Lovely springtime – my favorite season! I’m working on gardening projects, celebrating warmer days, and reading (as usual).
Word of the Month
Poem of the Month
Aftermath of a Forest Fire
My garden lives
mainly in my imagination.
My land is full of weeds,
with signs of earlier cultivation.
I submit my land to God,
trusting in His inspiration.
One small step at a time
is all I can take now
So I work on one corner
and trust the Lord for the others.
Bible Verse of the Month
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
Quote of the Month
“The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,–
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.”
–from a poem by Dorothy Frances Gurney
This month’s reading diary is at the bottom of this page, after the book list.
My Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/lindajm
☆ – I own the book and am ready to read.
★ – I’m reading it.
✓ – I finished reading it. Yay!
⇗ – Still reading at the end of the month.
DNF – I did not like it or finish it.
∅ – Stalled – I started but didn’t finish.
↓ – I didn’t even start. Complete fail!
My Personal Challenge This Month
My April reading goals are to continue to audio-read the sixteen romantic suspense novels of Mary Stewart, to make progress in completing the 2022 VT Christian Reading Challenge, and to read at least one children’s literature novel.
A few book choices for this month
✓ Poetry: Stanyan Street and Other Sorrows, by Rod McKuen
Poetry for the soul. I’m rereading this poetry book I owned and often read during my teen years in the 1960’s. … later … I finished this book of poetic wanderings in free verse on April 1. This book inspired my writing when I was a teenager and it was nice to revisit this icon of delightful writing as an adult. Seriously, the poetry was mainly about his memories that could not go to sleep. my review – ★★★★★
✓ Christian Memoir: Dorie: The Girl Nobody Loved, by Doris Van Stone
This book is practically reading itself. Wonderful testimony of a girl who grew up in Oakland, CA (where I was born and where I lived as an adult for a few years). Later – I finished reading this on April 7. Impactful. my review – ★★★★★
Dorie Van Stone went home to be with Jesus in 2019… this is a video of her in 2010.
★ Nonfiction: The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
I have a copy of this book, therefore I must read it. Great bonus, of course, is that it is about books – even if it is about burning books – and I know a lot about burning books. It is a California book, so that’s a bonus too. I’ve had this on my TBR list since the first of the year and really want to get to it this month, so I’m putting it at the top of the list for April.
★ Academic Sociology: Hobos, Hustlers and Backsliders: Homeless in San Francisco, by Teresa Gowan
I’m still reading this and about 1/3 through it at the beginning of April. I needed to read a book about a current societal issue for the VT Christian Reading Challenge. I chose this because I care about the homeless crisis and because I used to live in San Francisco and care about what goes on there.
✓ Christian: The Hour That Changes the World: A Practical Plan for Personal Prayer, by Dick Eastman
As of the beginning of April I’m about halfway through this book. Someone mentioned this book in one of my Christian creativity groups on Facebook, and I bought it. Then I felt compelled to read it right away. Life is good. Later – finished April 6. Here’s my review. Four stars.
✓ Romantic Suspense: Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart
Another book by Mary Stewart… my plan is to read all sixteen of her romantic suspense books during the next year or two, starting with the first. This was her first published novel, released in 1955 when I was three years old. Later – I finished this on April 8 in the early morning hours. my review – Five stars
DNF Christian Family Saga: Truly, Madly, Deeply, by Karen Kingsbury
This is the sixth book in the Baxter Family series but I’m reading it anyway as it is the only Karen Kingsbury novel my local tiny library had on hand. This is my first ever experience reading a novel by this author, and so far I can tell you it is without a doubt Christian. It starts with two lovebird Christian teenagers on a beach in Thailand while with the girl’s parents on a missions trip. Later – I had to DNF this after seven chapters because it is too depressing for me right now. There was a sick teenager, other sicknesses and deaths of family members discussed, doctor appointments, scans, a 9/11 memorial and many reminiscences about that. It was just too much for me as I’m already on the edge of depression over other matters (no home right now except a borrowed travel trailer after my home burned in a forest fire in 2020) and so, I put this in the DNF category after 7 chapters. I do want to read a Karen Kingsbury novel, but not this one. 4/10/22. 2 stars and yes, I did leave a review on Goodreads.
✓ Christian Fiction: Candle in the Darkness, by Lynn Austin
First book in The Refiner’s Fire – a series of three novels about young women living through the Civil War. I’m reading this first book so I can get to the second. So far (five chapters in) it is about a young woman who was raised in a wealthy family in Richmond, Virginia with slaves providing household labor. She is appalled as she gets older and realizes how unjustly these slaves are treated. They have become her primary friends and caretakers as her parents normally neglect her. Later – it was unputdownable and I finished it already on April 12. My review – Five stars.
✓ Christian Fiction: Fire By Night, by Lynn Austin
Book two in The Refiner’s Fire, a series about The Civil War. Later – finished this on April 17. Here’s my review. Five stars. I’m loving this series!!
✓ Christian Fiction: A Light to My Path, by Lynn Austin
Book three in The Refiner’s Fire, a series about The Civil War. – Later – wow, great series. Very readable and even unputdownable. I sailed throught the entire series this month. I’m so glad I’ve discovered Lynn Austin and will be reading more of her fiction. my review – Five stars.
✓ Christian Fiction: The Bookseller’s Promise, by Beth Wiseman
So excited – this is my first time to read an Amish romance. So far, it is a happy reading experience. I like the writing style. Later – I finished reading this on April 26. Loved it. This is a very bookish book! I plan to read more Beth Wiseman novels. Here’s my Goodreads Review. Five stars.
★ Naturalist Memoir: The High Sierra: A Love Story, by Kim Stanley Robinson
Hmmm… I wonder what this is about. Well, if it has anything to do with the high Sierras, I want to read it. I have the audiobook version.
★ Christian Mystery/Suspense: Concrete Evidence, by DiAnn Mills
I’m just starting this at the end of the month. This will be my first time to read a Christian mystery/suspense/thriller type of book.
✓ Christian: Ragged: Spiritual Disciplines for the Spiritually Exhausted, by Gretchen Ronnevik
I’m reading this for the Christian reading challenge I’m doing this year. – Finished reading this on April 27. my review – Five stars.
★ Christian Memoir: The Ambassador’s Call: True Stories, Allegories & Miraculous Memoirs, by Gregory Addie
This author mentioned his book in a comment on YouTube. I looked for it on Amazon, read the sample chapter, and decided I had to buy it.
∅ Christian: Enough: Discovering Joy through Simplicity and Generosity, by Adam Hamilton
I bought this in 2018 when I was living in Idaho. It survived the 2020 fire. I hope to read it this month. UPDATE – put it on hold and didn’t finish.
✓ Christian: A Tale of Three Kings: A Study in Brokenness, by Gene Edwards
I’ve been feeling so broken lately, I think this is a good time to read this. A pastor recommended it. – Later – I finished this book on April 22. my review – three stars
★ Nonfiction: Forests, Fires, and Wild Things, by Bob Gray
I lost my copy of this book in the forest fire in 2020, but found another copy in the local library. This time I’ll actually read it. It is the memoir of a man working for the forest service in Northern California.
✓ Writing: Walking on Water, by Madeline L’Engle
A book for Christian writers and artists. – Finished May 5. This is more about the writer’s philosophy than about any practical help for writers. my review – four stars.
★ Juvenile Literature: Gay Neck: The Story of a Pigeon, by Dhan Gopal Mukerji
This won the Newbery Medal in 1928. The title refers to the iridescent colors shining in the neck feathers of his pigeon.
Like this pigeon:
★ Memoir: Clara’s Journal: And the Story of Two Pandemics, by Vickie Oddino
I’m doing a 50 state challenge at Goodreads and am in South Dakota this month… so I found this book to tell me more about the state. Great fun – learning about other states.
✓ Christian: Theology Simplified, by Bob Yandian
This small book helps define and explain eight words used in Christian theology: redemption, election, justification, glorification, predestination, propitiation, sanctification and reconciliation. Not in that order. I finished reading it on April 26. my review – Four stars.
★ Christian Fiction: Under the Tulip Tree, by Michelle Shocklee
Just starting this at the end of the month, via audiobook. The reader has a nice Southern accent. The story takes place in Tennessee in 1929.
Art: I created the art with techniques taught in a mixed media class I’m in this year… the teacher is Joanne Sharpe. She teaches whimsical art in online classes.
My April 2022 Reading Diary
April 1 – April Fool’s Day… or as I call it, Avoid People Day. Safety is paramount. Don’t be fooled. I’m reading Walking on Water by Madeline L’Engle among other books. Today I finished rereading a short book of free-verse poetry by Rod McKuen: Stanyan Street and Other Sorrows. my review 5 stars
April 2 – I spent the day with cameras! First I joined in on a Zoom meeting with some people I care for a lot. Second, I created a new video for my Booktube channel.
April 3 – God has been so good to me.
April 5 – I’m enjoying my Goodreads group for reading the romantic suspense novels of Mary Stewart. It is fun to look for locations and history that are mentioned in the novel we’re currently reading, Madam Will You Talk?, Mary Stewart’s first published novel. I’m halfway through it now. Love it!
April 6 – Today I finished reading The Hour That Changes the World, a great book about prayer. Four stars.
April 7 – I finished reading Dorie: The Girl Nobody Loved, by Doris Van Stone. This is a wonderful memoir and Christian testimony. my review – ★★★★★
April 8 – In the early morning hours I finished reading Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart. It was first published in 1955. my review – ★★★★★
April 10 – I DNF’ed Truly, Deeply, Madly after seven chapters. Too depressing! Medical appointments and testing, sicknesses, and 9/11 memories – no thanks… my review – 2 stars. I do still want to read a Karen Kingsbury book, but not this one.
April 12 – I finished listening to the audiobook version of Candle in the Darkenss, by Lynn Austin. I will be reading the second book in the series next. My review – Five stars.
April 13 – There are four books that have been on my TBR list since the beginning of January. Last night I decided there’s no way I can keep procrastinating, so I read a little from each book. I got them started. They are:
Enough: Discovering Joy through Simplicity and Generosity, by Adam Hamilton
The Ambassador’s Call, by Gregory Addie
A Tale of Three Kings, by Gene Edwards
The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
April 17 – I finished reading Fire By Night by Lynn Austin. I’m loving this series about the Civil War. my review. Five stars.
April 22 – I finished reading A Tale of Three Kings, by Gene Edwards. A classic, you might say. Not my favorite writing style but definitely a lesson to learn from. my review – Three stars. I also finished reading A Light To My Path, the third novel in the Refiner’s Fire series set during the Civil War. Loved the entire 3-novel series. my review – Five stars.
April 26 – I finished reading The Bookseller’s Promise by Beth Wiseman. Here’s my Goodreads Review. Five stars. This was my first experience reading an Amish romance novel, and I liked it! Today I also finished reading Theology Simplified by Bob Yandian – a book of theological definitions. my review – Four stars.
April 27 – Happy Day… I finished reading Ragged: Spiritual Disciplines for the Spiritually Exhausted, by Gretchen Ronnevik. I appreciate the love with which she wrote her book. my review – Five stars.