Ashley Crosby- Guest Post
I am excited today to feature a post by Ashley Crosby. I was first drawn to the colors and cheerfulness that exude from her Instagram account and was happy to discover that her personality is just as vivacious and bright as her pictures. Ashley is so much fun to follow, I heartily trust her book recommendations, and her genuine kindness is the type that brightens the day of all us who have the pleasure of interacting with her, just like Pollyanna!
“I finished Pollyanna with a smile on my face, feeling as if I had just walked on sunshine. I’ll always remember her bright, cheery disposition, and her ability to look past herself (and her less than stellar circumstances), in hopes of bringing a bit of joy to someone else’s life.“
I chose Pollyanna as my character because I recently re-read the book, and was left utterly charmed, encouraged, and uplifted upon finishing it. In case you are unfamiliar with the premise, Pollyanna is about a young girl who comes to live with her wealthy, curmudgeonly Aunt when her father passes away. The story revolves around the joy that Pollyanna brings to her Aunts’ home (one that had previously been joyless), and basically anyone who encounters her, all through the guise of playing “the glad game”. The glad game consists of finding something in everything to be glad about, and it is due to this positive, optimistic, selfless attitude that Pollyanna makes her mark on the small town of Beldingsville, Vermont, changing it and everyone in it for the better. This book reminded me of why I love reading and getting lost in a story that is so redeeming and hope filled. I finished Pollyanna with a smile on my face, feeling as if I had just walked on sunshine. I’ll always remember her bright, cheery disposition, and her ability to look past herself (and her less than stellar circumstances), in hopes of bringing a bit of joy to someone else’s life. I chose Pollyanna because it was a lovely, enjoyable classic (that you could probably read in a day), but also because she has character that I hope to emulate in my own life, and she taught me about the “glad game”, which I now attempt to play on a daily basis (I hope you read this book, and participate in the game someday, too)!
Pollyanna’s Book Stack
● Anne of Green Gables
I firmly believe that Anne and Pollyanna would be fast Kindred Spirits if they were to ever meet. Pollyanna would have appreciated Anne’s positive, upbeat personality, and probably would have wanted to use the following quote of Anne’s as more endorsement for her “glad game”. “It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”
● The Penderwicks at Point Mouette
The Penderwick sisters are full of fun, spunk, character, and loyalty to each other (and their extended family) and I could totally see Pollyanna enjoying following along on their many adventures. Due to having no siblings of her own, I think Pollyanna would have the best time reading about the bonds of sisterhood and what it means to be a family (even if it is one you weren’t born into).
● The Blue Castle
Pollyanna would have gotten a kick out of seeing ValancyStirling uproot her life and normal routine of submitting to her Mother and Aunts every wish and whim, and finally standing up for herself and the life she desires to have. Pollyanna would have rooted for and cheered on Valancy to find the good in her surroundings and to seek it out, not letting her families negativity and incessant demands get in her way!
● A Little Princess
Sara Crewe is another girl that I see Pollyanna being a kindred spirit with, for Sara was a girl who always thought of others, and how could impact their lives for the better. Sara constantly put others above herself, and was incessantly thinking of ways to bring help, comfort, and laughter to those around her. Pollyanna would have been very glad to see this behavior exhibited in such a young girl, and I believe they would have thoroughly enjoyed playing the “glad game” together.
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A Little More About Ashley
Please tell us a little about yourself and your reading life
My name is Ashley, I’ve lived in the south my whole life (mostly in the Sunshine State), I married a Georgia boy, and we now have two sweet, precious girls that are aged 1 and 4. Before children, I worked in retail management, but am now a stay at home Mom. I love Jesus, spending time with family, baking, seasons, all things Southern, going for walks, the beach, coffee, cozy nooks, candles, and of course, reading! As cliché as it sounds, I have been a voracious reader from the second I learned to read, and I’ve never looked back! I have clear, fond memories of asking for books for my birthday and at Christmas (which I obviously still do to this day), and would just get the biggest thrill out of opening up a box full of them. My parents joke with me now about how they used to ground me FROM reading. I tell them how absurd and ridiculous that is, but they insist it was very smart on their part because they knew I loved it so much that disciplining me in that way would get my attention (and boy were they right)! I still find that slightly troubling, but mostly amusing now that I am far removed from the situation. Reading for me as an adult is a hobby, a passion, an escape, a learning experience, and a way for me to re-charge, fueling me up with pure joy.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished reading Pollyanna, and have begun reading The Hobbit for the first time! Some classics I remember reading at a young age, but I have chosen to re-read them as an adult for a new experience/to catch things I may have missed at a young age. And yet there are other classics that I missed reading as a child, and am now attempting to get to as an adult! That has been so neat, and I have fallen in love with the classic genre all over again!
What’s a book you wish everyone would read?
I wish everyone would read Little Women, and for that matter, re-read it if the last time they had read it was as a child. I re-read Little Women for the first time since I was a young girl, just last year, and it completely blew me away! The story was so beautiful, and the prose so lovely and chalk full of wisdom, that I recall underlining at least 25 separate passages. It is one of my favorite books of all times!