How to Read Books and Support Authors Inexpensively

I’ve always been a little amazed that people will plunk down good money to see a movie or concert or ball game that will last two to three hours, but then balk at paying $15 for a book that will give them 10-15 hours of enjoyment. Or they’ll shell out several dollars a week for expensive coffees which will give them a few moments of pleasure, rather than pay for a book that will feed the mind, imagination, even the soul for years to come.

I believe books are a worthy investment.

However, if we read a lot, $10-15 per book adds up quickly. I read 84 books last year and 76 the year before. That would be quite an outlay if I paid full price for each book.

I want to pay full price as much as possible to support authors. They work months or even years to produce one book. I’ve learned from the multiple writing blogs I follow that most authors do not make a living on their writing. “The labourer is worthy of his hire,” Jesus said. They can’t keep producing books if they don’t make enough to live on. And it’s not sin to pay full price for something.

But it’s true many of us could not read nearly as much if we paid full price for every book.

So how can we read inexpensively?

Public libraries. What a treasure trove! Print, audio, and ebooks are all available just for the trouble of registering for a library card.

Library sales. Many libraries will purge their shelves or sell donated books they can’t use, usually in a big sale once or twice a year.

Little free libraries. Some neighborhoods have mini boxes where people can leave books they are done with and choose others to take home.

Church libraries. Some churches will have a library of donated books, or may have a budget to stock new books.

Discount stores. Costco, WalMart, and other stores have books for lesser prices. Some online sites do as well. Feel free to share in the comments your favorite place for discount books.

Book exchange stores. There’s a big store here in Knoxville where you can trade in your used books for credits for more used books.

Project Gutenberg has many ebooks online for free. I thought they mostly did classics, but they have newer titles as well.

Kindle sales. Books for the Kindle app go on sale every day, anywhere from free to a few dollars. You don’t have to have a Kindle device: you can get the Kindle app and read on a tablet or even your phone. (It would be hard to read an entire book on a phone, but it can be done. It’s handy if you find yourself waiting somewhere unexpectedly.) Some sites online curate Kindle sales almost every day. Tim Challies lists a few most days, usually Christian nonfiction and some classics. Inspired Reads lists half a dozen or so and Gospel eBooks lists several, but you need discernment with these two: I wouldn’t recommend everything they list.

Audiobooks. Audible.com has a few different plans for audiobooks. The one I’m on charges $14.95 a month, which gives me one credit, resulting in one audiobook per month. But they often have two-books-for-one-credit sales, and many of their classics are free or only a dollar or two. And some books are included free with membership. Librivox has audiobooks for free, but they have ads. Plus, they are read by volunteers who may or may not use any kind of inflection. And different readers might read different chapters in the same book. But . . . they’re free.

Free books for a review. Some sites or publishers will give readers free books in exchange for an honest review. The only one of these I tried was for a Christian publisher, but I quit early on. They sent a box of six books for one month. Not only was I not interested in all of them, but I didn’t want my “read for review” reading to take over all of my reading time. I understand there are some now where you can choose which books you’re willing to read and review. I know some of you do this: would you share what sites or publishers you work with in the comments?

Author’s launch teams. Publishers expect authors to do most of their own marketing and publicity these days. One way authors do this is to have a small group of people they’ll send a free copy (usually ebook these days) of an upcoming book before it is published. That way they can get reviews in right away. People are more willing to take a chance on a book that has some reviews. If there are no reviews, people are wary. I would recommend only doing this for authors you know and enjoy and want to support. It’s probably not fair to a new-to-you author to volunteer for his or her launch team if you have no idea about their style and whether they’ll appeal to you.

Gifts. Our family does “wish lists” for gift-giving occasions, and a few books are always on mine.

If your book budget is limited, there are still ways you can support your favorite authors. Word of mouth goes a long way. A review on Amazon or GoodReads or your blog helps more than you know. Even listing a book on GoodReads as one you want to read helps bring attention to it. So does posting a book cover on Instagram with the hashtag #bookstagram and hashtags for the genre, author’s name, and anything else you can think of.

These measures still help even if you get most of your books from a library. Also, a library is more willing to keep an author’s books if they’re being checked out. And asking your library to stock a particular book helps, too. Many have a form on their web sites where you can submit book requests.

Agents and publishers look at the number of a new or hopeful author’s followers on social media or in a newsletter list (one reason you see so many offering newsletters). So following an author’s social media accounts or signing up for their newsletters can aid them. If you’re like me, you can only do this for a few of your most favorite authors (or bloggers hoping to be authors), lest social media following takes up more time than you have. But if you’re active on social media, or want to give a boost to someone whose writing you like, these measures are helpful.

Do you have any other ideas for reading inexpensively? Do you have other ways of supporting authors?

(I often link up with some of these bloggers.)

How to Read a Book

Why would an avid reader for decades pick up How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren?

I had three reasons:

  1. I’d like to retain more from my reading. Though I flag pages, underline or note important points, sometimes even outline chapters, I forget much of what I’ve read in a short while.
  2. Reading better in general should enhance one’s ability to read the Bible.
  3. I see so many people online talking past each other. I’ve wondered if that has anything to do with a lack of reading comprehension.

This book was originally written by Adler in 1940. Adler revised and updated it with Charles Van Doren in 1972. Even though 1972 doesn’t seem all that long ago to me, as far as literature is concerned, I found this book very tedious. I read a lot of old classics, so I don’t think older language is the problem here. I think it’s just Adler’s style.

It would take up too much time and space to go into Adler’s method here. But this Goodreads review goes into more detail.

Adler’s first step would be what we call pre-reading, and most of us do this to some degree, depending on the book, the author, and our familiarity with both. Many of us would look at the front cover, the back cover, look over the table of contents, read the first paragraph or two, maybe leaf through the whole thing briefly. But Adler’s method goes into much more detail and study. One of his first steps is to read the whole book once and then come back and apply these other steps.

Adler’s stages of reading are: elementary, inspectional, analytical, and syntopical. He discusses the first three in great detail and then applies his principles to various types of books. Then he has a chapter on syntopical reading, which goes beyond the reading of one book to reading several books on a given topic. He ends with a list of recommended reading and an appendix of exercises and tests for the various levels (I just glanced through the last appendix without trying any of the tests).

Honestly, I can’t see someone going through all Adler’s steps unless they’re incredibly academically minded or unless they need to know the book extremely well for a class.

Does that mean my time in the book was a waste?

No. Even though I have no desire to follow Adler’s advice for all my reading, I agreed with many points. I especially appreciated the urge to read actively, not passively. I gleaned numerous nuggets I liked. I can’t share them all here, but here are a few:

I think his evaluation of the average high school student is probably true even of many adults today:

He can follow a simple piece of fiction and enjoy it. But put him up against a closely written exposition, a carefully and economically stated argument, or a passage requiring critical consideration, and he is at a loss. It has been shown for instance, that the average high-school student is amazingly inept at indicating the central thought of a passage, or the levels of emphasis and subordination in an argument or exposition. To all intents and purposes he remains a sixth-grade reader till well along in college (p. xi.).

This was written before personal computers, much less iPhones and ebooks, but this is even more true now:

There is a sense in which we moderns are inundated with facts to the detriment of understanding. One of the reasons for this situation is that the very media we have mentioned are so designed as to make thinking seem unnecessary (though this is only an appearance). The packaging of intellectual positions and views is one of the most active enterprises of some of the best minds of our day. The viewer of television, the listener to radio, the reader of magazines, is presented with a whole complex of elements—all the way from ingenious rhetoric to carefully selected data and statistics—to make it easy for him to “make up his own mind” with the minimum of difficulty and effort. But the packaging is often done so effectively that the viewer, listener, or reader does not make up his own mind at all. Instead, he inserts a packaged opinion into his mind, somewhat like inserting a cassette into a cassette player. He then pushes a button and “plays back” the opinion whenever it seems appropriate to do so. He has performed acceptably without having had to think (p. 4).

Even though I don’t know many people who would read a whole book at an elementary level before coming back to read it analytically, I can see Adler’s point here:

We were told to consult footnotes, scholarly commentaries, or other secondary sources to get help. But when these things are done prematurely, they only impede our reading, instead of helping it.

The tremendous pleasure that can come from reading Shakespeare, for instance, was spoiled for generations of high school students who were forced to go through Julius Caesar, As You Like It, or Hamlet, scene by scene, looking up all the strange words in a glossary and studying all the scholarly footnotes. As a result, they never really read a Shakespearean play. By the time they reached the end, they had forgotten the beginning and lost sight of the whole. Instead of being forced to take this pedantic approach, they should have been encouraged to read the play at one sitting and discuss what they got out of that first quick reading. Only then would they have been ready to study the play carefully and closely, because then they would have understood enough of it to learn more (p. 37).

I thought this about propaganda was especially good:

The best protection against propaganda of any sort is the recognition of it for what it is. Only hidden and undetected oratory is really insidious. What reaches the heart without going through the mind is likely to bounce back and put the mind out of business. Propaganda taken in that way is like a drug you do not know you are swallowing. The effect is mysterious; you do not know afterwards why you feel or think the way you do (p. 198).

What about my three purposes for reading the book?

First, I did not get any information specifically about retaining more from reading, but that was not this book’s purpose. Probably one would retain more, at least for a time. Even if I did use Adler’s methods, I would still probably forget much without reviewing either the book or my notes from time to time. But I did get some ideas for improved note-taking.

Secondly, I did think that Adler’s methods would be good for Bible study. I’m an advocate of reading a book of the Bible at a time rather than cherry-picking random verses here and there.

As to my third purpose, I thought he brought up some very good points. One of his steps is ascertaining whether or not you agree with the author, and if not, why not. But you have to support your views from what the book actually said. So one can’t take things out of context, infer one’s own views, etc. Of course, our era of sound bytes and no context at all on Facebook and Twitter doesn’t really support good, meaningful communication.

Have you read Adler’s and Van Doren’s book? What do you think about any of his points mentioned here?

I counting this book for the Hobby category of the Nonfiction Reader Challenge since reading is my main hobby.

Do You Read More than One Genre?

Reading different genres

Do you read primarily one main genre? Or do you read several?

My favorite is contemporary Christian fiction along the lines of the Mitford series by Jan Karon. I love to hear about everyday people, their encounters with problems and neighbors and loved ones, and how God works in and through them. I have learned from and been deeply affected by Christian fiction..

But I also read a lot of historical fiction and a fair amount of suspense. I am not a big fan of romance. Most fiction has a love story, but I like books that have more to them than that. I don’t care for westerns or Amish fiction, but I have read some of each. I enjoyed some fantasy or speculative fiction. I wouldn’t read horror or erotica.

I love biographies and memoirs. Some biographies have had a profound influence on my life.

I read a lot of Christian nonfiction and enjoy it, but I have to make myself start and keep going with most of it. I gravitate more to stories.

I also like many classics. Someone once said “A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” Classics still speak to us today even though writing styles and society customs have changed.

I read a little from non-Christian sources. Unfortunately, much secular fiction has a lot of language, sexuality, or gratuitous violence problems, which I don’t want to read. And you have to keep on guard against wrong philosophies. But some of it is still beneficial.

One reason I ask is just because I am interested. I love to talk books and reading interests.

But I am also curious. I’ve heard and read that authors should write primarily one genre so readers know what to expect from them. If they write in another genre, they’re told they’ll need to search for another audience. Some go so far to say that authors should use pen names if they write in two different genres.

That makes sense. If a writer is known for Amish fiction, it would be jarring to her readers to get that author’s latest work and discover it’s a gruesome murder mystery.

On the other hand, I have followed authors over to a different genre from what I have read from them before. In fact, I am more likely to try a different genre if an author I like has written in it, if only to see how they handle it. I wouldn’t want a favorite author to use a pen name for a different genre, unless they make it known that they’re doing so, because that makes it harder for fans to follow their work.

So I can see the wisdom of not disappointing readers who come to expect a certain kind of story from an author. And it’s probably wise for those just getting started to stay with one genre until they get established.

But I think sometimes a genre crossover can work.

What do you think? Would you follow an author from one genre to another? And what’s your favorite genre? Do you read more than one?

(Sharing with Grace and Truth, Hearth and Soul, Senior Salon,
InstaEncouragements, Booknificent)

Reading Plans for 2020

There are some books you don’t get around to reading unless you plan to. Participating in some book challenges has helped be more purposeful in my reading. But I have found I also need flexibility. I don’t want to feel pressured and tied down by a reading list. I want the freedom to pick up books discovered during the year, new releases, etc. But I also want to read more classics and more books from my own shelves or list of recommendations. There are two main reading challenges I participate in every year, and sometimes I try a few others as well. Thankfully the books can overlap several challenges: otherwise I could probably only do one or two.

So this year, I’ll participate in these challenges:

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge begins here February 1-29. This will be my last year to host it. I have one book in mind for it this year, which I’ll share Feb. 1.

Tarissa at In the Bookcase hosts the Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge in June.

Tarissa also hosts the Literary Christmas Reading Challenge November through December.

Karen at Books and Chocolate is hosting the Back to the Classics challenge again this year. Books have to be 50 years old for this challenge and fit into the following categories. We don’t have to determine them all at this point, but I’ll list a few I have in mind.

1. 19th Century Classic: Hard Times by Charles Dickens
2. 20th Century Classic
3. Classic by a Woman Author: Eight Cousins by Louisa My Alcott
4. Classic in Translation (originally written in something other than your native language): Possibly Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. I read it a long time ago but can’t remember much about it.
5. Classic by a Person of Color
6. A Genre Classic
7. Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title: The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens.
8. Classic with a Place in the Title: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire by Howard Pyle
9. Classic with Nature in the Title: Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
10. Classic About a Family (multiple members of the same family as principal characters)
11. Abandoned Classic (one you started but never finished). Possibly Billy Budd by Herman Melville. I was supposed to read that for a college class but never finished.
12: Classic Adaptation (Any classic that’s been adapted as a movie or TV series): I might try Larkrise to Candleford by Flora Thompson. It’s long, but I’ve been wanting to read it and see the series.

Most of these books would fit in many of the categories, so I might change them around as I decide on the rest of the titles.

Karen draws a name from participants at the end of the year to receive a $30 gift card towards books, and the number of categories you finish determines how many entries you get.

mount-tbr-2017Bev at My Reader’s Block hosts the Mount TBR Challenge to encourage us to read the books we already own.. Every 12 books read is another level or “mountain” climbed. We don’t have to list the books yet, but we do have to commit to a level. I am committing to Mt. Vancouver (36 books). I’ve been able to reach that pretty easily the last couple of years. The one main rule here is that the books have to have been owned by us before January 1, 2020.

Bev is also hosting the Virtual TBR Reading Challenge, like the Mount TBR except that the first one requires you to own the books you’re reading. The virtual one can include borrowed books or books on your to-be-read list that you don’t own yet. I haven’t done this one before, but I think I can commit to Mount Rum Doodle, 12 books.

The Backlist Reader Challenge sign-up link

The Backlist Reader Challenge is new to me this year. It encourages reading books on our want-to-read list, whether we already own them or not. The only caveat is they have to have been published before 2018 and be a book you’ve already been considering. Lark will give away a $15 Amazon or Book Depository gift certificate at the end of the year. Since most of the Mount TBR and Virtual Mount TBR books will qualify for this challenge, I’m going to aim for 30.

The Audiobook Challenge is new to me, too. But since I listen to several a year (usually classics), it should be easy. I’m aiming for the Stenographer level (10-15 audiobooks). there will be a couple of giveaways with this challenge, on June 30 and December 15.

Yet another new one to me is the For the Love of Ebooks Challenge, which, as the name implies, involves reading ebooks. A good chunk of my TBR books are in my Kindle app, so I think I could do the Semi-Pro status (10-19).

Finally, I am going to try the Nonfiction Reading Challenge since I read several a year anyway. I’m only going to aim for the Nonfiction Nibbler (6 books), though, since I am not interested in all the categories for the next level.

Thanks to Tarissa and Lisa for introducing me to a few that I hadn’t heard of before.

I would never do all these except that they can overlap, and many involve types of reading I already do. There are still several other interesting challenges out there that I decided against!

Do you participate in any reading challenges or make reading plans for the year?

Back to the Classics Challenge Wrap-up 2019

btcc reading challenge 2019

Karen at Books and Chocolate hosts the Back to the Classics Challenge. She came up with categories and we come up with a classic at least 50 years old to fit each category. She also gives away a prize – a $30 gift card to Amazon.com or The Book Depository. You get one entry for the prize drawing for six categories completed, two entries for nine categories completed, and three entries if you complete all twelve.

The classics I read this year were (titles link back to my reviews):

A.19th Century ClassicThe Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (1860)(Finished 7/15/19)

B. 20th Century Classic (published between 1900 to 1969): How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (1939) (Finished 3/20/19)

C. Classic by a Woman AuthorA Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)(Finished 2/14/19)

D. Classic in Translation (written originally in a language different from your own): Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss (Finished 11/23/19)

E. Classic Comic Novel. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (1836)(Finished 5/20/19)

F. Classic Tragic Novel. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847)(Finished 6/12/19)

G. Very Long Classic (500 or more pages): Anna Karenina by Tolstoy (Finished 9/11/19)

H. Classic Novella (250 or fewer pages): The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott, 150 pages. (1849)(Finished 6/23/19)

I. Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean). The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington. (1918)(Finished 9/24/19)

J. Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia). Moby Dick by Herman Melville. (Finished 10/28/19)

K. Classic From a Place You’ve Lived. The Gilded Age by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner (Finished 12/16/19)

L. Classic Play. King Lear by William Shakespeare. (Finished 12/28/19)

Karen likes for us to compute how many entries we earned: I read all twelve, so I have three entries.

I enjoy this challenge because it broadens my horizons. I would not have read some of these books if not for this challenge. I have not seen anything yet about this challenge for next year, and I’m sorry that it looks like it won’t continue. But I’ll keep reading classics. Someone has said that a classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say. These books still speak today.

Do you like to read classics? Have you read any of these?

Literary Christmas Reading Challenge Wrap-up 2019

A Literary Christmas: Reading Challenge // inthebookcase.blogspot.comTarissa of In the Bookcase hosts the Literary Christmas Reading Challenge each year in November and December. The basic idea is to read Christmas books!

I didn’t get to all the books I would have liked, but I enjoyed finished these (titles link back to my reviews):

I started Good Tidings of Great Joy: A Collection of Christmas Sermons by Charles Spurgeon but am only about halfway through. I thought I could read a short section at a time, like a devotional book. I could, but I just didn’t get as much from the sermon until I read each one as a whole. Since they’re a bit long, I’m having to wait til Saturdays when I have a bit more time to read them in one sitting.

I always enjoy reading Christmas books in December. It’s even more fun to do so with this challenge. Than you, Tarissa, for hosting it!

Books Read in 2019

Reading, as you know, is one of my favorite pastimes. By my count, I read 76 books this year. I didn’t distinguish between Kindle, paper, or audiobooks. Most of the classics were audiobooks, but I usually looked up parts in a Kindle or library or online Gutenberg version. I think I had a good variety of fiction and nonfiction, old and new.

Here’s what I read this year:

Classics:

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner

How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn

The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott

King Lear by William Shakespeare

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington.

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Christian Fiction:

All the Way Home by Ann Tatlock

Among the Fair Magnolias by Dorothy Love, Tamera Alexander, Elizabeth Musser, and Shelley Gray

Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa

Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Susan May Warren.

Canteen Dreams by Cara Putnam

The Carousel Painter by Judith Miller

Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock

Christmas Stitches: A Historical Romance Collection: 3 Stories of Women Sewing Hope and Love Through the Holidays by Judith Miller, Nancy Moser, and Stephanie Grace Whitson

Close to Home by Deborah Raney

The Christmas Heirloom by Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, and Becky Wade

A Constant Heart by Siri Mitchell

Every Secret Thing by Ann Tatlock

The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser

A Flower in Bloom also by Siri Mitchell

Home at Last by Deborah Raney

I’ll Watch the Moon by Ann Tatlock

Jessie’s Hope by Jennifer Hallmark

Katie’s Dream by Leisha Kelly

Kill Order by Adam Blumer

A Place Called Morning by Ann Tatlock

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

A Promise in Pieces by Emily T. Wierenga

Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock

Rachel’s Prayer by Leisha Kelly

The Returning by Ann Tatlock

A Room of My Own by Ann Tatlock

Rorey’s Secret by Leisha Kelly

Sarah’s Promise by Leisha Kelly

Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke

She Makes It Look Easy by Marybeth Whalen

Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to Freedom by Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey

Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock

Till Morning Is Nigh: A Wortham Family Christmas by Leisha Kelly

Travelers Rest by Ann Tatlock

Yuletide Treasure, two novellas by Lauraine Snelling and Jillian Hart

Other fiction:

Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis by Patti Callahan

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy

Murder in an English Village by Jessica Ellicot

The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper

Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle, review coming soon.

The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright

Nonfiction:

Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior

Buried Dreams, Planted Hope by Katie and Kevin Neufeld

Christians Publishing 101 by Ann Byle. A writer’s conference in book form.

Daily Light on the Daily Path compiled by Samuel Bagster, not reviewed, read yearly for decades now.

Engaging the Scripture: Encountering God in the Pages of His Word by Deborah Haddix

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave by Joanna Gaines

Honey, I Don’t Have a Headache Tonight by Sheila Wray Gregoire

How to Understand and Apply the New Testament by Andrew David Naselli

I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel.

Journaling for the Soul: A Handbook of Journaling Methods by Deborah Haddix

Laura Ingall’s Wilder’s Fairy Poems, compiled by Stephen Hines

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Songbook compiled and edited by Eugenia Garson

The Little Women Treasury by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson

Love Is Not a Special Way of Feeling, a reprint of Charles G. Finney’s Attributes of Love

Loving People: How to Love and Be Loved by John Townsend

On the Way Home and The Road Back by Laura Ingalls Wilder

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

Read the Bible for Life: Your Guide to Understanding and Living God’s Word by George H. Guthrie

Seasons of the Heart: A Year of Devotions from One Generation of Women to Another compiled by Donna Kelderman.

Suffering Is Never For Nothing by Elisabeth Elliot

There’s a Reason They Call It GRANDparenting by Michele Howe

In just a moment I’ll post my top ten books of the year.

Do you make a list of the books you read each year?

_____________________________________________

See also:

Why Read? Why Read Fiction? Why Read Christian Fiction?
Finding Time to Read
Why Listen to Audiobooks?

(Sharing with Senior Salon, Sherry, Hearth and Soul, Purposeful Faith, Happy Now, InstaEncouragement, Carole’s Books You Loved, Anchored Abode,
Worth Beyond Rubies, Booknificent, Grace and Truth)

Mount TBR Challenge Wrap-up

mount-tbr-2017These are the books I’ve read this year that qualify for Bev’s Mount TBR Challenge. I’m listing them in the order I finished them. The publication dates are in parentheses. The titles link back to my reviews.

  1. Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa. (2016)(Finished 1/13/19)
  2. Among the Fair Magnolias: Four Southern Love Stories by Elizabeth Musser, Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, and Dorothy Love. (2015)(Finished 1/14/19)
  3. Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Susan May Warren (2011)(Finished 1/15/18)
  4. Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy (2018)(Finished 2/1/19)
  5. Murder in an English Village by Jessica Ellicott (2017)(Finished 2/5/19)
  6. Katie’s Dream by Leisha Kelly (2004)(Finished 2/9/19)
  7. Read the Bible for Life: Your Guide to Understanding and Living God’s Word by George H. Guthrie. (2011)(Finished 2/4/19)
  8. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)(Finished 2/14/19)
  9. Journaling for the Soul by Deborah Haddix (2018)(Finished 2/19/19)
  10. I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel (2018)(Finished 2/20/19)
  11. Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis by Patti Callahan (2018)(Finished 3/5/19)
  12. Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to Freedom by Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey (2017)(Finished 3/8/19)
  13. If I Run by Terri Blackstock. (2016)(Finished 1/27/19)
  14. If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock (2017)(Finished 2/1/19)
  15. If I Live by Terri Blackstock (2018)(Finished 3/9/19)
  16. Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke (2014)(Finished 3/17/19)
  17. Love Is Not a Special Way of Feeling by Charles G. Finney (1963)(Finished 3/25/19)
  18. She Makes It Look Easy by Marybeth Whalen (2011)(Finished 3/24/19)
  19. The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright. (2007)(Finished 3/27/19)
  20. How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (1939)(Finished 3/31/19)
  21. The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser (2018)(Finished 4/1/19)
  22. I’ll Watch the Moon by Ann Tatlock (2013)(Finished 4/6/19)
  23. Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior (2012)(Finished 4/23/19)
  24. A Room of My Own by Ann Tatlock (2016)(Finished 4/29/19)
  25. Travelers Rest by Ann Tatlock (2012)(Finished 5/4/19)
  26. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (1836)(Finished 5/20/19)
  27. All the Way Home by Ann Tatlock (2011)(Finished 5/28/19)
  28. How to Understand and Apply the New Testament by Andrew David Naselli (2017)(Finished 5/31/19)
  29. Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock (2011)(Finished 6/2/19)
  30. The Returning by Ann Tatlock (2009)(Finished 5/28/10)
  31. Close to Home by Deborah Raney (2016)(Finished 6/3/19)
  32. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847)(Finished 6/12/19)
  33. Home at Last by Deborah Raney (2018)(Finished 6/14/19)
  34. The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper (2017)(Finished 6/20/19)
  35. Rorey’s Secret by Leisha Kelly (2005)(Finished 7/24/19)
  36. There’s a Reason They Call It GRANDparenting by Michele Howe (2017)(Finished 9/4/19)
  37. A Promise in Pieces by Emily T. Wierenga (2014)(Finished 9/22/19)
  38. A Constant Heart by Siri Mitchell (2008)(Finished 9/27/19)
  39. Honey, I Don’t Have a Headache Tonight by Sheila Wray Gregoire (2004)(Finished 10/2/19)
  40. Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell (2014)(Finished 10/24/19)
  41. Canteen Dreams by Cara Putnam (2017)(Finished 11/17/19)
  42. On Writing Well by William Zinsser. (1976)(Finished 12/4/19)
  43. The Carousel Painter by Judith Miller (2009)(Finished 12/8/19)
  44. Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock (2018)(Finished 12/12/19)
  45. Christmas Stitches: A Historical Romance Collection: 3 Stories of Women Sewing Hope and Love Through the Holidays by Judith Miller, Nancy Moser, and Stephanie Grace Whitson (2018)(Finished 12/26/19)
  46. Seasons of the Heart: A Year of Devotions from One Generation of Women to Another compiled by Donna Kelderman (2013)(Finished 12/31/19)(Review coming soon)

Bev’s goal markers are in the form of different mountains. I made it up to Mt. Vancouver, which was 36 books. I was just two short of Mt. Ararat’s 48. I enjoyed the climb!

If you’d like to get some of your already-owned books read next year, Bev is hosting this challenge again. Details are here.

Laudable Linkage

This is my latest collection of thought-provoking online reads:

Is the God of the Bible a Genocidal Maniac? HT to Challies. No, but some have made that accusation. Here is a thoughtful response.

When Joy Feels Far Away, HT to True Woman. “What do you do when you have tried everything, but joy still feels far away?”

How to Study the Bible. I have not had a chance to watch these videos yet, and I normally wouldn’t post something I haven’t checked out for myself first. But Jen Wilkin’s Women of the Word is one of my favorite books. An updated version has just been released, and Jen published a series of videos showing how to use the Bible study method she writes about.

A Stack of Bibles. “The power of the Reformation was the power of the Word of God in the hands of normal people.”

How to Hope in God When a Door Closes.

My Love Cannot Save You, HT to Challies. As deep and wide and strong as a mother’s love is, we’re still limited in how much we can protect our children. “I can’t prevent her pain or her tears, but I know the One who wraps his arms around her and catches every tear in a bottle, present and attentive to each one.”

How TO (and how NOT to) Raise a Monstrous Son, HT to Lou Ann. “For his own good, and for the good of all the women he will encounter in life, he needs you to stand up to him when he crosses the line, especially in regard to using his physical strength to harm others.”

Four Things the Princess Culture Gets Wrong, HT to True Woman. “Rather than jumping on the bandwagon of the mommy wars—to princess or not to princess—I’ve opted to reframe the concept according to biblical truth.”

Why NO ONE Should Object to Clean Teen Fiction. Believe it or not, some do! These are good reasons they shouldn’t.

I don’t follow many comics online, but xkcd is one. Here are a couple of recent entries:

Happy Saturday!

Laudable Linkage

Here are some of the thought-provoking reads I’ve discovered in the last couple of weeks:

How Can a Survivor Thrive After Sexual Abuse? HT to Challies. “Jenn Greenberg is one of those stories. She was abused by her church-going father. Yet she has retained her faith. She has recently written a courageous, compelling book that reflects on how God brought life and hope in the darkest of situations. Greenberg shows how the gospel enables survivors to navigate issues of guilt, forgiveness, love, and value. And she challenges church leaders to protect the vulnerable among their congregations.”

Seek the Giver, Not the Gift? HT to Challies. “The idea that we should seek the giver, not the gift, has truth behind it, but it can be misleading.”

Without Apology, HT to Challies. “When my children see me admit wrong and ask forgiveness, it is a powerful example. When my children see me struggle, yet choose right, it is even better. It teaches them victory over sin is possible with Jesus’ strength.”

Love Through the Awkward, HT to Challies. “It shouldn’t surprise us that the key to surviving awkward moments is really the key to the rest of Christian living: forgetting personal comfort and choosing selfless service.”

Do You Like Yourself?

For My Angry Friends. Thoughts about a biblical perspective on governmental authorities.

In Defense of Owning Too Many Books. “The volumes of books I continue to bring home are not reminders of guilt or inadequacy, but rather invitations to the vast world of ideas and stories worth exploring.”

8 Ways to Take Care of You. Self care is a hot topic these days, but this is the most rightly focused and balanced list I have seen.

The Life-Changing Magic of Making Do, HT to The Story Warren. “Making do is a deeply pragmatic philosophy. It means asking of our things the only question we should ever ask of them: ‘Can you fulfill your intended use for me?’ The answer – if we can be honest, and resist a moment of discomfort, inconvenience or boredom – is, extraordinarily often, yes. Making do is about taming the reflex to discard, replace or upgrade; it’s about using things well, and using them until they are used up.”

A to Z Activities for Kids and Parents, HT to Story Warren.

Seen on Pinterest, though I couldn’t find the original source:

Have a great weekend!