Monday, June 23, 2014

May Reads

4 more books in May - one a week seems like a good average, yes?

The Eternal Argument: A framework for understanding Western Literature and Culture by R. Robin Finley - 5/16/2014 
Good Non-fiction 286 Print
Long time middle school English teacher Robin Finley traces the history of Western literature against the larger conflict between theism and humanism.
I purchased this at the homeschool convention in 2013 and it sat on the shelf. But in April 2014, I heard the author speak at the homeschool convention in Cincinnati and remembered I had the book at home. Useful information to help understand Western literature.

The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis - 5/17/2014 
Excellent Non-fiction 141 Print
If God is omnipotent and good, how can we explain human pain and suffering? Lewis proposes reasonable answers.
Finally decided to stop SAYING that I am going to read all of Lewis and get started on it. I decided to read just a short bit every day when I do my devotional reading. I chose this one first because it was short and the subject matter is apropos due to my husband's chronic pain. After reading, I can say again, Lewis is a genius. Sometimes I barely can wrap my mind around what he says and other times it is clear as a bell. This is definitely a book I will read again.

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis - 5/30/2014 
Excellent Fiction 125 Print
Taking a bus from hell to heaven, the narrator describes what he sees.
Another Lewis book. I had not realized until this year that The Great Divorce is fiction. I had always thought it to be a theological treatise, but it is a fictional account of what the narrator sees in a vision of heaven and hell, and these are not the fiery caverns of the mythical hell nor the fluffy clouds of heaven. I think all humans will recognize parts of themselves in the characters in this short book.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell - 5/30/2014 
Excellent Non-fiction 280 Print
The tipping point is "that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire." What makes it happen? Can we make it happen?
Gladwell's Outliers changed the way I think about success and The Tipping Point adds another layer of consideration to why some things make a difference and others go unnoticed. This is far from dry reading - very entertaining and thoughtful!

What are YOU reading right now? (Tell me in the comments!)


Friday, June 20, 2014

April Reads

Finished 4 books in April.

Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare - 4/2/2014 
Good - Classic 135 pages - Audio 3 hr 14 min
The callow Troilus pines over the unfaithful Cressida against the backdrop of the Trojan War.
Book club selection. We went to see the play. This is not considered one of Shakespeare's best plays, but the performance was entertaining. 

Austenland by Shannon Hale - 4/9/2014 
Good - Chick Lit  194 pages - Print
30-something Jane is given a trip to Austenland to roleplay with Darcy look-alikes, but will the experience match her fantasy?
Another book club selection. LOVED the film. The book was amusing! There is a sequel now - Midnight in Austenland. My favorite Hale book is The Actor and the Housewife, though.

Tempting Fate by Jane Green - 4/15/2014 
Good - Fiction 343 pages - Print
Gabby has been happily married for 20 years but when she meets a younger man, she suddenly feels alive and desirable again. What will happen if she follows her heart?
Felt the need to grab some fiction that wasn't tied to any "must-reads", if that makes sense. This one was enthralling, and I read it fast.

The Book Marketing Bible by Norm Schriever - 4/29/2014 
Excellent - Non-fiction  162 pages - Kindle
Essential marketing strategies for self-published and first-time authors, or any writer looking to skyrocket sales.
Lots of practical and well-explained tips for self-publishing. I got this book free on Kindle, but it would be worth the purchase price!

What are YOU reading?