Welcome! I'm Melissa Gross, a dynamic and interactive teacher and speaker called to lead and encourage Christian women in their walk with the Lord through classes, workshops and retreats incorporating Bible study, devotionals, illustrated Bible journaling, paper crafting and mixed media projects that merge faith and art bringing God’s Word to life so you can find renewed excitement to dive into the Word, use your creative gifts, and apply the Truth as you draw closer to the Lord and serve Him in your everyday life. This site is where I share my everyday adventures, Bible Journaling pages, scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, and other crafty projects, as well as information on my upcoming workshops and events. I also post photos, ramble about books I'm reading, stuff I'm organizing, and other FUN bits & pieces of my wonderful life.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Book Reviews & Reading Challenges Update

So far this year, I've made a little progress on some of my reading goals and challenges, although I haven't even started on a couple of them! I completed one fiction Pulitzer Prize winner, bringing my total read to 15 (out of 60+). I definitely need to make these a priority if I'm going to be able to check that goal off my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list!

Although I missed the book club discussion (and it is not yet posted online), I did finish the February book for the Simple Scrapper Book Club last week. (So I'm doing great reading the books for this online book club!) Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits by Gretchen Rubin was an interesting read. I like the idea that sparked the book title: "Perfection may be an impossible goal, but habits help us to do better. Making headway toward a good habit, doing better than before, saves us from facing the end of another year with the mournful wish, once again, that we'd done things differently." The author claims that we each fall into one of four categories: Upholders, who meet outer and inner expectations, Questioners, who resist outer, but meet inner expectations, Obligers, who meet outer, but resist inner expectations, and Rebels, who resist all expectations. I'm pretty sure I fall into the Upholder category, and I find that the pillars of habits (monitoring, foundation, scheduling, accountability) work well for me.

 
 

I've read four more books in the Trixie Belden series. In all four of them, Trixie and her friends are traveling (to New York or Cobbett's Island or Williamsburg, Virginia, or St. Louis) and find themselves in the midst of a mystery . . . and some rather dangerous situations, which are not quite as believable as the first books in the series. All four of these books are part of my children's/young adult collection that I'm reading through and count for The Lady Detectives 2016 Reading Challenge, qualifying me for the middle level: Jane 4-6 books (You’re quite the clever old bird, but the local constabulary really wish you’d keep out of it.)

I have not started the Anne of Green Gables books yet, so no progress towards the 2016 Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge. I've not read any steampunk yet, so no credit for the Clocks, Cogs and Mechanisms Reading Challenge 2016 either. And I did not complete any bingos for the Bookish Bingo: Holiday 2015 challenge, which ended on February 29.

 

I read The 5th Wave after Robbie finished it early this year and highly recommended it. I enjoyed it, although some of the middle parts really slowed down the pace of the story. We both thought the movie that debuted in January was an excellent adaptation and that most of the changes from the book to the screen play eliminated those slow parts of the story. I have the second book in the series in my to-read pile!

Are you working on any reading goals or challenges this year? How are you doing?

10 comments:

alexa said...

I had no idea there was a literary genre called steampunk - I clearly am right out of the loop. I did read Better than Before ( I am probably a Questioner), and admire your thoughtfulness in planning ahead.

Karen said...

I don't have any reading goals as specific as yours. My goal to read the Bible is taking a life of its own; I'm now reading two commentaries in addition to the Bible. Otherwise, I hope to average three books a month. I've finished one this month---When Breath Becomes Air---a moving memoir by a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at 36, and passed away a little over a year later. Now I'm reading My Brilliant Friend. It's a perfect book for vacation---engaging story, interesting characters, set in Naples, Italy. It's long, and it's just the first of a four book series which I'm sure I'll want to read as well. Our book group chose The Road to Dribble, but after listening to just a little over an hour of it on the way to Florida, both Tracy and I decided it wasn't worth the time.

Sian said...

I don't think I'd do very well with a reading challenge. I like to read before I fall asleep at night but I always decide what to read on the spur of the moment and I have three or four different books on the go at once

Missus Wookie said...

I'm another upholder and also find the the pillars of habits work for me.

Not joining in with any external reading challenges. I've joined with a bible reading group and am still taking part in the Quaker faith and practice reading which I'll do all year.

I'm currently listening to '7' by Jen Hatmaker who lives in Austin as part of my goal to listen/read books from several genres including religion/religious inspiration.

Patio Postcards said...

I have just finished The Nightingale, which I really enjoyed & She's Not There by Joy Fielding, an ok read. I have just started The Catcher In The Rye, which a workmate just handed to me & said read this.

Sandra said...

Last year I hardly read anything, so I set myself a challenge to read at least 6 books, and so far I've read 5 so I'm really pleased with that xxx

Cheri said...

I did read Better Than Before and found myself to be a died-in-the-wool Obliger. I keep my promises to others and do great with outside accountability, but I often fail at keeping my promises to myself if I am the only one I'm accountable to. I'm working on it.

I also read 5th Wave and the second book and have the third in the series on preorder through Amazon. Didn't get to see the movie though. I'm kind of a sucker for the young adult dystopia novels.

Susanne said...

I started a mystery that turned out to be steampunk - but Victorian and vampires just didn't mix in my mind, so I won't be making that mistake again. And I still need to finish Better Than Before.

Beverly said...

I am not doing any challenges, I always disappoint myself lol but I am already reading a great bit more than last year. I just finished reading Driving the Birds, a disturbing book but one I recommend.

Barbara Eads said...

I don't do any reading challenges as I'm an avid reader already. I don't need any extra encouragement! I've never heard of steampunk as a genre---I'll have to check that out. I am going to check out Better than Before and add the sample to my Kindle. I don't read a lot of self-help but am open to them.