RSS

Tag Archives: importance-of-reading

Non-Fiction Books I’m Liking (Spring 2019)

There is so much to see, do and read in the springtime!  Let’s not waste a moment but take advantage of the time learning!

Relearning to See, by Thomas Quackenbush~ I suffer from myopia and astigmatism, along with strabismus on top of that.  So yeah, I have a lot of eye strain.  I’m also not a good candidate for contact lenses and I don’t particularly feel glamorous with two pairs of eyeglasses.  I just have never been able to think well with frames on my face.  Being interested in holistic measures, I’ve heard of improving one’s eyesight naturally using different exercises, diet, etc but never really knew how to implement it or had the confidence it would help with my particular issues.  I discovered this title on goodreads a while back, and then found it at a book sale when a local library was doing a purge.  What a stroke of good luck!  It’s been my breakfast reading material for the last couple of months.  Overlook the author’s unfortunate last name.  This is an in-depth textbook that borrows a lot of material from a learned eye doctor, William Bates, who studied and practiced during the turn of the century thru 1920’s.  A lot of his explanations and reasoning makes sense.  I appreciate that he does not view the Bates Method as eye “exercises”, rather a way of relearning how to see in a natural, relaxed manner.  Some of it gets a little too textbook on me and over my head but that’s okay, I just skip ahead to the more comprehensive parts.  Have I seen any improvement?  I want to finish the book first to understand everything before I begin implementing the techniques daily.  (To be completely honest, it is hard to form a new habit and it is hard to practice while a lot of your work is in front of a computer.)  But there was a moment (which the author refers to as “a flash”) when I experienced a bout of being able to see clearer than I had for a long time.  This was after I’d started trying some of the relaxed ways of looking around me.  It did not last very long, but it was enough to give me some hope and encouragement.  I think a lot of people will be interested in the scientific material presented, and be assured this is not some “quackish” gimmick. 

The Enchanted Hour, by Meghan Cox Gurdon~ This was such a wonderful book to listen to on audio!  I had no idea what it was about when I saw it in the library but the title had me hooked and I enjoy listening to non fiction audiobooks so I took it home with me.  Do you enjoy reading aloud and want a kindred spirit to share your enthusiasm?  You’ll find it in the author who narrates her own book.  Her passion for reading out loud to youngsters, teens, dogs, the ill, disabled, elderly—anybody and everybody!– is obvious.  She provides tons of interesting studies and statistics, as well as interviews with doctors, volunteers and a few guinea pigs on the benefits and NECESSITY of reading out loud.  Did you know that our society has lost approximately a third of its vocabulary and illiteracy is rifer now than it was decades ago?  How can we stop this epidemic and be more involved in our kids’ lives?  The answer is simple: READ A BOOK.  And yet most of us struggle to do keep up this discipline in a modern world of technology.  Gurdon shares tips and ideas from her own experience on how to make reading a fun family habit and how to make memories for years to come.  As a narrator, Gurdon does pretty well since she has had years of practice while bringing up four children.  I do wish she wouldn’t affect character voices for some of the people she quoted or interviewed, as this is sort of a no-no in non-fiction narration and becomes cartoonish rather than enhancing the story.  But she had such a warm, cuddly type voice and I fell in love with her descriptions of babies, tykes and tots.  Please do not misunderstand that reading is for young children only.  Although Gurdon puts a lot of emphasis on this, she also stresses that reading out loud really is good and beneficial for all ages.  

 
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

January 2019 Word List

I am going to try something new.  I don’t know how this will go or if I will keep it up, but I thought I’d share a fun reading habit I’ve been doing lately.

As recently mentioned, I tried a couple reading groups on goodreads to sort of spice up my reading life.  The first one (The Seasonal Reading Challenge, in case you’re interested) contained challenges where you had to find books that fit into certain categories, like genres, page totals, book cover art, and titles or author’s names that spell out certain words.  This would probably appeal to folks who don’t know what to read next or who want to expand their reading comfort zones.  I did not make it very long in this group mainly because of my strict adherence to my own lists.  The second group also has rigid rules but they do have one particular challenge I’m liking: word scavenger hunts!

Every month (and other alternative timelines), they provide new scavenger lists of up to 50 words to look for while reading whatever you choose to read (for example, the current list includes the word “bells”).  If I come across that word while reading, I mark it down.  It’s fun to see how many I can find by the end of the month.  This works well if you have more than one book going at a time like me, or read very fast.  I do it along with another person I know and we compare lists to see who found the most words.

I have found that one of the benefits of practicing these scavenger hunts is that I pay much more attention to the particular words I read.  In addition to the monthly lists, I also participate in a long-term Color Word list and am enjoying the wonderful descriptions I come across.

My findings don’t qualify to enter in the group forum because they have a few more rules than I care to follow, so I will just log it in my own post here.  But for those interested, the goodreads group is called “The Lost Challenges”.  There are far more reading games than just hunting for words and they may appeal to you more.  Are there any reading challenges you’re enjoying in this new year?

1. Bean ~ I am really a stickler on this, and it is not just because I am trained as a bean counter and like all the boxes checked.  [The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success]
2. Bears
3. Beef ~ For those readers who are old enough, think of the Wendy’s commercial from the eighties in which the elderly ladies asked “Where’s the beef?” as they looked at a tiny hamburger patty dwarfed by a massive bun.  [TPFfLS]
4. Big ~ Walking out into the rain as though it were not there, she moved through the downpour with a monumental and unhurried measure, her big head lifted.  [Gormenghast]
5. Boys ~ Yet for all that, Titus was conscious of always being watched: of a discrepancy in the attitude of the officials and even at times of the boys.  [G…]
6. Bulls ~ Of a sudden the dusk, knocking as it were a certain hollow note to which their sweet ribs echoed, they were in the air– a group of herons, their necks arched back, their ample and rounded wings rising and falling in leisurely flight: and then another and then another: and then a night heron with a ghastly and hair-raising croak, more terrible than the unearthly booming note of a pair of bitterns, who soaring and spiralling upwards and through the clouds to great heights above Gormenghast, boomed like bulls as they ascended.  [G…]
7. City ~ The arrow flies continuously around the city at breakneck speed without landing on a specific target.  [Rhythms of Rest]
8. Cloud ~ Lost in the flying clouds the craggy summits of Gormenghast were wild with straining hair– the hanks of the drenched rock-weed.  [G…]
9. Comedy ~ In tragedy and comedy and satire and farce– in anything that is worthy of the stage,– conflict is at the root.  [Respect for Acting]
10. Court ~ His hunched shoulders, his pallor, his dark-red eyes had never encouraged intimacy even supposing he had ever courted it.  [G…]
11. Crown ~ Now he was climbing a slope of reddish sandstone; now he was skirting a rock-face whose crown overhung its base and whose extensive surface was knuckly with the clay nests of innumerable martins; now the walnut-covered slopes from where, each evening, with hideous regularity a horde of owls set sail on bloody missions.  [G…]
12. Cubs
13. Deep ~ “I would like to show you what I have found, away to the south, your Ladyship, where the granite domes are elbow-deep in moss.” [G…]
14. Dibs
15. Dish ~ And then one day, while drying the dishes, of all things, God stripped away my greatest illusion.  [RofR]
16. Fields ~ But, dark as was the day, it had no power to suppress the craving which had been mounting for weeks– the craving to ride and ride when the rest of the world lay in bed: to drink the spring air in giant gulps as his horse galloped beneath him over the April fields, beyond the Outer Dwellings.  [G…]
17. Food ~ A mingling of wet, scrubbed floors, unaired rooms, and food for a hundred people always steaming on the stove.  [Dear Enemy]
18. Fountain ~ An impromptu theatrical gathering of young children splash in the nearby fountain, hiking their pants above their knees until it becomes a nuisance.  [RofR]
19. Friendly ~ But there was nothing on fire except the tobacco in his pipe and as he lay supine, the white wreaths billowing from his wide, muscular and lipless mouth (rather like the mouth of a huge and friendly lizard), he evinced so brutal a disregard for his own and other people’s windpipes as made one wonder how this man could share the selfsame world with hyacinths and damsels.  [G…]
20. Gate
21. Grow ~ And so, at her funeral, the majority of the mourners were gathered there, to pay their respects to the memory not so much of Mrs. Slagg, as to the legend which the tiny creature had, all unwittingly, allowed to grow about her.  [G…]
22. Gym Shoes
23. Hotdog
24. Jewels ~ Their peurile ambition and vanity– and their only too obvious longing to assume, one day, the roles in which they were always seeing themselves, the roles of ladies, great and splendid, bedecked with jewels, precluded any such idea as suicide.  [G…]
25. Lake ~ It is seven years since he watched from the attic window the procession far below him wind back from Gormenghast lake, where Titus had come into his Earldom, but nothing has happened to him during the long years apart from the annual arrival of fresh works to be added to the coloured carvings in the long room.  [G…]
26. Lincoln
27. Loop  ~ Steerpike uncoiled himself of the rope and looped it over a nail in the wall.  [G…]
28. Mother-in-Law  ~ It’s the third week of Advent, and my mother-in-law, Geri, left Phoenix and is flying on windwings heading east.  [RofR]
29. Museum ~ Instead of wandering through a museum or sightseeing somewhere different, I lose myself in watching people give themselves permission to playfully rest.  [RofR]
30. Navy ~ One boy wades unabashedly in his underwear and a striped navy sweater.  [RofR]
31. Park ~ From a park bench, beneath a canopy of ancient trees with long tendrils swaying from Spanish moss, I hear the distant sound of an ambulance siren and birds chirping in the various “dialects”.  [RofR]
32. Pier
33. Pioneer
34. Pizza ~ We cook every night except Fridays when we eat pizza (and it’s amazing), and we don’t really do processed snack food.  [Slow]
35. Pop ~ Now consider that you are surrounded by cracked and peeling walls and ceilings, have wrinkled pop posters pasted to the walls, walk on bare floorboards, and sit on a rickety stool at an oilcloth-covered table in front of a lumpy burlap-covered studio couch, drinking beer from a can to the accompaniment of the Beatles and a leaky faucet, while you look out of the streaked window at a fire escape against a blackened brick wall.  [RforA]
36. Props
37. Ribbon ~ Their curls bounce beneath felt hats trimmed in dark satin ribbon  [RofR]
38. Sears
39. Second ~ (Bought them second-hand from Doctor Brice in the village, who is putting in, for the gratification of his own patients, white enamel and nickel-plate.)  [DE]
40. Shore  ~ From the high-rise hotel, I stare over the vastness of sky meeting water and wonder over what God is planning for us beyond the horizon, on the shores of England.  [RofR]
41. Shoulders ~ It was more like the shadow of a young man, a shadow with high shoulders, that moved across whiteness, than an actual body moving in space.  [G…]
42. Slider
43. Sports
44. Style ~ What she lacked was the power to combine and make a harmony out of the various parts that, though exquisite in themselves, bore no relationship either in style, period, grain, colour or fabric to one another.  [G…]
45. Taste ~ But he tasted the sharp fruits of the quick bridle-wrench which had freed him from the ostler.  [G…]
46. Tower ~ It played with sere flags, dodged through arches, spiralled with impish whistles up hollow towers and chimneys until, diving down a saw-toothed fissure in a pentagonal roof, it found itself surrounded by stern portraits– a hundred sepia faces cracked with spiders’ webs; found itself being drawn towards a grid in the stone floor and, giving way it sang its way past seven storeys and was, all at once, in a hall of dove-grey light and was clasping Titus in a noose of air.  [G…]
47. Town ~ “I am so glad you were able tos pend a little time with our ladies while you were in town.” [RofR]
48. Washroom
49. Wet ~ The face was wet.  [G…]
50. Windy

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 10, 2019 in Scavenger Word Lists

 

Tags: , , ,

Miss Midday? New Book Club!

If you’re like me, you’ve been continuing to miss the Dr. Rosalie de Rosset classic book club on the former Moody program Midday Connection, along with the book club that hosts Anita Lustrea and Lori Neff began.  I keep coming in contact with other people on social media who long for it back again as well.  I have good news!  Anita and Lori have begun a new book club again on Anita’s podcast, “Faith Conversations.”  Lori Neff is now in the publishing industry with IVP, and a great one for book suggestions.  I am so pleased to have a new program to listen to!  Their first book club pick is: “When Mockingbirds Sing,” by Billy Coffey.  They will be discussing the read in a later podcast.  Check it out!

 
 

Tags: , , , , ,

Image

~Quote for 4/10/2018~

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 10, 2018 in Quotes

 

Tags: ,

So Much Time for So Many Books

Hey, you!  Check out this article put out by Real Simple which suggests that reading books may lengthen your life span.  No one seems to know why at this time, but studies have consistently shown that on average people who read live 23 months longer than people who don’t.  Theories abound.

Is it the exercise of the ‘little grey cells’ that causes one to live longer?  Is it gained intelligence which proves beneficial in preserving one’s life?  Is it being able to live many lives between the pages of a book?  Or could it be that simply passing the time by reading decreases one’s likelihood to be involved in risk-taking activities such as riding a motorcycle, eating ghost peppers, or traveling around North Korea?  What do you say?

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

Friends & Books

I recently watched an interesting documentary and wanted to quickly recommend it to you.  But first, a little backstory…

I bumped into someone I knew last Sunday evening and we got to talking on the subject of books.  I had happened to like the past year’s women’s book club our church held this summer; she had not been so enthused over it.  But she told me about a really good book she had finished that had her gushing.  It was called “And Ladies of the Club,” by Helen Hooven Santmyer, a book that had taken the author all of her life to write.  Apparently, it is a fictionalized account of a women’s book club spanning several decades.

Later this week, I decorated our Christmas tree.  This may sound abnormal, but for the last three years I’ve made a tradition of finding time to watch documentaries as I decorate.  It used to be traditional Christmas music, but seeing as how I am very particular and take many hours (or sometimes days) just trim our tree, the music gets annoying very quickly.  So documentaries it is…  While browsing my library’s hoopla (a new resource and worth checking to see if your library has it or something similar), I stumbled across a film simply called, “Book Club.”  It happened to be the true life story of a group of dear women who had formed a book club early on in their young, married lives as a way to improve their minds.  As the years passed, their club continued as new members arrived and others moved on.  But always a core membership remained.

It was such an interesting story, and ironically reminded me of the book my acquaintance told me about (although the two are unrelated, as far as I know).  A few things struck me about the documentary.  I noticed was that when the film showed clips of the women reading passages from their favorite selections they read clearly, smoothly, and comprehendingly.  Not choppy, disjointed, with ignorant pronunciation.  This is because they had lifetimes of practiced skill.  These ladies were well into their 80’s, and admittedly did not read as intellectually deep as they formerly had.  Yet, they were still reading literary fiction, memoirs, and other books of depth.  I believe this is because once their minds were used to quality reading, even at an old age they could not develop a taste for anything as fluffy as “Amish fiction” [yes, I’m ranting again!].  Comment was made on a few members’ determination to read books on self-improvement, though it may not make sense to the world at large why ladies of such an age would be.  But the results were evident in that the women had a large love for life and many interests.  It was not born overnight; their zest was began many years ago when they were still young.  They had felt worn out, underappreciated, maybe a bit isolated at a time when many women did not work, the world was at war, and they had babies and husbands to take care of.  But they deemed friendship and reading in community to be important enough to make the time and effort, and many emphasized that those things meant more to them than the books themselves.

It was interesting to hear of their different backgrounds, perspectives, and education.  Not all of them were the reverent or pious grandmother you may expect, and in a way it was sad some of them obviously did not have the joy of Jesus Christ in their life.  But part of a book club means learning from others that do not hold the same views as ourselves, I am learning.  I hope you will become curious and inspired by watching “Book Club” just as I was!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Image

~Quote for September 2, 2017~

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 2, 2017 in Quotes

 

Tags: , ,