Archive of ‘Mrs. McGriff’ category

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!

IMG_20160425_095847611_HDR

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.

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

I finished…

Nothing! That’s what I get for starting with the biggest book in my stack this week. We also worked hard on the chicken coop. It’s painted inside and out. The biggest job, though, was putting up the fence for the run. Someone gave us 10-foot fence panels to use. We just had to figure out how to put them on a sloping hillside  while keeping them level. We also dug a 1-foot trench beneath each one to add hardware cloth below to keep critters from digging under it. The piles of mud were heavy to shovel,, but the fence is up. We have a few finishing touches to complete,, but we’re almost ready for chickens!

IMG_20160312_174146480

I’m currently reading…

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini – It didn’t take long get absorbed back into this story of dragons and riders and epic battles between good and evil. Eragon and his dragon Sapphira are determined to fight with the Varden to defeat the evil Galbotrix even when the odds seem insurmountable. So far, this last book in the series is packed with action on and off the battlefield and some surprising twists and turns.

John: The Gospel of Light and Life by Adam Hamilton – We are moving through Jesus’ last words to his disciples (both those past and present and future) into the story of his trial and crucifixion. As we read and discuss together, I am seeing more and learning more from the Gospel of John. I love how Hamilton points out John’s use of small details to make a larger point.

My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Stephen Alcorn – I had hoped to finish this book this week, but it didn’t happen. I’m still enjoying my tour of the scenic countryside through poems about the different states.

 

Coming up…

I still have the rest of my library stack to dive into after I finish Eragon, but I’m not sure how far I’ll get. I’m chaperoning the high school orchestra group on their trip to Washington, DC, over the weekend. I don’t expect to have much time to read, even on the bus since we are travelling overnight and I will need to try to sleep.

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.

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

I did a lot of driving this week, especially down back roads through the country. One day I came across this beautiful old covered bridge. The road no longer crosses the creek, but the bridge still stands over it. We haven’t made much progress with the chicken coop since the weather turned cold and wet. Hopefully things will dry out and warm up so we can continue painting and finishing it up.

IMG_20160304_121659867 (1)

I finished…

Stranded by Lorena McCourtney – Another adventure with Ivy Malone and her new friend Abilene. When their RV breaks down in Hello, Colorado, Ivy ends up being invited to stay in the house where a murder recently occurred. Even though the town is convinced that Hiram’s niece Kelly did him in, Ivy is not so sure. Before long her curiosity gene leads her to more suspects than she can count. As she searches for clues, she finds more and more secrets revealed. And there might even be love in the crisp mountain air, too!

Four Mile by Watt Key – I’ve been putting off reading this book even though I loved Key’s first book, Alabama Moon. Looking at the cover and reading the blurb on the back, I suspected this would be a sad book. It was sad in many parts, but I also found it inspiring and hopeful. Foster and his mom have not been able to keep up with the farm since his dad’s death. The cows have been sold, the barn roof is leaking, the hay is molding. Foster is afraid of his mother’s boyfriend, Dax, too. Then a stranger comes walking up the road who offers Foster the first glimmer of hope he’s felt in a long time. The stranger–a former Iraq soldier–mentors Foster and offers protection from Dax. It’s not long before resentment simmers and then explodes. I don’t read enough Westerns to make the connection myself, but the author’s note in the back explained that Key wanted to write a modern story using the structure of traditional Westerns–complete with a shootout at the end.

I’m currently reading…

John: The Gospel of Light and Life by Adam Hamilton – In our Bible study last week we discussed the I Am sayings of Jesus–what powerful metaphors still today. Our discussion explored the many ways to experience Jesus as the bread of life. This week’s readings focus on Jesus’s last words to his disciples. Again, much to ponder.

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini – I finally gave in and grabbed the last book in the Eragon series. I enjoyed the first three, but gave up when the trilogy turned into four books (and took awhile for that last one to be published). I’ve just gotten started, but I am glad it begins with a summary of the story from the first three books. It’s been awhile since I’ve read them, and the summary was just enough to call back to mind the major characters and events. This one starts with a bang–right in the middle of battle.

My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Stephen Alcorn – I finally got back to reading these poems. I enjoyed my poetic tour of the mountain states. Now I’m headed to the Southwest. It’s amazing how a few lines can evoke such strong images and feelings tied to particular places.

Coming up…

I did make it to the library this week. Here is the stack of books I came home with.

IMG_20160305_070456483

The Secret Chord (King David) by Geraldine Brooks – Sinner (more Cole and Isabel from the Shiver series) by Maggie Stiefvater – Ten (modern retelling of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians) by Gretchen McNeil – Inheritance (dragons) by Christopher Paolini

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

I’ve been in a bit of a reading rut lately. I just had a hard time finding a title that caught my eye. Once I picked up a book, I usually enjoyed it, but once I finished, I didn’t have another book in mind that grabbed me. So, I’ve been exploring different books, hoping to find some that took hold. Some did, some didn’t. I think what I really need is a leisurely trip to the library. I’ve got a few books lying around the house (probably more than a few) that I still haven’t read, but I want to browse lots of new to me titles and covers and discover a whole stack of books waiting. The weather is also warming up as spring is coming, and we are making progress on the chicken coop!

 

I finished…

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – My daughter actually finished the last few chapters on her own, so I did, too. I love the ending–except for the disappearing people and sudden revelations that leave you hanging. This probably wasn’t the best choice for our readaloud because she missed to much as she sometimes drifted off to sleep in the middle of a chapter. It didn’t help that we skipped reading nights in a row due to busy schedules. I do hope she will explore the rest of the series. I know I’m waiting eagerly for the next book to be released later this spring.

Backfire by Catherine Coulter – I generally like crime thrillers and mysteries, but this one didn’t do it for me. The plot was intriguing and fast-moving, but I had a hard time keeping all the detectives/FBI agents/US Marshalls straight. Maybe it would have helped if I had read more books starring these same characters. The bad guys, however, were ingenious with their plots.

On the Run by Lorena McCourtney – I have found a new mystery series that I like. My husband actually picked up two books in this series at a yard sale, and I finally got around to trying them. Ivy Malone reminds me somewhat of Miss Marple. She’s a LOL (little old lady) who has a knack for running into dead bodies, and her curiosity gene won’t let her alone until she figures out who did it. Ivy travels the country in her RV, trying to avoid the Braxton clan, who want her dead for putting one of them in prison. In Oklahomo, she picks up a young woman who is also on the run, and together they run into a couple of dead bodies while looking for a job. Even though the local police believe it is a clear case of a murder/suicide, Ivy is not so sure. While this would be classified as Christian fiction, it’s not overly preachy.

I’m currently reading…

My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Stephen Alcorn – Oops! I haven’t read many poems lately. I need to get back in the habit of reading one after dinner again. I’m almost through with my poetry tour of the United States.

John: The Gospel of Light and Life by Adam Hamilton – Our pastor chose this book for a Lenten study. I love the insights that Hamilton shares as we read through the book of John and his commentary. The last two chapters have focused on the miraculous signs of Jesus and the I AM sayings of Jesus.

Stranded by Lorena McCourtney – Ivy and Abilene are on the road again, but the RV breaks down in Hello, Colorado. Since they are going to be there a while, they both find jobs (Abilne as a vet assistant and Ivy as a librarian for the historical society). Of course, the house they are staying it just happens to be the sight of a recent murder. While most of the town is convinced that the niece did it, Ivy is not so sure. She keeps snooping (and fending off romantic overtures from the town eccentric) until she is sure to discover the truth.

Coming up…

It is way past time for a trip to the library! I’ll let you know what I find as I browse through the stacks. While I’m there, what are your recommendations?

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 looks like I read a lot this week, and I did finish quite a few books. Those of you who have visited before know that I have been reading most of these books for several weeks. It feels good to have finished some of them and to be ready for he next books up. It also helped that we had a snowy day yesterday to sit inside and read. Once I post this, I will be looking for the next audio book to listen to while I shovel the rest of the driveway!

I did write and share a couple of poems for the Found Object Poetry project hosted by  this week, but I didn’t get up a Poetry Friday post. Here you can read all the poems (including mine) for the Sculpture in the Woods and Tire Tracks in the Snow. Here are the picture prompts for Week 3.

I finished…

A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn – I know, I had enough books to finish without starting another one, but I found myself waiting without a book, so I found this one on the Kindle app on my phone (downloaded by my daughter originally). Once I started I couldn’t stop. I love fairy tale retellings, especially the modern and humorous twist given by Flinn. In this version of Sleeping Beauty, both Talia (the sleeping princess who pricked her finger on a spindle) and Jack (definitely not prince charming, but his kiss did wake Talia) are more than a bit spoiled. Once their paths cross, they find that they are more or less stuck with each other and find their way into true love once they learn to see beyond their own selfishness. I especially enjoyed the backstory of Malvolia, the evil fairy (who’s not so evil after all).

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates – I did enjoy listening to Coates read aloud this thought-provoking book. I felt privileged to listen in on the conversation he shared with his son. However, I feel like I missed much of what this book has to offer because it is difficult to pause or reread sections of an audio book. I will definitely look for a hard copy of this book to read so that I can ponder more deeply. It was especially interesting hearing this book amidst the varied responses to Beyonce’s Superbowl halftime show. I sometimes wondered if we watched the same performance.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa – Wow! Just wow. I loved this take on the fey who live among us and escape to their own world. I love Meagan Chase–who may not see her own strength yet, but so far is driven by her love for her family and friends. I can’t wait to see what she does next. I also am intrigued by the fey she became involved with–Puck, Ash and even the Caith Sith. The best part–my daughter read and loved it, too. That means she will borrow the rest of the series from her friend and I can read them, too!

Keeping the Sabbath Wholly by Marva J. Dawn – I deliberately read this one slowly so I could have time to reflect as I read. And it was conveniently divided into 28 chapters for daily readings for four weeks. Reading this has deepened my understanding of Sabbath to much more than restrictions on what you can or cannot do. As I am beginning to be more intentional in my observance of Sabbath, I am enjoying its gifts more and more. One of the best takeaways for me is the choice to be intentional about celebrating the Sabbath while not being bound by legalism and realizing that different people may choose to celebrate the day differently. I am exploring what choices help me to observe and celebrate this day each week. If anyone has any recommendations for readings about Sabbath, I am very interested.

After Alice by Gregory Maguire – I’m not quite sure what I make of this one. It is not my favorite book by Maguire, but I’m glad I stuck with it. Once I got to know Ada, I enjoyed accompanying her on her adventures through Wonderland. For Ada, Wonderland was a confusing place, but one that allowed her to discover her own strength. I wasn’t as taken with the above-ground adventures of Lydia (Alice’s older sister). Her day was just as confusing, and she may have learned something from it, but I had a hard time connecting with her story.

I’m currently reading…

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – I thought we would have finished this this week, but my daughter decided the ending chapters were too scary to read before bedtime. After taking a break for several days, she finally asked me to continue reading (Do you know how hard it was to wait?) Maybe with the snow day we can finish it up. I keep reading ahead because I love the ending so much. Despite her claims that it is scary (okay, having a character held at gunpoint could be considered scary), it all works out–well, for most of the characters anyway.

My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Stephen Alcorn – I’ve moved on to the Mountain States, and these poems make me want to visit even more. Once I leave these poems, I will finish up with the Southwest and Pacific Coast states.

John: The Gospel of Light and Life by Adam Hamilton – Our pastor chose this book for a Lenten study. My Bible study group is reading it now. (Then we will continue our reading and discussion of Learning to Walk in the Dark.) I am anticipating some interesting discussion from our group on the first chapter of the book and of John, especially in light of our other book discussion selection. While John offers stark metaphorical contrast between light and dark, we have been learning what we might learn from darkness.

Raising Chickens for Dummies by Kimberly Willis and Rob Ludlow – This week’s chapter was all about dealing with pests (critters than wreak havoc on the chicken environment like mice and rats and insects) and predators (critters that actually each chickens and/or eggs). The good news is that if you have mice, you probably don’t have rats. (Mice are already present in our rural neighborhood). The bad news is that most of the common predators are frequent visitors to our neighborhood as well. I do think we need strong fencing and shelter. I also went back to dig out the details needed for a coop and sketched a design for building.

IMG_20160215_095206902

Coming up…

I hope my daughter comes home with more books from the Iron King series. If not, I’m off to the library to discover what might me waiting for me there. I also have quite a few books lying around on bookshelves waiting for me to read.

What have you read this week? Any recommendations for can’t miss books?

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. 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

Last night we had my kind of Super Bowl party. Along with the good food, my daughter and her friends spent as much time talking about books as they did about the game. Actually, the conversation was quite wide-ranging, but not very much focused on the game (except for my husband and daughter who actually followed most of the action and the conversation). And, of course, we all enjoyed the halftime show!

This week I am also jumping into a poetry challenge offered by Laura Shovan: 2016 Found Object Poem Project. You can read the introduction to it here and and find the images for this week’s poems here. I missed the first week, but did write a poem for Poetry Friday:

I finished…

Nothing! You’ll see why (or at least partly) when you see the list of books I’m in the middle of. It’s been one of those weeks that I flit from book to book without settling on any for very long.

I’m currently reading…

Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor – The chapters I read this week described Taylor’s practical experiences with darkness as well as what she learned from reading works by those who live in darkness. She describes restaurants that invite people to dine in total darkness. She was able to encounter darkness through Dialogue in the Dark, where blind guides lead participants through a simulation of daily life in total darkness. She also experienced the dark in a wild cave and shared the writings of Lusseyran, a blind fighter in the French Resistance. I am intrigued by the idea that our sight might blind us to things that are important and that light and darkness are as much within us as in the world without.

Keeping the Sabbath Wholly by Marva J. Dawn – I’m reading the last section this week–Feasting. I love that Dawn is stretching my understanding of Sabbath to much more than just prohibitions against “work,” but it is an invitation to experience rest and joy–and to be a force against the prevailing cultural values of greed and busy-ness and accomplishment.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – We weren’t able to read much this week since I was gone for three nights (and we had a Super Bowl party another night), but we are nearing the end. I’m looking forward to reading the last chapters with her. Then we’ll see if she will pursue the rest of the series for herself.

Raising Chickens for Dummies by Kimberly Willis and Rob Ludlow – I didn’t read as much in the book except to go back and check information on how much space chickens need in their shelter and run and refer back to other specific information. I did, however, get to tour a couple of chicken coops to see how they are set up. My husband and I have decided we may be overthinking things, and are eager to start building. We found some old fence panels we can use for a run, and are busy sketching out plans.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa – A friend of my daughter’s lent this to her, and of course, I had to take a peek since I have heard nothing but rave reviews. Now I get it. I was hooked from the first page and can’t resist sneaking in a few more pages every chance I get.  I am captivated by the world of the faeries and Puck and most of all, Meghan Chase herself.

My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Stephen Alcorn – I finished my tour of the Midwest and have moved onto the Plains states. While some poems are clear about which state they describe, others are more general to the region. Even so, each poem offers a glimpse of life tied to a particular place.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates – I finally received notification  that the audio book was ready from my public library through Overdrive. The audio book is very intimate as Coates is reading the letter he wrote to his son, but I’m afraid I am missing much as I listen. It is giving me much to think about, but I want to find a print copy to read as well so that I can better pause and ponder.

After Alice by Gregory Maguire  – I found this waiting for me at the library. I’m having a hard time getting into this one, but that may be more to my state of mind each time I’ve sat down to read–or it may also be due in part to the disjointed nature of Wonderland where inexplicable things happen to Ada as she searches for her friend Alice. I am growing to like Ada, but I don’t have as much patience when the story switches to Lydia, Alice’s older sister stuck above ground.

Coming up…

I think I need to focus on one (or at least narrow down to a few) of the books I’m in the middle of. Which book will I finish first? Which one will a savor the longest?

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.

1 2 3 122