Is it possible? Have I truly not taken a SINGLE PHOTO in the last month? Um, yeah. It is. It’s possible and it’s horrible!
Apparently, in the stress and busy-ness that’s been our summer and early fall, I’ve completely abandoned my camera. What am I going to put in my annual photobook? What will I put on our Christmas cards? How will I start my What I’m Into posts?!
Well, I guess that last one’s simple. I’ll just use a fall-ish pic from last year. As Annalyn has taken to saying, easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
But apparently what I’m going to be into moving forward is picking up my camera again!! (You wait here while I go searching for a Photo a Day schedule…) (I kid. Of course. I already found one. Here you go.)
ANYWAY. Let’s talk about what we read, watched, ate and listened to this month! I don’t have a long list for any category, but I’ll share what I have. Then, please, tell us what YOU’ve been up to this month in the comments!
What I’m Reading
Opening the Door to Your God-Sized Dream: 40 Days of Encouragement for Your Heart by Holley Gerth: This devotional is based on Holley’s latest book about God-sized dreams, and it’s fantastic. I haven’t read it as it’s designed (40 days in a row), but every few days I pick it up as I eat breakfast. And reading the sweet, challenging encouragement from Holley is just what I need to keep plugging along on the baby steps I’m taking toward my own God-sized dreams.
Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung: He’s not kidding. This book is really short, which I love. And which makes sense! If you’re so busy you need to read a book about it, you might not have time for 300 pages! But 117? I think we can all do that. I love how DeYoung shared his own struggles with busyness as a sin (of pride and misplaced priorities), as well as reminding us that doing ministry and loving people takes time – and sometimes makes for a busy life.
Boundless by Cynthia Hand: I can’t believe I hadn’t read this book yet. The Unearthly series by Hand is one of my favorite YA series, but you know what? Keeping track of when the next book in a series – or twelve – comes out is hard! And this one slipped by me. The good news is that meant I didn’t have to wait long when I reserved it at the library last month.
As for the book, I thought it was great – just like the others. It wrapped up the story of angels (or half-angels, half-humans if you want to get technical about it) – including the family stuff, the friend stuff, the [unavoidable] love triangle stuff and the evil angels are trying to destroy the world stuff. I highly recommend this series to anyone who likes fantasy stories, especially of the young adult variety.
Everneath series by Brodi Ashton: I started this series after reading about it in the acknowledgements of Boundless. (Yes, I love books so much that I read every inch – cover copy, copyright, acknowledgements – all of it!) I’d seen the book around but it never sounded good to me. A teenage girl gets trapped in hell – or some mythical version of hell – and then comes back to earth but just for six months? What?! I know. It doesn’t sound good.
But . . . even though the myths the book is based on aren’t my favorite, the series is just written so well that I couldn’t stop reading! I read the first two novels of the series (and a novella, which is apparently the new thing for authors to do), and now I have to wait for the third and final book. And, OF COURSE, the second book ended with a huge surprise and cliffhanger. Not awesome. [So, OF COURSE, I’m counting down the days until I get my hands on that last book!]
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith: This book is actually written by J.K. Rowling, and Galbraith is her pen name. This book is very well-written and based in London, but do not be fooled. It is NOT Harry Potter! It’s very adult in that it’s a gritty detective novel (“gritty” being the imperative word here, and by “gritty” I mean a lot of foul language that I wasn’t expecting).
I enjoyed the book, though it felt like an extra-long episode of Castle or another detective show – which just reminded me of how long it’s been since reading an “old-fashioned” detective story! The novel is set up as the beginning of a series, and I’m intrigued enough to read the next one, for sure. [Oh, hey! I just saw that this book is only $5.99 on Kindle – a great deal!]
Duchess by Susan May Warren: Another final book in a trilogy, Duchess had been waiting on my Kindle for several weeks. I don’t know why I put off reading it. I’ve loved the other two book sin the Daughters of Fortune series, despite my claim to not normally loving historical fiction. And, what do you know, once I finally opened up this book, I couldn’t put it down. It wrapped up all the remaining threads in the multi-generational story that had been woven through the previous two books while still telling a full story of its own. I really loved this look into the lives of women living in the early 1900s – their family dynamics, their loves and losses, and even their careers.
I might have to stop saying I don’t really like historical fiction.
What I’m Watching
Warm Bodies: You guys. Smitty made me watch a zombie movie. A MOVIE ABOUT ZOMBIES. Now, I know zombies are all the rage right now, but I do not get it nor do I support it. Out of all the monsters, zombies are probably my least favorite. But, I’d heard that this movie was good. And we were in the mood for a movie. So – zombie movie it was.
And . . . it was okay. It was definitely funny. And if I could get past the brain-eating part of it (I CAN’T.), I might think the love story is cute (I DON’T.). But if you like zombie stuff (WHY?), you will probably like this movie.
Now You See Me: I’d like to give this movie a more enthusiastic recommendation. I hate to be Debbie Downer Movie Reviewer. But, well, this movie was a huge disappointment. I’d been looking forward to watching it since seeing the review, and at one point we even thought about seeing it in the theater.
I’m glad we didn’t. The movie is about four magicians who, among other things, “magically” rob a bank and then get investigated by the FBI. And you know what? It was BORING AS ALL GET OUT. Yeah. Boring. I didn’t care about the characters. I wasn’t hugely surprised by the ending (or maybe I just didn’t care by that point). And now I know that playing the same cutesy heist music as an Oceans 11 movie does not make an Oceans 11 movie.
What I’m Eating/Cooking
Well, look. I am pregnant, so telling you about what I’m eating – as in, for real what I’m eating – is just not going to happen.
But I can tell you that fall HAS finally arrived at my house because I made my first batch of Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread last week. (If you haven’t tried it, DO IT NOW. It’s like Christmas in your mouth. SO GOOD.) And I also bought myself a bag of frozen sweet potato fries. Because, see, the crazy people I live with don’t like them and cutting up a sweet potato just for myself seems a bit excessive these days. So, as it turns out, a bag of frozen ones works perfectly for me.
What I’m Listening to
I am not cool. If you’ve been coming here (or know me in real life) for any amount of time, you know this. So you will surely not be shocked to learn that all I’ve been listening to lately is my Africa station on Pandora. As in, Toto’s Africa. And it plays my favorite kind of 80s music. And it just makes me happy. So that’s what I’ve been listening to.
P.S. If you’re looking for good, new music to listen to, try my friend Annie’s suggestions. She’s a billion times cooler than me and has great taste in tunes!
Best of This Blog
- The one that was the most fun to write: Pretzel Buns, Pumpkins & Other Formal Protests
- The one that was the most important to write: Poverty, Donkeys & Hard Choices
- The one I had to rewrite after the airport wi-fi crashed: When You Really Want to Be There
- The one that has a great sale in it that you don’t want to miss: DaySpring Jewelry Tree Sale
Best of Last Week’s Links (to other blogs)
- Counter Culture: When Your Kids Feel Different by We Are THAT Family
- Finding Church series by Leigh Kramer
- How the Christian Orphan Care Movement May be Enabling Child Abandonment by Rage Against the Minivan
- Top 10 Table Manners Every Kid Should Know by Balancing Beauty & Bedlam
- 100 Things I Want to Teach My Daughter by Lisa-Jo Baker
- Celebrating Giving by Just Jilly
And finally, another gem from Jimmy Fallon: a lip synch battle with him, Stephen Merchant (writer of The Office) and Joseph Gordon Levitt. I’ll admit that I still like the one with John Krasinski more, but this one is pretty darned hilarious, too! Enjoy! [Click here if you can’t see the video.]
That’s what I’ve been up to and into. WHAT ABOUT YOU? Tell me how your August went and what you’ve been into!
I’m linking up with my friend Leigh. And this post includes affiliate links. In addition I did receive some of the books mentioned for free, but as always, opinions are my own.
Donkey photo by Marco Raaphorst