So i know lately i have been spending a lot of my time writing on the books I’m reading. Its a goal of mine to not only keep up on the reading challenge I set my mind to but to have a way to remember it in addition to making sure I write on some regular basis.
However, I realized it is time for a non- book challenge post *ish*. And I think I will go back to my old trusty topic: theology.
So one of the new “books” I started is a daily devotional called 100 days to brave by Annie F Downs. And while I am sure I will have a post about the devotional and all its lovely qualities– I wanted to talk about the importance having a daily devotional. Or at least the intention of having one.
I have never been an intentional practicing Christian. At least not after college while trying to have a working job & more so after trying to keep a family and household together. I do believe the Spirit “blows where it wills” and that sometimes as humans we need to try and catch on before it flitters away too fast because life keeps moving (forget the fact that life comes from the Spirit but anyways…) So whenever things like “read this daily for spiritual growth” come along, I usually get annoyed, bitter and judgmental. How dare someone tell me how to connect to my faith!
Well, I should remember this post when I say things like that. For it is the gentle little focusing that helps me digest the world. It is the fact I am intentionally taking time for thought that helps me get past the sullen sulking self that leads to self-loathing, sickness and separation. Three things that can take away life if you’re not careful. And don’t get me wrong, its rough at first. Especially if you’re trying it for the first time. Sometimes you have to read sections you don’t like, follow a train of thought you can’t handle, but trust me, in the end those little devotional or practices to set time away save you greater time in the long run.
So next time you think that little devotional is not for you–think maybe the coffee you’re drinking isn’t the kind of “jolt” you need to keep yourself going. It will for sure last longer than the caffeine rush.
8/25 (read a little flyer book on language disorders that goodreads counted-sure, Why Not, right?
So originally after I finished “Trudy” in the Mail Order Brides series, I was going to move onto the next book “Lina” by the same author Debra Holland. However, in starting that book, I felt like I was missing half the story. So i decided to take a risk and read the other author in the book series not knowing anything about her or her writing style. And I am glad I did — finishing my 8th book Mail Order Brides of the West: Evieby Caroline Fyffe.
The book was difficult for me to start. Not because it is a bad book — but because I was already mid-world in another authors series and to come into the same world from another speakers perspective and move towards a different direction throws me off immensely. See me trying to reading Star Wars.
But i kept going because I was searching to satisfy my curiosity from the first book about the character Evie. She is gentle, delicate but also hard working and determined. She takes on an adventure without knowledge of the future or what to expect. And the tale of her meeting Chance, her husband, is comical and serious all at the same time.
I am glad I kept going with the mail order brides of the West series. The stories are unique, the characters are full of life approaching a new world and the authors take care is describing their worlds that are deep in American frontier history.
Click image above for amazon link!
So I moved into another couple short books about parenting and dealing with sensory issues. I guess it’s a hope to find some relief and comfort in what I’m experiencing with Austin. One was a pamphlet on expressive receptive disorders (which he may have) but nothing of great consequence. But hey, book 6/25, right? Lol
So the next book came highly recommended and has a whole network of workbooks and such behind it. So I thought it would be helpful and enjoyable. It was also significantly shorter than any of the other books. The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. They are both highly educated authors as well as parents. They proved some general guidelines to the frustrations to parenting.
Overall the book is “nice.” There are simple explanations, nothing majorly complicated. However, I feel like all explanations are the so basic that any extremes would through a parent into more questions. There are visual cartoons to see mock conversations. But they are clearly so utopian that they don’t have layers. So for an average book, it’s average. I’m ready to move onto something more extensive.
The advantages to knowing a best-selling author is that you can ask direct questions of the one person who holds the authority on the books you want to read: The Author. So after finishing the last took books in the Montana Sky Series, I inquired on Debra Holland on which books I should read next. Deciding to stick to the chronological list she provided, I jumped into the Mail Order brides of the West Series. Mind you– while I had heard the author’s beginnings of these books in our church book group several years ago–I was a little skeptical about getting into a book about Mail order brides. I know its history– I just didn’t know if I’d like. But these are not the Russian order brides or crazy stories you here for the 21st Century. On the contrary, these romance novellas paint a unique pictures of women seeking adventures and new circumstances in a land where there is new everything to find. They actually awaken my curiosity for the West and the stories that could exist from pioneering living. Oh, and by the way — BOOK 5/25 (yep!-1/5th of the way done!.)
Starting off with Trudy was an excellent idea, despite it being first in the list I was given. After reading, I feel like I would related to this character well–mostly because she has similar thoughts I believe I would have if I was in her circumstances. Trudy is the daughter of a St. Louis lawyer who, after her sisters have all married off, decides to join a mail order bride service to go out west. She is cautious, smart, but curious and heart-driven. Overall, The book not only gives a glimpse of why any sound woman would want to voluntarily join a mail order bride service, but it also shows it was not just this business contract with no emotion or empathy but an actually serious endeavor, with legal and religious consequences.
Debra Holland brings back her readers to Sweetwater Springs, Montana territory, to the rougher side of the town. Seth Flanigan, a local at the saloon, decides to go in search for a wife after the “love of his life” (one of the saloon girls) leaves town to be with someone else. Seth is not the cleanest or most proper of the bunch. But he is a true realist whose heart is gradually warmed when he takes a “leap of faith” in ordering Trudy.
The book will not disappoint. Will not trouble your conscience nor your soul. It will keep you on your toes and at one point make your jaw drop. But in the end it will all be for the better. And a great way to start this little sub series.
February’s not half done
And I now have read four
It could have been worse,
so let’s do some more!
Oh dear I’m writing poetry. Silly me. I am just so thrilled to be keeping up with my reading challenge for the year.
So the advantage of knowing an author of a book is you can talk to him or her about which of their books to read next. Since I finished the first four books of the Montana sky series, I decided to ask Deborah Holland where I should go from here. And boy am I glad I did! She provided the chronological order of her books which provided a great Segway to the oldest story in age: Beneath Montana Sky. It is only a novella, short in length but provides so much insight to the world Holland has created in Sweetwater Springs.
The story is about how John Carter met his wife Pamela. In the other books of the main series, these two characters are always present in the town folks’ lives. So it is amazing to hear how they began their life. The majority of the book actually takes place in Boston- Pamela’s original home and follows John on his quest for a wife after a tragedy befalls on the town. The descriptions of the late 19th century America are eloquent and provide a picture almost as beautiful as the Montana sky itself. It also gives hints of other characters that appear in the Montana Sky series, providing insight on their backgrounds or extended depth to their personality.
So need a short read for the short month? – I recommend picking Beneath Montana Sky up!
Wow—I’m so proud of myself. It’s Mid-February and completed 3 books. Maybe I will buy myself a blue ribbon. Or possibly a shiny medal. Or just enjoy the new stories in my mind.
So after finishing some new books I got, I decided I was going to go back and finish up books I had started already in my Kindle. The book with the most progress and that I knew I could finish was a historical romance novel: Stormy Montana Sky by Deborah Holland. I started it as the author attends my church and came with her book 4 in the series (Glorious Montana Sky) to our church book group and I loved it! She was also instrumental in fueling my desire to write my own story down (THAT fiction book may follow later.) However, if you need something that lifts your hearts but doesn’t have all the Fifty Shades details, then her books (and some of her colleagues’ books that amazon recommends) are for you. I would recommend starting with either the 1st in the series (Wild Montana Sky—which I have read and enjoyed) or the first in chronological order (Beneath Montana Sky—which I am currently working through and love because it’s a novella-so it’s not as long.)
Anyways, Stormy starts out right after Starry Montana Sky with the story of the school teacher Harriett in the western Montana territory trying to deal with the fact her crush in town has connected with and married another. I would say you need to read at minimum Starry Montana Sky before starting this one as the significance of Harriet’s emotions will only be depended despite the briefly explanations in Stormy. A new character comes into the picture- an uncle named Anthony (or Ant) Gordon in search of his long lost nephew who he is trying to rescue from his violent and alcoholic father. The title of the book lives up to its name—there are twists and turns, major serious events along with beautiful subtle moments much like how a thunderstorm crosses the open plains. The book also starts out a little more rough than the first two books in this series—but it does not lack in quality of the storyline or writing.
Overall, if you need something that touches your heart strings and lifts your spirits-I recommend reading Stormy Montana Sky.
2/25. I feel like i should get a gold star. At least for January. I read two books. I almost met a goal of 2 books per month already! Go me!
Anyways… even though I wanted to continue reading through some of the sensory processing books I got, something reminded me i purchased the Kindle Unlimited. So I went searching for an interesting (or at least easy) read. I came across the following and I’m so glad I decided to pick it (virtually) up.
It’s called How Dogs Love Us: a neuroscientist and his adopted dog decode the canine brain by Gregory Berns.
It is a beautiful book. Nothing too technical but enough to understand the significance of what the author/scientist did in the dog community as well as the scientific community. The text is not wordy…it’s a short book (yes 254 pages in the kindle version with notes.) lastly, you can tell this author is my kind of people: dog people. It was an amazing and comforting to hear a voice while reading like this one.