Favorite Books Read in 2020

I thought about sharing a list of the books I read this year, but I share an Amazon and Goodreads account with my mom (it makes it easier for me to add books to her Kindle for her) and she read a lot more books than me so sifting through what she read and what I read was a little overwhelming. My Kindle list also includes books from my husband’s account and he’s also read a lot more books than I have this year (as he always does.)

I’ve been lesson planning for when school starts for the kids next week so I didn’t have time to sit and figure out what I read, what she read, and what he read. I do know she read around 200 this year (some of them short, some of them awful Kindle books, poor lady) on her Kindle and he read 80 on his Kindle. They both also read a few hard copies of books.

Since I didn’t want to try to make a list of all the books I read, which would have been short (maybe 20), I thought I’d list some of my favorites of what I read this year instead.

My favorite reads this year were:

A Long Time Comin’ by Robin W. Pearson

Lead Me Home by Amy K. Sorrells

Falling Home by Karen White

About Your Father And Other Celebrities I Have Known by Peggy Rowe (the only non-fiction book I read all the way through.)

A Longmire Mystery: The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish by Bethany Turner.

The Dead Don’t Dance by Charles Martin


Honorable Mentions:

Borders of the Heart Chris Fabry

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

Silas Marner by George Elliot

The Knife Slipped by Earl Stanley Gardner

A Cord of Three Strands by Christy Distler

I know a lot of readers announce a reading goal for the new year, but I find goals like that distract me from simply enjoying reading. I guess I could set my goal at 20 and see what happens, but . . . that just sounds so organized, so I don’t think I’ll really set that as my goal. Pretend I did, though, so I fit in with all the book bloggers of the world.

So how about you? What were some of your favorite reads of 2020? Let me know in the comments.

Victorian Reading Challenge

I am going to try this next year. We will see how it goes. . . I don’t often follow through on these things.

To read the entire reading challenge guidelines: Becky’s Book Reviews

Victorian Reading Challenge
Host: Becky’s Book Reviews (sign up here)
Duration: January 2021 – December 2021
Goal: Read between 4 to 6 Books (4 minimum)

Choose to participate in the basic challenge (quarterly) or the advanced challenge (themed months). All books must fall into the “Victorian” category being either a) books originally published between 1837 and 1901 b) books originally written (but not published) between 1837 and 1901 c) general nonfiction about the Victorian era (the times, the culture, the people, the events) d) biographies of Victorians.

Sign up by leaving a comment @ Becky’s Book Reviews post for the reading challenge.
The above information is copy/pasted from Becky’s post. 

I am signing up to read the quarterly challenge which is 4 Victorian books (one per quarter). 

1. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin

2. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

4. The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle’s (husband’s suggestion)

5. Middlemarch by George Elliott

Tea-ology Reading Challenge

I think I’m going to try this reading challenge this next year so I wanted to share it here. I copied this from the person hosting the challenge.

Tea-ology Reading Challenge (formerly Share-a-Tea)
Host: Operation Actually Read Bible (formerly Becky’s Book Reviews) (sign up here)
Duration: Perpetual but starting anew each January
# of books: Readers Decide

This challenge is all about celebrating SLOWING DOWN and SAVORING the moments. This challenge is about QUALITY and not quantity. This is an anti-rush reading challenge. Enjoy where you are in a book, and, engage fully in it. Live in the book.

Love drinking tea? Love reading books? Love reading a book while drinking tea? Have I got a reading challenge for you!

Who can join? Anyone who enjoys reading. You don’t need to have a blog. You don’t need to have a twitter account. Are coffee drinkers welcome? Well. You can still join in, I suppose. But you might be outnumbered by tea drinkers.

Which books count?

  • The Bible (any translation)
  • Devotionals
  • Sermons
  • Christian Biography/Autobiography
  • Christian Living
  • Christian Nonfiction
  • Christian Theology
  • Christian Bible Studies
  • Letters, Journals, Diaries, etc.

Does anything else count?

  • Watching or listening to sermons; just be sure to make note of what you’re watching and perhaps jot down a note or two to remind you what it was about.
  • Listening to audio bibles (again just keep track of what you’re listening to)
  • Listening to audio books (again just keep track…)
  • Listening to praise/worship albums (again just keep track…)

1) When you sign up in a comment below, share one favorite tea and one favorite book. And if you’ve got one handy: a favorite quote.
2) If you write a post on your blog announcing the challenge (and making a place to keep track of what you’ve read), consider sharing a bit about yourself–your reading and drinking habits. You might consider a longer list of recommendations!
3) If you’re on twitter, tweet me as often as you like @operationbible Tweet about favorite teas, favorite books, favorite authors, favorite quotes, what you’re currently reading, what you’ve just finished reading, etc.

I will be sharing my progress throughout the year. I haven’t decided if it will be every week, every other week, every month. If you have a preference, let me know when you sign up. You are more than welcome to share your progress in the comments of my progress posts.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday Bookends: Going down south, in a book that is; the new kitten is crazy; and my garden was a failure but my dad’s wasn’t

Sunday Bookends is my week in review, so to speak. It’s where I share what I’ve been up to, what I’ve been reading, what I’ve been watching, what I’ve been listening to and what I’ve been writing. Feel free to share a link or comment about your week in review in the comments.

What I’m Reading

I’m savoring A Long Time Comin’ By Robin W. Pearson. The story takes place in North Carolina, which I am familiar with since my mom is originally from there. I’ve been reading from it all week but I have had to pause and have a good cry during part of it, not because it is depressing, but because much of it is touching.

I have mentioned this book before but I thought I’d share the description again:

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To hear Beatrice Agnew tell it, she entered the world with her mouth tightly shut. Just because she finds out she’s dying doesn’t mean she can’t keep it that way. If any of her children have questions about their daddy and the choices she made after he abandoned them, they’d best take it up with Jesus. There’s no room in Granny B’s house for regrets or hand-holding. Or so she thinks.

Her granddaughter, Evelyn Lester, shows up on Beatrice’s doorstep anyway, burdened with her own secret baggage. Determined to help her Granny B mend fences with her far-flung brood, Evelyn turns her grandmother’s heart and home inside out. Evelyn’s meddling uncovers a tucked-away box of old letters, forcing the two women to wrestle with their past and present pain as they confront the truth Beatrice has worked a lifetime to hide.

So far I can absolutely relate to Evelyn and somewhat to Granny B. Granny B can be a difficult character to like, in some ways, but I do like her and I am enjoying slowly learning about her, savoring a chapter or two a day. I’m also learning about her seven children, the husband who left the family, and the frayed ties that hold them all together.

Robin’s next book is due in February 2021 and it’s already on the hot new releases for Amazon. I guess that tells you a little about how much people like her first book.

Up next on my list to read:

Above the Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel and for a complete opposite of Rachel’s book, I’m going to try a Longmire book, The Dark Horse by Craig Johnson, since I’ve watched a few episodes of the show.



What I’m Watching

I’m still watching Father Brown and I’ve also been watching reruns of Benson (the old show with Robert Guillaume), which actually holds up pretty well (other than the keep call black people “the blacks.”). Benson is available on the Roku app on the . . . well, Roku.

What’s Been Happening:

The new kitten is fitting in fairly well, though our resident adult cat still hates her. Pixel, our adult cat, is spending a lot of time outside still, but did let me start petting her again. For the first few days she wanted nothing to do with me, glaring at me from under the table most days. She still glares some, but it’s better and her tail flares less now when she sees the kitten, but she still hisses and growls at her if the kitten dares to get within a few feet of her. We did finally choose Scout for the kittens name and I guess Little Miss has accepted that the kitten will not be called Mittens.

Scout climbs on my chest anytime she wants comfort or sleep which can be very inconvenient at times, like when I need to make dinner or type or well, do anything at all. It was cute at first and it’s sweet she sees me as her comfort but the other night I had to switch her to my husband so I could finish dinner.

This past week was also stock up on stock photography week. I took a bunch of new stock photos to submit to my stock agencies, including Lightstock, a Christian-based stock agency. During that upload I had to ask a question on their chat and Scout ran across the keyboard which led to a humorous exchange with the gentleman I was chatting with, mainly me apologizing for all the extra letters on the keyboard.

You will see some of the photos for stock in my photos of the week. The photos of my son doing school work were set up that way; we haven’t started school yet. We probably won’t start until after Labor Day.

I visited my Dad’s garden this week to grab some kale (he has tons and now I have tons waiting to be cooked) and not only took some photos of the garden, but the sun pouring through the clouds overlooking the property and some of the purple cone flowers at the front of the house.

I don’t know if I will be taking too many photos this upcoming week, at least the first half of it, because it is supposed to be very hot and I hate the heat, or my body does at least. Temps are supposed to decrease later in the week so maybe I will venture out then.

What I’m Listening To

Zach Williams and Toby Mac have been on my playlist lately. For Zach I have been listening to his Chain Breaker album and for Toby I’m listening to his Lost Demos album, which is what it sounds like – demos that he wrote but then never actually made the albums. The songs are very good and of course hold some memories for Toby since a couple were written about his son, who died last year.

Photos from the week:

Book review: A Cord of Three Strands, historical fiction

Book reviews won’t necessarily be a regular feature here but I’ve read a couple I’ve liked lately and wanted to share in case others are looking for a good distraction. Plus I “met” this author online and thought it would be cool to help her promote her first book. I mean she’s from Pennsylvania and the book takes place in Pennsylvania so she must be cool, right?

First, the Goodreads description of the book:

As 1756 dawns, Isaac Lukens leaves the Pennsylvania wilderness after two years with the Lenape people. He’s failed to find the families of his birth parents, a French trader and a Lenape woman. Worse, the tribe he’s lived with, having rejected his peacemaking efforts, now ravages frontier settlements in retaliation. When he arrives in the Quaker community where he was reared, questions taunt him: Who is he—white man or Lenape? And where does he belong?

Elisabeth Alden, Isaac’s dearest childhood friend, is left to tend her young siblings alone upon her father’s death. Despite Isaac’s promise to care for her and the children, she battles resentment toward him for having left, while an unspeakable tragedy and her discordant courtship with a prominent Philadelphian weigh on her as well.

Elisabeth must marry or lose guardianship of her siblings, and her options threaten the life with her and the children that Isaac has come to love. Faced with Elisabeth’s hesitancy to marry, the prospect of finding his family at last, and the opportunity to assist in the peace process between Pennsylvania and its Indian tribes, Isaac must determine where—and to whom—the Almighty has called him

My review:

To be honest, the prologue to this book made me think I might not enjoy it because the language seemed a little old fashioned. The important words in the previous sentence? Seemed and at first. Because by chapter 1 I realized the use of older language was a way to bring me closer to understanding the characters and their way of life. It wasn’t long before beginning it that I was hooked on the book and having a hard time putting it down. I was on the edge of my seat throughout, wondering what trial or triumph might face the main characters, Isaac and Elisabeth, next.

 This book is a romance in some ways, yes, but it is such a sweet, gradual romance that the reader isn’t overwhelmed with sappiness and drama. Much of the romantic nature of the story is over shadowed by the compelling story of the Lenape people through the eyes of Isaac and the story of the Quakers through both Isaac and Elisabeth’s eyes. This isn’t one of those romantic stories where romance is the main focus. Yes, love is the main thread that holds the characters and the story together but it is a love that is deeper than a physical and romantic attraction. It is a spiritual love and an emotional one.

From the beginning of this book I fell in love with the characters,  my heart broke for their trials, and my eyes were opened to the struggles faced by this nation’s early settlers and the natives who lived on the land before the settlers ever arrived. I literally wanted to crawl inside the book at times and hug Elisabeth close and then take her away from a world that could be so cruel in the early years of our nation’s founding.

I was never sure what adventure was coming next for Isaac and Elisabeth and I loved that. It kept me turning pages (and kept me up too late at some nights). As a Christian I don’t believe in fate so in this case I believe it was divine guidance that led me to discover Christy’s book. In the first few pages Christy mentioned a town near where I grew up and now live, which hooked me on the book even more.

I later discovered the author lives in the same state and holds the same love for this state’s local and Native American history in the same way I do. This is Christy’s first book, but I expect to see many more from her in the future and I’m really looking forward to them.

If you’re not already a fan of historical fiction, this book will make you one. She could use some reviews for the book to get it some more attention so if you read it and like it, please leave her a review on Amazon.

Christy is also an editor (copy editing, content editing, line editing, proofreading, manuscript review) and you can find more information about that part of her life HERE.



A New Beginning up on Kindle and Barnes&Noble today

I guess I hit a high level of boredom because I published A New Beginning on Amazon and Barnes&Noble this weekend.

If you’re not familiar with the story, I have put up the first two chapters on this page and there is also a link to all of the chapters (if you want to click to each one) HERE for another week.

This is the sequel to A Story To Tell, which you can also find on Kindle and B&N.

Here on the blog you can red my short story Quarantined or follow along with The Farmer’s Daughter, which I am updating each Friday, or Fully Alive, which I’m updating, well, whenever at this point (but usually on Thursdays).

Looking back at October ahead to November, reading and otherwise

I actually managed to finish a couple of books in October and start a couple more.

I don’t read as fast as others who share and link up on Readerbuzz’s Sunday Salon and Caffeinated Reviewer’s Sunday Post and The Book Date’s, What Are You Reading post, but I enjoy the books I do read so I figure it’s all good. I read them in between working on my own stories, homeschooling a 12-year old and 5-year old, cooking dinner, editing photos for stock photography, and occasionally cleaning the house (being a housewife is not necessarily my calling).

I won’t have as much time for reading this month since I’ve decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month and hopefully finish the sequel to A Story to Tell and maybe even make progress on Fully Alive.

I’m ahead of the game for NaNoWriMo since I already have 27,000 words for A New Beginning and about 14,000 for A Fully Alive but both books need a lot of work, plot and character development.

But I do plan to read some books this month and on the list to either start or finish include:

  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (to finish)
  • Light from Heaven by Jan Karon (to finish because I just started it)
  • The Misadventures of Tumbleweed Thompson by Glen McCarty (starting. It’s a middle school book for my son’s homeschool group book discussion).
  • The Hobbit (I know! I’m still reading it! I’m pathetic!)
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot (to finish)
  • The Dog That Whispered by Jim Kraus (to start)
  • Just Me On This by Donald Westlake (to start)
  • Leota’s Garden by Francine Rivers (to finish)

Books I finished in October:

  • In this Mountain by Jan Karon
  • Memphis & Me by Diane Moody
  • The Runaway Pastor’s Wife by Diane Moody

I’m also reading Paddington Marches On by Michael Bond and Stuart Little by EB White with my 5-year old daughter at night. I love when she asks me to read to her to help her fall asleep, though it is frustrating when she falls asleep in the middle of the story and I want to know what happened. I can never figure out if I should wait to finish the story with her the next night or finish it. (Both books are broke into individual stories.) Sometimes I just go ahead and finish it and read it again the next night.

Our autumn leaves were pretty much completely annihilated by heavy wind and rain this week but we found these cool leaves I have never seen in my life in Pennsylvania at a playground near us.

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I have no idea what tree they are from but they were awesome. My daughter wasn’t really into throwing the leaves up in the air for me to take photographs but my son helped a couple of times.

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We had stopped at the playground after a funeral for my husband’s great aunt, who passed away at the age of 90 last Sunday. I was ready to go home since when I drove to the funeral I realized I had forgotten some photo albums my husband’s cousin had wanted and had to drive 15 miles back to my house and 15 miles back down to give her the albums. But my children don’t play at playgrounds as often as they used to so I took some photographs of them and then sat in the van reading Jan Karon while they played with a couple of little girls who had come to the playground as well.

Coming up this month my son and husband both have birthdays (my son will be 13 on Thursday and my husband will be … a certain age .. later in the month) and my brother and his wife celebrate their 23rd wedding anniversary (on the same day as my husband’s birthday). We don’t have anything super exciting planned for November beyond recognizing those milestones. We will be plowing forward on homeschooling for both children and hunting for a house closer to my husband’s job and my parents during the month as well. I am planning a post later about house hunting. The post will be entitled “The soul-sucking process of house hunting.”

As for what I was watching in October, I watched a lot of a British sitcom called One Foot in the Grave (but Amazon only offers up to season three thorough Britbox so I may look for a DVD collection that can be played on American DVD players) and also watched Paul: Apostle of Christ, which I rambled about here.

On my blog in October, some of the subjects I rambled about were: autumn, a little about books and movies, and a bit about writing fiction.

I also blogged about:

For Fiction Friday in October I shared:

On my blog this month I’ll be continuing to share A New Beginning, the sequel to A Story To Tell, for Fiction Friday every week, or at least every other week. I’m sure I’ll ramble some more about my children and I’m sure I’ll share more photographs of whatever I see throughout the month. I’ll probably blog about what I’m reading or lessons learned during NaNoWriMo and maybe even some insights on God (because, you know, I’m someone people turn to for thoughts on God. Har. Har.).

So, how about you? What are you reading, watching, or up to?

 

More ‘Autumn in Pennsylvania’, photos, the Apostle Paul, and a little about books

Winter is coming in a bit like a lion this year as the North was lashed with wind and rain part of this week. We spent part of our week inside, under covers, watching movies and sometimes reading books.

Early in the week I rolled my ankle and thought I was on the way to the ER like Marcia at The Write Stuff (who visited the ER for the first time in her life twice in a week!) but luckily that didn’t happen. I wish I had an exciting story to go along with that ankle story but I was literally only pushing my son’s bike in the driveway to take it to the van so he could take it to his grandparents and my ankle just turned. That was all. Very boring story. The ankle was sore off and on all week but nowhere near a crisis. One day I thought it was swollen and then remembered I just have fat, Hobbit-like feet and ankles and it wasn’t actually swollen.

At the end of the week, I also feel in a hole at my parents, with the foot of the ankle I had twisted going straight down and sending me to the ground. My son thought it was hilarious because he said one moment I was standing and the next moment I screamed and disappeared. Luckily, I didn’t damage it worse and was still able to go to a community event with my husband later that evening.

Speaking of Hobbits, I have stalled on reading the book and I have no idea why because it’s a good book. Here is a goal for this week: finish the book, like my son who is finishing it up for schoolwork.

Speaking of books, I haven’t made a ton of progress on that front but did manage to progress in Diane Moody’s Memphis & Me and have made a list of other books I plan to break into this week, including:

  •  Village School by Miss Read
  • Leota’s Garden by Francine Rivers
  • Rhythm and Renewal by Rebekah Lyons
  • The Misadventured Summer of Tumbleweed Thompson by Glen McCarty (middle school book for book discussion for our homeschooling group)

As for what I’m watching, I watched Paul, Apostle of Christ with Jim Cavaziel this week and wow, it was powerful. Jim is playing Luke this time, instead of Jesus. Paul is played by James Faulkner who gives a powerful performance of a man at the end of his 30-year journey as a missionary for Jesus. Paul is in a Roman prison, charged by Nero with burning half of Rome, which of course he denies doing. The movie shows that the fire was more than likely started by Nero himself, who then used the Christians as a scapegoat to take the blame off himself. The Christians are currently living in hiding, with many being murdered because of their faith, trying to decide if and when to leave Rome to seek a more hospitable situation in Ephesus. Luke sneaks into the prison to visit Paul and record his message to his fellow persecuted Christians.

There is some fiction thrown into the story to add some drama, but that doesn’t take away from the crux of the Bible-based portions of the movie.

The movie was very moving, thought-provoking, deep, and should be watched with tissues close by. I honestly had a hard time watching it and not thinking of our world today and how persecution against people because of their faith is not something of the past, but something of the present that is continually getting worse. I tried not to envision that one day Christians (or people of other faiths) will be marched to the coliseum to be eaten by lions like we and others were in the day of the Romans.

To lighten the mood a little (ha!) I’m also watching a British sitcom called “One Foot in the Grave” (it doesn’t sound lighter, does it?) about a cranky man who has been forced into retirement. The series has both humorous and heart breaking moments so it’s a bit of a roller coaster ride emotionally, but the humor is up my alley – a little dark and odd.

 

I snapped only a few more fall related photos this week, partly because we had rain and wind two days in a row and it was miserable weather to photograph in and partly because I didn’t go many places to take photos featuring the fall foliage.

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I’m fairly certain this after I fell in the hole because my son was laughing pretty hard after I disappeared. Little “jerk.” 😉

So how about you? What have you been reading, watching or doing lately? Let me know in the comments.

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This post is part of Readerbuzz’s Sunday Salon 

and Kimberly at Caffeinated Reviewer’s Sunday Post. 

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Fry bread, Smoke Signals and cat mysteries. Or what I’m reading this week

Here we are to Sunday Salon, where bloggers share mainly what they’ve been reading and sometimes what they’ve been watching and doing. Want to get involved? Feel free to link up to Readerbuzz’s Sunday Salon post (which is usually up by Saturday).

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We made Navajo fry bread for homeschool a couple of weeks ago which made me think immediately of this scene from Smoke Signals:

That meant looking up the movie and finding it for free on Hulu, so we watched it as the family movie for my birthday. In case you’re interested in the movie, I’ll leave a link to the trailer. It is based on a short story called This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” from Sherman Alexie’s book The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993).

In my son’s textbook, they called it flatbread, but I’d always heard it called frybread. My first attempt at making it with the kids wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t the worst either. We hope to try it again soon, even though I personally can’t eat gluten (I won’t lie, I did try some of the fry bread and I paid for it with some achy muscles the next day, but not as bad as it could have been.)

As for what I have read or am reading right now:

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I started The Runaway Pastor’s Wife by Diane Moody, a self-published author I discovered, that my mom and I are really enjoying and who was sweet enough to answer me by email when I had some questions for her this week. I’m really enjoying the book. It’s fast-paced but also weaves a lot of thoughtful sections about the struggles both pastors and their wives face while serving in ministry.

I first discovered her husband, McMillian Moody, on Kindle Unlimited with his Elmo Jenkins series. I’m in the first book of that series and I’m not catching on to his book as quickly as I did The Runaway Pastor’s Wife. Diane’s one book series about World War II is based on her father’s time during the war, when he dropped from planes for people in Holland. I’m looking forward to delving into those books soon, especially since she will be releasing the fourth book in that series in 2020.  I need to hurry and read the books, though, because my mom rips through books at high speed and she keeps returning the books in Kindle Unlimited before I get to them (we are on a joint account). Seriously, I can get them back later, but come on, Mooom! Slow down.

51xr-HD6D7L._SY346_I’m in the middle of another book, Murder in Cherry Hills by Paige Sleuth (real name Marla Bradeen), who is another self-published author. So far the book is carrying me along quickly. It is about a woman (Katherine Harper) whose neighbor is murdered and she starts to investigate it, even though the police, including a childhood friend who has turned all hunky, are already investigating it. Katherine is a former foster child and that aspect is woven into the story as well.

I just need to find some time to read it and finish it since I’ve also been writing my own book (the follow up to A Story to Tell, which is out on Amazon Kindle now), homeschooling my children, cooking dinner, and pretending I’m an actual housewife.

Also on the reading list, The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein. Fantasy isn’t always my thing, but I am reading it with my son for his English for homeschool.

On the watch list lately has been Lark Rise to Candleford on Britbox (through Amazon). I’ve already watched Season 1 and am on to Season 2. I understand the series is based on a series of books, which I plan to look up at some point. I don’t watch a ton of television so I usually watch one series with a couple episodes a day and then go on to another series.

I also rarely go to the movies but a friend invited me to see Brittany Runs a Marathon at our local theater (which was a shock, because our smalltown theater rarely shows movies that are more independent). It was pretty good. Language and sexually suggestive moments warning for anyone who is bothered by those types of aspects in a movie. I could have done without some of the language and the sexually suggestive portions, because I don’t know that they added anything to the movie, but it was still a good (and inspiring) movie (and, forgive me if I offend you with not being impressed with the F-word being used so much. I’m a bit of a prude at times 😉 ) I’ll leave you with a trailer for the movie, in case you want to check it out. I would imagine it will be up on Amazon before long, since it was produced by Amazon.

As for what I’ve been doing, I rambled a little bit about that on the blog on the following posts:

Grumpy posts and a busy weekend

I found some old photos and it was the most exciting thing that happened to me all week

Our Homeschooling Journey So Far This School Year

I also rambled a little about self-publishing on THIS POST.

How about all of you? What are you reading, watching, writing, doing? Let me know in the comments or add a link to a recent blog post that covers those subjects.