Archive of ‘Mrs. McGriff’ category

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee 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.

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Cold and snow haved filled this week here in southern Indiana. I’ve had lots of opportunity to shovel snow, but haven’t left the house much otherwise. I am thankful to have a warm, cozy home with plenty of hot soup and fresh-baked bread to eat through these cold winter days. Even though the roads outside are still icy and the winds are still howling from the Arctic, I look forward to traveling through more dusy, desert lands as I read this week.

I finished…

promised landThe Promised Land by Peter Danielson – Pepi, son of Neftis and Apedemek, has faithfully served as armorer for the Israelites, but now Caleb and Joshua turn against him. I’m sure it had nothing to do with Pepi’s criticism of Joshua’s bloodthirsty destruction. Meanwhile, Iri’s search for his wife Keturah and their son leads him to the shores of Troy–and a war that grinds on for years over a face deemed the most beautiful of women. I did not expect to sit at an inn having dinner with Odysseus and Iri, but I grew to like the reluctant hero–but not the arrogant Achilles or sneaky Paris. Iri also adopts a son, Phorbus, who is just as faithful as any Child of the Lion with a birthmark.

invadersThe Invaders – Tyrants rise and fall and allegiances switch. Pepi left the Israelites who drove him out and was determined to help their enemies. Disillusioned with the brutality of the new oppressors, he returns to help the Israelites when Deborah speaks the word of Yahweh to Barak and Yael. The Greeks still battle outside the walls of Troy until the wily Odyesseus can come up with a plan to end it once and for all. Even when tempted by the love of a beautiful woman, Phorbus remains faithfuil to his promise to rescue Keturah and her son Talus. Nimshi and Micah attempt to start a new life, but violence finds them in the desert. And finally, Luti, another daughter of the Lion, makes a desperate trek to bring back designs for a new chariot and save the people of Babylon. While the mighty empire of Khalkeus struggles, Theon travels the world looking for the lost Children of the Lion.

I’m reading…

trumpet and the swordThe Trumpet and the Sword by Peter Danielson – I just started Book XIV this morning. I can’t wait to find out what is in store for Luti and Talus and Micah and Nimshi and Theon.Even just a few chapters in, I’m astounded at the turns of fortune. Where will they all end up?

bird by birdBird by Bird by Anne Lamott – I know the first time I read this book, I devoured it quickly. This time I’m reading more slowly, chewing on the thoughts about life and writing. I have so much to learn, but I can enjoy it along the way!

by the bookBy the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York TImes Book Review edited by Pamela Paul – This week I enjoyed interviews with Jeffrey Eugenides, JK Rowling, David Mitchell and John Grisham. My favorite question (when it is asked and answered) is “What were your favorite books as a child? Do you have a favorite characgter or hero from one of those books? Is there one book you wish all children would read?” I love it when an author shares one of my favorites from childhood, but I find the question very hard to narrow down to just one book.

Coming up…

Now that the end of the series is in sight, I suspect I will focus much of my reading energy on The Children of the Lion–just a handful of books to go. I will miss these characters once I’m done with the series. I am glad I was able to pass on the books I’ve read to a friend. I can’t wait to hear what she thinks about them! I’ll also continue enjoying interviews in By the Book and savoring the wisdom of Bird by Bird.

What have you read this week? Do you have any favorite books from childhood?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee 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.

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The Arctic blast has arrived, and snow is supposedly on the way. We’ve gotten excited a few other times this winter, but the snow has passed us. I’m ready for at least a little snow, but many not quite as much as Boston and the northeast has been getting. Whatever the weather, I’m ready to curl up with a good book and a mug of hot cocoa!  I hope you are staying snug and warm no matter the weather wherever you are.

I finisned…

exodusThe Exodus by Peter Danielson – I loved how Danielson wove together natural disasters and the power of Yahweh to tale the story of Moses leading the Habiru out of Egypt. I also loved the showdown between Moses and the evil magus Apedemek from the earlier books. As always, there was plenty of intrigue in the court as people jostled for power. The clan of the Children of the Lion continues to grow in unexpected directions as well.

sea peoplesThe Sea Peoples by Peter Danielson – One of the things that I love about this series is that even eleven books in, Danielson continues to surprise me. I did not expect to see pirates, but the storyline with the pirates in this book is one of my favorites. The Minotaur is not your typical pirate. He commands not one ship, but a fleet of ships, that he rules with the power of respect rather than violence. Seth’s son, Theon, infiltrates the pirate fleet–as a slave–to spy on the pirate and learn his secrets. The characters are also complex and vivid. Joshua takes over from Moses. He is a brillaint soldier, but he enjoys killing a bit too much. His bloodlust creates a rift between him and his childhood friend, Pepi, who is now chief armorer for the Israelites.

I’m reading…

bird by birdBird by Bird by Anne Lamott – This is a reread for me. I remember that I enjoyed it and learned from it the first time I read it with the Indiana University Southeast Writing Project site. I am getting just as much out of it this time. I am finding that as I read it, I want to stop and write! I am also reading this one much more slowly this time around. Now that I have decided to make a go out of freelance writing fulltime, I am even more eager to learn and to write.

by the bookBy the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York TImes Book Review edited by Pamela Paul – This week I enjoyed interviews from Nicholson Baker, Emma Thompson and Michael Chabon. As I’m reading these, I want to know more about the reading lives of others. Not just famous writers, but the people I see in my daily life. Do you think the NYT Book Review would mind if I came up with my own questions regarding the literary life to ask people?

Coming up…

This week my goals are to write more. I have all these ideas bouncing around that I want to get down, and I want to finish the copy to launch my new copywriting website. Of course, I will find time to continue with the Children of the Lion and savor more of By the Book and Bird by Bird.

What are you reading this week?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee 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.

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This has been a quiet week, which allowed me to catch up and finish several books that I had started. I’m looking forward to more good reading this week!

I finished…

sword of glorySword of Glory by Peter Danielson – In book VIII of the Children of the Lion, everything that could go wrong, does. Kamose is turning out to be worse than the wrongful pharaoh he is trying to overthrow. Members of an evil cult have influenced him and infiltrated all levels of the army. Riki quits the army in disgust and cannot overcome his grief over the loss of Teti–one of many plague victims. Seth sets out on a journey to discover the secret of his heritage, but is seduced by glittering temptations. Joseph’s descendents are enslaved and threatened. Will anyone–Baliniri, Mara, Miriam–be able to stand against the forces of evil long enough to ensure the safety of the foretold deliverer?

new geography of jobsThe New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti – Moretti takes the long view of economics, looking at and describing trends that have developed over the past decades rather than the latest cycle of recession and growth. He describes a shift in the drivers of our economy from a manufacturing base to an innovation base. The internet didn’t do away with the need for proximity, but rather intensified it as he describes how various innovation hubs developed in particular locations. The good news for those areas are that they have the potential for continued growth, while the bad news for the rest of the country is continued decline. There are no easy answers to the growing divide he describes in detail, but understanding long-term causes as opposed to short term results is a start.

elements of styleElements of Style by William Strunk and EB White – I am amazed at how modern the wisdom contained in this slim little volume remains. This is a book to read slowly, to savor and chew on the writing advice and then strive to incorporate it into my own writing. I suspect I will refer back to it more than once as I continue writing. From the lucid explanations of grammar to the illustrations of style, I have much to learn.

delivererThe Deliverer by Peter Danielson – In Book IX, Moses has been groomed as a Prince of Egypt, to one day take over from the evil Amasis. Baliniri sends him as the head of an army to quash a rebellion in Nubia and continue his education. The mission also serves to keep Moses safe from the dangers lurking in the court at Thebes. Meanwhile, the Haibiru (the Hebrew descendents of Jacob) suffer in slavery and wait for their promised deliverer. What will happen when Moses learns of his true identity? All the way through the ninth book in this series, I have not been disappointed. The action is nonstop, but it is the characters I enjoy the most. Each generation of the Children of the Lion is filled with fascinating individuals who meet their destiny.

I’m currently reading…

exodusThe Exodus by Peter Danielson – Now it is time for Moses to fulfill his destiny–even though it is not at all what he imagined. The evil Apedemek has taken control over Kamose (poor guy can’t catch a break to just be himself) and even more evil spreads throughout Egypt.

by the bookBy the Book: Writers on Literature and the LIterary Life from The New York Times Book Review edited by Pamela Paul – I’m still enjoying these interviews. Reading them makes me even more curious about other people’s reading lives, not just famous authors, but the people I interact with throughout my days and weeks. How many good books could I discover?

Coming up…

Who am I kidding? I had plans to pace myself through the Children of the Lion series, but now that I’m halfway through with it, there’s no slowing me down through the last half of the nineteen books. I also plan to pick up Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott to read again. I may not be able to join in the online discussion, but following their reading plan gives me a reason to revisit old writing favorites and discover new one.

What have you been reading this week?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Menor 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.

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These are the books I’ve read over the past two weeks. I did not post last week thanks to jet lag. I had a great trip to the West Coast, flying into Fresno and then driving up to Yosemite to facilatate at a conference. We were there just long enough for the conference, but I wish I could go back to take in more of the beauty of that area. I had lots of time to read while waiting in airports and flying on planes. Thank goodness for my Kindle app since I had to travel light!

I finished…

the prophecyThe Prophecy by Peter Danileson – The approaching end of the rule of the Shepherd Kings over Egypt increases the danger and desperation of the Children of the Lion and the children of Jacob. Joseph had one last prophecy that foretold of a son rising against his father to destroy the Hai once and for all. Street children and slaves, Riki, Mara, and Neko have grown up to claim their destinies. Twins Teti and Ketan go their seperate ways, and Seth comes into his own. Meanwhile, battles and intrigue grow ever closer.

for one more dayFor One More Day by Mitch Albom – What difference would one day make if you could spend it with someone you had loved and lost? Charley Benetto, washed up ball player, tries to take his own life, but instead is given the gift of another day with his mother, who had died eight years earlier. As he spends an ordinary day with his mother one more time, he learns truths about his past and about himself that just might change the direction his future takes. This slender book gives much to think about.

cloakedCloaked by Alex Flynn – This is where I am thanful for my Kindle app. I finished the books I packed and wanted something light to read to finish up my flights. I found this one and jumped at the opportunity to reread (that way I wouldn’t be tempted to stay up late to finish something new). Flynn weaves together several lesser known fairytales against a modern backdrop of south Florida. An unsuspecting boy who repairs shoes in his family business finds himself searching for the lost brother (in frog form) of a princess. Along the way he meets a plethora of talking animals–swans, foxes, rats–and slays a couple of giants to boot. Of course, he must also outwit an evil witch and just maybe discover true love.

beastly lindys diaryBeastly: Lindy’s Diary by Alex Flynn – another save from the Kindle. My daughter loves Beastly. I’ve watched the movie with her (she hates it) and now have read the alternative point of view novel (this one). I really need to borrow her copy of the original to read the book that started it all.

over and under the snowOver and Under the Snow by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal – So far this winter the snow has missed us. I wouldn’t mind just a little snow to play in, so I chose this one to read to my daughter when she asked for a bedtime story. (I’m loving that my high school junior wants me to read to her. I’m trying not to think about how much I’m going to miss her in a little over a year.) I love the quiet illustrations and descriptions of winter life.

owl moonOwl Moon by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr – Another snowy book to read for a bedtime story. Now I want to bundle up and go owling myself, but who will call the owls for me? I came close driving home from the airport early in the morningas an owl of some sort swooped in front of my car.

I’m currently reading…

by the bookBy the Book: Writers on Literature and the LIterary Life from The New York Times Book Review edited by Pamela Paul – I read just a few more these two weeks. My favorite answers were from Joyce Carol Oates. I can relate to her answer of when and where she lies to read–anywhere! Me, too. I’ve definitely been caught sneaking a few pages while waiting on hold, too.

elements of styleElements of Style by William Strunk and EB White – I’ve almost finished this one. I ran out of brain power with the jet lag. It is also one of those books that I like to read in small chunks so I can chew on the nuggets of wisdom shared.

sword of glorySword of Glory by Peter Danielson – I am still loving this series now that I am nearly halfway through with it. Things are going from bad to worse for everyone. Kamose (sometimes called Neko) has joined a cult and its evil is infecting the Egyptian army. Even if he does fulfill the prophecy and defeats Apophis and the Hia, his rule may be even worse. Riki cannot bear his grief at Teti’s death. Seth sets out on a journey to discover the secret of the Children of the Lion. What he learns may prove too great of a temptation for him to return with the promised sword of glory.

new geography of jobsThe New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti – Just a year ago, I never would have guessed that I would be reading–and enjoying–a book on economics. I find Moretti’s description of the changes in our economy to be fascinating if somewhat depressing since I live in an area that is not near the hubs that drive the new economy. He describes the divergence of fortunes (measured in different ways) of places that have prospered from the increase of technology and innovation and of those that have declined without it.

Coming up…

I think it’s obvious by now that I will be continuing the saga of The Children of the Lion. I’m excited because Moses is coming up next in the series. Most of this week will be finishing up the books I’m currently reading. I also hope to start the Barbara Brown Taylor book I got for Christmas and catch up on reviewing the books piling up around the house!

What have you been reading this week?

January books read

I may not be breaking records for quantity, but I have sure enjoyed quality this month. I am loving the series The Children of the Lion by Peter Danielson. I’m not quite halfway through the series, and so far each book is better than the last. Several of the other books I read gave me much to think about. I starred my favorites!

  1. **I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai – inspiring and thought-provoking
  2. *Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout – Olive is a complex and fascinating woman, and Strout gives us glimpses of her through the stories of different townspeople, all who have their own secrets
  3. Lord of the Nile by Peter Danielson – another engrossing chapter in the story of the Children of the Lion
  4. How to Make Meetings Work by Michael Doyle and David Straus – dated, but still full of good information
  5. **Small Victories by Anne Lamott – a good travelling companion while I flew back home for my aunt’s funeral
  6. The Prophecy by Peter Danileson – Things are looking bad for the Children of the Lion and the descendents of Jacob in Egypt
  7. Cloaked by Alex Flynn – a romp through several fairy tales mashed together in south Florida
  8. Beastly: Lindy’s Diary – now that I’ve seen the movie and read the alternative point of view, I really should read the book that began it all
  9. *For One More Day by Mitch Albom – this slender volume is packed with things to think about
  10. Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal – I enjoyed reading this one to my teen daughter
  11. Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr – another readaloud for my girl

What have you been reading this month?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Menor 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.

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This was a week with unexpected journeys. It seems I will be a seasoned traveller and frequent flyer–at least for the month of January. This past week I flew home to be with family for my aunt’s funeral. I enjoyed seeing cousins that I have not seen in way too long, but will miss seeing my aunt. Flying gave me the opportunity to read as well. I also enjoyed peeking to see what my fellow travellers were reading–thought that is much harder with ereaders. I should get some more good reading done next week as I fly to Fresno to facilitate at a conference.

I finished…

lord of the nileLord of the Nile – I knew once I opened the next book in this series, it would’t take me long ot read it. I am finding them quite addictive. Each book explodes with more conflict (everything is falling apart in both ends of Egypt) and ever more complicated characters. Joseph is struggling to hang on to his power and his life while the Pharaoh Salitis falls deeper into madness and powerful forces plot to bring him down. Oh yeah, he aslo struggles to forgive his brothers (who sold him into slavery) when they show up to buy grain. Meanwhile, Ben-Hadad lets bitterness eat him from the inside, pushing away his wife and Shobai’s twins, who are growing to be better than he ever was. Ketan and Teti are on the verge of adulthood and learn of love and heartbreak. Many familiar characters are back, and we meet new ones. My favorite? Riki, a child of the streets who is destined for something. I’ll have to wait until the next book to discover what.

small victoriesSmall Victories by Anne Lamott – I knew I wanted to read this one as soon as I heard about it even if I didn’t know exactly what it was about. It ended up being the perfect companion for my journey home. Throughout these essays, Lamott explores grief, life and death, forgiveness, and our shared humanness with her signature wit and wisdom. I left it at home with my mom. I think she will enjoy it once her friend (another Lamott fan) finishes it. This is a book I want to put in the hands of people and hope it comes back to me. It is also a book I had to read with a pen in hand, with many passages to underline and comments to write in the margin. I hope others will do the same as they read it, too. It is a book that invites conversation.

how to make meetings workHow to Make Meetings Work by Michael Doyle and David Strauss – I finished this one on the plane ride home. Published in 1976, some of the information is dated (though some of their predictions about future technology sound eerily familiar to today). Much of the information seems obvious to me after years in the classroom, but I learned from seeing the principles in different contexts.

I’m currently reading…

by the bookBy the Book edited by Pamela Paul – I enjoyed several more essays this week–David Eggers, Colin Powell, Richard Ford, Elizabeth Gilbert. I was not familiar with David Eggers, but I will be looking for his books after reading about his work with young writers. I wanted to shout “Amen!” when I read how he encourages young writers with the freedom to write about any topic (“even flatulent hamsters”–I had middle schoolers who would have loved that topic) and to keep the writing fun. The conventions can come after you’ve hooked them on writing. He gave a similar answer to reading recommendations. No one book is right for every reader. Start with the reader’s interest, not what you think is good for them.

elements of styleThe Elements of Style by Wiliam Strunk and EB White – I meant to finish this in time for a discussion on Thursday, but when my travel plans ensured that I would miss the live discussion, I moved this one to the back burner. I plan on taking this book with me on my next journey if I don’t finish it before then.

Coming up…

I am looking forward to starting the next book in the Children of the Lion series (The Prophecy). I can’t quite decide what else to take with me on my trip. I have several good books I received for Christmas I want to read, as well as some books I discovered when I cleaned out a bookshelf last week. I had forgotten that I even had some titles. Oops!

What have you read this week?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Menor 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.

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The bitter cold this past week gave me the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book. We are easing back into the routine of school and work, but several two-hour delays have made it easier. At least school has not been cancelled yet this year. By this time last year, school had been closed due to snow and cold several times.

I finished…

Nothing this week. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a week where I didn’t finish any books. It could be because I keep getting distracted and starting a new book before I finish with the other ones I’ve started. The good news is I am enjoying all of them, and still keep eyeing the other new books I want to start.

I’m currently reading…

by the bookBy the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary edited by Pamela Paul – This collection of interviews from The New York Times Book Review was a gift from my brother. They are collected from the Sunday feature in the NYT Book Review and capture the thoughts about reading by current writers and artists from a variety of backgrounds. I find it fascinating to see what writers I admire are reading and which books and authors they respect. I will enjoy this one for a while because I don’t like to read more than one interview at a time. That way I can savor each one. Warning:  the danger of reading this book is that my TBR list is growing every longer.

how to make meetings workHow to Make Meetings Work by Michael Doyle and David Strauss – My husband brought this book home from work for me. He had gone through training on how to facilitate meetings. Since I am going to facilitate a meeting next week, he thought it might be helpful. It is dated (copywriting 1976), and much of the information is similar to what I did in front of the classroom. It is helpful, though, to have the information presented in a different context than the classroom.

elements of styleElements of Style by William Strunk and EB White – I have had a volume of this on my shelves both at home and in my classroom for as long as I can remember, but I don’t think I had actually read it. I saw it was the choice for the AWAI Great Books Club discussion for January, and I decided it was time to read this classic from cover to cover. I’m still in the first section of usage rules. I am blown away by the clarity and conciseness of the explanations. I can’t wait to absorb the wisdom from the other sections, too.

lord of the nileThe Lord of the Nile by Peter Danielson – War and conflict still threaten Egypt, and a new generation of the Children of the Lion are ready to take their places in providing the weapons for the armies while trying to sort out their place in the wider world. I have a new favorite–Teti, the first girl to be trained as an armorer, and currently the best their is, even surpassing her cousing Ben-Hadad. I hurt for Ben-Hadad, who has let bitterness take over his life and poison all his relationships. That bitterness seems to be a theme developing in this book, as Joseph is finding it hard to forgive his brothers now that they have come to Egypt seeking grain.

Coming up…

I have an unexpected trip coming later this week as I fly home for my aunt’s funeral. I hope to have most of these current books finished. Even if not, I will choose a new book to travel with me. I am thinking that Anne Lamott’s newest book, Small Victories, will be good company for this trip.

What are you reading this week?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Menor 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.

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Some of my favorite Christmas presents–to give and to receive–are books. I have enjoyed reading the new titles I received for Christmas. I enjoyed even more watching my nephews dive into their new books even before the celebrating had finsihed. I’m already thinking about which books they might enjoy next.

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We traveled to Phoenix and the Grand Canyon between Christmas and New Year’s. Now that we’re back home I’m trying to dig out from under the laundry and Christmas decorations that are still up.

I read…

lion in egyptThe Lion in Egypt by Peter Danielson – In this episode of the sweeping saga of the Children of the Lion, anything that could go wrong does. Ben Hadad and his mother Danataya are abused by her new husband. Jospeh is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. Shobai is haunted by the return of Baka, who vows to kill Shobai for stealing his wife Mereet. Tuya struggles to survive on the streets of Mempis and longs for Ben Hadan, who barely knows she exists. Anab cowers at every shadow and is embittered by the prejudice others show him for his disfigured face. But somehow, each one manages to keep their dignity and show courage and faithfulness to their friends. I’m not too sure about the cover of this one, though it did give my daughter lots of opportunity to tease me: What kind of book are you reading, Mom?

christmas carolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – One of my all time favorite Christmas stories whether it is portrayed by Mickey Mouse or Patrick Stewart in film, or in its many text editions. This edition of filled with gorgeous illustrations of Victorian England by Roberto Innocenti. As I reread this year, I couldn’t help but see paralles with today and people’s varying attitudes toward poverty and generousity. I hope that I remember to keep Christmas in my heart the whole year through.

golden pharaohThe Golden Pharaoh by Peter Danielson – Book V becomes even more complex, with the distinctions between good guys and bad guys often falling within a single character.

mother tongueThe Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way by Bill Bryson – I knew the history of the English language was fascinating (at least to me), and Bryson brings out many interesting tidbits.

time keeperThe Time Keeper by Mitch Albom – Now that we measure time, what will we do with it? Albom’s story gives me pause to consider how I measure–or simply enjoy–the moments of each day.

kolb brothersThe Kolb Brothers at the Grand Canyon – After seeing their studio and looking over the vistas of the South Rim of the Canyon, I enjoyed the stories of their adventures even more

i am malalaI Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai – My mom brought this book and gave it to me when she finished. I am amazed and inspired by the courage Malala shows throughout her story. I also learned much that I didn’t know about Pakistan. I am thankful for the education that is possible here in the US and thankful for the power of books that allow me to see a glimpse into a different world.

olive kitteridgeOiive Kitteridge by Ellzabeth Strout – I loved how this collection of stories give us a picture of the complicated and fascinating woman known as Olive Kitteridge. These stories give much to think about life and death and relationships and the secrets that most of us carry.

I’m currently reading…

Nothing! I just finished my first two books of 2015 and haven’t picked up the next one yet. No worries, I have a whole stack of new books to choose from. Check out the stack from Christmas presents!

Coming up…

I will be choosing one of these books that I got for Christmas to read next. There are so many good choices, it’s hard to know where to start. I also have the next book in the Danielson series calling to me as well!

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December books read

One of my favorite things about Christmas is all the stories. From reading the original Christmas story in Matthew and Luke to reading tales of St. Nicholas and everything in between, I love reading old favorites and discovering new delights. My December reading starts with an old favorite from my childhood–this time read by my own daughter to mark the beginning of Advent. (Okay, technically she read it the last day of November, but it didn’t make the November list, so it starts off December perfectly.

174) Quintillius: The Start that Shone by William JB. Thielking – I have loved this one ever since I was a small child.

175) Children of the Lion by Peter Danielson – a sweeping saga of Bilbical proportions

176) The Miracle of Christmas by Stormie Omartian – a collection of reflections on the Christmas story

177) How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss – Still one of my all time favorite Christmas stories

178) Santa’s Book of Names by David McPhail – Cozy illustrations and a love of reading make another great Christmas story

179) The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner – I enjoyed reading this one a second time–this time aloud with my daughter

180) The Shepherd Kings by Peter Danileson – another gripping saga, this time focused on the generation of Jacob

181) The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal – I love, love Sinda–she has courage and spunk and smarts

182) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Barbara Shook Hazen, illustrated by Richard Scarry

183) Olive, the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Siefold and Vivian Walsh – Olive may be confused whether she is a dog or a reindeer, but she comes through with what dogs do best

184) Vengeance of the Lion by Peter Daneilson – another episode in the sweeping saga. I’m hooked now.

185) Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman by Marc Tyler Nobleman and Ty Templeton – I hope my nephew (Batman’s #1 fan) enjoys this book as much as I did!

186) The Christmas Troll by Eugene Peterson, illustrated by Will Terry – Trolls are so ridiculous–and make the best kind of present of all.

187) The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell, illustrated by Serfio Leone – I’ve loved this story since I was a child

188) Mystery in the Stable by Lisa Flinn and Barbara Younger, illustrated by Judi Niernberger – Two children try to solve the mystery going on next door.

189) The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by PJ Lynch – a quiet, heartwarming Christmas story

190) Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera – Sophie learns her aunt’s secret and that it is better to give than to receive.

191) The Lion in Egypt by Peter Danielson – another gripping episode in this sweeping saga

192) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – This is still one of my favorite Christmas stories

193) The Golden Pharaoh by Peter Danielson – Book V becomes even more complex, with the distinctions between good guys and bad guys often falling within a single character

194) The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way by Bill Bryson – I knew the history of the English language was fascinating (at least to me), and Bryson brings out many interesting tidbits.

195) The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom – Now that we measure time, what will we do with it? Albom’s story gives me pause to consider how I measure–or simply enjoy–the moments of each day.

196) The Kolb Brothers at the Grand Canyon – After seeing their studio and looking over the vistas of the South Rim of the Canyon, I enjoyed the stories of their adventures even more

 

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Menor 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.

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Let the Christmas celebrations begin! We’ve actually already begun celebrating. We’ve gotten together twice already with my husband’s family and opened the first round of Christmas presents. Of course, I’m the aunt who gives books–to almost everyone on my Christmas list! We are looking forward to hosting more family on Christmas Day. We are all excited about being able to welcome people to our home since we are usually on the road Christmas Day. With a little luck, we’ll have a white Christmas, but not so much of the slick stuff that people can’t travel.

I enjoyed lots of Christmas favorites this week. Next week will have even more Christmas stories. Look for my upcoming post on the 12 Books of Christmas. Then this past week I finally got around to reviewing The False Princess. My daughter’s choice for our Advent devotion was Santa’s Book of Names. Once again, she surprised me with the connection between the story and our faith. This time, even when we think we can’t tell God’s story, God will help us to do so.

I read…

Bill the boy wonderBill, the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman by Marc Tyler Nobleman and Ty Templeton – Shh….Am I the only one who reads Christmas gifts before giving them? I couldn’t stop myself from reading this graphic novel biography before wrapping it up for my nephew. Besides, how else could I talk with him about it once he reads it? I hope this #1 Batman fan enjoys it as much as I did. The story of the secret co-creator of Batman is every bit as fascinating as the story he crafted. (This was a hit. Nephews 3 & 4 had both read it before they left the Christmas celebration!)

vengeance of the lionVengeance of the Lion by Peter Danielson – Vengeance sums up this third book in this sweeping Biblical history saga.Shobai and Reshef both want vengeance on the other. Who will come out victorious in the end? Joseph’s brothers want vengeance for the favoritism that their father Jacob shows for his two youngest sons. The people of Shechem want vengeance for the wrongs done to them by Jacob’s sons. Ben-Hadad struggles to overcome the cruelty showed by his stepfather and stepbrother toward himself and his mother Danataya. Then the Egyptian girl Mereet must overcome great tragedy to find love at last. All of this while the Shepherd Kings continue their brutal and inevitable march toward Egypt.

christmas trollThe Christmas Troll by Eugene Peterson, illustrated by Will Terry – Trolls are so ridiculous–and make the best kind of present of all. This delightful book makes me laugh with the unexpected surprise. Andrew is determined to be angry that his Christmas is ruined because his parents won’t let him open just one present early. But it’s hard to stay angry when you’re bouncing on a troll’s soft belly.

littlest angelThe Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell, illustrated by Serfio Leone – I’ve loved this story since I was a child. Even though it is a happy story, it never fails to make me cry when the Littlest Angel offers his most valuable possession as a gift to the new baby Jesus.

mystery in the stableMystery in the Stable by Lisa Flinn and Barbara Younger, illustrated by Judi Niernberger –  Anna and Jacob watch and wonder at the unusual comings and goings at the stable next door. Finally, their curiosity gets the best of them and they venture to peek inside.

christmas miracle of jonathan toomey189) The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by PJ Lynch – a quiet, heartwarming Christmas story. This is another one that makes me cry even though it has a happy ending. Three lonely people come together through the carving of a Nativity.

auntie claus190) Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera – Sophie learns her aunt’s secret and that it is better to give than to receive. No tears–but much laughter–in this story. Sophie may be a spoiled brat, but she does have a good heart. In the end that good heart opens the door to learning some secrets and making it back home in time for Christmas.

I’m currently reading…

lion in egyptThe Lion in Egypt by Peter Danielson – I am almost done with this one. Ben-Hadad is as generous and as brave as his father, and Danielson introduced another character that I love–the small, brave, stubborn Tuya. This is a girl who knows what she wants and goes after it. She will stand by her friends, no matter the cost. Joseph has made the best of his bad situation, even after he lands he jail from false accusations. I’m just waiting to see how the different stories come together.

christmas carolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. – This is one of my all time favorite Christmas stories, wheither the original classic or one of the many reincarnations it has experience from cartoons to movies. Christmas is not complete withouth a visit from the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future. What is your favorite telling or retelling of this story?

Coming up…

Of course I will be starting the next book in the Children of the Lion Saga. I also have some Christmas favorites to catch up on. But much of my reading in the next few weeks will depend on Christmas gifts I receive. I suspect a few people just might give me some books to read over the holidays!

What books are you looking forward to reading over the Christmas holidays?

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