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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Poetry Friday: In Defiance of Snow

Each Friday, I am excited to take part in Poetry Friday, where writers share their love of all things poetry. Tricia Stohr-Hunt has the Poetry Friday Roundup today at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Drop by and see what poetry morsels are offered this week.

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After a mild start, winter has arrived in the Midwest. We’ve had some warm days sprinkled through January and February, but we’ve also been dusted with snow several times. Now snow is back in the forecast early next week. Don’t get me wrong, I still get excited when the snowflakes begin to swirl, and would feel cheated out of winter if we had now snow at all, but I get just as excited about the first signs of spring.

Yesterday, I was surprised to see the green blades of daffodils already poking through the earth underneath the tree in the backyard. Even though the tree branches are still bare and more winter weather is on the way, spring is coming. I wrote this haiku to remember:

Green blades slice skyward

through cold, dark earth, defying

clouds that threaten snow.

shoots

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

 

I haven’t finished very much this week, but I’ve been reading lots of different texts–magazines, websites, newspapers. As you can see from my books below, I’m in the middle of quite a few books, too. I’m also trying to get back in the habit of writing regularly in a journal. I even managed to write a poem for Poetry Friday this week:

I finished…

The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanich – While I read the first two selections, I sometimes wished I could see the before and after drafts of the stories–or at least of particular sections. Brenna Yovanich provides multiple drafts of a story about drowning as she explores how she starts with an idea (in this case, events that happened in her real life) and develops it into a work of fiction. In between drafts, she shares her efforts to work through the process to get to the truth of the story. Each of the three writers have a completely different writing process, and I learned much from each of them.

I’m currently reading…

Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor – I’m rereading this book since my Bible study group has chosen to read it. We had a good first discussion over our own experiences with both physical darkness and the portrayal of spiritual darkness. One of the things I enjoy most about this group is that we bring such different backgrounds with us and learn from each other. Even as I reread, I am still fascinated by facts about darkness that I didn’t know. Did you know that there are three different moments of twilight?

Keeping the Sabbath Wholly by Marva J. Dawn – The chapters I read this week focused on the act of resting–not only physical rest, but also emotional, spiritual, and social rest. All are interconnected (and connected with ceasing from last week). It hit me today just how much the choices I make for one day each week can impact the rest of the week. I am exploring practices that help me to cease and rest on the Sabbath (observed on Sundays in my faith tradition). The one that has helped me the most is physically putting away work-related things on Saturday evenings. I pack up the computer and papers and shut the door on them. I am amazed at how putting them out of sight helps me not to fret over them on Sunday.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – It has been so hard for me this week as I read with my daughter because I know what’s coming. I keep biting my tongue to keep myself from saying, “Pay attention. This part is important later.” I don’t want to give anything away. We finally read the chapter where the biggest revelation was made. (She almost guessed part of it, but was still shocked at the complete revelation.) I was impressed that she was able to catch it through the haze of medication she was under from getting her wisdom tooth cut out.

Raising Chickens for Dummies by Kimberly Willis and Rob Ludlow – Did you know that chickens don’t have teeth or taste buds? Even so, they can be picky eaters (like toddlers or teenagers), picking out their favorite foods and not eating a well-balanced diet. In addition too reading about what to feed chickens, my husband and I attended a workshop on raising backyard chickens and selling eggs. We aren’t interested into getting into the egg business beyond eating them ourselves and sharing with the neighbors, but we did meet several local people who own chickens and who offered to give us tours of their coops as we prepare for our own chicks.

Coming up…

While still waiting for my books to come available on Overdrive, I made it to our local library and found Gregory Maguire’s After Alice. I had planned to start it while waiting during my daughter’s wisdom tooth surgery, but I couldn’t focus. I flipped through magazines instead and found a new recipe I copied down to try later. I even found a book I’d like to get for Anna’s graduation, but didn’t have time to write it down, so I hope I can find a book by Patrice about auto maintenance for women. I’m going to be out of town in meetings four days this week, so I hope I can squeeze in some time with Alice.

What books are you 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.

Poetry Friday:

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The big blizzard mostly missed us last weekend, but we did get to enjoy a bit of snow from its fringe as we went with my daughter on a college visit in Evansville. While the university cancelled classes for the day, the Scholars Day visit continued on through the snow. As always, I loved watching the snow transform the drab winter world into a wonderland. Here is the poem that has been percolating every since our first snowfall this year.

Grey clouds squat low in the sky

like old women sifting snowflakes

that mute the colors and blur the edges of the world.

Grey clouds whisper secrets

that blow through the sky,

swirling snowflakes that hide the drab debris of winter

under a white blanket.

Grey clouds laugh in the sky

like old women tucking the world in close

and wrapping it in quiet wonder.

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Catherine has the Poetry Friday Roundup today at Reading to the Core. Drop by and see what poetry morsels are offered this week.

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 week was filled with appointments and college visits. This week coming up is looking to be just as full. I am glad, though, that I managed to keep the sourdough starter warm enough to stay alive and make a couple of loaves this weekend. We enjoyed some snow last week, but the brunt of the big blizzard missed us. I hope those of you who got snowed under are finding a way to dig out!

I finished…

Birdwing by Rafe Martin – This retelling of the fairy tale of the swan brothers picks up where the fairy tale leaves off. From the fairy tale, six brothers were turned into swans. Their sister wove shirts of nettles to turn them back into humans, but she didn’t finish the last shirt. The youngest brother was left with one wing once he regained human form. Ardwin–that youngest brother–struggles to find his place in the world. When he fears his father might cut off his arm to make a political alliance, Ardwin escapes the palace and begins a journey of discovery. Along the way he meets people who accept him or fear him (including a witch, a magician and a goose girl) and he finally learns what strengths and gifts his wing brings him. I loved this exploration of a fairy tale that I’m not as familiar with.

I’m currently reading…

My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Stephen Alcorn – This week I visited the South (where I grew up) and the Midwest (where I currently live). I love how a few lines of words can capture the soul of a place–or at least a glimpse of it.

Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor – I’m rereading this book since my Bible study group has chosen to read it. I’m looking forward to some interesting discussions. Taylor challenges conventional notions of darkness. (How often do you hear someone describe darkness as good rather than fearful or evil?) I am also fascinated by what she learned about darkness. Did you know there are three different twilights that measure the coming of evening? I didn’t.

Keeping the Sabbath Wholly by Marva J. Dawn – This year I am exploring the practice of keeping the Sabbath, and Dawn’s book is the first I’m reading this year. The book is organized into four weekly themes with daily readings for each. This past week focused on the theme of ceasing–from work, productivity, worry, control. It’s hard for me to let go even for one day, but I am learning the gifts of Sabbath as I try it out and reflect.

The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanich – This week I read Gratton’s story “Desert Canticle.” When Gratton writes, she begins with a world–in this case a desert world with magical IEDs. I was fascinated with how she uses elements of world building to develop and reveal character and plot and how the smallest of details can show so much about a world, both the created world and the real world.  Now I’m eager to create a world to learn what I can discover about both the story I am writing and the world I live in.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – My daughter still says she doesn’t like it, but she still asks me to read every night and often begs for “just one more” chapter. She may pretend to be asleep, but she still laughs at the right parts (even though the book is strange and mysterious, there are many funny lines) and asks questions. I love the chance to reread at a slower pace and appreciate just how brilliant this book is. I’m eagerly waiting the fourth book in the series which will be out this spring.

Raising Chickens for Dummies by Kimberly Willis and Rob Ludlow – This week I’m reading about housing my (future) chickens. Who knew there were so many choices for coops, shelters and runs. While the little coops at the local farm store are adorable, I don’t think they are very practical. While it is too cold and snowy to get outside to build much, we can start drawing up plans and supply lists.

Coming up…

I rediscovered the joys of Overdrive from our library last week, but the two books I wanted I had to put on hold. I hope they will become available soon. Meanwhile, I think it’s past time for a trip to the library to what books they have on the shelves!

What books are you 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. 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 past week was quite slow. Cold and snow invited us to snuggle in with mugs of hot chocolate and books and movies. I even–finally–got to watch the movie version of Paper Towns with my daughter and one of her friends. It’s been a while since I’ve read it, so I enjoyed the movie much more than the girls, who kept pointing out all of the differences. Over all, though, the movie captured the spirit of the book pretty well.

Blog posts this week:

I finished…

Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans – Even though my faith journey has not been as fraught with struggle as Evans was, I found myself nodding in agreement with much of what she writes. I read with a pen in hand so I could underline lines I want to come back to or that struck a cord. I read quickly because I wanted to find out what she would say next, but this is a book I will go back to and read again, this time slowly, so I can ponder.

Unlearning Church by Michael Slaughter (new edition) – Not just in church, but in many places I’ve been involved, I get frustrated when people do things because that’s the way it’s always been done. I used to drive my mom crazy with my demands for a better reason. In the context of church, Slaughter gives plenty of compelling reasons why every church should seek to grow into its ministry with its own unique character driven by the Spirit, NOT copy what has been done before. My  mind is reeling with ideas to think about–and to share with my church.

I’m currently reading…

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – I finally talked my daughter into letting me read this one aloud to her. I know she’s going to like it (sometimes mom’s approval is the kiss of death for a book recommendation), but she resisted. At first she stifled her snickers in her pillow as I read. Now she is commenting on the characters and asking questions and even asking for one more chapter…

Raising Chickens for Dummies by Kimberly Willis and Rob Ludlow – This week I’m learning about different breeds of chickens. My primary interest is in having laying hens for eggs. My husband is more interested in raising chickens for meat. It looks like we’ll be looking for a duel purpose breed–hens that lay (but not quite as much as those breeds used for commercial eggs) and that grow enough meat to make butchering worthwhile (but grow more slowly than broilers). I’d one day like to try raising chicks (my husband not so much), so I’d like a breed that tends to be broody at least occasionally. Now we’re waiting for a break in the weather to start construction.

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 Northeast and have headed down the coast to the Southeast. I grew up in North Carolina, so many of these poems are like a visit home. Each section is preceded by a quick look at facts about each state, and I am enjoying reading the interesting fact about each state.

Anatomy of a Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanich – Have you ever wondered what goes on in a writers head as they go from idea to story?  These three writers generously share their writing process with the specific example of a story they’ve written. Not only do they share how they developed the idea, but they add notes in the margin of the story that explains choices they made in the drafting or revising process. So far I’ve just read the first story by Maggie Stiefvater. I’m looking forward to the next two as well.

Coming up…

Well, it looks like I have plenty of books to finish, but I am most excited about rereading a book from last year–Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor. I drove my family crazy with my constant talking about it, so I am glad to have a group to read and discuss it with this time around!

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Poetry Friday: Fun with Magnets

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Do you remember when Magnetic Poetry first hit stores way back when? I loved the idea from the first time I heard of it and have had several collections over the years. A few weeks ago I dug out some old kits to play around with. At the time my fridge was covered with papers and calendars and photos, so I dumped the words on the dining room table and started creating poems on an old cookie sheet.

Here are the poems I created that day. I let the words take me down a strange and winding road.

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magnetic poem 3

 

magnetic poem 4

 

magnetic poem 5

Unfortunately, I don’t have space to keep words strewn across the table or even to prop up cookie sheets against the walls. So this morning I cleared the old schedules from the fridge and moved my favorite coloring pages (from my daughter and nephews and husband) to the side of the fridge to make room for magnetic words. Poems are already appearing and rearranging on the fridge, and so far I’m the only one home! I can’t wait to see what else might be created once everyone else gets home!

Keri has the Poetry Friday Roundup today at Keri Recommends. Drop by and see what poetry morsels are offered this week.

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