Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November Readings

This past month, I discovered a wonderful thing: I can check out books from the library online and read them on my computer! Okay, I'm pretty sure when I first said that to Curtis, he was pretty disgusted - he's a traditionalist when it comes to reading. Like in order to actually have read the book, you have to actually hold the cover in your hands and turn every page. But this has been especially convenient for me to just have something at my fingertips that I can do while Charlotte is napping and I have some free time. I don't always want to make the effort to take a bus to the library, and I don't want to buy a bunch of books because we'll be moving around so much, and books are heavy! So after a long stretch of not doing much reading at all, I've finally got back into the habit, and I've really been enjoying it.

If you're interested in checking out books online, go to to get started. You have to have a library card with any library in order to check out books.

Here's what I've been reading!

Wild - From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. I saw this book way back at the beginning of the year, before I liked hiking, and thought it would be interesting. It was the first thing I searched for when I made an account, and I ended up loving it and finishing it in just 3 days. In it, Cheryl writes about her life, her decisions, her mistakes, and how that all led her to decide to hike the Pacific Crest Trail by herself. It was difficult reading through the mistakes she made, and I couldn't imagine how anyone could think like she did at some parts. It hurt me a little at how she was quick to throw away things like a marriage with a man who really loved her. Reading about her hike is what originally attracted me to this book, and the way she wrote about her experience hiking made me want to do something similar. I have to say, after reading about her struggles and how she was so unprepared for it makes me believe I could do it...though I have no desire to do so alone! Curtis talks about hiking long trails a lot, and now I can say that my desire to may almost match his. :)

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. I know the movie has been out for a while, and the book came out even longer ago, but I honestly hadn't heard what it was about and didn't know what to expect. I dislike watching movies, so I decided that if I'm not going to watch movies that I might as well read the book! This novel helped remind me why I love reading fiction so much. I loved reading each section and getting a look into each of the character's minds. I loved learning about a historical period, even if through fiction characters. I think the biggest takeaway for me was to remember that everyone I see is precious in God's sight, respect each person as a unique individual loved by God, and don't be quick to judge.

Winning Balance by Shawn Johnson. Being from Iowa and only a few months younger than her, of course Shawn has been someone I've looked up to ever since I first saw her compete on TV in 2007. I've watched and cheered for her in both the Olympics and on Dancing with the Stars. I enjoyed getting to read about her side of the story and learn about what was going on during all these exciting years in her life. I loved reading about this smart, beautiful, down-to-earth Iowa girl and can say I'm a bigger fan of hers now. :)

Marley & Me, by John Grogan. I watched this movie 5 years ago, but I was on an airplane going from Detroit to Amsterdam, so I honestly don't remember much. I think my main reason for reading it was to gain a new appreciation for my puppy Charlotte, and I was successful in that! Charlie's never nearly as much of a terror as this dog was, and I enjoyed reading about how others cope with the struggles of puppyhood. I have to admit though, I didn't read the end because I knew I would start crying and I didn't need that... Maybe someday I'll write a book called "Charlie & Me." Except it will NOT have a sad ending. ;)

And finally, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. So the story goes, I was about to buy this book at a Bookman's in January (when I resolved to read more) but then Curtis saw someone he knew, and I ditched this one for a big book that made me look smarter than this. So when I got the opportunity to read this book without any shame...well, how could I resist? I'm a huge fan of The Office, and was super excited to hear Kelly Kapoor's story. Of course, in this book Mindy points out all the ways that she's different than Kelly, but she will always be Kelly in my heart. Haha. I loved the inside look on her humble life before she became famous, after she was finally noticed, and behind the scenes of The Office. I didn't realize how much writing she did for the show, and now I appreciate her work even more!

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