Category Archives: LGBTQ

Top Ten Tuesday – 2020 New-to-me authors (Jan 26, 2021)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. 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 ‘New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2020.’ Even though 2020 wasn’t a great reading year for me, there were a few books by people I’d never read anything by before. I usually enjoy trying different authors/writers and almost half the books I read last year fell into this category. These are the ten in print form that I own that I enjoyed the most. There were others that I borrowed from the library or read in ebook form. I’ll probably go on to look for more by some of these and already have read another Matt Haig book, with another on my TBR. Although I realise that Alex Trebek was not an author as such, his book was one of my favourites of the year and I couldn’t really leave him out of this list.

Ellie seems to approve, but is not sure why these are on top of her castle!
  1. We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson. I had heard so much about this one and it didn’t disappoint.
  2. The Way of Tea and Justice – Becca Stevens. This one was both informative and inspirational.
  3. TornJustin Lee. A very helpful look at the dialogue between gays and Christians, from the perspective of a high-profile gay Christian.
  4. The Humans – Matt Haig. I’m not sure why I waited so long to read anything by Haig. This was a great read, both funny and sad, and everything in between.
  5. The Answer Is… – Alex Trebek. This was one of my favourites of 2020. Trebek was a very inspirational person and it’s sad that he is no longer with us.
  6. The Fire Never Goes OutNoelle Stevenson. An enjoyable memoir in picture form.
  7. The Gown – Jennifer Robson. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. The style and structure made it a fairly engaging read.
  8. Five Little Indians – Michelle Good. This is a very powerful novel – sad at times, but also had moments of triumph.
  9. Imagine Wanting Only This – Kristen Radtke. This was another memoir in pictures. It was fairly enjoyable, but left me wanting a bit more.
  10. A Stranger’s TaleNatasa Xerri and Adam Oehlers. I got in on the crowdfunding of this debut book by someone from Australia that I follow on Instagram. As part of this I received an autographed first edition. It is a beautifully illustrated folklore tale that is worth checking out.

Although I’m hoping that 2021 will be a better reading year for me, I’m always on the lookout for books by people I haven’t read before. As always, I’m open to suggestions.

Top Ten Tuesday – Books That Got Away (January 19, 2021)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. 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 ‘Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To.’ These are all books that were on various 2020 TBR lists, but somehow got away from me and haven’t been read yet. I’d like to think that I’d be able to get them read this year, but who knows!

  1. If I Had Lunch with C.S. Lewis – Alister McGrath
  2. This is How it Always Is – Laurel Frankel
  3. David and Goliath – Malcolm Gladwell
  4. Inspired – Rachel Held Evans
  5. The Opposite of Loneliness – Marina Keegan
  6. The Toynbee Convector – Ray Bradbury
  7. Daddy Lenin – Guy Vanderhaeghe
  8. In the First Circle – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  9. The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man – Jonas Jonasson
  10. How the Bible Actually Works – Peter Enns

Some of these I’ve had for a long time, others for not too long, but they were all bought with good intention. The one that always seems overwhelming is the Solzhenitsyn one. I’ve started it on at least two occasions, but it’s one I definitely want to read at some point. Maybe 2021 will be its year.

2020 was not a great reading year for me, but 2021 is off to a good start so far. I’m hoping this will continue and that I may actually get some of my unread books read, especially those I’ve had on my TBR lists.

If you have read any of these, which would you recommend I try first? I’m always open to reading suggestions.

Top Ten Tuesday – Fall 2019 TBR (Sept 24)

I haven’t posted anything here forever, so I thought it was about time to get going again.

TTT-Big2Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. 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 ‘Books on My Fall 2019 TBR List.’ The ones I’ve chosen are a variety of books. Some I’ve had for too long, others are ones that are fairly new to me, but are ones I really want to read soon. I’m not always the best at getting through my TBR piles, but hopefully I’ll get through more than half of these in the next few months.

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  1. The Way of Tea and Justice (Becca Stevens) – I got this one for Christmas last year and it looks like a really interesting read.
  2. Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black (Marcus Sedgwick, Julian Sedgwick, Alexis Deacon) – this is a review copy I got free from LibraryThing Early Reviewers, so it’s about time I got it read. I am about 60 pages into it and enjoying it so far.
  3. The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons (Sam Kean) – I got this one for Christmas last year as well. Sam Kean writes interesting and engaging non-fiction books, mainly of a scientific nature. This one on the history of the human brain really piqued my interest. I need to get to it soon.
  4. This is How it Always Is (Laurie Frankel) – I received this novel for Christmas last year and it looks lie one I’ll really enjoy when I get around to it.
  5. Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy (Anne Lamott) – yet another Christmas gift from last year and it’s Anne Lamott, so it needs to be read!
  6. Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again
     (Rachel Held Evans) – it was so sad when Rachel Held Evans died earlier this year at such a young age. This was her last book and I’ve wanted to read it for a while. I will soon.
  7. The Humans (Matt Haig) – I haven’t read anything by Matthew Haig yet, so I need to remedy that. Plus I’ve heard lots of good things about this one.
  8. Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God (Lauren F. Winner) – I’ve had this one unread on my shelf for too long. I always enjoy reading Lauren Winner, so I’m not sure why I haven’t gotten to this one yet.
  9. There and Back Again: JRR Tolkien and the Origins of the Hobbit (Mark Atherton) – this is yet another of last year’s Christmas gifts. The Hobbit is my favourite book, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one.
  10. Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me (Janet Mock) – I got this last month and started reading it right away, but then I got distracted by other book. I’ll get back to it soon for sure.

WWW Wednesday (July 18)

I haven’t been posting much here lately and it’s been over a year since I did a WWW post, but I’d like to get back to regular posting again. So here goes…

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:

my brother my sisterghost rider

These are two of the books I’m currently reading:

  1. My Brother My Sister: Story of a Transformation – Molly Haskell. This one is interesting enough, but probably not as good as I thought it might be. I’ll struggle on through to the end and see how it goes.
  2. Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road – Neil Peart. I’m really enjoying this one, but it’s taking me longer than I thought it would.

Recently Finished:

My reading has been very sporadic this year, but I’m hoping it will pick up or the rest of the year. I only finished one book in the past couple of weeks:

astrophysics for people in a hurry

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry – Neil deGrasse Tyson. I really enjoyed this one and I’d like to find some more books in a similar vein. It was a very informative read and what I really liked was that the author’s enthusiasm came through a lot, plus he never spoke down to the reader.

Up Next:

I’ll be on vacation soon, so I’ll need to sort out some books for reading then. I have a couple of review books from LibraryThing to read, but I’d also like to take something that has been on my TBR list for far too long:

fashion committeelost boyin the first circle

  1. The Fashion Committee – Susan Juby. This is a review copy of a Canadian YA book I received from LibraryThing.
  2. Lost Boy – Shelley Hrdlitschka. This is another Canadian YA book I received from Early Reviewers at LibraryThing.
  3. In the First Circle – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This is a book that has been on my TBR list for far too long. I started reading it when I got it about 8 or 9 years ago, but got distracted by other things. I’m determined to read it this year, even though it seems like quite a daunting read.

Top Ten Tuesday – Favourite 2017 Reads (Dec 12)

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 Favorite Books of 2017’. The following, in no particular order, are the ten books I enjoyed the most (so far) this year, but I still haven’t decided which one was the best:

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  1. Wenjack – Joseph Boyden
  2. Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World – Henri J.M. Nouwen
  3. 84, Charing Cross Road – Helene Hanff
  4. Letters from Father Christmas – J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living – Rob Bell
  6. Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love So Much More – Janet Mock
  7. Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science – Mike McHargue
  8. Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism – Deborah Jian Lee
  9. The Marvels – Brian Selznick
  10. The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

Top Ten Tuesday – Fall TBR List (September 19)

It’s been a while, but it’s time to get back to this. Top 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 Fall TBR List.’ Some of these I’ve had for a while; others I bought quite recently. Hopefully I’ll manage to get a few of these read before Christmas. Time will tell!

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  1. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics – Carlo Rovelli
  2. Child of All Nations – Irmgard Keun
  3. My Brother My Sister – Molly Haskell
  4. On a Raven’s Wing: New Tales in Honor of Edgar Allan Poe – ed. Stuart M. Kaminsky
  5. The Divine Magician: The Disappearance of Religion and the Discovery of Faith – Peter Rollins
  6. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction – Eugene Peterson
  7. God in the Alley – Greg Paul
  8. The Divine Conspiracy – Dallas Willard
  9. The Wind Through the Keyhole – Stephen King
  10. A Tale of Two Cities (Graphic Novel) – David Zane Mairowitz, Robert Deas, Ryuta Osada (Illustrator)

WWW Wednesday (May 17)

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:

Afinding god in the waveslthough, as usual, I have quite a number of books on the go at the moment, the one I’m focusing on and have almost finished is Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science by Mike McHargue. I’m really enjoying this one. McHargue is well-known as ‘Science Mike’ and I listen to him weekly on a couple of podcasts: The Liturgists podcast and The Science Mike podcast. If you’re looking for something different to listen to then both of these podcasts
are worth checking out.

Recently Finished:

I finished the above six books during the last week. Three of them I read for the SavvyReadathon on Saturday. The six books were:

  1. Paper Girls, Vol. 1 – Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang (Illustrator), Matthew Wilson (Illustrator)
  2. How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living – Rob Bell
  3. Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter – edited by Plough Publishing House
  4. The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novels Adaptation #1) – Ian Edginton (Adapter), I.N.J. Culbard (Illustrator), Arthur Conan Doyle
  5. Pride: You Can’t Heal If You’re Hiding from Yourself – Ronald Holt
  6. A Letter of Consolation – Henri J.M. Nouwen

They were all fairly decent reads, although Paper Girls was a little disappointing. How to Be Here was probably the best of the bunch.

Up Next:

I haven’t really decided yet, but I have a few to choose from. I might try to get my hands on the new Rob Bell book and if I do, then that will be my next read. If not, then I might try to finish one of the other books that I still have on the go.

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.

WWW Wednesday (Feb 1)

www-wednesdayWWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted 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 only reading small portions each week, but it’s a good way to read Nouwen.
  2. Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices by Kirstin Cronn-Mills. I borrowed this from the library and am reading it for one of my reading challenges.
  3. Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus by C. Christopher Smith, John Pattison. I bought this one on Kobo a long time ago and never got beyond the introduction. Last week I listened to an interview with one of the authors about this book on the Renovaré podcast and was inspired to pick it up again.

Recently Finished:

orkney-twilightI finished one book in the last week: Orkney Twilight by Clare Carson. It was a decent read and I enjoyed the many references to places I grew up with in Orkney. It had enough twists to keep it interesting and I just found out it’s part of a trilogy, so I may need to look for the other two books some time.

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.

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