Thursday, June 21, 2007

Spring Reading Thing: Recap


Well, Spring Reading Thing 2007 has reached its conclusion. Hard to believe! When we first began, June sounded so far off, yet here we are! Just as a refresher, Katrina was our hostess with the most-est, and everyone who wanted to participate linked the list of books they planned to read this spring over on her site. Plus she had book giveaways and I even won a book, The Nativity Story by Angela Hunt--autographed by the author herself!

Now all that remains is a synopsis of sorts. So, here was my list of books (you can see the original list here)...

Nonfiction:
Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur
God is the Gospel by John Piper--currently reading
Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce by John Piper
Hard to Believe by John MacArthur
I Saw the Lord by Anne Graham Lotz
Boundaries for Teens by John Townsend

Fiction:
A Woman's Place by Lynn Austin--did not complete
Summer of Light by W. Dale Cramer--did not complete
Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson

Not on the original list but I read them anyway:
Women's Intuition by Lisa Samson
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
The Nativity Story by Angela Hunt
Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

In review Katrina has asked us the following questions pertaining to our spring reading adventure:

What was the best book you read this spring?
Fiction: Peace Like A River. Absolutely wonderful. I loved, loved, loved it. Want to read it again. I borrowed it from the library and am now contemplating purchasing it just so I can own it for myself. It's that good. Really. I also thoroughly enjoyed the story of Pip and his Great Expectations.

Non fiction: God is the Gospel is incredible. A timely reminder that the joy of our salvation is God Himself not the blessings He is so gracious to give. Hard to Believe was also a wonderful, thought provoking read on the high price of following Jesus.

What book could you have done without?
Portrait of a Lady. In my mind, never has an author used so many words to construct so little plot. Also, while I enjoyed Quaker Summer, I felt Lisa Samson's perspective to be a little too pointed. I much preferred Women's Intuition, which featured one of the characters of Quaker Summer, Lark.

Did you try out a new author this spring? If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again?
Henry James was a first. Maybe I didn't choose well the first time around? And Leif Enger--sure hope he has another title in the works! Does he? Anyone know?

If there were books you didn't finish, tell us why. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren't worth it?
I began both Summer of Light and A Woman's Place but wasn't in the mood for either at the time. I've enjoyed other titles by both authors, so no doubt I will pick them up again at another time.

Did you come across a book or two on other participants' lists that you're planning to add to your own to-be-read pile? Which ones?
I didn't come across it as in I had no previous knowledge, but I've seen a few summer lists containing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and I just have to say I've placed my pre-order and I cannot wait until July 21!

What did you learn -- about anything -- through this challenge? Maybe you learned something about yourself or your reading style, maybe you learned not to pick so many nonfiction books for a challenge, maybe you learned something from a book you read. Whatever it is, share!
I've learned I am really enjoying a return to the classics! Just prior to the challenge, I had read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights and enjoyed them both. While Portrait of a Lady wasn't my all time favorite by any means, I am not deterred! So, again, I will ask for recommendations. What's your favorite among the classics? Jane Austen doesn't count, because she's a given!

What was the best part of the Spring Reading Thing?
Not to be obtuse, but the reading! :-) Of course, the book giveaways were fun, especially when I actually won!

Would you be interested in participating in another reading challenge this fall?
Yes!

Any other thoughts, impressions, or comments.
I want to thank Katrina for all her time and effort not just in organizing the challenge, but handling all the details with the book giveaways. It's been great fun seeing what everyone's reading as well as having a list and checking my progress. Thanks, Katrina!

24 comments:

  1. I've seen those little buttons all over the place, but I've never participated in the activities. You made the reading thing sound interesting!

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  2. What exactly did you like about Peace Like A River? What type of book is it? Contemporary or historical? :) Have never heard of the book or the author so am intrigued!

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  3. Lisa,
    I've been enjoying your blog for several months now. I look forward to reading some of the books you liked, though I have no idea how you read so many in that period of time. Looking forward to continuing reading your blog.

    Libba

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  4. Kristy (aussietigger),
    Peace Like A River is a fictional account of a young boy and his dad and sister on a search for his older brother. It is set in the late 60's, early 70's, I believe. What made the book so wonderful was not only the story, but the author's writing style. I encourage you to read it; I don't think you'll be disappointed!
    Blessings,
    Lisa

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  5. LIBBA!!!!!
    Great to hear from you, my friend! I am so glad you popped in with a comment to let me know you're out there. Hope all is going well for you and your family!

    As far reading so many books in a given period of time, let's just say I'm a fast reader (or, lazy housekeeper, as the case may be)! :-)

    Blessings to you, my friend!
    Lisa

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  6. Hi Lisa,
    Great job on the challenge! I've heard many good things about Peace Like a River, and may have to read it myself one of these days. :) Oh, and July 21st is a much-anticipated date at our house, too!

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  7. Okay! Peace LiKe a River just got added to my list as well as God is the Gospel. Love Piper!

    Amazon is going to love me!

    Toodles!

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  8. Leif Enger is going to have to send you his next book for free cuz I'm off to find Peace Like a River, also. Lana G, Amazon already loves you, girl!

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  9. Hi Lisa

    I'm really interested in knowing what your thoughts are, from a christian's perspective, of the whole Harry Potter fandangle? I've read most of them, but the last one scared me so much (haha!) that I stopped reading in the third chapter. I'm a scaredy cat, for sure. Many of my friends thought I was walking on Satan's territory by reading a story about witchcraft etc... I'm sure you've heard many of those arguments. I stood in Harry Potter's defence, asking them if they'd read Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, or Rumplestiltskin, or any of those classic "fairy tales", or had them read to them by their parents as children. Then I asked them if they weren't choosing a double standard? But honestly, I'm wondering if there was relevance in their sincere question to me? What do you think? Maybe they were right? I really look forward to hearing what you think!

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  10. Hi Char,
    Yours is a good question, one that I hope I can answer to your satisfaction, but no guarantees!

    Certainly issues like this one are a matter of personal conviction. If you're a "scaredy cat" and feel uncomfortable with the more intense descriptions, then by all means avoid reading the novels. As far as your friends' characterizing the books as Satan's territory, I would have to ask if they have actually read any of the books themselves. While never one to openly condemn something I hadn't read for myself, I will admit to being somewhat unsure...that is, until I read the first one. What I found instead was a wonderfully written story of good and evil, with none of the supposed glorification of the dark side of witchcraft. The bad guys are BAD and Harry is an unselfish hero who takes great risks to defend good, often at great personal sacrifice. I am admittedly a simple minded girl, but Gandalf and others in TLR trilogy also use magic without any accompanying concern on behalf of the reading public.

    As I said to begin with, it is entirely a matter of personal conviction. If it's wrong for you to the read the novels, don't read them. I, however, thoroughly enjoyed them. Both times.

    Blessings,
    Lisa

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  11. I enjoyed reading your wrap-up post. I have seen glowing recommendations for Peace Like a River several times. I will have to read it soon!

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  12. I may have to look into Peace Like a River...

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  13. I love John Piper and John MacArthur. I really thought God is the Gospel and Hard To Believe were both incredible books.

    Have you read Gods & Kings by Lynn Austin? it is one of my favorites.

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  14. what a list! you go, girl!

    i've been on a recreational reading hiatus lately - can't get out of the Lexicon long enough...i'm going to remember some of your favorites and check them out when i go to the library..

    ;)

    lisa

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  15. I have been getting back to the classics over the past year, too, getting into Austen's novels and reading Jane Eyre this past year. Another I absolutely loved was Les Miserables -- it is a beautiful story of redemption. So is A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens -- it took me a few tries to finally get into it, but once I did I was so glad, and reread it again immediately.

    I've seen Leif Enger mentioned several times -- will have to check him out.

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  16. Lisa--I was one of the few who read Peace Like a River and didn't love it. I thought it was fine, but I don't get why so many people just LOVE it.

    I did love your thoughts on "to HP or not." I agree that if things like that scare a person or make their thoughts wander into other areas, they should avoid them, but I also agree with what Char said about some who read about fairies and witches (a la Wizard of Oz), but think that HP the worst ever. I've read the first 4 or 5, and am going to start the next one sometime this summer. I think that they are fun.

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  17. My favorite classic is To Kill a Mockingbird. It's a recent classic, but it's a good one. I think I've read it 3 times.

    I loved Lynn Austin's Gods & Kings, too. It's a bit intense in a few places, but it's quite a story.

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  18. Hi again! Thanks so much for your answer to my question about HP. That's a really good answer. I always tend to err on the side of caution. Although I never considered myself someone swayed by other people's opinions. I love to hear what other God-fearing people say. Thanks, Lisa and Jennifer, snapshot!

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  19. Great that you got through and enjoyed your list!

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  20. Hi Lisa - I hope you pick up Summer of Light again. It has been one of my favourite books for 2007! I do know the feeling of not being in the mood for a particular book! It was fun to drop by here!

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  21. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I agree that Bad Ground (Cramer) was tough at first - and I had to make myself continue - but once I hit the middle, couldn't put it down. I had to get past all the talk about the mechanics of the rock mine and just realize that it's just hard work, lol. I haven't read more of Hildreth, but I will do so! Thanks! LOVE your blog, btw.

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  22. Oh, I've forgotten all about Peace Like A River! I've had it on my TBR list, but I never remember to pick it up from the library...

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  23. Hi Lisa - I hope you pick up Summer of Light again. It has been one of my favourite books for 2007! I do know the feeling of not being in the mood for a particular book! It was fun to drop by here!

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  24. Great that you got through and enjoyed your list!

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