Welcome to my weekly post where I recap my week by writing about what I’ve been reading, watching, writing, doing, and sometimes what I’ve been listening to.
Do you have book goals for the year? Like do you try to read a certain amount of books during a year? I don’t, in case you were wondering.
My husband does and every year he reads thirty-some more than he planned on. Makes me both sick and impressed.
I don’t set challenges because it stresses me out and I have enough to stress me out. I prefer not to be stressed out about reading too.
I should add that my husband just discovered his Goodreads counted some of the books he read twice so maybe he didn’t read 73 out of 50 last year after all. Ha! Take that! He also reads comics, graphic novels, and hardcover/paperbacks throughout the year and writes hundreds of news stories. Yes, he is an overachiever when it comes to words.
What I’m Reading
So, on to my (slow) reading this week. I finished two books, one by Jodi Allen Brice, who asked me to read an Advanced Readers Copy for her. It comes out June 29 and is called Promises Kept. It was a nice, simple story about a small town with some romance thrown in.
I also finished The Heart Knows the Way Home by Christy Distler and will probably finish Sarah’s Choice by Pegg Thomas this week.
Pegg’s book comes out on August 3. It is a very raw look at life after the French and Indian War through the eyes of a woman who loses her husband at the hands of Native Americans. It is raw, gritty, and not necessarily something I would read again, but it is very well written. I’m not sure I think we have to be reminded so many times that the woman hates Indians (who I call Native Americans because I hate the term Indians since they were never Indians. They weren’t from India), but that’s who the character is, so I suppose it is necessary.
She has very good reasons to hate them, don’t get me wrong, but the number of times they are called savages like it is fact is a bit much for me. This book is not going to remind you that the settlers came in and kicked the Native Americans out of their homes and their land without a second thought, that’s for sure. You’re going to be told to feel sorry for the settlers who built forts and moved in guns and destroyed the forests and that’s a little hard for me in some ways, but in other ways not because I know the author is trying to convey to the reader how the settlers felt. As she says on her Goodreads account, she isn’t trying to instill modern values and opinions on the matter into her story. That’s very clear within the first chapter. The whole situation stinks, but in this book, only one side of the situation stinks, which is awkward for me. The book is extremely well researched and well written so any negatives I am expressing here are more about the situation back then, not about the book itself or the author. She’s an excellent writer and keeps the story moving along to the point you don’t want to stop reading.
Christy’s book was a much lighter read. It focused on a woman who returns to an area where she grew up in a difficult childhood and ends up temporarily staying with the Mennonite family who helped raise her after a tree falls through the house she is renting. She hasn’t seen them in over a decade and one of the people who is most uncomfortable with her visit is her childhood friend Luke Martin.
Luke is still reeling from the loss of his wife and raising his son Joah on his own.
He’s also struggling with moving away from the more stringent rules of the church he’s always been a part of. Janna, the main character, is doing some reeling of her own, after having a daughter in college and leaving an abusive relationship five months prior. This is a Christian book but it is not overly preachy, well, not exactly.
It does get a little preachy about Mennonite customs, but that is to explain the characters and the main character’s transformation.
I’m not sure what I thought about the ending exactly, but it was a very sweet ending, which I found refreshing after slogging through the depression of Sarah’s Choice.
The book is not a romance because there is no kissing. I mean none. Like no. Really. NONE.
Lots of “feelings” and “looks” and a couple of side hugs. It’s a very Mennonite-positive book. No men running off with non-Mennonite women to explore life outside the church here. The author was respecting Mennonites with this book because she used to attend a Mennonite Church, and there is nothing wrong with that. She also used the book as a way to raise awareness of a genetic condition that affects mainly the Mennonite community and to raise money for that cause.
This week I hope to read a couple of hardcover books I picked up at a library sale, a The Cat Who book, and a book called Double Minds by Terri Blackstock.
What I’m Watching
Hubby and I are mainly watching Poirot movies, and I watched The Chosen episode six this week but watched very little else this past week because I’ve either been reading, running errands, or watching my daughter’s little friends as they walk up and down our street between their Nana’s house and our house.
What’s Been Occurring
My daughter’s little friends came back from a six-month stay in Texas, and she’s been able to see them three or four times since they’ve returned. They stay with their great-grandmother off and on during the summer because of their mom’s crazy work schedule. Their Nana, as they call her, lives at the end of our street so the girls walk up and sometimes they all walk back down in search of toys (usually Barbies) they want to play with up here. I used to let them walk back and forth and was content on standing on our front sidewalk to watch them reach her house and then she would watch them from the front porch until they arrived at ours.
However, this week I noticed how creepy some of the guys driving past our house are and got a little nervous about letting them walk alone. Our street isn’t super busy but it is a shortcut to the local hardware, garden store so cars often zoom up if off another road, and by zoom I mean they act like it’s a drag racing course. Two small cars come up here a lot and the guys in them are sort of creepy, proven this week when the one guy stopped, leaned out his car window, and said to my daughter’s friend, “That’s right. Got to look both ways before crossing the street.”
I have no idea why the man’s comment made me nervous. I mean, it was good advice. It was just the way he seemed to leer when he said it. Shudder. I suddenly had flashbacks to foreshadowing moments in movies where the character who seems nice later comes back and kidnaps the children. Luckily it gave me a chance to talk to the girls again about how we don’t talk to people we don’t know on the street and what to do if someone ever tries to grab them.
The weather warmed up enough this week that we broke out the slip n’ slide in the backyard. Let me tell you about this slip n’ slide — all I wanted was a little simple slide like I’d had as a kid. I logged on to Amazon to search for it and about 50 recommendations came up, all of them over $70. It was nuts. I finally find one for only $13 and the reviews weren’t great, but I didn’t care. I just needed a piece of plastic with some holes to let the kids slide on. It isn’t the most state-of-the-art thing but the kids had fun so that’s all that matters.
On Saturday we kicked off my husband’s vacation week with a trip down the Susquehanna River on a paddleboat. It was a very nice ride. In addition to the view, we were able to learn about the history of logging along the river, as well as information about the Underground Railroad stops in the area, via a video they played on two large screen TVs on board. We also learned about local Native American history, which, sadly, was as tragic as their history in other places in our country.
My daughter was more fascinated with the snack bar than anything else but she also had developed a cold, although we weren’t sure it was a cold until later that day. We thought it was allergies until her temperature rose once we got home.
Now we are all bracing ourselves to see if we catch it as well and if our planned day trips for the rest of the week will be able to be held or not.
In between day trips, I will be researching homeschool curriculum and taking our homeschool paperwork in to the school district.
What I’m Listening To
I’ve been listening to the Unashamed podcast during the week, but sadly try to listen at night and fall asleep listening to the Robertson’s talk about their crazy lives. I like waking up and hearing them talk about what they’ve learned from the Bible.
What I’m Writing
I gave up on writing blog posts consecutively because, well, I was beginning to look like a loser with no life. I mean, I am one, but I don’t want to look like it. *wink*
I finished the first manuscript of Harvesting Hope last week and am on to the editing stage and changing the ending because, well, I hate the ending.
On the blog I wrote:
Also, Dorothy our “scarewoman” shows here how I felt in the heat Saturday and will the rest of this week, if it gets as high as they say it will.
So that’s my week in review. How was your week last week? What are you reading, watching, listening to, writing, or doing? Let me know in the comments.