Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want to Do or Learn About

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish is Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want to Learn or Do After Reading Them.  I love when a book has me googling something because I just have to know more and usually that means that the book has really connected with me on some level!

Things I Want to Learn About

1. French History
Book: Finding Fontainebleau: An American Boy in France by Thad Carhart
I found this book which mixed in the history of France through a look at Fontainebleau with the story of an American family in France in the 1950s absolutely fascinating.  It also showed me just how little I know about French history and I really want to fix that!

2.  The History of Guernsey especially during World War II
Book: The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Before this book I had heard of the Channel Islands but didn't know much about them and basically nothing about Guernsey itself.  I fell in love with the book itself (the audio version is AMAZING) and became fascinated by the little island itself

3.  The history and the meaning of roses
Book: Vanish with the Rose by Barbara Michaels
Before I was bitten by the gardening bug this book had me wanting to learn all about roses - the history, the variety and the people involved with making sure they survived.

4.  Tiffany Girls
Book: Brooklyn Graves by Triss Stein
I'm familiar with Tiffany but had never heard about the women he had working for him in the early 20th century.  I loved reading the letters and diaries that Stein's main character discovers and it made me want to learn more about the women.

5.  Stonehenge and similar structures in England
Book: The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths and The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King
I've of course heard of Stonehenge and have seen it in countless pictures, TV shows and movies but I've never been particularly interested in it or really knew that there were others like it scattered about.  I read both books pretty close together and they both talk a lot about the different sites and I've really become fascinated by what's known about them.

Things I Want to Do:

1.  Play Bridge
Book: Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie
The entire plot of this book revolves around bridge playing and I have no idea how the game works.  After reading this book I tried to look into the rules but didn't get very far and then J and I were watching a show where a group was playing bridge and it essentially looked like 4 people were sitting around a table holding cards and saying different random words and then getting sad or excited.

2.  Knit
Book: Miss Silver Comes to Stay by Patricia Wentworth (and so many more - all the Miss Marple books by Agatha Christie as well)
I don't sit still very well so I love the idea of having something productive to do while watching TV or chatting.  Plus I love sweaters, socks and scarves.  As an added benefit it seems like you can't knit for more than 5 minutes at a time without someone showing up and confessing a murder so that could be entertaining.

3.  Collect old and beautiful books
Book: Homicide in Hardcover by Kate Carlisle and The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett
If you love art theft books and haven't read The Man Who Loved Books Too Much you must go find a copy immediately.  It's fascinating and well written and immediately made me want to start searching out first editions and unusual copies.  It's hard to believe it's a true story!  Homicide in Hardcover is the first in one of my favorite cozy mystery series.  The main character is a book restorer and the descriptions of the books she working with just about make my mouth water!

4.  Visit Cornwall
Book: The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
Ever since I discovered The Shell Seekers as a teenager I've wanted to visit Cornwall and see the place Penelope loved so much.  It sounds so beautiful and so rich in history.

5.  Make peace with my local library
Book: Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library by Don Borchert
A few years ago the library and I were not on speaking terms.  It started with a bag of library books left at a hotel hours away from home (the moral of the story is don't leave the youngest child in charge of the bag containing stuff that MUST come back home) and the fines that accumulated because of that.  Then there were some other fines that accumulated because I forgot to get to the library when I had a whole bunch of DVDs checked out.  So we broke up and I thought it was for good.  After being inspired by this book to get back to the library and discovering a branch that is just a few minutes away from my house I'm pleased to say I'm a library regular again!

What have books made you want to learn or do?


  1. French history is fascinating and I just finished a book set in France, I love reading about the prewar days there and in England. Stonehenge is fascinating too and I'd love to learn more about it.

  2. I really do sit and knit in front of the tv, otherwise I find it very boring.... Reading - now that's without knitting or any other distractions. Especially when reading such awesome books as listed here! I also googled Guernsey to infinity after the book! Your post was gorgeous (as always), well done!

  3. Reading books made me want to write them. So I do:)). Stonehenge used to be a marvellous place to visit when I was a girl when you were allowed to scramble over the stones - but nowadays it's all fenced off except during the summer solistice celebrations. But Cornwall and Guernsey are both wonderful places to visit - though do get off the beaten track... Loved reading your lovely article!

  4. Playing Bridge. I completely forgot about that idea. I had that same feeling when I read THE CARDTURNER. Unfortunately I never followed up.

  5. Awww, I'm sorry you and the library broke up. That makes me sad. I hope you do make peace with the library. It's a pretty great place, but I'm biased! :)

  6. Love this list-- I agree about knitting (wish I did), henges (look up seahenge; it's so intriguing!), and lastly libraries. I am now a frequent flyer of my 2 libraries, but there were years that I stayed away because of library snobbery (I lived in rural areas with libraries sparsely-filled, and no new releases, so I didn't use them, silly me).

    Thanks for a smile today.

  7. I love everything Agatha Christie. She makes me want to become a private investigator haha, but then again my love for books nudges me toward librarian ://

  8. I love how so many of your ideas are about history. I'm fascinated with history, too.

  9. I just finished an audio book and looking for another. I've wanted to read The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society for a long time, so maybe I'll try the audio of it.

  10. I've tried to learn how to knit, but I'm just so much better with crocheting. But if I was a talented knitter, I'd definitely knit myself sweaters for winter. If only!

  11. I used to knit but nobody confessed a murder to me, so I gave it up ;-)

    Great list BTW!

  12. I related to several items on your list: The Shell Seekers is one of my all-time favorite books, and as a teen I had the experience of staying in Cornwall for a week unchaperoned with my two English cousins and my older cousin's friend. It was a wonderful time.

    And I would also like to know more about the Channel Islands. I didn't know they were occupied during WWII. And lastly, I would like to learn to play bridge.

  13. Yes, I want to learn more about stone circles!
    Check out my TTT.

  14. I broke up with my library because of some lost books when I moved, so I know how it is! My library is also in a part of town I have no other reason to go to, so I have only been there once in like 3 years...

  15. I've dabbled in bridge, enough to know that your analysis is spot-on.

    I used to knit, and sometimes tried to combine it with audio books, but either one would distract me from the other!

    I've always been pulled into historical interests by reading. I majored in European History in college, actually, in large part because I'd already read so much set throughout time there. Have you read City of Darkness, City of Light, about revolutionary France?

  16. All I have to say is thank goodness for my son's library card. My ex drove around with the last load of books I had from the library in the trunk of his car (after he left) until there was $80+ in fines on them! I have also looked into events and places after reading books. It is fascinating learning even more about cultures, history and geography than you get from the story. My big want to do was goat herding. Ha ha. I am going to be explaining that in my Top Five Friday. Ha ha. XD

  17. I've put The Man Who Loved Books Too Much on my wishlist. I enjoyed reading your post, thank you.

  18. I read the Guernsey book and liked it very much. Oh, Shell Seekers! That is one of my all time favorite books. Did you read the follow up book September? Noel Keeting is in it, the star actually. I too love Penelope.

    As for learning something new, I am struggling with crocheting and the book instructionals don't always make sense to me. I can crochet a straight line and have made lots of blankets but the code of crochet language eludes me. Bridge does sound like fun.

  19. I just finished reading Cards on the Table, and it really does revolve around bridge, something that I know pretty much nothing about. I'd love to learn how to play someday. Here's my TTT, if you'd like to check it out: http://newberyandbeyond.com/top-ten-things-books-made-want/

  20. I love how books open doors or curiosity to discover new things or try old things. I have always wanted to try Bridge. And books make this homebody want to travel.

  21. Ha, I had the French history, and I had Guernsey written down, but then deleted it! My mom was on a cruise this year and went to Guernsey, because of the book. She liked it, but there wasn't much there.
    I'd like to knit, and I can knit square things, but I find crocheting much easier! My dad plays bridge - it might be one of those things to save until you are older. There always seems to be a need for a 4th for bridge.

  22. I guess I had better read Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library. I would like to feel more motivated or inspired to use my local library (for me--and not just for my daughter).

    I love it when I read a book that brings out the researcher in me--so all of these appeal to me in one way or another. And then to travel to some of the places we read about . . . Great list, Katherine!

  23. That last one! Ouch. I do want to read The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society and more Agatha Christie novels. Never really interested in knitting, but I could *pretend* to be just to have someone confess!

  24. Sounds like you love experiencing history through books! One of my favorite parts about homeschooling is reading historical fiction and biographies with my children that correspond to what we are studying in history. We would love for you to link up this post with us at the Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup: http://www.foreverjoyful.net/?p=1204

  25. Oo have you read Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist? It was one of my favorite books last year and one of the few 5 stars I've read. I'd not known about the women before that book. It was fascinating.

  26. You should read Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher, I read it over and over in my twenties, it really pictures Cornwall wonderfully (and Sri Lanka and London!).

  27. Love that it took a book to get you to make up with your library! I had to stop going because I kept racking up so many fines, too!