Monthly Archives: May 2016

Memorial Day!

I hope all my readers have a blessed Memorial Day!


Whatcha Reading…? 5/29/16 Book Update

Not only did I finish all the books I recorded in my May 27th post (except for Eligible, which I gave up on), I’ve started a whole new set! I am not very far into them, so this post might be a tad precipitous, but I have started so many good ones I have decided to share them early. They are:

Lincoln’s Sword by Douglas L. Wilson, Wayfarer by Lili St. Crow, The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy, Destiny of a Republic by Candice Millard, The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradely, and on audio, Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. I started reading Raising Dragons by Bryan Davis, but the ridiculous plot and goody-two-shoes hero quickly lost my interest. 

Lincoln’s Sword has been on my to-read list for a while, specifically, since March 8th, 2010. While there are plenty of Lincoln biographies out there already, this one provides the intriguing premise of focusing solely on Lincoln as a writer. The author looks at 9 different passages  (ranging from the famous Gettysburg Address to his less famous Message of July 4th, 1861) and analyzes how the words shaped the vocabulary of a nation. Highly readable and with a unique premise, this book promises to be an engaging read all the way through.

Wayfarer is the sequel/companion book to Nameless. Nameless was intriguing but didn’t live up to its potential. I don’t have high hopes for Wayfarer, a Cinderella retelling, but at the same time, I enjoy the originality of the dystopian setting and hoping the author improves in this story. 

The Mentor Leader is another long time to-read. The name says it all. I am excited to read something by Tony Dungy and I think this book will have good personal and professional application. I’m not far into the book, but it seems like Dungy’s philosophy fits right along with the Market Based Management culture adopted by AFP.

Destiny of a Republic came highly recommended from two people I know. It is a biography about President Arthur and the man who tried to assassinate him. I don’t know much about Arthur and I am looking forward to learning something new! He seems to have been a very remarkable man. 

The War That Saved My Life is another recommendation, this one from my friend Ginnie. When I first read the synopsis, I thought it would be a picture book. However, it is a full 316 pages! This is the story of Ada, a young girl with a twisted foot who has never been outside of her house. However, when her brother is evacuated to the country during WW2, Ada sneaks along with him. This is a chance for a new life…until her abusive Mom tries to get her back. So far a light, yet emotional, read that I am excited to get further into. 

Finally, Gulliver’s Travels. I’ve tried reading this one at least 3 times already. After finishing Robinson Crusoe, I’m inspired to just finish it! 


Galaxy Nails

My sister Bethany is getting pretty talented at doing nail art. Check out her beautiful galaxy nails! 


Whatcha Reading…? 5/27/16 Book Update

I have so many books to read! Today I started my 4 day weekend and the hardest part is going to be not spending the whole thing reading. I’ve got stacks of books from the library that have collected over the past few weeks, waiting for just such an opportunity as this. Right now I’ve narrowed the stack to 5 that I am reading right now (6 if you count the book I just finished.) Some are super good…others I am not sure I will finish. They are…

Overrated by Eugene Cho, Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and (yes, I know it is weird that I haven’t read this yet) Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. I’m also listening to Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe on audio book. 

Overrated is one of those books so relevant it almost hurts. Every chapter I feel like the Holy Spirit is shouting ‘Pay Attention!!’ I’ve heard Eugene Cho speak but it has been a while and this book does a great job conveying his message. I’m only half way through but I’ll already say it…this book is a must read. 

Another must-read is the book I just finished, Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington. This book has taken me a “while” to read because I’ve been reading it slowly, one chapter at a time. That is all I will say for now, because I might give it its own review later. Highly recommended for all the “busy” ladies out there!

On the other side of the spectrum, I’m extremely unimpressed with Eligible so far. A Pride and Prejudice retelling set in the 21st century? Yes, please. Except not. While the author does a clever job conveying the social and relational nuances of the original (such as making Jane nearly 40, and still unmarried!) he has also ruined the entire Bennett family. They are awful, materialistic, pathetic people. I’m not even sure I will finish this one. 

In Cold Blood has the dubious honor of being the true-life story of a gruesome murder. The lack of “chapters” is frustrating, but the overall story is riveting and horrifying. Most striking is how Capote humanizes the killers and killed. It is not as darkly written as I was expecting, and somehow that makes it all the worse. Incredibly well-written. I’m not sure what I’ll think when I’m done. 

Where The Red Ferns Grow…yes, I know everyone read this in middle school, but somehow I missed it. I’m familiar with the plot – lovely writing and great tragedy. This is truly an American classic.

Finally, Robinson Crusoe. I was seriously making fun of it when I started but I am actually enjoying it now. I wasn’t prepared for how much of a sermon on trusting God it is. Yet it is easy to see why this book has captured the imagination for so many years…and for 1719, this book is downright impressive! 

 


7 Years of Goodreads

I was looking at my Goodreads profile and realized I JOINED GOODREADS IN MAY! Which makes May my Goodreads anniversary month. If I had caught/thought about this earlier, I could have made May all book themed and celebratory. Note for next year. 

This month marks 7 years on Goodreads. I’m a little stunned how many years that encompasses! I feel like I just joined. Goodreads is my comfort zone, my favorite form of social media, and a place I can virtually thumb through all my favorite books. It organizes and challenges me. I’ve made new friends on Goodreads and connected in different ways with old ones. I have discovered great books, tracked favorite authors, and waited breathlessly for new releases. 

Perhaps my favorite part of Goodreads is how it has shaped my critical thinking skills. Endless hours spent reading reviews has increased my knowledge and understanding of what makes a good book. It has given me words where previously I had  barely formed ideas. Goodreads reviewers have taught me that no book is sacred and that not everything designed to be taken seriously has to be taken seriously. I have learned to appreciate authors through interactions on there and think more about the effort that goes into a book. 

Three cheers for Goodreads! If you have an account and haven’t already, make sure to friend me

"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." ― Jorge Luis Borges:

 


Your May 25th chuckle

So I had several ideas for a blog post tonight but then our internet went out and I have an early morning tomorrow and I am trying to do this from my phone. In short, I have little to offer tonight. Instead of something deep, please enjoy my new favorite meme. I laugh every time I see it:


Gratitude

I am so grateful for all the friends I have made over the past year. I don’t mean that in a cliche way…I just want to acknowledge tonight how full my life is. God worked things out in ways I never could have imagined. Instead of the “lonely” return home that I expected, I’ve found a lot of meaning and friendship with people my age. It is even better that I get to study the Bible with them each week.

I’m grateful for old friends. Both the ones I’ve reconnected with here “in real life” and those from the Gen J days whose friendships have sustained through many years of being online. I’m grateful that Jordan dropped by this past weekend and that I got to talk with Kris on the phone. They were happy reminders of mutual friends and interests spanning many years. 

I’m grateful for how close I am to my family, both in harmony and proximity. I am grateful I have the chance to experience life with my siblings and parents and see my cousins each week. It is so much fun to be part of their daily lives and witness their growth. I didn’t get to do that in TN. 

I’m grateful for how full my life is. I have a job I love, a diverse group of friends, and family nearby. This is a good season. I don’t know how long it will last, but I’m grateful for it today and I will be grateful for it tomorrow and I will continue to be the day after tomorrow. It just goes to show that God’s plan is so much greater than I ever know. Whatever I thought the year following graduation would be like, it wasn’t this. Yet this is wonderful, beyond what I could imagine.

Tonight, I thank God for where I am at and the people He has put in my life. 


Audio Shakespeare

Today I tried listening to The Tempest on audio book with limited success. I’m fairly familiar with the play and I’ve seen it performed, so it wasn’t hard to follow along. However, I’m still not sure I was really ‘following.’ If I knew nothing about The Tempest, would I be able keep track of the plot the first time hearing it? Or is it just because I know what happens next and who should be talking that it makes sense? 

I started listening to King Lear, which I know nothing about, to test my ‘can I follow Shakespeare when it is unfamiliar to me’ question but by that point my attention span was gone and other things distracted me. 40 minutes in, though, and I was following quite well. However, it still felt like cheating. I was only skimming the richness of the play by listening to it. 

I had higher hopes for this foray into Shakespeare. Imagine how quickly I could get through his plays if I could just listen to them in the car! Yet plays aren’t designed to simply be heard and I think that is why it feels so off. I might finish King Lear. I’m battling with my desire to really grasp the story and gain from its wisdom, and an equally strong desire to knock it off my to-read shelf once and for all. I might get a hard copy and see how that goes.

Any Shakespeare recommendations? Is there a certain audio that is really good and makes it worth it or is he better in print? 

 


Reuniting with the Legion

My Dad got Amazon Prime a while ago, but it wasn’t till today that I discovered how many movies and TV show he has access to through it! (And by he I mean me.) Old movies, new movies, chick flicks, even Korean movies. I’m pretty excited. Best of all, Amazon Prime has Legion of Superheroes! This was one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons. Just looking at pictures brings back ALL THE FLASHBACKS! I’m pretty psyched to re-watch a few (*cough* all) of the episodes.


Torchbearers

This weekend AFP made #1million voter contacts! So proud of my team and everyone who came out and volunteered. The torch of freedom continues to burn.