Fiction versus Non-Fiction/Reading and Viewing for 2008

Wow! George and I were comparing our fiction to non-fiction reading ratio this year, and I read only 14 fiction out of the 43 books (29 non-fiction). Most of those fiction were toward the end of the year because I read "ahead" for my book club.

This year, I am going to be super-selective about what I read because I wasn't super excited about many of my reads last year (Simple Church and The Persian Pickle Club come to mind).

I am also going to be really selective about my movie viewing. I will still do the "watch the movie after I read the book" thing because I love to compare and contrast. In fact, I will watch all the Austens that are coming on PBS' Masterpiece Theatre. In fact, I am going to post the schedule right here in case anyone here is lurking and also an Austen fan!!!!

Jan 13 Persuasion

Sally Hawkins appears as Anne Elliot, a woman destined for spinsterhood
after a proposal eight years earlier. Then her spurned suitor reappears.

Jan 20 Northanger Abbey

In a medieval house that appeals to her most lurid fantasies, romance addict
Catherine Moreland (Felicity Jones) begins a relationship with the younger
son of the estate.

Jan 27 Mansfield Park

After being sent to live at Mansfield Park, Fanny Price (Billie Piper)
navigates a labyrinth of intrigues and affairs among its occupants.

Feb 3 Miss Austen Regrets

Courtship she knew well; only the last act eluded her. A film biography that
dramatizes Jane Austen’s lost loves.

Feb 10, 17, 24 Pride and Prejudice

Colin Firth is Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle is Elizabeth Bennet in the
definitive adaptation of the most-loved of all Austen novels.

March 23 Emma

Kate Beckinsale stars in the title role as the tireless matchmaker who
professes no interest in matrimony for herself, only for her orphaned
protégée, Harriet Smith (Samantha Morton).

March 30, April 6 Sense and Sensibility

Though poor, levelheaded Elinor Dashwood (Hattie Morahan) and her
impulsive sister Marianne (Charity Wakefield) attract a trio of promising

I am also excited about these on Masterpiece Theatre:

April 13 A Room with a View

Elaine Cassidy is Lucy Honeychurch, who arrives at an Italian guest house
and is offered a room with a view by Mr. Emerson and his eccentric son
George. Adapted by Andrew Davies.

April 20 My Boy Jack

Daniel Radcliffe, in his first TV role since finding fame as Harry Potter, plays
Jack, the son of Rudyard Kipling, in this moving family drama set during
World War I. Also stars Kim Cattrall.

May 4, 11, 13 Cranford

In 1842, Cranford is a village on the brink of change, where some find
romance and opportunity, and others fear the breakdown of social

I will also watch movies to augment our home school. For instance, we read about Martin Luther yesterday, and the reading for World History actually suggested watching Luther. So, I did something I rarely do: I RENTED a movie from Blockbuster! I am doing it because the library didn't have it, and I don't feel right about doing an inter library loan and on the library's dime if Blockbuster has it. Actually, I am shocked that our library does not have the DVD, especially since one of the producers is a Corvallis resident, and it is a great film for augmenting history.

For books, I hope to read:

The Odyssey and various other classical books from Michael's Classical Literature class ( and from The Well-Educated Mind, but I think I am done with more frivolous books! I felt like I wasted my time on some last year, but I was at the mercy of my Book Clubs. I feel like we had sort of a lackluster year in the Book Babes selections. They weren't bad books. They were just OK books though. Books like Memory Keeper's Daughter, My Sister's Keeper, and Marly and Me come to mind. I didn't even read some of them because I was out of town, and they just didn't seem too interesting to me. This year. They were all interesting to me. I have read all but Peace Like a River, but here are the ones I have read and enjoyed:

Dec: Back When We Were Grown Ups by Anne Tyler (not bad for a Tyler)
Jan: Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour (one of my favorites of all time)
Feb: The Syringa Tree by Pamela Glen
April: The Scapegoat by Daphne DuMarurier (I loved this two years ago!)
May: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (I will reread and compare with PBS version!)
June: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson (Lifechanging read)
July: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (Love his writing and hard, but good subject matter)
August: Kaffier Boy by Mark Mathebane (I love this book, will probably reread)
Sept: The Last Sin-Eater by Francine Rivers (Not bad! Liked it much better than other one I read by her!)

Since I am almost done with them for the year, it leaves my reading for 2008 open to being very particular, and I am excited about that. Also, NO ONE has given me a book to read other than:

Lightforce by Brother Andrew, and they gave it to me to own. So, I have no pressure to give it back to anyone. Also, I really want to read it!

Post is too long. Gotta' go because the main book for this year (and the next three years) is going to be the Bible for the Bible Book Club! LOL!
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