Posts Tagged ‘reading’

What’s on Your Nightstand?

What's On Your Nightstand

Joining in with 5 Minutes for Books for their monthly What’s on Your Nightstand? post.  This is my first time doing this post and I think it is a great idea to get ideas for books to add to my never ending to-read list read.  It is also a good way for me to keep track of books I really enjoyed (or enjoyed again, judging by this month).  I usually have quite a few books going at once! I usually read a few chapters before bed, or any other time I get a chance. Here’s what is currently tottering on my nightstand:

Prince Caspian — I’m reading The Chronicles of Narnia to see which books to read to my 4 year old. I’m reading in order of publication this time because I thought that way would be more interesting to him. I like that way better! So far I’ve read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (which I am now reading to him) and I just started Prince Caspian again.

Silent Grief — I’m supposed to be re-reading this book to review it. So far, I’m not doing so well at re-reading!

The Power of a Praying Wife — I’m participating in an online bible study with this one. Feel free to join in!

Searching for God Knows What — rereading to review for BookSneeze

The Shack — rereading because I needed some fiction and didn’t have any library books at home!

Wow… looks like I need to read some books I haven’t read before!  I have a whole list of those waiting too… come back next month to see! 🙂  (And, for my usual blog readers… I know I posted about all of these books a few weeks ago… haven’t finished most of them yet but I promise I’ll have different books up next month!) 🙂

Books I finished this month:

Redeeming Love — reread… and highly recommend! This is one of my favorites!

Feel free to tell me what you are reading or to join in!

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What’s Next? (Twenty Things Tuesday)

Several people have asked me what’s next now that I’ve finished the A to Z challenge. I am still figuring out what I want to do with my blog. I tend to be a person who loves structure but hates being the one who has to develop the structure (hence my unorganized house)… so I can’t say I’ll stick to anything 100%!

I love the Monday Menu Planning I’ve been doing and I’m sure I’ll stick to that on Mondays. I am writing random book reviews as well and will put those on from time to time. Besides that… I’m trying to take life as it comes and write about it as I can. One thing on my to-do list is to start to tackle that stack of books I’ve been wanting to read (and review). I am also participating in an online bible study and may write on that from time to time.

Here’s my list of books to read and/or review… some will be quick and some will take a while to get through.

  1. Silent Grief by Clara Hinton — I am feeling very privileged to have the opportunity to review this book.  I am re-reading the book before writing a review and hoping to have it completed in the next few weeks.
  2. Searching for God Knows What by Don Miller — Reviewing this one for BookSneeze. I’ve read it before… but in a rush, and I’m looking forward to being able to browse through it again!
  3. The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O’Martian — Going through this one in the online bible study. I’m not sure what will turn up from it in my blog.
  4. Simply Praying: 52 Weeks with God by Patsy Lewis — I bought this a while back with great intentions of reading it. I didn’t make it through the first chapter. I’m starting over again…
  5. Scream Free Parenting by Hal Runkel — mentioned this book in another post and a promise to finish and review it. Here I’m promising again!
  6. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling — finishing up re-reading the HP series (and, no, I won’t be reviewing it)
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling — same as above!
  8. Mind in the Making: the Seven Essential Life Skills that Every Child Needs by Ellen Galinsky — teaching kids life skills, executive thinking, etc. Reading as a parent and a counselor… I don’t own this one yet but it is on my wish list.
  9. Courage and Craft: Writing Your Life Into Story by Barbara Abercrombie — found this browsing for books… it is on a wish list to buy and read soon!
  10. One Year to a Writing Life: Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer’s Art and Craft by Susan Tiberghien — another I found browsing for books… guess if I am going to start writing more I need someone to give me some structure to do it!
  11. Reedeming Love by Francine Rivers — rereading one of my favorites for the first time… probably not reviewing unless I decide I want to practice reviewing fiction
  12. The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers — A book review convinced me I need to read this one. It may be a while, but I’ll get it read!
  13. The Rock that is Higher: Story as Truth by Madeleine L’Engle — A book that talks about story, written by one of my favorite authors?  What’s not to love?  I’ve been meaning to find and read this one for a while…
  14. – 20.  The Chronicles of Narnia Box Set — rereading through a parent’s eyes… trying to decide when a good time is to introduce my little boy to these stories!  Easier reading in the midst of wading through some nonfiction that will take a little more thinking.

Besides that I’m trying to get a routine going for getting organized around here (the house *and* the blog).  If the past is any indication, having lots of good books on hand that I don’t let myself read until I finish whatever task I set for myself for the day will be good motivation!

V is for Vocabulary

I have Jemi and Marcy to thank for this post. Jemi directed me to the blog where I found this post the other day (you must read it!).   Marcy wrote on linguistics on Saturday, which I found fascinating as well.

So, vocabulary. Right up there with diagramming sentences in English class, right? (Well, okay, I liked diagramming sentences, but I’m a grammar nerd).

I can’t decide which way to go with this so it is going to be a completely random post. I find the concept of developing vocabulary fascinating, especially the process I’ve watched over the past 3 1/2 years as my son grew from saying, “Bye!” (his first word, which was bothersome to me at the time because I felt I spent way too much time saying it to him while working “full-time”) to “I want tea!” (his first sentence, requesting the amazing sweet tea from McAlister’s Deli) to telling me today while helping carry groceries that he is strong and has 40 muscles.  Then when I said he has more than 40 muscles,  he decided to look up how many muscles he has on his “imaginary computer” at bigmuscles.com (he came up with that URL, and, yes,  he won’t be let near the computer without supervision anytime soon… there’s no telling what he’d get into!  Also, does the fact he knows that websites end with dot com mean that I spend way too much time on the internet?  In case you are interested, bigmuscles.com is available for purchase and there are between 640 and 850 muscles in the human body, depending on who you ask).  Anyway… the whole process of watching children learn to speak is just fascinating to me.  I’ve never learned a foreign language by immersion but I would assume it is a similar experience.  And then kids come out with the most amazing things to say and ways to use language.  I think perhaps part of being a good writer is going back to the fascination kids have with words and putting phrases together and inventing new ways to see things.

I also find my lack of vocabulary frustrating at times. I overuse words and use lame adjectives and say extremely and actually too often. Then again, I don’t want to sound like a walking dictionary either. (My sisters accuse me of this when we play Boggle… and that is only when I pull out words such as lam. I don’t even attempt words such as qua when playing with them! Also, I must admit I learned the word “qua” playing Facebook’s version of Scrabble and have never used it in a sentence)  I know that even published authors overuse words and phrases at times (I am always struck by JK Rowling’s overuse of the world ‘forcibly’ when reading through Harry Potter books… and, yes, I do overuse the phrase ‘struck by’).  It is  something I am working on changing.

I also thought I’d do the opposite of Talli’s blog post (linked above) and list some of my favorite English words.  I haven’t spent much time thinking of them (I actually thought of doing this in the middle of the night last night).. but here are a few!

  • Periwinkle (and many other colors: cornflower, aquamarine, goldenrod… basically I think some of the Crayola color-namers are geniuses)
  • Onomatopoeia (I can’t spell it, but it is a great word!)
  • Fledgling
  • Scintillating
  • Cuddle (and also the synonyms of nestle and snuggle, which I found when I looked up cuddle… they just all sound warm and… snuggly.  Now I’m wondering about Nestle chocolates and the word nestle though… is the name supposed to make customers envision sitting in front of a fire drinking cocoa or is there a different meaning?)

R is for Re-reading

So… after 2 drafts of “R” posts (at least one of which will get finished at some point) and a book review that I was about to pass off as my daily post for the A to Z challenge… I finally came across an idea for “R” at (literally) the eleventh hour!

Re-reading.  A topic I am sure that many of us bloggers, readers and writers have strong opinions about.

I love to re-read books.  If I got through it the first time (without coercion), I am likely to pick it up again.

I have re-read several “classics” from high school and discovered that I like them much more as story if I don’t have to pick them apart on the first read (A Tale of Two Cities and Jane Eyre come to mind on that point… The Old Man and the Sea and Catch-22 do not.  Maybe I’ll try them again someday).

I’ve also re-read books that I read as a younger child such as the Wrinkle in Time series.  Well, technically I read that as a child, then as a teenager in high school, and then many, many times as an adult.  I tend to re-read books by Madeleine L’Engle frequently anyway — as I have grown to know more about the author, I find it fascinating to see how her life influenced her books.  And, of course, I am loving sharing books I loved with my little boy.  So far my husband or I have read The Mouse and the Motorcycle, The Littles, and Alice in Wonderland to him, along with countless Dr. Seuss books and classics geared to the preschool crowd.

I also re-read books that I particularly enjoyed.  A thread on a page I was browsing earlier today led to this blog post… and I didn’t think of re-reading books as “comfort reading” until reading that thread.  However, that is often what it is. As a child, I loved the library but owned few books of my own.  The books I own now are those I have grown to love… and when I don’t have the mental or physical energy to tackle a new book or drive to the library to browse, I often pick up an old favorite.

I’ve mentioned on several A to Z blogs that I am currently re-reading the entire series of Harry Potter books for the first time since completing the series.  I’m finding it fascinating to see how information that is used in the finale is slowly revealed to the reader throughout the series.  I think that I am perhaps starting to read books as a writer (even though I have no aspirations of writing fiction!) and not just a reader, and that in itself is interesting to me.

Just some rambling thoughts tonight on re-reading books.  So… what about you?  Do you re-read books?  What are some of your favorites?