Top Ten Tuesday – My Spring TBR (March 14)

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 ‘Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR.’ I have so many books waiting to be read, that it might be hard to narrow it down to just 10, but I’ll try my best! I have started some of these, but I really need to get them read, nonetheless.

  1. Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren
  2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  3. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  4. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
  5. Wenjack by Joseph Boyden
  6. Silence by Shusaku Endo
  7. Daddy Lenin and Other Stories by Guy Vanderhaeghe
  8. Grounded by Diana Butler Bass
  9. Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
  10. The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida

WWW Wednesday (March 8)

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 currently have the following five books on the go:

  1. Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I have neglected this one lately, but I intend to get it finished soon.
  2. Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren. This is the current book for the Renovaré Book Club and I will be reading it over the next couple of months or so.
  3. Lent With St. Francis: Daily Reflections by Diane M. Houdek. I haven’t read this one before, but it is the one I’m reading during Lent this year with my wife. It’s working out well so far.
  4. Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter (various authors). This is one of my favourite books to read during the Season of Lent. It contains writing from many of my favourite authors and is one that I have enjoyed many times before.
  5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I have barely started this one, but I hope to read more of it next week during some time off we will be taking for March break.

Recently Finished:

brain campThe only book I finished this week was  Brain Camp by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, and Faith Erin Hicks. It was a disappointing graphic novel that I borrowed from the library. It wasn’t awful, but I have read ones that I enjoyed a lot more. Fortunately, I was able to count it towards one of my reading challenges.

 

Up Next:

With all the books I currently have on the go, I haven’t really given much thought to what I’m going to read next. I have plenty to choose from, but I’ll see how the current reads go first.

WWW Wednesday (March 1)

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 have the following three books on the go at the moment:

  1. Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I didn’t get any of this read during the last week, but I’m getting back to it now.
  2. Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter (various authors). This is one of my favourite books to read during the Season of Lent. It contains writing from many of my favourite authors and is one that I have enjoyed many times before.
  3. Lent With St. Francis: Daily Reflections by Diane M. Houdek. I haven’t read this one before, but it is the one I’m reading during Lent this year with my wife.

Recently Finished:

I finished the following two books this week:

  1. Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J.M. Nouwen. This was the second book for this year’s Renovaré Book Club. It was enjoyable being able to read it over an extended period of time, which gave the opportunity to reflect slowly over what was written.
  2. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. This book, along with nine others in the series, was sitting on my shelf unread for too long. It fit in well with one of the book challenges I have signed up for this year. I really enjoyed it and will hopefully get round to reading some of the other books in the series eventually.

Up Next:

I’ll be hopefully starting the following couple of books soon:

  1. Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren. This is the next book for the Renovaré Book Club and I’m really looking forward to starting it soon.
  2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. My wife bought this for me at a book sale a few years ago, but it didn’t appeal to me at the time. She read it instead and then proceeded to read all the other books in the series. She’s told me for ages that I should give it a try, as I’d probably enjoy it. As it fits in with the theme for one of my book challenges, I now have a reason to try it.

Lent 2017

dscf0601With today being Ash Wednesday it means that we have now entered the Season of Lent. It is a period of 40 days, not including Sundays, leading up to Easter, and can be seen as a time of reflection and preparation. People observe Lent in may different ways and for a variety of reasons, but it is often seen as a time of giving up or self-denial, although it can also be seen as a time of taking things on. There are lots of resources available in print and online to help people on their journey through Lent. The above three books will be my companions on the journey this year.

The following quote (which I have shared on a number of occasions before) is something I read this morning and is from the introduction to Bread and Wine, one of the books pictured above:

First popularized in the fourth century, Lent is traditionally associated with penitence, fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. It is a time for “giving things up” balanced by “giving to” those in need. Yet whatever else it may be, Lent should never be morose – an annual ordeal during which we begrudgingly forgo a handful of pleasures. Instead, we ought to approach Lent as an opportunity, not a requirement. After all, it is meant to be the church’s springtime, a time when, out of the darkness of sin’s winter, a repentant, empowered people emerges. No wonder one liturgy refers to it as “this joyful season.” (page xvi)

Over the past week or so I have been reflecting on what I would do this year for my own personal observation of Lent. Sometimes it is difficult to come up with things. Previously I have given up things like coffee or meat, but neither of those are part my daily life anymore. After some prayer and consideration I came up with the following:

  • Fast for 12 hours each day following my evening meal. This is something that has become standard for me during Lent for a number of years now. It has been a help in previous years and I’m sure it will continue to be so.
  • Look for the positive in all situations and cultivate a better attitude of gratitude. I tend to be quite negative at times and I also am not always good at demonstrating my gratitude to people, especially in the daily small things that are done for me.
  • Get back to praying the Daily Office. This is something that I have been able to do our the years, but in a more sporadic fashion than I would have liked. I have plenty of resources to help me in this, so I really have little excuse for not being able to do this on a regular basis.

I’ll see how this all goes and, if I can, I may even post a few updates here.

How are you observing Lent this year? Feel free to leave a comment if you like.

Teaser Tuesday – Liturgy of the Ordinary (Feb 28)

tuesdayTeaser 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:

liturgy-of-the-ordinaryI’ve always loved food. I like to make it, to eat it, and to read and talk about it.

From page 62 of Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren.

Eight Years

keep-calm-and-stay-vegetarianToday marks the eighth anniversary of when I became a vegetarian. It’s not something I regret and there are times when I wish I had embraced it sooner. It’s been an adventure and it’s a journey that I’m glad I have kept on. I am not ready to embrace veganism at this point, but it is something I may eventually do.

There are many reasons why it is good to give up meat, but in the end it is up to the individual. I wrote a post eight years ago briefly outlining the reasons why I was becoming a vegetarian. I still hold to these and see no reason to go back. Initially the smell of certain meats cooking were a temptation to me, but now I find the smell of meat quite repulsive. Even the smell of bacon, which I once loved, does nothing for me now.

I’m still on the lookout for any new veggie recipes and like to try new ones from time to time. So if you have any you think I might like to try please pass them on to me.

If you are considering moving towards a vegetarian lifestyle, then here are some sites that have helped me:

WWW Wednesday (Feb 22)

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 have the following three books on the go at the moment:

  1. Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J.M. Nouwen. This is the second book for this year’s Renovaré Book Club. This is the final week for this book, so I should be finished it later in the week.
  2. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. This book, along with nine others in the series, has been sitting on my shelf unread for too long. It also fits in with the theme for one of my book challenges this month, so it’s a good opportunity to get it read. I’ve neglected it for a few days, so I should get back to it so that I can finish it and count it toward one of my challenges for February.
  3. Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I finally started this book and have really been enjoying it so far.

Recently Finished:

I finished the following two books this week:

  1. Han Solo (Star Wars Disney Canon Graphic Novel) by Marjorie M. Liu (Goodreads Author), Mark Brooks (Illustrations). This book, that I borrowed from the library, was a bit disappointing. The story just didn’t seem to live up to the character, Han Solo.
  2. The Marvels by Brian Selznick. This was a great book. It is a combination of pictures and words, and contains two separate stories that come together well in the end. If you’ve read any of his other books I highly recommend this one. Even if you haven’t then check out this one as well as his others!

Up Next:

liturgy-of-the-ordinaryLiturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren. This is the next book for the Renovaré Book Club and I’m really looking forward to starting it next week.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Stardust (Feb 17)

stardustI’ve been meaning to read Stardust by Neil Gaiman for ages now, so I’m finally getting round to it. Because of this, I’ve chosen it for this week’s Friday meme combo. I’m not sure why I’ve left it for so long, because I usually enjoy reading Gaiman. Well, at least I’m rectifying this now.

GoodReads has the following description:

Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria Forester—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that stone barrier, Tristran learns, lies Faerie . . . and the most exhilarating adventure of the young man’s life.

A tale of the dark and miraculous—a quest for true love and the utterly impossible.

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 Stardust:

There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart’s Desire.

And while that is, as beginnings go, not entirely novel (for every tale about every young man there ever was or will be could start in a similar manner) there was much about this young man and what happened to him that was unusual, although even he never knew the whole of it.

I think this is a great beginning and I know I’m going to enjoy this one!

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 Stardust:

By the time they walked through the village and arrived at the gap in the wall, Tristran  had imagined every possibility, except the one which occurred.

I’ve no idea what this is about, but hopefully I’ll find out soon. I might get some of this read over the weekend as Monday is a holiday and I don’t think we have much planned for the day. We’ll see what happens.

 

 

WWW Wednesday (Feb 15)

www-wednesdayI didn’t post a WWW last week as I had been sick for about a week and had barely done any reading, so it wouldn’t have been worth it. Now I’m well again and able to get back to this.

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:

I have the following three books on the go at the moment:

  1. Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J.M. Nouwen. This is the second book for this year’s Renovaré Book Club. I’m almost at the end of this one and I will be soon moving on to the next book the club has chosen.
  2. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. This book, along with nine others in the series, has been sitting on my shelf unread for too long. It also fits in with the theme for one of my book challenges this month, so it’s a good opportunity to get it read.
  3. Silence by Shūsaku Endō. This is another book that has been unread on my shelf for too long. With the movie out now, I need to read this before seeing it.

Recently Finished:

I finished the following three books (all which I borrowed from the library) since my last post:

  1. Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices by Kirstin Cronn-Mills. I read this towards one of my reading challenges. It was a fairly short read, but had plenty useful information on the subject, along with some personal stories.
  2. We Stand On Guard by Brian K. Vaughan, Steve Skroce (artist), Matt Hollingsworth (artist). This was a fairly enjoyable graphic novel, set about 100 years into the future where the US has invaded Canada after an attack on the White House.
  3. The Last Message Received by Emily Trunko. This book was inspired by the Tumbl of the same name and is a collection of last messages received by people who contributed to the Tumblr. It was a moving and thoughtful book to read, leaving one to wonder about how life can be cut short at any moment and the things that we say (or fail to say) to those who are close to us.

Up Next:

stardustI’m still hoping to get to Neil Gaiman’s Stardust soon. It has been on my shelf for far too long a time, but other things keep getting in the way. Maybe I’ll read it during March break as we will be going away for a few days then.

Bookmark Monday – Love of Reading (Feb 13)

bookmark-mondayBookmark Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Aloi from guiltless reading. Take a picture of one of your favourite bookmarks, post it on your blog, and head over to guiltless reading to share a to your post.

I saw the following bookmark at the library tonight when I was picking up some more books and I thought it would be appropriate with tomorrow being Valentine’s Day.

DSCF0595.JPG

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