Tuesday, December 01, 2015

What I'm Into (November 2015)

Oh, hello! I'm copying Modern Mrs. Darcy, who does a little monthly update on what she's reading, watching, cooking -- whatever is just floating her little boat at the time. Here's my version...

What I've Been Reading...

One of my new favorite authors is now K.A. Holt - a middle-grade author of novels in verse like House Arrest and Rhyme Schemer. Both books have boy protagonists who struggle with being labeled a "bad kid." Great for any age, but especially 5-8 graders.

I finally read a classic I've always wanted to read! Of Mice and Men! I absolutely loved East of Eden, which felt like the Mother Book of All Books, but I'd never read this tiny novel. I was stunned by the ending, which I think was the punch Steinbeck wanted. I wish I'd read this book in college and had the opportunity to discuss it with people much smarter than me. Let me know what YOU thought of the book - please!

Another favorite this month was The Nest by Kenneth Oppel. This one pleasantly surprised me. I can't even really describe it, except to say it's about a little boy struggling with good and evil. And wasps. Just read it.

As always, I put EVERYTHING I'm reading on the Goodreads website, so "friend" me to see all the books I'm reading and have read this year. (I'm trying to read 100 books in 2015; I think I'm going to make it!)

What I've Been Listening To...

Tori Kelly became my best friend this summer with her album Unbreakable. Wow. But just when I got tired of those songs, she came out with "Hollow" - a single I'm loving with lyrics that feel more spiritual than most songs she's written.

Now, this is where you'll really think I'm crazy, but I found an old chorale piece from my college days - "All That Hath Life and Breath Praise the Lord" on iTunes. It time-travels me back to a place in my life where I was singing EVERY.DAY. and I really miss that. Especially singing REALLY HIGH. That was fun. Here's a video of a choir singing it. It's not MY college choir, but it's strangely similar...

And since it's that time of year where I dig through my old holiday music, I jam out to old Whitney Houston Preacher's Wife soundtrack, the Jackson Five Christmas album, and Israel & New Breed's A Timeless Christmas. Christmas means soul music, people.

Where I've Been in the World...

I was so blessed to head over to Minneapolis for the NCTE Convention (English Teacher Nerd Fest, as a particular son of mine called it.)  My friend Kristyn (4-6 grade teacher) and I ate at the Melting Pot, walked the SkyWalk 100 times, listened to Lois Lowry (author of The Giver) talk about childhood and reading, and yes, met the most amazing writer on the planet: Kate DiCamillo:

Kate wrote Because of Winn-Dixie, Flora and Ulysses, The Magician's Elephant, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, among several others. I still can't believe she spoke to me and took a picture with me. It was a pretty amazing moment. (See Facebook/Insta :)

What's Keeping Me From Losing My Mind...

How are you heading into December? Worried? Anxious? Excited? I'm a little of all three. We are in the thick of basketball with 4 children, but I'm thankful for each day. I don't need to hurry; there are enough hours in the day for what matters most.

If you don't normally do an Advent study, consider She Reads Truth! It's an app and a website that help me stay in God's Word on a daily basis. That's the one book I read everyday, no matter what!

Your turn-- What are you into lately?

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