Sunday Bookends: Do you have book reading goals? And a trip down the river. Luckily on a boat.

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:

Tell Me More About . . . Elizabeth Maddrey, Inspy Romance Author

Short Fiction: Better Than Whiskey

Remembering To Find the Good in the Purpose God Has Set for Me (on the Hopes, Hearts, and Heroes blog)

Fiction Friday: Harvesting Hope (formerly The Farmer’s Sons) Chapter 18

Special Saturday Fiction: Harvesting Hope Chapter 19

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.  

17 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: Do you have book reading goals? And a trip down the river. Luckily on a boat.

  1. Your definition of “slow reading” is about what I can accomplish in a year! I love reading but it takes me a lot to retain what I’m reading so I have to reread often and then I get frustrated by how looking it’s taking!😅
    Definitely don’t blame ya with being extra cautious with the girls..that is creepy!!! And there’s at least one in every town, sometimes one on every block!
    The boat ride looks like it was amazing and as always your pics are captivating!! Enjoy the slip n slide, I’m glad you went with the cheaper one, goodness!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ya that makes sense for sure…I try to do like faith-based self-help books and those overwhelm me every time! They’re good, it’s just I have to really concentrate hard. I read a Laurine Snelling book for a change more recently and enjoyed reading it while relaxing instead of stressing.😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That boat ride sounds awesome!!!

    Aw I am glad that Little Miss’ friends are back. Wow, 70 bucks! That is crazytown! I haven’t looked at them but dang that is some crazy inflation. And ew about those cars. I would be super nervous too, but you know me. I am a little hovery. Lol. And I listen to too much true crime. (imagine an eek face here) Have you ever seen the video meme thing of the 80s mom vs. the 2019 mom? I am so not the 80s mom. LOL. My very best friend is though, and it cracks us up that we are so different.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t make reading goals either, I just keep track of the books I’ve read (mostly so I won’t mistakenly borrow them from the library again or in the case of e-books so I won’t waste my time reading them (not all, but some) again. And I’m always surprised by the total read by the end of the year. On another subject, that creepy feeling you got from those guys – go with it, it’s your “mom sense” and it’s always worth heeding. I had that creepy feeling about a house in a neighborhood we once lived in and told my kids to never, ever go inside it to play with the children who lived there. All playtime with them had to be outside where I could see them or at our house. Sure enough…looked outside to find police cars, FBI, and more law enforcement agents outside that house one day. The man who lived there (not the biological father of the children) was peddling child pornography. My “mom sense” was correct!

    Liked by 2 people

    • My mom sense has been right before. Then it was right and I ignored it and the children in the home were abused. I still wonder if I could have stopped it, but the family had cut us out of their lives by then and I just couldn’t believe the person would hurt children that way. I thought he was just a pervert with adults. Ugh. Lesson learned and now I go with my gut.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I never make reading goals. I don’t need that stress either, lol.

    I relate so much to Dorothy the Scarewoman. Today is day 1 in a heat streak that is predicted to last 10 days. Today is 107 degrees and it’s supposed to top out Tues/ Wed at 114. Summer is my absolute least favorite time of year here. Blech.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha, as always, a fun post! I never make book goals because I like tallying them up at the end of the year and being surprised by how much I read. Setting a goal is just too stressful. Though probably not as stressful as having creepy guys driving around. Shudder. Since where I live is totally, completely urban and since you’re area has creepy guys, I may never let my kids outside again. I hope they leave your daughter and her friends alone. Or just stop showing up. Good luck with your edits and I wish you at least somewhat cooler temperatures!

    Liked by 1 person

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