Monday, October 16, 2017

The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls

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I finished this a little while, ago, just haven't had the time to post about it.  I saw something on social media about the movie that's coming out and saw that it was based on a book.  A memoir, no less.  So, naturally, I had to check it out. I waited for over 100 people who had the same thoughts to take their turn before I got mine.

It was quite the emotional book.  This woman... I'm amazed at what she survived.  I also think she survived because of what she survived.  Her upbringing and childhood circumstances made her strong... she had to be.  Her brother and sisters, too.

I wanted to slap her parents.  At times I wanted to downright kick them in the head.  I was at times outraged at what they allowed their children to experience and their reaction (or lack thereof) to things they faced.  Unbelievable.  That was the word I often found myself vocally uttering while closing the book to digest what I just read.  Simply unbelievable.  I couldn't believe that this really happened, that it happened when it did, and that it likely still happens for others.  It seems unfathomable, to me.

I want to write to this author and tell her my heart was with her on her journey, though I knew nothing about it at the time.

It helped me see the things we often take for granted.  I complain about my big house being too hard to keep clean.  I complain about having to spend hours meal planning, list making, grocery shopping, cooking.  I complain about neverending laundry.  I complain about having to make my kids' lunches every morning.  I complain about having to pay for water or electricity or gas prices.  This book makes one grateful for all of those things.  Every time my kids complain about what I make for dinner, I'm reading them this book.

I highly recommend it.  It's quite good.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Same Kind of Different As Me, by Ron Hall & Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent

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If you liked Fireproof, Courageous, Flywheel or Facing the Giants, you'll love this book.  I saw the movie trailer and couldn't get through it without tearing up.  If the trailer was so touching, I imagined the book would be just as great or even better.

It was.  It didn't take me long to read it - it was hard to put down.  It was incredibly touching and made me want to be a better person, showing God's love to any and all I meet.

The two men who wrote this book are real and their story is real.  Their lives were changed by Ron's wife, Deborah, who not only blessed their lives but the lives of so many.

I'm not going to give any spoilers, but this is definitely worth the read.  But only if you like true life inspiring stories and own some tissues.  Tissues are surely needed when reading this book.

I'm excited to see the movie.  I consider myself blessed to have made this story a part of my life.  I'm grateful to the authors for sharing it.

Here's a sneak-peak.  ;)

The 5 Second Rule, by Mel Robbins

I read this book in one day.

I love her simple concept that could so profoundly change a person's life.  I don't buy books unless I'm going to read them more than once... I'm buying this book.  I consider it a wise investment.  Plus, I want my own copy so I can mark it up, make notes, and highlight sections for reference.

I've begun to implement the 5 Second Rule in my life and it has been cool to feel so empowered.  We all too often talk ourselves out of something great, simply because it lies outside of our comfort zone.  This book teaches you how to stop doing that.  It really is pretty great.  She provides the tools needed, the testimonials to back it up and examples of the many areas in your life that could benefit from using this powerful method of making lasting changes and accomplishing goals.  She even provides research to back up how and why it works.  And it's easy.

I would highly recommend adding this book to your virtual, literal, or mental collection.  It's just dang awesome.  I can't wait to read it, again, and this time fully digest it.  (The first time I practically devoured it - it was due that same day with no renewals.  How's that for motivation? Ha!)

Here's a sneak-peak.  ;)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

You Don't Sweat Much For a Fat Girl, by Celia Rivenbark

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I like this woman.  She says it like it is.  She's irreverent.  She's real.

And, yet, I couldn't finish the book.  What's up with that?? I love these kinds of books! Or so I thought.  I prefer non-fiction to fiction, any day.  I love a good romantic comedy in pretty much any form, but I love people even more.  I love their stories, the raw and real.  The true life experiences of anyone.  I love it.

I yearn for a page-turner, one I can't put down.  I miss that! I need that!

I just had an idea... I need to go on a fast, of sorts.  I need to delete Netflix and all things visual from my life for a time... maybe a month.

And I need to spend some time at the library without my impatient family.

I would recommend this book, though, to those who aren't afraid of reality.

Monday, April 17, 2017

I Feel Bad About My Neck, By Nora Ephron - March

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I felt pretty excited about this book because the author is the screenwriter for a couple of my favorite flicks (Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail).  I thought, this should be perfect!

It was ok.

In fact, I didn't even finish it.  It was just a collection of short little blurbs from her life experiences with random things (like her neck or her purse).  They were slightly entertaining, but I wasn't drawn in.  I didn't find myself shirking my daily responsibilities to nab a few more minutes of reading time.  I was bummed.

It's a quick read.  I should've just persevered.  I feel like my goal for March wasn't quite met.  Though, to be fair to myself, it was the second book I attempted to read.  My next book (should I be able to finish this month - I haven't exactly started it, yet), will make mention of the second attempted book for last month.  I guess you'll just have to see.  😉

Monday, March 6, 2017

Avalanche: A Love Story, by Julia Leigh - February


I finished this with just a couple days to spare - and I'm just now getting it blogged.  Busy, busy, busy!

This is a true story of a woman's journey through IVF and trying so desperately to become pregnant; to be a mother.

She talks about her struggles with many emotions.  She's older and knows her chances of becoming pregnant are pretty slim, but that doesn't stop her from trying again and again.

She finally accepts that being a mother isn't in the stars, for her.  I can't imagine how that must've felt, but I can imagine the heartache.  My own heart has been heavy, of late.  My arms have been feeling quite empty.  I don't know if another baby is in the stars, for me, but I dream about it.  I usually have a baby girl, but it's someone else's.  Anyway, that's a post for a different day.  Or a different blog.  ;)

I found it hard to like this book; maybe because I can relate to her pain? I don't know.  I thought she sounded rather dismal, throughout.  Maybe I'm being insensitive.  I have no doubt this was a very difficult and depressing time, for her.  It was brave (and probably a little therapeutic) to share this experience with the world.  I hope she has found happiness.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

On Living, by Kerry Egan - January

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I haven't posted in a while... (that's putting it lightly).

I have some goals, this year - one of them is to read at least one book per month.  I work 20 hrs a week, volunteer at preschool for 5 hrs per week, church for 3 hrs per week, sit through soccer practice for 2 hrs per week, at least one soccer game for 1-2 hrs per week, and try to get laundry done, groceries gotten, food prepped, house clean(ish), and, you know, shower on occasion.  There are times, as I'm typing this, that I find can do double duty, so I shall take advantage of that.  I hope.

Anyway, I have one book under my belt, so far.

I have a yen for the non-fiction, real-life stories of people.  I super love people.  I will sit and listen if you want to tell me about yourself.  I find it highly fascinating.  I love stories of love and survival and trials and triumph and heartache and living and happiness and suffering and conquering and lessons learned..... all of it.  I love it.

This was the perfect find, for me.  Kerry Egan is a chaplain for hospice patients.  She says a lot of patients don't always want to talk about God or religion or prayer or whatever.  Some do, yes, but what people want most, when they're in the final stages of their mortal existence, is to tell their stories.  To give voice to their regret; to give their memories life, again; to express their dark secrets and deepest wishes and dreams.  And she gets to hear it, all.

She has done a great service to these people and to her readers, by making some of these experiences accessible to the rest of the world.  Throughout the book, she even intertwines her own heartache and fears and life experiences, making this book even more personal.

It makes me want to become a chaplain for hospice care.  I would truly love that vocation.  I found it takes a great deal of schooling to become one, officially.  But, no one said I can't just listen to people.

So, I will.  :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Seamstress: A Memoir of Survival, by Seren Tuvel Bernstein

I love holocaust memoirs.  This wasn't one of the better ones.  It was good, and I'd say, once you've read one, you've read them all, but that's not true.  

Some I've read go into great detail of the horrid events they had to face.  This one was very, um, non-descriptive? Not that I want to hear all the gory details, but it's almost like she sugar-coated her experience.  Perhaps, though, her experience wasn't as awful of some others I've read.  Either way, it was a little on the boring side.  

That sounds like I'm totally down-playing what she had to go through - I'm not.  She was of strong mind and quite determined and it was obvious that that's how she did survive.  I can't imagine going through something like that, let alone surviving it.  

I found it interesting how, during the whole of it, she seemed like things weren't fazing her, like she was detached from anything happening to and around her, like she's seriously emotionally detached herself from it, all.  It didn't seem, until the end, that she was being effected by it, mentally.  I think I do remember reading, though, that there was a lot left out; that there were things she didn't want to talk about or include.  Perhaps, even remember.  

I've noticed there are two types of survivors, when it comes to beliefs:  They are either made stronger from this experience or they abandon all they've clung to before the holocaust.  I've read about Christian survivors and Jewish, alike.  She was one who didn't seem as prone to remain passionate about her religion.  She said something along the lines of, I've proved I'm a good Jew, time and time, again, I shouldn't have to keep doing it.  I think she was more bitter than she let on.

It was a good read, not necessarily one I'd recommend, though.  I'm sure it was a very difficult story for her to tell.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Are you still there?

Just over a month after the last time I posted something, I moved to a new state.

I've still been reading books; good ones.  I find it more satisfying to simply read them and let them absorb rather than read and tell all.  That was getting exhausting.

Why can't a book just be?

I'm currently reading a book, again.  Haven't read one in a very long time, and I find it's difficult getting back to where I was, with the yearning for more that I had.

I'm juggling babysitting and this new book.  That, and I've been attempting to ward off dementia and Alzheimer's with mind puzzle books.  (I don't have either, but my grandmother's just been diagnosed.)  Not to mention my four bought and paid for kids, the laundry *yawn* and everything else a SAHM is accused of not doing.

I'm seriously boring myself even with this post.

Why am I here? (posting)

Good question.

Keep reading.  It, also, is good for your brain.

You really cannot over-tax the mind.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Mighty Queens of Freeville, by Amy Dickinson

It's books like this that keep me reading memoirs.  

This was, by far, one of my most favorite books to read.  As soon as I was done, I wanted to turn back to the beginning and start all over, again! It was so enjoyable and funny and just fun!

I love reading about people; it makes me feel like I've met them and sat with them while they recounted life stories, just for me.  I feel like if I were to meet Amy Dickinson, someday, I'd know her.  I know her heart, her daughter, her life.  I'd ask her, "How's your mother?".  I'd want to get a recount of her relationship with Bruno and find myself really hoping it worked out for her.  I'd want to hug her and say, thank you for your story - for sharing it.  Then I'd ask if I could have lunch with her and her family the following Wednesday, simply to soak in the love and the ongoing conversation.  

I loved so many parts of this book, it was all I could do to not jot down every quote I thought funny, fitting or just good.  It touched my soul, this book did, and those are the best kinds to read.

It was a wonderful experience I hope to have, again, in the future.  I'd buy this book.  :)

You should read it.