A Few Favorite Christmas Books

Hey!

I love finding and reading book lists. I like knowing what others are reading and what they might suggest for me to read. Beyond the biblical story of the birth of Jesus from Luke’s gospel, these books are a few of my favorite Christmas reads.

The poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas, by Clement Clarke Moore is more commonly referred to as Twas the Night Before Christmas or The Night Before Christmas. This selection is my favorite rendering of this poem because of the illustrations by Mary Engelbreit.

 

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg is a heartwarming tale interwoven with faith about a newcomer to town, a young girl, and a redbird named Jack.

 

Two from Galilee by Marjorie Holmes is a lovely retelling of the birth of Jesus and the love story of Mary and Joseph.

 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: If you’re like me, you’ve probably seen this story told many ways in many movies. I first read it to discover whether the movies followed the book or not. Some do, some don’t. And like most movies and books, the book is a treat. Do yourself a favor and give it a try!

 

Christmas With Tucker by Greg Kincaid: I read this one last year and the story truly pulls at your heartstrings. Grab the kleenex box ahead of time.

 

Mitford Snowmen/Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon

These short stories are a nice introduction to the town and residents of Mitford and a must for Mitford readers.

 

Happy reading!

Mimi

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.'” Luke 2:10 NIV Bible

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Books, Books, Books

Hey!

Books and summertime go together, don’t you think? I do and I have been steadily reading this summer. I only wish I could forego all of my daily chores to sit and read for hours on end. Ah, that would be bliss!

At the start of the year, Anne from Modern Mrs. Darcy issued a reading challenge: Read 12 books in 12 different categories in 12 months. She chose the categories and those participating chose their own books. I’ve been nibbling away at the categories and now have only 2 left to go! As far as my own personal goal to read 50 books this year, I’m on the right track with 32 read so far for the year.

#1 A book I’ve been meaning to read: Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winner: This book sat on my nightstand for a couple of years. I enjoyed it and felt parts were spot on for me but I liked her book girl meets God more. A solid 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.

#2 A book published this yearThe Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen: I loved this book as much as the first one, The Queen of the Tearling. The story headed into a different direction than I expected but I’m all in for the third one. I can’t wait to see the movie with Emma Watson!  4 stars

#3 A book in a genre I don’t typically readHorrorstor by Grady Hendrix: Creepy, easy to read, quick paced and not my cup of tea. I gave this book 2.5 stars because I did like the concept of using the store as a setting which added to the creepy factor and I liked the graphics used throughout the book.

#4 A book from my childhood: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle: Still love this wonderful story. I gave this book 5 stars because of sentimental reasons and because I do feel the story is excellent as well as the writing.

#5 A book that was originally written in a different language: Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke: Originally written in German, this story is about a young man seeking advice from the poet. Lots of wonderful thoughts and quotes on life and writing. 4.5 stars

#6 A book everyone has read but me: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult: I couldn’t finish it. I tried really hard. I read it for book club and I read half of it [200 pages] and sort of skimmed the rest. I just don’t like Jodi Picoult’s style of writing. Everyone kept telling me I would love this one because it was not like her others. I disagree. It was exactly like her others. No rating, wouldn’t be fair.

#7 A book I chose because of the cover: Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai: I’m reading this book now. The story is as beautiful as the cover. A girl accompanies her grandmother back to their native Vietnam to discover what happened to her grandfather and is learning about the value of family. Right now, the book is hovering in the 4 star region.

#8 A book by a favorite author: Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good  by Jan Karon: I loved being back in Mitford with all of the familiar characters. The book did feel a little like a swan song. 4 stars because I adore this series.

#9 A book recommended by someone with great taste: Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay: My friend Nancy suggested this book to me and I loved it and have recommended it to others. I ordered her second book the minute I finished this one. 4 stars

#10 A book thats currently on the bestseller listThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: This book is also not a typical genre for me but I read it for book club. I thought the book was well written and I enjoyed it but I was so stressed out reading it which is why I don’t normally read this genre, psychological thriller. 4 stars

My last 2 categories to conquer are: A book my mom loves and a book I should have read in high school. If you’d like to read my full review on any of these books (except for A Wrinkle in Time and Listen, Slowly), you can find them by clicking on the Goodreads bar on the right hand side of the page.

Blessings,

Mimi

“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103 NIV Bible

Bedside Books

Hey!

Over the last week, we’ve had some beautiful days with nice spring like temps and blue skies.  The kind of days that you want to soak up because you know that they won’t last long.  They’re fragile days of winter.  I know those of you with snow are sending me firebolts shooting out of your eyes for even mentioning our lovely weather.

With you in mind though, I thought the sharing of my bedside books would be a nice way to spread some warmth from my house to yours.  I find nothing more delightful on a cold winter day than to curl up with a good book.

I tend to keep many books on my bedside table.  Some have been there waiting patiently for months while others are brand new.  I like to keep my options open and some might suggest that I have a magpie complex when it comes to books — I’m easily distracted to hoard another and another and another.  Making a book list to read at the start of the year doesn’t seem to work for me because the truth is, I never follow the list.  I’m more of a go-with-the-flow book reader.  I choose my book to read by what I’m drawn to in that moment unless its for book club.

bedside books 1

1. Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain  This book came highly recommended.  This book has been patiently waiting to be read for a long time.  This year, I’m reading it.

2. Light Through An Eastern Window by  K.C. Pillai   This book was recommended by a fellow blogger/book lover.  I bought it for insight into an eastern mindset.

3. Grace For The Good Girl: Letting Go Of The Try Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman  I love Emily’s blog and this book’s description resonates with me.  I’ve had it for some time and no excuses, this year, I’m reading it.

4. Still: Notes On A Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winner  I love her books.  She writes on faith from a Jewish and Christian perspective.

5. Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts On Faith by Anne Lamott  I loved her book, Bird by Bird.  That book is on my top book list of all time.  I’ve had this book and all of her others forever and I think I’ve procrastinated reading them because I know I’m going to enjoy them and I want to savor them and I know that I don’t want them to end so I haven’t started them.  Does that make any sense to anybody else? Or is it just me?

6. Serena by Ron Rash:   This book is for book club.  A movie based on this book is coming out starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.  I’ve been told this book is awesome.  I hope so.  Book club choices lately have been a serious miss for me.

7. Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, And Other Southern Specialties by Julia Reed  My daughter brought it home from the library.  She loved it and said I ought to read it.  The author is local and I enjoy reading local writers so I’m giving it a shot.

8. Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good by Jan Karon   I’m currently reading this book and I’m so happy to be reading a book about Father Tim and Cynthia set in Mitford.  This book feels like the first books of the Mitford series before the characters went to Mississippi and to Ireland.

9. An Altar In The World by Barbara Brown Taylor  I’ve been told this author’s books will knock my socks off.

10. Icebound by Dr. Jerri Nielsen   As part of my reading for this year, I’m trying to read Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge.  On the challenge list is to read a book outside of your normal reading genre and this one fits the bill for me.

11. The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith  I follow her blog and I enjoy decorating books. Enough said.

12. Soulless by Gail Carriger  A recently discovered author.  I read her book, Etiquette & Espionage  which is a quirky fun little read.  The book references her previous series, The Parasol Protectorate. This book is the first in that series.

13. The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss   A new fantasy world for me to discover.

14. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon  I want to know what all the fuss is about.

15. The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks With Charlotte Mason by Laurie Bestvater  I’m a journal keeper and this book is about keeping journals.

16. Tender At The Bone: Growing Up At The Table by Ruth Reichl    I started this food memoir but had to stop so I want to pick it back up and finish.

17. Confessions by St. Augustine  I enjoy reading classic books that have stood the test of time.

18. A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman  This book is about discovering and pursuing your art.

19. Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir Of Food And Faith by Fred Bahnson Recommended by a blogger friend.  This book connects gardening, faith, and sacrament.

20. Same Kind Of Different As Me: A modern-day slave, an international art dealer, and the unlikely woman who bound them together by Ron Hall & Denver Moore  The movie is coming out and I wanted to read it first.

21. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline   I bought this book in the fall because I’ve heard the story is very good.

Happy Reading!

Blessings,

Mimi

“Jesus did many other things as well.  If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”  John 21:25 NIV Bible

Eighth Notes and Writing Challenges

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I can hardly believe that October is almost here.  For the last several years, I have participated in a writing challenge during the month of October.  Now that the start date is looming in 6 days, I’m starting to get antsy.  Even now, as I am thinking about what I will write, my foot is tapping staccato eighth notes in allegro.

I have a working topic but I’m struggling with finding the time to actually pull it together.  I’ll announce on Monday. {That’s a great idea; put it off for a few more days -hehehe!}

Until then, if you didn’t get a chance to see my posts from the past two years, you can check them out below.  Just click on either button and it will take you to the 31 Day Series page.  From that location, you can view any or all to your heart’s content.

2012

Day 25 of 31 Days of Books off my Shelf

2013

31 Day Button 2013.001

See you on Friday for Friday Finds #3!

Blessings,

Mimi

“Train me in good common sense; I’m thoroughly committed to living your way.”  Psalm 119:66 The Message

I Like Banned Books

image via bannedbooksweek.org

Hey!

Books are wonderful, dangerous things.  Within their pages, I have been transported to faraway lands, to places right around the corner and to everywhere in between.  I’ve confronted my ignorance, challenged my prejudices, and dealt with my fears through the lives of the characters.  I’ve also been in love, cried a fountain of tears, laughed until my sides ached, and sighed with contentment in the warmth of grace.  I’ve shared my love for books and reading numerous times but a sampling can be found here and here.

Every year, the last week of September is Banned Books Week.  Books are banned for a number of reasons.  According to the Website for the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association, the top 8 reasons for challenging books over the last decade are:

  • Sexually explicit
  • Offensive language
  • Unsuited to the age
  • Violence
  • Homosexuality
  • Satanic
  • Religious viewpoint
  • Anti-family

Some of my favorites off of the 100 Top Challenged/Banned Books for 2000-2009.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A Time to Kill by John Grisham
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

 

  • For more Top 100 books, click here.
  • To learn more about Banned Books Week, click here.
  • Goodreads has a page devoted to banned book lists, click here.

Blessings,

Mimi

“Jesus did many other things as well.  If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”  John 21:25 NIV Bible

Friday Finds #2

Hey!

Latest Friday Finds, enjoy!

These pictures of Tybee Island caught my attention by Rhoda at Southern Hospitality.  The whole post is filled with gorgeousness.  Check out her post by clicking the picture.

Tybee Collagevia Rhoda at Southern Hospitality

  • The 20 Most Beloved Books list according to Facebook users’ postings of their 10 favorite books, click here.  Did your favorite make the list?
  • Check out this precious daddy and daughter dance to Taylor Swift’s new song.
  • This post is snort-laugh-out-loud worthy, click here.

A jazzy rendition of Chim Chim Cheree by Esperanza Spalding

Blessings,

Mimi

“Freely you have received, freely give.”  Matthew 10:8b NIV Bible

 

Friday Finds #1

Hey!

I’m starting a new friday series called Friday Finds.  On fridays, I’m going to share all sorts of things I’ve found around the web.  I hope you enjoy this new feature to the blog.

Fred MacMurray immediately comes to mind when I think of Disney and movie dads.  In this article, Fred MacMurray’s daughter writes about her childhood home and about her famous father.

 I laughed so hard when I saw this video!  Girlfriend is just keeping it real about her DramaMine!

 

This Artist Creates Extremely Intricate Sculptures With Pencils This artist is amazing! Click on the picture above to take you to the link.

 

Here’s a few books to choose from over the weekend: Amazon’s 100 books to read in a lifetime list.

 

What David Zinn does with chalk is AMAZING!  Click on the picture for the link to more artwork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings,

Mimi

“Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. ” Psalm 72:19  NIV Bible