Tag Archives: goodreads

April Reads

I have decided for the month of April, I am going to engulf a portion of literary hours in Children and teenager titles. I had so many on both the “Unread” and “Reread” lists that it took me a while to eliminate to the bare minimum. None-the-less, I am pretty excited!!! ūüôā

Kindle_cartoon fluffylinks.com

Unread choices:

  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

Reread:

  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

What about you? What are your favorite Children or teen books? Have any recommendations? ūüôā

PS. March reread was¬†Safely Home¬†by Randy Alcorn. I truly recommend it–Hebrews 13:3

9 Comments

Filed under Books and Movies, Uncategorized

Thoughts on Paper

I’ve been a bit distracted lately. Not in a bad way, it just seems to be that I would rather have my nose in a book than anything else.¬†After finishing a few chapters at breakfast, I got up to start the rest of my day–randomly, I laughed out loud as I pictured the scene from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast where¬†Gaston is talking to Belle about having her nose in books…

Gaston: How can you read this? There’s no pictures!

Belle: Well, some people use their imagination.

Although books do cause my imagination to stir, most of what I read just enables me to think. Think deeply. I am not sure why I have taken a strong passion to reading so much over the past few months. The only “explainable” proposition I came up with in my mind a few days ago was that reading is a place where I hear everything. All the thoughts on paper: I don’t miss a word. There is no lack of communication, no frustrations in lip-reading, because I am in the conversation in reading the thoughts the author has penned on paper, like a conversation flowing.

Almost ironic as it sounds, becoming a more avid reader, I have seen myself emerge out of the “silent-reader-shell,” and start conversations about what I read, whether it is in person or through social media sites, such as Good Reads. So,¬†I suppose the greatest question I have been asking is simply,”Where is this going?” This new passion of reading, sharing, learning, growing: It’s the start of something. The passion kindles–it’s exciting, and I am ready to discover more of what lies ahead.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. ~Psalm 119:105

3 Comments

Filed under Books and Movies, Uncategorized

My Own Book Club

When my sister helped me set my Word Press account, she introduced me to the Widgets that I could apply to my page. Not wanting to overcrowd my page, I just kept to a simple format, but did apply one that linked to Goodreads. Before starting my blog, I had never heard of Goodreads. I have always loved to read, but never thought of recording my books started, finished or¬†under the “want to read” category–let alone write reviews about¬†the book¬†when I did finish.¬†I just did so in my mind. I didn’t consider books as a social activity.

At least not until this year. As I started to read more good books, I started to discuss them. Most of the time it was with Mom, as friends for me were still in Colorado. During the same week as my blood clot surgery, the ladies Bible study that I had signed up to attend had started. Missing only a few times, I got to know these women and respected their godly wisdom as I was the youngest in the group. Today, two of these ladies are now good friends. Age shows no boundaries in friendship. As Spring turned into Summer, I also started to get to know a few people in town. My friends were now more than just acquaintances. I still Skype, email, text and write letters to my dear friends in Colorado and wherever else they may reside, but having friends in the current area has been a joy.

I bring up friends (and I¬†include¬†family members in this too), because like myself, many are avid readers, love the library,¬†and don’t mind if I bring up a few good book title recommendations.¬†I decided books¬†run in my blood line. ūüôā Now,¬†I can’t tell you why I started this year to see books as social activity, but when it first started, I found that when I shared what I considered to be a good read,¬†I enjoyed¬†being able to remember what¬†I read. Sounds funny, I¬†know. But I was never good at reading¬†to remember (unless it is an exceptional read.) This¬†is¬†why I preferred final papers over final tests in school.

Now that the year is nearing its end, I am glad that I have a Goodreads account. I looked back at the books I read this year–some I liked, others not so much; some I bought, some I borrowed, some I gave away when¬†I finished; some I¬†checked out from the library, some I read in¬†a coffee shop, some I¬†finished in the car on a road trip. There are still many to enjoy, which is the point of this blog post: I will now share my year-long secret with you. Actually, it is not really a secret, but it is sort of silly so¬†I never told anyone.

In¬†March, I noticed on Goodreads that there were different polls and¬†book recommendations on the side margins.¬†I noticed one in particular–a reading challenge: how many books are you going¬†to read this year?¬†I didn’t think much on it, thought it would be fun and set my challenge: my 2013 reading challenge. 40 books.¬†I thought that was a¬†good number…not¬†too low, yet not high where I felt¬†it unreachable.¬†I was so serious about it when I first started,¬†then forgot about it all together and hardly¬†read at all during the summer. Something about students returning to campus, the thought of classes and learning and hours of studies in coffee shops got my mind refocused on enjoying book or two. On Monday I was writing a book review on Goodreads and¬†finally checked my¬†number for the challenge, as I¬†was clueless¬†of how many more books I needed in order to make my goal. According to the stats, I have read 39 books…one more to go to reach my challenge. ūüôā

The book challenge was never my motive for reading, but it encouraged me to keep reading (at the times when I remembered I even had a goal to reach.) Would I set another challenge for next year? I have thought about it. If I did, I would challenge myself to read a few more than 40–but would keep my number a secret. ūüėȬ†But I don’t think numbers are important. It is not about how much I read, but how well I read–what I discover in the text, decipher in my thoughts,¬†and share with others. That is what I consider a good read.

9 Comments

Filed under Books and Movies

Life’s a Road Trip

Road trips. I love road trips. Usually I am the backseat driver, unless I am needed up front to drive (which is not very often) or to sit as co-pilot and make meaningful conversations to keep the driver alert. Because I had my nose in a good book last week, I opted to take the backseat. We left Thursday and spent the night a few hours down the road so by Friday we only had half the time left to get to NY.

We get to the hotel and I am laying out my things for the next day and start getting ready for bed. I take out my hearing aids and place them in their safety container; then I put my container in my purse so I do not forget them in the morning. (Can you imagine!?) Friday morning we grab drive-thru¬†for breakfast and¬†officially set off on¬†our way only 9 minutes behind the schedule we had hoped for the day before (I was so proud!)¬†Now, you have to understand…freeways, airplanes and the constant murmur in the background at the grocery store gets very annoying to hear. I usually have my hearing aids on the second setting on road trips¬†when there is another person in the backseat with me so I can keep in conversation and I keep them at this setting¬†when I am shopping. I just take them out in airplanes.¬†Because it was just me in the back and I wanted to read, I left my hearing aids in their container.

We get about 40 minutes from my grandparent’s place (destination) and I am on the last page of my book. You also have to understand…I normally shy away from a few genres in literature: Sci-fi, romance novels and animal (pet) memoirs. But my latest trip to the public library had a shelf of books about animals and gardens–in theme¬†with springtime,¬†April and Earth Day.¬†A few caught my eye, with this one in particular, because the owl on the front was so fuzzy and cute I just had to read it. It turned out to be a very educational read, but it was entertaining all at the same time.¬†After two hundred and some odd pages, I am absorbed in the life of this biologist and her owl that I get to the last page and feel it coming! Yeah, the tears. Inevitable!

If you are like me and don’t normally read animal memoirs or watch the nature show, then hope you can sympathise¬†with me on this for this very reason: tears. Not that crying is a bad thing–I think it shows how great the book is, because the author was able to relate that emotion to the reader. But when I read books that I know will make me cry, I usually like to be in my room. Alone.¬†Yet here I am on a NY freeway trying to control my emotions that I really was not expecting until I started the last chapter. I finish the¬†book¬†and decide if I distract my thoughts from¬†what I just finished reading then I would be fine. I mumble up to the front that I am getting a Charlie Horse cramp in my left leg and I need a rest stop. Up until this point I have somehow managed to keep the tears at least in my eyes, but as soon as my mom turns around to see what I need, one look and I burst out the¬†ending¬†of the¬†story¬†in one¬†grand sentence and then¬†sob profusely.

Mom¬†and I finish our tiny chat about the¬†book and¬†I¬†dry my¬†tears. I figure it is¬†time to put in my hearing aids.¬†I first¬†put in the right¬†hearing aid but¬†don’t¬†hear the “ring tone” that announces¬†to my¬†ear that¬†it is turning on. I put in the left¬†(which¬†is¬†no longer my dominating ear but¬†practically deaf ear) and can’t hear much of anything. I take them¬†out and replace the batteries.¬†Nothing. I know my left aid is¬†working¬†but¬†I pass up my right aid to my mom to see¬†if¬†she can hear the ring. Nothing. Now¬†I¬†am¬†no longer sad but a bit frustrated. What am I going to do?¬†I¬†just had to put them back in¬†my case and¬†back¬†in my purse. “I will just have to lip-read today.” Sometimes my¬†hearing aids just need a break¬†and¬†then the next day work again, and because I have had to turn them up to the highest setting most often as of late,¬†I figure¬†if I just try tomorrow then maybe they will work. The timing in this is not great. First, a whole weekend with my grandparents. How horrible would it be not to hear? And second, I just finished this book about barn owls and other birds who have such precise hearing that they can even hear spiders crawling up the wall. Surely adds to my frustration.

You may have guessed by now–but if not I will tell you: my hearing aid is currently still not working. I avoid the term broken, because it could be a numerous amount of factors that does not necessarily mean the hearing aid is broken but just needs a few adjustments, like¬†new sensor pads or sometimes my ear wax will get inside the aid and cause it to not work. I am hoping it is not broken. But¬†I did survive the weekend! Actually, I think I did quite well. I think right now I just want to have a pride moment and pat myself on the back. But I also give a lot of praise to my parents and even my grandpa who took time to sign little words (even make them up just on the spot so I would get the word at the moment) and lots of finger spelling. ūüôā Most of one dinner conversation consisted of the game “Guess¬†the Word in¬†ASL.” That was fun. And we toured a lighthouse on Saturday, so we looked up how to sign the word. All I knew was boat.

We finish the fabulous weekend¬†and life goes on. I did not do anything different today than if I was wearing hearing aids. I had a meeting in the morning to discuss job potentials. The lady knew ASL, so there was no interpreter, but¬†I think I talked and lip-read more than I signed. I notice without my hearing aids in, I am more verbal to say, “I am Deaf” and¬†let¬†people know why I¬†am not understanding one word¬†or accidentally¬†interrupting a conversation or starting one way off subject. Deafness has blocked my hearing senses, but I noted to myself this weekend that my eyes are going to have to take more responsibility: more observation of my surroundings especially in social settings.

I did¬†not think¬†my life would ever come to this¬†time…this¬†moment¬†when I had to face the reality¬†of my deafness. But in a way, this weekend helped me more than it did frustrate me. I learned in part¬†from my¬†grandpa. He¬†is¬†a godly¬†role model.¬†His actions,¬†faithfulness and servanthood shine¬†louder than his words. He lives out¬†the famous Mark Twain quote: “Kindness¬†is¬†a language¬†which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” He cares for my grandma everyday…even¬†all hope seems lost. He¬†is like Samwise Gamgee:

Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.

~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

We may not be fighting off Orcs or battling for Middle Earth, but I know even in Deafness that there is good in this world. My story does not end here. And when the new Day comes, it will be worth everything! I hold on to that hope: “[But] we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;¬†and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5;3-4

3 Comments

Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Books and Movies, Family Times, Funny Stories, Random

Discussing Jane Austen.

Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates  more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.
~Jane Austen

I recently read this interesting web article about Jane Austen. According to the press, Jane Austen’s famous book, Pride and Prejudice turns bicentennial. (Happy 200 years!) What a classic romance! And in all honesty, I have not read the book since high school! Of course, I opt for the movie versions or listen to the soundtrack¬†any chance I can get–especially when I paint. However, I feel that I have done that for long enough! Seeing as February just started, it is my (attempted) goal to read¬†through the novel this month. I just started two days ago. ūüėÄ

I have not read any other of Austen’s works, though I have seen movie versions of both Sense and Sensibility and Emma. Lame to watch the movie before reading the book, I know. So I wanted to ask you if you have read them? Is anyone a Jane Austen fan? I would not be ashamed to say so…I just find my readings so sporadic that I enjoy so many authors and subjects that I could never settle for just one author.

If you have read any of Austen’s other novels, I would love to know! I set up this poll in order to see some of your favorite books…as there are seven novels completed (including Pride and Prejudice). I feel at some point I want to read through them all;¬†It is like reading all of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series (which¬†are astounding and have my full recommendation!) ūüôā

References:

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/janeausten139313.html#fP8UVyC57O4rW4XC.99

Jones, Bryony. CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/28/world/europe/pride-and-prejudice-200th-anniversary/index.html?iid=article_sidebar. retrieved January 29, 2013.

7 Comments

Filed under Books and Movies