October = lower temperatures, falling leaves, and more rain. I’m ready. I have plenty of books to read and sweaters to wear. Somehow we’ll make this work.
Word of the Month
Bible Verse of the Month
Now godliness with contentment is great gain.”
– 1 Timothy 6:6
Poem of the Month
“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.”
— Kahlil Gibran
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 have another blog updated frequently with a to-do list, gratitudes and a reading list: Linda’s Life
★ – 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.
My October reading goals:
1. I’ll be focusing only on the 2022 Visual Theology Christian Reading Challenge – I have 20 more books to read for this annual challenge.
2. Inktober. I’ll be doing a lot of art using ink. Right now I’m using Daler-Rowney fluorescent acrylic inks, as in the image above. I’ll also be using Faber-Castell pens which have waterproof India ink in them.
3. I have a buddy-read this month!
★ Biography: Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery, by Eric Metaxas
William Wilberforce! This amazing heroic man is a very-distant relative of mine! I need to read this book. He was born into the Wilberfoss family in Hull, England. His grandfather changed the name to Wilberforce for his branch of the family tree. His grandfather was born in 1690, only a few years after my 6x great-grandfather, William Wilberfoss Smith, (son of Jane Wilberfoss) left Hull, England to immigrate to America on a ship with William Penn. Hull is also where William Wilberforce was born, though his birth wasn’t until nearly 100 years after my Wilberfoss ancestor left the area. Therefore I say, he’s a distant relative, and not a direct relative. However, we must share a bit of the Wilberfoss DNA. I’m very happy about this. A very distant relative of mine was the driving force behind eliminating the terrible slave trade in England, and was an inspiration to Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Jefferson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Byron, George Eliot, Henry David Thoreau, John Greenleaf Whittier, William Lloyd Garrison, and even Samuel Morse.
Anyhow – this is seriously the only proof I have that I am related to him in any way. I did not buy into the Ancestry.com database for the UK so I don’t know exactly how Jane Wilberfoss was related to William Wilberfoss/Wilberforce (the grandfather). I do know they were both born and living in Hull, England at the same time.
On the left: the Wilberfoss section of my family tree at Ancestry.com, and on the right: page 1 of the book, Amazing Grace, by Eric Metaxas, which explains how the Wilberfoss name was changed to Wilberforce.
You might want to ask me why this is important. I don’t suppose it really is, but it makes me feel good to know I’m somehow related to someone who used his life to make an extremely important and positive difference in the world.
✓ Christian Nonfiction: Holy Transformation: What It Takes for God to Make a Difference in You, by Chip Ingraham
I’m buddy-reading this with a Booktube friend. Started reading 10/3/22. There are 12 chapters and I’m committed to one chapter daily.
Update: October 26 – I couldn’t manage to keep to one chapter a day with this book. It was a little bit too theologically heavy at times for that. I’m not the fastest reader ever, that is for sure, but I stumbled on, persevering, and finished today not long after midnight. Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
☆ Christian Nonfiction: Braving the Thin Places: Celtic Wisdom to Create a Space for Grace, by Julianne Stanz
I’m reading this book for the publisher, via NetGalley. I’m so glad I found it there, as I love learning more about Celtic heritage, especially in relation to Christianity. I don’t yet know how I’ll fit it into my VT Reading Challenge list.
☆ Nonfiction: How to Write Like a Writer: A Sharp and Subversive Guide to Ignoring Inhibitions, Inviting Inspiration, and Finding Your True Voice, by Thomas C. Foster
I’m reading this thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. I’m hoping that reading another book about writing will help inspire me to write more.
☆ Christian Fiction: The Heart of the Mountains, by Pepper Basham
Wonderful… this is a Goodreads Giveaways gift from the publisher. I’m so excited to be able to read it. This kind of historical fiction is the Christian fiction I love best. It is set in 1919 in a mountain town… not sure which state. Maybe Kentucky or Tennessee? North Carolina? I just don’t know yet. So far, great story. I’ve read most of chapter one.
☆ Bible Study: The Book of Romans Bible Study Journal, by Darlene Schacht
I’m still planning to finish reading this for VT Reading Challenge prompt #23, “A book about a book of the Bible.”
✓ Romantic Suspense: My Brother Michael, by Mary Stewart
I’m reading the Mary Stewart novels along with a group on Goodreads. Great fun. I’m close to the end now, as October begins.
Update: October 1 – I finished listening to this awesome cult-classic Mary Stewart romantic suspense adventure mystery. Here’s my review at Goodreads! Four stars. I took away one star for an ending that dismayed me. The rest of the story was fine.
✓ Romantic Suspense: The Ivy Tree, by Mary Stewart
This is the October book for my Mary Stewart Goodreads group.
Update: October 16 – I very much enjoyed this Mary Stewart novel with very flawed characters in an improbable situation. Mary Stewart’s descriptions are amazing! Cult-classic! Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars – because of the description of Rowan the horse! The plot, the characters … well, they kept my attention. Tommy the cat and her seven kittens were awesome too. Big plus for the archeologist studying Roman ruins!
✓ Juvenile Classic Fiction: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Well, here we go. This is a book I wanted to read when I was a child, but I never got around to it. Fast forward to 2022 and I’m doing a reading challenge with a prompt to read a book you have always wanted to read. Fortunately I have an audiobook copy. I also just downloaded a free Kindle copy from Amazon.
Update – October 9 – Finished and reviewed at Goodreads! Nice story. It would be appropriate for tweens and teens. Four stars.
✓ Fiction: Britt-Marie Was Here, by Fredrik Backman
I have an audiobook version borrowed from Overdrive.
Update – October 21 – Britt-Marie is quite a strange character. She’s remarkably brittle and inflexible! Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
✓ Motivational Nonfiction: Art Matters, by Neil Gaiman
This was short. I spent the afternoon listening to the audiobook version but missed out on the illustrations. I now have a hardback version in my Amazon shopping cart. It is something like a picture book for adults on the topics of creativity and reading. Finished October 21. Here’s my review. Three stars. I may give more stars after reading the physical book.
★ Christian Nonfiction: The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis
This has been on my TBR list for a long time, and now seems like a good time to audio-read it. I also have a paperback version out in my cargo trailer that I may go get if the audio doesn’t do it for me.
✓ Christian Nonfiction: One Simple Act, by Debbie Macomber
I’m reading this for a VT Reading Challenge prompt, to read a book about generosity.
Update – October 25 – Interesting short book that covers many aspects of generosity – not only giving of gifts or money, but also listening, praying for people, hospitality and care giving. Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
★ Christian Nonfiction: Knowing God, by J.I.Packer
I’m reading this for the VT Reading Challenge, of course. It was recommended in that other book I just read, Holy Transformation. I don’t expect it to finish it in October. The chapters are actually essays written as magazine articles for The Evangelical Quarterly starting in the 1960’s.
★ Christian Fiction: The Story Keeper, by Lisa Wingate
This is the second full-length novel in the Carolina Heirlooms series. There were also a couple of novellas. I’ve enjoyed every novel and novella in this series and plan to read the rest.
My October 2022 Reading Diary
October 1 – Starting the month off strong… grateful for cooler weather and less fear of forest fires. I’ve discovered I may have something called Avoidant Personality Disorder. I haven’t been diagnosed, but everything I’ve learned about it resonates. From the Cleveland Cinic website: “People with avoidant personality disorder have chronic feelings of inadequacy and are highly sensitive to being negatively judged by others. Though they would like to interact with others, they tend to avoid social interaction due to the intense fear of being rejected by others.” I came to this discovery while pondering why it is that I’ve always been extremely terrified to look for work, even though I’m living in poverty. Of course this has had a huge impact on my life. At this point I’m just not willing to put myself out there for more abuse and rejection. I’m very happy being alone in my little trailer where I stay busy painting and reading, and where I am never bored.
Books I’m reading today:
Physical: Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas
Audio: My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart
Here’s my first ink painting for Inktober… I used a Faber-Castell India Ink pen and Daler-Rowney acrylic inks.
The prompt for today was “gargoyle” but I didn’t want to paint an ugly gargoyle… so I decided to paint an angel instead. I call this “Angel in the City” . . . I know I could have done better but I’m pretty happy with all that I managed to do. Maybe by doing an ink drawing every day during October I’ll gain mastery in making my art more like I’d like for it to be – which in this case would include a bit of perspective and better figure drawing. But for today, this is just fine.
October 2 – Sunday! This morning I’m listening to Pastor Skip at Calvary Chapel Albuquerque.
Last night I finished listening to My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart. Here’s my review. Four stars.
New audiobook to listen to: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin. This is for my 2022 VT Reading Challenge prompt number 98 = a book you have always wanted to read. It was hard to choose a book for this prompt but eventually I remembered that I wanted to read this book when I was a child, and I never did. Thanks to Audible.com – I was able to get a free audio copy. I’m not 100% loving it so far. I listened to the first chapter last night. The reader has a somewhat harsh voice – not exactly what I wanted to listen to right before sleeping, but I hope to get through a few chapters each day (or night). Chapter one revealed Rebecca to be a very talkative and opinionated little girl. I hope I can learn to like her.
Inktober 2 – Great fun… I’m making a picture of a ringtail cat. The prompt today is “scurry” and I didn’t want to draw a mouse. I don’t like mice for obvious reasons!!!!!!!!! But the ringtail is coming along well. I’ve done the pen and ink drawing and painted the background green. Good result so far for an animal drawing when I’m not used to doing them. Beginner’s work, but still, so rewarding when I know I have so much left to learn.
Here’s the finished sketch for Inktober 2, “Scurry” . . .
October 3 – Today I started reading Holy Transformation by Chip Ingram. . . and my refrigerator isn’t working right!
Inktober 3 – The prompt for today was “bat” . . . so I drew/painted 5 of them with ink. I’ve never wanted to draw a bat before, but now, in case it ever comes up again, I know how.
October 4 – I’m enjoying my audiobook version of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm!
Inktober 4 – Well, here it is. My prompt today is “scallop.”
October 5 – I read chapter 2 of Holy Transformation last night and want to read chapter 3 tonight. I’m also still listening to Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm regularly.
Inktober 5 – The Inktober official prompt for today is FLAME and it brought on a need to draw out and paint (with ink) how I feel about the fire that destroyed my home 2 years ago.
October 9 – I’m three days behind on my Inktober challenge – but that’s okay. I don’t want to push myself too hard, and there is at least one prompt this year I don’t want to do. There are a lot of darkness-oriented artists out there doing this, and I don’t celebrate the darkness of October 31 and don’t want to be drawn into it through an art challenge or anything else. In other words, as a Christian I absolutely refuse to observe Halloween or anything associated with it. Our civilization has taken this to extreme depths of depravity. Anyhow, this ink painting took me three days to finish! The prompt was “bouquet” and I call this “Bouquet at Night.”
I’m nearly done audio-reading Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and my next audio adventure will be The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart.
My reveiw of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Four stars.
October 14 – Indeed… nearly mid-month! I’m deeply involved in reading Holy Transformation and The Ivy Tree.
Inktober – I’ve lost track of the days and skipped a few days. Today I’m posting an ink drawing that came from the prompt “trip.”
October 16 – I finished reading The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart. Loved it. Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
Next audiobook: Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
October 21 – The rain is about to start, and it is expected to continue most of the week. Great opportunity to stay inside and read! I just finished listening to an audio copy of Britt-Marie Was Here. Loved it. Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
October 22 – I audio-read Art Matters by Neil Gaiman yesterday afternoon. It was short. Here’s my review. Three stars. I’m planning to buy a physical copy. My next audio-read is The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.
October 24 – Art update! I fell behind on the Inktober ink creations and then took a week off to relax and regroup. More recently, I’ve created a couple of watercolor paintings in my little Winsor-Newton sketchbook, using Winsor-Newton pan paints. I’m doing these during sermons on Sunday. Painting helps me focus on the sermon. I have to be doing something!
On the left, “The Neighbors” – and on the right, “Growth.”
Physical: Holy Transformation – last chapter
Audio: One Simple Act – a nonfiction book on generosity by Debbie Macomber, chapter three
Physical: How to Study Your Bible, by Kay Arthur and others… now on page 45
Physical and Audio together: The Screwtape Letters, by CS Lewis – starting chapter five
Life goes on and I am happy on this rainy day.
October 25 – I enjoyed Debbie Macomber’s book about generosity in its many aspects. She’s a writer with a big heart. Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
Next audiobook: Knowing God, by JI Packer.
October 26 – Will miracles never cease? I finally finished reading Holy Transformation in the very early morning hours just after midnight. Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
October 27 – I always have to have a good book to go to bed with, to listen to as I fall asleep. Knowing God wasn’t right for that purpose. I want to be wide awake and keeping notes as I listen to it. So instead I chose to listen to The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate at bedtime. The story is so good, however, I also listened to it while painting today, and while doing housework. I really want to get back to that story – it is so interesting! I will listen to Knowing God too – reading it is definitely in my plan for finishing the 2022 VT Christian Reading Challenge.