This is my February 2019 page to report on what I’m reading, and the progress I’m making on my literary adventure as the month wears on. There’s a diary-type feature after the books are listed.
This monthly “Reading Report” is a new feature of the site that I hope will continue through the months to come. I started last month and let it evolve as I added to the page all month long, generally, in the form of a little reading diary at the end of the page. I like having a record of my literary pursuits, especially since my reading goals are so specific this year, and so meaningful to me.
Last month’s images had a winter theme, and ordinarily during February people think of love as a theme, especially, romantic love. However, since romantic love has been such a disappointment to me throughout my life, I decided to go with TRUTH as a February theme. Then I found the quote above, from Pablo Picasso, and embraced it because the quote and the photo I found on Pixabay.Com combined to show three things that are important to me: truth, art, and my relationship with Jesus, who willingly went back into Jerusalem, knowing he’d be killed, and who died on the cross to save us from our sins. Now, that’s real love!
Speaking of Jesus, I wanted to read the entire Gospel of Matthew in January, but I got started too late, and there are a lot of notes to read in my Life Application Bible (NKJV), a study Bible, so I’m extending that into February. When I get done reading it I’ll move on to the Gospel of Mark.
My Word of the Month
My Haiku of the Month
Truthfully, I love
Everyone out there, and hope
You’re growing in faith.
Bible Verse of the Month
“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.” – Jesus (Matthew 10:27)
Books I plan to read during February, 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 Great Alone, by Kristen Hannah – [PSRC #44. Read a book during the season it is set in] – I had to DNF (Did Not Finish) the other book I planned to read for the PSRC prompt, to read a book during the season it is set in (that book was too depressing) so I checked out book suggestions for this prompt at the Ultimate PopSugar Reading Challenge group on Goodreads, and someone suggested this book for winter, even though some of the book’s scenes are not during winter. She said that winter played an important role in the book, and I was so happy to hear that because I already had a Kindle copy of the book and was wondering when I’d ever get a chance to read it! Now I know… I must read it now!
✓ Recent Fiction: Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate – [PSRC #30. A book featuring an amateur detective] – I’ve had my eye on this book for a few years now because it is about a topic that is dear to my heart – the issue of children adopted from their natural families into constructed families. I can’t say that all adoptions are bad. Some are absolutely necessary, but I am concerned about false accusations of child abuse or neglect made to child protection agencies, because I was falsely accused way back in 1990, by two people who will remain unnamed today, who wrote statements condemning me, asserting drug use and false neglect that never actually happened. The more prolific accuser met me only once, briefly, and had never even been in my home, but was very critical of my way of life (of which she knew nothing first-hand) and of my relationship with and ability to care for my children.
How does one ever recover from something like that? It has been an emotionally painful journey, yet I can celebrate it because it eventually helped to draw me out of the family cult and into the arms of Jesus, who loves me and will not forsake me, ever. I needed that. For that, I can thank the ones who falsely accused me, and I forgive them and pray for them. Truth is, I mainly blame myself, most of all, for the pain I suffered, because I’m the one who made a lot of bad choices, including raising my children in a cult. Because of my experience of being falsely accused, I’ve tried to help others who are falsely accused to child protection agencies, and to this end, I started the FightCPS site in 2001. Anyhow, that’s why I want to read this book. I recently bought the audiobook version.
I appreciate all that Lisa Wingate said in this video. I just wish she and so many others realized that the corruption of unfair government child abduction is still going on today, on a much wider scale, in our country as well as many others. Many if not most poor parents are unable to get adequate defense in child protective services cases so the ones that are falsely accused are often not able to defend themselves in juvenile courtrooms, and lose their children. It isn’t a fair fight when young parents don’t even know how the court works and what the rules are, and so many of them are falsely accused innocents. Their children are worth money to the government adoption market and all the players therein.
✓ Classic: Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe – [PSRC #25. A debut novel] – This book is on my list of 101 Great Books Recommended by the College Board and I’ve tried to include some of those books in my 2019 reading plans. It is the first book in a trilogy written by an African author. I haven’t got the foggiest idea what it is about (yet). When I figure it out, I’ll let you know in my reading diary (below). I have a paperback copy sitting on my book table in the living room – recently purchased. From his Wikipedia page I glean that Chinua Achebe is a Nigerian poet, professor, and novelist who won the Man Booker prize in 2007. He studied English Literature when in college in Nigeria! He then moved to Lagos, the largest city in Nigeria, and his first novel, the one I’m about to read, was published in 1958. He wrote his novels in English!
★★ Science Fiction: Kindred, by Octavia E. Butler – I had this on my 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge list, so when I ran out of fiction to read at the end of February, I added this in on February 22. I meant to read it for Black History Month last year, but didn’t get to it. So here I am, again in that month, reading it. Actually, my paperback copy was lost most of the year and I was thrilled to re-find it again about a week ago. A sure indication that it is time to read it, and last night I did just that, just before sleeping. I got 50 pages into it. There are 264 pages in the book. It is about a 26 year old woman living in Los Angeles – well, actually, she has just moved to Altadena, a town my father once lived in. She is suddenly transported through time to Maryland in the early 1800’s where she sees a young boy drowning in a river, and saves him. Great start to this amazing book! Can’t wait to read the rest!
★★ Nonfiction: Jesus the King, by Timothy Keller – [PSRC #18. A book about someone with a superpower] – Well, come on! Who could have more SUPERPOWERS than Jesus Christ Himself? Honestly – I wasn’t keen on reading anything about Superman or Spiderman, Wonder Woman or the Hulk or Green Lantern, and then realized: Jesus is the GREATEST HEALER ever known to humankind. I choose Jesus. I have this book on order from Christianbook.com … it should be here soon, along with the study guide/workbook companion volume. I’ve never read anything by this author before.
✓ YA: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han – [PSRC #29. A book with “love” in the title] – I started reading this at the end of January because I ran out of novels to read. So far it has revealed itself to be extremely-YA if you know what I mean. It is contemporary, about three sisters living with a widower father, who seems to be a doctor. The middle daughter, Lara Jean, is the protagonist. I’m still getting to know them so I can’t say much more. The oldest sister leaves to go to college in Scotland, leaving Lara Jean adrift in teenage angst. I have a Kindle copy. The book was chosen for this PSRC prompt by the Ultimate PopSugar Reading Challenge group at Goodreads. I’m just tagging along, to keep time with the group-think there. The video here is the trailer for the movie version created by Netflix.
✓ Art: Folk Art Fusion, by Heather Galler – I love the folk art in this book. FWIW I consider myself a folk artist, and enjoy seeing what others in this art style produce. Every time I study the work of another artist, I learn new techniques I can then apply to my own art, and experiment with. The illustrations in this book (Heather Galler’s artwork) are amazing. I was especially drawn in by her painting of a cat. I’m planning to paint as I go … as I learn from Heather Galler about what makes her art so beautiful.
✓ Art: Journal Bliss, by Violette – I finished Heather Galler’s art book, then needed another to read and be inspired from, so I ordered this from Amazon. I absolutely love this kind of mixed media art and am excited about this book. It has six chapters of hands-on artistic instruction with lots of inspiration tossed in, and then a section on journaling prompts to use in case I need to try something new. I ordered this book on the 8th and even though I have Amazon Prime, the delivery was delayed over and over because of repeated snow storms here in the Northwest. By the time it arrived on the 18th, I was so relieved and happy to see that it came through despite all the trouble truckers and UPS had in getting it here. Snow will do that for you. By comparison, this book looks absolutely springy and cheerful. I’m so glad I ordered and received Violette’s book. Now, check out her cute purple cottage (in the video).
★★ Christian: Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free From Spiritual Strongholds, by Beth Moore – from my 2015 list – I love Beth Moore, and as I travel in the months to come, I’ll seek to go to some of her events, which take place in many locations throughout the USA. I’ve read some of her other books and really want to read this one as it is about prayer. I’ve been seeking to improve my prayer life ever since I became a Christian in 2013, and I own a prayer site. http://prayer-power.com.
✓ Christian: You Were Born For This, by Bruce Wilkinson – I originally purchased this as an audiobook in 2012, about a year and a half before I became a Christian. This book had nothing to do with my decision to give my life to Jesus, but it did give me some good ideas about how to help others. This month I decided to listen to it again. Maybe this time I’ll get more out of it and will understand some things I didn’t understand, when I listened before.
✓ Christian: God’s Chosen Fast, by Arthur Wallis – I picked up this book at a church bookstore about a year ago, and the time has come for me to read it. There are 23 short chapters – the book is only 146 pages, and that’s counting all the appendices. I’m hoping to read one chapter a day, or two if I get motivated. I’m not one to rush through a great book like this. It covers mainly spiritual reasons to fast, but some chapters include physical considerations as well.
★★ Bible: Gospels of Matthew and Mark – I’m still reading the Gospel of Matthew. When I’m done, I’ll move onto the Gospel of Mark. Originally, this year I wanted to read all four gospels and the Torah (first five books, from Genesis through Deuteronomy) but I’m wondering if that’s too ambitious as I’m studying a lot of notes while reading through the chapters. Only time will tell how far I get with this project. At least, I know where I’m going with my Bible study this year.
I am amazed at all the reading progress I made in January and hope to keep up the momentum throughout the year. I’ll be moving from my apartment into a high-roof cargo van in April or May, so I’ll be starting a nomadic existence at that time. I hope that the adventure doesn’t interfere with my reading. I imagine myself driving down the road, listening to audiobooks, and then reading Kindle books all evening.
One thing I haven’t done enough of lately, is writing book reviews and filming them for my Book Lady YouTube channel. That’s something that has to happen as the year rolls on.
My February Reading Diary
February 1 – All I can tell you at this point is that I’m reading To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – I started it just before the end of January. Also, still reading the Gospel of Matthew with notes. I finished the last chapter of How to Pray for Lost Loved Ones, by Dutch Sheets, today. The last chapter was long – but very good. I wrote a review of this book at Goodreads.
February 2 – Today I read the introduction to Praying God’s Word, by Beth Moore, pages 1 through 18. I also read up to chapter 27 (out of 72) in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I’ve read through chapter 6 in God’s Chosen Fast, and pages 1-20 in Folk Art Fusion. This evening I filmed and edited my February TBR video:
February 3 – Church! Where we studied a parable in Luke 12, and the psychology of procrastination. Now… to read………….. [later] …and really, all I read today was a bit from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I need to step up my game and get more reading done tomorrow (Monday).
February 4 – So far today, I’ve read chapter 8 of the Gospel of Matthew, and studied all the notes in my study Bible that go along with it. Also read chapters 7 and 8 in God’s Chosen Fast and about 100 pages in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I published an article about writing on my children’s literature blog: Let Your Writing Talent Grow Naturally. In the evening I read half of chapter 1 in Praying God’s Word.
February 5 – Today I read chapter 9 in the Gospel of Matthew, and chapter 9 in God’s Chosen Fast. I also finished chapter 1 in Praying God’s Word.
February 6 – I finished reading To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Here’s my Goodreads review. It was a bit too YA for me… I think 12-year-olds would like it. I started reading Things Fall Apart … it is amazing to be transported into the heart of an African village over 100 years in the past. I also read Matthew chapter 10.
February 7 – I’ve been reading Things Fall Apart and it is shocking, about life in an African village prior to the arrival of Europeans. I also started a re-listen of an audiobook, You Were Born for This, by Bruce Wilkinson. In the evening I read pages 22-77 of Folk Art Fusion. I also received my copy of Jesus the King, by Timothy Keller, along with the workbook that goes with it.
February 8 – I read Matthew 11 and the first 8 verses of Matthew 12. Read, studied notes, learned. Then I started listening to the Bruce Wilkinson audiobook, You Were Born for This … got through chapters 3, 4, and 5. There are 13 chapters in that book. It is snowing heavily outside and I keep thanking God for that as we’ve had only a few light snows this year and it seems like time for something more. Also, my car is parked under the awning… so glad for that! Yesterday afternoon I got good news – I may not have to move out of my apartment after all. I was planning to leave in May to live in a van, but now it looks like my rent is more affordable and I might stay here and travel in the van while maintaining the apartment! I’ve also been reading more of Things Fall Apart and just finished part one. I’m more than half way through the book. I could try to finish it this evening. [Later] I finished Things Fall Apart … what a shocking and soul-stirring book that is! It tells the story of the end of a primitive civilization and one cannot help but have mixed feelings. Here’s my Goodreads review.
February 9 – I finished Folk Art Fusion… Here’s my Goodreads review.
February 10 – It was Sunday, and I went to church. Before leaving, a heavy snowstorm started, and since I had to go to the store on the way home (with a friend) we had a very cold and snowy time of it. We did our best to buy enough to last us through the week. Anyhow, I feel like I didn’t get much reading done today. I made a little progress on chapter two of Jesus the King, and tried to listen to more of my audiobook version of Before We Were Yours. I’m starting to get adjusted to the book and I’m only in chapter three.
February 13 – I’ve been LOST IN A BOOK… it took me away. I’m talking about Before We Were Yours. It has grabbed me. It won’t let go. However, I’m 2 chapters from the end now. Isn’t that terrible, when a book you love comes to an abrupt halt? In other news – I ordered another art book from Amazon and Prime or no Prime, the delivery has been very slow. On the day it was supposed to be here, it had just shipped and was in Pennsylvania. I live in Idaho. It should be here tomorrow. I’m excited about it – the book I’m talking about is for art journaling: Journal Bliss: Creative Prompts to Unleash Your Inner Eccentric.
February 14 – Late last night I finished reading Before We Were Yours and started reading The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah. Today I reviewed Before We Were Yours at Goodreads. Also, earlier this morning I read Matthew 15 and studied the notes that go with it. [Later] … I also read and studied notes for about 1/2 of Mark 2. I need to read Mark 2 and 3 for the next section of the Jesus the King Workbook. I also finished reading chapter 3 of Jesus the King. I have one more chapter of that book to read before I can complete the next workbook section. Homework!
February 19 – Completely forgot to update here! Well, I finally figured it out. Books are my valentines now. No more men . . . so BOOKS are in. I figured this out because on Valentine’s Day I decided to switch my Audible.com subscription from 1 book per month, to the 24 books paid annually type of subscription. I won’t be billed again until next year on Valentine’s Day. That will be an easy way to remember the billing date… remembering books are my valentines now. Anyhow, this makes good sense economically because when you sub for only one book on a monthly basis it costs over 14 dollars, but the annual/24 books subscription brings the cost down to about $9.50 per audiobook. A great savings for a person who reads a lot. Anyhow… I just got two new art books and am reading one of them – Journal Bliss: Creative Prompts to Unleash Your Inner Eccentric, by Violette. A lovely, colorful mixed media art book. I just finished chapter 4 of Jesus the King (about 1/5 through the book now… a slow reading experience with a workbook and Bible readings in the Gospel of Mark as well.) I’m also reading the Gospel of Matthew – currently, just finished chapter 18. For fiction, I’m reading The Great Alone about a family in Alaska… I’m in chapter 12, I believe… at the beginning of part 2.
February 22 – I just finished reading The Great Alone and reviewed it at Goodreads. Time to go pick out another novel… I can have several non-fiction books going at the same time, but I’ve managed to stay with only one novel… and I’ve read all the fiction I planned for this month. There are still six days left in the month. Hmmm…
February 23 – Yay! I finished reading Violette’s Journal Bliss art book, and started reading Kindred, by Octavia Butler. It is a time-travel novel, and really amazing! Here’s my review of Violette’s art book. I also read four chapters in God’s Chosen Fast and four in The Artist’s Journey.
February 28 – End of month! I spent most of the day yesterday preparing a March Reading Report page! It should be published just after midnight on March 1. Today I finished reading You Were Born for This by Bruce Wilkinson, one of two Christian books I wanted to finish today. Great book! … But really, it is for Christians. I looked at my records and saw I bought the book more than a year before I became a Christian, in 2012, and I wasn’t ready for it then. Hopefully I’m ready now to put some of these ideas into practice. [Later] … I finished reading God’s Chosen Fast at about 9:30pm… I didn’t want these two Christian books to remain unread, going into next month.
My February wrap-up video:
Image credits: The art photos came from Pixabay.com and I’ve added quotes and enhanced the photos in Paint Shop Pro, my graphics program of choice. . . . . the book covers come from Amazon.com. All the videos are from YouTube.