Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Journal ... of books read

My goal for 2013 is 55 books. That is just a little more than one book a week. I am disappointed in myself. I am already a book behind. I have one that I have only 50 pages left to read... and I hope to finish it soon... but now I have to finish at least 5 books next month. I need to spend some time every day reading and I have not been.

I have done a good job keeping up with the reviews and I have done each review soon after finishing the book and then add it to a post I keep ready. That way at the end of the month all I have to do is add a few comments at the top and post it.

I am currently reading 6 books. You can see what they are on my right sidebar. I am trying to finish up some book I started before I start reading new ones. You would think I would be challenged because I want to read the new books on my list. But, that does not seem to be enough to get me reading faster. I am determinied to finish the books I have started last year. I do not want to quit on them. I want to finish them.

Mystery at the Inn (Tales from Grace Chapel Inn, #19)Mystery at the Inn by Carolyne Aarsen
303 pgs.
My rating: didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing (my current rating)
Started reading: Dec 28, 2012
Finished reading: Jan 07, 2013
Another of my favorite series. I loved this one. A mystery dinner at the inn, a mystery in town with one of it's residents, helping a charity, and a possible romance for the pastor of Grace Chapel. A great read, lots of fun. Light Christian fiction, for fun, great Christian characters set in a lovely little town.

When I read these books I get so involved. If I need to get a book or 2 read in a week.. sometimes more.. these are the books I go for. Once I start reading I can't stop til I am done. I read this book in just a little over a week which is pretty good for me.

I love this series and again thank the Holman family for introducing me to them. This book I actually own, thanks to the Holman's, they gave it to me for Christmas, and it was the next one on my list to read from this series. It's a God thing! Perfect timing. I actually had the book checked out of the library already but hadn't started it because of the hecticness of Christmas. Thanks Holmans!!! Sorry I could only tag one person as recommending it to me... but count it as recommended by all of you. :-)

George Washington: True Patriot (Benge, Janet, Heroes Of History.)George Washington: True Patriot by Janet Benge
223 pgs.
My rating: didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing (my current rating)
Started reading: Aug 15, 2012
Finished reading: Jan 20, 2013

This was a GREAT book. I have read a lot of books about George Washington and I still learned new things when reading this book. Like... I never knew that after the Battle of Trenton, when George Washington and his men crossed the Delaware and attacked the British the day after Christmas 1776, that he had trouble with part of the army.

"The Philadelphia militia had not shown up for the battle because their commanders assumed it was impossible to attack in a blizzard. He was even angrier when he received word on December 27 that the militia were finally in place for the battle." pg. 139

Now Washington had men stuck in Princeton, NJ when he was back in PA. And they needed rescuing from the British.... how annoying. They could not follow orders when given, arrived late, did not know the battle had already taken place, and were now a further problem for their commander.

I also learned some things in chapter 18 about our First President. It is hard to fathom the many decision he made that set a precedent for the Presidents of the future. Decisions on whether a President should: ride a horse, go to friends homes for dinner, how a President should mourn a family members death, and especially how a President should step down once his term was over. For Kings never step down and the world was watching.

We have much to thank President Washington for. His dependence on God helped to guide him and give him a firm foundation on which to stand.

Honestly  by Sheila Walsh
My rating: didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing (my current rating)
Started reading: Nov 23, 2012
Finished reading: Jan 25, 2013

This is a really good book. Sorry this is a long review but it was a really good book and really affected me, more than I thought it would.

It is an autobiography/memoir type book about Sheila's struggle with clinical depression. I read this book, firstly, because it was from my cousin who died from cancer last year. She allowed me, a couple years ago, to choose some books from her shelves that she was done with... this was one of them. I also read it, and chose it from her shelves, because the title and description on the back drew me in. I need some honesty in my life. "... Sheila shares the story of her pilgrimage - the story of a soul as it moved from hopelessness, to honesty, to freedom, and ultimately, to a life of deepened faith and joy." (from back cover)

I too am on a journey. I don't think I was ever clinically depressed but I have had times of hopelessness and struggle with the circumstances of our unemployment for 3 years, plus the injury my husband had to his back in 2004 and the 3+ years of workman's comp., pain, and struggle with the insurance companies and lawyers.

"The truth is that there will be a day when all sorrow and suffering will be dispelled and every tear wiped away. That is a promise, but it is a promise of a day to come. How shall we live til then?" pg 40
That is so true. This world is so hard to live in some days. We are all broken people, full of troubles of our own that rub off on each other as we travel this road to heaven together. Some day we will all be made new/perfect, until then we have to learn to live here and we have to learn to live with each other.

Some of the topics that especially hit home to me were: fear, anger, lonliness, shame and unforgiveness. I was surprised, though I should not have been, how much of these things there still are in my life. I have been in a place of darkness many time before. Some times the darkness seems to last a long, long time. Some times it seems as if day will never come. But, God is with us, even in our darkest times.
"None of us would seek pain in our lives, but when you find yourself in a bleak place, it is time to pay attention to what God would say to you in the darkness. You might be surprised by what he will show you about your life. I know I was." pg. 122
Sheila was surprised by what the Lord showed her. I am surprised by what the Lord is showing me, through his word and the books I am reading. I was surprised how much unforgiveness for others I had in my life. I am holding on to so many little hurts. It is time to forgive and let the hurts go. This is what I want to do...
"Whenever names or faces would come to mind and I felt some of the old resentment stirring, I would immediately begin to pray for those people, that God's blessing would be upon them." pg 137
"The turning point for me was listening to the input from people I love without being defensive" pg. 174
I have to admit... I am NOT there yet. I still get defensive... though the Lord is working on me in this area. It is hard to see each other, to stop in our busyness and take the time to really care. To speak words of comfort, hope, or encouragement. I pray that I can be and do this for others and that God will bring into my life others who will truly LOVE me enough to do the same for me.
"God gives each one of us unlimited resources in Christ to rise above small earthbound dreams and to live lives that reflect eternity in our hearts. But it is hard, even heartbreaking sometimes, to step out from behind our masks and be known." pg. 207
"Only in surrendering ourselves to living transparent, accountable lives, can we be God's picture show to each other and to the world - a visible, tangible demonstration taht God is real." "There is a place for each person that no one else can fill, and there is something you bring with you, when you step out of the shadows, that no one else can bring." pg 210
I want to know and be known like that... in honesty... being real with one another... not afraid of what others will think of me. Able to share the real me and know that others really care.

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