Springtime… what a beautiful season, with grass growing green again and a pile of books on my desk waiting to be appreciated. I want to go outside, hike, drink spring water, sit on a bench, and read from my Kindle. That’s a plan.
Welcome to my April 2019 “living document” page where I write about my reading intentions and progress throughout the month. When the month is over my writing on this page will be finished.
At Goodreads: Books I’ve read so far in 2019… in case anyone cares besides me – which I find doubtful. But, you never know.
My Word of the Month
My Haiku of the Month
Linger undiscovered here
Comprehend this now
Bible Verse of the Month
Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.” (Mark 4:25)
Books I plan to read during April, 2019…
☆ – I own a copy of the book
★★ – I own a copy and am currently reading the book
✓ – Finished
PSRC = 2019 PopSugar Reading Challenge
✓ Recent Fiction: The Eagle Tree, by Ned Hayes – PSRC #6. A book with a plant in the title or on the cover – I’ve already started reading this. I ran out of fiction in March, and decided to read this one. I like to have a novel-in-progress at all times. I’m thirty percent through the book at this time. It is fascinating, especially if you have a love of forestry and nature. The boy in the book is autistic and is obsessed with trees. Not only does he climb trees, he studied them and memorizes scientific details about them, and thinks about them constantly. The entire book is written from his point of view.
☆ Recent Fiction: The Witch Elm, by Tana French, is the book chosen by the Goodreads PSRC group I belong to for PSRC #6. A book with a plant in the title or on the cover. This is the book chosen by the Ultimate PopSugar Reading Challenge group at Goodreads, for prompt #6. So I’ll be double dipping on this one prompt this month, with my choice, The Eagle Tree, and the group’s choice, The Witch Elm. I have to admit, I had to think for a while on whether or not I wanted to read a book with the word “witch” in the title, but having read the book summary information at Amazon, I know the book isn’t about witches, but rather, about a man with amnesia. Guess I’ll find out more as I read it. Tana French is a crime novelist, and I’ve never read any of her books as I don’t normally read crime fiction – however, that’s what doing the PopSugar Reading Challenge is all about – to get me out of my comfort zone and into other genres.
✓ Classic Sci-Fi: Foundation, by Isaac Asimov – PSRC #28. A book recommended by a celebrity you admire – This was recommended by Robin Williams. Despite his tragic end, I still think of him as a celebrity I admire because of his acting career and sense of humor. Foundation is book one in a trilogy. I do not commit to reading any more than the first book this month, while acknowledging that the reading of Foundation may lead to reading the others. The book is about the Galactic Empire in which Hari Seldon decides that the knowledge of the world should be preserved on a remote planet to hopefully survive an upcoming 30,000 year era of barbarianism and ignorance. That’s most of what I know about this book right now.
✓ Nonfiction: Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, by Bob Dylan – PSRC #3. A book written by a musician (fiction or nonfiction) – I’ve always liked Bob Dylan’s music, and now I’ll be reading a book he wrote, about himself. I wonder if there will ever be a volume 2, for Chronicles. I hope so. It seems strange there’s only a volume 1 right now. Anyhow, I wasn’t thrilled with the PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #3, to read a book written by a musician, because my neighbor downstairs is a ghost writer. Apparently a lot of celebrities hire her to write their memoirs. I didn’t want to read a ghostwritten book, and they are pretty much indistinguishable from other memoirs. I did some research and was fairly satisfied that Bob Dylan’s memoir is one he wrote himself … at least, I hope so because I’m about to read it.
✓ YA: Cinder, by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles, book 1) – PSRC #20. A book set in space – I’ve been trying to avoid YA series for a few years now but I have had my eye on this book even longer than a few years, and finally got talked into reading it by a Booktube friend, Charly Troff. That link goes to her review, that inspired me to include the first two Lunar Chronicles books on my TBR for the 2019 PopSugar Reading Challenge. These are science fiction, so I’m scheduled now to read two sci-fi books this month. Something unusual for me. I do occasionally read sci-fi and enjoy it, but it isn’t my normal genre.
✓ Art: Journal Spilling: Mixed-Media Techniques for Free Expression, by Diana Trout – I bought this book a few weeks ago and am so excited to read it through. Diana has an inspirational YouTube channel. What I’m hoping to accomplish with the reading of this book is a greater fluidity in my own art journaling. I expect to learn about art supplies, methods, techniques, and ideas that are new to me. I recently bought a new, more spacious table for my art studio and I’m surrounded by awesome supplies. I’m learning so much from my year of reading art books, and have developed a new technique or two that have been personalized and truly made to be my own.
☆ Christian: Becoming a Woman of Grace, by Cynthia Heald – from my 2015 list – I stalled on this book a long time ago. I want to finish it now. Cynthia Heald was my first favorite Christian writer when I became a Christian a few years back. I bought another of her books, I think it was Becoming a Woman of Prayer, and sailed through it. Then came this one, and I failed to finish it because it talks a lot about covenants. Nothing wrong with covenants, but just not a happy thing for me because I came out of thirty years suppression in a cult religion that used the word as a club over our heads. Bad memory! So I flinch every time I hear or read the word. I’m hoping I’m more ready to read this book now. I’m over half way done. It is a write-in workbook.
☆ Bible: I finally finished reading the Gospel of Matthew and now I’m focusing on the Gospel of Mark – This book, I’m reading concurrently with Jesus the King, by Timothy Keller. I need to read a few chapters of each, to complete assignments for the Jesus the King Workbook.
My April Reading Diary
April 1 – Finished reading the final chapters of The Little Prince. ::tears:: … for me, the little prince has come back, once more. Also started reading Journal Spilling.
April 2 – Today I read the first five sections of Journal Spilling: Mixed-Media Techniques for Free Expression (and did some fun journal spilling) … and I also read the Gospel of Mark, chapter 4, and Jesus the King, chapter 6, and I completed the Jesus the King Workbook, chapter 3.
Here’s the first “journal spilling” I did after starting to read the book, Journal Spilling: Mixed-Media Techniques for Free Expression, by Diana Trout – my art book this month.
This is stream-of-consciousness writing and painting.
April 3 – This morning I read The Eagle Tree through chapter 13. Almost 50% through on my Kindle version.
April 4 – This morning I read The Eagle Tree, chapter 15. I’m adding in another book: Rooted: The Hidden Places Where God Develops You, by Banning Liebscher – to read along with everyone else in my church. Small groups!
Today I filmed my March 2019 Reading Wrap-Up video. A bit late… I was so sick last month, and this was my first day to be able to talk without coughing fits. We do what we can.
April 5 – This morning I read chapter 7 of Jesus the King. I’ve read 20 chapters of The Eagle Tree now. Getting close to the end.
April 6 – Still reading The Eagle Tree … currently in chapter 22. I’m looking forward to moving on to a different book. I received a paperback copy of Foundation by Isaac Asimov from Amazon a few days ago and I think that will be next. I’m ready for some sci-fi! [Later] I finished reading The Eagle Tree. Here’s my Goodreads review.
April 7 – Last night I started reading Foundation by Isaac Asimov and got through 8 chapters (all of part one) . . . and also started reading Chronicles by Bob Dylan, which won the Nobel Prize for Literature . . . and having read chapter one, I can say I’m very impressed with the writing and think it was deserving of that prize. Amazing! Today I didn’t get much reading done because I went to church twice – once in the morning… and then at 6pm for the first meeting of our new small groups that will be reading a book called Rooted, created by Mariners Church. Between those two trips to the church I did my April TBR video:
April 8 – This morning I read the new book, Rooted… chapter 1 and chapter 2, day one. The chapters 2 through 10 are divided into 5 days each… each day has two or three pages to read and then some things to write… about a page and a half. Rooted is a ten week program so I will not be leaving on any long journeys until this is finished, even though I’ll be getting my van next month. It will take time to build my home into the back of the van anyway. I need to install a floor and bathroom, and fix up some kind of bed. I see the van as being a roving art studio. I don’t care too much for having a kitchen but an art studio is needed! I may go on some short journeys while I’m doing Rooted… but I have to be back in town at least on Sundays and Wednesdays… so I won’t get far.
April 9 – I’m 100 pages into Foundation by Isaac Asimov now, and am amazed at the lack of character depth, and appalled that there are no female characters. It is reminding me why I have issues with some science fiction!
April 11 – I was busy with family yesterday, but managed to read another chapter of Foundation before I went to sleep. Honestly, I’m finding it to be a bit of a slog . . . so little character depth. I wonder why it became so popular. At this point it is highly unlikely that I’ll be willing to read any subsequent books in the series, but I’ll continue to soldier through this one… mainly because it is such an iconic work of early science fiction… I want to give it a full chance to impress me. So far, it really hasn’t impressed me in a positive way, for the most part. Shallow characters, all men…. really? I’m trying to figure out why people have loved this series. Is it a style of writing that appeals mainly, only to men? Mainly, only to men who appreciate shallow characters and think a society without women is normal?
April 13 – I’m finally making good progress on my reading again. Yesterday I read sections 3 and 4 of Foundation. I have only the long, 18-chapters of section 5 to get through. Yes, in my video I said there were 4 sections but I was wrong – there are 5. I also read more in Bob Dylan’s Chronicles. That book has only 5 chapters and the last 4 of them are very l-o-n-g. According to Kindle, I’m 14% of the way through the book. The section I’m reading now has a lot of commentary about literature. He liked biographies and read many other deep texts as well, and poetry. This morning I read chapter 7 in Becoming a Woman of Grace. Perhaps the reason I stalled in the book and am reading it now, is because I need it now! It truly spoke to my heart and my situation right now. God is always right on time! I also read a brief essay in Rooted at the end of chapter 1… it is about the church in Uganda during the time of Idi Amin, when it was terribly suppressed, and how it grew during this reign of terror from 50 churches to 400!
April 14 – I finished slogging through Foundation last night around midnight. I suppose it was state-of-the-art sci-fi fiction in its day … these days we expect more character development in novels. There were a lot of imaginative elements to setting and plot, with some good plot twists. I guess that’s why it became so popular. Perhaps it was the best sci-fi at the time. Here’s my Goodreads review of Foundation. Today I read the Gospel of Mark, chapter 7, and Jesus the King, chapter 8. Now I’m reading more in Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, Vol. One. I’d like to finish this before I start another novel.
FYI – I am having to send my computer in for repairs and will continue this as soon as possible…
My playlist of five videos during the week I had no computer.
April 22 – Good news! The computer is fixed. It took Dell only one week. Fed Ex took the computer to Houston from my hometown in North Idaho, in two days. They fixed it immediately and I had it delivered back to me in only one week. Amazing. All repairs to the broken case hinge are done perfectly! Happy me. While the computer was gone I finished reading Bob Dylan’s memoir, Chronicles, Vol. One. Oh please, let there be a volume two. Great memoir. Fantastic writing skills! Here’s my review at Goodreads. Since that book is finished, I’ve started reading Cinder, book one in The Lunar Chronicles.
April 24 – Still reading Cinder… a YA futuristic novel.
April 26 – Every day I get up and start the day with a bit of prayer and Bible study. Right now I’m using Jesus Calling for a devotional. I then read a chapter in Rooted, and today I read the Gospel of Mark 10:1-16 along with study notes from the Life Application Bible. I don’t always read a full chapter, especially if there are other Christian books I’m reading, but a little time in the Word is better than none, and it helps my entire day go better. I really need to spend more time during daylight hours reading Cinder or I won’t get through it before the end of the month!
April 29 – I’m still reading Cinder, but not fast enough. I must finish it today or tomorrow…
April 30 – End of the month, and I just finished reading Cinder and Journal Spilling!
My April wrapup video:
Image credits: The nature photographs and the blue background of my reading goals list all came from Pixabay.com. I added quotes, lettering and the frame using Paint Shop Pro. The book covers come from Amazon.com. All the videos are from YouTube.