Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bout of Books (read-a-thon)

Source: boutofbooks.blogspot.com

It's that time again! Bout of Books is back and I am signing up. See the information below to sign up and meet lots of great readers. The Twitter chats are great for meeting all kinds of people and talking books and bookish things! "See" you "there."

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Monday, July 29, 2013

I Can't Get No...Satisfaction

Source: keepcalmprints.com

How long is your to-be-read (TBR) list? If I count both books I've bought and ones I haven't, my list is probably two hundred. If I only count the ones that are mostly on my mind, stacked by my bed, or at the top of the wish-list, then the list is cut in half.

I'm always reading something, but life does require many other things. As a wife, teacher, mother of three, friend, and volunteer I find myself short on time to read. This is fine because I'm at a point in life where these things (specifically my family and career) need to have my focus. Seasons of life come and go and sooner than I can imagine my kids will grow and lead their own lives, I will retire, volunteer work will become more prevalent in my life, etc. and reading will always be fit in between these focuses as they come and go.

Thankfully, God has given me two abilities to supplement my love of reading: I read fast and I'm a night owl. Aside from some years where I had actual problems sleeping, I've always been a natural night person. In high school I'd read or do whatever until 3am and get up at 7am for school, no problem. Fifteen years later, I can only pull this off during the summertime and holiday vacations, but it is prime reading time. From 11pm - 3am no one needs my attention or my help. There aren't any obligations or appointments. Just me and my book. (It's also prime writing time for me...most of my blog posts are written on the note section of my iPad between midnight and 2am. It's 12:22am right now.)

And maybe a third ability that works to my reading advantage is organization and planning. I always carry a book in case of unexpected down time and always look at my upcoming schedule with times for reading in mind. For example, my car is getting waxed this week and I was told if I can't get a ride, I would be in their waiting room for two hours. "Really?! You promise?"...my mind immediately thinks..."Two hours of reading time!" 

I have noticed though that even when I've gotten some prime reading time in, I don't feel like I was able to read as much as I wanted. I almost always look back over a month and think I didn't read as much as I could have. The ever growing TBR list doesn't help. 

Maybe that's part of what keeps me reading? Knowing there's so much more out there to read and that all I can do is keep plugging away! Anyone else think this way? How do you think about your TBR pile and reading pace?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Count of Monte Cristo

Source: paperbackswap.com

(No Spoiler Alerts! This is more about the experience.)

It is finished! I started reading The Count of Monte Cristo (aka CMC) on July 6th and finished it 19 days later, on July 24th. My goal was to read 100 pages a day to finish it in two weeks, so I wasn't too far off. What's an extra 4-5 days for a book the size of four or five books? It is definitely faster than I read Les Mis, by about two weeks! I really enjoyed the story. From the very beginning you follow Edmond Dantes on an unbelievable journey that begins with false imprisonment and ends with the most elaborate revenge scheme known to man. This book captivates and reads as easily as people say.

The first thing I liked about CMC is that the action picks up right away. The very first chapter finds one character already opposing another, with chapters two and three immediately adding to the mounting character opposition. If doorstop size classics scare you, this one should be an exception. Unlike Dickens's works or even Les Miserables (which I loved and wrote about here by the way), CMC overdoes neither description nor background information. You are given what is needed to imagine the scene and follow the action, of which there is plenty. (I recall maybe two or three side stories that end up being stories within the main story, but they relate directly to the overall story as well.)

Another seeming obstacle with classics is the language. Of course, this often depends on the translation you read - all translations are not created equal and, unfortunately, I know little about French to English translators. I read half of CMC from my paperback copy, which is from The Modern Library Classics (specific translator not given). However, because of the physical size of the book, it was hard to always read when I usually would - like when snacking at night or laying down before bed. So, half of the time I read from a free copy I found on my iPad's iBooks app. The iBook edition has a generic cover and no publishing information is given at all. I did a comparison beforehand and found that although a few chapters had different titles and parts of the two texts translated into more or less detail than the other here and there, the meaning aligned. What can I say though, in both versions the book was smoothly read and easily understood. Within the first 10-12 chapters (approximately 130 pages), the story has already unfolded and you can only wonder what the next 1,300 pages might bring!

If you've been meaning to read this, keep it on your radar. It is a great, easy to read classic!  Which classics and/or "big books" have you been reading lately?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

BFFs & Mean Girls

Source: barnesandnoble.com

Talking with Your Daughter About Best Friends and Mean Girlsby Dannah Gresh
Harvest House Publishers
Released: August 1, 2013
Category: Christian
I received an e-version of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

As a mother of two daughters, now twelve and fourteen, I find myself increasingly aware of the world around me. I've worked in a grades 7-12 high school for ten years and have witnessed the anything and everything of adolescence. (And I work in a country setting!) Two thoughts continually cross my mind: 1. I need to talk about usual teenage problems with my girls ahead of time and 2. My girls need to know they can come to me about anything and everything.

This is what I thought when I saw the title Talking with Your Daughter About Best Friends and Mean Girls. First of all, this book is definitely better in physical paper form. There are pictures, graphics, and headings that throw the text off in the electronic version...it was very distracting. Also, the book is meant to be used as a workbook, so the physical book makes this possible. The book contains 8 dates for a mother to plan with her daughter. Some can be done with friends and their mothers, most dates could be done on your own with your daughter. The date topics are as follows:

1. True Friendship in God's Eyes
2. Friendship with My Neighbor
3. Friendship with Mean Girlz
4. Friendship with My BFF
5. Friendship with My Parents
6. Friendship with My Siblings
7. Friendship with God
8. Friendship with Boys

Each date gives the mom some background information about how to set the date up (for example, one is a slumber party, another a shopping spree, etc) and what to discuss. The activity for each date lends itself to discussion of the topic of the date. There are girl talk and journaling opportunities and even mp3 downloads where popular Christian singers share their experiences. Near the end of the book, the author shares other books about daughters and answers some often asked question about when to let your daughter date, wear make up, etc.

My daughters did not end up reading this book with me as planned and I did not go through with all of the dates or even step for step on the dates I did like. This was simply because I think the book is better suited to younger kids. Yes, the majority of the book is review and set up information for mom, but the age and maturity level of your child will determine whether or not they'd go along with it. As I began reading, I realized my daughters would laugh and maybe do some eye rolling if I said, "Ok, we're going on a date and..." You get the picture. However, if I took the information about the topics of discussion and presented them casually while simply driving somewhere or sitting in Barnes and Noble's cafe, I was much more likely to get their attention and keep it. The best aspect of the book for me was the Biblical alignment it provided for each topic.

So I would suggest this book for people with younger daughters, possibly ages 9-12. I'd also say the opinions and results of using this book would vary greatly on your and your daughter's personalities. For example, I'm not a big "plan an event" type person, so some of the dates' prep work was excessive to me. So I have to leave this one up in the air. Another benefit to getting the paper version is you can look through it first and see what you think!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Husbands...Need I Say More?

Source: reformed4christ.files.wordpress.com

I received both of these titles from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Husbands. I could make all kinds of jokes here, really. My wit totally lends itself to that direction. However, it would demean my purpose for asking NetGalley for advance copies of these books. My husband is by far a better person than me. It's not a new revelation, I've known this, but it's taken some time and maturity to see that I should perhaps follow his example in some of his ways. He is humble and endlessly unselfish, two hard to find and seemingly impossible to gain traits, if they don't come naturally. He is also, well, a guy, so we have many misunderstandings and miscommunications based on typical male/female thought processes. So I was happy to see that this summer Harvest House Publishers releases two books focused on helping wives better understand their husbands. As a person always wanting (and needing) to better the relationships in my life, especially with those closest to me, I requested and read them both.

Source: barnesandnoble.com
The first to hit the shelves (August 1st) is 52 Things Husbands Need from Their Wives by Jay Payleitner. The book is literally 52 short chapters that discuss one topic per chapter that a husband needs a wife to do, be, or understand within their marriage. There were quite a variety of topics presented, all ending with a small tidbit called a "Takeaway" and a scripture verse. 

Topics covered on the light side of marriage included: know his likes and dislikes, show him love in little ways, don't nag him too much, and don't let him beat up on himself too much. There are many more that lead up to tougher topics, such as decision making and the true meaning of submission in Ephesians 5:22.  Also, Payleitner does not stray from the more embarrassing or touchy topics, as he also discusses "making marriage sexy again" and "the slippery slope" he calls porn. A really good point Payleitner makes throughout the book is the need for realistic expectations. Anyone in any relationship has to expect that there will be hard times, experiences will change us for better and worse, and that no one is perfect. To expect these things to rarely or never happen sets the marriage up for failure. Establishing realistic expectations of your husband and working together is the key to success.

Payleitner has a whole series of these relationship advice books, including 52 Things Daughters Need from Their Fathers and 52 Things Wives Need from Their Husbands. If there is a relationship you are interested in improving, these books give quick, easy to understand pieces of advice that help you change the way you think and act toward that important person in your life. After all, you are the only person you can change.

And change is hard indeed, especially when it's about you. But looking for change in yourself is exactly where our second book takes us. Getting Your Husband to Talk to You by Bob and Cheryl Moeller, is due out September 1st. The authors are not only a couple themselves, but they have also counseled many marriages over the years. My interest in this title stems from the fact that I am a very out spoken wife and my husband is pretty quiet. As a matter of fact, the more vocal I get, the quieter he gets! So how do I get him to speak up when it really counts?

Source: www.mardel.com
Using many different sources, the authors explain how males and females are wired differently in communication purposes. For example, women thrive on discussion while men don't. Conversation IS the activity for women, while men have to have another purpose in order for communication to take place. Using this basis and drawing on their vast experience, they then talk about common mistakes wives make in trying to communicate and key points that will improve communication. 

This book is big on understanding yourself too. Sometimes we hold issues we do not understand or do not even realize and these issues largely affect our relationships with others. You can only change yourself and that is always the best place to start. To help the reader get started, the book ends with two tests: One to determine which things have hardened your heart (such as bitterness, control, rejection, etc.). The second determines the types of sin issues you deal with (malice, envy, arrogance, etc.). Both tests are excellent and accurate in my opinion. 

 I think this book has been by far the best one I've read on the related topics of understanding husbands, changing yourself, and improving a marriage. (It seems geared toward couples who have been married, although I think those starting out can learn from the mistakes of others and prevent a lot of trouble.)The information is easily accessible through both the writing and organization. The points are clear, make sense, and seem totally valid; however, putting them into action is another story. I just keep in mind what Frederick Douglas said: "If there is no struggle, there is no progress." 

Change is a crazy topic. What's your favorite quote about change?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Kindle/PayPal/Amazon $ giveaway

Source: iamareader.com

Hey there readers and writers, I have a giveaway to tell you about. You will find it over at the blog of MAD Hoydenish. A bunch of bloggers and authors went in together to provide amazing prizes. If you win (there are 88 possible ways to win), you choose from a 7" Kindle Fire HD, a $199 PayPal card, OR a $199 Amazon gift card. Tell me those aren't some sweet prizes.

(Gift cards are only internationally available prizes.)

So go on over and check out the giveaway and MAD Hoydenish's blog - not to mention the plethora of other blogs participating.

Directly from MAD Hoydenish's blog:
Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).

There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire.

Sponsor a future Kindle Fire Giveaway by signing up HERE.

Ends 8/15/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quilted Magic

When I read there is one thing needed besides my book...a nice blanket. Preferably fleece. Yes, even in summer, I at least need it nearby to cuddle up in at some point while I read.

As a reading accessory, I pick my blanket as I would my bookmark or where I read. Related to books if at all possible. Comforting and maybe even unique. At the very least, pleasing to my eye. So imagine how excited I was to receive an email about blankets that contain books?!

Kerry Larkin of Boulder, CO has a unique start up called Comma Workshop (located in Lyons, CO) that combines everything she loves: modern quilting, stories, and typography. Yep, you guessed it, her company stitches words from stories onto quilts, pillow cases, pillows, tea towels, and throws. So not only will you be wrapped in a blanket, but literally in the very words themselves!

Source: Comma Workshop via kickstarter.com
As the company expands, they will be able to offer different authors and works on their blankets. Right now phrases from Thoreau, such as "Live Deliberately" and "We can never have enough nature" appear on the smaller items. A queen size quilt contains the entire chapter Solitude from Walden. The next authors the company has in mind are Jane Austen, Rumi, and Shakespeare. Comma Workshop also does custom work, quilting wedding vows, well wishes, and the like onto throws or quilts.

Since this is a new and expanding company, they are in need of support from those who have similar passions and the finances to back them. (Note: financial backing comes with a reward - see site.) For those who cannot financially back them, but love the idea, Comma Workshop needs you to spread the word. Of course, people are also welcome to place orders. So please feel free to checkout the website, blog about it, talk about it, spread the word! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

One Year Blogoversary

Source: birthdayexpress.com

July 12, 2012 I started a journey with a writing blog I titled Keep Inspired. My dream since I was 12 and read S.E Hinton's The Outsiders has been to write a book. I even feel I have a story to tell (read earliest 2012 posts for a recap); however, I also feel I have neither the perspective nor the wisdom to write it quite yet. These are things that can only come in time. In the meanwhile, I wanted to keep writing, reading (my love bigger than writing), and living a life that would take me where I need to be.

And here I am a year later with my writing blog now a book blog with a new name and all kinds of crazy social media hook up - really, this FB page thing is crazy! But I'm loving every moment of it and every person I "meet" and every book I get to talk and every moment God gives me another chance to let me be me.

It has been fun and that's thanks in large part to my readers (and now FB and Twitter likers/followers). I can't thank you all enough for every post you've read and every comment you've made - both here and on my FB, which I know some of you prefer.

I'd like to end with a shout out to all of my support...no mushiness, just heartfelt thanks. To the writing blog friends I started this with and with whom I'm still in touch: Carolynn...with 2Ns (aka Wry Writer) and donnaeverhart, you were among the Betsy bloggers who inspired me to start my own blog. I appreciate your encouragement over the past year and hope to continue through the next with you both.

Next came my friends (who I actually know in person, lol), Roshni and Matt. Once I started my blog, you became instant encouragers. Your encouragement built my confidence and deepened our friendship. Truly grateful for your families' friendship with mine.

I also have thanks to give to those who helped me transition into book blog mode. To Allison at The Book Wheel, who I found through the Top Ten Book Blogs contest on Story Cartel earlier this year, she introduced me to my main source of books to review, NetGalley.com. It is also through The Book Wheel that I found the next three bloggers: Thank you Rebecca at Love at First Book, for answering my questions about the ins and outs of book blogging and review methods. Thanks to Jennifer at The Relentless Reader for her help when I had questions while setting up my blog's FB page. And Leah at Books Speak Volumes, who has been doing this almost twice as long as me, thank you for a wonderful blog, which gives me something to look up to and forward to. You are a wonderful group of ladies and I appreciate your book blog comraderie!

And biggest thanks to my husband and kids who have supported my hobby and have recently joined me on some family reading adventures. My husband even opened a Goodreads account all on his own, just to friend me in support of my blog and new FB page! That's what I call love!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Setting Boundaries

Source: christianbook.com

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. As always, my self-help reviews are on Christian books/authors. As always, I searched to apply this post to Life.

Source: beatechelette.com

Last month I read Setting Boundaries for Women by Allison Bottke (due out August 1, 2013). I requested this book because I've heard people talk about how they choose to participate in certain activities based on boundaries they've set for themselves. Previously, I never thought about this because I'd always done whatever I could whenever I could. I would even rearrange my calendar to help if I could, which I did often. And when I couldn't help (asked specifically or not), I'd feel tons of guilt about it. I'd even go out of my way to do things for others. But when others would immediately say they couldn't help or do something without a thought, second look at the calendar or slight switch-a-roo of the calendar, I always wondered why they weren't trying harder.

Eventually, I found myself resenting people for what seemed their lack of effort, while I was doing everything humanly possible. (Yea, sometimes people just weren't helpful or were lazy, but I don't think this was the case with most people.) Many things in my life began to feel one sided. So, while I realized this a few months ago, old habits die hard. But this summer I found myself with many worthy opportunities to volunteer my time for the summer and beyond; however, they often required me to be away from my kids, leaving them home alone often during the week. We just put up a pool, which requires free hours and adult supervision, and they have some things they'd like to do and it seemed very unfair to take away so much time from them. As much as I wanted to help everyone (which I technically could), I felt I just couldn't leave my kids so much. I was going to have to say no to some of the opportunities.

So seeing this book offered for review, I thought I could glean some wisdom on how this boundary thing works. The author uses the acronym SANITY to help you remember the six steps to setting boundaries:

S...stop your own negative behavior
A...assemble a support group
N...nip excuses in the bud
I...implement rules and boundaries
T...trust your instincts
Y...yield everything to God.

Although I read everything through the lens of myself as the one who needs to set AND respect my own boundaries, the author does speak at length about enforcing your boundaries when others push them. She even speaks to abusive relationships and mentions material from her other situation specific books on boundary setting, all of which are currently available. At some point, I will see how saying "no" to something that crosses my boundary affects others, but for now I have to get myself to stick to my boundaries.

So I've already done a few of those steps. I've identified the behaviors that put me in hard places or cause mixed feelings because I should've said "no." I've set some boundaries based on my examination of those behaviors and trusted my instincts in making half of them. Some are bigger and others seem simpler. For example, one of them is limiting my interaction on social media. I feel I spend unnecessary time on FB and messing with my cell phone in general. This is even more so in the summer when I'm not working. So I've given myself a boundary there...not complete cut-off, just way less! It's hard to explain the sense of living this boundary has given me...I have done so many things with family and friends throughout the past month without posting any of it to FB or checking into FB randomly and it felt like I was living in the moment. (Very Thoreau-ish, I know... "I left my social media because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." I am so using this as a fill-in-the-blank statement for my English classes next year.)

A step to help this boundary is that I don't carry my phone every step I take, which means I don't run to it when I hear a text or open up my email when the little red number count comes up. It's been very freeing, which means I was kind of a slave to my technology. Start of the school year will help too because I don't have my phone out throughout the day. This boundary thing can be challenging, but that's why the other step is so important.

I assembled a very small group of friends to support my efforts. This in itself was a boundary setting exercise because I had to really consider a smaller group as opposed to asking a larger selection of friends because I am, was, and/or want to be close to them. I decided anyone I chose had to fall into all of these categories:
 Absolutely trustworthy.
Would be truly honest and hold me accountable.
Would speak with patience and caring, yet firmness.
Willing to take the time for me. When hard times or struggles hit, there's nothing like a friend who will do these things for you, even when you aren't sure of what you need.

Please realize this isn't about putting ups walls or being rude. It's simply knowing what you can and can't do and why. It isn't healthy or productive to run around doing everything that is asked of you. There is one other important detail the author makes along these lines. It's not just about saying "no," but also about saying "yes" when you know you should. I had a friend tell me this too. There may be something I'm asked to do and maybe I feel like saying "no," but I know deep inside I should be doing it. Setting boundaries allows you to say "no" to some things in order to say "yes" to the others in which you should be involved. Sounds simple right? Easier said than done.

In the end, I said yes to half of the opportunities laid before me. One of them did take more time away from my kids, but I knew it was something I was supposed to do. Another I said yes to fell through from the other side. And one I said no to, I was able to help in a different way. I feel like I've a good start! I think this book was good, but it may be because it was relevant to me here and now. If the topic interests you, check out Bottke's other books on setting boundaries. They are specific to situations in which you may find yourself.

Anyone feel me on this boundary thing or am I babbling as much as I feel like I am? I think it comes naturally to some people, so they don't even realize they're doing it. It makes sense in my head, honestly!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Find Me on Social Media

Source: isetservice.com

So, I finally did it...added a FB Page for my blog. Of course, the process caused all kinds of madness with my technological devices, but thankfully I've got it sorted out...for now.

Next step to figure out is how to add a "Follow" button for FB and Twitter on my blog...although I'm not sure I can get this with blogger. Unless FB offers the code for me to insert on my dashboard? If anyone knows how I can do this (or is sure I can't) on blogger, please let me know!

So, as of now, you can find me on:

Twitter @MyLifeinBooks79

FB My Life in Books (if you search, the profile pic is the same as the one here on my blog).

Goodreads Jennine G. (My Life in Books)

And of course, here on my blog, where you can sign up as a follower and/or get posts in your email (see right margin for both).

Can't wait to see you around! Bring on the bookish business!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Internet Book Search

Source: www.omijan.com

I received an email today from a company by the name of Omajin. Omajin is a new online start-up that will specialize in allowing readers to find books based on subject interest. For example (from their site), if I wanted to read a crime book, I could enter up to five descriptive words or phrases into the search bar, such as: revenge, homicide investigation, dirty cop, framing a suspect, New York. The site would then bring up books whose subject matter matches my search words, also giving me a total percentage of how much the book's plot matches my keywords. It will even break down each keyword's percentage of involvement in the story. (See the Omajinary View link below for more details.)

Omajin is currently open for authors and publishers to log their books and needed information onto their site. The public, worldwide release and use of the site is set for January 13, 2014. Right now Omajin is counting on book bloggers to get the word out about their enterprise. It's bookish business right? So check out the Omajin website, where you can find an official Omajinary View and some other information under the Helpful Info link at the top right of the page.  If you are a blogger, they are open to requests for an exclusive news release, Q&A, or a 600-word article about the new start-up and its search engine. Bloggers can send requests for any information to Isaac Davis (Omajin co-owner) at booksearchtechnology@omajin.com. Feel free to post on this topic bloggers and spread the word.

There is another book search idea in the works called Evoke; however, Evoke searches based on character mapping. You can read more about Evoke and find links for it from Allison over at The Book Wheel.

Not sure how helpful this site would be for me, I tend to be able to find books just fine without much searching. However, I can see how it might help others who want subject specific books because they mainly enjoy those specific subjects. Anyone think this might be something they'd use?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Let's Talk Money

I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. (And they also entered me for a free Kindle drawing! Yay! Interested in this kind of stuff? See Story Cartel. Image source jamiemunson.com)

"Money: God or Gift" is best applicable as an introduction or refresher of money matters. Munson really does cover all the bases, even the questions every Christian struggles with when it comes to money. He talks about use of monetary resources as a matter of the heart. You "have" or "have-not" based on your motives. This means that giving, spending, and saving can be done for the wrong reasons. Giving, spending, and saving are each discussed in accordance with Biblical values, citing many verses and ways in which they are done correctly or not (motivations of your heart).

Munson also discusses guilt many of us may feel when it comes to having fun or buying things. He speaks to Needs vs Wants and how to figure when each is appropriate. Generosity is covered in a later chapter because the giving is an important part of a Christian's budget. And there is also talk on budgeting and an appendix that provides a sample budget to use. Last, but not least, Munson talks about where our giving (if rightly motivated) takes us - treasure in Heaven.

So while there are many topics covered, they are relatively short and to the point. This book would be a great way to help you (or someone else) realize the Biblical ways behind money management before going into an in depth study. Or maybe you aren't sure where your problem lies, this book would help pinpoint your problem in order to find other studies that delve deeper into that specific topic. For people who have heard it all before on the topic of money and the Bible, it is a great reminder of our true goals for our money and why.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Vacation Reads

Source: blisstree.com
No, this is not me!

It's July, which means I have exactly one month to get together my vacation reading list. We're heading to Destin, Florida for a week and I've already informed my parents and sister that this will work out well as long as when I slink off with a book somewhere they leave me be.

Sounds rude maybe, but I'm not a great traveler. I am the ultimate homebody. Many people love their homes/hometown, but I love mine to the point that I don't even care to ever leave it. I've got everything I need here in my family, friends, and books. I know how to get around and where to go when I need something. It's the familiarity I love, I think. And maybe that's why I love books so much...they allow me to travel without ever leaving my home.

So my family knows this and they understand that I will have to hunker down with my book and disappear every so often, finding my home away from home. So that leaves me with the absolutely dreaded chore (oh the pain..yea right) of making a vacation reading list! I've already consulted one of my bookish friends, Kari, who is a librarian, because she was making a vacation reading list recently too. She says from my options, I must read The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson. (Oh and you can find my librarian friend Kari at her blog, The Anxious Antisocialite. She is hilarious, I love even just reading her FB posts about work and family. Kinda reminds me of Jenny Lawson, author of Let's Pretend This Never Happened.)

Here's the list I'm considering (yes Kari, it's already changed from last time):

The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson
Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver
If I Stay - Gayle Forman
Where She Went - Gayle Forman (sequel to above)
I Am the Messenger - Markus Zusak
He's Gone - Deb Caletti
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford

OR...I could blow off the whole list and take The Count of Monte Cristo, which is sure to tide me over the week. (Original plan was to start it next week and see if I could finish it off by vacation.)

I also have The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult and This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald on my iBooks app, so if I find myself without much light somewhere, I'll be set. I'm also curious if reading on an e-reader makes you carsick, like reading from a book does to me. It's so sad because driving to Florida (from Ohio) seems like some prime reading time!

If you've read anything on my list and think it's a good choice, please let me know! Or, if you have a great suggestion for a vacation read, suggest it below! I'm looking to take at least two books along with my iPad Kindle, which has two.