared, then nothing bad can really happen. And perheaps we practice because we feel as if there's nothing else we can do, because sometimes it feels as if life is governed by the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune."

Sophia's War by Avi

This is another kid lit book I'm pretty nuetral about. It was interesting to read a book from this perspective during the revolutionary war. But that's all I've got to say.

"I have learned that heart and eyes are one. That's to say, one can see a thing, but when one is linked to it, the seeing is different."

"Oh, Desperation, your other name is Deception."

"In truth, it was midsummer madness garbed in bits of bravery. But then, as someone said, All beginnings have wings of vanity." 

"For I knew two things: that I had caused his hanging death and that I adored him."

Our Town by Thornton Wilder

I never have seen this play, but if I ever get the chance to I now know to jump on it. So simple yet so profound.

"And even in Greece and Rome all we know about the real life of the people is what we can piece together out of the joking poems and the comedies they wrote for the theatre back then."

"So I took the opposite of my father's advice and I've been happy ever since."

"They'll have a lot of troubles, I suppose, but that's none of our business. Everybody has a right to their own troubles.
Yes...people are meant to go through life two by two. 'Tain't natural to be lonesome."

"Wherever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense."

"I'd forgotten all about that. My, wasn't life awful--
with a sigh.
and wonderful."

"Good-by, Good-by world. Good-by, Grover's Corners...Mama and Papa. Good-by to clocks ticking...and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths...and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you.
Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?--every, every minute?"

"yes, now you know. Now you know! That's what it was to be alive. To move about in a cloud of ignorance, to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those...of those about you. To spend and waste time as though you had a million years. To be always at the mercy of one self-centered passion, or another. Now you know--that's the happy existence you wanted to go back to. Ignorance and blindness."