WWW Wednesday (June 7)

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Here is what you have to do to participate:

Answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments section the host page for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

star wars heroes for a new hopeconvictions matter

I’m currently reading these two books:

  1. Star Wars: Heroes For a New Hope by Mark Waid (Writer), Charles Soule (Writer), Gerry Duggan (Writer), Terry Dodson (Penciler), Rachel Dodson (Inker), Alex Maleev (Artist), Phil Noto (Artist), Jordie Bellaire (Colourist) , Paul Mounts(Colour Artist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (Letterer) – I borrowed this graphic novel from the library. It contains three different stories, following Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, and Chewbacca after the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. It looks promising and I hope to get through it in the next few days.
  2. Convictions Matter: The Function of Salvation Army Doctrines by Ray Harris – I bought this one about three years ago when it first came out. I started it, but never got back to it. So I’ve restarted it now. It will probably take me a little while to get it read as I’d like to complete the reflection exercises at the end of each chapter too, plus it’s not really a book that you can rush through.

Recently Finished:

I finished the following books this week:

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  1. Boxers (Boxers & Saints #1) – Gene Luen Yang. This was a decent graphic novel telling the story of the Boxer Rebellion from the point of view of a young peasant who joins the rebellion.
  2. Saints (Boxers & Saints #2) – Gene Luen Yang. This graphic novel is a companion to Boxers, telling the story from the viewpoint of a young Chinese girl who converted to Christianity. Reading this one right after the first one helped me to understand the story from both sides.
  3. Are You Seeing Me? – Darren Groth. This was a book I received through Early Reviewers at LibraryThing. It was quite a fairly moving and, at times, humorous read, telling the story of twins from Australia travelling to BC and Seattle on a journey where they discover more than they expected to.

Up Next:

These are the same two that I mentioned last week and are both books that I also received from Early Reviewers at LibraryThing. Maybe I’ll get round to them before next week’s post!

bronze and sunfloweroptimists die first

  1. Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan
  2. Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

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Top Ten Tuesday – I’ve Started, So I’ll Finish (June 6)

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.

This week’s topic is ‘10 Books From X Genre That I’ve Recently Added To My TBR List.’ Rather than choosing a particular genre, I’ve chosen ten books on my currently reading list at Goodreads. These are books that I started a long time ago and for some reason or other I never got back to them. So I’ve made a separate TBR pile for them and hopefully this might inspire to pick them up and start reading them again. For some of them it’s been so long ago that I started them that I’ll have to go back to the beginning and start all over again. Here are the ten I picked:

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  1. If I Had Lunch With C.S. Lewis:Exploring the Ideas of C.S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life by Alister McGrath
  2. Soccer in Sun and Shadow by Eduardo Galeano
  3. Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs
  4. Daddy Lenin and Other Stories by Guy Vanderhaeghe
  5. The Story of Kullervo by J.R.R. Tolkien
  6. Convictions Matter: The Function of Salvation Army Doctrines by Ray Harris
  7. In the First Circle by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  8. George MacKay Brown: The Wound and the Gift by Ron Ferguson
  9. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  10. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

It seems like a daunting list, but hopefully I’ll get some of them read soon.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Are You Seeing Me? (June 2)

My book for this week’s Friday meme combo is Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth, a book I received from Early Reviewers at LibraryThing. It’s one of three that I recently received from them, so I’m hoping to get them all read soon. Goodreads shares the following description:

are you seeing meTwins Justine and Perry have left their home in Australia and embarked on the road trip of a lifetime in the Pacific Northwest.
It’s been a year since their dad lost his battle with cancer and Justine became the sole caregiver for her autistic brother, Perry. Now Perry has been accepted into an assisted-living residence in their hometown, Brisbane, Australia, but before he takes up residence, they’re seeking to create the perfect memory.
For Perry, the trip is a glorious celebration of some of his favorite things: Ogopogo, Jackie Chan movies, and earthquakes. For Justine, it’s an opportunity to learn how to let go of Perry and of her boyfriend, Marc. Justine also wants to offer their mother the chance to atone for past wrongs.
But the instability that has shaped their lives will not subside, and the seismic event that Perry forewarned threatens to reduce their worlds to rubble…

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Are You Seeing Me?:

Perry is standing on the far side of the metal detector, feet planted on the red stripe. Beads of sweat dot his forehead. His right leg twitches, keeping pace with some inaudible rhythm. At regular intervals, his lips curl inward then spring open, releasing a loud pop. He’s stuck. He’s been stuck for a while.

An interesting opening. Something’s gonna have to give soon. I’m about a third of the way through now, so I know what happened next, but I won’t give it away!

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Are You Seeing Me?:

I snap at the band at my wrist. The kneejerk, bad voice in my head isn’t helping. Like Dad used to say: Think it through before you throw yourself or somebody else off the Story Bridge.

That sounds like decent advice. Anyway, I’m enjoying this one so far and hope to get it done this weekend and move on to the next one. As usual, I have too many books to read and not enough time, which isn’t that much of a problem really.

Bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts (June2)

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‘Bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts’ is hosted by Christine at Bookishly Boisterous. It’s just a round-up of bookish and other things from the previous week. Share a link there if you want to participate.

1. I can’t believe it’s June already. Half the year is almost done! Our daughter has less than a month of High School left and then it won’t be long until she’s off to University in the Fall. Where have all the years gone?

2. I finally got around to reading Hidden Figures. It was a great read, but one that couldn’t be rushed. There was a lot of information to take in, especially in regards to segregation and race issues. It’s a well-researched book about the stories of four women who overcame those issues and played an important part in aeronautics and the space race from WWII onwards. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie soon.

3. There’s some great movies out now or coming soon. I’m not sure how many of them I’m going to be able to see. Ones that I’m looking forward to include Wonder WomanThe Book of HenryDespicable Me 3, and Baby Driver, among others. I’m also tempted to go and see The Captain Underpants Movie for old times sake. Those books were very popular in our household a few years ago.

4. TFC are still going strong. After a hiccup again Ottawa last Tuesday, we took the second leg 4-0 last night and are headed to two games against Montreal for the Canadian Championship. We’re still sitting at the top of the Eastern Conference and are leading the race for the Supporter’s Shield as well. Rangers new coach, Pedro Caixinha, is beginning to show he means business, with a couple of strong signings made so fa this week in Bruno Alves and Ryan Jack.

5. I still haven’t got to the half dozen of boxes of books that remain unpacked since we moved here almost two years ago. I’ll need to get to them soon, just in case there are some that I need to get rid of. We’re planning a trip to Bearly Used Books in Parry Sound this summer and I could alway take some of them there to get some more store credit. We already have over $200 credit there, so I’m not sure if it would be wise to get more, although I’m sure I could easily find ways of spending it!

6. I’m still looking for something different to binge watch on Netflix. I probably won’t watch much during the summer, as I have lots of reading lined up, but it would be good to find something for the Fall. Any ideas would be most welcome.

7. I found a new bookstagram challenge for June. It’s the Bibliophile Book Pile Challenge hosted by @justolivia_19 and @thingsthatkeepmeupatnight If you’re interested I’m @wcs53 on Instagram.

WWW Wednesday (May 31)

www-wednesdayWWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Here is what you have to do to participate:

Answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments section the host page for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

are you seeing megrounded

I’m currently reading the above two books:

  1. Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth. This is one of three books I received from LibraryThing for review. I started it a few weeks ago and it’s time I got back to it.
  2. Grounded: Finding God in the World. A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass. I started this one last year and never got it finished. Now that I’m back to it again I’m really enjoying it and should be finished it soon.

Recently Finished:

I finished the following two books this week:

black road vol 1hidden-figures

  1. Black Road, Volume 1: The Holy North by Brian Wood (Writer), Garry Brown (Illustrator), Dave McCaig (Colorist). This is a graphic novel I borrowed from the library. It was quite enjoyable and I look forward to reading the next volume when I find it.
  2. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. I bought this a few months ago and finally got around to reading it last week. It’s a great book and well worth taking the time to read. Hopefully I’ll get to see the movie soon.

Up Next:

Once I get the couple of books I mentioned earlier finished I’ll try to get to the other two review books that are waiting to be read.

bronze and sunfloweroptimists die first

  1. Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan
  2. Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

 

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Optimists Die First (May 26)

For this week’s Friday meme combo I have chosen a book I recently received from LibraryThing for review, Optimists Die First by Susan Nielsen. I also received her previous book for review and enjoyed that one, so I’m looking forward to getting into this one soon. GoodReads has the following description:

optimists die firstLife ahead: Proceed with caution.

Sixteen-year-old Petula De Wilde is anything but wild. A family tragedy has made her shut herself off from the world. Once a crafting fiend with a happy life, Petula now sees danger in everything, from airplanes to ground beef.

The worst part of her week is her comically lame mandatory art therapy class. She has nothing in common with this small band of teenage misfits, except that they all carry their own burden of guilt.

When Jacob joins their ranks, he seems so normal and confident. Petula wants nothing to do with him, or his prosthetic arm. But when they’re forced to collaborate on a unique school project, she slowly opens up, and he inspires her to face her fears.

Until a hidden truth threatens to derail everything.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Optimists Die First:

The first time I saw the Bionic Man I was covered in sparkles.

I don’t remember the first time I saw the Bionic Man, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t covered in sparkles!

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Optimists Die First:

I marched over and grabbed the scrapbook from his lap. It was open to my most recent page.

Woman Dies from Minor Cut on Finger

A mother of two contracted necrotizing fasciitis, more commonly known as flesh-eating disease, after receiving a minor paper cut at work…

I’m not sure what kind of scrapbook we are talking about here, but I look forward to finding out soon. I hope to make a start on it this weekend anyway.

It’s all about love…

Image result for love god love neighbourI normally just use this blog for things pertaining to books, movies, sport, and other daily kinds of mundane fun things, but I feel the need to do something different today.

I think that the events in Manchester this week, along with the aftermath, have probably brought me to this, although it’s been on my mind for much longer.

It all boils down to this – our world needs more love. There is too much hatred and it comes from all sides everywhere and is not monopolized by any one group, nation, religion, or whatever tribe people align themselves with. There are fundamentalists everywhere, who will do anything, to the point of killing innocents, to make themselves heard. History repeats itself over and over again with the same results. I don’t pretend to understand everything, or have the solution to all the woes of the world, but our world could definitely use more love, along with some understanding.

Each day I read posts on Facebook and the social media platforms where people argue about everything and everything, where there often seems to be too much shouting and very little listening. Things often turn nasty when someone doesn’t agree with another person’s thoughts or ideas. It would be a boring world if we always agreed with each other, but why do differences of opinion often have to cause cessations of friendships or resort to name-calling, or worse. People often try to hide behind freedom of speech, but this freedom comes with responsibility and doesn’t mean that anyone has the right to continually put down others or destroy their character. It’s not wrong to disagree with another person over something, but it is crossing the line when the disagreement takes a personal turn. C.S. Lewis always enjoyed a good debate and had no problem disagreeing with others on a variety of matters, but he never allowed such disagreements to lead to personal acrimony (for a good article on this read C.S. Lewis and the Art of Disagreement).

It seems lately, though, that some issues have become more polarizing than others. One only need to mention the name ‘Trump’ and things can soon get out of hand. Some claim he is God’s chosen man, others say there’s no way he can be, and then the barbs start flying and things often get out of hand. By the way, from where I’m sitting, I can see no evidence that he could have been specially chosen by God. First of all, such a claim doesn’t seem scriptural to me, and secondly, his life certainly does not reflect it, in my opinion. Nothing that he has done so far as the leader of one of the most powerful nations on earth has persuaded me otherwise. In fact, with each passing day it seems like his actions take him further and further away from the possibility of there being any reflection in his life of being a follower of Jesus. Even this week at the NATO meetings in Europe Trump has shown himself to be an ignorant boor, as he pushed himself to the front like a spoiled schoolboy, in the process shoving Dusko Markovic, the Prime Minister of Montenegro and leader of NATO, aside, then beaming like an imbecile when he got to the front. This shows a severe lack of respect and dignity, and is behaviour that belittles the position he was elected to. It’s hard to imagine Jesus behaving like this.

There are two key passages in scripture which point to the conclusions that I have come to. The first one is in Matthew 22 where one of the experts in the Law asks Jesus what the greatest commandment is. Jesus replies: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” If someone fails to follow these commandments then everything else they do negates any claims they may have to be a follower of Jesus. There is very little love for anyone but himself in the way that Trump shows himself on the world stage.

The second passage that comes to mind is in Matthew 25 where Jesus talks about the separation of those who have fed the hungry, given water to the thirsty, clothed the naked, looked after the sick, and visited the imprisoned from those who have failed to do that. To those who did these things he says: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Then he invites them into their inheritance. However, to those who have failed to do this things he says: “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Later he adds “I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Most of the proposals Trump has made so far will do little or nothing for the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, or imprisoned (i.e. the poor), so how can he be God’s chosen if he fails to follow the commands of God?

Basically, what I am saying is that it’s all about love, but not love of self before all else. If you are in doubt about the importance of this love thing, then take a few minutes to read the first letter of John. There’s enough in there to confirm, and add to, what I’ve already said. It’s not easy and I know there are times when I’ve fallen short in the commands to love, but I have to pick myself up and try again.

We live in a very broken world, but let’s not add any more hatred to it. Instead endeavour to follow the commands to love. In the end love will win. It may not seem like that at times, but it will.

Bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts (May 25)

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1. It has been a difficult week to concentrate, since news came through of the suicide bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday. It’s awful to think that a person can go too something as simple and enjoyable as a pop concert and not return alive. Words fail me, especially as I think of the young lives cut short by such a cruel and senseless act. In the midst of all the sorrow, there were also some uplifting stories, such as the homeless man who, after helping some of the victims, has been offered six months free rent and assistance with putting his life back together.

2. Last Monday was also the Victoria Day Holiday here. I had planned to sort through some of the boxes we haven’t unpacked yet, but that didn’t happen. Instead I spent the day reading and playing video games. Maybe I’ll get to the boxes next holiday!

3. Rangers (awful) season came to an end last Sunday with a fairly routine 2-1 victory at Partick Thistle. The less said about the season the better. There are lot of rumours going round now about who will be leaving and who will be coming in over the summer. It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

4. I’m almost finished the #NRBchallenge on Instagram and am looking for something similar for June. If you are interested, I’m @wcs53 on Instagram.

5. My reading is going well again and, according to the 50 Book Pledge, I’m on course for 82 books this year. Currently I’m reading Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, which I hope to finish over the weekend.

WWW Wednesday (May 24)

www-wednesdayWWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Here is what you have to do to participate:

Answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments section the host page for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

I’m currently reading the above three books, which are:

  1. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. One of my book challenges this month is to read a book that was made into a movie. I bought this one round about the time the movie came out, but am only getting around to reading it now. Once I’m finished it I’ll try to check out the movie.
  2. Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth. This is one of three books I received from LibraryThing for review, so I need to get on with this one as well.
  3. Grounded: Finding God in the World. A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass. I started this one last year and never got it finished. Now that I’m back to it again I’m really enjoying it and should be finished it soon.

Recently Finished:

I finished the above two books during the past week:

  1. You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris. I borrowed this little book from the library. It was written by the husband of one of the women killed in the Bataclan Theatre terrorist attack in Paris in late 2015 and is his account of the days following the loss of his wife, and how he will not let what happened cause either himself or their 17 month old son to hate. It was a fairly emotional read, but well worth reading.
  2. Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science by Mike McHargue. This was one I had been looking forward to reading for a while and it did not disappoint me. I’ve been listening to a couple of podcasts that Mike is on – ‘Ask Science Mike’ and ‘The Liturgists Podcast’ – for a while now and it was great to finally be able to listen to his story.

Up Next:

I have a couple of review books to get to, as well as a graphic novel I borrowed from the library, so it could be any of them. I’d also like to get into Richard Rohr’s The Divine Dance. So many books and not enough time!

Teaser Tuesdays – Grounded (May 23)

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Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers for this week:

groundedThe ground is the earth’s body, water its lifeblood, and the atmosphere its lungs. And the planet is sick.

From page 114 of Grounded: Finding God in the World. A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass.

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