Why a blog for books I’ve read?

Welcome to Reading Now. It seems that as I read I keep finding recurring themes. Maybe a blog is the best place to track and share the great themes or waves of literature. I have often kept records of my reading, but limited myself mostly to tracking the quantity of pages read. Here I can categorize and summarize books by themes, make recommendation, make a few comments, and even share some memorable quotations. After all, it isn’t how much you read, but what you learn from your reading that is important.

I tend to read books that are similar in genre. I have tagged entries by genres, maybe not using standard categories, but making my own as I go along. I have extensive collections of eBooks and print books. I have created two lists of books indexed by author. First a list of conventional print books and then a list of eBooks. All entries are tagged by author’s name so you can find all entries about an author’s books by clicking the author’s name.

The Coming Prince — Sir Robert Anderson

The Coming Prince is Sir Robert Anderson’s commentary on the book of Daniel. Sir Robert responds to the devastating “higher criticism” of the nineteenth century. He particularly explains the beginning of the seventy weeks. And please remember that the 70 is broken down into 69 weeks of years and one week of years.

Anderson lists all the possible start dates, several end dates, and makes a conclusion as to the period of sixty-nine weeks. He also explains the various changes in the calendars in use, pinpointing the exact number of prophetic days in sixty-nine weeks of years. The period ends on the day of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

Finally, Anderson lays the prophecy of the seventy weeks of Daniel down side by side with John’s Revelation and the rest of the New Testament.

The one thing missing in this commentary is the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. A century of history has passed since Anderson’s look at the biblical vision of the future.

The Little Colonel’s Holidays — Annie F. Johnston

Lloyd, known as the Little Colonel, is always learning something on her holidays. For years it has seemed that she has been learning patience on the holidays. There is always the excitement of anticipating Christmas coupled with the need for patience for the arrival of the special day.

It is on a visit to the Cuckoo’s Nest that Lloyd gets a lesson on humility and a loving heart. Betty, god-daughter of Lloyd’s mother, is going back for a visit before a trip to Europe with a cousin. Lloyd and her mother go with Betty, but Lloyd’s mother is called away to a great aunt. Lloyd and Betty are left to get acquainted with an orphan girl who has been taken in as a helper in the house. Molly and her little sister had been put into an orphanage after their mother died and the father became so abusive that the grandmother could no longer take care of them. The father took the little girl away and Molly lost the only person she loved in the world. Molly had a photo from the cover of a magazine that reminded her of her sister. One thread of this story is how Lloyd and her friends were to spend a lot of time searching for the lost sister. Do they really find her?

On visit Lloyd stays at the home of the famous soldier who captured Geronimo in the Indian Wars. This general had gone on to fight in Cuba and later in the Philippines. The family had traveled around the world with him and had gathered many souvenirs. It was on this holiday that Lloyd discovered a new feeling. She was learning the lesson of patriotism. Though Lloyd had always taken the part of her grandfather who lost his arm in a battle against the North, now Lloyd was learning that the country as a whole was becoming a bright star among the nations of the world.

The Little Colonel’s Hero — Annie F. Johnston

The tome of the life of the Little Colonel begins on her twelfth birthday. She is quite saddened that nobody greets her with a happy birthday greeting. She is sure that everyone has forgotten that it is her birthday.

The day ends with a very special surprise birthday party, and a very special birthday gift. Her family are taking her Betty on a tour of Europe! It is on this trip that Lloyd meets the old soldier whose only friend is a St. Bernard dog that has been trained as Red Cross dog. Many adventures ensue around Lloyd and the dog. Oh, the dog’s name is Hero…. The Little Colonel’s Hero….. and we learn how Hero becomes Lloyd’s own dog.

This tome should have been read earlier in the series, but I am following the alphabetical order of the titles.

The Little Colonel’s Chum: Mary Ware — Annie F. Johnston

Jack Ware has gained a management job at the mine in Arizona. This enables him to send his sister Mary off to Warwick Hall where Lloyd, the Little Colonel went to school. She arrives early due to a change of plans of her traveling companions, and is given the opportunity to occupy the same room that Lloyd had entered four years before. An interesting sidelight is that Lloyd’s roommate and mother’s god-daughter is going back to Warwick Hall as a teacher. Mary must remember to call her Miss Lewis instead of the familiar “Betty.”

The first term goes smashingly for Mary. She has overcome the haughty nature of her spoiled rich roommate. She has been accepted as a leader among the girls of the school, and she is well on the way to her goal of being the academic leader of her class. At the end of the term Mary goes to New York to visit her sister who is now successful in her art career.

Three months go by and it is Easter Break. Mary again visits her sister in New York. At the end of this break a letter comes from Mary and Joyce’s mother. Jack has been in an accident in the mine! Mary instantly decides she must go home to help her mother care for Jack. This is the great turning point for Mary. Does it destroy her dreams? or does the closing of the academic gate open a new door for her? You’ll have to get “The Little Colonel’s Chum: Mary Ware” and find out for yourself!

The Little Colonel’s Christmas Vacation — Annie F. Johnston

In this adventure Lloyd, the Little Colonel, goes away to a fine boarding school on the outskirts of Washington. The school has been converted from a medieval castle that was the private residence of a woman whose family had passed the home down for generations. The husband’s family went back to the Mayflower, and the woman’s family went back for generations of earls in England.

The school has but one rule: “To keep tryst!” which is familiar from one of the earlier Little Colonel books. The old legend of the young page who wanted with all his heart to become a page is repeated here in its entirety, but the situation in Lloyd’s life fits a different part of the page’s experience. She has moved ahead in her personal growth, as the page over time surmounted his trials.

To find out why Lloyd’s Christmas Vacation became so important and to see some hints of what may follow in subsequent Little Colonel titles, read The Little Colonel’s Christmas Vacation.

The Little Colonel in Arizona — Annie F. Johnston

The Wares have moved from Kansas to Arizona for Mrs. Ware’s health. They have settled into a collection of tents and an old adobe hut for as long as it takes for mother to get well. The begin to learn some things about life as they adjust to life in the desert.

Once the Ware children have painted and papered the adobe house Joyce decides to write a letter to her friend Lloyd, the Colonel, to come out for a visit. As Jack, Lloyd’s father has business interests in Arizona, Lloyd finds herself traveling west just ten days after a thrilling sleigh ride party in Kentucky!

Annie Johnston introduces various characters who tell stories within the story. There is a very strong literature to literature connection in the story. All of these stories have strong character building themes, from the fable about Camelback Mountain to the short phrases of remembered songs.

When we find ourselves lost in a wilderness, we can remember this: There is hope! Even in the desolation of the desert, there is something to restore us to our greatest desire and have hope for it.

The Little Colonel at Boarding-School — Annie F. Johnston


Something unusual was happening at Locust. Although it was early in September, and the heat and dust of a Kentucky summer still lingered in every corner of Lloydsboro Valley, the great house with its vine-covered pillars was being hastily put in order for winter closing.

Johnston, Annie F. (Annie Fellows). The Little Colonel at Boarding-School (Kindle Locations 96-98). Kindle Edition.

While boarding school was not far away, the lessons the Little Colonel learns turn out to be life-forming. She has changed from a stubborn child to a young lady who, though she makes some mistakes, is strong enough to confess her errors and move on toward becoming a more principled person.

Lloyd’s gaffs and growing pains are not to be missed.

The Little Colonel — Annie F. Johnston

The Colonel rode off to the Civil War followed by the son he worshiped. The son was killed in the first skirmish he came into. He lay buried in his grey Confederate uniform. The Colonel’s other child, a daughter, married a rich Yankee from New York. The old Colonel swore he would never speak to his daughter nor accept her husband into the family.

Then one day a little child, the spitting image of his own son and daughter, came through his gate exploring and picking the Colonel’s strawberries. It turns out that this “Little Colonel” is his granddaughter. The Colonel’s daughter has come to live in a house she inherited down the rode from the Colonel. The little girl has only seen the Colonel in paintings in the house and has wanted to meet him for ever so long.

The quick temper of the Colonel and the Little Colonel are an even match. But the Colonel soon realizes he cannot live without the joy his granddaughter brings every visit. Will the granddaughter’s love and the Colonel’s need overcome the wall between him and his daughter and her husband?

The Legend of the Bleeding-heart — Annie F. Johnston

This tale is part fairy tale and part creation myth. It tells the mystery of the origin of bleeding-heart flowers.

The old Flax-spinner’s fingers trembled as she spun, when she saw the frowns, for she had given of her heart’s blood to buy happiness for this maiden she loved, and well she knew there can be no happiness where frowns abide. She felt that her years of sacrifice had been in vain, but when the Oak wagged his head she called back waveringly, “My little Olga will not be ungrateful and forgetful!”

Johnston, Annie F. (Annie Fellows). The Legend of the Bleeding-heart (Kindle Locations 70-73). Kindle Edition.

Keeping Tryst A Tale of King Arthur’s Time — Annie F. Johnston

“How now, thou flaxen-haired,” the minstrel said, with kindly smile. “Dost like my song?”

“Oh, sire,” the youth made answer, “methinks on such a wing the soul could well take flight to Paradise. But tell me, prithee, is it possible for such as I to gain the title of a knight? How doth one win such honours and acclaim and reach the high estate that thou dost laud?”

Johnston, Annie F. (Annie Fellows). Keeping Tryst A Tale of King Arthur’s Time (Kindle Locations 32-34). . Kindle Edition.

The troubadour made his living entertaining with his harp and songs. One winter night a young orphaned page listened to the singer’s tales of knights errant and asked the question above. A year later the minstrel returned with another answer. This is the story about what that page did to become a knight.