Two Weeks in My Reading Life

by | Mar 23, 2024 | Art, Books, Reading | 11 comments

I wanted to do something a little different in this post and give you a quick look into two weeks (more or less!) in my reading life. 🙂

Typically I read 8-10 books a month, but lately it has been a little less because I’ve had so much going on (launching my latest novel and working on other projects), but I have been enjoying some great reading and wanted to share a bit about it!

A little over two weeks ago, I finished reading Spring Begins in March by Jean Little. It is a perfect springtime read (as the title might suggest!), even though the title is really more metaphorical than literal. It’s the sequel to Mine for Keeps, Little’s first novel. I have talked about this book before in my Best Books of Spring post, but it’s worth talking about again because of the charming, realistic characters and the delightful resolution. The best part of the book is when Meg’s grandmother reads aloud Anne of Ingleside to her. This scene was taken from one of Little’s own experiences as a child, when she “read ahead” after her grandmother finished reading for the night because she had to find out what happened to Anne!

When I first read Spring Begins in March, this scene made me want to read Anne of Ingleside, which I never had before. (I had read Anne of Green Gables countless times, but had never gotten to some of the later volumes.) So I read it and loved it! In a journal entry from that time, I wrote: “I like the little vignettes, like individual episodes of a sitcom.” Readers have criticized the episodic nature of some Montgomery books, but much of the time those ‘episodes’ make the books special and unique.

So when I revisited Spring, it put me in the mood to revisit Ingleside. But there was a catch: I have been trying to read the Anne series in order for the first time EVER. I started last April with AOGG and have been (slowly!) continuing throughout the months, and I needed to read Anne’s House of Dreams in order to read Ingleside.

I decided to challenge myself to read AHOD in three days. I have always been a slow reader—I read tons of books but it typically takes me a week to read a long-ish book like the ones in the Anne series. And I love a good challenge! So I dived in and (sort of) binged AHOD. It was terrific fun! AHOD is (like other Montgomery books) essentially stitched together from various short stories that LMM wanted to revisit, but everything is seamless. In my opinion, this is perhaps the most well-crafted Anne book because there’s nothing really extraneous—everything matters, and the various subplots all work well together in harmony.

Here is a two-page spread in my scrapbook that I created while reading AHOD:

So then I went on to Ingleside, but at the moment I am only about halfway through because of two things: life became even busier, and I also received some books for my birthday (yay!) and I am starting on those. Anne of Ingleside is such a joy to read, especially the original portions that were never short stories, LOL! I just find this to be another absolutely wonderful springtime selection.

I also recently read Lizzie by May Justus, a chapter book from 1944 that was reprinted a few years ago. I’ve embarked on a different kind of reading challenge this year—I want to try reading a book set in each U.S. state! So Lizzie was my choice for Tennessee; it’s set in the mountains and is very sweet. Nothing much happens in it, but since it’s so short, that’s okay. 🙂

I just finished one of the books I received for my birthday, Lois Lenski’s Flood Friday. I had a hard time putting it down because I had to find out what happened to all the children! It was based on a real flood in Connecticut in the 1950s, and Lenski is (as usual) excellent with bringing details to life.

The next book I’m currently reading is The Adventure of the Seven Keyholes by Augusta Huiell Seaman. I love her books—she wrote vintage children’s mysteries in the early 20th century and this one, from 1925, is quite good so far.

So that’s basically two weeks in my reading life. What have you been reading lately? I’d love to hear about the last two weeks in your reading life!

11 Comments

  1. Ms. Yingling

    I asked students for suggestions of books I should buy for the library, and one asked for AOGG. I sent her a note to tell her that I had ALL of the books. She had only ever seen a television series. Back in the day, I did love House of Dreams. I would reread the whole series every winter break. Glad you finally got to some of the later books.

    Reply
    • Anna Rose Johnson

      Oh, I love that! I hope she discovers the rest of the series, too. 🙂 I’m glad I did!

      Reply
  2. Molly McTernan

    Ahh, lovely post! I’ve been wanting to re-read ‘Anne of Green Gables’ so that I can continue the series, but I just have so many books on my TBR that I don’t know when that will be happening. My most recent read was ‘Court Of Swans’ by Melanie Dickerson. It wasn’t amazing, but it was a fun retelling to read.

    Reply
    • Anna Rose Johnson

      Thank you, Molly! Yes, you totally should, but I understand about long TBR lists. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Charmaine

    I would love to hear more about your scrapbook. Do you do a page for every book you read?

    Reply
  4. Faith Elizabeth Hough

    I hadn’t heard of Flood Friday, but my husband Mark’s grandparents told him all about that flood! Elderly neighbors still compare any current flooding or storms with that one. I’ll definitely have to read it!
    And I have a similar goal to read books set in each state. You should make a list of vintage titles; most recommendation lists I can find are all recently published (at least, mostly).

    Reply
  5. Marion

    Hi Anna Rose;
    I always look forward to your blog posts. They never fail to give wonderful book ideas to read. The Lois Lenski “Flood Friday” sounds like a very interesting read. I want to pursue books by Jean little. You mentioned her once before.
    I am on to the third book in The Edwardian Bride series,just finished Niall O;Dowd’s “George Washington and the Irish”. “The Illustrated Life Of Michael Collins:,”Father Of The Little Flower”,Mother Of The Little Flower”. Also readinf many Easter books. Will be re- reading books 2 and 3 of the American Girl Grace. The first one was ” Grace in Paris.

    Congratulations on “The Luminous Life Of Lucy Landry” , Happy reading.
    Happy Birthday year of happiness,blessings and success.
    Marion

    Reply
  6. Marilyn

    Happy Spring Anna Rose, As usual you have another interesting post. I intend to re read the Anne Of Green Gables series in the near future. I just finished An Easter Promise by Marta Perry. There are two more books in the series. One is a Christmas theme and the other is Thanksgiving. I also finished A Book Of Saints For Girls. I am now reading The illustrated Life Of Michael Collins and just started Pat of Silver Bush. Continued success with your books and writing, Wishing you happiness and blessings throughout your birthday year. Enjoy the books you received for your birthday.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANNA ROSE
    HAPPY EASTER
    Marilyn

    Reply
  7. Joan

    I like your selection of books. Finally finished “The Victorian Brides Of Christmas.” Now reading “The Lady Of Galway Manor”.
    Happy Spring
    Happy Easter
    Joan

    Reply
  8. Annabelle

    I’m rereading Anne’s House of Dreams right now! It’s such a lovely read, as always. Have a wonderful Easter! 🙂

    Reply

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