Sometimes I don’t like to write about what I am reading or have read because I figure other people are reading deeper, more meaningful books, but then I decided that while some people are reading deeper, more meaningful books, the majority of us are all probably just reading garbage literature.

If you don’t know me yet then you don’t know I joke a lot and that the previous sentence is a joke, for the most part. Though, seriously, most of what we read is crap, right? Don’t lie. You know it is. And the rest of what we read is actually very, very good. What matters is that we like what we read even if someone else thinks it is crap. That’s what I tell myself anyhow.

So in the last couple of months, I’ve been a bit slow on reading, but I have managed to finish a couple of books and by a couple, I mean exactly two.

516Z4BFJYjLFirst to be finished was a book by the woman called the queen of Christian fiction, Karen Kingsbury, who is a new author for me. I wish I had had some warning on what a gut-wrencher Where Yesterday Lives was going to be. It was the first book in a collection of three books that Amazon offered as a deal a couple of months ago. I have a children’s book by Kingsbury and had seen a presentation by her on Youtube so I thought, “why not? Let’s give it a try.”

Good grief – talk about drama, drama, and more drama through the whole book. It was a poignant and emotional story and very well written, don’t get me wrong, but my diaphragm got a good work out throughout it. I wept through half the book and flat out ugly cried at least three times. It doesn’t give away too much to say the story is about a broken family who must come together for the funeral of their patriarch resulting in a great deal of dysfunctional drama unfolds.

I would definitely recommend it, but prepare yourself with a box of tissues. From what I understand, most of Kingsbury’s books are heartwrenching and dramatic. I sampled another one and was immediately pulled into it and hope it comes on sale before I buy it (yes, I’m cheap like that). Kingsbury’s books are definitely Christian, but not simple or cheesy or even super preachy. I would have to say, actually, they are a bit twisted and depressing at times.

I did manage to finish another book in between the Kingsbury book and working on my own: The fifth book in The Cat Who series by Lillian Jackson Braun. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the previous books but I’m still carrying along with my plan to read through the series in order. I think she wrote some 37 books in this series so we will see how far I get, but for now, I enjoy the light mysteries before bed.

51dCT+7VgOL._SY346_Another series I enjoy before bed is the James Herriot books. They are usually light and don’t cause me to lay awake thinking too much after I turn off the Kindle. I’m currently reading the second of Herriot’s books (at least in the American version of the series), All Things Bright and Beautiful, and I like how each chapter is essentially broke into individual short stories, though the stories still tie together the whole book. I read a chapter or two at a time and it’s like having bit size treats and when I finish the entire book I feel a tinge of sadness. Luckily he wrote a series of them. Most people probably know that Herriot’s books are primarily about his adventures as a rural vet in England before, during and after World War II. Herriot’s real name, as I have mentioned here before was Alfred Wight.

Other books I’ve started since the beginning of June include:

In This Mountain, Book Six in the Mitford Series by Jan Karon.

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Hayom Haba: The Next Day by James Sutton (independently published, it tells the story of the disciples the day after Jesus is crucified.)41r7Opff8uL

A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers

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And one book I started that I can’t seem to finish: “A Cottage By the Sea”  by Debbie Macomber

I tried to like Debbie Macomber I really did, but no matter what I could not seem to get into her books. It could just be the current mood I’m in. I’ll probably try her again someday because I absolutely love her as a person. My mom said the book I put in our Kindle account for us was “okay”, so at least she got some enjoyment out of it.

As for what I’ve been up to, other than reading, I’ve been writing a couple of stories. You can follow the one-story HERE and I haven’t finished the other one yet, but I have published a sample on my blog this week.

On the blog for the past few weeks I’ve been rambling about writing and how I, and I’m sure others, are sick of trying to make everyone happyhow I, and I’m sure others, are sick of trying to make everyone happy and how the anxiety I deal with isn’t only mental,but also caused by physical reasons.

As for what I’ve been watching, I seem to be on a Miss Marple binge. It’s the original BBC Miss Marple with Joan Haskins, who I love as Miss Marple, though I haven’t read any of the books about her or seen other Miss Marple.  Her attitude and the subtle way she tells people they are full of “tosh”, so to speak, is hilarious. I also love how her eyes light up when she walks in on a crime or she thinks she can wiggle her way into an investigation. During the first episode of the second season, she walks in on a man who’s head has been beat in and literally claps her hand together like “Oh, yeah, I’m getting in on this one, baby.” Of course, she is a bit like Jessica Fletcher – you know – the angel of death. Everywhere the woman goes at least one person, and usually at least three, die. If I were her relatives, I would stop inviting her over.

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All of the episodes are at least two episodes, some of them are three. British mysteries are so much different than American ones. They really take their time to develop characters and pull you into the story. I would think a lot of Americans would be too impatient to wait for the story and mystery to develop and would instead turn it off for something more fast-paced, like one of the 5,000 spin-offs of CSI. The only downside to watching so much British television is that I’m beginning to talk to my children and even write in a British accent. For example, in the above sentence I almost wrote “I would imagine a lot of Americans. . .” and when I typed it I said it in Miss Marple’s voice. Yes, actually, I do think I need a wee bit of a British mystery break.

So what have you been reading or watching lately? Let me know in the comments or link your post about what you’ve been reading, or yours for this week’s Sunday Salon in the comments for me. If you want to read what more people are reading and have been up to, check out Readerbuzz’s Sunday Salon.

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Written by Lisa R. Howeler

As a writer, photographer and former journalist, Lisa R. Howeler writes a little bit about everything on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She's a wife and a mother and enjoys a good John Wayne movie and a cozy Jan Karon book. She's also a freelance writer and photographer who is a contributor to various stock agencies, including Lightstock and Alamy. Her photography work focuses on documentary and photojournalism.

15 comments

  1. You know, I don’t think I ever realized that James Herriot’s books were a series…I think I have only read the one! I will have to remedy that at some point since I remember really liking his first. I enjoy “light” reading 😉 Honestly, my favorite genre is fantasy, lol. I really haven’t been reading very much, but some day that will change. Seasons 😉 Enjoy your reading, whatever it may be! God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I usually avoid books that make me cry but sometimes it comes out of the blue and I’ll end up crying over the weirdest things! I love MIss Marple too.I guess a couple people have played her over the years but I like Joan Haskins as her.

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  2. The Tuesday Morning collection by Karen Kingsbury is really good but so so so sad!! I just finished reading Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman and it’s the best nonfiction book I’ve read in a very long time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t imagine Why Karen only writes depressing stuff. She must be crying all the time! I couldn’t handle it. My story about Blanche is a bit depressing but it will get better (eventually 😉) so I’m also working on another book that is more cheerful and light to offset it. I couldn’t write heavy stuff all the time.

      I don’t read a lot of non-fiction but I read Mary Beth’s and bawled like a baby. I’ve been following them for years (listened to SCC since elementary school) so when Maria died I felt like I lost a family member. I remember my mom calling after she’d heard and we just cried into the phone together, our hearts broken for Will Franklin.

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  3. Pshaw. As my mother taught me, “All reading is good reading.” (A lesson she learned from her step-grandpa, who won her favor by buying her comic books, and her father, who brought her home a footlocker of left-behind science fiction novels.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m completely unashamed about what I read. I don’t pretend to read books to represent myself in a certain way and I refuse to read something because it’s ‘high brow’. Many would say I read nothing but trash and I’m 100% okay with that. Reading is reading and as long as people are happy then that’s what matters.

    I don’t blame you for getting addicted to Miss Marple and the like. I grew up with my granny watching those shows and they are addictive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really just teasing a little bit, especially because I think reading is reading and all of it can bring some sort of enlightenment – even if it just to show us we have horrible tastes 😉

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  5. I had a good conversation about what people should read with our new librarian at our town’s public library yesterday. We were both in complete agreement that people should read whatever they feel led to read. She is currently reading a romance and I’m reading Moby Dick, but does that make my reading more valuable than hers? No, of course not. I’m finding that lots and lots of Moby Dick is complete filler (I just, for example, read an entire chapter on whale classification that Melville entirely made up); MD could have used a decent editor (and I almost feel it needs to be translated, like the way Shakespeare plays are often handled). I waver during these odd days in America between wanting to read books of timeless wisdom and books of pure escapism. And that’s pretty much my reading pattern now.

    Thanks for sharing your reading choices. I remember reading Herriot back in the day. I couldn’t wait to get to the end of one book before I tore into the next one. I’ve read a couple of Jan Karon, too, though I’ve never tried Karen Kingsbury. Reading gentle stories like these reminds me that there are lots (and lots and lots, I hope) of people in the world who are living quiet lives and helping their neighbors and caring for their communities. I need that reminder.

    Have a lovely week! Good luck with writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel similar about many classics as you do about Moby Dick, but the important thing is the story – and the hype – always hype helps people think a story is a real classic. 😉 I think I read so many of those “fluffy” stories as a way to escape and to remind myself, like you, that there are simple little communities somewhere out there without all the strife and craziness.

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  6. Light reading has its place too. But it doesn’t look like crap. I know Debbie Macomber is popular, but I’ve never tried anything by her or Nora Roberts either. I have skimmed them, I think, and…well, I wasn’t impressed. BUT not my kind of books, at all. Obviously.

    There were only two spin-offs of CSI: Miami and New York. 🙂 Yes, I’ve been watching CSI Miami and CSI…and Kim and I have been watching The Office.

    Liked by 1 person

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