Good Books!

As long as it takes to get me rooted in a story (to no fault of the books!), I keep wondering if this fiction thing is really for me.

But then I feel so fed when I finally get the chance to finish something.

Today’s accomplishment was Waking Rose, the third of three Fairytale Novels I first mentioned back in February.

And yes, I will attempt to post reviews of these last two books. Here’s my review of the first: The Shadow of the Bear.

I have already put the fourth book by Regina Doman in my Amazon cart. Looking forward to purchasing it.

This lady has done what it is my heart’s cry to do: write about pure love, honor, relationships in the context of engaging action and even humor (!), through a lens/worldview that allows God his rightful place at the core of reality.

Should it please God (such a sweet phrase, and I’m sure it does), this is my ultimate goal in all my writing.

Snoop & Dragons

It’s a good thing I’m not in the habit of buying new books whenever I want them, since I’ve got two new ones on my wishlist now (more, actually, but today I’m talking about:).

Snoop and Imagine Dragons.

Snoop, by Sam Gosling, is a fascinating book about using *stuff* to explore personality and how personality might be read by observing an environment. It uses the “Big Five” model of personality-typing (where I read– like most people would expect– as an extrovert), and uses particular environmental cues connected to those 5 elements.

I am loving the contrast between this typing and the Myers-Briggs model, since they really tell me very different things about myself and others.  If I still like OCEAN after finishing this book I might big-five type my main characters to see the differences.

For example, just as I am an introvert according to the M-B definition and extrovert under OCEAN, I think my MC is the reverse.

One way I’m trying to say it so far is M-B is pretty good at describing behavior (especially putting it in context with a whole individual) while I’m guessing OCEAN is more useful at predicting behavior– though both can do either, of course.

The other book is what convinced me I could never go 100% to any of the digital platforms, though I’ve convinced myself that for non-picture books I’d actually like an e-reader: if I’m buying new anyway.

  • the book takes up less space physically
  • is usually cheaper (price would determine format choice) and
  • is easily searchable
    • Most of why I hang onto a book is because I *need* some perfect line or example at my fingertips.
      • this, BTW, is what is most traumatic about having all my book collection packed away.

My favorite part of Snoop so far was in the first chapter, where the author categorized the types of stuff that fill our spaces.

  • Identity Claims
    • others-directed (See: this is who/what I am)
    • self-directed (Remember: this is who/what I want to be)
  • Feeling Regulators
    • things that exist “not to send messages about our identities but specifically to manage our emotions and thoughts.”
  • Behavioral Residue (*Love* this label. Very convicting for me)
    • What is seen because of the way you live and the choices you make.

I’m also enjoying the exploration of what makes a relationship deeper (or deepen).  hint: it’s not information exchange.  But for my current situation (where I’m living in someone else’s house– I just don’t know whose, yet), it helped me understand why I feel less settled, despite my contentment with whatever.

Beginning to think of these three elements, especially in ratio to one another, gave a bit of definition to what I’m feeling about my home.

When I prepped the house, emptied it to a showing (neutral) state, I expected to surrender the first segment– Identity Claims.  It wasn’t that important to me anyway, since visits would be about the house, not me. (Pshaw, I don’t even exist!)

What I wasn’t aware of was the “Regulating” category. Turns out books and music are HUGE regulating factors for me. And with the shift I lost both: books packed away and computers in the back room, so the music system was gone as well.

The last three weeks have involved larger and larger trips from the library (along with some buying) and an evolution of mobile music (I’ve lost my iPod Nano!) that has, I think, settled at my laptop in the kitchen with a new Pandora station.

But it’s only been with the reading of this chapter that I understand my lengthy agitation. (One that I hope is now over!)

~ ~ ~

For something completely different, please consider

I wish I could show you some images from inside the book.  They are just amazing. All this wonderful interplay between line, color and texture. (And I’m not any sort of visual artist!)

Books like these convince me I could never go 100% digital, because *what* could replace my child(ren)’s experience of studying for minutes at a time a complex image like that?  Because that’s what they do when the text is being read: exploring the picture, discovering details.

This is a book I want in my collection!

And you can believe I’ve already reserved this illustrator’s other books from my library. I am eager to see more of her work!

The book itself is a very respectable survey of dragons and lore– including stories well-summarized. The Eastern dragons may be said to be favored (commentary emphasizes they’re not-evil), but their depiction is naked enough to show them as no more kind or caring.

This was meaningful to me mainly because I like using them in discussions of dispassionate, elemental forces.

Yeah, I do that. Weird?

Anyway, I am trying to hold off on buying new books right now (at least, when they’re not inexpensive…), so I’m thankful for our library right now. It’s the patch on a big hole in my life.

from The Wounded Spirit by Frank Peretti

But wounds can fester. They can become infected, and then they infect others.

And then they can  change you because you haven’t merely cut your finger or bruised your knee. You’ve been wounded in your spirit, and that wound pierces deeply, painfully, sometimes permanently. As Proverbs 18:14 says, “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?” When tough times or injuries come, we must be able to draw upon a reservoir of hope, faith, and self-confidence that God has stored up inside us through the love and encouragement of friends and family. If enemies, through cunning and cruelty, have plundered that reservoir, what will sustain us then?

Won’t God sustain us? Won’t He give us the grace we need? Don’t we find our hope and strength in Him? Won’t He get us through?

Absolutely. I wouldn’t be here today if God’s presence and grace were not ultimately provable.

But that’s the rub: To prove anything ultimately takes time and experience. You have to live it out for a while, sometimes a long while. A process is involved. Even now, in so many of our lives, there are issues to be resolved and wounds that have to be faced squarely, forgiven, and healed. Many of us adults have been carrying unhealed wounds since we were children.

The Shadow of the Bear — book review

Finally wrote another book review.

About the first of those books I wanted.

I’ve read two now, but with moving I’m feeling my own frailty, and the second book was too tenuous too long for me to be ready to spend the review time with it right now.

It was also good, and it was gratifying to see the writing mature from one book to the next, but… perhaps if you read them both you’ll understand what I mean.

Go. Find. Read.

Quite worth it.