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Well, I've started on my reading list of the year.  I have finished two.  Doctor Sleep and The Red Badge of Courage.  Needless to say, the were both vastly different.

Both involved blood loss, but that was about where the similarities ended. Oh, and both of the author's names were Stephen!

One kept me on the edge of the seat and awake for several hours turning pages to see what would happen next, the other one left me yawning and wondering if my son would get through it.  I bet you can figure out which was which!  I hope my son's other required books aren't as dry.

Don't get me wrong, I think The Red Badge of Courage was quality literature and certainly contained a lot of symbolism.  But it did not contain any of those pull you in and wrap you around the characters and events and leave you hanging and wanting more qualities that I look for in books.  Doctor Sleep, however, though it may never be on anyone's 'required reading' list certainly pulled you in (and maybe twisted you up inside as well).

      Doctor Sleep is the sequel to The Shining.    I don't always like a sequel, but I loved this one!  Dan Torrence has grown up and, unfortunately become an alcoholic, much like his father.  He also still has 'the shining'.  Abra Stone, a spunky twelve-year-old, also has 'the shining'.  Read the book to find out how these two connect and how they become intertwined with the True Knot, immortal beings who live off the 'steam' of children who have.....can you guess it?..... 'the shining'.

The Red Badge of Courage is, of course, a classic written in  tells the tale of Henry Fleming, a Civil War soldier as he enters into battle.  After a shameful experience, the soldier develops humility and courage as the war goes on.  It is no doubt, a very honest telling of the experiences of war and an accurate telling of our American history.

So which one are YOU more likely to read? 

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I'm trying desperately to cut back on my Goodreads current books I'm reading list. I'm trying to cut back on this list so I can feel better about adding more to it!!  I now have 6.  That's better than last weeks list of 8.  I forced myself to finish two this past week. (Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives by Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica as well as The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner).  Well, I didn't really have to force myself to finish the first.  I loved that book and it will probably continuously stay on my reading pile as one can just read little bits here and there and it will never get old.  It's great for devotion time. The second was a good book... it just didn't grab me and give me as much as the first.

So now I'm down to these 6:     Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst, Open Door by Frederica Matthewes Green, Inner River: A Pilgrimage to the Heart of Christianity by Kyriacos C. Markides, The Faith: Understanding Orthodox Christianity by Clark Carlton, The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife, and Eats Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynn Truss.

I really try to read too many books at one time!  It's just that I never know what mood may strike me when I actually find the time to sit down and read something. I've realized that makes 3 out of 6 that are about Orthodox Christianity.   So maybe I'll make myself pick just one of those to focus on at a time.  I am really into Unglued.  I saw the title of it posted on Facebook by a friend of mine and, as usual when I see a book title, I immediately went to Amazon or Goodreads to read a synopsis.  I was very intrigued.  I'm not sure what woman wouldn't be.  I think the vast majority of us have trouble staying calm in the midst of raw emotions...some occasions more than others of course.  So that's the one at my beside right now.  And I just ordered Primal Blueprint from Amazon... not the thing I want to grab and spend hours with right now but I really want to compare the Paleo diet to the Primal and get a feel for both and how they compare to one another... so I may read a page here and there... maybe that's a book for the car for when I am actually the passenger and not checking my WordPress reader.

I've also realized that none of the above books are actually fiction or 'just to relax and enjoy a good story' books that sometimes rejuvenates my 'soul'  more than chocolate. (whoa.....  ok...maybe I crossed the line with chocolate... more than a cup of tea...there...that's better)   There is, of course,  the pile of books brought home from the library for 'my son'.  Or so I tell everyone.  (Shhhhhh.... they are really for me....  lol)  I usually help him pick out a variety of picture books and a few early readers.  We always make sure one is about a real animal (getting the science in already!) and of course, he's a boy, one must be about some sort of construction vehicle.  I think our next run will be involving several of those Margaret Wise Brown books that I have missed as I mentioned in a previous post! In addition, I'll be looking for the books written by the authors featured this month for PiBoIdMo. ( I have several ideas written down this month already!)  If there are any others you want to suggest, in case my son and I have missed them, please do!

In addition to picture books, there are several YA's I've seen mentioned recently. The one I am most excited about right now is Glimpse, the debut novel by Kendra Leighton, because it was inspired by the poem, 'The Highwayman", by Alfred Noyes but it is not due out until Autumn 2014!  🙁 boo.....      Well, there is much to read in the meantime.  I always love a good YA by Laurie Halse Anderson or Jo Knowles.  I especially want to read Wintergirls and Living with Jackie Chan.  Any other good YA's you'd recommend as really good ones to catch up with what's quality YA lit for the last couple of years?

And a friend of mine just started a book club.  I'm eager to see what book they will pick next....the current one is a vampire story and vampires just aren't my thing. Well, I would probably read Salem's Lot by Stephen King over again but that's my vampire limit! So there is lots of good reading in my future!   How about yours?

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I’ve got quite a variety of books going now. I’d thought I’d write a bit about my current ‘list’.

Book # 1 - One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

This is one I actually started during Lent but did not get far into at that time. I was a little hesitant as I thought it may have a bit too much of a Protestant twist to it, but finding out that it is being read in quite a large Orthodox circle deepened my intrigue and I decided to give it a shot. I was impressed that she has quoted Alexander Schmemann. I am only into the third chapter or so of the book but really like her style of writing and am enjoying her thought process. While she does display some Protestant thought I am awed by her “Orthodox” thinking as well and wonder at how she isn’t Orthodox and think that her faith could be so much more were she to explore the Orthodox Church and not just read a bit of words by it’s theologians….. Her concept of a list is interesting and brings to mind the list I started a year ago. I wonder where it is. In a notebook with a brown cover I recall….but where is that notebook now? I have a feeling in the next day or so I may be searching for that notebook…or perhaps I may need to just start a new one.

Book # 2 - Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner

I was hesitant on this one. Self-Help type books make me leery. I’ve been swayed entirely in the wrong direction by them in the past….of course, that was prior to my conversion to Orthodoxy and the wisdom it has granted me. With my faith in mind, I am sure to be less taken in by sheer nonsense of the self being more important than anything or anyone else, etc. but still remain suspicious of anyone lending help to perfect strangers when they do not possess that same faith. I was swayed into reading this one by the intensity of the description of the book by a loved one who is reading the book. It sounded like an interesting perspective of the anger concept that is so often experienced by many, if not all, of us. Some of us more so for various reasons. The first two chapters thus far have been touch and go. Interesting concepts mixed in with de-self talk that raises my eyebrows a bit. In the second chapter, I had to shake my head….the author tells of a ‘hypothetical’ issue between husband and wife who is seeking a job outside the home. The author assumes that though the husband says 'the children need you at home. I support your working, but I do not like to see the kids and the household neglected" that this is not the real issue? I don't know the couple she is talking of. It's probably a hypothetical couple. But the issue is not a hypothetical issue. I think it's wrong for her to assume that there is a different issue at hand. I KNOW that this is truly an issue in households and that it does NOT always mean there is an underlying issue rather than the one the husband states. I just dislike that psychologists ALWAYS seem to think there is an underlying issue. (I agree, there often is....but not ALWAYS) and this particular example irritates me. I think it is justifiable for a husband to be concerned about his children needing their mother at home, etc. and that it does NOT necessarily mean that his wife seeking an outside job puts him in touch with his dissatisfaction with his own job as the author implies.

The third chapter had me laughing the whole way through…but not from absurdity…because I was wondering when the author snuck into my home and hid in the corner watching my husband and I. The chapter described our relationship quite well! So I shall continue reading, staying leery but interested.

Book #3 From a Buick 8 - Stephen King

Stephen King has always been a favorite author of mine. Well okay, not always. Reading one of his books really irritated me and I actually stopped reading them for a period of time. I took personal offense to The Regulators in which he had an autistic boy be the evil character. I have a personal affection for the autistic. I couldn’t get past the ugliness of making such a person evil - not even from the great Stephen King. In time, I moved on and realized even a great talented writer can make mistakes. So while I still don’t like that book or his choice to use this disability for his writings, I still enjoy his creativity overall. This is a book that has actually been sitting on my shelf for quite awhile. I believe I recall hearing it was something that entered his mind while recovering from his accident while running (he was hit by a car). I’m not sure if that is true or not, but that’s my new just for entertainment fiction reading.

Book #4 Hatchet by Gary Paulson
This is the read-aloud book I am enjoying with my son. I read it a long time ago while teaching in an ‘inclusion classroom’. I’m enjoying it more with my son than I did the first time. J I love reading with my son.

Book #5 Windows to Heaven: Introducing Icons to Protestants and Catholics by Zelensky and Gilbert
This should be a good read. I am always struck senseless when I hear of Protestant thoughts on our icons. I don’t get it. I don’t understand why they don’t have visual images of our savior in their homes as a daily reminder of what we are to be grateful for and how we should be living our lives. I don’t understand why they don’t have a picture of the One we should love even more than the family members we picture and frame? While the book title addresses how to present these sweet images to Protestants, the book also addresses their misconceptions and why they struggle with understanding our veneration (NOT worship) of these images.

Book #6 The Pearl of Great Price: The Spiritual Journey of a New Age Seeker to the Light of Christ and the Eastern Orthodox Church by Veronica Hughes
This, I believe, is just as the title implies. I have only ready the introduction and forward thus far but am eager to get further into the story. I love reading about other peoples’ journey to the Orthodox Faith.

Yes, that’s six books. This is not unusual for me. Some of them may take me awhile…some may be done in a few days…perhaps they will all be done soon. It varies. It varies on how much they grab my interest and of course, my daily life. Sometimes I only get a few minutes a day that I can force myself to read. Sometimes more. I may put one on a shelf for awhile….I may add more to the list. I may just have this list for quite some time if life keeps me too busy. Of course, the only thing I can guarantee is that the book I will read almost daily but didn’t include on this list is the Holy Bible. And it WILL be read. Right now I’m working on three books in that one….Genesis(again) and Matthew (again) and ACTS (again….but with my family this time.) We hope to complete Acts before Pentecost.

Well---- that’s enough for now. Now it’s time to read…….