The Year in Books

2015 was a terrible reading year for me! I spent a lot of my commute looking out the window as the city zipped by, instead of reading as I usually do. January started off brilliantly, but then February happened, and it was all downhill from there for a few months. I did pick up in November, but by then it was much too late to do any significant damage to my TBR pile.

Of the ones I read, three good reads (across different genres) were, Defying ISIS – a book about the issues that we’re facing globally, and what Christians can do. A lot has happened since this book published, but it’s still a great read.  Food Rules, for anyone who is interested in overall healthy eating, and, The Day the Crayons Came Home, companion to The Day the Crayons Quit – which I will read out loud to you if I corner you in a bookstore.

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*One book missing from this pile is Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by Christian Rudder, which was also an insightful read.

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A Few of My Favourite Things

It’s December! I can’t believe it but it’s true. It seems that times speeds up, relative to the responsibilities on your plate. So here we are, the first day of December and I had a wacky thought – what if, for every day this month, I write a post about one thing that I love? I don’t know if I can REALLY do 31 posts, but I can try, so here goes!

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Coming off of November the one thing on my mind is NaNoWriMo! I won again this year and I’m SO HAPPY about that! I wasn’t planning on doing it and I didn’t really have an idea, but October came around and I felt like I wanted to try it again, so I took a story that was sort of flowing in my head for a while now, and decided to write it down.

Last year I wrote a little about my process (or lack thereof). A few things remained the same from last year, but this year I realized that I can plot – given the right tools.

In October I bought an app called Index Card. It’s a really great app that lets you brainstorm and plot your ideas on a cork board. It’s very flexible and doesn’t force you to work in a certain template so I was able to create my own flow and stacks without feeling boxed in. The best part was, since it was on my iPad I could carry it around with me and work with it on my commute without carrying around a big bag.

For the actual writing I used Scrivener. I first hear of the app from Justine Larbalestier, who posted about using it to write Liar (a really great book if you love unreliable narrators). Around that time I downloaded a trial version of the program and tried it out, it was a nice app, but I wasn’t writing anything at that moment so I forgot about it. That is, until last year when a friend of mine mentioned Scrivener to me for NaNoWriMo and I decided to give it another go. I bought the full version, imported my Word document and never looked back.

I absolutely LOVE Scrivener. I know that there are other apps out there that work similarly, but I appreciate that Scrivener has a lot of heavy-duty tools but still allows you the simplicity of just writing and ignoring the bells and whistles until you are ready.

I used the Index card as a guideline and then translated those cards to Scrivener where I fleshed out the story. If writing is something you love doing, I strongly suggest checking them out to see if they work for you!

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On repeat: Sleigh Bells by Fun.

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Let Justice Roll Down by John Perkins

I’m on vacation!!! So, while I’m away, I’m going to be posting some things that I wrote in the past. Below is a review of the John Perkins book, Let Justice Roll Down, originally posted on my book blog. A great book about justice and what true justice in Christ looks like. If you have a chance, you should read it! 


“They were like savages – like some horror out of the night. And I can’t forget their faces, so twisted with hate. It was like looking at white-faced demons. Hate did that to them.
But you know, I couldn’t hate back. When I saw what hate had done to them, I couldn’t hate back. I could only pity them. I didn’t ever want hate to do to me what it has already done to those men.”

If anyone had a reason to hold on to hate, it’s John Perkins. In this biographical book, he outlines some of the major incidences where he witnessed and was faced with injustice. The way he handled these situations were surprising and thought provoking.

The beginning opens with the story of how his brother was killed. He continues by explaining the state of the church and his life (as well as his spirtual views), he shares his beliefs and how his experiences shaped his faith and ultimately his reaction to those around him. While standing up for the blacks in his community, he was wrongfully jailed and beaten, almost to death, yet he kept on living a faith-filled life.

This book was quite the emotional journey. It sheds light on the injustices of the not so distant past, a very important reminder for me and a way for me to better deal with the present. Let Justice Roll Down is a stark reminder of how we can hurt one another, even under the disguse of religion and truth. The quote above resonated deeply within me, and seemed to me to be a large theme running through the entire book. Hate turns a person into a savage. It’s easy to hate, to lash out and try to destroy those who hurt you, but how do you love them? And how does justice – the idea of fairness – fit into this?

His story leaves the reader with a lot to reflect on. I can’t stress how much I recommend that everyone read this book. It places you in an uncomfortable place, but I think that’s its worth.

BEDA – August Edition!

It’s August first, which means, blog every day in AUGUST! The last time I did something like this was in April of 2011… I was inspired, and I wanted to blog every single day in April. I missed it this April, so I’ve been waiting for the next “A” month to come along and it’s here!

Throw the confetti, sound the trumpet, let BEDA begin!

To begin let’s talk about books! It’s no secret that I love books, but I don’t think I was ever aware of my bookish love until a few years ago when I realized that there are people out there who don’t read for fun – or at all. I’m not certain how the love developed, but, I do know that reading has become an integral part of my life. I have a book blog, I attend book events, I dabble in writing; the written word is important to me.

There is one thing I want to talk about in regards to books, that is, the importance of fiction.

I know quite a few people who turn their noses up on fiction, it’s not real, so why waste time reading it. It’s true, fiction, by definition is not real, but I tend to believe that people write based on experiences – even the things they imagine have a thread of reality running through it. However, the idea of fiction – to me – isn’t to find reality, it’s to take a step away from reality.

Fiction can engage the mind, stimulate the senses and stretch the imagination; and I love it.

The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think. – Harper Lee