New on the Stack in June 2015

Welcome to New on the Stack, where you can share the latest books you’ve added to your reading pile. I’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own post or instagram picture sharing your books! It’s a fun way to see what others will soon be reading, and get even more ideas of books to add to my “I want to read that!” list.New on the Stack button

Clearly I went overboard with the review books this month. Fortunately some of them have publication dates far in the future, but still. I’m ridiculous. I’ve been on such a good streak with review titles it I keep looking for more.

Nonfiction

Passenger on the PearlPassenger on the Pearl: The True Story of Emily Edmonson’s Flight from SlaveryPassenger on the Pearl: The True Story of Emily Edmonson's Flight from Slavery by Winifred Conkling by Winifred Conkling
How did I get it: Borrowed it from the library
Why did I get it: Months ago (last year actually) I got this as a review book from NetGalley. Except I could not get the format to work and had no way to actually read it. I’ve been waiting ever since to borrow it from the library. Both because I am interested in the topic, and because I want to leave some feedback at NetGalley so I no longer show it as received but basically ignored. I didn’t want to ignore it, but I couldn’t read it.

Wind in Your SailsWind In Your Sails: Vital Strategies That Accelerate Your Entrepreneurial GrowthWind In Your Sails: Vital Strategies That Accelerate Your Entrepreneurial Growth by David J. Greer by David J. Greer
How did I get it: Received a review copy.
Why did I get it: I’ve got an entrepreneurial-type idea I’m contemplating.

Searching for SundaySearching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the ChurchSearching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans by Rachel Held Evans
How did I get it: Received a review copy from NetGalley
Why did I get it: Rachel Held Evans is always thought-provoking, and I’m intrigued both by the subject matter of this one, and how she’s structured it.

Just Rise UpJust RISE UP!: A Call to Make Jesus FamousJust RISE UP!: A Call to Make Jesus Famous (InScribed Collection) by Sarah Francis Martin
by Sarah Francis Martin
How did I get it: Received a copy through the Influence Net Book Club
Why did I get it: I like book clubs.

TinkerLabTinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little InventorsTinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors by Rachelle Doorley by Rachelle Doorley
How did I get it: Borrowed it from the library
Why did I get it: Found it recommended somewhere, and it sounded intriguing.

Born Reading
Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age — From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in BetweenBorn Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age -- From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between by Jason Boog
by Jason Boog
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: Looking for ideas

You Can't Make MeYou Can’t Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded): Strategies for Bringing Out the Best in Your Strong-Willed ChildYou Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded), Revised and Updated Edition: Strategies for Bringing Out the Best in Your Strong-Willed Child by Cynthia Tobias by Cynthia Tobias
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: We’re having some … parenting issues with one child in particular. I’m looking for tips, ideas, help, you name it.

Pirate HuntersPirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate ShipPirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert Kurson by Robert Kurson
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: It sounds fascinating!

Fiction

Daddy-Long-LegsDaddy-Long-LegsDaddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster by Jean Webster
How did I get it: Borrowed it from the library
Why did I get it: It was last month’s book for Jessica’s Young Adult Book and Movie Club. I missed it then, but I can read it now.

If I StayIf I StayIf I Stay by Gayle Forman / Where She WentWhere She Went by Gayle Forman by Gayle Forman
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: This month’s book for Jessica’s Young Adult Book and Movie Club.

Touch BlueTouch BlueTouch Blue by Cynthia Lord by Cynthia Lord
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: Sounded interesting.

Northanger AbbeyNorthanger AbbeyNorthanger Abbey by Jane Austen by Jane Austen
How did I get it: Bought the Audible version (it’s a great deal if you have the Kindle copy, which is only $.99!)
Why did I get it: It’s coming up for book club.

In the Unlikely EventIn the Unlikely EventIn the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume by Judy Blume
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: It’s Judy Blume.

PossessionPossessionPossession by A. S. Byatt by A. S. Byatt
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: Next month’s book club pick.

Treasure HuntersTreasure HuntersTreasure Hunters by James Patterson by James Patterson
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: Wanted to check it out with thoughts of reading it to my son.

Saint MazieSaint Mazie: A NovelSaint Mazie: A Novel by Jami Attenberg by Jami Attenberg
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: Read an interview with the author and she was funny and it made the book sound very appealing.

The Readers of Broken Wheel RecommendThe Readers of Broken Wheel RecommendThe Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald by Katarina Bivald
How did I get it: Received a review copy from NetGalley
Why did I get it: It was compared to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and as much as I adore that book, I’ll try this one.

The Color of Our SkyThe Color of our SkyThe Color of our Sky: A novel set in India by Amita Trasi by Amita Trasi
How did I get it: Received a review copy from NetGalley
Why did I get it: It sounded interesting

The Tale of RescueThe Tale of RescueThe Tale of Rescue by Michael J. Rosen, illustrations by Stan Fellows by Michael J. Rosen, illustrations by Stan Fellows
How did I get it: Received a review copy from NetGalley
Why did I get it: It sounded interesting, plus maybe I can read it to my kids (not sure about this; the age range is unclear.)

The Hired GirlThe Hired GirlThe Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz by Laura Amy Schlitz
How did I get it: Received a review copy from NetGalley
Why did I get it: Look at that cover! Plus, the premise sound like my kind of book.

Liar from VermontLiar From VermontLiar From Vermont by Laura C. Stevenson by Laura C. Stevenson
How did I get it: Received a review copy from the publisher.
Why did I get it: The PR pitch intrigued me.

Thirty-three CecilsThirty-three CecilsThirty-three Cecils by Everett De Morier by Everett De Morier
How did I get it: Received a review copy from the publisher.
Why did I get it: Perfect timing by the marketing person. I had *just* been working on my reading challenge post which made me realize I needed a book by an indie press. Check my email to find a review request by an indie press. Then the description had me wondering so much that I was ready to dive into the book immediately. Details on it are sketchy, so I don’t know if I’ll finish it, but I’ll give it a try.


“New on the Stack” Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share your posts or instagram pictures about the new-to-you books you added to your reading stack last month. They can be purchases, library books, ebooks, whatever it is you’ll be reading! Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to this post – you can use the button below if you’d like, or use a text link.

The Deliberate Reader

3. The linkup will be open until the end of the month.

4. Please visit the person’s blog or Instagram who linked up directly before you and leave them a comment.

5. By linking up, you’re granting me permission to use and/or repost photographs from your linked post or Instagram. (Because on social media or in next month’s post, I hope to feature some of the books that catch my attention from this month.)

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June 2015 New on the Stack - Linking up with The Deliberate Reader to share what books are #newonthestack in June 2015

Listen, Slowly

Listen SlowlyListen, SlowlyListen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai by Thanhha Lai

If you saw my post about my favorite books of the year so far, this one will look familiar, and the fact that I’m about to gush over it will be no surprise. Lai is a new discovery for me this year, and I first read her book Inside Out and Back Again. As a Newbery Honor book and National Book Award winner, it’s no surprise that the book is FANTASTIC.

Could her new title Listen, Slowly live up to the high standards she’d set?

Happily, yes. While it’s a very different book (written in prose instead of verse, set in contemporary Vietnam, instead of historical Vietnam and the US), it’s still a beautifully written and captivating story. She brings Vietnam to life, and compels you to both continue reading, and care about all the individuals you meet.

I loved how well she differentiated the relatives. It would have been easy for them to become merely a group of extended family (kind of how they are when Mai first arrives), but most of them quickly become individuals.

The book is perfect for middle schoolers or high schoolers, and easily enjoyable by adults as well. Super sensitive readers might have a bit of trouble with some details at the very end, but I don’t want to share specifics for risk of spoilers. Ask me if you’re concerned with appropriateness for your kids and I’ll fill you in. Another possible concern for those with really strict standards on what they allow is that Mai is thinking about one boy quite a bit, and frets about her figure slightly (she’s not the curvy supposed American-ideal). Nothing is detailed, and it felt very accurate for her age. It also all ends up resolving nicely, if that makes a difference.

This could also work very well as a discussion book if you’re looking for one to read with your kids. Topics addressed include the obvious ones of family and history, but it also touches on friendships, prioritization, Americanization, travel, war, culture, food, and more.

Highly recommended, and do also read her other book, Inside Out and Back Again.

Publisher’s Description:
This remarkable novel from Thanhhà Lại, New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award–winning and Newbery Honor Book Inside Out & Back Again, follows a young girl as she learns the true meaning of family.

A California girl born and raised, Mai can’t wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, though, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. Mai’s parents think this trip will be a great opportunity for their out-of-touch daughter to learn more about her culture. But to Mai, those are their roots, not her own. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn’t know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds.

Perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia and Linda Sue Park, Listen, Slowly is an irresistibly charming and emotionally poignant tale about a girl who discovers that home and culture, family and friends, can all mean different things.

Book Details

Title: Listen, SlowlyListen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai
Author: Thanhha Lai
Category: Juvenile Fiction
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Death in Brittany

Death in BrittanyDeath in Brittany: A MysteryDeath in Brittany: A Mystery by Jean-Luc Bannalec by Jean-Luc Bannalec

I fell for this one because of the cover – isn’t it gorgeous? Doesn’t it look so serene, and yet that sky looms menacingly in the background. It gave me good hopes for the book.

And, well, it’s fine. There are parts that are quite promising, and other parts that are so clunky. The mystery isn’t bad – while I figured out the main core of it, there was one aspect that did surprise me, so that’s always a plus for me.

The book was originally published in German, and even before I went online to see if it was a translation I suspected that was the case. The writing and expressions just felt … off at times, and made me think of a so-so translation. I can’t really say that it’s the translation that’s so-so, instead of the book, but the end result is mediocre at times.

The main character, Dupin, is fairly unlikable for the majority of the book. I hated how he kept his colleagues uninformed and just kept expecting them to do his bidding. His interactions with his superiors make me doubt his ability to stay employed much longer. It seemed like a stereotypical “gruff loaner detective who figures it all out on his own because he gets no support from higher command.” Oh, but he has quirks too – he’s a caffeine fiend. There were what seemed like endless references to him getting another coffee, and whether it was a good one or not.

I had a terrible time keeping some of the other police characters straight as far as who was who. I finally more or less gave up. They were all so bland, and so insignificant as far as events in the book matter. Yes, I admit that I was reading the book while keeping an eye on kids playing outside, which didn’t help with that, but I regularly read that way and don’t generally have similar issues with other books. They were just interchangeable. In the book’s defense, it didn’t help that I’m unfamiliar with the police and government structure there so titles didn’t help me as much as they might otherwise.

There are times when deciding on the star rating is the hardest thing for me. Reducing all the elements of the book to one number that ends up standing in for what I thought about the book? It can be hard. This is one where it was hard. The plot is 3 stars. The writing is 2 stars. I liked the setting. The characters were ok. Distilling it down it seems like a 2.5 is the fairest rating, but on Goodreads that means I round down to a 2, and I do call that an “ok.” Which … yeah it’s was ok. Consider it a high 2, almost a 3, and it the setting is appealing, or you want to try it, it’s ok to good.

However, if you read German, that was the original publishing language so you might give that one a try, and see if the clunky writing was a result of the translation. :)

[Read more...]

Quarterly Goals Update

2015 Reading GoalsI’m not doing monthly updates this year, but quarterly seems about the right length of time to go between check-ins:

  1. Read 156 books.
    That’s 3 books a week, children’s titles over 100 pages count towards the total.
    I’m behind on this one – I’ve read 67 books so far, which would put me at 134 for the year. I’m ok with that pace, even if it is off the goal I set somewhat randomly (not really knowing what life would be like as baby #3 got older and homeschooling ramped up.) :)
  2. Read all book club selections.
    With one exception: if there is one book that I absolutely hate, I can not finish. I call that the “House of Mirth” rule in honor of the book that inspired it. ;)
    I’ve already invoked my one exception to this, so I have to finish everything else this year. Or else go back and finish A Prayer for Owen Meany, which I do not want to do.
  3. Attempt to read all of the books I mentioned I was looking forward to reading.
    If I don’t like the book, I don’t have to finish it, but I do want to at least give them all a shot.
    I’ve read or at least started all of the ones that are currently available. And so far they’ve all been great (not counting Fairest, because I really only listed it as a placeholder before Winter, and didn’t expect much from it).
  4. Get new children’s books monthly to share with the kids.
    No numbers here – just want to keep fresh material coming in, along with the books we already own.
    Done – this is the easiest goal for me to meet, as my kids love getting new library books. :)
  5. Read the New Testament
    I want to say read the entire Bible, but I’m trying to not be overly ambitious, and I don’t want to set myself up where I’m reading it for speed over anything else.
    I’ve made very little progress with this one.
  6. Promptly share books that I’ve finished via my Pinterest board.
    I did so well at this goal last year, at least pre-baby. And then this got ignored in favor of more pressing needs. We’ll give it another try this year.
    I don’t think I’ve pinned anything since my last update. I guess I know what I need to be doing. ;)
  7. Clear 12 more books off of my TBR stack at home.
    I don’t have to finish them – if I start one and decide it isn’t for me and I’m going to get rid of it, that counts too. I just want to whittle down the stack some more one way or another. They do need to be physical books however – the point of this is to clear out the backlog of books on my bookcases.
    Well, thanks to the “getting rid of it counts, I don’t have to actually read it” clause, this goal is done for the year. I KonMari’d my bookcases and got rid of a mountain.

Clearly I don’t do as well at staying on track with the goals when I check in only quarterly instead of monthly. Oops.

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New on Your Stack (volume 5)

This month had a lot of reminding me about books I’ve been meaning to read, but just haven’t gotten to them yet. I found myself doing a lot of nodding as I read the linked posts, either because I’ve read the book and it’s a good one, or I’ve been wanting to read it.

There was one new-to-me title that I was thrilled to discover – reading book lists is so much fun. :)


BonhoefferTuija recommends Eric Metaxas’s biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, (which has lingered on my TBR – it’s so long!). I’ve read Metaxas’ book on William Wilberforce and gave it a 4 star rating, so I need to bump Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, SpyBonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Erik Metaxas up.


The Last AnniversaryKate has the fabulous Book of a Thousand Days on her list, but that’s one I’ve already read (and enjoyed!). She also has The Last AnniversaryThe Last Anniversary: A Novel by Liane Moriarty by Liane Moriarty, which reminds me that I’ve only read one of Moriarty’s books (What Alice Forgot). That was such a fun and thought-provoking book, and I really want to try more by her.


The Readers of Broken Wheel RecommendStacie alerted me to the upcoming title The Readers of Broken Wheel RecommendThe Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald. It’s getting comparisons to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, as well as 84, Charing Cross Road. Since both of those are up there as some of my favorite books EVER, of course I want to read this one.


The Secret History of the Pink CarnationJessica is the second person this month to bring my attention to Lauren Willig’s The Secret History of the Pink CarnationThe Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig series. It sounds like a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to try it. She also mentions Moriarty, in case I needed another reminder to read her again already!

(Julie is the other one who mentioned this series recently, in a comparison that got my attention.)

Jessica also mentioned the intriguing YA trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, but I’m going to let her read it first and tell me if I should read it too. Book one, The Winner’s CurseThe Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy) by Marie Rutkoski, sure does have a pretty (and intriguing!) cover though, so it’s always possible that I’ll decide I can’t wait and need to try it.

Want to join in? The next New on the Stack will be Friday July 3rd!

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3 Things I’m Thinking About

    Young Living PSK without diffuser

  1. I’m working on an Essential Oils post. Anything you’ve been wondering that I should address in it? I’ve got an FAQ section built around emails I’ve received, but consider this an opening to expand on that.

  2. I’m also working on an epic “If You Liked {insert book title here}, What You Should Read Next” post. The first book and its readlikes have been. Hoping to get it posted soon, but I’m trying to make sure it’s formatted nicely, because there are a lot of books I’m mentioning. :)

    I had a lot of fun pulling together the book suggestions, so if there are other books you’d like to have some ideas for what to read after finishing them, let me know the titles! I have a few other possibilities in mind, but haven’t settled on which one I’ll work on for the second post.

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How We’re Doing It: Favorite Summer Learning Activities

My children are young enough that they’re still very much at an age where almost everything is a learning activity, so our summer plans are mostly of a “more of the same!” nature.

IMCPL Summer Reading 2015This is our first year where we’re really doing the library summer reading program. Last year I was too pregnant to want to hassle with it. And yes, it seemed like a hassle. This year it’s fun, and the kids love going to the library and picking out their own books. Lately it seems like most of the books I check out are for them.

Beyond their picks, I also choose books for them – there are so many great books I’m thrilled to read with them and introduce them to some of my favorite characters from when I was a child. (Coming up next: The Mouse and the MotorcycleThe Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary – I loved this book as a kid, and I’m sure my son will love it too.)

I’m also working off of a giant list I’ve compiled over the years of hundreds of potential titles to read to them and with them. More than enough books for our family reading time!

(Anyone interested in me sharing that list? I’ve been debating sharing it here, but that’s a lot of typing and reformatting if no one cares.)

With all summer birthdays here, it also gives us a chance to get new games and activities as birthday gifts. My daughter just got a couple of books from us, and my son is getting books as well. Earlier this week I asked him what he wanted for his birthday and he actually requested books – books for him to read and me to read to him. Talk about the way to his mom’s heart – he just guaranteed himself a big stack of new reading material. :)

I’ve said before that I think developing a love of reading is my biggest focus at this age, and I believe that the best thing I can do for them is to read aloud, provide access to books, and help them develop reading routines. That’s my focus this summer as we work around all the other activities we have these months.

This post is shared as part of Sonlight’s monthly blog linkup this year, in honor of their 25th anniversary. June’s topic was to share your favorite summer reading and learning activities.

I’m also linking this post up with the National PTA’s Family Reading Challenge Blog Party, which is launching the Family Reading Challenge in July. A challenge promoting family reading? That’s my kind of challenge, because #FamiliesRead.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Book of Speculation

The Book of SpeculationThe Book of SpeculationThe Book of Speculation: A Novel by Erika Swyler by Erika Swyler

Let’s get the comparison out of the way: yes, this reminds me a bit of The Night Circus. Too much so in a way, as it’d be hard for any book to live up to that sort of comparison.

The book is engrossing, and very well-written. The premise is fascinating, and it’s got a librarian/archivist as the main character – always a plus to this former librarian. As much as I enjoyed the book (and I did enjoy it), ultimately it fell a little flat at the end, and I found myself a bit disappointed in it overall. However, that’s partially because it started out so well, and pulled me into it so completely, so the ending stumbles were jarringly unexpected.

I generally liked the alternating time lines (I usually do), although I wanted a bit more closure with the historical story. That was a very minor complaint however.

A bigger issue for me is that while I wanted to like the main character, I never fully connected with him, and some of his antics horrified me (that would be the librarian in me coming out). Having Simon be the narrator also removed some of the tension and connections of the past – it’s all about the women in his family, and the threat to his sister felt too removed.

Despite these small issues, overall I liked it enough to recommend it, It’s not a GO OUT AND READ THIS RIGHT NOW sort of recommendation, more of a “if it sounds appealing, you should definitely give it a try” kind of recommendation. And a heads-up to keep an eye on this author: this is her debut novel, so I’ll be watching to see what else she writes in the future.

And, if you’re at all curious, there’s a fun book trailer for it:

Publisher’s Description:
Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead. His mother, a circus mermaid who made her living by holding her breath, drowned in the very water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, ran off six years ago and now reads tarot cards for a traveling carnival.

One June day, an old book arrives on Simon’s doorstep, sent by an antiquarian bookseller who purchased it on speculation. Fragile and water damaged, the book is a log from the owner of a traveling carnival in the 1700s, who reports strange and magical things, including the drowning death of a circus mermaid. Since then, generations of “mermaids” in Simon’s family have drowned–always on July 24, which is only weeks away.

As his friend Alice looks on with alarm, Simon becomes increasingly worried about his sister. Could there be a curse on Simon’s family? What does it have to do with the book, and can he get to the heart of the mystery in time to save Enola?

In the tradition of Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian, The Book of Speculation–with two-color illustrations by the author–is Erika Swyler’s moving debut novel about the power of books, family, and magic.

Book Details

Title: The Book of SpeculationThe Book of Speculation: A Novel by Erika Swyler
Author: Erika Swyler
Category: Fiction
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Disclosure: I received this book for free from NetGalley for review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

The Best Yes

The Best YesThe Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless DemandsThe Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa TerKeurst by Lysa TerKeurst

Don’t let my mediocre star-rating put you off from reading this book if it sounds like something you’d like or need. My ratings are personal, and for me, this was just a so-so book. Why? Because a lot of the book didn’t apply to me and my life. Apparently saying “no” isn’t an issue for me, because much of the time I didn’t fully relate to a lot of the content.

(I’m an INTJ, and some reading I found online seemed to indicate that INTJ’s have the least trouble saying “no” of any personality type. If that’s the case, then clearly I am not the target audience for this book.)

However, I can easily see how this book can be a great fit for some readers. Her writing style is enjoyable, and I did glean a bit about making wise decisions, but overall it’s not filling a major need in my life. If you’re a people-pleaser, or have trouble saying “no” then I would highly encourage you to read this. It is Christian-focused, so if you’re not a believer there’s a lot that you may not appreciate in the book.

Publisher’s Description:
Are you living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul?

Lysa TerKeurst is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God. In The Best Yes she will help you:

  • Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love.
  • Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no.
  • Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom based decision-making process.
  • Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your best yes today.

Book Details

Title: The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless DemandsThe Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa TerKeurst
Author: Lysa TerKeurst
Category: Nonfiction / Self-Help
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

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2015 Reading Challenges Update

The year is about half over, so it seems like a good time to check in on how I’m doing at my reading challenge. The only one I “officially” planned on doing is Modern Mrs. Darcy’s, but I also decided to just take a look at Book Riot’s challenge and see how many I’ve already met, and if I want to try and get them all done before the end of the year.

Modern Mrs Darcy’s 2015 Reading Challenge

MMD 2015 Reading Challenge June Progress

And in case you want links for them:

  1. a book you’ve been meaning to read
  2. a book published this yearThe Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows
  3. a book in a genre you don’t typically readEnder’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  4. a book from your childhoodThe Princess BrideThe Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman
  5. a book your mom loves
    [planning on counting my re-read for bookclub of 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
  6. a book that was originally written in a different language - Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  7. a book "everyone" has read but you -
    [planning on counting Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand when I finish it. I missed book club but I am still going to finish the book]
  8. a book you choose because of the coverSeraphina by Rachel Hartman
  9. a book by a favorite authorCold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist
  10. a book recommended by someone with great taste
    [planning on counting Rules of Civility, a book club pick for September]
  11. a book you should have read in high school –
    [planning on counting Pride & Prejudice, once I finish it.]
  12. a book currently on the bestseller listAs You Wish by Cary Elwes

That puts me at 7/12, so I’m on track to get these done for the year. Especially since three of the remaining categories I’m filling with book club books, and I know I’ll get those read.


Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge

  1. A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25My Father’s DragonMy Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett by Ruth Stiles Gannett (who was 25 when this was published, so I’m assuming it was written when she was under 25.)
  2. A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65National Geographic Kids Animal Stories coauthored by Jane Yolen
  3. A collection of short storiesThe Thirteen Problem by Agatha Christie
  4. A book published by an indie press
    [I need to scan my TBR pile - surely something already on there is from an indie press.]
  5. A book by someone that identifies as LGBTQ –
    [planning to read Every DayEvery Day by David Levithan by David Levithan]
  6. A book by a person whose gender is different from your ownI Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
  7. A book that takes place in Asia – Let me just get credit for two of them: the nonfiction The Lady and the Panda, which mostly takes place in China, and the YA title Listen Slowly, which is set in Vietnam.
  8. A book by an author from Africa –
    [I've had a couple of memoirs set in Africa on my TBR list for ages - time to get one of them read.]
  9. A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.) –
    [I've had both Follow the Rabbit-Proof FenceFollow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington/Nugi Garimara and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie languishing on my TBR list and this may be the push to finally read one or both of them.]
  10. A microhistoryGhost Map by Steven Johnson (maybe stretching the definition of microhistory here)
  11. A YA novel - so many to choose from here. Most recently finished If I StayIf I Stay by Gayle Forman and Where She WentWhere She Went by Gayle Forman by Gayle Forman
  12. A sci-fi novelEnder’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  13. A romance novelEnchanted, Inc.Enchanted, Inc. (Katie Chandler, Book 1) by Shanna Swendson
  14. A NBA, MBP or Pulitzer Prize winner
    [I've been meaning to read Bring Up the Bodies (which won the Booker), or if I'd finish Brown Girl Dreaming that won the National Book Award
  15. A book that is a retelling of a classic story - Book of a Thousand Days
  16. An audiobook - As You Wish. Although I didn't listen to it 100%.
  17. A collection of poetry - if kids' poetry counts, I've read Eric Carle's Animals AnimalsEric Carle's Animals Animals
  18. A book that someone else has recommended to you - The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless DemandsThe Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa TerKeurst by Lysa TerKeurst
  19. A book that was originally published in another language - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
  20. A graphic novel or a graphic memoir - Does a kids' graphic novel count? I read A Journey through the Digestive System with Max Axiom, Super ScientistA Journey through the Digestive System with Max Axiom, Super Scientist (Graphic Science) and The Surprising World of Bacteria with Max Axiom, Super ScientistThe Surprising World of Bacteria with Max Axiom, Super Scientist (Graphic Science)
  21. A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure -
    [once Marissa Meyer's WinterWinter (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer is published I'll be reading it. If I'd enjoyed Fairest more I'd go ahead and count it here.]
  22. A book published before 1850 –
    [If I would ever finish Pride & Prejudice it’ll count here
  23. A book published this year – so many to choose from here, so I’ll go with The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley this time.
  24. A self-improvement bookBetter Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

That puts me at 17/24, and I’ve got 2 others that are almost finished. I think I can get this completed this year too!

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