The Chamber of Secrets (#6/50)

So, I decided it would be a good idea to read three books at once. First, I started what I can only describe as a theology textbook (Although, I was that girl who actually read her textbooks for fun. Don’t judge me.), and it is – understandably – a little too dense to read for long stretches of time. So, to break it up with something lighter, I returned to the greatest series of all time: Harry Potter. I am almost done with my theology book and hope to have that review posted by the end of the weekend. My third book is a sort of self-help book about positivity in the workplace. I am reading that during my lunch breaks at work, so it could take some time…Stay tuned.

Title – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Author – J.K. Rowling

Page Count – 341

***No major spoilers ahead – just minor plot details*** Skip to the quote at the end if you haven’t read the books and don’t want to spoil the fun 🙂 Continue reading “The Chamber of Secrets (#6/50)”

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Searching for Sunday (#5/50)

I needed to read this book right now. My relationship with the church rides a sort of roller coaster that always circles back to a stage that reminds me of that line in Brokeback Mountain – “I wish I knew how to quit you.” Maybe it’s the political tension and division of people claiming the title of Christian that always seems to fester in an especially irritating way running up to an election year. Maybe it’s because I’m part of the so-called Millenial generation – you know, the ones who can’t commit to anything and always think in terms of “me, me, me” (at least according to some people). These things sometimes make me want to run for the hills and away from the church, but for whatever reason, I keep coming back.

Title – Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church

Author – Rachel Held Evans (RHE)

Page count – 258

I’d actually read this book before, but it seemed an appropriate start to the Lenten season. I ordered it after reading another of RHE’s books – A Year of Biblical Womanhood (which, among other things, pulls apart the idea of the impossibly perfect, “Godly” woman we’ve come to associate with Proverbs 31). Continue reading “Searching for Sunday (#5/50)”

The Two Towers (#4/50)

This one was a chore. And I hate saying that because I really like the Middle Earth stories, both in book and movie form. (Exception: The Hobbit movies. Don’t even get me started.) Although of the LOTR movies, the second is my least favorite, which may explain why this book was such a drag this time around. I picked it because I wanted something a little lighter/easier and quicker, and I thought a re-read would fulfill that. Nope, and nope. Should’ve gone with Harry Potter. Still a great fantasy story but with larger print.

Title: The Lord of the Rings, part two: The Two Towers

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Page count: 415 pages of the tiniest print EVER

**Spoilers for the first book in the trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring** Continue reading “The Two Towers (#4/50)”

Notorious RBG (#3/50)

Well, kids…I’m not sure I’m going to make it to fifty books by the end of the year. Looking at my stack of “still need to read” books, I see substantial page counts, tough topics, and some books that I simply don’t want to rush through just for the sake of reaching a certain number. But it’s ok. If I can still hit at least 30, I will be happy. If I can get to 40, even better!

Anyhow, here is book number three:

RBG book

Title – Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Authors – Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik

Page count – 195

So it’s not the longest book in the world, but it was still a very fun read. This was one of my many Amazon book purchases (I have a problem. Seriously. No one should be allowed to do late-night Amazon shopping.), and I couldn’t wait for it to get here! I was not disappointed. Not only is it a gorgeously-constructed book – creamy smooth cover, glossy pages – but it is filled with personal photos of RBG, annotated court documents and dissents, even a description of the “Notorious RBG workout.” Continue reading “Notorious RBG (#3/50)”

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (#2/50)

Hello all!

My second book of The Challenge was another joy to read. It’s always difficult for different generations to understand each other. What’s frustrating is when the two people (mother-daughter in the case of Divine Secrets) literally shared each other’s body at one point. It feels like that understanding should come easier. That’s the complexity of mother-daughter relationships that this book explores, to a maddening, heart-wrenching, lovely, exquisite degree. So, without further ado, here is my second selection for my Fifty Book Challenge:

Title: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Author: Rebecca Wells

Page count: 449

The two main characters in this book are Sidda and her mom Vivi. The “present time” in this book is the early 1990s, when Sidda is a middle-aged adult. The title comes from a scrapbook that Vivi lends Sidda, entitled “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.” The Ya-Yas are Vivi and her three best girlfriends (Teensy, Caro, and Necie) from childhood.

Divine Secrets takes its reader into the heart of the Louisiana Bayou, brimming with poetic descriptions Continue reading “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (#2/50)”

The Invasion of the Tearling (#1/50)

So I did end up reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but I started it right after I put up my last post. And seeing as it is the shortest in the series, I finished it before the end of 2015. Then, I realized I still had a couple books I’d picked up from the library and decided those were a more pressing priority. Because due dates. The rest of HP will come later, but for now, here is my first selection for my 50 Book Challenge:

Title: The Invasion of the Tearling

Author: Erika Johansen

Page count: 511

This book is actually the second in a trilogy. It follows The Queen of the Tearling, which was also fabulous. Go read it. Like The Queen, Continue reading “The Invasion of the Tearling (#1/50)”

The One With the Fifty Book Challenge

I heard from a couple of my favorite Youtube vloggers – Rosianna Halse Rojas and Hannah Witton – about this thing called the “Fifty Book Challenge.” And I’m not usually one to do New Year’s Resolutions, but the timing was just so perfect. So…let it commence! On January 1st, 2016, I will begin this Challenge and let you know how it goes. Here are The Rules:

  1. No more than half of the books can be re-reads. While there are some books that need only be read once, I firmly believe there are other books that must be read more than once to properly absorb the message. At the same time, this is a Challenge, and what is more challenging to one’s mind than introducing it to new ideas?
  2. At least half of the books should be by women, and at least a quarter of the books should be by people of color. (Obviously, there will end up being some overlap when the author is a woman of color.) Telling stories about and from diverse perspectives matters; this is how you come to know and understand people who are different from yourself. (WNDB) In the United States, at least, the literature that populates our school curriculums, award lists, and “Top 10” lists is largely male and white. I am going to be intentional about expanding beyond that.

 

There it is. I’ve put the commitment into published words for the world to see, so there’s no backing out now.

I may change this as I go along, but I think I’ll structure each post into three parts: Overview/Summary, My Opinion, and a Favorite Quote. I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers, but if there’s anything I must include for my commentary to make sense, I’ll clearly mark it (SPOILER ALERT!!!).

My first book is going to be Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (J.K. Rowling). I know it’s probably not a new one for you, but it’s been SO long since I’ve read them, that it’s high time for a refresher. Prepare yourselves for plenty of puns. This selection will help me with Rule #2 but put quite a dent in Rule #1, seeing as there are seven books, and I’ve read them all. (If you have not read the Harry Potter books, you need to climb out from under your rock, and go do that now. I’ll wait right here until you’re done…)