Happy me – I now have a shed. It was built in mid-June and the shed is my new art studio! I am slowly moving into it, which is more work than I expected. I’ll also make my videos there and store my books there. I already made one video in the shed using my cell phone, so I’m off to a good start, and today I started painting again with acrylic ink.
Word of the Month
Bible Verses of the Month
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
– (Psalm 37:3,4)
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’m reading it.
✓ – I finished reading it. Yay!
⇗ – Still reading at the end of the month.
⇓ – I did not like it or finish it.
∅ – Stalled – I started but didn’t finish.
Here’s what I want to read during July
✓ Fiction: The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
I have a copy of this book. I hope I’ll like it. I’ve become leery of recently published fiction, but I’ll give it a try. Finished: July 5 – Great book! Magical realism. I enjoyed it and read it quickly. Here’s my review. Five stars.
✓ Romantic Suspense: Touch Not the Cat, by Mary Stewart
I’m still involved in reading all the Mary Stewart novels. Finished July 9 – what an amazing novel, for me. I liked it. Here’s my review. Five stars.
★ History: 1776, by David McCullough
I plan to read this for Q3 of Historathon 2023.
★ Christian Nonfiction: The Healing Light, by Agnes Sanford
I’m making good progress on reading this and expect to finish in July.
✓ Christian Nonfiction: Purpose in Prayer, by E.M. Bounds
If you need more motivation to pray, this book might be able to give it to you. Finished: July 1 – What an inspirational book! Now I want to go pray. My review. Five stars.
✓ Adventure Memoir: One Man’s Wilderness, by Richard Louis Proenneke and Sam Keith
A book I couldn’t refuse to read. Finished July 25 – wonderful journal-type memoir of a man who at the age of 51 decided to build a cabin at a remote lake in Alaska. This book is a day-by-day journey through his first 16 months of living there. Here’s my review. Five stars.
☆ Memoir: The Journal of George Fox, by George Fox
This is also for Historathon 2023 Q3, but is special because one of my ancestors is briefly mentioned in it. George Fox was the founder of Quakerism, and my ancestor, Captain William Smith, was one of the original Quakers in England.
★ Novella: Lady Into Fox, by David Garnett
While we’re on the topic of foxes – this book is only 87 pages, so you could call it a novella, or a very long short story. Essentially, a man and his wife are outdoors when she suddenly transforms into a fox. This results in some lifestyle changes.
☆ Classic Fiction: Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray
I didn’t even get started on this last month but it is still on my TBR list for 2023.
✓ Classic Fiction: Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
I’ll be reading this with a group of other Booktubers starting on July 17. Finished July 28 – A sad tale of woe. Here’s my review. Five stars.
✓ Fantasy: The Hollow Hills, by Mary Stewart
Another book I wanted to read in June – but didn’t make any progress on. I’m part of a Goodreads group reading all the Mary Stewart books in the order they were written. This is the next book, and it is book 2 in her Arthurian Saga. 475 pages. Finished July 18 – I liked this better than the first novel in the series. Here’s my review. Four stars.
✓ Christian Historical Fiction: The Gold in These Hills, by Joanne Bischof
Christian fiction for pure entertainment and enjoyment. Finished July 17 – Great Christian fiction set in California. Dual timeline. Loved it. Here’s my review. Five stars.
✓ Christian Historical Fiction: A Shelter of Hope, by Tracie Peterson
Christian fiction = candy for my soul. Finished July 20 – Awesome. Simone was a Harvey Girl. Here’s my review. Five stars.
✓ Cult-Classic Fiction: Ship of the Line, by C.S. Forester
I started this on June 29. Consequently, I’m still reading it. This is our next Hornblower novel – chronologically, #7 out of 11. Finished July 3 – Bloody warmonger! Too much violence!! Here’s my review. Three stars.
★ Christian Historical Romance: The Heart of the Mountains, by Pepper Basham
I’ve been wanting to read more Christian historical fiction for a while now. I meant to read this last month but because I realized it was the second book in a series, I opted to read the first book first.
★ Christian Nonfiction: The Art of Storytelling: Easy Steps to Presenting an Unforgettable Story, by John Walsh
This is a nice book that teaches Christians to be better storytellers.
★ Historical Fiction: Ireland, A Novel, by Frank Delaney
Started this in March to celebrate my Irish heritage. I’ll continue this month. It is long – over 600 pages. It is about a traveling storyteller in Ireland and the stories he tells, and a boy who loves listening to him.
★ Christian Nonfiction: The Strength You Need, by Robert Morgan
Reading this because I need strength.
★ Nonfiction Gardening: Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture, by Rosemary Morrow
I’ve read some of this and will go back to reading it as part of my participation in Booktube’s Sustainability July.
★ Nonfiction Gardening: Permaculture Design: A Step-by-Step Guide, by Aranya
I NEED a step-by-step guide. Believe me, I do. This will be perused for Sustainability July.
★ Nonfiction Gardening: The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!, edited by Carleen Madigan
I’d love to have a backyard homestead garden. I’m probably going to skip the animal husbandry part of this book. Another Sustainability July reading intention – but I don’t expect to finish the book this month.
My July 2023 Reading Diary
July 1 – Another month begins. I want to finish at least eight books this month. I’m developing a nice routine for my reading this summer. In the early mornings I go out to water my plants. Then I have my tea or coffee, and go to my shed for Bible study. Early morning is the best time for me to enjoy the shed. Then if it isn’t too hot already I can do some painting there on my workbench, which I like a lot. I just painted it with dark walnut Verathane and it looks good to me. I still need to get the right chairs and have wasted some money getting the wrong ones, sorry to say. In the afternoons when it is too hot to work in the art studio shed I come back to the trailer where there’s air conditioning. It is here that I’m doing most of my reading aside from morning Bible study. It is so good to get most of my stuff out of the trailer and into the shed. This makes the trailer much more comfortable to live in. I’ve been living in this trailer about two and a half years at this point. I do have hope of a home being built on my property within the next year or two.
Finished my first book of the month: Purpose in Prayer by E.M. Bounds. So inspirational… My review. Five stars.
July 3 – I finished reading Ship of the Line, book 7 out of 11 in the Hornblower series. Not my favorite. Too much war, too much death. Sad. Here’s my review. Three stars.
July 4 – Happy Independence Day!
July 5 – I finished reading The Midnight Library. Loved it. Here’s my review. Five stars.
July 7 – I’m now reading my Mary Stewart novel, Touch Not the Cat. It is strange and paranormal! I’m not used to that from Mary Stewart. Also, today I got my paperback copy of 1776 by David McCullough – and I’ve read the first few pages. I love his writing – he makes history so interesting!
July 9 – I regret to inform you that I’ve finished reading Touch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart. Now I’m faced with the dilemma of having to choose another audiobook to listen to. I do love the Mary Stewart romantic suspense novels, but can’t read them all the time. ::sigh:: Here’s my review. Five stars. I guess I’ll read The Hollow Hills – it is one of her Merlin/King Arthur books… and I didn’t like the first in the series completely. It was a little too violent for me.
July 17 – I’m still struggling through The Hollow Hills – it is readable but male-centric and I get really tired of books with mostly-male characters very quickly. So I found another book to read and finished it in only two days: The Gold In These Hills by Joanne Bischof. This is Christian fiction written for women with a female main character and I loved it. It is set in California which is a BIG PLUS for me. Here’s my review. Five stars.
July 18 – Happy to say I finished reading The Hollow Hills, Book 2 in The Arthurian Saga by Mary Stewart. Some people love this series and one reviewer claimed to have read it annually for many years. I am so NOT like that. Oh my goodness.. I would never read the same book over and over for years but I’ve seen others say this about other novels… for example, Pride and Prejudice. I much prefer to read something I’ve never read before. Anyhow, I finished The Hollow Hills and Arthur got his sword and I’m done with it… except that there’s one more novel in this series. Here’s my review. Four stars.
July 20 – I’ve got to stop reading the Christian fiction for a few days. ::sob:: … Finished A Shelter of Hope by Tracie Peterson. Here’s my review. Five stars.
July 23 – A video! Created this morning and published this afternoon.
July 24 – Today’s video was about sewing and crochet.
July 25 – Today’s video is about sustainability and permaculture.
Today I finished another audiobook – wonderful journal of a man living alone in Alaska. Here’s my review. Five stars.
Video published today:
July 28 – I finished reading Frankenstein! I’ll never have to read that one again! Here’s my review. Five stars.
Video published today:
July 29 – I published a video book review about One Man’s Wilderness.
July 30 – I watched quite a few videos where people made comments about Booktubers who count their books and try to read more and race to read a lot of them. Mea culpa. That’s me. So I decided to make this heart-to-heart response video.
July 31 – I made a video about Frankenstein and the woman who wrote it.
This is my end-of-month reading wrapup video.