Life’s little echoes

“Everything that’s worth having is some trouble…”

-L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

Could truer words be spoken?  The story might be fictional, but the words are true.

After the catastrophe of Dracula, I needed more mental fun fluff.  I enjoyed the first book in this series, Anne of Green Gables, that I had already downloads several more books in the series when I found them for free.  Anne of Avonlea is the second book in the series.  It is a delightfully written as the first.

It’s an easy read.  Some stuff is predictable, other stuff leaves you wondering what is going to happen next.  It’s interesting to see Anne growing up, still getting into some mischief, but also witnessing Davy getting into his own.  She understands but doesn’t.  Her eyes are slowly opening to adulthood, but she is still a child, whimiscal and fun.  You see love developing through Anne’s eyes, though her mind isn’t consciously aware of romance for herself yet.

I love this book.  I kept this on my iPad mini to reread when the mood strikes.  It’s fun, lighthearted, entertaining.  I hope my children discover this series while they are young instead of in their 30s such as myself.  This is on my favorites shelf permanently.

Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery

(Book 2 of Anne of Green Gables series)

Barnes & Noble link:

Goodreads link:



“The motto of all the mongoose family is, “Run and find out,” and Rikki-tikki was a true mongoose.” – Rudyard Kipling, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

I must admit that even as a 30+ year old, if I see the cartoon Rikki-Tikki-Tavi on tv, I stop.  Always. Thus, the booknerd in me was super excited to see this book as a free download through iBooks.  To quote that annoying commercial, “Awesome-sauce!” No, this book wasn’t written with 30 year olds in mind, but I loved it as much as the cartoon.  Truth be told, I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book that the movie so closely followed.  I could be biased though. I can’t wait to share Rikki-Tikki-Tavi with my children.  It can teach hard work and determination, as well as showing love between a family and how that definition of family can grow. This was a short book, so I’ll keep my review as READ IT.  We all need an easy fun read from time to time.  This is it.  Go read it.  Now. And then you too can say he Rikki-Tikki-Tavi‘d that ass.  🙂

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling Link to Barnes & Noble store:

Tis indeed a curious day

“Curiouser and curiouser!”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

I recently reread Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol and then immediately followed it up with its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass.  I admit, I have a bit of an obsession with Alice in Wonderland.  As a 25+ year old at Disney World for the first time, the one souvenir I saw that I absolutely had to have was a Cheshire Cat stuffed animal.

I love the imagination with this story.  It’s fun and takes me back to my childhood.  As an adult, I like to think of a darker version of this tale, but I love the innocence I feel when I remember this story as it was written.

Alice in Wonderland is a fun book to read, but don’t necessarily expect it to follow whatever movie version you have seen.  That being said, I very much remember a cartoon that followed the book pretty well.  Now, if you are wanting your child to comprehend and analyze the story, this isn’t the book for that.  If you are wanting your child to read for fun and let his/her imagination roam, this is the book for you.

All that being said, I read Through the Looking-Glass a tad stressed.  It was no fault of the book, but of a movie from my childhood.  Keeping in mind I have a very vivid imagination at times and that I’ve always loved the Alice in Wonderland stories.  As a young child, I remember a Through the Looking-Glass (non-cartoon version) where the Jabberwocky was after Alice, who was run to escape and try to get back through the looking-glass to safety and her home.  That Jabberwocky I remember a little too vividly and apparently still scares me a little.  Thus, I read the whole book stressing “seeing” the Jabberwocky again.  I stressed for nothing (spoiler-he didn’t chase Alice at the end of the book).  If I had known that, the book would have been much more enjoyable for me.  Thus, taking my inane stress out of it, it was a good book, just not as good as the Alice in Wonderland.



World trip, baby!

“Mr. Fogg played, not to win, but for the sake of playing.”


“Why, you are a man of heart!”
“Sometimes,” replied Phileas Fogg, quietly. “When I have the time.”

–Jules Verne, Around the World in 80 Days

One of my recent reads was Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne.  I’m not sure how I made it out of elementary or middle school without reading this book, but somehow I had.  I much would have rather have read this instead of Great Expectations, but the education system did not ask for my input.

I struggled initially to get into this book.  It wasn’t a bad book, just not grabbing my attention.  Then again, I’m a 30+ year old read it and not a pre-teen.  The book started gaining momentum about half way through the book, but by three-fourths of the way through, I was hooked.  I was bound and determined to finish the book, so I was grateful and relieved when I was finally hooked.  Thus, it was a good book for me, just a slow build.

Phileas Fogg doesn’t believe in chance.  He truly believes he can account for everything.  He wagers he can go around the world in 80 days.  He sets off on his way, methodically keeping track of time and events.  While he is the main character of the story, the heros in my opinion are the two who save Fogg from himself.  You cannot help but love Fogg for his quirks and his servant Passepartout for the events that occur to him.


Truly alone

“Enola spelled backwards is alone.” – Nancy Springer, The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline

I gave myself a break from WWII and listened to a fun mystery.  It was as fun as I had hoped.

The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer is book #5 in the Enola Holmes series.  I was a HUGE fan of The Boxcar Children series as a chlid, so a child solves a mystery premise was right up my alley.

Enola Holmes is the (much) younger sister of the great world detective, Sherlock Holmes.  Once her landlady is kidnapped, Enola is now very much alone in the world.  Her mother has disappeared and she’s run away from her brother to avoid boarding school.  Mrs. Tupper was her companion in her young world of fourteen.  Enola sets her mind to finding Mrs. Tupper, during which you can see genius must run in the Holmes’ family.  You can see the fourteen year-old mind fight against much more mature insight and instincts.  I’m not sure I’d have that level of a head in my thirties as Enola does at fourteen.  Actually, I know I wouldn’t.  My mom stepped on a piece of broken glass one time, and my stepfather joked he thought her foot was cut off by the way I described it.  Calmness isn’t something I embody, but Enola does repeatedly..

Until she’s about to be busted by her brother.  What teenager wouldn’t freak out then?

This was a delightful story.  I hope to introduce this series to my children one day.  I left this audiobook in my file to listen to again later.  I was sad when it ended, but I can repeat again later as desired.  Any story/book that makes me think that is a great book.  This is highly recommended for a fun break.

The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Format: MP3 Audiobook
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Source: Audiobook Sync
3 parts, 14 chapters
3 hours 8 minutes 51 seconds

Link for (physical) book purchase through Barnes & Noble: