Hard to believe, but 2014 is on the downhill slope. August is ending, which for some of you means cooler weather ahead. Here in Texas, it takes a little longer, so we’re still in full swing with summer. I can’t complain, though. This has been one of our mildest summers in several years, with only a handful of 100 degree days so far!
To keep you informed as to what I’ve been into and up to this month, I’m once again joining the What I’m Into link-up with Leigh Kramer.
Books I Read:
The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities by Kathleen Deyer Bolduc
This is such an important book, and as far as I know, there is nothing else quite like it on the market. The author uses the metaphor of a mosaic throughout the book to emphasize the importance and purpose of brokenness, and how out of our broken pieces, we can come together with God to make something beautiful. Each chapter is short and provides a reflection exercise linking to a spiritual discipline. I especially appreciated the author’s attention to the chronic grief of parents of the disabled, as it reminded me of the post on grief I wrote last December.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
It’s safe to say that I find Liane Moriarty’s fiction to be of the un-put-downable kind. Always fun and easy to read, I usually finish her novels within a couple of days. This one was no exception. Very entertaining!
Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Creepy and good. Kind of Stephen King-ish–horror with plenty of supernatural thrown in. A bit long, but it definitely held my interest and I finished it quickly.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
A very good teenage drama with a definite plot twist ending. I listened to this one on audiobook and I never saw the ending coming.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This book about World War II has gotten really good reviews, and I liked it. . . okay. The problem was that it was slow. The writing was well-crafted, and the storyline was interesting, but I knew what was going to happen and still had to drudge slowly through the last several chapters. The best part was early on in the book, when the author sets the scene in Germany with the Hitler youth movement. Quite chilling.
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
I’ve been on a waiting list for this one at the library, so I was thrilled to get it into my grubby little hands. Loved it, though not as much as Me Before You. Still, I highly recommend reading anything by Jojo Moyes. No surprise, but this one gets my pick as favorite of the month!
Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor
You just can’t go wrong with Barbara Brown Taylor. She is a master of beautiful, descriptive language, mingled with wonder about God, His creation, and about humanity and our relationship with Him. This book addresses the problem of “full solar theology,” and how unrealistic it is, since all of us find ourselves plunged into darkness during periods of our life.
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
A well-written novel about a difficult period in American history. The suffering the protagonist has to endure as an orphan in the 20s and 30s is almost unimaginable. I enjoyed this book immensely and appreciated how the present and past were linked together. The ending, however, left me unsatisfied.
This is just a sampling! To see all the books I read/listened to this month, you can check out my profile on Goodreads. And please send me a friend request over there. I’d love to see what’s on your bookshelf as well!
What I Watched:
On TV, we were (finally!) able to watch Miranda season 3 on Hulu. If you haven’t seen this British comedy, I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly funny it is. We watched the entire series in just a few nights, and (spoiler alert) it ends with a big cliffhanger!! Aaaargh!
We also rented Jim Gaffigan’s Mr. Universe and I’ve never laughed so hard in my life!
I actually got to go to the theater this month and see three movies! That almost never happens!
First off, we saw Boyhood. This movie is long but it’s true what the ads say — you’ve never seen anything like this.
They actually shot this movie over a twelve year period, so you get to see all the actors age and change and evolve on screen. It’s pretty amazing to watch the kids go through their metamorphoses, but I think watching the adult actors (Ethan Hawke and Rosanna Arquette) as they matured impacted me even more. It was so much like real life. . . which is kind of the whole point of the film.
Next I got to see If I Stay with a group of girlfriends. I read the book by Gayle Forman about a year ago, and I thought the movie version was excellent. Takes you through the wringer of emotions, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. I loved it, though!
Finally, my daughter and I went to see The Giver. She and I have both read the novel series, so we were excited about the film. While there were some differences between the book and the movie, it was done very well and the whole cinematography (not sure if that’s the right word) was amazing, as the picture gradually (or sometimes suddenly) changed from black & white to color. Love, love, love the theme of the book and the movie — there is no joy without pain, there is no love without choice. A must-see!
Kirk Cameron’s Christian Nation Doesn’t Exist by Laura Turner
My Own Most Read Posts:
What Made Me Laugh:
Other stuff I’ve been into and up to:
School started!!! Hooray! I am one happy Momma right about now. I still have a couple of weeks until my teaching schedule resumes, so it’s nice to have some peace and quiet around here during the day so I can get caught up on a few things.
Or read more books.
What about you? What have you been into and up to during the month of August? I’d love to hear about it!