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Time for Spring Christian Fiction 2019!

Hooray!  Spring Inspirational fiction is here!  Wow!  Such a lot of good-looking stories out there by newer authors, more in this CBD catalog than I’ve seen in a long long time!  You can check out the books I’ll be checking out in the future linked below:

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Posted by on February 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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2019 Audie Awards Finalists

The finalists for the 2019 Audie Awards have been announced and for the first time, I’ve gone through all 24 categories and made my choices IMHO.  It’s rather like the Oscars; in fact the Audies are like the Academy Awards for audiobooks.  Let it be known that I haven’t listened to any of these books in their entirety, only just the 3-4 min. excerpts available on AudioFile Magazine’s website.  Let it also be known that just because I approve of a narrator’s capability in delivering the material doesn’t necessarily mean I approve of the material itself.  Who do you think deserves to win?

Audio Drama: The Martian Invasion of Earth (hear trailer here)

Audiobook of the Year: Calypso

Autobiography/Memoir: Letter to Louis

Best Female Narrator: Girls & Boys

Best Male Narrator: Harry Clarke

Business/Personal Development: The Courage to Be Disliked

Faith-Based: not enough info.

Fantasy: Spinning Silver

Fiction: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

History/Biography: Robin

Humor: Noir

Literary Fiction & Classics: Bleak House

Middle Grade: Louisiana’s Way Home

Multi-Voiced Performance: not enough info.

Mystery: The Mystery of Three-Quarters

Narrated by Author: My Pride

Non-Fiction: Eager

Original Work: Magus Elgar

Science Fiction: Artemis

Short Stories: You Think It, I’ll Say It

Suspense: The Outsider

Romance: skipped.

Young Adult: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

Young Listeners: Her Right Foot

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2019 in Audio/Radio Dramas

 

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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

 

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Looking Forward in 2019

New Year’s resolutions, check! First though, I want to do a rundown of what did and didn’t work for me last year in the world of books. I know I usually do that in my annual year-in-review posts, but I forgot a few things…

I tried to join a couple of reading challenge groups on goodreads last year. The first one was a type of ‘Read a Book that Contains These Certain Elements’ type groups. Except, they had really stringent checklists. I really didn’t make it past one book. The reason was not that finding books was so difficult (I mean, I have 2500+ to choose from on my TBR!), but that I’m just too much of a list-lover and have always curated my yearly to-read schedule in such a way that I couldn’t let go of it. I tried, several times but it just wasn’t as much fun doing it any other way. So then I tried a group that has lists(!) of words you look for in whatever book you happen to choose to read. That’s working a bit better for me, and it’s fun to compare my findings with my mom at the end of the month as we work from the same scavenger hunt words.

But at the same time, I feel like I’m hunting for more, something different. I don’t know what it is yet but I think I’ll keep scouting around. Maybe I will decide to post my word lists every once in a while on the blog, if you’re interested.

Something I’ve been having LOADS of fun doing the past year, is creating playlists inspired by the books I read! Maybe I’m not the first person who’s thought of doing this, but I’m enjoying it so much and plan on sharing my music with all of you as I publish my book reviews. All you need is a free Spotify account to listen and I will have the link above my Plot Summaries to click on. I have over a dozen playlists built now, and I am starting to arrange them by mood genre.

As far as reading quantity goes, I don’t expect it will change much this year. Aiming for two books a month seems to be a realistic speed at this time in my life. And I am learning to be okay with that.

I have a couple of books I really, really want to read in particular sometime during this year. They are as follows:

“Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic,” by Jennifer L. Scott

“Relearning to See,” by Thomas Quackenbush (I’m getting progressively myopic and suffering bad eye strain.)

books by Richard Swenson

books on spiritual disciplines

Do you have any goals you would like to achieve in the books this year? Share them with me!


 
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Posted by on January 12, 2019 in Reading Habits

 

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2018 Year in Review + Favorites Awards!

I hope everyone reading this had a very good Christmas season over the past several weeks!  There’s still more to celebrate: the end of this year and a new one to come!  Do you have any book reading goals to celebrate?  Perhaps you made a goal to read a certain # or to stretch yourself to try new authors or genres.  Or maybe some organization was in order and you had to pare down your collection.  This post will be where I recap my own reading journey from 2018.  I still have two more books to finish up, but I think I will easily manage that.  I will still count them in my total here.

In January, I wanted to read at least 2 books a month.  I fell just shy (-1) of that goal but since I worked hard reading two very long fiction books and completed them, I feel that makes up for it.  🙂  I’m proud of myself.  Typically I read one fiction and one non-fiction a month.  As always, I wish it could be more but that is where I am in my life.  My TBR list continues to grow and I know I will never be able to finish what I currently have on it, let alone all the new ones I add almost daily.  But my poor, obsessive brain can’t help craving the promise of new plot summaries, almost more than reading the books themselves.  Is anyone else like this?

2018 was the year I sort of came out of my reading slump, so HOORAY!  I read two very long fiction novels: “Doctor Thorne,” by Anthony Trollope (500+ pages), and “The Cloister and the Hearth,” by Charles Reade (102 chapters; 700+ pages).  I read an equal amount of fiction and nonfiction, with fiction consisting of some old classics and adventure.  I also went to so many book sales that I lost count, and ended up having to resort to putting some of my books in storage and also doing some weeding:

So it’s time to play my end of the year game where I answer ordinary questions using the titles of books I’ve read in 2018!  You’re welcome to play along in the comment section below!  Here we go…

Describe yourself:  “Curious Faith,” by Logan Wolfram

Describe where you currently live:  “The Cloister and the Hearth,” by Charles Reade

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:  “King Solomon’s Mines,” by H. Rider Haggard

Your favourite form of transportation: —-

What’s the weather like: —-

You and your friends are:  “What You Do Best in the Body of Christ,” by Bruce Bugbee

You fear:  “1984,” by George Orwell

What is the best advice you have to give:  “It’s a Matter of Trust,” by James Callner

Thought for the day:  “The Aisles Have Eyes,” by Joseph Turow

My soul’s present condition:  “Beginnings,” by Steve Stephens

How I would like to die:  “The Valiant Papers,” by Calvin Miller

It’s interesting to me that some things never seem to change from one year to the next, but other things I thought would never change are starting to!  That’s exciting!

Are you ready for my favorite reads from 2018, arranged by category?  (Be sure to share your favorites, too!)  Click on each award to see the slideshow:

And now I will reveal to you my All-Time Favorite Read of 2018.  (As a side note, I do not include non-fiction in this award.)  It is…

Stay tuned during the upcoming year for my review on why I loved this book!

 

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Random Books Post: End of Year Hurrah

Hello, and a Merry Christmas to you all!  You will find my latest treasures I’ve lately found at library bag sales and castoffs from our church library renovation.

 

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2018 in Book Shopping

 

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Random Books: Fall’s Hurrahs

And then… 🙂  I went to two more book sales over the weekend and came home with EVEN MORE!

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2018 in Book Shopping

 

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