Fall Into Reading Challenge: The Finish Line

I have to say thank you to Katrina at Callapidder Days for organizing this challenge! It was great fun and really encouraged me to catch up on some books I’ve been wanting to read for some time. It also gave me a great opportunity to look at everyone else’s list and pick some new books to read! I so dearly love books and always have. The most relaxing thing I can do in this world is lie on the bed and read. The perfect day off, in my mind, consists of just that and I have let myself get away from that simple pleasure. This challenge helped me to reclaim my love of reading and that leisure time.

I have to admit up front that there are three books I didn’t finish. All non-fiction and I think it’s probably just not the right time. I believe that sometimes books, like people, come into your life for a reason – there may be something you need to read or learn at that time. So I started but haven’t finished the Bill Hybels’ book and also “Shepherding A Child’s Heart”. The Dave Ramsey book on finances is a MUST read in the new year for me, but I decided I’d rather look into another book that was recommended by many bloggers – Blue Like Jazz. I just bought that on Monday and hope to sink into it this weekend.

So, now that my disclaimer is out of the way, on to Katrina’s questions!

The Best Book You Read This Fall
I would have to say, without a doubt, that it was “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. This book was so wonderful I couldn’t put it down. I’m so thankful for Barb and the other bloggers who recommended this one. I have enjoyed other books by Francine Rivers but hadn’t heard about this one and picked it up. When I read the first chapter, I actually put it down, thinking I could not possibly – emotionally – get through this book and its subject matter. But I decided to give it my best effort and I’m so thankful I did. It was simply wonderful and really gave me new perspective on what it means to be redeemed.

The Book You Could Have Lived Without
As much as I like Marilyn Meberg, I’d have to say it was “God At Your Wits End”. I think this is one of those books I mentioned earlier – probably one that would minister to me at another point in life but not this one. I did recommend it to a friend, though!

I also could probably have lived without “Unlikey Angel”. I was interested in the story but there was little I hadn’t already read in the news. I was disappointed that it didn’t really provide much information about Brian Nichols after he surrendered – whether she visited him or had had any contact with him. I imagine the answer may be no but I would have liked to know. They spent such an intense time together and it seemed that the Lord was really working in her to minister to him and I just felt like there should have been more.

Whether or Not You Read More than You Would Have Without the Challenge

I definitely read more. I’m often so busy or so tired that I haven’t been making time to read and that’s a real shame. It’s so relaxing to me and I was thankful I found ways to make the time throughout – and I hope I can continue that (even if there isn’t a winter challenge!)

The Best Thing About Joining in the Challenge

I think the best thing was discovering new books based on what others were reading and recommending. Also, finding some kindred readers online was very nice!

If You Discovered (and Enjoyed) a New Book or Author After Reading Someone Else’s List

Yes, yes! I mentioned finding “Redeeming Love” on some lists. And now I’ve purchased “Blue Like Jazz” and another book by Donald Miller. I also picked up “The Scarlet Thread” by Francine Rivers (another one Barb has mentioned) and Karen Kingsbury’s Red Glove Series. I love finding new books and new authors! Thank you to all who participated and gave me some great new ones!! : )

Any Other Insights, Enjoyments, Thoughts, or Impressions!
I’m really thankful to Katrina for organizing this challenge and letting me be a part of it! I already have a stack of books to work on this winter, whether or not there is a challenge – though the challenge did make me more deliberate and dedicated. I hope there will be others in the future!

Fall Into Reading Challenge Update

Well, I finished Max Lucado’s “Cure for the Common Life”. I’m glad I read it, as I love his writing, but it didn’t really hit home with me at the moment. There is a kind of self-assessment in the book to see where you are best suited to serve in this life but I haven’t taken the time to do it. I’m enjoying work (though I was there 10.5 hours today! Yikes) and trying to sort out some ministry issues. I have someone in mind, however, who could probably benefit more from it right now.

I also finished “The Witness” by Dee Henderson. I’ve really enjoyed her other books but this one left me frightened at points and cold at others. It may just be my mood and mindset right now but it wasn’t as I had hoped. I do like her writing, as I said, so I’m going to see what else she has out recently that’s new and check it out.

I started “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. The start has me disturbed and I know if I stick with it, I will love it – her writing is excellent and I’ve heard such wonderful things about the story.

Maybe this weekend…tonight I am thinking of starting, “Unlikely Angel”. I have some downtime this weekend – the only thing on the agenda are drs appts on Friday (for Nellie and for me) and scrapbooking on Saturday with Michelle and the girls. I’d also like to watch Under the Tuscan Sun so I can send it back to Netflix soon. I am so bad with this!

Ah, downtime. How I dream of thee!

Fall Into Reading Challenge Update

Hard to believe, but I’ve actually finished three of the books on my Fall Into Reading list! I’ve read:

Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. This was a wonderful book. I had “borrowed” it from Nancy a few years ago – probably quite a few, now (but she had another copy, so it’s not like I’m THAT terrible of a friend). I’m sure I picked it up and put it down many times, but had never truly began to read it. Now that I have, I understand why. I don’t think I would have gotten as much out of it when I was younger – before this season in my life. She speaks so much to how women go through the various seasons of life and the ups and downs that come along with them. And I could truly understand now, when I’m sure years ago I would have dismissed it all. It’s amazing to me that she wrote this originally in 1955, updated it in 1975, and it is all still so true and so real.

I’m Not Wonder Woman But God Made Me Wonderful by Sheila Walsh. Oh, how I love Sheila Walsh! She is such a real and honest woman – it is amazing to me how openly she shares her struggles with depression. I picked this book up at Women of Faith and began it the same night…and finished two nights later. She talks about the unrealistic expectations we have for ourselves and how to change our thinking in that regard. Great read! I also HIGHLY recommend her book, The Heartache that No One Sees for anyone who is dealing with depression or has a loved one who is depressed.

Last night, I finished Inside My Heart by Robin McGraw. I applaud her honesty in this book about her life and the struggles she has faced. She is truly a purpose-driven woman; strong and dedicated to her marriage and her family. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!

Today I started God at Your Wit’s End by Marilyn Meberg today. This is another one I’ve had for a while (actually borrowed it from Trish over a year ago and took it on a business trip – where my makeup exploded all over it in my luggage!! So I bought her a new one and kept this one) but for whatever reason haven’t read it. Maybe it’s another one that wouldn’t have applied as much a year ago…who knows! We shall see.

I also picked up Family by Karen Kingsbury and Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. So many of you were singing the praises of Redeeming Love I added it to my list…and what a hoot! The cashier at the bookstore literally gasped when she picked it up and said, “Have you read this??! It is WONDERFUL.” Another ringing endorsement – can’t wait to get to it!

Reading Challenge

I am an avid reader. By avid, I mean that I would rather sit and read than do anything else in the world. Seriously. When I am overwhelmed or extremely busy, I actually feel like I am having reader’s withdrawl. I go through periods where I have little time to read and others where I read constantly. About two weeks ago, I picked up the new Anne Lamott book, Plan B, and also Women of Faith’s novel of the year, Reconstructing Natalie. I think I read them both in a total of four days…during the work week.

Now this isn’t to say that it’s always like that. I’ve been busy this week and have been reading a little bit of Sheila Walsh’s new book, I’m Not Wonder Woman, each night. I’m nearing the end but haven’t gotten there quite yet.

Callapidder Days has started a fall reading challenge…so I am taking this opportunity to commit to a few books I’ve been wanting to read but haven’t had time.

Bible Studies
I’m doing Beth Moore’s Living Beyond Yourself and also Kay Arthur’s Living Victoriously in Difficult Times.

Gift from the Sea – Anne Morrow Lindbergh
I’m Not Wonder Woman – Sheila Walsh
Making Life Work – Bill Hybels
God at Your Wits End – Marilyn Meberg
Cure for the Common Life – Max Lucado
Shepherding a Child’s Heart – Tedd Tripp
Unlikely Angel – Ashley Smith
Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey
Inside My Heart – Robin McGraw

The Witness – Dee Henderson
Family – Karen Kingsbury
Divine – Karen Kingsbury
Redeeming Love – Francine Rivers

These last two I added because so many others had them on their lists & sang their praises.

Looking forward to it all! There’s a lot on this list – I’d better get reading!