Posts filed under ‘Books’

My 2016 BINGO Reading Challenge

My 2016 Reading BINGO List. The first of many for this year.

My 2016 Reading BINGO List.

Are you competitive?

I am. I am even competitive in my reading. Therefore reading challenges spur me on to read more consistently. Last year my goal was to read 57 books.

Did I make that goal? YES! And I did so with 30 books to spare!!!

This year, (starting in my birth month) I want to read 58 books. I will use various “techniques” to get there. One such technique is using BINGO.

In past years I have used other people’s BINGO lists. This year I came up with one of my own. I picked categories because I like to read a bunch of books from the same author, from a series, etc. In other words, I LIKE to batch read from categories.

Below are the 5 categories I finally settled on

  • 5 Books by the Author Charles Dickens
  • 5 Books I’ve Never Finished
  • 5 Books from the Gilmore Girls Books List
  • 5 Books from the The Mitford Series by Jan Karon
  • 5 Books That Have Been Recommended
  • . My list of books is at the very end of this post.

You can go here to fill out and then print your own BINGO Reading List card.

Each time I make a BINGO, I will allow myself a treat. As I am not so good in the reward department, I am not sure what that will be. I would like it to be book related.

  •  I don’t want to buy another book as there are TONS of choices on my Kindle and bookshelves and from the library.
  • Maybe read a book not ON THE LIST?
  • Give me some ideas, please!
  • And when I get a BLACKOUT, at that time I will BUY a book from my Amazon Wish List. I have hundreds to choose from. Seriously.

Your Turn . . . 

  • Are you competitive – even in reading?
  • Do you ever do BINGO Reading Challenges? Why? And how do you reward yourself for completing a BINGO? A blackout?
  • Have you ever made up your own BINGO list? If yes, how about linking it?
  • If you were to design one similar to mine, what categories would you include?
  • How many of the books on my list have you already read? The list is at the end of this post.
  • It would be so fun if you’d read along with me. Let me know if you decide to.

Related Posts . . . 

Below are the books in each category. Of course I reserve the right to make changes at any time!

5 Dickens Books

  1. Oliver Twist
  2. The Old Curiosity Shop
  3. Our Mutual Friend
  4. David Copperfield
  5. The Pickwick Papers‎

5 Unfinished Books

  1. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  2. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 
  3. Simply Christian by NT Wright
  4. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
  5. Unmapped Darkness by Thomas Finch

5 Gilmore Girls Books

  1. S is for Silence by Sue Grafton
  2. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  3. Elle Minnow Pea by
  4. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  5. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

5 Mitford Books

  1. These High, Green Hills
  2. Out to Canaan
  3. A New Song
  4. A Common Life: the Wedding Story
  5. In This Mountain

5 Recommended Books

  1. The Passage by Justin Cronin (Barb)
  2. Chocolate Snowman Murders by Joanna Carl
  3. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (Elizabeth)
  4. Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr
  5. The Lost Island by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (book 3/4)

 

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I Read 87 Books in 2015

My goal is to read and reread all the books I own. Then I will purge the shelves.

My goal is to read and reread all the books I own. Then I will purge the shelves.

One of my goals for my 57th year of life, was to read 57 books. To help me accomplish that goal I signed up for reading challenges. I am competitive and I even like to compete against myself!

I signed up for the following challenges . . .

The rest of the titles I read came from recommendations, gifts, and from my bookshelves.

I met my challenge of 57 books and raised it by 30!!!

Your Turn . . .

  • Did you make a reading goal for 2015? Did you meet it?
  • How do you motivate yourself to read?
  • What are some books you’d recommend that I read?
  • Have you read all 87 books on my list?

Below is the list of books I read in 2015.

  1. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (audio)
  3. A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewicz
  4. A Light in the Window (book 2) by Jan Karon
  5. A Man of Grit and Grace: Paul by Charles Swindoll
  6. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  7. A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
  8. An Acceptable Time by Madeline L’Engle
  9. An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louise May Alcott
  10. At Home in Mitford (book 1) by Jan Karon
  11. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  12. Choosing Gratitude: Learning to Love the Life you Have by James A Autry
  13. Christmas Day in the Morning By Pearl S Buck
  14. Dawn’s Light by Terri Blackstock
  15. Emma by Jane Austen
  16. Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World by Douglas Wood
  17. Get It Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day by Sam Bennett and Keegan-Michael Key
  18. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  19. Heart of Darkness by Joseph ConraD
  20. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  21. I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam
  22. I’m Glad I’m a Mom: Inspirational Stories of Love, Laughter, and Everyday Life by Hearts at Home
  23. Inspiration Sandwich by SARK
  24. Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding
  25. Laddie; a true blue story, by Gene Stratton Porter
  26. Last Light by Terri Blackstock
  27. Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent
  28. Let Magic Happen: Adventures in Healing with a Holistic Radiologist by Larry Burk
  29. Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant
  30. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  31. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  32. Miss Julia Lays Down the Law by Ann B. Ross
  33. MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche
  34. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
  35. Night by Elie Wiesel
  36. Night Light by Terri Blackstock
  37. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  38. On The Outside Looking Indian by Rupinder Gill
  39. One Thousand White Women: The Journals of Mary Todd by Jim Fergus
  40. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  41. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
  42. Prayer: Life’s Limitless Reach by Jack R Taylor
  43. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  44. R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
  45. Seasons in Rome: on twins, insomnia, and the biggest funeral in the history of the world by Anthony Doer
  46. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  47. Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon
  48. Skipping Christmas: A Novel by John Grisham
  49. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
  50. Still Life by Louise Penny
  51. The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion: A Novel by Fannie Flagg
  52. The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance by John Trent & Gary Smalley
  53. The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank
  54. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson
  55. The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds by Rip Esselstyn
  56. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
  57. The Great Divorce by CS Lewis
  58. The History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein
  59. The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnson
  60. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
  61. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
  62. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
  63. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  64. The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
  65. The Pursuit of God Paperback by A. W. Tozer
  66. The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
  67. The Registry (Book 1/3) by Shannon Stoker
  68. The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
  69. The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen
  70. The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge
  71. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  72. The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope
  73. The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Grove at Home and Work by Christine Carter
  74. The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction by Henry James
  75. The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill
  76. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  77. Thrush Green by Miss Read
  78. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
  79. Too Busy Not To Pray by Bill Hybels
  80. True Light by Terri Blackstock
  81. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
  82. Walking the Road to Bethlehem: Your Journey to Christmas by Adam Hamilton
  83. We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson
  84. What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
  85. Wide My World Narrow My Bed: Living & Loving the Single Life By Luci Swindoll
  86. Writing is My Drink by Theo Pauline Nestor
  87. Zero Belly Diet: Lose Up to 16 lbs. in 14 Days! By David Zinczenko

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Top Ten Books I Read in 2015

I have read 77 books so far in 2015 and there are still 2 weeks left. I read so many GREAT books. It really was hard to pick just 10 and the list keeps changing. But for today, here is my list.

life cchanging

ONE. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.  I am not a naturally clutter-free person; so this book offered some good, although different from the norm, advice for me.

  • My home is (or can be) a sacred space.Take care that it is a place of joy.
  • Focus on what to keep – things that bring joy. Feel positive about every item in my home. Don’t keep things that have unhappy feelings attached to them.

unbrokenTWO: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. I also watched the movie and listened to an interview Louie Zamperini gave.

  • Louie Zamperini had disaster after disaster after disaster happen and yet he continued living.
  • His tenacity and inspiring outlook on life inspires me and makes me want to be more tenacious in the face of my own disasters.
  • Shows the power of God’s healing and redemption.

mwfTHREE. MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche. This year i discovered some books where folks took on year-long projects and then wrote about them. That intrigues me as I see the power one project has for a year instead of trying to do many projects in a year. This is the first such book I read this year.

  • As someone who lets a busy life interfere with making and developing deep friendships, I liked this book’s focus.
  • I was informed and encouraged to do the same. Perhaps in 2016 I will make this my focus.

OprahFOUR. Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant. This is the 2nd year-long project book I read.

  • This was a novel twist on following self-help literature especially since sometimes the advice contradicta.
  • This book points out how contradictory media messages are targeted to women. We need to be aware and CHOOSE for OURselves what it the best way to live. Don’t be a sheep.

scentFIVE. The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge. This is a new author to me.

  • mental illness . . . spiritual discipline
  • love and renewal
  • an unexpected find

 

tolstoySIX. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch. This is my 3rd yearlong project book to read.

  • Reading a book a day is ambitious.
  • Words impact me – a LOT. So using reading as therapy makes sense to me.
  • I would have read all self-help books which might not have been as beneficial.

lightSEVEN. Last Light, Night Light, True Light, & Dawn’s Light (a Restoration Novel Series) by Terri Blackstock. Yes, yes, yes, this is really a trilogy which I have classified as one book. And I did read them one after another for a week.

  • It is ONE story though about the world’s population living without electricity. Of course this impacts every area of life and the characters struggle with bare survival  – at first.
  • I liked the faith component and figuring out how to have a good life with a community surrounding you and without conveniences.

NickEIGHT. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens. I’ve only read 3 other Dickens books and every time I read one, I love it.

  • Shoot me if you want, but I like and even need a HAPPY ending. This book delivers.
  • Although I wasn’t sure that was where the book would end.
  • I will read more Dickens in 2016.

 

HOPENINE. The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnson. Hope is in short supply. But we are not left without resources.

  • Hope is an option.
  • Our foundation of hope is Christ.
  • There are things I can do to bring more hope into my life, my church and my workplace.
  • I would like to go through this book with a group of people.

AustenTEN. Any book by Jane Austen. I read all her novels (for adults) this year for the Austen in August Reading Challenge. I recommend them ALL. Yes, here I am cheating because these are 6 different books with 6 different story lines.

  • I enjoyed reading each book for a different reason.
  • If I had to pick a fave it would be Emma. Going from haughty to humble is something I can relate to and hope where I end up in life (humble).

TTTYour Turn . . . I wrote this post for Top Ten Tuesday. . . . Write your own list and link up at Top Ten Tuesday. . . . or share what books made your Top Ten list in the comments.

 

Related Posts . . .

 

 

 

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Choosing Gratitude As a Way of Living & Feeling

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This book helped me to rethink the importance of a gratitude mindset.

Each November I try to do things that will help me focus on and increase gratitude in my life. This year I read James Autry’s  Choosing Gratitude: Learning to Love the Life You Have. It was a quick read and my highlights are below.

Autry says gratitude is much more than saying, “Thank you.” It is a way of living and even a way of feeling. He encourages us to continually take gratitude inventories in the different parts of our life: Family and Friends, Community, Work, Play.

After reflecting on these, we are invited to share the lists with others.  Autry would like this writing, reflection and sharing to lead to others doing the same. He’d like to start a gratitude movement.

I like the sound of that, too: a worldwide gratitude movement.

In any situation, Autry says, we can focus on the bad or the good. We can complain or give thanks for how things worked out in spite of the bad. We can look for the blessings that helped us cope and for the people who intervened.

I am a glass half-full type of person. I surround my thoughts with quotes that support that type of positive mentality. So I really liked the gratitude quotes Autry scattered throughout his book. Here are my faves . . .

  • “No duty is more urgent than of returning thanks,” Saint Ambrose.
  • “We owe thankfulness to God, not sour faces,” Rumi.
  • “Thanksgiving is good but thanks-living is better,” Matthew Henry.
  • “The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings,” Eric Hoffer.

Your Turn . . . Are you more of a glass half full or half empty?  . . . What do you do to increase your awareness of the blessings that surround you? . . . Do you have a fave quote from the above?

Related Posts . . . 

 

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 CNC Women’s Small Group to Start Monday, November 16th

Naomi and Ruth StudyCNC women are good at loving on one other. We honor each other with parties, listen well to each other, and we go out on Sundays after church. We want to connect better with one another and this is shown by things like our involvement in small groups, Secret Sister, and the mentoring program we had a couple of years ago.

But is there a better way for us to connect? Can we connect with more intention? I say the answer is, “Yes.”

On Monday, November 16th, there will be a new study for women. The book is Face-to-Face with Naomi and Ruth: Together for the Journey.

“Through the story of Naomi and Ruth, women will discover the power of committing to one another for the journey of faith in a relationship based on mutual caring and sharing.

  • 2 small groups will begin on Monday, November 16th. One will be from 1:30-3pm. The other study will be from 7-8:30pm.
  • We’ll discuss chapter 1 (in class) on that date. It is a five-week study.
  •  The price for a book is $9.75 (through Amazon). It is $4.99 (plus tax) on Kindle.
  • I’ve ordered 8 books; so let me know today, if you’d like one. At present there is a back order on books.
  • Of course you can go to a local book store to pick up your copy.

If this goes well and there is interest, we will have a one-on-one mentoring program in 2016.

Contact me today, if you have any questions and to RSVP “YES.” JOIN us in this small group, it will be time well spent.

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Finding Laughter: Books Still on my Bookshelf (Day 30)

Finding Laughter 31 Days of writingWow – I cannot believe this 31 days of laughter is only one day from being done! And I am sad to say that I didn’t finish all that I wanted to finish. I can see that my Finding Laughter project is far from complete with books to read, Ted Talks to listen to, experiments to try.

 Yes, I still have books to read. This month was soooooo busy that I didn’t get to read all I wanted. I did read all the books for children though. So I am going to read the following  – no deadline this time.
EDITED TO ADD: It is now March 2016 and I have read all the below books except for the one by Carol Burnett. That is still on my list.

Your Turn . . . Are there any other books I should be reading? NOTE: I am making my way through the suggestions given here.

Related Posts from The Finding Laughter Series . . . 

I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.

Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.

 

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Austen in August Reading Challenge

What Austen book(s) will you read in August?

What Austen book(s) will you read in August 2015?

Are you a fan of Jane Austen? Do you have a favourite Austen quote?

I have seen most (if not all) of the movies based on Jane Austen’s books. But I have only read one of the actual books.

This August I will rectify that by participating in the Austen in August reading challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader. Won’t you join us?

The Goal:

  • To read as many of Jane Austen’s works as you want or are able to during the month of August.
  • Biographies, audiobooks, spin-offs, and re-reads count.
  • There will be giveaways, guest posts, and other shenanigans, all of which are meant to inspire a great, interactive event.
  • Sign up here.Austen quote

Go to this link for more details and to read why Jane Austen is so interesting.

EDITED – My Goal: After reading Marsha’s comment about reading the books in a certain order, I decided to look it up and see what that order is. While there is no ONE order suggested, I am going to read them in the following order. EDITED TO ADD: I read them all and enjoyed this challenge a LOT!

  1. Northanger Abbey – I checked this out through Amazon’s unlimited Kindle reads.
  2. Pride and Prejudice – This is on my Tablet as a free ebook. 
  3. Mansfield Park – This was a library e-reader loan.
  4. Sense and Sensibility – This was a library e-reader loan.
  5. Persuasion – I have this on my Kindle already – from YEARS ago.
  6. Emma – This was a library book.

Below are two other books I hoped to read . . .

  1. Lady Susan – Of course I have to read a book with MY NAME in the title. I never even heard of this book before. I ended up NOT finishing this book. I didn’t care for the immoral beginning and so stopped reading.
  2. A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewicz – This was a library eBook which I found while browsing through the Jane Austen collection. After reading this title, I, too, learned about love, friendship and the things that really matter. It was a great concluding book for this challenge.

Your Turn . . .

  • What is your favourite Austen read?
  • If I read only one of her books, which one should it be?

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