My Books of 2017

This past year has been a good, and a not-so-good year of reading for me.

My Goodreads reading challenge 2017

The good?

I have completed reading 41 books so far this year. A couple of my favorites this past year have been 'The Boy Who Runs: The Odyssey of Julius Achon' by Julius Achon and John Brant; 'Wonder' by R.J. Palacio; and 'Hidden Figures' by Margot Lee Shetterly.

One thing all of these have in common, I read a physical copy of each one.

I still really enjoy reading an actual book.

The not-so-good?

I was really hoping to read more books on my Kindle. Six months ago I wrote out a list of ten books on my Kindle that I wanted to read this year. As of today, I have only completed one and am currently reading another.

Oh dear....there is always next year, right?

So, as we are drawing near to the end of 2017, I will be making a new list of books I want to read in 2018. And I will be adding these two, one that I just purchased today, and one that I picked up at the library...

Books to read in 2018

What were some of your favorites in 2017?

And what do you plan to read in 2018?


Book List for Compassion Sponsors

Over the past five and a half years, books on my reading list have changed quite a bit. I have always loved to read, but the topic of global poverty and the injustices of this world have made their way into my list of books that I now read on a regular basis. It all started when I became more involved as a Compassion International volunteer.

The first book I read in this area was "Too Small to Ignore" by Wess Stafford. At the time I read this book, Wess Stafford was still the CEO and President of Compassion International. The book shares a lot of his childhood growing up in Africa as a child of missionary parents. Wess is a champion to millions of children around the world, and this book shares his heart for children. He encourages adults to invest in children, be available for them, and love them.

Since reading that book, I have read many others that encourage me to continue being an advocate for Compassion children.

Book List for Compassion Sponsors

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch
  • The 4/14 Window by Luis Bush
  • When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
  • Mission Drift by Peter Greer and Chris Horst
  • Small Matters by Greg Nettle and Jimmy Mellado
  • One Million Arrows by Julie Ferwerda
  • Just a Minute by Wess Stafford
  • The Locust Effect by Gary Haugen

What books have you read on this topic that you would add to this list?

What I Have Been Reading

This year, I decided to tackle some of the books that I have acquired and haven't read yet. The hard thing is, that I am continually seeing new books coming out that I also want to read. For someone who loves books and reading, this is a constant struggle for me. I thought about not adding any new books to my stack of books to be read this year, but that would be like not eating...ever!

At the beginning of the year, I did make a list of thirteen physical books that I own, and sixteen books on my Kindle that I have set a goal to read. To date, I have finished reading seven books on that list, as well as a couple of books I borrowed from the library and five new books I purchased this year. 

I really wanted to work my way through some of the books on my Kindle this year. I kind of forget that they are there, which is why I made the list. Many of those books I downloaded for free or was able to purchase for just a couple of dollars. But when I feel like reading, my Kindle is usually the last thing I pick up for reading. So far, I have stopped reading two books on my Kindle from my list this year. I think I got a little too crazy with downloading some of those free books to my Kindle when they have been available.

What I Have Been Reading

When I am traveling, I still like to bring a physical book. There is something about holding a book, actually turning the pages. And if it is a non-fiction book, I love to be able to underline passages that I want to slow down and read over again.

One book that I read recently that I just absolutely loved is 'Love Lives Here' by Maria Goff. Some things I underlined in this book:

  • "God stretches each of our lives before us like a canvas. He hand us the brushes and the paint and asks us to make our lives look like our unique version of His love. Pick your own colors, not someone else's. He only creates originals, not copies, and expects no less from us."
  • " We all don't need to do big things, but we can do equally important small things."
  • "We're not our platforms or our positions, we're His people."
  • "The lessons we're learning never really end because all of us are still growing, changing, and becoming better versions of ourselves."

The tag line for this book is: 'Finding what you need in a world telling you what you want'

Don't you just wish we had all the time in the world to listen to His voice instead of what the world is telling us?

What have you been reading lately?

Fifteen Foot Circle

Assignment number two for this most recent photography challenge I am participating in was to only photography things within a fifteen foot circle. This area also had to be one that you are in often. Part of this exercise was for us to see things and work to compose interesting images.

I added one more challenge for myself with this one, I only used my 55-200mm lens. So armed with my camera, I headed off to our front room and started looking for things to photograph.

1/160 sec at f/5.6, ISO 6400

1/160 sec at f/5.6, ISO 6400

1/40 sec at f/4.8, ISO 6400

1/40 sec at f/4.8, ISO 6400

1/60 sec at f/4.5, ISO 6400

1/60 sec at f/4.5, ISO 6400

1/50 sec at f/5.6, ISO 6400

1/50 sec at f/5.6, ISO 6400

Did you notice a theme here? Every photo has books in it! Yes, even the photo with the chess pieces, the books are out of focus on this one. Just like baking and photography, books are one thing that I love, and we have quite a few books around our home.

I ended up submitting the last photo for the challenge since it combines two things I love, books and photography. That little Kodak Brownie was the first camera I shot pictures with back in elementary school. Pretty incredible how far photography has come since then!

Our next assignment is to include motion in our photography. I have already been looking up ideas and am thinking of ways to be a bit more creative with this next assignment!

What have you been photographing this past week?


Breaking Up With My Books

I love books.

I love books like some women love shoes.

I love books like some women love clothes.

I love books like some women love jewelry.

I love to shop for books like some women like to shop for...I think you get the picture.

My earliest memory of my love for books was reading late at night with a flashlight when I was suppose to be asleep. When my parents took away the flashlight, I would read by the light coming in from my bedroom window.

I love the way words on a page create images in my mind.

I love the sound a new book makes when it is opened for the first time.

Over the years, I have added many, many...probably hundreds of books to our home library.

But one thing I have realized (especially after reading Kathi Lipp's book, Clutter Free), is that I have hundreds of books in my home, that frankly, I just do not love. So why am I keeping books in my home that I do not love?

I kind of like the idea of a big home library, but there are many books I have read that just really aren't my favorites. They were good books, but not ones I plan on reading again.

So, I made a decision today...I need to clear out my home library and only keep books I love.

To be honest, this is going to be one of the hardest things for me to do. When I told my husband what I am going to do, he had to ask me twice what I was going to do.

Large stack of books to sort through

Tonight, I attacked one section of a very large bookcase in one room of our home. Basically, I put the books in two piles: did I love it and would I read it again? or did I read it and I don't think I will read it again?

Books I love

I surprised love pile was smaller than the other pile...

Books that need to go live somewhere else

Now to figure out how I am going to get this other pile of books to live somewhere else...

Excuse me while I go sort another shelf full of books...