What I’m Into ~ May 2014 Edition

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What I’m Reading

Unbroken ~ It’s possible I’m one of the last people in the country to read this book. It is just as good as everyone says. The story is one of those truth-is-stranger-than-fiction humdingers, and the protagonist is worthy of a book. And the writing. Oh, the writing. Laura Hillenbrand deserves to be read regardless of her subject matter. If she were writing for cereal boxes I would recommend them as must reads. This book is not for the faint of heart, because the bulk of it chronicles the life of a POW in the pacific during WWII, but it is worth the pain. I became increasingly numb as I read the horrors, injustices, and resulting difficulties. And then, I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t read it, but the protagonist’s life came to an abrupt turning point, and I wept. That soul-deep release sort of crying.

Reinventing Rachel ~ I saw this book recommended by some bloggers, so I gave it a shot. Christian fiction (I genre I rarely read) about a young woman who thinks she has life together because she does all the “right” things, but finds she has no foundation when things fall apart around her. I appreciated aspects of it, and it did keep me reading. I particularly liked the author’s main point about the truth of a relationship with Christ as an already forgiven saint. But, like most books in the genre, the writing was not stunning. It was simplistic, there was too much dialogue, and some of the relationships and plot twists felt unrealistic. I finished it, but I can’t really recommend it.

The Big Moo ~ I read this one for work, and I loved it. The short chapters are thoughts from 33 different business leaders who donated their time for the Seth Godin-led project. It’s thought-provoking and inspiring. Highly recommended.

Below Stairs ~ This memoir of a British kitchenmaid/cook was the catalyst for Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey. The author is relatable and engaging, with a remarkable ability to cut to the core of the dynamics in which she found herself. It’s a brief, easy read. You’ll do yourself a favor by picking this one up.

Others: Judging a Book by Its Lover (didn’t like it); Shepherding a Child’s Heart (mixed feelings); The No-Cry Sleep Solution (a bit too optimistic, but helpful)

Currently reading: This is the Story of a Happy Marriage; The Omnivore’s Dilemma; The Search for Significance; Bread & Wine; Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands; The Nesting Place; Desperate; Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day

What I’m Watching

This is usually a fairly long list, but this month I’m enjoying the beautiful weather and my books too much to be invested in television. We’ve watched some season finales (The Good Wife was fantastic. The writing on that show thrills me), but not much else. I did binge-watch nearly half the season of Arrow, which had been accumulating on my DVR, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s not The Good Wife quality, but I don’t expect it to be. It is a fun adventure show with heart. I like those.

I just saw a commercial for Gotham, which is coming to Fox this fall, and I AM EXCITED. Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue are actors I could watch all day.

What I’m Listening To

Nickel Creek, y’all. I went to see them earlier in the month, and I left determined to see them again. Sister and I are currently working on that.

I am not an American Idol watcher, so I just learned about this performance yesterday from another blogger. My word, it is good. (And, if you like that one, check her out singing “Creep”.)

I go in cycles with my listening. Right now I’m on a John Mayer kick. I love his mellow sound, which can disguise the depth of his artistry if you let it lull you. That concept that simplicity is the heart of beauty? Melody, vocals, and guitar-playing combine to that deceptively simple (because it is simple, but it is not easy) place in this song.

Kids Clapping ~ Plumfield Dreams

Gratuitous adorable kid picture

Around the Web

Modern Mrs Darcy has a brilliant whimsical idea I fully intend to steal.

This is fascinating. Creativity is never-ending.

I like this idea from We Are THAT Family about teaching your family to stop complaining. My family is too young for it, but I’m going to use it myself.

You know how there’s a day or a week or a month for absolutely everything now? It’s gotten a bit absurd. But I like this one, because it’s helpful to me if people observe it. 😉 The hilarious Roo Ciambriello writes about how you can help with food allergy awareness.

I like this post from Modern Mrs Darcy because I think most of us are either the good kid or the odd one out. What the post reminds me is that we are all of us fallen and in need of loving guidance, whether we seem perfect or anything-but.

Christa Wells has rapidly become one of my favorite songwriters. Her writing is all lyrical wisdom. That includes this blog post about The Songwriting Life.

I’ve just begun reading Haley’s writing at Carrots for Michaelmas, and I enjoy her thoroughly thus far. I particularly appreciated this post about The Definition of Sexy. (And her hubby wrote this insightful post The Scouring of The Scouring of the Shire, which was impressive because I didn’t think there was anything left to say about The Lord of the Rings.)

What I’m Pondering

Shauna and I are working through some of the same ideas. It’s not surprising, since we both seem to have personalities that tend toward excess. Speaking of those ideas, you can buy the “More Love. Less Hustle.” print from Gold Bug Designs. I’m totally getting one.

It’s not just me and Shauna. Check out Slow Your Home’s post about how Doing Nothing is Doing Something.

And another, from The Art of Simple: The Lost Art of Life Pruning. I would approach this a bit differently. The author talks about considering what *I* want more of at the moment. I would approach it from a “what does God want for/from me at the moment” position. The general idea still stands strong.

On the Blog

We got our first family photos this week, and I’m loving the previews we received from the photographer.

I enjoyed writing this fun post about my dream television neighbors. Who would you want to live next to?

I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for What I’m Into. Check out the other fantastic blogs for more fun and inspiration.

You can see what else we’ve been up to this month by checking out my 5 on Friday posts:
The One with the Ups and Downs (in which my 10-month-old starts doing yoga…um, sort of)
The One with the Nickel Creek Concert (in which I go to a Nickel Creek concert…obviously)
The One Where We’re Boring and Loving It (in which we are boring and take terrible pictures)
The One with All the Parenting (in which I accidentally get my two-year-old a caffeinated latte)
The One with the Much Needed Holiday (in which Aria is a bit disturbed by the statue at the cemetery and it makes a cute picture)

2 thoughts on “What I’m Into ~ May 2014 Edition

  1. I am continually amazed at the volume and quality of books you are reading. I still have and refer to the high school book list you gave me long ago. When I had two little ones, I remember feeling sleep-deprived and selfishly reading mostly fluffy fiction(my own category for books not necessarily challenging that I speed through just for the plot). You are inspiring!

    • I’m honored you still find that list useful! I think for me reading is one of those things without which I would feel incomplete. This week I am stalled because nothing I’m reading is fluffy, and I just can’t find the stamina to invest in them right now. You’re not the only one who requires some fluff!

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