Booking It! The July Update

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I’m hanging my head in shame this month. There’s just been so much going on that I haven’t been “booking it” as much as I thought I would.

I started two books that I didn’t finish before they were due back at the library. I enjoyed the first third of My Life in France by Julia Child, but it didn’t engross me enough to drop everything and finish it.

And while I know you all loved The Help, honestly, I sensed that it was going to take emotional engagement that I couldn’t afford in the week left on the library check out. I just got this impression that it’s the kind of book that I would need/want to hunker down and embrace and I didn’t want to cheat the experience. Does that make sense?

So, I’ll be getting back in line for both of those books. As soon as they call my number at the library.

The Bible — in 90 Days

But, I have been reading, honest. For one, I’ve embarked on an interesting reading challenge. Last week I started reading through the Bible — in 90 Days. My friend Amy is hosting it on Mom’s Toolbox and now, one week into it, I find that I’m caught up! Yeah! I didn’t think I had it in me to stick to it.

I’m finding that it really only takes about 40 minutes everyday to complete the reading. And I’m enjoying it — except for certain very long passages of Leviticus. I’m seeing things that I didn’t see before when I’ve read those same sections spread out over weeks and months.

While I didn’t buy the Bible that is divided into the readings, I am using the bookmark to keep track. I think what is also helping is that we have a wide margin Bible. It’s designed for notetakers, but what I like about it is that the text is all in one column, making it easier to read — more like a novel.

Shades of Morning

I also dug into this book over the last month. I haven’t participated in many blog book tours recently. But, believe it or not, my sister’s friend is married to the brother of the husband of the author of this book. (Hi Jill!) I recognized the family name and figured I’d give it a go. And while I haven’t read much in the way of contemporary Christian fiction, I was intrigued by the story line of Shades of Morning by Marlo Schalesky.

The main character Marnie has run from her past, from her family, from the guy she loved and would have married. She makes a new life in apparent anonymity only to have that new life interrupted by her sister’s death and her “inheritance” of a nephew she never knew existed.

Despite a few threads that didn’t get sewn up by the end, I was sucked in by the story, by the mystery involved, and I was freshly reminded of God’s goodness in redeeming us and washing us clean when we choose the wrong thing. Be prepared to cry and be prepared to neglect the breakfast dishes should you pick up this book.

Read any good books lately?

Share on your blog what you’ve been reading and bring the link back here. OR just tell us in the comments. Booking It is proving to be a great source of book recommendations for me. I hope it is for you, too.

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  1. I encourage you to finish “The Help”, it is a good book and ends wonderfully. My daughter (who is 18) and I both loved it.

  2. Ive only read 5 books since the beginning of June(usually I can do that in a couple weeks) Here’s my list:
    Not buying it
    The Profitable Hobby Farm
    Master Your Metabolism
    The Killing Dance

    Halfway through the year and I havent tackled any of the “classics” on my list in January. Im staying on track with the self help, although the coming months might be slim since I read 3 in June alone. I need more good education based books for the kiddos(ages 3, 11, and 13 if anyone has recommendations. the older 2 do go to public schools but I like to supplement!)

  3. I’m so glad that you are reading the Bible in 90 Days with us! 🙂

    Your top two selections made me giggle and know even more why I like you… I’ve had the Julia Child book sitting on my nightstand for too many months now and I just downloaded The Help a few weeks ago. Someday we will both get them read and savor every moment. Until then, we have the Bible to devour together!

  4. I’ve read a lot this month: The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond – a book about a soon-to-be stepmom who loses the child and then spends a year searching for her. Very emotional!! The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson took a long time to get into but am looking forward to the follow-up books. One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus – excellent book esp. if you like historical fiction: written as a diary of a woman who went to live with the Cheyenne Indians – I couldn’t put it down!!! And another one I read in one night was This Is Not the Story You Think It Is by Laura Munson – great (true) story about a woman whose husband tells her he doesn’t love her anymore but she “doesn’t buy it” so she reacts differently than most of us would and stays calm as she helps him through the crisis. I most enjoyed her efforts to find happiness in the moment and make beauty for her family. It helped me see new ways to cope with my teenager and the upcoming empty nest.

    Our town is celebrating the opening of a new independent bookstore operated by a writing group here in town!!! ( I don’t usually buy my books but I will to support them. So I would love to hear about books you think we should all have (to keep) on our bookshelves! And if you want to see what our town is reading, click on the above web page.

  5. Have to admit that I turned in my Julia Child book before finishing it also, and I confess, I’m not sure I will try to finish it. I did read Queen Latifah’s book this month and loved it, I don’t agree with everything she said, and didn’t like that there was an occasional curse word, but it was uplifting and she had a lot to say to young women that I appreciated. I also started the series that Andrew Peterson wrote the month, and so far, so good. There were a few more there, that I read, but I’ll post it on my blog (eventually 🙂 ) I am really enjoying the bible in 90 days. I didn’t get a chance to read it today, but overall it has been wonderful. You are right about leviticus, and the worst part was when it would repeat just a few verses away, but at least in those big chunks I could still get ahold of the story, and not get wrapped up in all of that. Thanks for the encouragement to do this.

    1. @Lee, totally LOVE the Wingfeather Saga! Oh my! So good. The kids and I loved them and read them multiple times.

  6. I just finished “The Help.” I started out as number 1000-something on our library wait list! But it moved quickly. The book was great but not too intense. I really enjoyed it. And my friend’s husband went to high school with the author! I also read “My Life in France” thanks to you or one of your commentors. I thought it was great! I had no trouble finishing it.

    I also read “The Poisonwood Bible” for my bookclub. Now that book was intense! And I just finished “Reading Lolita In Tehran.” I read it once before but it’s a book club book, so I reread. Now I’m reading that author’s newer book. So fascinating to read about life in Iran.

    I love reading everyone’s suggestions on here. I’ve gotten great ideas. Thanks!

  7. I did the 90 Day Bible on two separate occassions…. loved it. Loved the cohesiveness or “big picture” I was able to get when I did it in a big chunk like that. Good luck to you! You can do it! Just don’t fall behind… it’s really hard to catch back up 😉 lol

  8. I feel like I have rediscovered summer reading this month! I guess I’m late getting on the bandwagon, but I finally read Francine Rivers’ “The Last Sin Eater,” “The Lineage of Grace” series, “The Son’s of encouragement” series (I’m on “The Scribe” -life of Silas- right now), and I’m working my way through “The Mark of the Lion” series as the library gets them back in. All told, I’m on my 13th Francine Rivers’ book! She is such a blessing.

  9. I read the HELP, very good, the southern talk was something to get use to.
    I just finished hannah’s list (debbie macomber).
    Waiting for the library to call (#1 on list< was #8) for family ties, by Danielle Steel.
    On the back burner, Break Neck, erica spindler.
    I am also on the wait list for something eles at the library,for the life of me cant remember the title right now!

  10. I read quite a bit due to a vacation (with no tv and exhausted kids from beaching it!). Read “The Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest” – had a tough time with the start (too much political history) but had to go back and reread what I skimmed bc it was important later in the book – not as good as #2 in the trilogy, but was a good read. Also finished Emily Giffin’s Heart of the Matter and Debbie McCumber’s Hannah’s List – nothing great with either of those, just quick reads very similar to earlier works by both authors. Read “Time of My Life” by Allison Winn Scotch – really enjoyed this book and came at a really good time for me when I was already rethinking my reactions to some conversations/interactions and trying to view them more positively. I’ve been floundering with my books this past week, but just picked up “The Search” by Norah Roberts – its a rapid reader from our library, so I’ll have to read quickly. After that, I’ll try and pick up The Postmistress again. I’m reading Sign of the Beaver with my one of my kids and once that is done, we’ll read “Mountain Cabin Mystery” by Max Elliot Anderson – our first try with this author. I LOVE booking it!

  11. Last night I finished reading Jesus: A Biography from a Believer by Paul Johnson. In the past few weeks I also read Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah, The Rage Against God by Peter Hitchens, Mrs. Astor Regrets by Meryl Gordon, and This Time Together by Carol Burnett.

    I loved Carol Burnett’s book. I think that people can appreciate it even if they are too young to have watched her variety show. Shades of Morning looks interesting. Thanks for the recommendation!

  12. Well, I got 3 days behind in my 90 day Bible reading last week, but I am caught back up!!
    I just finished The Priest by Francine Rivers. This is a story about Aaron and Moses. It was perfect timing since I had just finished the section about them in the Bible. This book brought so many details out. I loved it.
    I am currently reading Start Strong Finish Strong by Ken Cooper and his son.
    Also dabbling in several parenting books as I have time!

  13. I was wondering if you could direct me to the blog authored by a young women that does a book club on line. I believe she is a christian home schooler. I thought I saw it here on your blog, now not so certain! :o( thank you

  14. Hi Jessica,

    Janel sent me the link to this post. Fun to read what you are reading and to read your review of Marlo’s book. I am going to keep up with you on FB.

    Would love to hear more about Bible in 90 days. Maybe give us a review when you are done. Sounds overwhelming, but it seems you think it is doable…

    Jill Schalesky

    1. Hi Jill! Good to see you. 🙂 If I can do it, anybody can. It takes less than an hour a day. There’s always internet or TV time that could give way for an hour a day. Right?