This past Sunday morning, I woke up to a weather alert on my phone that I had never heard of before - freezing fog. I'm still not quite sure what that meant. What I can tell you is that it made the trees absolutely beautiful, coating each branch in white. I was only able to snap one quick picture on my way to church. God did a great job of frosting His creation that morning!
Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy.
This week, I put my 200th book on my Goodreads to-read list. This list has been gradually growing since I joined Goodreads at the beginning of 2013. It goes down a fair amount over the summers when I have time to visit the library and read a lot of books. The rest of the year, it just grows bigger and bigger.
In honor of reaching the magic 200, I thought I would look through the list and see what the top ten books are that I want to read as soon as humanly possible.
I told myself that I would limit my reading challenges this year. With a baby arriving next month, I really didn't want to over-commit because that would just make me stress myself out. So I was really good in January and only signed up for 4 reading challenges. (Compared to last year's 15, that's pretty good.)
But I just can't take it. It's not enough. Surely there are other reading challenges out there that I can fulfill without driving myself crazy. So I found two more. . .
The European Reading Challenge is hosted by Rose City Reader. This is one I've participated in every year since I started blogging. I'm signing up for the Five Star level, which means I need to read 5 books set in 5 different European countries. Looking at the books I've read so far in 2016, I've got a great start. Surely I can find time to squeeze in a couple more books to finish this one up!
The Nonfiction Reading Challenge is hosted by The Introverted Reader. This is another challenge that I've participated in frequently, and it's usually been really easy for me to blow it out of the water. Nonfiction is a typical part of my reading diet. Looking at what I've read so far in 2016, it's a part of my reading diet that has been lacking this year. And I find myself gazing longingly at the nonfiction books on my shelves. I'm signing up for the Explorer level, which means I need to read 6-10 nonfiction books this year. I'm hoping for more, but I'm still trying to set my sights realistically.
Okay, I promise I'm done. Six challenges. That's it. (I think.)
This weekly chance to add to your reading list is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.
It's Lutheran Schools Week! I teach at a Lutheran school, and we always spend one week a year celebrating what makes Lutheran schools so awesome. We also do a lot of goofy things, like dress mismatched and play Wacky Olympics. It's essentially like Homecoming week in high school, but I think it's even more fun. We started today with the teachers making a pancake breakfast for all of the students - and we all got to wear our pajamas to school! :) Any crazy happenings for anyone else this week?
My Recent Posts
Top Ten Tuesday - In the Mood for Christian Fiction
My Thoughts on Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
My 31 in 31 List - Update #2
What I Read Last Week
Cress by Marissa Meyer (Awesome!)
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Reading this book made me hungry.)
The Tale of Hill Top Farm by Susan Wittig Albert (I love escaping into this series.)
What I'm Reading Now
The Castle of Llyr by Lloyd Alexander (I'm definitely rediscovering my love of this author by rereading his Chronicles of Prydain. I may just do a whole year of rereading his books!)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (Getting closer every day! 945 out of 1,361 pages read!)
What's Coming Up Next
Back in September, I posted a list of 31 things I wanted to accomplish before my next birthday. At the beginning of December, I posted my first progress report. Since it's been another three months or so, I thought I would check in again with what progress I've been making.
#1: Read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.
I have been working on this little by little since the beginning of January. I am now 69% complete!
#4: Finish our upstairs remodel and finally move into our new master bedroom.
Remodeling our upstairs has been a project we've been working on for three years. I am happy to report that (besides a few minor things) we're done! We moved into the upstairs bedroom at the end of January, and I'm enjoying it very much. (I'm also getting a lot more exercise going up and down those stairs all the time.)
#6: Read 50 books from my own shelves.
In my December update, I said that I had read 10 books from my own shelves. That number is now up to 25!
#22: Try 20 new recipes.
Okay, I haven't done stellar with this one yet. I've tried two new recipes - pumpkin muffins (two ingredients - so easy!) and Ranch Chicken Roll Ups. I really need to be better about this goal.
#24: Instead of just making fun of 10 grammatical errors, actually tell someone who can fix them.
I've done this once. A digital sign for a dentist in our town had a typo - "Can we think sring yet?". I called and told them so they could fix it. Instead, they just took that screen out of the line-up. I suppose that counts as a success.
#25: Visit the Creation Museum.
I was really excited that we were able to make this happen while visiting some friends over Christmas break. I'm looking forward to going back someday when they have the Noah's Ark section open.
So there's my progress, halfway through the year. Once again, it's not as much as I thought it was. There are some goals I haven't even touched. And now with a baby arriving in April, I have feeling I may need an extension. . . But hey, anything I get done on this list is more than I would have done without it, right?
This is a book that has entered our culture to a certain extent, so I was surprised how little I knew about it when I started reading it. I knew the main character was named Nemo, and I knew it took place on a submarine. Here's a list of all the things I learned as I read:
I really did enjoy this book, but it was a much slower read than expected. I think this is one of the rare cases where I would have enjoyed the book more if I knew more about it going in. Either way, I'm glad I took this trip under the sea with Captain Nemo.
This weekly frenzy of listing is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
I read a wide variety of genres, which I definitely enjoy doing. But sometimes that means I end up reading a lot of books with swearing or not-so-great actions or topics. That's when I escape to a genre that I know will be safe, and will uplift and refresh me for awhile - Christian fiction. The books on this list are ones that I've read and enjoyed and certainly recommend.
Glamorous Illusions by Lisa Tawn Bergren (The first book in a trilogy that follows a poor girl that suddenly discovers she's an heiress as she goes on the Grand Tour of Europe.)
A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman (A beautiful love story full of faith and twists and turns.)
Chateau of Echoes by Siri Mitchell (A castle in France and a grouchy American writer turn out to be the perfect recipe.)
Song of Redemption by Lynn Austin (Biblical fiction about King Hezekiah. This is actually the second book in a five-book series, but it was my favorite because of the faith Hezekiah showed.)
House of Living Stones by Katie Schuermann (This book was pitch-perfect as far as life in a church in a small Midwestern town is concerned.)
A Skeleton in God's Closet by Paul Maier (A Christian thriller - what would happen if an archaeologist uncovered the bones of Jesus?)
Pretense by Lori Wick (I have read this book at least ten times since I discovered it in high school. At least. Probably more.)
Words Spoken True by Ann Gabhart (I have always loved stories of journalists, and this book set in 1855 Louisville is no exception.)
My name is Julie, and I own a lot of books. As in, they are stacked on the floor because I've run out of room on the shelves. And those shelves? There are so many books on them that they smile -- not sag; smile. This blog will cover book reviews and all manner of other bookish things.
You can contact me at email@example.com.