Bookish Delights

The Reader’s Thoughts in January

In case you didn’t catch it about a month or so ago, I’m doing this lovely reading challenge in 2015 [joined by several friends and family members], and so far all is going well. I’m training myself to be a disciplined reader again, not just a “read while I’m eating” person, which is generally what I become in the midst of school. I’ve started reading in bed before I turn out the lights (which is such a great unwinding strategy – you should really try it!), and reading on the couch on the weekends (my younger self would be shocked if she found out this was a rarity).

The per monthly goal if I’m to reach 50 books this year is 4 books per month, which is a book a week. I made January’s quota just by the skin of my teeth – and it wasn’t a book a week at all. It was more like the month dominated by two books and the other two books were squeezed in over a matter of days. But for your pleasure & enjoyment – a quick review on those four books.

1. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, 535 pages [Category: Trilogy – this is the first]
This trio of incredibly fat young adult books has long been on my “to-read” list, and at last I’ve tackled them. It’s a fascinating idea about a girl whose father can read characters right out of books and into their world. It’s quite the wild ride when it’s the villain of a certain story and his bloodthirsty men who are read out of the pages and into the modern world. I thought it was a great story with memorable characters and such an intriguing premise.

A couple of favorite quotes:
” … yes, books are like flypaper – memories cling to the printed page better than anything else.”

“He didn’t let her see his sympathy, of course, but hid it behind a mask of mockery and indifference, just as she hid her despair behind rage.”

2. Boundaries in Dating by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend [Category: A nonfiction book]
This was a fascinating book, bought because I couldn’t stop reading it in the bookstore! Whether dating or not it has excellent advice about how to make healthy choices for healthy relationships. Really, a lot of their advice could go for any type of relationship you have in life.

3. Inkspell by Cornelia Funke, 635 pages [Category: A book with more than 500 pages]
Sequel to “Inkheart” above … only in this book, the girl reads herself into the story – and several other people end up in the story as well, and their adventures ensue. It was a good book but it was a little long-winded by the end. I thought it could have been a little shorter … but maybe that’s because I was trying to hurry up and finish it and get to my next book!

A beautiful quote from it –
“‘Isn’t it odd how much fatter a book gets when you’ve read it several times?’ Mo had said … ‘As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells … and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower … both strange and familiar.”

4. Tramp for the Lord by Corrie ten Boom [Category: A book you own but have never read]
This beautiful little book is a sequel to “The Hiding Place” which details Corrie ten Boom’s time in a concentration camp during WWII. This book tells of her travels all over the world AFTER she got out of the concentration camp – when she was in her 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. She’d tell about getting tired of living out of a suitcase, but then God would gently remind her that this is what she was called to and she mustn’t give up … and she was in her 70’s! Talk about feeling convicted.

Some favorite quotes …
“I soon discovered that man’s importunity is God’s opportunity. He uses our problems as building materials for His miracles.”

“But forgiveness is not an emotion – I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”

“Always when I say that I am not able, I get the same answer from the Lord. He says, ‘I know you can’t. I have known it already a long time. I am glad now you know it for yourself for now you can let Me do it.'”

“Theology in the hands of the Holy Spirit is a beautiful science.”

I am now immersed in a book which makes me fear for the future of all young adult fiction … but more on that review at the end of this month. Suffice it to say this reading challenge is perfect for getting you to read all kinds of books – even books you might not normally. If you need such a challenge, it’s not too late to jump in! And let me know if you have any recommendations for different categories … I have 44 more books to go this year.

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