Week # 7 Reading Challenge

Last night I was at a writing workshop talking with a woman about the 2015 Reading Challenge. She said that last year she took the 2014 Reading Challenge and enjoyed it a lot. She read 25 books through the challenge that she would never had read otherwise. That is my hope for each of you — read something different!

At this writing workshop the older crowd was talking about the decline in reading and writing today. One lady said that she never gets a handwritten note or letter. Generations behind us are tweeting, texting, emailing, and blogging all the time. They never see their grandchildren pick up a book to read.

When I was in college I took at philosophy course where the professor said that my generation would be the last generation to read for fun. At the time I totally disagreed with him. Of course, there will always be books and people will always read. All of my grandchildren are readers (Well, one “hates” to read but the school she attends requires a certain number of books read beyond class work. However, last Christmas she asked if I would buy her The Giver by Lois Lowry for a Christmas gift. You bet I did. There is hope!!!), but I think that is becoming less and less common.

I also believe there is another answer. We have gone to iPads, Kindle, Nook, and computers where we can read anything we want without “picking up a book.” I know that in some cases, even text books are coming on iPads, etc. The cost for classroom books are so expensive that some schools are finding ways around the cost. Colleges and universities are doing the same thing. I do have a Kindle. It is hiding in one of my unpacked boxes. Thank goodness we still have paper!!

We are now in our seventh week of fifty-two weeks of the reading challenge. This week’s category is “book with nonhuman characters.” Here are some possible picks: The Crucible of Time by John Brunner. The story “traces the development over millennia of a civilization of an unusual alien species, whose sense of humor, resourceful adaptability, and metalworking skills are the strengths and the hope of their society” (Amazon description). Watersong by Mary Caraker. “I recommend to everyone who’s a nature lover and/or sci-fiction reader … is full of detail and imagination” (Amazon review). Remedy: A Story of Aligare by Heidi C. Vlach. “After a century of mining, Peregrine is tired. He is an older avian who can’t hear a simple conversation for himself. He relies on the help of keen-eyed weasel assistants, whom he raises like his own children” (Amazon description). At Winter’s End by Robert Silverberg. “After seven hundred thousand years underground, one tribe emerges to explore a new world” (Amazon description). Go forth and read!!!

Today, do something that challenges you, Linda.

If you found this post of interest forward it to a friend. Thanks!



It’s One of Those Days

2015 Reading Challenge

This is week #6 in the 2015 Reading Challenge. The next category on the reading list is: A Book Written by Someone Under 30. Here are a few suggestions: The Call of the Wild – Jack London wrote this book when he was 27 years old. It’s also a great Classic. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh – Michael Chabon wrote this book at the age of 25. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath wrote this book when she was 29 years old. This is also a Classic. I read The Bell Jar in a literature class in college. The book is rather dark but a good read. Soldier’s Pay – William Faulkner wrote this book at the age of 27. William Faulkner is one of my favorite classic writers. I had never heard of Faulkner until I read his book As I Lay Dying in college. I had  spot open on my class schedule and needed to fill it. The American Literature class was the only one that would fit.

I went into the class dreading all the reading that I had to do, because I have dyslexia, and I knew this was going to be a huge challenge. The reading load was pretty heavy, and I knew I could not handle it. Realistically, I knew there was no way we would be able to discuss all these books in one semester. So I did the “pick and choose” what books I would read (Doesn’t every college student do that!!! SMILES). This was the class that I read Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and I learned to love William Faulkner. The following semester I was allowed to take a graduate level class in Faulkner’s writings. I still love reading his works. 

Challenge yourself and find a new author, maybe even a classic author, you have never read before and read. You might be surprised as I was.

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Today is one of those days that I face a blank screen and canno9t think of anything to write about. So I am going to chat! I am suppose to be in Austin today at an Immigration Rally at the Capitol Building, but Sunday Carl stepped on a nail and had to go to the emergency room. He was working in the back yard when he stepped on a clod of dirt that was hiding a board with a nail in it. He had a bad reaction to the antibiotic an has been sick.  Today he is feeling better but still in a lot of pain.

I called my mother on Monday.  She told me that one time her mother, my grandmother, stepped on a nail. She went into the house, cut a potato slice, put the potato slice on the place where the nail entered her foot, wrapped her foot with gauze, and went about her business. Never went to the doctors. Her treatment was a lot less expensive than ours.

All is well here in Texas. We have had beautiful sunny days with temps in the low 70’s.  You will hear no complaints from me. I love it. I know that New England is getting a lot of snow and extreme cold weather. My prayers go out to my family and friends in New England. Did I say how beautiful Texas weather has been???!!!!!

Today I challenged myself to write 500 words. And so, it is done! Thank you for reading and enjoy a new book.

Today, do something that challenges you, Linda

Blindsided by Book List — Now the Rest of the Story — A Repost

Several of my “big read” friends asked if I would repost the 2015 Reading Challenge. The following is that post. I would be glad to repost this list anytime, but if you would like to check out all the “other possibilities” go to http://www.abooklovers.com. There is all kinds of stuff on there! Read and enjoy.

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When you read my last blog “Blindsided by Book List” did it seem that I just abruptly came to an end?? Well, I did. With this site the “Save” key and the “Publish” key are side-by-side. I learned a long time ago to “save” often. I was saving my blog but hit publish instead. I didn’t get to proofread the blog before it went out. So now for the rest of the story:

I stated in my “last blog” that I was going to give you the list for the 2015 Reading Challenge. There are 50 different types of books to read. You can read them in any order you would like. Also if you want to use one book for two challenges then that’s ok, but no more than two. For example: a book that scares you — for me that is anything written by Stephen King — and a book at the bottom of your to-read list — again Stephen King. So here is the list:

_____  A book with more than 500 pages

_____  A classic romance

_____  A book that became a movie

_____  A book published this year

_____  A book with a number in the title

_____  A book written by someone under 30

_____  A book with nonhuman characters

_____  A funny book

_____  A book by a female author

_____  A mystery or thriller

_____  A book with a one-word title

_____  A book of short stories

_____  A book set in a different country

_____  A nonfiction book

_____  A popular author’s first book

_____  A book a friend recommended

_____  A Pulitzer Prize-winning book

_____  A book based on a true story

_____   A book at the bottom of your to-read list

_____  A book your Mom loves (hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm)

_____  A book that scares you

_____  A book more than 100 years old

_____  A book based entirely on its cover (I don’t know what this means, but I will find out.)

_____  A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t

_____  A memoir

_____  A book you can finish in a day (This is going to be a very short book for me!)

_____  A book with antonyms in the title (I don’t know what this means either.)

_____  A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit

_____  A book that came out the year you were born

_____  A  book with bad reviews

_____  A trilogy (This will be 3 books and is where you will read 2 books to finish out the 52 weeks of 2015.)

_____  A book from your childhood

_____  A book with a love triangle

_____  A book set in the future

_____  A book set in high school

_____  A book with a color in the title

_____  A book that made you cry

_____  A book with magic

_____  A graphic novel

_____  A book by an author you’ve never read before

_____  A book you own but have never read

_____  A book that takes place in your hometown (This may be a hard find. Local library is my guess.)

_____  A book that was originally written in a different language

_____  A book set during Christmas

_____  A book written by an author with your same initials

_____  A play

_____  A banned book

_____  A book based on or turned into a TV show

_____  A book you started but never finished

_____  A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet

Well, that’s the list. Let me know if you are taking this challenge; then share with me what books your are reading. Read and enjoy throughout the New Year. Happy 2015!!!

Do something today that will challenge you, Linda

What are Your Goals and Action Steps?

2015 Reading Challenge

Week #5 of the 2015 Reading Challenge. You are doing great challenging yourself to read everyday and reading something different. I have had a couple of folks asked if I would resend the list of categories for the 2015 Reading Challenge. I will do that Friday. Remember: you do not have to read from every category! Pick what you are interested in and go from there. Then share with us what you are reading! You may be reading something that we may also want to read.

The category for Week #5 is: Books with Numbers in the Title. Here are a few titles that may motivate your thinking: 1984 by George Orwell; One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas; and The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien.

You can jump on board anytime. Enjoy a new book this week.

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It’s February 4, 2015. One whole month has gone by, and I bet most of you did not notice. Well, I didn’t either! Four weeks into the New Year, and I bet your New Year Resolutions have drifted away with the wind (And for some of you, your Resolutions are buried in the snow and minus degree temperatures!). Now that the New Year and the Super Bowl are over, it is time to get serious about organizing and goal setting.

What kinds of goals do you have for 2015? (I like goals better than resolutions.) Here are a few of my goals for 2015:

        1.   Continue to grow in my faith journey with the Lord                                                                                   2.   My family                                                                                                                                                                     3.   Blogging                                                                                                                                                                       4.   Writing a novel                                                                                                                                                         5.   Renovating my house

First, make a list of your priorities or goals. What do you want to accomplish in 2015? Go wild, dream, stretch your imagination. What did you want to do as a child? My dream was to be a nurse. Today I look back and realize that the Lord called me to a different healing profession – being a pastor.

WRITE YOUR GOALS DOWN!! Don’t leave them floating around in your head. They will only get lost or worse they might get forgotten. This sounds so simple, but most of us do not write our goals down; the end of the year comes and we have not been successful in reaching any of our goals. By writing them down, and PUTTING THEM SOME PLACE YOU CAN SEE THEM you stay focused on what is important to you!

Your goals are not stagnant; they have movable parts called Action Steps. What are you going to commit to this year? Where do you want to go? And how do you want to get there?

My first goal is to continue to grow in my faith and journey with the Lord. Here are my Action Steps:            1.   Read Scripture 30 minutes every morning                                                                                                   2.   Start a prayer journal

My second goal is My Family. My Action Steps:                                                                                                                          1.   Text or call my grandchildren twice a month to see how life is treating them                                2.  Write a letter to my mother once a month. (I talk with her on the phone, but                                             she loves getting mail.)

WRITE YOUR ACTION STEPS DOWN and put them where you can see them.

Now schedule your Action Steps on your calendar. By writing down your goals, Action Steps, and schedule on your calendar these actions will help you to focus on what you want to do in 2015. Don’t make a long list of goals or Action Steps. It becomes too overwhelming and discouraging when there are too many things to do that you cannot make a dent. List four or five goals that are important to you and focus on those first.

                          1.   Write down your goals                                                                                                                                           2.   Plan Action Steps                                                                                                                                                     3.   Schedule goals on your calendar                           Happy Organizing!!

Today, do something that challenges you, Linda