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Archive for October, 2012

I love used books.  So, of course, I had to go to the library book sale today.  For $17, I came home with all of this:

Can’t get much better than less than $1 a book, especially when they are in very good condition.  AND the money goes to support our local library, which is a nice bonus.

Even though I have to pay more than a $1 a book, I also enjoy used book stores.  My husband and I came upon a beautiful one in our neck of the woods, and thoroughly enjoyed a quiet afternoon of browsing.  He walked away with a Tracy Kidder book, and I found this…

At over a thousand pages, it’s a bit of a commitment, so I’m still working up the courage to begin.  Although, there IS rain forecasted for this week, so it may be the perfect time to start!

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A couple of years ago I saw the Hallmark channel movie “The Magic of Ordinary Days”, and loved it!  Many months later I got my hands on a copy of the book and loved that even more.

Pregnant by a man who won’t acknowledge that the child is his, Olivia’s father arranges for her to marry a man she has never met.  She leaves behind her life in the city, her family, and her pursuits of an education to become the wife of a farmer in rural Colorado.  There she learns to find joy and love in the unexpected.

A subplot in the book is Olivia’s relationship with two women who live at a Japanese internment camp in the area.  I don’t know much about this era in our nation’s history, so I found this aspect of the story to be very interesting and eye opening.

I highly recommend this heartwarming book.

Books mentioned in this post:

The Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard Creel

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While on the topic of inspirational, eye opening books, here is another good one.

It’s the true story of a successful Microsoft employee who left his position to start a non-profit organization.  The book begins with his life at Microsoft and details the journey he took to become the founder of Room to Reada non-profit that promotes literacy and education around the world.  I found it to be both well written, and inspiring.

Books mentioned in this post:

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World by John Wood

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After reading Half the Sky, I wanted to learn more about women’s issues in the global community, so I read this:

The story is told in a easy to read, straight forward manner.  The author’s directness was unnerving, but a story like this could not be anything less I suppose.  It is the story of a woman who suffered horribly as a child prostitute working in the brothels of Cambodia, and how she is using that experience to rescue girls living in that same situation today.  I had to pause several times during my reading of her story, pause to cry, to collect myself.  It’s not an easy read.  The atrocities that we humans can afflict on one another goes beyond reason.  However, the least I can do is listen to her story, to be aware.  And  it’s a story worth reading.  The path she took to get where she is today is pretty amazing, and the things she has accomplished on behalf of victimized girls in Southeast Asia is inspiring.  There’s no happy ending, she offers no panacea for the problem, and it’s an overwhelming problem to be sure.  She reminded me, however, that we all have a role to play in this life.  We all carry with us experiences, talents, and resources that can be used to bring light into the life of another human being.  One moment at a time, one step at a time, one interaction at a time we can all do something.  One of my favorite quotes from the book comes from the Somaly’s adoptive Father.  Speaking to some girls who had been rescued from the brothels he said, “What you have learned, from experience, is worth much more than gold. If you have a house it may burn down. Any kind of possession can be lost, but your experience is yours forever. Keep it and find a way to use it” (page 156).  I highly recommend this book, and encourage you to learn more about Somaly’s organization here.

Books mentioned in this post:

The Road to Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam

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Tonight PBS is showing a documentary based on the book Half the Sky.  Knowing that it is waiting for me on my DVR has me reflecting on my experience with the book.   I love books.  I love a good story and how it can draw you in, capturing your heart, your imagination, or your funny bone.  As much as I enjoy a good book, however, I can’t say that I’ve read one that has changed my life.  That is, until I read Half the Sky.  Once I started, I had a very hard time putting it down.  Emotionally, it was a very challenging experience.  Some of the stories are horrific, and left me sobbing on more than one occasion.  But there were also stories of hope and redemption, which kept me moving though the pages.  After I read the final page, I closed the book and put it on a shelf in my room.  The stories stuck with me though, they changed me.  I started to develop a passion for things I used to only think about in passing.  My outlook, my perspective on life shifted dramatically.  I was reminded that to be born a woman in this country is a blessing in in of itself, and that to truly enjoy those blessings I must open my eyes and my heart to suffering that is unimaginable to me.  Reading the book prompted me to become a sponsor for Women for Women International, an organization that I have come to respect greatly.  I highly recommend this book, and encourage you to find out more at the Half the Sky website.

Books mentioned in this post:

Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

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I’ve been crying for the past half hour thanks to this:

It took me a while to really get into it, but once I got to the halfway mark, I had a really hard time putting it down (my children needed to be fed and educated, so I had to put it down once in a while).  What a beautiful story!  The maturing of the main character, the vivid descriptions of nature, unforgettable characters, Miss Alice, the last page and a half!  I’m ready to start back at the beginning and experience it all over again! Basically, I loved it.

Books mentioned in this post:

Christy by Catherine Marshall

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We try to have a worship time with our kids on a daily bases (try is the key word there, I’m still working on that whole consistency thing), so I’m always on the look out for good, Bible themed children’s books.  These are some of our favorites!

This is a great book for teaching “memory verses”. Each letter of the alphabet has a corresponding Bible verse, and a story that illustrates the meaning of the verse. We’re on our second or third run through already. My kids really enjoy it!

This is another favorite around our house. The author uses examples from the animal kingdom to illustrate Biblical principles.

This is one of my all time favorite books! The illustrations beautifully capture the meaning of Psalm 23.

Books mentioned in this post:

My ABC Bible Verses:Hiding God’s Word in Little Hearts by Susan Hunt

My Big Book of 5-Mintute Devotions by Pamela Kennedy with Douglas Kennedy

Psalm 23 illustrated by Tim Ladwig

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