Are you like me…do you have more than one book on the go? For me, the breakdown is simple: What I am reading and What I have started but not picked up in a while:

What I Am Reading

Radical Growth
Havilah Cunnington

The pathway to the radical growth you’re wanting is not complex. It’s not some unattainable, envy-provoking vision or dream meant to torment you with its impossibility. However – let’s be honest, no one has a vibrant life by accident. No one has a flourishing garden unintentionally. Simply put, vibrant living looks like a life grown on purpose. With clear understanding of God’s heart toward you, a commitment to 100 % obedient, and and unrelenting determination to follow truth, radical growth is possible. It’s a life that’s within your reach! This practical guidebook will give you daily access to being your own journey of living a radical and vibrant life!

This is a devotional series too, and you can join in by watching the videos here. This is the promo video for it:

74 Seaside Avenue
Debbie Macomber
Library book

Dear Reader, I’m living a life I couldn’t even have “dreamed” of a few years ago. I’m married to Bobby Polgar now (you know, the famous chess champion who just happens to be the man I love ). And we’ve got this beautiful house with a view of Puget Sound.

But lately something’s been worrying Bobby. When I asked, he said he was “protecting his queen”–and I got the oddest feeling he wasn’t talking about chess but about “me.” He wouldn’t say anything else.

Do you remember Get Nailed, the beauty salon in Cedar Cove? I still work there. I’ll tell you about my friend Rachel, who’s got two men interested in her (count ’em, “two”). And I’ll let you in on what I’ve heard about Linnette McAfee, who left town when her love life fell apart. (“That” kind of trouble I know all about.) Come in soon for a manicure and a chat, okay?

Teri (Miller) Polgar

Notes From A Small Island
Bill Bryson
Paperback – off my Mount TBR pile

“Suddenly, in the space of a moment, I realized what it was that I loved about Britain-which is to say, all of it.”

After nearly two decades spent on British soil, Bill Bryson-bestsellingauthor of The Mother Tongue and Made in America-decided to returnto the United States. (“I had recently read,” Bryson writes, “that 3.7 million Americans believed that they had been abducted by aliens at one time or another,so it was clear that my people needed me.”) But before departing, he set out ona grand farewell tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home.

Veering from the ludicrous to the endearing and back again, Notes from a Small Island is a delightfully irreverent jaunt around the unparalleled floating nation that has produced zebra crossings, Shakespeare, Twiggie Winkie’s Farm, and places with names like Farleigh Wallop and Titsey. The result is an uproarious social commentary that conveys the true glory of Britain, from the satiric pen of an unapologetic Anglophile.

A Week in Paris
Rachel Hore
Netgalley review e-book

1961: Born on the day that WW2 broke out, 21-year-old Fay Knox cannot remember her early childhood in London, before she moved to a Norfolk village with her mother, Kitty. Though she has seen a photograph of her father, she does not recall him either. He died, she was told, in an air raid, and their house destroyed along with all their possessions. Why then, on a visit to Paris on tour with her orchestra, does a strange series of events suggest that she spent the war there instead? There is only one clue to follow, an address on the luggage label of an old canvas satchel. But will the truth hurt or heal?

1937: Eugene Knox, a young American doctor, catches sight of 19-year-old Kitty Travers on the day she arrives in Paris, and cannot get her out of his mind. She has come to study the piano at the famed Conservatoire, and lodges at a convent near Notre Dame. Eugene and Kitty will fall in love, marry and have a daughter, but France’s humiliating defeat by Germany is not far behind, and the little family must suffer life under Nazi occupation. Some Parisians keep their heads down and survive, others collaborate with the enemy while others resist. The different actions of Eugene, Kitty and their friends will have devastating consequences that echo down the generations.

What I have started but not picked up in a while

All Quiet on the Western Front
Erich Maria Remarque
Paperback

Jesus, Meet Him Again…For the First Time
Paul Smith
Paperback

The Approval Fix
Joyce Meyer
Netgalley review e-book

What are you currently reading?

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Katie’s Reading:

Currently Reading

I am still reading:

The Cookbook For A New Europe by Richard Segal

To serve society or humanity? It’s been fourteen years since the basketball-mad detective Fran Obrien captured the urban bomber Lavi, who has since moved to Spain and rehabilitated himself beyond recognition. Fran is fresh off a two-year sabbatical, during which he tended to 11-year-old Ben, the family comedian, and 17-year-old Alice, with, yes, as much attitude as you’d expect. His estranged boss Karl has retired and Fran must learn to deal with the new brass – no small task itself. His first assignment is to investigate an act of alleged political corruption which seems more wild goose chase than duck in a barrel, leading him to question his decision to return to work. After an extended-family culinary expedition to Budapest, Fran’s nine-to-five job takes him ‘almost’ to Albany and to Central America, where he must untangle the mother of all webs. His wife, local family doctor Darby, goes along for the ride, and, oh, piña coladas “to die for.” For a detective and amateur gourmet chef like no other, Cookbook for a New Europe is a ride Fran certainly didn’t expect. He’s been fiercely focused for years, but a spate of unintended yet momentous events unfolds once he gives free rein to his emotions, and his recipes.

I’m only about 60 pages further on than I was last week! I am just waiting for the story to get going really. However, Fran is back in the USA after having been to Hungary to visit family and is about to start work again so I’m looking forward to how the story will develop. I’m still struggling a little with how it is written but hopefully I will get used to it.
The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton

A rural idyll: that’s what Catherine is seeking when she sells her house in England and moves to a tiny hamlet in the Cévennes mountains. With her divorce in the past and her children grown, she is free to make a new start, and her dream is to set up in business as a seamstress. But this is a harsh and lonely place when you’re no longer just here on holiday. There is French bureaucracy to contend with, not to mention the mountain weather, and the reserve of her neighbors, including the intriguing Patrick Castagnol. And that’s before the arrival of Catherine’s sister, Bryony.

I haven’t even picked this book up since last week – hopefully I’ll get to it over the weekend.
The other books I’m reading are Christian books. I dip in and out of these and use them as Bible study tools. They are:

Last Week’s Reading

This week I only finished one book:

Bestselling author Stormie Omartian inspires women to develop a deeper relationship with their husbands by praying for them. This encouraging resource is packed with practical advice on praying for specific areas of a husband’s life including his decision-making fears spiritual strength role as father, leader faith and future

Every woman who desires a closer relationship with her husband will appreciate the life illustrations, select Scripture verses, and the assurances of God’s promises and power for their marriage.

This book covers a whole range of issues which might occur in a marriage and ways to work through them and cling to God at the same time. I found this helpful and I will be able to dip in and out of this book in the future

Kirsten’s Reading:

Currently Reading

The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse

I am just about to start reading ‘The Winter Ghosts’ by Kate Mosse, which was lent to me by a friend, who read it recently and said that she enjoyed it. I’m excited to start reading and will review it when I’m done.

The Great War took much more than lives. It robbed a generation of friends, lovers and futures. In Freddie Watson’s case, it took his beloved brother and, at times, his peace of mind. In the winter of 1928, still seeking resolution, Freddie is travelling through the French Pyrenees. During a snowstorm, his car spins off the mountain road. He stumbles through woods, emerging in a tiny village. There he meets Fabrissa, a beautiful woman also mourning a lost generation. Over the course of one night, Fabrissa and Freddie share their stories. By the time dawn breaks, he will have stumbled across a tragic mystery that goes back through the centuries.

Lover Reborn by J. R. Ward

This week I also intend to read ‘Lover Reborn’ by J. R. Ward. This is the tenth book in a series called ‘The Black Dagger Brotherhood’ series. I have read the entire series thus far and really love it. The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a group of warrior vampires who all live and fight together against their enemies, the ‘Lessers’. Each book tells a love story about each of the brothers. This is not vampire fiction like you’ve read before as it doesn’t follow the conventional myths of vampirism – but do not fear, they don’t sparkle! I cannot wait to read this latest offering from the wonderful J. R. Ward.

In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. The city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Now back in the Brotherhood – and unrecognisable as the vampire leader he once was –Tohrment is physically emaciated and heartbroken beyond despair. When he begins to see his beloved in his dreams – trapped in a cold, isolating netherworld – Tohr turns to a self-serving fallen angel in hopes of saving the one he has lost. When he’s told he must learn to love another to free his former mate, Tohr knows they are all doomed . . . Except then a female with a shadowed history begins to get through to him. Against the backdrop of the raging war with the lessers, and with a new clan of vampires vying for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between the buried past, and a very hot, passion-filled future . . . but can his heart let go and set all of them free?

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

 I bought this in a charity shop the other day. I’ve heard that it is supposed to be good and I am trying to read more classics and so decided to give it a go. Looking forward to seeing what it’s like.

Set in turn-of-the-century New York, Edith Wharton’s classic novel The Age of Innocence reveals a society governed by the dictates of taste and form, manners and morals, and intricate social ceremonies. Newland Archer, soon to marry the lovely May Welland, is a man torn between his respect for tradition and family and his attraction to May’s strongly independent cousin, the Countess Ellen Olenska. Plagued by the desire to live in a world where two people can love each other free from condemnation and judgment by the group, Newland views the artful delicacy of the world he lives in as a comforting security one moment, and at another, as an oppressive fiction masking true human nature. The Age of Innocence is at once a richly drawn portrait of the elegant lifestyles, luxurious brownstones, and fascinating culture of bygone New York society and a compelling look at the conflict between human passions and the social tribe that tries to control them.

Last Week’s Reading

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

I have just finished reading a book called ‘The Calling’ by Kelley Armstrong which is the second book in what is to be a trilogy called ‘Darkness Rising’. I really enjoyed this book and read it in literally a matter of hours. I have read the first book in the trilogy as well and cannot wait for the concluding instalment. I would definitely recommend this, and other books by this author, to anyone who enjoys reading ‘Paranormal/Fantasy’ fiction. Four stars!

Maya Delaney’s paw-print birthmark is the sign of what she truly is—a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly anyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it’s only a matter of time before she’s able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now, Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they’re kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe

I have also not long finished a book called ‘The Mysteries of Udolpho’ by Ann Radcliffe. It took me quite a long time to read this book as it was very long and very dense (and I stopped a couple of times to read other things)! The book is a classic ‘Gothic Horror/Ghost Story’. It is very suspenseful and has true thriller moments. A good read if you have the patience to endure it and, as far as I was concerned, well worth the slog.

With The Mysteries of Udolpho, Ann Radcliffe raised the Gothic romance to a new level and inspired a long line of imitators. Portraying her heroine’s inner life, creating a thick atmosphere of fear, and providing a gripping plot that continues to thrill readers today, The Mysteries of Udolpho is the story of orphan Emily St. Aubert, who finds herself separated from the man she loves and confined within the medieval castle of her aunt’s new husband, Montoni. Inside the castle, she must cope with an unwanted suitor, Montoni’s threats, and the wild imaginings and terrors that threaten to overwhelm her.

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Currently Reading

As usual, I am reading 6 books! The “main” book I am reading is:

The Cookbook For A New Europe by Richard Segal

To serve society or humanity? It’s been fourteen years since the basketball-mad detective Fran Obrien captured the urban bomber Lavi, who has since moved to Spain and rehabilitated himself beyond recognition. Fran is fresh off a two-year sabbatical, during which he tended to 11-year-old Ben, the family comedian, and 17-year-old Alice, with, yes, as much attitude as you’d expect. His estranged boss Karl has retired and Fran must learn to deal with the new brass – no small task itself. His first assignment is to investigate an act of alleged political corruption which seems more wild goose chase than duck in a barrel, leading him to question his decision to return to work. After an extended-family culinary expedition to Budapest, Fran’s nine-to-five job takes him ‘almost’ to Albany and to Central America, where he must untangle the mother of all webs. His wife, local family doctor Darby, goes along for the ride, and, oh, piña coladas “to die for.” For a detective and amateur gourmet chef like no other, Cookbook for a New Europe is a ride Fran certainly didn’t expect. He’s been fiercely focused for years, but a spate of unintended yet momentous events unfolds once he gives free rein to his emotions, and his recipes.

I received this book from the publisher AuthorHouse. I’m only a few pages in. The writing style is unusal – hard to explain really, it feels a bit disjointed but I’m sure I will get used to it.

The other novel I am reading, albeit slowly, is:

The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton

A rural idyll: that’s what Catherine is seeking when she sells her house in England and moves to a tiny hamlet in the Cévennes mountains. With her divorce in the past and her children grown, she is free to make a new start, and her dream is to set up in business as a seamstress. But this is a harsh and lonely place when you’re no longer just here on holiday. There is French bureaucracy to contend with, not to mention the mountain weather, and the reserve of her neighbors, including the intriguing Patrick Castagnol. And that’s before the arrival of Catherine’s sister, Bryony.

If I’m honest, this book isn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. The story is a little slow. I’m up to page 90 and I don’t real feel like the story has got going yet. I will keep going but it may take a while!

The other books I’m reading are Christian books. I dip in and out of these and use them as Bible study tools. They are:

Last Week’s Reading

I had a good reading week – I finished 3 books! They are:

The Heaven Answer Book by Billy Graham

God’s Word says heaven awaits all the saints of His kingdom, but how many of us really know what heaven will be like? The Heaven Answer Book is a biblically based book written in Q&A format with answers to commonly asked questions about our future and final home. Topics include what we’ll do, what we’ll be, what we’ll see, our rewards in heaven, and more. Billy Graham’s trustworthy Bible knowledge offers interesting insight and enduring truth about how believers can prepare their hearts for spending eternity with their Maker and Lord.

I receieved this as a review book from Netgalley. I didn’t use this as a study book, I just read it like a novel! Each chapter is only a couple of pages long and each one answers a question about heaven, the Bible, Jesus etc. I thought this was a good book, clear and helpful. It is a “gift” book so the pages were decorated, which wouldn’t work on a Kindle, but looked nice on the computer. Review to come.

The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller

Meri is newly married, pregnant, and standing on the cusp of her life as a wife and mother, recognizing with some terror the gap between reality and expectation. Delia Naughton—wife of the two-term liberal senator Tom Naughton—is Meri’s new neighbor in the adjacent New England town house. Delia’s husband’s chronic infidelity has been an open secret in Washington circles, but despite the complexity of their relationship, the bond between them remains strong. What keeps people together, even in the midst of profound betrayal? How can a journey imperiled by, and sometimes indistinguishable from, compromise and disappointment culminate in healing and grace? Delia and Meri find themselves leading strangely parallel lives, both reckoning with the contours and mysteries of marriage, one refined and abraded by years of complicated intimacy, the other barely begun.

I enjoyed this book. It was a more literary chick-lit than the usual I read but it was a good read. The story followed Meri and Delia and the two separate lives they lead as neighbours. It was a storyline that sucked me in and I found myself wanting to read more.

The Africa House by Christina Lamb

In the declining years of the British Empire, in Northern Rhodesia, Stewart Gore-Browne was a proper English gentleman who built himself a sprawling country estate, complete with liveried servants, rose gardens, and lavish dinners finished off with vintage port in the library. All that was missing was a woman to share it with. He adored the beautiful aviatrix Ethel Locke King, but she was almost twenty years his senior, married, and his aunt. Lorna, the only other woman Gore-Brown cared for, was married as well, but years later her orphaned daughter would become Gore-Browne’s wife. The story of a colonialist who beat his servants yet supported Rhodesian independence and who was given a chief’s burial by the local elders when he died, “The Africa House” rescues “from oblivion the life story of an astonishing man, an astonishing marriage, and an astonishing house” (“The Spectator”).

This is our book club read for the month. It is about Stewart Gore-Brown, an Englishman who tried to take England to Africa. I have to be honest, I did not like this book. It is a non-fiction book that felt like Lamb was trying to turn into a novel – quite unsuccessfully. I didn’t like Gore-Brown and found it a tough, boring read.

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Book Blogger HopWelcome to Friday! I haven’t managed to do a lot of reading this week 🙁 I am enjoying The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig though.

Down to business: The Hop! This is hosted by Jen at Crazy For Books. All rules and the sign up can be found there 🙂 This week’s question is:

Who is your all time favourite villain?

To be honest, I don’t read a lot of thriller/murders/mysteries so this is a tough question. I would probably have to pick someone like Heathcliff – because he is angry, makes life hard for Cathy but because I feel sorry for him too – having been treated badly by Catherine and her brother and with a questionable family history. Some view him as the hero of Wuthering Heights; I don’t, to me he is the villain but he made the book entertaining.

Thanks for stopping by. Do leave a message with your answer and a link to your site 🙂

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

Kristan Higgins: My One and Only (review book from NetGalley)

Synopsis:

Just when she thought she had life and love all figured out…

Divorce attorney Harper James can’t catch a break. Bad enough that she runs into her ex-hubby, Nick, at her sister’s destination wedding, but now, by a cruel twist of fate, she’s being forced to make a cross-country road trip with him. And her almost-fiancé back at home is not likely to be sympathetic.

Harper can’t help that Nick has come blazing back into her life in all of his frustratingly appealing, gorgeous architect glory. But in Nick’s eyes, Harper’s always been the one. If they can only get it right this time, forever might be waiting—just around the bend.

Page 235

“And that was that. Goodbye, Harold, goodbye sweet, brief pretense that Nick and I were – or ever had been – happily married, goodbye whispered truths in the moonlight.”

I’m only on page 8 of this book, can’t wait to see what happens!

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers!

1. What are you currently reading?

I’m still reading The Power of Prayer and Fasting by Mahesh Chavda, Prayer by Philip Yancey and The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. I’m halfway through Practically Perfect by Katie Fford which I read before bed and the book I keep in the bathroom is currently What They Didn’t Teach Me in Sunday School by Rob Parsons. The review book I am currently reading is Hunger by Jackie Morse Kesslar

2. What did you recently finish reading?

This week I have read Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen and The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa. They are both young adult books but I loved them. My review of The Iron Queen is here. I love this series, it is up there with the Twilight series in my opinion. Very satisfied with both these books.

3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Hopefully I will get some of the books I’m currently reading finished, but I’m downloading Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Montgomery at the moment to listen to while I do some research at work.

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers!

1. What are you currently reading?

I can never read one book at a time, I have a book for every mood! I’m reading The Power of Prayer and Fasting by Mahesh Chavda, Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter, Prayer by Philip Yancey and The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis.

2. What did you recently finish reading?

The two books I have recently finished are Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels and Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett. I enjoyed them both a lot. Very different, but very good.

3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Probably the next Pratchett book Making Money, although I have a lot of books to choose from so that decision may change

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? This is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey 🙂

Books Read

  • Baptised by Fire by Jack Hywel-Davies
  • It Started With a Dare by Lindsay Faith Rech
  • Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
  • GodStories by Andrew Wilson
  • A Room With a View by E. M. Forster

Currently Reading

Theology Books

  • The Life by J. John
  • The Hidden Power of Prayer and Fasting by Mahesh Chavda
  • Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney

Fiction Books

  • Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
  • Practically Perfect by Katie Fford

What are you reading this week?

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This weekly meme is hosted by Sheila at Bookjourney.

Well I have started my new job! I work for the church I attend: Church of Christ the King, Brighton. It is six days a week, so I haven’t managed much blogging this week – only one review, and only one book finished. That hasn’t stopped me starting other books however!

Now, down to business:

Books Read:

  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Reviews:

Currently Reading:

  • Rooms by James L. Rubert
  • GodStories by Andrew Wilson – theology
  • Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce – library book
  • The Life by J. John – theology
  • The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer – audiobook, theology
  • Spiritual Disciples for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney – theology
  • Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett – audiobook
  • Dear John by Nicholas Sparks – library book

This Week:

Monday and Wednesday morning are my times off, so I will try and do loads of reading! Hopefully I will get some reviews written too. I just want to get some books finished this week – that is my aim! Do leave a comment so I can visit you!

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This weekly meme is hosted by Sheila at Bookjourney. For those of you who are interested, my dissertation is finished! Blog activity has been low this week but hopefully that will change now I’m free! I did get a little bit of reading done however:

Books Read:

  • Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
  • Descending by Catherine Chisnell
  • Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Reviews:

Currently Reading:

Most of them from last week still!

  • God Stories by Andrew Wilson – I’m reading through this slowly, it is really good
  • The Truth About Love by Josephine Hart – this is not a fast read, and so far more about death than love but it is OK
  • Cast of Characters by Max Lucado – I haven’t dipped into this one much but the few chapters I have read have been good
  • The Crepe Makers’ Bond by Julie Crabtree – YA book, fast read, easy and good!
  • The Boy With the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu – another one I haven’t dipped into much, but so far so good. The descriptions are amazing!

Feel free to follow me on Goodreads to see my updates on these books 🙂 My profile is HERE.

This Week:

My husband is off so hopefully spending some quality time with him, but I’m hoping to reach my target of 100 books read this year during this week – I’m up to 98! I think I’ll finish The Crepe Makers’ Bond this week. Who knows what else! We’ll just see what happens!

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