Monthly Archives: July 2016

What I’m Reading July 2016


High temps and high humidity in northern Indiana this month.  Summer is sailing by too quickly. Linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy for July reads.

Linchpin   Buy it now from Amazon

Linchpin by Seth Godin

Linchpin could be classified as a business book, but the big idea is: what are you doing to make yourself indispensable to your organization?

I find when I read Seth Godin, he’s saying what no one else is saying.  I guess that’s what makes him a thought leader.  Although he doesn’t reference his personal life much in this book, I have found from other sources an enviable simplicity and rhythm to his life.  Which might explain his propensity to profound and novel insights.

In my life, it’s hard to find quiet.  It’s hard to find time to think.  It’s hard to find time and quiet together to think, process and write.  I look forward to a day when my schedule will allow more of it.

Howtowritecopy   Buy it now from Amazon

How to Write Copy That Sells by Ray Edwards

This slim book is a quick read.  I’m ready to start over and take better notes (or just highlight it till it bleeds yellow) and put the principles into practice.

I can think of a couple different ways to use it for the bookstore.  Next, I’ll do some brainstorming for making it work for the blog.

Thanks to Michael Hyatt for recommending it.  So glad I picked it up.



Before the Fall by Noah Fawley

I liked the premise of this story:  why did the plane go down?  Although, for me, it dragged in the middle, that question kept me going till the end.

The characters weren’t particularly endearing.  The language and crude references were definitely a minus, tempting me to throw it off altogether.

But, I preserved, and the question was answered.

There were a few redeeming elements, but overall, I can’t recommend this book.

EveryoneBraveisForgiven   Buy it now from Amazon

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

Just when you think you’ve read every possible WWII story, another one emerges.  Beautifully written.  Inspired by the author’s grandparents, but in no way based on their story.

It’s always fun to be surprised by a plot twist, and this book did it to me.  I thought I knew where it was going, but no.  A better story than I anticipated.

Although this doesn’t classify as a wholesome book, at least it didn’t belabor the immorality.


Before we Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

I found this story to be engaging, once I got into the middle of it.  The brief peek at Indian culture, both in the US and India, was instructive.

Which made the immoral content more disappointing three quarters of the way in.

I abandoned another book this month after only a few pages when it became clear that the story existed to normalize the homosexual lifestyle.  Worse yet, it was a book written for kids.  I hate to see our culture in moral freefall and hate to think of innocent minds swallowing those premises.

I know it’s not politically correct to say those things, which is why I’m so thankful for the freedom of the press in this country, to be able to say what isn’t popular and what doesn’t fit into reigning agendas.

ReadyPlayerOne   Buy now from Amazon

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ernest Cline tells a great story.  Part dystopian, part gamer geek, part Charlie Bucket looking for the golden ticket, part coming of age, part 80s trivia.  Cline has a lot to offer.

The book is set in 2044.  It’s always interesting to see how people envision the future. Cline has a great imagination.  Pair that with engaging characters and some unpredictable plot twists, and you have a winner.

Although there were a couple elements that I wasn’t happy with, over all this was a great read.

UndomesticGoddess   Buy it now from Amazon

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

Entertaining, breezy read.

I enjoyed all but about 4 pages of it.  The story centered around a high powered British lawyer and some unexpected twists of fate in her life.  Interesting look at British class structure.  Fun story.


Ifyoucankeepit   Buy now from Amazon

If You Can Keep It by Eric Metaxas

INCREDIBLE book!  So needed!  So important. A must read for every citizen.

If you are the tiniest bit patriotic, this book is for you. If you are discouraged about what’s happening in this country, this book is for you. If you need some encouragement about the future based on the past, this book is for you.

One of the most fascinating aspects to me was the impact George Whitefield had on the colonies and how those prevailing premises shaped our founding principles and documents and national identity. Why does “all men are created equal” echo in our heads today, but continues to be an unknown concept in countries across the globe?

I’ve been so sad watching the country that I love disintegrate. It’s so hard to see our freedoms eroded.  It’s tempting to despair.  But this book has given me hope for the future — ironically, by looking at the past.  Following the hand of God in the history of our nation gives me hope as the  domestic scene grows darker.

Even though I believe that all great civilizations come to an end and ours is already on the downhill slide, I also believe that God is in control.

I believe so strongly in the right and privilege of every citizen to vote.  But I was at a loss about whether my vote will matter in November.  No longer.  I will vote.  Even in the face of a disastrous outcome.

My God is on His throne.

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you, a percentage of your purchase goes to support this site.)


I’m looking for wholesome, brilliantly written novels to read.

Which ones do you love?



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What Difference Does It Make Now?


Yesterday I was angry.

Today I’m sad.

I’m sad for all the deceived masses that are ignorant of the freedoms they are losing.  I’m sad for the the Judeo-Christian values that are disappearing.  I’m sad that honor and integrity are no longer hallmarks of the leaders of this country.  I’m sad that voters no longer think that character counts.

I’m sad for my kids and (hopefully future) grandkids and the future of tyranny and oppression that they will know in their lifetime.

I’m sad for the people who made sacrifices for the freedoms that we enjoy and those that have squandered those freedoms by entitlement, privilege and neglect.

There were a minority in Hitler’s Germany who came to see him for who he was.  There were some brave citizens who tried unsuccessfully to oppose him.   Meanwhile, the masses were deceived.  Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.

The founders of our country saw the pitfalls and injustices from the rule of governments throughout history.  They endeavored to establish a rule that would avoid these oppressive, dictatorial regimes.  Safeguards and checkpoints were established to diffuse power.  Freedom of the press was established to provide accountability for those in office.  The right to bear arms allowed the average citizen to protect not only what was his, but also to protect himself from an oppressive government.

I’m sad for young people who do not understand communism, socialism, capitalism and what difference it makes for them in every day life.  I’m sad for people who are immune to the suffering inflicted around the world by evil and oppressive governments.

I love my country.  This is why I’m sad.


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What I’ve Learned: My Family Tree is Grafted and Going Slow

Linking up with Emily Freeman to share what I’ve learned this month.

Love the slower pace of a summer schedule.  Less rushing.  More time to catch up with people.  Best of all, more time for uninterrupted reading and more time for ruminating. I could get used to this.


The discoveries I make while writing are its own reward.

It’s only been in the past few years that I’ve realized I have to write to make sense out of my life.  I had one of those moments this week when a phrase echoed in my brain.  It made me ponder the unique friendships we forged during the sixteen years we spent with a non-profit assigned to Mexico.  I puzzled through it for days and it finally became the post When Your Family Tree is Grafted.

It’s gratifying and satisfying to analyze and come to some conclusions: to articulate the fuzzy, to make sense of my convoluted life.


How to Make Exercise a Daily Habit.

There’s SO much I want to accomplish.  There’s SO many areas in my life I want to improve.  It’s hard to slow down and only focus on  one area at a time.

During the Spring months, I was frustrated that my exercise routine was hit and miss.  I was focusing on my morning routine.  Now that exercise is becoming a daily habit, I’m frustrated with lack of consistency in blogging.  Patience. Patience.  It’s hard to go slow.

Taking small bites is critical to my success.  I do a 15 minute walking video every day.  That’s small.  Believe it or not, the very difficult, but critical element was deciding when in the day to do it.  It finally came down to after supper.  This is challenging when we have evening plans– it either happens late at night or in the afternoon before meal prep.

My mornings were too unpredictable to add another daily habit.

And so, it’s working.  Due in part to our summer schedule. Due in part to focus and willingness to let other things slide. Thank God for small wins.


What have you learned this month?



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