Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Whistle While I Work? I Found Something Better!

Everyone who knows me, knows what I do. And that I do it a lot. That I've been doing it a lot for a long time now. But, those who don't know... I make bows. Like 12-16 hours; 6 days a week. And while there is a measure of enjoyment in making these little creations - mostly it's work. Tiring work, mostly brainless work.

I am so thankful for my little business for so many reasons. It pays the bills. I'm my own boss. I work from home. I set my own hours. It's actually kind of a dream job, except that it's too much work for one person and I'm not in a position to hire anyone.

So, ever wonder what I do all day long while I'm making bows? Well, for the last 9 months I've been reading. Of course, I can't hold a book since my business is handmade items, so I've been listening to audio books. They have kept me sane through seemingly endless nights of cutting, tying, packaging, etc. I tried to think back over the last year and recall all the books I've read and I think I got most of them on this list. I may have forgotten a few. I certainly started many books that I never finished and they're not on the list. Sometimes I tried to struggle through them and even listened to hours of some books before giving up.  But, I stopped feeling guilty about not finishing books.  If I'm not enjoying it, then why finish?  All the books I've listened to this year are in the public domain and are available for free download at

Here's the list of books I read in 2010. :-)

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss
Saint Bartholomew's Eve by GT Henty
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Elsie Dinsmore by Martha Finley
Holidays at Roselands by Martha Finley
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The Lone Star Ranger by Zane Grey

Short Stories:
Aspects of Game Captaincy by P.G. Wodehouse
Beyond Pandora by Robert J. Martin
The Boar-Pig by Saki
Closing Number by Will M. Cressy
A Cosmopolite In A Cafe by O. Henry
English as She is Wrote By Advertisers and on Sign Boards by Anonymous
English as She is Wrote For Epitaphs by Anonymous
The Greedy Dog by Lida Brown McMurry
Hard Guy by H. B. Carleton
Journalism in Tennessee by Mark Twain
Life’s Eternal Query by Thomas L. Masson
Little Masterpieces of American Wit and Humor by B.P. Shillaber
Selections from Mr. Punch Awheel edited by Sir J. A. Hammerton
My Watch by Mark Twain
The New Advertising by P.G. Wodehouse
Noting an Increase in Bigamy from Love Conquers All by Robert Benchley
Ode to my Clothes by William Schwenck Gilbert
On University Snobs by W. M. Thackeray
Poppa Needs Shorts by Walt and Leigh Richmond
A Rash Assumption from Punch 9
Reginald In Russia by Saki
The Steam-Roller Man’s Story by Harry J. Rowland and George Hay
The Two Doves by Lida Brown McMurry
Vaudeville Vs The Legitimate by Will M. Cressy
When Papa Swore in Hindustani by P.G. Wodehouse

Books by P.G. Wodehouse:
The Adventures of Sally
The Clicking of Cuthbert
A Damsel in Distress
Indiscretions of Archie
The Intrusion of Jimmy
Love Among the Chickens
Not George Washington
Three Men and a Maid

Books by LM Montgomery:
Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Avonlea
Anne of the Island
Anne's House of Dreams
Anne of Ingleside
Rainbow Valley
Rilla of Ingleside
Chronicles of Avonlea
Further Chronicles of Avonlea
The Story Girl
The Golden Road
Kilmeny of the Orchard

Books by Jane Austen:
Sense and Sensibility
Pride and Prejudice
Mansfield Park
Northanger Abbey

Books by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
Tarzan of the Apes
The Return of Tarzan
The Beasts of Tarzan
The Son of Tarzan
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar

Books by L. Frank Baum:
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Marvelous Land of Oz
Ozma of Oz
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
The Road to Oz
The Emerald City of Oz
The Patchwork Girl of Oz
Tik-Tok of Oz
The Scarecrow of Oz
Rinkitink in Oz
The Lost Princess of Oz
The Tin Woodman of Oz
The Magic of Oz
Glinda of Oz
The Sea Fairies

I've never come even close to reading 80+ books in less than a year before so this was definitely a landmark year for me. I have lots of ideas for books for 2011, but would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions for me. I've been going through THIS READING LIST as well as many other "top 100" type lists to narrow down my choices.

So, would you like to know the best book I read this year?  It was so far and away the best, and above all the others that it is no trouble at all for me to make the choice.  It was Robinson Crusoe.  I was familiar with the story, as we all are, I suppose, but I had never read the book before.  It profoundly affected me and I hope and pray that the lessons learned will stay with me throughout my life.

Would love to hear from you if you have any book suggestions for me or if you'd like to share what you've been reading lately.  :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WOW Jessica! That is truly impressive, and I'm glad you were able to keep yourself entertained while working so many long hours.

Like yourself, I really want to start on your dear husband's reading list in 2011 after I finish the Puritan Paperbacks I have received.

One recommendation I have, and I think I mentioned this a long time ago is the book Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Dad recommended that to me years ago...I think I was a preteen. It's a great book, and actually I need to read it again some time. I really do think you would enjoy it.

I had to smile at the LM Montgomery books...those books just never get old..the same with Jane Austen. There are a few on your list of Austen's I've never read so I'll have to see if I can get my hands on them at some point.