what i’ve been reading.

One of my goals is to read a book a month. I started reading a lot more sometime this spring/early summer and have really enjoyed it. It’s been a really nice way to wind down at the end of the day, and not feel completely lazy by vegging out in front of the tv, though, I do that a lot, too. Gotta watch my programs! I thought I’d post what I’m reading each month and do a little review. If you have a book suggestion, I’d love to hear it!

May – In April/May I started reading Divergent, by Veronica Roth. There was a lot of hooplah comparing Divergent to The Hunger Games. I read the Hunger Games trilogy within 3 weeks a couple of years ago and loved it! So, I figured I’d give Divergent a try. I really enjoyed the first book. It was a super quick read. It felt a little more girly to me – kind of love story heavy, but enjoyable for sure. I wish I had as much grit and strength as Tris. I was eager to read the second book, and picked it up at a used book store shortly after finishing the first.

June – In June a couple of friends and I headed to a resort in San Antonio for quick trip. We planned to spend all day on the lazy river and at the pool. So, I picked up a couple of books to read while soaking up the sun. I already had Insurgent, so I packed that up and I ordered The Fault in Our Stars and Sparkly Green Earrings. The only problem with The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green, was that I couldn’t put it down. I read half of it the day it came in the mail – before I even left for my trip. I warned my friends that if they woke up to me sobbing, it was just the book I was reading and they shouldn’t worry. And sob I did. I don’t think the book is overhyped at all. So go get it and read it now. I still haven’t seen the movie. Some friends and I agreed we’d watch it once we could rent it, so we could ugly cry in the comfort of someone’s home.

I started Insurgent, the second book in the Divergent series on that trip. A little slower to get into, but still pretty good. Until the end. The book just wrapped up so quickly that I got kind of confused – like what the heck just happened? I will say most of my reading takes place right before I fall asleep, so sometimes my comprehension is a little hazy, but I finished the book feeling a little lost.

July – I kept going with the Divergent trilogy by reading Allegiant. Womp Womp. I wanted it to be so good! But the third book was just so weird. The point of view changes a bit. And the story was just a little wonky. I was invested, though, after reading the first two books, so I kept reading. Part of me thinks maybe the author was in a hurry to knock out the rest of the series, so the story was rushed, but I don’t know. Overall I enjoyed the series and I would recommend it… just with a little disclaimer – you may be a little disappointed in the end.

August – In August I went back to John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars. I had seen some buzz about Looking For Alaska. It really took me a couple of days to get interested in the book. I’m glad I pushed through, though. Looking For Alaska is grittier than TFIOS. The characters are dealing with a different type of struggle. I would for sure recommend this book. I think the rights have been picked up (or whatever the lingo is) to make a film. I’m eager for this to come out!

September – September was rough. I really didn’t think I was going to accomplish my goal this month. I started out pumped to read a classic. I had a copy of A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. I tried. I really tried, but it just wasn’t happening. Something about his writing style was tough for me. So halfway through the month I switched to Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle. This book had been recommended a couple of times by different friends. And it was on the recommended shelf at a Barnes and Noble. So I gave it a try. Surely it was easier to follow than A Farewell to Arms. It was a super quick and easy read. At first, I wasn’t sold. It was just a little all over the place for me. But as I read more, I felt like the author was my kindred spirit. The book is a memoir about motherhood and I think our mothering styles are pretty similar. Her openness and honesty were encouraging to me. I finished the last chapter this afternoon and cried as I read her words about hoping to protect her child from all the hurt and pain she’ll experience, but her job as a mom is to point her to Jesus. This morning as I was spending time with the Lord, and praying over Henry, I was thinking about the same exact thing. Her words were a great encouragement to me.

The best part about my reading goal in September was when I remembered the library has books. Dumb, I know! On a recent trip to Half Price Books I was checking out some of the books I’ve been wanting to read. While I was looking at the prices it dawned on me – I have a library card!

I think my next read is Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I started reading it on Jesse’s birthday. I took him to the Half Price Books mothership in Dallas so he could look at woodworking books. While he was looking at a massive stack of books I picked Landline up. I really enjoyed what I read, so I’d love to finish it.

Any book recommendations? Preferably none by Ernest Hemingway 🙂

school! (30 by 30ish update)

I’m kind of kicking butt on this list, y’all! An update on that later, but first, I want to share about one bucket list item in particular – I’m a college student again!

For a few years I’ve really wanted to go back to school. I graduated from Ouachita (the best place on earth) in 2007. I loved college – like I still get pretty jealous of the incoming freshmen every year. But I was 18 when I went to OBU and had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. While I’m so grateful for my time there and how God used it to shape me, I didn’t walk away with a clear, defined vision of what I wanted to do with my degree. And that’s totally okay.

I want to work again (eventually). And the more I thought about what I wanted to do, the more I thought about how school would be really helpful in achieving those goals. If I’m afraid I might fail at something, I just don’t try. And that’s not what I want to teach Henry, so I thought the best way to show him that letting your fear hinder you from your goals isn’t a good idea was for me to not let my fear hinder my goals.

So, after talking to Jesse and my parents about it – I just did it! I went to the community college down the street, applied, and signed up for a class! I’m taking college algebra this semester and am really loving it. The advisor suggested I sign up for an integrated class (college prep and college algebra) that goes at a slower pace. I mean, I know it was a good suggestion, but my pride wanted to shout “I took AP in high school!”. But let’s be real, it’s been 14 years since I was in algebra. Putting me in the integrated class was so nice of her.

I’m just over two weeks in. It feels so good to be challenged like this! Of course, I couldn’t even think about this if Jesse wasn’t so encouraging. Or if I didn’t have the support of my mom and dad. And if I didn’t have really generous friends who have offered to watch Henry while I’m in class.

I guess the biggest thing I’ve learned from this 30 by 30ish item is that there’s never a perfect time to do something. Just go out on a limb and give it a go! If we wait for the money, time, and whatever else to do something that could be really good, we’ll never do it! And I think that is the bigger picture of this list for me. I can do more than just sit. I can live intentionally to the glory of the Lord. Just gotta open myself up to let him use me.

my first quiz!

my first quiz!