Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How to get through a book

I've had a lot of people over the years ask me how I read books so quickly.  I think I must be a fast reader.  I also know that I'm good at skimming and figuring out what I need to read in a book and don't.  But, the pace of my reading has slowed down a lot lately!  I've actually been doing very little outside the college class I'm working on (for the renewal of my teaching credential).  But, there are two books I've been really wanting to read!  North and South and Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell are two of my favorite miniseries.  I've wanted to read them, but can't seem to find the time right now.  I was googling today and found this site:  http://dailylit.com/books/wives-and-daughters/1.  You can read a book via email bit by bit--enough, but not too much to read in a day.  I have to admit though that I don't know if I would be able to read a suspenseful story this way!  I'd be waiting and waiting and waiting for the next day to come!  I fear I'd probably just end up buying the book anyways.

But, if there's a book you've always wanted to read and can't seem to get through, Dailylit might be a way to do it.  I believe most of their books are free, but I'm not sure if all are.

As a side note, if you do have an Amazon Prime Membership, I have a few favorite miniseries that are available free with Amazon Prime for streaming:
Under the Greenwood Tree
Wives and Daughters
North and South
Downton Abbey
Bleak House (not as much a favorite of mine, but it is good)
Foyle's War (not literary)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Getting Away

My kids are getting older.  We're past the toddler stage and Eli's a competent 4 year old.  The girls are older at 6 and 8 years old now, too.  One of the blessings of their growing up is that my husband and I finally feel comfortable for leaving them for a night or two or even three with their grandparents.  

Last year was the first time we had been away from our kids in 7 years.  We were in upstate New York at the time, so we left the kids with my mother in law and went away for a night to Ithaca, NY.  We stayed at a great inn--the La Tourelle Inn.  I found a special rate that included an amazing breakfast at the inn!  While in Ithaca, we ate dinner at a great Tapas restaurant, saw an outdoor movie (Bringing Up Baby) at Cornell, and went to the art museum on the Cornell campus.  

I have to admit that vacation planning is difficult for me.  It is actually quite stressful.  Trying to figure out where to go and what to do and make the most of this little nugget of time you have!  But, that little getaway turned out great. 

This year we were again stumped. My husband was stressed and so was I.  We wanted to get away for our anniversary, but weren't sure where to go.  I finally told him to just pick a place!  I'm glad I did.  He picked a great one.

We went up to Eagles Mere, PA, for 3 nights/4 days.  Eagles Mere is a little town 20 miles outside Williamsport, PA.  It used to be a resort town for families in the early 1900s.  There was a single line railroad track that took passengers up the mountain.  Today it is a privately owned lake community.  The lake is owned by the residents.  We stayed at the Eagles Mere Inn, the last remaining inn from those days gone by.  Our room was small, but adequate.  My husband was thrilled that there was no television in the room (though wifi was available for free).  Breakfast and a 5 course dinner were included.  The food was locally sourced and very good.  My favorites were the salads at dinner and the bacon at breakfast.  Having the meals included took a lot of the stress out of our vacation.  We didn't have to figure out where to eat.  I didn't realize until afterwards how helpful this was!

The town was very uncommercialized.  No power boats allowed on the lake--so it's very quiet.  Not many shops.  No grocery store or gas station.  There's a private beach on the lake and a path that circles the lake that's about 3 miles long.  We did a lot of walking throughout the streets.  

There are two state parks nearby--Rickets Glenn and World's End.  We went to both and enjoyed the hiking.  Both have campgrounds and beaches for families to enjoy.  There's horseback riding nearby as well.

One of the special things we enjoyed were the folks that came to play on Friday and Saturday night at the pub downstairs at the Inn.  We miss hearing live music because it's difficult to get to concerts with little ones.  Something unexpected always seems to prevent us from going! But the music at the pub was great--bluegrass.  

So, if you're looking for a getaway with your spouse--I'd definitely recommend checking out Eagles Mere--take a bunch of books and get away!

Here's a few pictures I took while we were there...


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Christian Audio Kids Recordings Sale

I just got an email with info about several audio recordings on sale at Christian Audio (www.christianaudio.com)  this month.  I have a friend who's family has really enjoyed the Jonathon Park series--which is why I paid attention to the ad.  Now through July 31st, the Jonthan Park sets are on sale at the site for $5 each for download.  That's a great price if you like the series.  Several books from the Box Car Children series are also available the same price.  

Also, on the site is a free download for this month for The Sword.  I have really enjoyed this series.  I just received the third book in the mail this week and will soon be writing a review of it.  It isn't for children under 15 in my opinion.  It would be great listening for a commute on the way to work, though.  It falls under the category of "dystopic fiction".  It is an anomaly for my reading, but the writing is so good that it is a thoroughly engaging and interesting story!