Thursday, October 31, 2013

Breakfast and Some Books


 
The breakfast of my dreams!
Yoplait tangerine Greek Blended yogurt, topped with bran Chex and raspberries.
Half an English muffin with strawberry cream cheese.
Earl Grey in the Wisconsin cow mug.

I am obsessed with this yogurt. I can't explain it. (It's imperative that you put the Chex on right at the last moment so they don't get soggy.) Crunchy, creamy, juicy, heavenly.

THIS JUST IN: Thomas Pumpkin English Muffins are in the house! For the love of Pete, go grab yourself 8 or 10 packages and throw them in the freezer, the bread box, and your mouth. (I found some at my beloved Dented Can for $1 a bag, but now I'm just bragging again.) Top them with whipped cream cheese. Fall in love with breakfast all over again.

This? This was my night stand a few weeks ago. The stack has evolved slightly since then, but any changes have been more lateral than progressive.

What on earth am I saying right now? It's not even making sense to me.

The point is, I'm a flaming hot mess of good intentions. My drive to read is on par with my drive to wear gingham and eat salsa.

You see what I'm up against.

Holy Bible - New Living Translation 
I'm reading right now in Matthew and just, whoa. Jesus was pretty gutsy, right? I know this in my head already, but he really just didn't give a rip what people thought about him. He told it like it was. Also, he told a lot of it quite cryptically...I can't help but wonder what the crowds really thought of his parables. Some were real head-scratchers.

Meet Me in the Meadow: Finding God in the Wildflowers
A friend from church saw this and thought of me. Can I just say that there's nothing kinder in the world than being thought of? It makes me verklempt, if I'm not careful. As for the book, it might be my actual soulmate. Finally, someone understands me!

"Because God played this intimate role in each wildflower's creation, their features give insight to him." 

YES! That's what I've been saying all along! Call me a hippie. It's okay. All I know is, flowers show me God. Now I have proof.

Orphan Justice - Johnny Carr
I'm not all the way through this one. It's meaty and I'm moving like a slug in honey. But it's so good. It's affirming all of my hunches, which is to say it's affirming that God meant serious business about caring for orphans and Jesus wasn't just talking in riddles. This probably isn't the last you'll hear about this one.

"Stop and consider this: Just like the children of Israel, we, as God's people, will be judged for withholding justice from the oppressed and the orphan. If we have the means and the capability to care for orphaned and vulnerable children, yet fail to do so, we are in direct disobedience to God."

Jesus Freak - Sara Miles
One of you awesome readers recommended this book to me, I immediately clicked over, loved the cover, bought it, read it, BOOM. So thank you, dear reader. If you happen to see this, give me a shout so I can personally thank you.

Friends, this is one of my favorite books of the year.

I have some deep theological disagreements with the author, kind of like this book, which happens to be one of my favorite books in the history of the world. This sort of dichotomy used to really leave me conflicted, but this post helped nudge things into line. I can get a little angsty about sharing things like this, things I know many of you would not approve of. But here's where I fall: full disclosure. I'm okay with you disagreeing or thinking I'm wrong. And at the point that I believe I should hide something, I probably need to take a closer look at why I have it in my life.

Jesus Freak took me by surprise in more than one way. It made my brain hurt and my heart beat faster. It made sense to me on so many levels, and yeah, there were several babies I had to toss out with the bathwater.

So this one isn't for everyone. But it changed the way I think about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. It helped shape the way I view ministry and service and loving hard people well. It shined a light on more of my failures (there seems to be no end to this phenomenon. Help!)

The copy I read was from the library, but I'll be ordering one to keep, because I'm dying to take my ink pen to it and I just need it to be another of my permanent friends on the shelf.

Chase (Bible study) - Jennie Allen
This study rocked me at a time when I really needed to be pointed toward some difficult truths. So often I fall into the trap of believing I need to be doing certain things in order to win God's favor, or His proximity.

And then there's David. Reckless. Emotional. Ordinary. Constantly tripping over His humanity while he chases the One he loves best.

So maybe my failures are fully expected by God and maybe He does just want my heart. Can it be??!

"David was not remarkable apart from God. God moved around him and through him in the most powerful stories. But something about the way David saw God transformed the way he lived. He saw God differently than everyone around him. He loved God and he lived like he loved God."

A Sweethaven Homecoming - Courtney Walsh
My homegirl wrote this, a sequel to this book.  I keep loaning my copy out before I get a chance to read it myself. Ack! The first one was so good. I need to know what's happening with Campbell, dangit! Courtney dishes about this one right here.

Activist Faith: From Him and For Him - Burroughs, Darling, King
This one's up after I finish Orphan Justice. I'm especially excited to read the chapters The Poverty Epidemic and Beyond Bigger Prisons. Stay tuned!

Ask the Passengers - A. S. King
I picked this up at the library and was instantly sucked in to the title, cover art, and the hook - a young girl escapes the angst of adolesence by sending her love to every airplane that flies overhead, communicating with the passengers, searching them for the solution to life's riddles.

I finished it, but reluctantly, at times. It would have been so much stronger if it had focused more on its hook. Bummer.

White Jacket Required - Jenna Weber
I traveled to Ethiopia in August with Jenna and describe her now to Cory and Sarah as "One of the chefs". (Man, I love those chefs.) It was such a treat to read her memoir. Her writing brought her into ultra-focus and I found myself wishing for a do-over of the trip. There's so much more I want to talk to her about, now.  Also, I dog-eared 90% of the recipes she shared. If you're a foodie and generally a nosy person like me, you will dig this book.

Dark Nights of the Soul - Thomas Moore
The dearest man walked up to me at church a few weeks ago during "greeting time" and said, "You and Cory are readers? Well, read this. Both of you. And then we'll get together and talk about it."

I haven't started it yet, but I will. And when I do? Best book club EVER.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford
In case you ever doubted my cool-factor, which registers in the negatives, I tried to read this book and couldn't get into it. I'm the only person to grace the internets who isn't raving about it. I'm so sorry to disappoint. (In my defense, I historically always have trouble reading anything remotely historical. Also, I historically have trouble not using the same word multiple times in the same sentence, historically speaking.)

Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality - Jacob Tomsky
It's unfortunate that we're ending here. 'Tis the luck of the draw, or the stack, as the case may be.
I'll cut to the chase. I loved this book for the first 4 or 5 chapters. I took a picture of the cover with my wonky flip-phone and texted it to not one, but two friends.

This book has rated-R language. I had a hunch it would. Take your complaints to the management, okay? (I talked about my thoughts on books with bad words here.)

Initially, I was riveted. It was so dishy and juicy.  Jacob Tomsky has a unique command of the written word. I loved his voice. But around the half-way mark it got repetitive, depressing, and boring.

I soldiered on and finished it, and I'll be honest, when I went to the fancy hotel last month for my fancy meeting, I saw things in a whole new light. 

So, what are you reading right now? Leave me a comment and I'll send one of you an FPFG-approved care package. It will be weird, I can promise you that much.

Luv,
Flower Patch Nerdygirl


115 comments:

  1. Yay! Some new reads to add to my list! And for the record... I read "Hotel on the Corner" several years ago, and did not love it. I thought I would, but didn't. So that means you're in great company! ;-)

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  2. Of all those books you've listed I've only read Chase. (I have read the Bible just not the New Living Translation.) I see a couple I need to get my hands on.

    I recently finished Billy: The Early Years of Billy Graham. I saw it while browsing the biography section at the library. The crisis of faith he faced and overcame had me holding my breath even though I knew the outcome. ;) I am currently reading two library books Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life by Gail Blanke AND Clutter's Last Stand by Don Aslett. You can guess the condition of my surroundings, right? My husband and I are on a mission. After 33 years of marriage and 23 years in the same house, it's time.

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  3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. I never read it before, can you believe it?

    To the kids: Glory Be. (About racism in the South.)

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  4. I have a 10 month old who hates sleep,...so reading for pure pleasure is not really on my priority list right now.
    I flipped through my copy of Martha Stewart's COOKIE cookbook yesterday to look for a recipe to make for my older 2 boys for Halloween....that counts right? please tell me yes ;)

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    1. OF COURSE it does!!
      I remember Cookie mag. And the days of not-sleeping babies.
      :)

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  5. I'm currently reading Allegiant, the last book in the Divergent trilogy. And the Pioneer Woman's 2nd cookbook. We made some awesome peach whiskey chicken the other night!

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  6. Reading A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman on Kindle (it's my go-to in my bag right now) and slowly meandering through the Redwall series (prereading for my kids) by Brian Jacques in the evening. I'm up to book 3 (and there's a bazillion in the series. We are also reading aloud Little Women and The Hobbit in bits and spurts and hope to finish these sometime in 2015. : )

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  7. I recently finished "The Longest Ride" (Sparks)....really good predictable fluff!
    Am currently reading "Running for My Life" (Lomong)...a biographical account of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan making it to the olympics....GREAT!
    Reading with my hubby after dinner "Love Does" (Goff)....great, challenging, fun thing to read together

    And the New Living Translation???? MY FAVORITE!!! It is what I teach out of because I want the ladies to UNDERSTAND! Have been using it for years!

    Have you read "Jantsen's Gift" (Cope)?

    I could go on and on........... will just finish by saying I wish we could all gather together and do Jennie Allen's "Restless" when it comes out in January!

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  8. I am reading The Ragamuffin Gospel, Bringing up Bebe, and I just finished Eleanor and Park, which is an awesome book!

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  9. Oh, I'd like to get my hands on the Chase study book! It's so comforting to realize that our pursuit in life is of a God that will never leave us empty! All is well!

    I'm currently reading "Having Mary Spirit" by Joanna Weaver and I am likewise moving about the speed of a turtle in fresh jello, but every page digs a little deeper into the ugly inside me. I love it and I hate it. You know what I mean.

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  10. Anything. You should totally read that one. Same author as Chase, Jennie Allen.

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    Replies
    1. Read it and LOVED it!
      http://flowerpatchfarmgirl.blogspot.com/2012/05/anything-review-and-giveaway.html

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    2. Awesome! I want to read it again.
      ~FringeGirl

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    3. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Anything. Was going to recommend it.

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  11. This mama loves a good read. Last great one I had was just the other day, I randomly snagged this book from the library called "The Color of Rain" by Michael and Gina Spehn. LORD HAVE MERCY. If you read this be sure to stock up on the tissues. It will send you to the edge and back. At least twice. It's about two families that lose a parent to cancer and how those families helped each other through. AND IT'S ALL TRUE. For reals.
    Also, on a total side note. Scandal is on tonight.
    Peace out.

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    1. Also, Kerry Washington is pregnant. But we all know her real name is Olivia Pope. Tis all.

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  12. Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Sorry, I couldn't write the first half of the sentence without finishing it like that.
    But Christmas is coming and i need to make wish lists and now i have something to add. Thanks!

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  13. Ok, here's the review. Seriously, this one was SOOOO good. I did the Chase study too and loved it, but I may have loved this one more. Get yourself some salsa and chips and read away.

    http://wp.me/p39V74-296

    ~FringeGirl

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    1. Ha! I just posted my review up under your other comment. AT THE SAME EXACT TIME. Spoooooky! ;)

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    2. Ha! Maybe it's because it's Halloweenie...

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  14. I don't have a current read, but I am excited to tell you that I'm going to HOPE SPOKEN--just got 2 tickets this past Sunday and I'm so excited that I get to see you and hopefully hear you after meeting you at CW. I'll be bringing my daughter...

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    1. WHAT???????????!!!! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I can't wait!

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  15. You should read Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldridge...its FREE right now with just $4.95 shipping. The whole thing is about how tricky, cool and tough Jese was/is and gives a fresh angle on many of the New Testament stories. I loves it!

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  16. Finishing up 'Riding the Bus with My Sister',
    waiting to get 'The Longest Ride' from the library,
    in the midst of 'Esther: it's tough being a woman' in Bible study,
    holding out till Christmas to crack open 'The Greatest Gift',
    thinking I must get my hands on 'A Million Little Things.' Isn't that Amy Freeman's newest title?
    Thanks for your recommends on books...and definately on Greek yogurt!

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  17. Reading "The Inner Voice of Love" by Henri Nouwen and "Healing is a Choice" by Stephen Arterburn. Yes, I have issues. For fun, reading "Defending Jacob". For a fabulous adoption story (set in my town of Baltimore!), try "Digging to America" by Anne Tyler. SO GOOD!

    For the record, I read "Hotel on the Corner..." and enjoyed the story. However, the writing (typos, flow, historical context) was abysmal. So, while I did finish it, it's certainly not on my "Best Books Ever" list!

    Are you on Goodreads?? If not, you totally should be! So many great suggestions and a fabulous way to keep all the books you've read, want to read, etc. "organized", which makes my Type AAA heart sing!! :-)

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    1. I read Digging to America. SO GOOD!
      And I'm terrified of Goodreads. I don't know. Something about adding a new technology to my life...it gives me the shivers.

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    2. FPFG, I tried to add Goodreads into my life and FAIL. I didn't need to add anything else! I still get emails from them :)

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  18. I'm currently reading A Prayer for Owen Meany and it's been S L O W going. I don't really want to finish...but I think I should because it's apparently one of the best books of all time (?!?!) and my book club's current read. There are a thousand other books on my TBR that I'd rather spend time on. I trudge on...

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  19. Reading Follow Me by Platt and slowly going through Matthew for my first year of BSF. I am learning A LOT! Just finished Unveiling Grace which was an interesting read and Out of My Mind which made me cry. Favorite picture book this week for the kids: Oh No, George!

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  20. I'm this close to finishing The Grapes of Wrath and then I have a few holds at the library to pick up. I get all twitchy and a little crab apple-y if I don't have several books waiting in the wings. Your nightstand made me happy!

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  21. yes, the pumpkin spice english muffins are back!! i've stocked up and think of you every time i have one. but new this year, or maybe just new to me - the cranberry english muffin!! i just bought them at meijer yesterday. in love. not quite as much as the pumpkin spice, but it's a close second!! hope you are well . . . and one of these days when you're in ohio - lets meet for coffee or salsa at la fiesta with betsy!! - karen

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  22. reading bread and wine, when two become one, and to be told.
    i just juiced for bfast....loved the combo...coconut milk, sunflower seeds, 1/2 banana, some mango, some blueberries and a spoonful of almond butter.

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  23. I have a stack like that on my nightstand, but most of them aren't really in process. I usually have two books going at once-a fiction and a nonfiction. My nonfiction picks are either spiritual or parenting related. Right now I'm reading "A Place to Belong" by Lauraine Snelling. I love her historical fiction. I also just started "The Strong-Willed Child" by Dr. Dobson. I'm hoping it will give me some insights on my "full-of-life" daughter...maybe you can relate?

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    1. Bethany, I read Strong Willed Child more than 35 years ago, and was fortunate enough to attend a seminar taught by Dr. Dobson. I cannot more highly recommend the STEP program (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) to also help with your strong willed child. Google it for possible workshops in your area. And good luck!

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    2. I'm sorry, that just makes me giggle; my mom bought Strong Willed Child 3o years ago when she had me I'm not sure how closely she followed it, as I never read it, but hopefully I turned out okay?

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    3. I'm sorry, that just makes me giggle; my mom bought Strong Willed Child 3o years ago when she had me I'm not sure how closely she followed it, as I never read it, but hopefully I turned out okay?

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    4. I'm sorry, that just makes me giggle; my mom bought Strong Willed Child 3o years ago when she had me I'm not sure how closely she followed it, as I never read it, but hopefully I turned out okay?

      Delete
  24. Reading List--(I've learned to not rush out and buy books as soon as you post (the one about fancy schmancy school)...
    I Told My Soul To Sing (Finding God With Emily Dickinson) by Kristin LeMay
    Circle of the Seasons by Kimberlee Conway Ireton (.... God in the Church Year...)
    The 4:50 From Paddington, or What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw, by Agatha Christie
    TRYING to get through Les Miserables! Loving it, and yet there are so.many.words. and i LOVE WORDS, BUT COME ON ALREADY!

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    1. Wait - the How to Walk to School book? Did you hate it? I tried to be clear that I didn't love it!

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  25. OH MY GOSH Janet Gillespie. I am OBSESSED with her. First it was Bedlam in the Backseat, Then it was A Joyful Noise and NOW it is With a Merry Heart. I cannot tell you how much I love these books. Beware, in A Joyful Noise there are lots of descriptions of birds, because she and her father watched birds together when she was a child. They are happy books, focusing on the storehouse of joy her parents gave her to help her through life. Send me your addy and I'll mail you one for your choosing. Because your stack is not happy enough (I was just going to say tall enough but then i got judgy. It happens before coffee)

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  26. Hmm, my comment disappeared! I'm reading 1-2-3 Magic for Christian Parents (I've read the nonChristian one & want to compare the two) & Give Them Grace. I'm knee deep in the journey of parenting 3 littles on my own & looking for some guidance so I get this thing right!

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    1. I read Give Them Grace! It had some great stuff in it. Here's my review:
      http://flowerpatchfarmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/09/current-reads.html

      You need to let me know what you think of the 1-2-3 Magic.

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  27. I just finished reading I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai 16 year old who was shot in the face by the Taliban and youngest person ever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Great book that provides insight into the war, the taliban and the fight for human rights in Pakistan.

    And Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Another great book that sheds light on the plight facing our sisters across the world.

    I believe that the privilege we have of living in this modern society comes with the responsibility to know the lives of those who don't yet share our privilege.

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  28. "My Utmost For His Highest" - I have to read each devotional twice or thrice to really understand it, it's so "olde language" in my mind, but no matter how many devotionals I try - I always come back to this one.

    Reading "Island of the Blue Dolphins" with my gals. Love LoVE LOVE it. Such a haunting story, and I was giddy to hop onto the internet and find it was based on a true story.

    Package, you say?

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  29. thank you for reminding me I've wanted to tell you I read, Tell the wolves I'm home, by Carol Brunt, this summer, amazing loved it! (just a novel nothing deeper than that), but great writing. Right now I'm reading "Silver Star" by Jeannette Walls, who wrote "Glass Castle" which is one of my favorite books ever, Silver Star is good too :) I also read 7 recently and though I disagreed with her some (I think if I read her right) really took a lot from it, now I'm trying to decide if I should do my own 7 experiement... :)

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  30. thank you for reminding me I've wanted to tell you I read, Tell the wolves I'm home, by Carol Brunt, this summer, amazing loved it! (just a novel nothing deeper than that), but great writing. Right now I'm reading "Silver Star" by Jeannette Walls, who wrote "Glass Castle" which is one of my favorite books ever, Silver Star is good too :) I also read 7 recently and though I disagreed with her some (I think if I read her right) really took a lot from it, now I'm trying to decide if I should do my own 7 experiement... :)

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  31. I need the Jesus Freak. And you make me giggle. Did you get something from me??

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  32. You used the word Angsty!! I thought I was the only person who used that word! Soul mates!! I am reading: Kisses from Katie (again...), Sticky Faith (about parenting, good stuff), A Farmwife's Almanac of Country Living by Rachel Peden (picked up at the library book sale... it is OLD and wonderful!), The Connected Child (slowly), The Circle Maker, and Crazy Love. In the pile: Speak Love, and Ann Voskamp's new book, along with several other old books from the library book sale. :)

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  33. Right now, I'm almost finished Carry On Warrior by Glennon Melton. Next up, I want to start again (and this time finish) The Peculiar Sadness of Lemon Cake, which I bought mostly because it said "Lemon Cake" on the cover. And then, I'm going to look for Jesus Freak at the library!

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  34. Also? I love when you do these posts. I feel like we just had a cup of tea together.

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  35. Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist. Excellent book!

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  36. Does reading a cookbook in bed count? I'm reading Amy Thielen's Midwestern Table -- I am crushing hard on this right now and I'm not even from the midwest!

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  37. If I'd known you were going to post a pic of your bedside 'stack,' I would have done the same! Here's what's there:
    The graveyard book / Neil Gaiman
    Daddy's gone a hunting / by Mary Higgins Clark (about 50 pages to go in this one...)
    Someone / Alice McDermott. (I love Alice McDermott's books)
    Crazy rich Asians / Kevin Kwan. (recommended by a friend who lived in Hong Kong for 10 years)
    Beautiful ruins / Jess Walter.
    While we were watching Downton Abbey / Wendy Wax. (Can't wait to start this one!)
    I notice you also utilize the library. LOVE MY LIBRARY. Sadly, it has neither the Courtney Walsh books, nor the "White Jacket Required." Will be saving my pennies to actually buy those. Also love your blog; reading about your amazing, challenging family and how you cope. Your days brighten mine. Thanks...

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  38. I love a good book post! I'm reading "Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker," but slowly slowly because life's crazy right now. I've got a huge beside-table stack like yours waiting...

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  39. P.S.: Our Women's Bible Study (didn't include these in the list, 'cause they aren't on my nightstand!) also read "A Thousand Gifts" and is just finishing "A Place at the Table." I will admit Thousand Gifts never grabbed me. But my daughter and I are looking forward to our Feast Day every Sunday, in keeping with our place at the table... I also love the Once A Day Bible. Shutting up now.

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  40. i have a pile like that, too! and i get SO excited when you post about what books you're reading. i get more excited about a pile of books than...hmm...i don't know. i just love it :-)

    here's my pile (these are just the ones i'm actually in the middle of):
    The Sexually Confident Wife by Shannon Ethridge
    It Starts withe Food by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig
    Hope Rising by Kim Meeder (a friend gave it to me. so i feel like i have to read it. a little too "feel good" for me??)
    Women Food and God by Geneeth Roth
    Love me, Feed Me by Katia Rowell (lots of adopted child issues...which is why i need the next one...)
    Allegiant by Veronica Roth
    Half the Sky by Nicolas Kristof
    Parenting the Difficult Child by Linda Rice (honestly, in my opinion, a lot of "adoption" books are full of baloney, but this one is SOLID. i'm going through it VERY slowly)
    A Million LIttle Ways by Emily Freeman

    bread and wine was my favorite book of the summer this past summer!

    ok. that's all. for now.

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  41. Love hearing what others are reading. I'm reading The Book Thief right now. Looking forward to watching the movie later this year as well. (At least I think it's coming out this year!)

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  42. I am reading "Running the Rift" about a child athlete running through the genocide to escape Rwanda in 1994-1995. Amazing story. The commenter prior mentioned, "The Book Thief," which is a fantastic novel too.
    Enjoy reading what you are reading, and yes to reading the Gospels for a bit of a punch in the arm when you need to get yoru courage up. Jesus was so strong!

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  43. The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida. There is no one in my life who is autistic, but I was immediately drawn in by the author's voice. I found it so sweet, kind of heartbreaking, and tremendously illuminating.

    Say more about Jesus Freak! Tell me about your disagreements with the author and the babies that went out with the bathwater!

    (Also, an fyi. Your post about Calvin's medical challenges and the importance of considering registering to be a bone marrow donor, inspired my son's Eagle Scout project: he partnered with Be the Match and held a bone marrow donor registry drive. We thought of your sweet Calvin, and tuck him into our prayers every day - that he'll never, ever need a donation. I wanted to thank you for you inspiration.)

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    1. THANK YOU and your little guy!!!! I can't wait to tell Calvin. :)

      And did you read Jesus Freak? Was it you who recommended it? Must know!!!

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    2. I haven't read Jesus Freak - so I'm not the mystery recommender - but I want to read it and wanted a more detailed take on it from you so I could have imaginary conversations with you while I'm reading it . . .

      Don't we all have imaginary conversations with Shannan?

      hugs to all your peeps!

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    3. Well, this is one of those books that I don't want to give up too much. I want you to be able to draw your own conclusions. I went into reading this book knowing next to nothing about it, which I'm glad for. But! This Amazon review might be helpful: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3KIPJ3FVNGZYO?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=0470481668&cdMSG=addedToThread&cdPage=&linkCode=&newContentID=MxF9L7XT6AIMN3&newContentNum=1&nodeID=&ref_=cm_cr_pr_cmt&tag=#CustomerDiscussionsNRPB

      (sorry bout that long, crazy link!)

      Let me know if you read it!

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  44. Just finished, and loved, Tattooes on my Heart". Jesus Freak sounds good. Also, finished up Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls and really enjoyed it. Loved this post! Would be so psyched to join your book club w/the gentleman at your church!! Keep us posted! :)

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  45. Right now I'm reading books like Muncha, Muncha, Muncha (It's a nail-biter), Put Me in the Zoo and David and Goliath over and over...and over. Really deep stuff here...

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    1. Going through the comments to add to my to-read list...you fooled me and I went to look up Muncha Muncha Muncha...I thought it was some creepy thriller! LOL! Yes, my kids are in college so I am sort of out of the kid book loop... :)

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  46. How to Walk to School-- no I didn't hate it-- sorry! I didn't buy it. I ALMOST bought it, but before I could order it, I saw your comments about what the book turned out to be..... Sorry, sometimes I think I make sense; should not make that assumption. :)

    EXTRA: Keep me in your prayers as I endeavor to reach out to my "mentee" 's family. I do kids hope mentoring, and have just felt such a burden to help my girl's whole family outside of the mentoring hour. Mom has been receptive. I have this idea brewing about "taking on" or "coming alongside" one specific family and just bringing them in to our lives. My husband also mentors, and has felt the same call to help and nurture the family of his 1st grade boy...

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    1. 1. Thanks for clarifying. Makes perfect sense! I feel like it's weirdly important to share when I don't like a book or whatever, lest it appears that I love EVERYTHING. haha. Plus, art is so personal! We all like different things.
      2. I will be praying for you guys! This stuff THRILLS me! Hang on, sister. It will get harder before it gets easier then do it all over again. :) (Or maybe it's just me. ha.)

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  47. I just started Excellent Women by Barbara Pym, which looks like it will be a good old-fashioned cozy book! I don't think it is very long - our library only had the large print version, so I am flying through the pages! LOL

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  48. My list-
    Orphan justice- My friend in India that is doing the work on the ground says "The best book on justice he was ever read."
    Fight- Craig Groeschel
    When Broken Glass Floats: Growing up under the Khmer Rouge
    Bury The Chains In the Fight to Free an Empires Slaves
    With Justice for all- John Perkins
    Keep Your Love On- Danny Silk
    Jesus>Religion

    Thats all for now.

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  49. i had to dig my book stack out from under my #ginhamstyle shirt because that's what happens when your stack sits close to the laundry and you are more busy reading than washing. i'm interested in jesus freak because you related it to tattoo. and we both know that book is just never going to get old. my stack consists of this:
    The Bible
    The Creative Habit - Twyla Tharp
    The Dog Stars - Peter Heller (local author...quirky, uncomfortable, intriguing book)
    On Writing - Stephen King
    The Dovekeepers - Alice Hoffman
    The Candymakers - Wendy Mass (older kid)
    Dinosaur Cove Books - Rex Stone (younger kid)
    Lean In - Sheryl Sandberg (just finished)

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  50. Current: Pope Joan (Donna Cross). Next up: The Paris Wife. Added today: Dark Nights of the Soul, Radiant Darkness, Leningrad - State of Seige, Me Before You, Meet Me in the Meadow, White Jacket Required....and on and on...

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  51. oh this is the best!!!

    Loved orphan justice also. Tattoos is a forever favorite too!

    I'm reading Orphan Train (Christina Baker Kline) right now. It's legit.

    Behind Beautiful Forevers(Katherine Boo) is next on my list.

    The Exodus Road (Laura Parker) is a 2-hour read and definitely worth the time.

    Slowly making it through Toxic Charity (Robert D. Lupton).

    You might like Hospital By the River (Catherine Hamlin)-- read it a looong time ago, but it is about a wonderful fistula hospital in ethiopia.

    The Blue Sweater (Jacqueline Novogratz) is pretty good.

    A Good and Perfect Gift (Amy Julia Becker).

    Living and Dying in Brick City (Sampson Davis) is awesome.

    Risk is Right (John Piper) is another quick read but full of so much good stuff.

    Also currently LOVING One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian. All of his stuff is great.

    You've probably read Love Does by now??

    Just Courage by Gary Haugen is a jewel.

    Also currently reading and liking Broken-Down House by Paul Tripp

    that's enough for now. :) :) :)

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  52. Sleeping in Eden and loving it! Also, recently read Tell The Wolves I'm Home and it was outstanding as well. Love reading lists as they give me new selections in which to choose!

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  53. I have just been on a Jen Hatmaker reading binge, but am now reading Kisses From Katie...and loving it.

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  54. I'm reading Murder at Pemberly (supposedly a continuation of Pride and Prejudice) and The Family Dinner. Both great reads!

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  55. Thanks for sharing your book list! I recently read My Antonia by Willa Cather (I'm trying to work my way through all the classics!) and it was very good. Set on a farm, about a Russian immigrant girl. . . But my hands down favorite of all time is The Count of Monte Cristo. I know it's about revenge, but it's well written, exciting, and you feel an immense sense of accomplishment when you flip that last page and realize you read that whole entire enormous book. :)

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  56. My current stack:
    Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood before Marriage - very interesting to hear the girls' perspectives
    The Reason For God - Tim Keller - Wow! I am so loving this book.
    The Zero-Waste Lifestyle - Amy Korst
    Land of Marvels - Barry Unsworth - I like the first novel I read by him better I think...having a hard time getting into this one.

    Just returned Love is a Verb by Gary Chapman and Barnheart to the library.

    The Prodigal God and Counterfeit Gods are next after I get some more Swagbucks for Amazon....

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    1. Promises I Can Keep - I wish I could make EVERYONE in the entire world read this book. So good! But I can't find my copy! Ack.

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    2. This one is going on my list immediately!

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    3. It is heart-breaking...humbling...fascinating...convicting... Your reply also answers a question that was rattling around my brain; who did I hear about this book from? Um, from you. I'm just a few fries short of a happy meal...

      By the way, I am thrilled to say that in just a few short weeks I'll be working in a jail! With faith-based programs! So excited to have the opportunity to do this work. However, if the past year is any indication, I also know God will be showing me some un-pretty things in my own heart through the journey. Sometimes it seems so much "easier" to follow rules and keep to oneself than to live in grace... But I also know I can't go back to the person I was... Any advice would be most welcome. :) Also terrified because my office will be right across the hall from the cafeteria and a refrigerator consistently full of pie.

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  57. The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields is so good! When I read it I felt like someone finally knew how to write for me! It's half biography, half art, half...oh shoot I used up all the halves! Just check it out :)

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  58. I'm reading The Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent and Call The Midwife by Jennifer Worth.
    I don't know how you read so many at once! My poor little add brain would explode.

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  59. I'm reading Sleeping in Eden by Nicole Bart. I just finished Same Kind of Different as Me. I borrowed that one from the library but I think I need to buy it. Next on my list is Wonder by R.J. Palacio which a friend highly recommended.

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  60. I just finished the "Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work" by Jonh Gottman. (and I'm single, go figure.) And am beginish of "The Real James Herriot: A Memoir of My Father" (James Wight) and "Searching For Dragons" (a fun short re-read by Jane Yolen. Finally I'm about to begin "The House of Hades" by Rick Riordan. I know, you're impressed with my depth. What can I say, children's and pre-teen fantasy is my gig.

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  61. Oh, I forgot to add that I am listening to the unabridged Pride and Prejudice for the hundreth time and just read "In The Footsteps of Jesus: One Man's Journey" by Bruce Marchiano who starred in the word-for-word film of Matthew.

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  62. It's so funny to me that you're writing about books today! I just finished The Jesus I Never Knew, by Phillip Yancey - loved it. All the way through, I was thinking of you - like, I want to send you a copy bc I think you'd dig it. I still might - but then, I'd need your address! Also just read Wonder (everyone, every KID 4th grade and up should read it), and in the midst of Same Kind of Different as Me, and reading A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah (it's a toughy). Keep The Story in my car to read in carpool line, and also Teach Your Children Well, by Madeline Levine (the answer to what our kids need? right here.) And, ever since you posted that you read The Ragamuffin Gospel, I've been wanting to dig out that old copy of mine along with Lion and Lamb. Oh! And, also reading Half Broke Horses. Good stuff. My nightstand looks A LOT like yours.

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  63. A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman..., love, love, love
    The Racketeer by John Grisham
    I really need to get myself to the library and get a good stack

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  64. I am reading Getting Naked Later: A Guide for the Fully Clothed. I know...not another book about singleness! But this is not one you'd find in your typical Christian bookstore. It's hilarious and real and refreshing.

    I'm also reading Orange is the New Black, and loving it! It gives such a unique perspective of prison. I've learned a lot and laughed a lot.

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  65. i am reading piper's classic 'don't waste your life,' or not reading, as the case may be. it has been hanging out on my nightstand (SIDENOTE, RE: NIGHTSTAND: super old metal & wood-slab desk, thrifted from maintenance, you'd be so proud) for almost a month now, and i've conquered half of one page.

    but come december when the school shuts down, i am totally tackling that thing.

    ps if i win, you can mail my package of weirdness to someone more local. just promise to catalog the contents for me.
    pps i am totally emailing you those laundry image files, once i get my life together. or sooner. let's hope for sooner.

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  66. Um, my pile of books I cannot wait to read is at least this high on my desk. And Jesus Feminist is coming out soon so I better get cracking! And I have the new Ann VosKamp Advent devotional so that just leaves me this month to read approximately 14 books...think I can pull that off?!? I am starting with Half the Sky which has been on my "to read" list for over a year. I got a copy for my birthday and am rounding up a group of women to discuss it after we all read it. Can't wait.

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  67. From one nerdy book worm to another.... I'm reading as always a few things;
    Past imperfect by the writer of Downton Abbey and loving it suprisingly for it's not my usual read, Girl Reading b
    Book and music prejudice is a terrible thing!
    Happy reading!

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  68. Some girlfriends and I started a book club last month and the book this time around is The Language of Flowers. I'm full on in the thick of a two yr old and five month old. Hopefully this month I'll finish strong and not choose naps over finishing the book. Oh who am I kidding, I probably won't.

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  69. I recently finished "Sleeping in Eden" (after your recommendation) and LOVED it. Might be my favorite fiction book ever!! I just started "Unbroken" (Hillenbrand) and "Freefall to Fly" (Lyons). Also on my list: "Love Does" (Goff), "Anything", "Hinds Feet on High Places" (Hurnard), "Barefoot Church" (Brandon Hatmaker), and "A Life Well Spent" (Crosson). Oh, and I think I will probably read everything by Nicole Baart soon. :)

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  70. I am reading "When Helping Hurts" by Corbett and Fikkert because I am DESPERATE for some answers. (I've wanted to personally email a million questions about my sit.)
    Also reading Acts and Habakkuk. (I was going to write weird, but I've decided its not.)

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  71. "A Million Little Ways" by Emily Freeman and "The Golden Road" by L. M. Montgomery. My "to read" stack is ginormous.

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  72. Entertainment Weekly counts, right?

    I loved reading through your list as well as the commenters' lists.

    I think Jesus Freak is going into my cart today... the only book I've read on your list is "Hotel", which I quite enjoyed. That was years ago, but I enjoyed it precisely why you didn't ;) — for the history. It opened my eyes to japanese- americans' experiences which I heretofore had not really known about.

    My most recent purchase is Anne Lamott's "Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith". Haven't cracked it open yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

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  73. Currently reading David Platt's new book- it's called "Follow Me" and it is thus far as amazing as I thought it would be. Just finished Shauna Niequist's Bittersweet: wow

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  74. Just finished reading Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney: phenomenal breakdown of the truths in Titus 2. She takes the 7 virtues spoken of and spends a chapter going deeper. A Definite continual read in my world, because lets face it, I was engrossed and read it more quickly than I'll be able to put into practice even half of what I read!

    Now Reading Lady in Waiting: Becoming God's Best While Waiting for Mr. Right, by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones. It feels a little cheesy based on the title, and I'll admit "breaking your alabaster box" didn't wow me, but in general, being content...I haven't met a gal who doesn't struggle with it to some regard, so sign me up for some knowledge in that department.

    The meaning of Marriage, by Timothy Keller. Umh amazing. Yes lets please breakdown/put off all societal norms and beliefs about the purpose of marriage. He originally wrote the book for you won't guess, singles. And as someone with divorced parents, I have a few inaccurate ideas of marriage that I'm continuing to learn of.

    The Gospel-Centered Life (Participant's Guide) by Bob Thune & Will Walker. 9 week study through the basics, things we all know, but goes into the root of why we know it, or function that way. Just read chapter 3, about if we act out what we believe, having been 'adopted' by Christ, or if we still function as orphans. GOOD stuff, and great to do with a small group, no homework!!

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  75. I didn't like Hotel On the Corner of Bitter And Sweet either. I'm relieved by your statement and these comments both, because I also thought I was the only one. I'm reading Home, by Marilyn Robinson. It is the follow on to her novel Gillead, which is one of my favorite books. Both are slow stories, about a slow place, but worth the time. Unfortunately slow reading doesn't fit this season of my life so well...

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  76. I am reading Little House on The Prairie aloud to my girls and loving it (never read it as a child)...

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  77. My reading stack often looks similar! I'm glad to see someone else who avidly reads both fiction and non-fiction, but heavier on the non-side like me (at least your list this time around).

    I felt the same way about "Hotel." I just couldn't do it!

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  78. You make me feel normal!! I'm the only person I know who reads five-ish books at once. :) Nothing beats books stacked to the sky within reach of my pillow! Currently reading the book of Isaiah, Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist, A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman, just started The Forgetting Tree by Tatiana Soli, The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau (makes me dream!), Storey's Guide to Raising Rabbits (oh yeah, it's a good one!!), and soaking in deep The Inner Voice of Love by Henri Nouwen. But...when Saveur magazine comes in the mail, nothing else exists. Best food mag ever!!!

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  79. I am about to start "All over but the shoutin" by Rick Bragg. And I just bought Love DOes on my kIndle.......excited to get started! We just did "On the corner of Bitter and Sweet" in our book club and I never started it. Might not now as historical novels I do usually like but this one just seems ok. :) love your blog!!

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  80. I wish I could post my stack as well! ( we must be twins separated at birth! ) my Message Bible, "the miners lady", " the elegant solution", "beyond my control" (a mans story about seizures- hits too close to home) "A simple change" Judith Miller( sweet, read it in 2 days), "unspoken" by Dee Henderson ( a must read great author) "Chasing hope" Kathryn Cushman ( very good), "the knitters handbook" ( if you are a knitter it's a must have), "Gift from the sea" was a BF gift from my MIL and beautiful- check it out, "From emotions to advocacy" ( for dreaded IEP meeting, parents walking this hard road MUST own this one. Wrights law) "Trim Healthy Mama" gonna need to retread it a few times, and last but not least, " Bizoo Bizu" Louisa Harding ( most adorable knitting patterns on the planet, I knit you not- google it! See!? It means kisses kisses in baby- ized French) I think I need to do my book reviews so I can edit my pile to reading a need to read titles!

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  81. Grace for the good girl! Soooo good! Got the recommendation from you, thank you!!!

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  82. Yay! I just requested several of your suggestions from my library...I anticipate they will all arrive at the same time. I finished Sleeping in Eden yesterday. Murder mystery...or is it? First love...or is it? It was a page turner that had me guessing incorrectly most of the time.

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  83. I couldn't get into the "Hotel on The Corner of Bitter and Sweet" either; but one book that I finally got into was "Cutting for Stone". Did you read that? Anyway, I'm late to the party, but wanted to send my comment along..

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  84. I couldn't get into the "Hotel on Bitter and Sweet" either but one book that I finally got into was "Cutting for Stone". Did you read that? Anyway, I'm late to the party, but wanted to send my comment along.

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  85. I loved No Biking Through the House without a Helmet by Melissa Faye Greene, which is a great book about adoption, as well as Surprised By Oxford by Carolyn Weber, which is a wonderful book about God's Grace. Both are autobiographies.

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  86. I'm ridiculously late to the show-but I just finished Stitches by Anne Lamont-so, so very good. Quick read, so I read it twice, notes galore. Also finished Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist, so naturally I had to move on to Bittersweet. I'm going to Hope Spoken in March (I'm really excited to hear you), so I've got to get acquainted!

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