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Spell the Month in Books // January-May

So I saw this first on Kate’s blog but apparently the challenge is from Jana @ Reviews From the Stacks. I loved the idea so much I just had to go back and do the months I missed. 😆

JANUARY

J ~ Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

Ohhh, yeah. I love “Jane Eyre” (yes, the italics are necessary). This book is seen as so gloomy and depressing but every time I read it, it encourages me, fills me with hope, inspires me, and motivates me. All the Brontë books do, frankly, but especially Jane—I relate to her and admire her, and that just really helps me when I’m in a depressive spot… like right now.

(Y’all know the drill with these types of post—you gotta read my full review for all my thoughts on this beauty. And if you click on any of the book titles here, it’ll lead straight to my review.)

A ~ Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne.

Okay so this is one of the cleverest, funniest books I have ever read. It never fails to cheer me up, entertain me, and stimulate my mind, while still giving me plenty to think over. Delicious.

N ~ Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.

(Apparently we got some sort of classic theme going on here—wonder if it’ll hold out.) Anyways, this is one of Jane Austen’s lesser-known classics. The first time I read it I rocked with laughter and thought it was purely humour—the second time I snickered and frowned, reading the subtext. It’s a very sharp analysis of young people, disguised as a brilliant satire. Lighter than most of Austen’s books, yet with plenty of meat!

U ~ Under the Lilacs by Louisa May Alcott.

This is also a lesser known classic—like, I have never heard of anyone reading this—but it’s the sweetest thing. I’ll just go ahead and quote from my review—“I picked this up when I was high-strung and nervous and needed something calm and sweet to read. It fit the bill perfectly. [Read the review if you want more deets B) ] Overall, this story is a breath of pure, fresh air and a completely satisfying little tale with a happily-ever-after ending. ❤

A ~ Anne of the Island by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

You know, we seldom talk of the other Anne books in the series singly. But really. I adore AOGG and Anne of Avonlea, but AOTI really hits me differently… perhaps because every time I read it, I was close to Anne in age or in situation or in feeling, but differently from last time. It’s such a beautiful, inspiring book, and always leaves me feeling so hopeful and blessed.

R ~ Rob-Roy by Sir Walter Scott.

I don’t often talk of Scott’s novels simply because I haven’t happened to read them for a while, but he’s the KING of his-fic (and accents). I love Ivanhoe best of all his novels (so far) but Rob has a very special place in my heart. Like (almost all) the Scott novels, it has a fascinating historical figure or two (or five), epic accents, beautifully gloomy (Scottish) scenery, a unique hero and damsel in distress, excellent humour, and loads of shrewd commentary on humanity. Now I wanna read those books again…

Y ~ A Year in the Fields by John Burroughs.

(I really wanted to keep the theme of no-articles-to-be-ignored-in-the-title but there’s not many Y books that start without an an or a or the, and I haven’t read many of those that do. Sadness). Natural history books were big in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and I love them. William J. Long is my fav but I do really enjoy some of John Burroughs’ works, even if I disagree with his religious (or rather nonreligious) beliefs.

FEBRUARY

F ~ Facing Death by G.A. Henty.

So I know that G.A. Henty isn’t exactly popular anymore, but I grew up on his novels and still really love them (even if I disagree with some stuff, obvs). I actually have quite an affection for 1800s adventure stories, even—or maybe especially—with the unrealistically perfect characters and crazy adventures. This is one of my favourites—Henty’s MCs are always fun but this one is particularly sympathique, as the French say. I love the picture of old English life it gives and the message it holds!

E ~ Emily by Michael Bedard.

One thing you may not know about me is that I love well-done illustrations—pen & ink, watercolour, oil… a beautiful painting or sketch always gets me. I (re)discovered Emily this year—apparently my mother read it to me as a child but I had no recollection. The illustrations are lovely and the text is even more gorgeous…

B ~ Bloopers, Botches & Blunders by Allan Zullo.

We picked this up at a Value Village and sure got our $2 worth out of it many times over. I’ve read it at least 4 times and still burst out laughing at some stories. It’s just so ridiculously hilarious—exactly the type of humour I love. XD I don’t like making fun of people but when you just retell the funny stuff that happened to them with good humour and no mockery, then I do enjoy it!

R ~ Robin Hood by Henry Gilbert.

You may (or may not) be surprised to hear I’m an avid Robin Hood fan. More like, I adore Robin Hood stories and gave up on deciding the morality of the old English outlaw. Anyways, of all the Robin o’ Dale books I’ve read, this one is my favourite. It’s probably the most imaginary, but also likely more accurate than, say, Howard Pyle’s version… My review is terrible and needs to be updated but I just love this medieval adventure!

U ~ Unknown by Vanessa Hall.

(Thank goodness March doesn’t have an –uary in it). Apparently this month’s theme is “things you may not know about me”). I’m actually quite fascinated by Russian history (and the Russian language) even if 99% of the time I’m totally objecting to what they do. But alas, Russia isn’t a popular setting for books. So this one I totally jumped on! It ended up being an awesome Christian adventure with a great romantic subplot and I really look forwards to the next books in the series.

A ~ About the Jam, Darling by Virginia Aighton.

It always takes a lot of mental energy to read nonfiction over fiction, and I’m totally guilty of yielding to laziness too often in this department. But I thoroughly enjoy a good nonfiction, especially on a subject I love. Now I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that I love books about WWII or England, but I haven’t often mentioned that I particularly love biographies, memoirs, letters, and journals from any era. So this book satisfied two niches, and made me quite happy.

R ~ The Reb & the Redcoats by Constance Savery.

Another startling fact about me: I’m fascinated by American Revolution stories. Even if I’m firmly on an unpopular side, I somehow can’t stay away from those stories just out of curiosity to see how they’ll present the war (probably because I’m on an everlasting quest to 1. find a book that presents my POV and 2. because I always have a little niggling doubt at the back of my mind and endlessly seek final affirmation about which side was right). But anyways, this was a delightfully unique and clear-minded Revolutionary War book that was as sweet and amazing as Constance Savery’s books always are. ❤

Y ~ Youre Lovable to Me by Kat Yeh.

I love rabbits—IN THEORY. I’m really not crazy about them as pets. But that’s another topic. I already mentioned I love illustrations. But I might as well mention I adore cutesy children’s books. And this is like one of the very cutest I have ever read.

MARCH

M ~ Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell.

I discovered Gaskell last year with Wives & Daughters and fell head over heels in love immediately. Then I read North & South and it was even better. I wasn’t sure what I’d think of Mary because I heard it was depressing. Apparently I’m really bad at being depressed by classics or something. Anyways, I found the book (you guessed it) super encouraging instead and absolutely loved it. It’s got one of the sweetest romances ever.

A ~ Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë.

Okay, let’s see how well we do sticking to “my favourite romances” as a theme. I loooove Agnes Grey. It was much sadder and more depressing than JE, I thought, but also less passionate and more sweet instead of “Gothic.” And the romance in here is absolutely lovely… and so hopeful. ❤

R ~ Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott.

(First time repeating an author! Yay!) Okay, this has to be read as a sequel. But. It is epic. And I adore the romance here. When I first read it, I rooted for someone… but even if I feel so sorry for said someone and wished their romance worked out, the final romance of the book is perfect and adorable and ahhhhh <333 and SO IS THE SIDE ROMANCE Y’ALL!!

C ~ Captive of Raven Castle by Jessica Greyson.

This. Now this was an absolutely amazing kingdom adventure with awesome characters. And the romance was super cute and excellently matched. ❤ And slow-burn, of course. I hate insta-love as a rule (unless it’s in an 1800s novel, lol).

H ~ The Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte M. Yonge.

Okay, this might be a stretch because I honestly don’t remember anything about the romance here except that I was really rooting for it and wasn’t sure it would happen. But I’m pretty sure it was delightful, so imma count it. XD Epic romance or no epic romance, it’s a great book. 😉

APRIL

A ~ Adèle & Simon by Barbara McClintock.

(Thank goodness A is a popular title letter. Actually, that makes sense, given how popular a letter it is period. But anyways.) So you know I love children’s books, and you know I love cute illustrations, and know you’ll find out that I love seek-and-find books. This is still one of my favs even if I can find all the items pretty quickly now. 😀 It’s also super fun to read aloud….

P ~ Parables From Nature by Mrs. Alfred Gatty.

I have always found it so sad that more people don’t know about this book. My mother read me some of its stories for school and then I read the rest myself for fun… and read them… and reread them… and re-reread them… They are beautiful, striking, and excellently written allegories and parables that I just find more richness and deepness in each time!

R ~ The Red Trailer Mystery by Julie Campbell.

Aight, so y’all can fangirl over Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, but I can tell you that Trixie Belden is far and away a better series. For one, the characters are all imperfect, poor, and not always crazy lucky—and time actually passes in the books—the kids age and dogs grow up. (Shockers!) They’re funny, mysterious, sweet, and wholesomely vintage and I adore the series. ❤

I ~ Imaginarium by Amanda Kastner.

It appears that our theme now is unknown books again. I’m actually quite fond of graphic novels—the heavy reliance on illustrations and dialogue pleases me, and something about the way typical graphic novel illustrations are done just get me. However, there’s quite few clean comics, and even fewer well done ones. This is definitely my favourite graphic novel! Illustrations, story, setting, text, and characters are all epic. ❤

L ~ The Lamplighter by Maria S. Cummins.

It also appears I have a love for old books about self-improvement/someone’s journey to becoming a better person. I only read this book once, haven’t had time since, but I loved it enough to remember it pertinaciously, so that should tell you something. It’s quite a long book, but I remember thinking it was peculiarly lovely…

MAY

M ~ Macbeth by William Shakespeare.

We’re in the home stretch, y’all! Or maybe we already hit it. I don’t know. I have no clue what a home stretch is anyways. But to return to my mutton. So, Shakespeare. Can’t be denied he was a genius and a really fabulous writer. Unfortunately 88% of what he wrote has to be edited more or less… and sometimes quite heavily. Still. I loved quite a few of his plays. I didn’t expect to love Macbeth but it’s really not as bad as people make it out to be at all—in fact, it’s one of dear old William’s best!

A ~ The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Back to the As again… looks like we’re stuck on secular-books-not-favourably-eyed-by-most-Christians. I adore the Sherlock Holmes series and really couldn’t pick a favourite volume—all of them have some of my favourite stories in them. They are just all epic. The whole collection. <33

Y ~ Young Si by L.M. Montgomery.

(Yay! Only one other repeat author!) I know this is technically a short story but it’s also sold as a book, so cut me some slack. I’m very fond of Montgomery’s short stories because they’re so dramatic and full of lovely descriptions and have fantastic writing and epic characters and … they’re just my style. I particularly love her seashore tales. Like, I really love her Along the Shore collection…

Well, there you go! That was interesting… I hope you find some more books to add to your TBR here—these are all some of my favs. 😄

Published by Katja L.

Hello! :) I'm Katja. I'm a Canadian bibliophile, book reviewer, writer, and child of God. I love too many things to name, but among them are chocolate, heirlooms, history, fancy handwriting, grammar & punctuation, laughter, tearjerking books, lists, organized bookshelves, pink roses, flowing skirts, hymns, and pretty much anything old-fashioned, beautiful, & classy.

16 thoughts on “Spell the Month in Books // January-May

  1. I’ve read Under the Lilacs! I am so happy to met someone else who has! Lousia May Alcott is one of my favorite others! I’ve read all her works! Rose in Bloom is beautiful story! I have a over one hundred year old copy of it and its my treasure!
    Sorry, bit of rant…but I was excited…lol…this was a fun post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh how awesome!! I love Alcott’s works too. Just finished Jack & Jill and my word whyyyy don’t people talk of it more?? It’s amazing!!! <333 OHHHH THAT COPY OF ROSE IN BLOOM SOUNDS AMAZINGGG… Thanks for commenting, Kayti!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! I know so much of her work is over looked…I love An Old Fashioned Girl and Moods…so many good ones. It’s been a while since I’ve read any of her stuff but I did love them! My dad let me do a year of high-school where all I read for classics was Louisa May Alcott, L. M. Montgomery, and Eleanor H. Porter I loved that!
        Oh, Flower Fables by Alcott is good too, very different from her other works but good.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. OFG is one of my favorites! Yes! I totally agree! One of my favorites of Porter’s is Oh Money, Money…really fun and good story! I also like Dawn and Pollyanna…and the Miss Billy books are really good too!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Your comment about insta-love, except in 1800s novels, startlingly resonated with me. XD

    I believe “home stretch” is a baseball term that refers to the distance between third base and home … at least, that’s where I’ve heard it. It’s okay; I don’t expect you northern-Canadians to be up on baseball. 😀

    CutePolarBear

    Liked by 1 person

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