My good friend Maris has so kindly “memed” me with the following questions. So, today, my friends, you get to learn a little more about me.
Category Archives: Uncategorized
Back in the day, I was quite the traveler. During my college years, I spent summers in New Brunswick, Quebec, China and southern Mississippi. Since I graduated and got married, it seems as if my traveling days disappeared, much to my dismay. So when I heard about Harmony, a fellow book blogger, and her planned trip to Guatemala, I decided it might be fun to live vicariously through her. Without sharing too many details (because I want you to visit her site), she needs some funding in order to make it happen. There are links set up on her site to make donations via Paypal or major credit cards. She is also selling homemade candles in various scents in exchange for donations. If you are interested in the candles, please make sure you place your order by December 15th and be warned that you might have to upgrade your shipping to get them in time for Christmas.
Friends, I value travel and experiencing new cultures so much and am very excited for Harmony to have the chance to experience Guatemala and learn and grow from her experiences. If you take the same stance as me, please visit her site and give her a little listen and maybe a few dollar bills.
As mentioned here, during the month of November, there has been and will be guest posts from my friends and family, with their thoughts on love. Today, you have the pleasure of hearing from my good friend and former roommate, Larissa. Larissa is a graduate of Kansas State University and is currently teaching middle school English, heaven help her. She is also one of six siblings and, in my opinion, knows a little bit about loving well.
“Even as a romantic at heart love for me is a strange thing to think about….because it is so fleeting…it is a feeling that when you experience you know that you just love someone or something. However, later when thinking about it you can’t recall it quite as strong. I heard some wisdom one time at a wedding that this doesn’t just apply to marriage but friendship and family relationships. The question or statement was made that the foundation of a strong relationship with someone is not founded on just the feeling you have for them or around them, but a commitment that you make to them or with them. For marriage (I don’t speak from experience, but from observation) you make that commitment publicly with a wedding, a ring. With friendship it just may mean that you work through problems or arguments and you don’t just walk away when it isn’t easy being friends with someone or when they hurt you. With friendship, it means thinking back to why you are friends in the first place. It is also about not only thinking about your comfort and security but about the other persons comfort and feelings. When the foundation of a relationship is built on more than a feeling it will last long after that feeling seems to have left the building.”
As mentioned here, I am featuring thoughts on love post during the month of November, which is a very important month in my family, as it is the month during which my parents got married, as well the month during which my husband and I got married. Don’t miss my thoughts on love, as well as my Granny’s thoughts on love.
Today you are privileged to hear from my best friend, Erin, and her take on the concept of being loved. Among other roles, Erin is a CPA, Kansas State graduate, oldest child and an all-around wonderful human being. I am glad I can share her with you today.
For me, receiving love can be a rough experience at times. Why? Well, that’s because receiving love and encouragement from another person requires me to be vulnerable with them – for them to see me in the midst of all my brokenness. I had one of these moments with a friend recently. In the midst of all my junk and my brokenness, she reminded me of her love for me, not by making some superficial declaration of love, but by listening, encouraging, and pushing me towards what was right and true. Right now, in my life, this is my understanding of love. It’s sacrificial; it’s saying the words that are hard to say, but necessary to build life; it’s reminding our loved ones of truth; it’s all of this and so much more. I’m still in the process of learning what it means to love and be loved.
As mentioned here, November is a special month for me as it is the month that my parents and my husband and I celebrate our anniversary. Because of this, I am featuring thoughts on love blog posts during this month. My Granny would probably flip if she knew that I was publishing this, but I wanted to share some of her thoughts because I think she is wonderful, wise and very loving. The following passage is not a piece that she wrote specifically on love, but I believe it shows her deep love for her late husband, my step-grandfather.
My world has changed overnight. I don’t do the things I used to do, and now I have to do things I’d rather not do. There’s an illness in the family. A person who cannot take care of himself anymore. Food has to be prepared and brought, medication given at certain times of the day. Water must be closely rationed, and I must check for signs that the emergency room is necessary. I am sad when with him. He once was a strong, intelligent man who took care of me. Now, he has been reduced to illness, to a helpless child. When I’m not with him, I worry. Has he fallen down and can’t get up? Is he calling for me, thinking I’m in another room? Or is he just laying back in his recliner jerking and twitching as he has bad dreams? Is it time to move him to a care home? Can I continue to go back and forth so many times a day checking on him? I want him to live at home as long as possible. How would I feel taking him to a care home and in a rare lucid moment he asks me, ‘Why?’ My life will never be the same. I will always ask myself if I made the right decisions. Did I do all I could? Only the Lord knows.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is a very important book in my life, having read it a few times at key points of struggle. At this time of my life, I am feeling the desire to re-read it and wanted to invite my friends and readers to join with me in reading it together. Never having hosted a read-along before, this is definitely a bit out of my comfort zone, but I really want to give it a try. For those of you that are not familiar with the book, it is a Christian fiction novel, the main character being a prostitute during the Gold Rush of the 1850′s. The prostitute is rescued from her life of desperation and numbness by a local farmer who hears the voice of God telling him to rescue the woman. Their life together is met with much struggle and confusion. With parallels to the story of Hosea in the Bible, it is an intense and touching depiction of the love that God has for us. A rather long novel, it clocks in at 464 pages.
For those of you who choose to read this book with me, the communication will be through e-mail, with me providing the discussion questions for everyone. Ideally, I would like to have 5-6 participants, but definitely at least 2 others besides myself. We will take the reading fairly slow, hoping to finish the novel in 2-3 months. If you would like to join the read-along, leave a comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need more information on the book, click the cover to the left and it will take you through to Amazon.
The City of Ember brings us to the first piece of dystopian literature so far on the Top 100 Children’s Books list, moving from #100 to #1, that is. What is dystopian literature? Simply put, it is a story set in a world that is anti-utopian. Mostly set in futuristic societies, the people in these novels are sometimes oppressed and controlled by dictatorial or totalitarian governments. Resources are often limited in supply and controlled protectively by aforementioned governments. Some may describe societies in dystopian literature as post-apocalyptic, though certainly not all are. A few classic examples include Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1984 by George Orwell and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
The City of Ember, the first in the Ember series, follows the adventures of young Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow, living in a town with no natural light, and a limited supply of lightbulbs. The people of Ember live with little awareness of the world outside their city. Because they do not have flashlights, there is no way to venture out of the city without being in complete darkness. But with the discovery of ancient documents alluding to the outside world, Lina and Doon team up to find out what exactly is awaiting them outside Ember.
I have to admit that I am usually pretty harsh on dystopian literature, having strict criteria to a believable world and characters. The City of Ember did not disappoint as a whole, and after reading it, I added the next three books in the series to my to-be-read list. And now I anxiously await the arrival of Netflix to see if the movie version lives up to the novel.
by Jeanne Duprau
Originally published in 2003
And it has begun. . .
Today marks the 24-Hour Readathon and I am just getting started, even though some are already off and running. Just wanted to write a quick post including my TBR list. I am trying to focus on my reading challenges, including my Top 100 Children’s Books Challenge, my Canadian Reading Challenge, and the Contemps Challenge. Check out the stack I have to choose from for the next 24 hours!
Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony (Canadian author)
Losing Faith by Denise Jaden (Contemps author and Canadian author)
The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Sierstad (my book club’s pick of the month)
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary (#66 in the top 100)
Boys, Bears and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots by Abby Mcdonald
Grease Town by Ann Towell (Canadian author)
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild (#65 in the top 100)
Good luck to all my fellow readers participating in the Read-A-Thon! Follow me on Twitter @literarywife to see my progress.
At the beginning of the summer, my fourteen-year-old cousin forced the book Twilight into my hands, telling me that I had no option but to read it because she loves it so much. Unfortunately, it sat on my bookshelf for a few months, survived the move to our new apartment, and sat on the bookshelf for a few months still, only to be picked up this week and read for the first time by myself.
This post is in no manner a review, only the incoherent thoughts of a first-time reader. To be honest, this is not only my first time reading Twilight, but my first time reading a vampire book of any sort. Call me a bad book blogger, but it’s true, my readers. It’s not that I am against vampires or werewolves or witches (I’m a big Harry Potter fan), but it just does not seem to my first subject of choice to read or write about. Nonetheless, I am happy with my decision to try out the genre, and will probably pick up a few more books on vampires each year from now on.
My first impression with Twilight comes with the fact that I could not put it down. I finished it in just two nights and was entertained the entire time. Even though it is 500 pages long, it surely does not seem that long because the storyline is engaging.
The romance aspect of the novel just got my heart a-flutter. Edward is creepily adoring of Bella and has such depth of life that we get to see a bit of throughout the novel. His enthrallment with her carries the novel and its plot.
Bella however, was rather dull. She infuriated me with her passivity and annoyed me with her lack of uniqueness. Yes, she rebels against the “popular” kids and puts her life in the hands of a family of vampires, but other than that. . . boring. And it is because of this fact that I will not continue on with the series. Thank you, Kelsey, for forcing me to venture into the world of vampires and their romantic ideals.
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrated to highlight the freedoms stated in the First Amendment, particularly the freedom of speech and our open access to information in our country and the world beyond. This year, Banned Books Week falls from September 25th to October 2nd and I wanted to provide some information for you, my readers, involving challenged books.
As most of you should know, I am involved in a year-long challenge to read the Top 100 Children’s Books. As some of you may now know, many of these books have been banned or challenged in public libraries and school districts. I took a glance over at the ALA website, found the top banned or challenged books, and here is what I found from my top 100 list. Note in parentheses by the title of the book the reason why it was banned or challenged.
- The Witches by Roald Dahl (satanic themes)
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (supernatural themes)
- Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (witches, sorcery, enchantment)
- The Great Gilly Hopkins and Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (profanity)
- Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (racism)
- The Giver by Lois Lowry (violence and the portrayal of euthanasia
This list is in no way comprehensive. I just wanted to take some time during this celebration of our freedom to choose what we read, to highlight the fact that some of these books that have been banned and/or challenged are also included in the list of the top literature available for children. Think of this what you will, my readers. Feel free to comment!