It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journey and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. Kellee and Rikki at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist. It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next. Join up with us and discover what good books other people are reading.

IMWAYR 2015

We’ve had the chickens almost two months! We are getting fourteen eggs a day now. If anyone comes through southern IN, stop by and grab and dozen eggs! We have plenty. So far I enjoy being a chicken keeper. They are so much fun to watch and definitely have favorite things. My hens love strawberry tops, spinach and corn. They are not as fond of squash (though the like yellow better than zucchini). They also enjoy scrambled eggs and fresh sawdust! We spread some sawdust out in the run where things have gotten quite muddy with all the rain. They immediately began to scratch in it and then roll in it to give themselves dust baths!

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I finished…

The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson – A few years ago I read and enjoyed The Adoration of Jenna Fox, but I never got around to reading the sequel until now. Even though the story is set 260 years later, Jenna is still around (thanks to new biotechnology that raises all kinds of ethical questions). This story focuses on Jenna’s friends Locke and Kara. Their bodies were destroyed in a car accident, but their minds were kept alive until new bodies could be created for them. With their new, improved bodies, Locke and Kara try to navigate a world that has left them far behind–and where they are illegal. Just like the first book, this one raises questions about what it means to be human and about how far you should go to keep someone alive. My surprise favorite character–the bot Dot.

Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett – Poor RIncewind the Wizzard just can’t catch a break. The professors at the Unseen University send him off to the Counterweight Continent in response to an Urgent Request. Even though everyone knows Rincewind is an utter failure as a wizard, the waiting revolution (which has progressed to polite protest posters) thinks he is the answer. Through in a horde of geriatric barbarians (including Rincewind’s old friend Cohen), violent luggage, scheming lords, a dying emperor and water buffalo and times are bound to get interesting. Now I definitely want to read more of Rincewind’s other adventures.

Nudge by Leonard Sweet – As always, Sweet was both thoughtful and thought-provoking. After reading his thoughts on evangelism, I find myself slowing down to notice what God is already doing in the world. Some weeks, like this past week, it is hard to see it, but in the midst of horrible tragedy, there are glimpses of God to be found: in the tears and cries of people who say “enough. Let’s do something, in the photo of white and brown bodies surrounding a baby in a stroller to protect it from gunfire, in words and acts of gratitude and compassion. I will continue to look for glimpses of God, and hopefully reflect God’s image to those I meet.

I’m currently reading…

Walden by Henry Thoreau – I have been wanting to pick this up for awhile. I haven’t read it since my college days. Many years later, I find that I missed much of Thoreau’s humor the first time through. As I read now, I find myself chuckling or just thinking, “That’s a funny zinger.” I am also amazed at how much of what Thoreau wrote way back them applies even more today. I’m still in the first chapter, “Economy.” This will be a slow read for me–no rushing to read chapters for class discussion or a paper or exam. This time I can read and reflect at my own pace!

Panic by Sharon Draper – I don’t know how I missed this one when it came out, but I’m glad I found it on the library shelf. Diamond falls for the temptation to meet movie stars and audition for a part herself when she leaves with a stranger from the mall. She ends up living every parent’s worst nightmare. The chapters switch from Diamond’s point of view to those of her friends that are left behind worrying about what happened to her. Through it all, the friends share their passion for dance. Draper is not afraid to tackle tough issues, not only Diamond’s abuse.

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan – I’ve just started this one, but I’m enjoying it. We’ve been trying to eat better (not just always, but to support my daughter as she tries an anti-inflammatory diet). Fortunately, it’s not too hard–eat more fruits and veggies, lean meat and reduce processed flour and sugar. Pollan’s book goes right along with this. Eating shouldn’t be that complicated, but we have made it so.

Mercy and Melons: Praying the Alphabet by Lisa Nichols Hickman – Did you know that several of the Psalms are acrostic poems? I didn’t. I guess that got lost in the translation from Hebrew into English. Hickman takes that concept and writes twenty-six reflections. For each letter of the alphabet, she pairs an ordinary thing with an attribute of God–such as Advent and avocados . Pulling on memories and experience, she weaves the two seemingly disparate ideas into a thoughtful call to prayer. This next week I start with justice and Jello.

Coming up…

As you can see, I’ve been distracted with lots of new books to start. I should probable focus and finish some of them, but I’ve got more in my stack from the library that are tempting me to peek between the covers, and we’re starting a new book for Bible study as well. We’ll see if I finish any of them or just keep starting new ones!

What have you been reading this week?

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, including in the linked picture above. Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

IMWAYR 2015It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journey and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. Kellee and Rikki at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist. It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next. Join up with us and discover what good books other people are reading.

 

The past month exploded and got away from me. First we celebrated my daughter’s graduation from high school and all the fun of hosting family from out of state. While I enjoyed it, it didn’t leave much time for reading. The in the midst of the celebrations, we also grieved the death of a good friend, and several work projects all came due at the same time. Now I’m stranded in NC at my mom’s house while I wait for the transmission in the car to be fixed. At least it broke down in a good place–I have a comfortable bed, good food, and good company. Hopefully, I will make it home tomorrow. Meanwhile, I have read a few books, including two that I was able to read in long gulps of reading all day long.

I finished…

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs – What a satisfying conclusion to this imaginative series. Just like in the previous two books, Riggs incorporates unusual, historical photographs into the story. The few Peculiars who are left free face daunting odds as they seek to rescue their friends and protectors before the masterminds behind the Hollows destroy Peculiardom for their own ends.  I will miss the world of the Peculiars now that it has come to an end, but I’m glad I can go back anytime into the books, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the movie.

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater – Another stunning conclusion to a series I love. As Blue and the Raven Boys close in on their search for the sleeping king, the stakes grow ever larger. Blue sees no way to avoid the prophecy that has shadowed her entire life–she will kill her true love with a kiss. Now that she’s met her true love, the prophecy is even more specific. Something is destroying the magic wood along the ley line and threatens to spill danger and doom and destruction out into Henrietta and beyond. Once again, I love how Steifvater weaves magic into our ordinary world.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – I may be a mundane, but I love Cassandra Clare’s world where Shadowhunters slay demons to keep us safe. I had read the original series (at least most of them), but had never journeyed back to Victorian London. Tessa Gray sails from America to London to join her brother, but she finds herself held captive and forced to learn a supernatural skill she didn’t know existed. She escapes to the protection of the Shadowhunters who help her track down just who in Downworld is behind the plot. Of course, amid the danger lurks the possibility–or two–of love as Tessa is drawn to the dangerous Will and sweet James. Both boys hide deadly secrets. Even though the book comes to a satisfying end, there are enough hints of secrets and mysteries to come to make me want to grab the next book.

I’m currently reading…

Nudge by Leonard Sweet – I love Sweet’s approach to evangelism in this book. Instead of hitting people over the head with your beliefs, live life in a way that invites people to want to know more. As I’m nearing the end, the chapters focus on using the five senses, but through it all is the underlying message of how we love our neighbor.  This quote from the chapter on aroma struck me: “A house that smells like Jesus,not because it says, “I’m your Christian neighbor,” but “I’m your friend,” is a house where you can smell the fresh aroma of the gospel. Flowers lose their scent while they’re refrigerated. The aroma of Christ doesn’t fare well when frozen. It needs to be baked and taken fresh out of the oven” (Sweet 267-8)

Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett – I’m back in Discworld with Rincewind the Wizzard, probably the most reluctant hero ever to walk through the pages of a book. The professors of Ankh-Morpork’s Unseen University send him to the kingdom of the Counterweight Continent. There the rebels (who chant politely) expect him to lead them to victory. The lords want to arrest him before the Emperor dies and they fight for power. All Rincewind wants is a nice, boring life. At least Rincewind can count on his oldest friend, the elderly Cohen the Barbarian. I am still chuckling my way through these books.

Coming up…

Well, that depends on how long until I can get back home. I have several books waiting for me at home. I’ve also been eyeing some of my mom’s books while I’m here.

What have you been reading this week?

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, including in the linked picture above. Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journey and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. Kellee and Rikki at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist. It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next. Join up with us and discover what good books other people are reading.

IMWAYR 2015

My husband’s goal while I was gone was to keep the girl, the dog and the chickens alive. He succeeded on all counts. Even though I was glad to get home to see him and our daughter (and the dog, too), I was really excited to meet the chickens. I confess I’m spending too much time just hanging out with them and watching them. They are fascinating. They seem to be settling in pretty well, but they aren’t too sure about this going outside thing. I hope they will warm up to it once they get used to it. I hope we have eggs in a few weeks, too.

I finished…

Four by Veronica Roth – I loved these stories that tell more about Tobias, better known as Four in the Dauntless faction. The first three stories all take place before Divergent begins. Even though I knew most of the big picture from Divergent, I enjoyed seeing the events unfold. I also enjoyed the last story, which happened in the middle of Divergent. This time, though, the story is told by Four. He definitely saw things differently than Tris. If you are a fan of the series, I recommend this collection just for the opportunity to revisit that world.

I’m currently reading…

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs – Once again, I am amazed at how Riggs weaves this incredible story that ties together unbelievable pictures. The Peculiars are in dire trouble, and only Jacob and Emma and MacHenry are free to help them. They might be getting some help from a shady ferryman, but they aren’t entirely sure they can trust him. Come to think of it, I’m not too sure about him, either. I am sure that the rest of the story will keep me turning pages. Even better, my daughter shared our love of this series by lending the first two (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City to a friend. I hope she likes them as much as we do!

Nudge by Leonard Sweet – I didn’t read much this week, but one quote stuck with me in the midst of the vitriolic political conversations and even the disagreements which threaten to split the United Methodist church (which just held its General Conference: “The issue is not to avoid controversy or argument. The issue is for nudging to foster dialogue more than discussion. ‘Our duty is not to see through one another, but to see one another through.’ How many of us, when we come away from a conversation (or a sermon), come away with agreement or disagreement, like or dislike? Or do we come away with new insights, fresh understandings, refreshed connections, and varied ways of looking at things, regardless of whether there is agreement or disagreement?

Coming up…

A neighbor came by and dropped off a box of books for my Little Free Library. I spotted several I would like to read before a put them out. I can’t wait to read and pass them on!

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Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, including in the linked picture above. Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journey and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. Kellee and Rikki at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist. It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next. Join up with us and discover what good books other people are reading.

IMWAYR 2015

The chickens are coming–on Tuesday! We were expecting them the end of the month, but they  are coming now. We’ve been working to finish up the last bits of work on the chicken coop–placing netting over the top so hawks and owls can’t swoop down. We also discovered that our coop is not quite as secure as we hoped when we found a nest of baby bunnies. We moved them out of the way (I suspect chickens would eat them) just outside the fence. They seem to be snug in their new nest. My husband even put up a temporary shelter over them. I just hope mama bunny finds their new location.

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I finished…

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – The closer I got to the end, the slower I read simply because I did not want it to end. This book will stay with me for a long time, and it is one I will look forward to visiting again and again. As the competition within the circus drew to its end, I was afraid for all of the characters and could not see any way out. I’m glad Morgestern saw a way out that surprised me yet felt absolutely satisfying. Like my favorite books from childhood, this novel awakens and feeds my need for magic and makes me believe anything is possible.

Love That Boy by Ron Fournier – I enjoyed both the descriptions of the trips to presidential libraries/homes that Fournier took with his son and the reflections on parenting that infused each chapter. We all have dreams for our children, and we all have to let our children pursue their own dreams–especially those different from ours. As I read, I couldn’t help but reflect on my journey with my daughter. I hope that I have supported her in her dreams (and not just mine for her) as we have shared many things together. I’m excited to watch her take the next steps toward independence in the coming months.

I’m currently reading…

Nudge by Leonard Sweet – Pay attention! The sacred and holy fills the very ordinary things of our days. Am I paying enough attention to recognize the mystery in a blade of grass or the face of a neighbor? I am especially reminded that paying attention requires silence and much more time spent listening rather than talking. I think my challenge this busy week is to find time just to be, just to sit and be aware and to listen to what happens around me. I wonder what I will discover?

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs – I was so excited when I found this on the library shelf. I loved the first two books in the series, and so far this one is not disappointing. Things are even more dire for the peculiars. Jacob and Emma and MacHenry are on a mission to save not only their friends, but the entire world. Their journey leads them deep in to Devil’s Acre, a time loop in one of the worst slums of Victorian London. Jacob is trying to figure out his newly discovered connection with hollowgasts, and the wights are determined to lure them all into a trap. I can’t wait to see how it all ends up. Of course, the story is a masterful blend of fantasy with eerie pictures from the past.

Four by Veronica Roth – I’m finally enjoying my Mother’s Day gift. So far my daughter has been patiently waiting for me to read it first, but she occasionally asks me to read faster. I am enjoying the stories of Four. The first two explore Four’s choice to join Dauntless and his initiation experiences. Even though I knew the big picture from the Divergent series, I love seeing the details play out in these stories.

Coming up…

I am headed to a conference this week, so I don’t know how much time I will have for reading. I do have books ready to pack in my suitcase, though. What have you been reading this week?

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, including in the linked picture above. Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journey and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. Kellee and Rikki at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist. It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next. Join up with us and discover what good books other people are reading.

IMWAYR 2015

Despite a wet and chilly week, we managed to plant a new flower bed between showers. This one is a pollinator garden, filled with wildflowers (sometimes known as weeds) that attract bees and butterflies and other critters that spread pollen and make the world blossom and fruit. I still have a few more plants to move into it from other places in the yard and have mulch to spread, but I hope these tiny plants take off and grow. If I’m lucky, I’ll find some caterpillars for monarch butterflies making a home here in the future.

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I finished…

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett – I have fallen in love with Disc World and its quirky inhabitants. Moist Van Lipwig is a con artist extraordinaire–until he lands in a government job to resurrect the post office (after swinging from a noose for his past crimes). Much to his surprise, he learns that he enjoys the challenge of living straight-at least when it involves taking on a corrupt monopoly (the clacks communication system) and getting the girl (one whose nickname is Killer). The city of Ankh-Morpork is a place where the bizarre is commonplace and has eerie resemblance to our own world. I laughed out loud through much of the book and can’t wait to read more.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz – I am swooning now that I’ve finally read this Printz honor book. The writing is gorgeous and the story is hauntingly beautiful. Neither Dante nor Aristotle quite fit in with the other kids in 1987, but once they find each other at the swimming pool that summer, they become best friends. Ari tells the story of their friendship as the two young men try to figure out their place in the world and how to become men. Along the way, they learn that love–in all its varied forms–may hold the key to the secrets of the universe. Ari’s voice will stay with me for a long time. Another plus–not only does the book focus on diverse characters, but both boys have parents who love and support them (even if they sometimes get it wrong).

I’m currently reading…

Love That Boy by Ron Fournier – My husband’s Sunday School class chose this book for their next discussions. I picked it up after reading Fournier’s article in Guideposts. A former White House correspondent, Fournier records his journeys to bond with his son (diagnosed with Aspergers at age 12) as they visit presidential libraries. Interspersed with his recollections are accounts of his interviews with experts and parents about the difficulty of letting go of our expectations for our children and learning to accept and love them for who they are.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I am completely captivated by this story of magic and love and, of course, the circus. I want to become a reveur and follow this circus wherever it may go. Even better, I wish I could run away and join this circus. I have fallen in love with Celia and Marcus and Bailey and Widget and Poppet and Isobel and the others. Except for Hector and the grey man. Those I intensely dislike. How could they set up this competition between Celia and Marcus knowing the cost? As the circus grows ever larger and more magical, Celia and Marcus work together rather than against each other as they fall ever more in love. As I near the end, I find myself both wanting to know what happens and not wanting the story to end.

Nudge by Leonard Sweet – I started yet another book by Sweet this morning. This one may be my favorite yet as he transforms what is understood about evangelism. Rather than beating people over the head with your beliefs, evangelism invites people join in love and wonder. I love this quote from the preface: “You will not find in Nudge a gospel of religion; what you will find is a gospel of Christ. What’s the difference? The currency of the gospel of religion is fear and imposition. The currency of the gospel of Christ is love and invitation. Love engenders a spirit of wonder, where fear spawns anger and distrust. Fear seeks to quash wonder and to impose. Love frees to wonder and invite.”

Coming up…

I still have Big Magic waiting for me. My daughter also gave me my favorite gift for Mother’s Day: dark chocolate and a new book. I teased her that she gave me a book she wanted to read (she pled guilty). I’m looking forward to reentering the world of Divergent with the collection of stories in Four.

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, including in the linked picture above. Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journey and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. Kellee and Rikki at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist. It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next. Join up with us and discover what good books other people are reading.

IMWAYR 2015

It’s starting to feel real. This week we have begun the countdown for graduation (for my daughter). My mom has been here for the week to celebrate with us at the Academic Banquet that honors the top 20 seniors and top 10 students in the other classes. Then this weekend we shopped for graduation party supplies and got the invitations and announcements ready to put in the mail. I find it hard to believe that my girl will graduate from high school at the end of this month. It seemed just like yesterday she walked up by herself to the first day of kindergarten.

I finished…

Enough Bull by David Trahair – While this book had some good advice for retirement planning, I found it disappointing overall. That may be primarily because he focuses on Canadian tax retirement issues, which don’t transfer directly to the U.S. He focuses on safety above all, and the warnings against taking on debt to invest in high risk options applies across all borders. I’m just willing to take on a little more risk than only government insured accounts.

I’m currently reading…

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett – A long time ago when I first started teaching, a student told me about Pratchett’s Disc World novels. I thought they sounded incredible, but never got around to reading any. I grabbed Going Postal from the library and am loving it. Moist Van Lipwig has never done an honest day’s work in his life, but when drops through a trapdoor with a noose around his neck, he lands in a government job with the postal service. For some strange reason, he takes on the challenge of restoring the post office to a functional service–despite having little help, sliding down mounds of letters (that may be talking to him) and taking on the evil clacks conglomerate. I love the surreal world where things that shouldn’t make sense almost do. I will be going back for more Pratchett. Does anyone know, do I need to read the Disc World books in order, or can I dive in and out however I find them?

Coming up…

I still have Night Circus on my stack, as well as Big Magic. More good reading coming my way!  What have you read this week?

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, including in the linked picture above. Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journey and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. Kellee and Rikki at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist. It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next. Join up with us and discover what good books other people are reading.

IMWAYR 2015

Our eating adventures have continued this week. I must say how proud I am of my daughter. She is a notoriously picky eater, but she as been open to trying so many new foods in order to improve her health. It’s too soon to tell if the diet is having an effect on the amount of inflammation (and may be difficult to tell its effects from that of her medicine), but she has noticed an immediate improvement in how she feels–no more queasiness from medicine side effects. She’s also thrilled that she’s lost weight while eating more. I suspect all of us will be healthier. We’ve discovered new favorites like the Curried Roasted Chickpeas and Blueberry Turmeric Muffins and Banana Oatmeal Energy Bites. Others, like the roasted cauliflower were not so popular. In addition to enjoying good food, I also enjoyed several good books this week!

I finished…

Faithquakes by Leonard Sweet – I found lots to think about. It’s true of most ages, but times are changing. Churches can learn to embrace the changes in the world or pretend they aren’t happening or protest the changes. The changes keep on happening anyway. Even though this book was published a decade ago, many of the trends have only intensified. Some have taken unexpected (back then) turns, but for the most part Sweet’s understanding of these times still ring true.

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith – Yes! Another quirky romance that springs from a chance encounter. I love these books by Smith. This time Owen (the building superintendent’s son) and Lucy (privileged daughter of world-traveling parents) meet in an elevator. They would have probably ignored each other but they were trapped in the elevator when all the lights and power went out in New York City. They spent the evening exploring the city in the dark before their lives careened off in different directions, Lucy to Europe and Owen to the West Coast. While they spend most of the book apart, neither can forget the other. But can their relationship (whatever it is) move beyond postcards and ignored emails?

In Front of God and Everybody: Confessions of April Grace by KD McCrite – One of my students gave me this book when I was still teaching, and I finally got around to reading it. April Grace is a delightful narrator, full of humor and sass. Her summer just took a nose dive when new snooty neighbors move in next door. No matter how awful the neighbors are, April Grace’s mamma and daddy insist on doing the right thing to help them out. Then her grandma has a new boyfriend, and no one will take April Grace’s complaints seriously. Then her older sister Myra Sue is obsessed with being glamorous, just like the new neighbors. This is a quiet book–but also funny–that explores growing up in the country, the Ozarks to be exact.

I’m currently reading…

Enough Bull: How to Retire Well Without the Stock Market, Mutual Funds, or Even an Investment Advisor by David Trahair – This title caught my eye when I was browsing the new books shelf at the library. I’m not too worried about our retirement savings, but I figured I’d read this to see everything we’re doing wrong. I haven’t read very much, but Trahair seems to be quite contrary about conventional advice for retirement planning. I should enjoy it though I tend to mistrust people who claim to have all the answers and everyone else is wrong.

Coming up…

I finally made it back to the library. Since it’s on the other end of town, I kept planning to go when I had errands up that way, but my daughter kept volunteering to do the errands for me. She wasn’t volunteering to select books for me, though it might be interesting if she did. Here’s the stack I got from the library, along with my copy of Big Magic that came in the mail this week. I suspect I will be jumping around so I can get started with more of these books!

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What good books have you read this week?

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, including in the linked picture above. Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journey and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. Kellee and Rikki at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist. It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next. Join up with us and discover what good books other people are reading.

IMWAYR 2015

We enjoyed a glorious weekend of sunshine and warm weather that ended with a cookout on Sunday afternoon. It was so different from the weekend before, when we went on a wildflower hike in the snow. Even the poor flowers were shivering that day.

I finished…

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen – Wow!  What a thought-provoking read. I am thankful that throughout my education, many of my teachers have corrected popular misconceptions about history, but I still learned a lot from this book. Even more than Loewen’s willingness to tell the sometimes ignored parts of history, I enjoyed his analysis of why certain things get emphasized and why other things get ignored. The issues he raises have not gone away in the teaching of history. I now have a waiting list for people who want to read it next.

The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal – Another book that makes me think. Each time I read a new essay, I found my own understanding of forgiveness being stretched and challenged. I do not know what I would do in Wiesenthal’s situation. Could I forgive someone who had committed such horrible deeds as the Nazi officer described? I don’t know. I suspect that there is not one right answer for every situation, maybe not even for this one situation. I am glad for the challenge this story and the responding essays give me.

Rose Harbor in Bloom by Debbie Macomber – I enjoyed this story and had no trouble picking up the characters even though it is the second in a series. (No, I haven’t read the first one yet.) Jo Marie Rose opened a bed and breakfast in Cedar Cove after her husband was killed in Afghanistan. Each of the guests that fill the inn during this spring weekend brings secrets from their past that need healing. Annie is throwing a shindig for her grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, but can’t escape the attentions of the pesky boy who grew up next door to them. Mary confronts her past after her bout with cancer leaves her with questions and regrets about decisions she made. Each of them find peace during their stay,

I’m currently reading….

Faithquakes by Leonard Sweet – I am enjoying the books I have been reading by Sweet, and I find that he comes back again and again to similar themes. Even though these books were written in the 90s/early 2000s, his understanding of postmodern trends apply even more today.

The Inflammation Diet for Beginners – Both my daughter and I struggle with a form of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis. She currently has much worse symptoms than I do. She finally decided that she would be willing to try to change her diet to one that is more healthy than the typical teenage diet of junk food to see how it might help. Since she is a notoriously picky eater, I’ve been thrilled that she is willing to try new things. We even ordered this cookbook. Along with the 100 recipes, it provides some  background on the interaction between diet and inflammation. I’ll let you know how we enjoy some of the recipes.

Coming up…

It is time for another trip to the library to see what I can find! I am also waiting for my copy of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic to arrive. I’ve heard such good things about it. I can’t wait to start reading it myself.

What good books have you read this week?

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, including in the linked picture above. Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journey and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. Kellee and Rikki at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist. It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next. Join up with us and discover what good books other people are reading.

IMWAYR 2015

We are back in the swing of the final weeks of school as my daughter counts down the days until graduation. I’ve been driving lots of back roads and love coming upon surprising sights. This week it was an elephant statue standing on a flatbed trailer in the yard of an abandoned school building. The red, tasseled cloth hanging down its forehead and the sunflower grasped in its trunk made me smile every time I passed it. Meanwhile, back at home we are alternating between mowing the grass and covering the garden plants to protect them from frost. I’ve also had more time to read some great books.

I finished…

Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater – I put off reading this conclusion to the Shiver series because it focuses on my two least favorite characters:  Cole and Isabel. I’m glad I finally read it, though. Isabel has fled to California to try to escape the memories from Minnesota and the wolves and her family’s tragedies, but she can’t seem to find her way. Cole comes after her, but is caught up in the most destructive reality show on the Internet. Somehow these two flawed, damaged people try to find their way back to each other in spite of themselves. Cole and Isabel still aren’t easy to like, but it’s hard to look away from their story.

Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor – My Bible study is back to finish our discussion of this book. It is one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read in a long time. I experience the dark differently now.

The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks – Once again I am blown away by Brooks. This one is historical fiction–the story of King David, who united the tribes of Israel and Judah.The writing is breathtaking and the story fills in the parts missing from the Biblical record with imagination and grace. My favorite character is the narrator, the prophet Nathan who dared to speak the truth to David.

The Three Hardest Words by Leonard Sweet – What are the three hardest words to get right and to live right? I love you. Sweet explores the challenges in getting each of these three words right as we live out our faith. Once again, Sweet gives me much to think about and challenges the way I live my faith.

I’m currently reading…

The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal – I read just a few more essays this week. As from last week, they give me much to ponder. Just what are the limits of forgiveness? What do you do when confronted with some of the worst evil the word can devise? Does forgiving mean forgetting? What does it mean to forgive? Who can forgive?

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen – I wasn’t going to start this book yet, but I kept picking it up to sneak a few pages here and there. Now I’m hooked. I thought I was a pretty astute history student. My major in women’s studies opened my eyes to a lot of history overlooked in traditional textbooks, but just in the first chapter I’ve been shocked by what I didn’t know. I can’t wait to finish the rest of the book.

Coming up…

Since April is the month to celebrate poetry, I want to read more poetry this month! I’m sure I’ll find lots of other things to read as well. I just haven’t come across them yet.\

Happy reading to all of you!

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, including in the linked picture above. Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journey and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. Kellee and Rikki at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist. It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next. Join up with us and discover what good books other people are reading.

IMWAYR 2015

It’s been a busy two weeks! My daughter was on spring break last week, and I chaperoned the high school orchestra trip to Washington, DC, over the first few days of break. The cherry trees were just bursting into bloom as we left–beautiful–and we crammed in as many sights as possible along with two performances at Union Station and Vinson Hall. It was a great trip, but I’m getting too old to sleep overnight on a bus ride and then tour all day. Back home, spring is teasing us with 70 degree weather one day and cold rain the next. We also have a date for the arrival of our chickens. We will welcome them home on May 27. Meanwhile, my husband finished putting up the nest boxes and made a sign for the coop!

I finished…

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini – This final book in the series is packed with action and surprises–battles against insurmountable odds, surprising and sometimes shaky alliances, and deep magic. My favorite battle was when Eragon’s brother, Roran, led a small force to take over a city with walls that cannot be breached. Between his incredible strength and his sneaky tactics, he did the impossible. I also liked the way good overcame evil in the final confrontation between Eragon and Galbotrix. While the series has its weaknesses, it is a good read for fantasy fans.

John: The Gospel of Light and Life by Adam Hamilton – We finished our reading and discussion in time for Easter. After reading Hamilton’s insights into John, I am aware of so much more in this gospel. The English major in me loves the symbolism that John packs into his account. I had not thought of most of them before, but once Hamilton points them out, they seem obvious and add an even deeper understanding to life and words of Jesus. I will not read John the same way again.

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem – This was the perfect book to read while travelling. (I downloaded it from our library to read on my Kindle.) Steinem shares anecdotes from her travels throughout her life. As she crisscrossed the country–and the world–she remained open to hearing people’s stories and being surprised along the way. She shares many of those stories here. I hope reading this will inspire me to be even more open when I travel, to seek out people’s stories and to connect with them.

Ten by Gretchen McNeil – A modern retelling of the Agatha Christie classic (And Then There Were None or Ten Little Indians) deposits ten teens on a remote island for a weekend house party. A raging storm (and some preplanning by a killer bent on vengeance) cuts off all communication. One by one, teens die gruesome deaths while Meg desperately tries to figure out who the killer is before it’s too late. It’s not quite up to Agatha Christie, but I quickly got sucked into the horror of a weekend gone wrong. Sometimes the teen drama and slang was a bit much, but I suspect teen readers will relate.

I’m currently reading…

The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal – I bought this book at the Holocaust museum in DC and began reading it on the bus ride home. Wiesenthal begins with an account of an experience he had in the Nazi concentration camp: While working on a crew sent to a hospital, Wiesenthal is called before a dying Nazi officer who wants to confess his sins to a Jew before he dies. Wiesenthal hears his gruesome confession, but is unable to grant the forgiveness the offices begs for. He ends with the question, What would you do? Fifty-three people respond with their own answers in the following essays. I’m about halfway through the essays, and I am still struggling with the answer I would give. I will be thinking about this book for a long time to come.

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen – Another souvenir from our trip to DC. (Don’t books make the best souvenirs?), this time from Ford’s Theater. I’ve barely dipped in to this one, but I’m already hooked. I’ve had quite a few history classes (and many of them from different than traditional perspectives such as my women’s history classes and multicultural history classes) but I’m still looking forward to being surprised. There are simple too many stories that don’t get told in history, and I agree that textbooks (usually written by committee) are one of the worst ways to inspire students to be excited by history.

Coming up…

I still have two books left on my library stack (which are due Friday) so I plan on seeing how much of those I can get read this week.

What have you read this week? Anything good I should check out?

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, including in the linked picture above. Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

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