Books I’ve Been Reading

Since I’m trying to read more non-fiction this year and I realized that my fictional reading list was twice as long as my non-fction list, I am working on remedying that.

I actually started this book on my way to Nashville, then decided to wait since it was an e-book and I could easily take it to Indonesia with me. The Diary of Anne Frank was a book I’ve been curious about for a long time. Once I began it, I just wanted to read, read, read, mostly because I knew the ending was horrible and incomplete and I wanted to get to it quickly.

It was so hard for me to comprehend that this was the real and actual diary of a Jewish girl who ends up dying near the end of the war. Reading the diary, I knew that at any time it would just stop, an unfinished story. It’s not like a normal book that can draw to a close. It’s a sudden and blank ending.

Sadly, I can’t recommend this book because there was a lot of stuff I didn’t agree with. This was a girl’s journal though, her diary, her thoughts. She had decided to share her diary with the world after the end of the war, but was planning on re-writing it. Her Dad (the only one who survived the war) did edit it before he published it, but then it was published in it’s entirety after his death. It made WW2 much more real to me and I’m glad I got to experience it through Anne’s eyes.

I bought Go Teen Writers both as an e-book and a hard copy soon after it was released at the end of last year, yet for some reason, I never got around to reading all of it. Sure, I read bits and pieces here and there, but that doesn’t really do it justice. I began reading it from the start a few weeks ago, and finished it up last week.
After getting into it, I could hardly put it down. Goodness people, it was amazing! It’s a book about writing (no, really?) but even though I’m a writer, I don’t always enjoy reading books about my craft. Sometimes it’s like those school papers you have to force your way through. This book was way different though. I really feel like going right back through and reading it again. It’s written by the authors of this inspiring blog. (Stephanie and Jill are amazing, I can never thank you enough!) They also started the Facebook group I take part in.

If you are a writer, no matter what your age, you should really read this book. It will make you laugh, nod your head, realize amazing things about your craft and leave you wanting to write the best book you possibly can… And it will give you the tools to be able to do that. I’m already incorporating a lot of the principles I’ve learned in the edits I’m doing on my Action Kids book.

I brought Corrie ten Boom: Her Life, Her Faith  with me to Indonesia because I’ve been revisiting the Corrie ten Boom books I used to devour when I was younger. I haven’t read any books by or about her for several years, but with our upcoming trip to Holland planed, I wanted to re-study her amazing life. From the time I was 8-16, I read many of her books, some up to three or so times. Therefore, a lot of the stories and thoughts are just reminders, but still wonderful! I think I always get something new from them.

(I also read In My Father’s House when we were driving to Nashville a couple weeks back. I remember being inthralled by it as an eight or nine year old. It was good diving into it again. Y’all should read it, it’s wonderful.)

One of the new things I picked up while reading through Corrie ten Boom: Her Life, Her Faith was when her sister, Nolly, gets sent to a local prison for harboring Jews, Corrie uses principles she gleaned from How to Win Friends and Influence People, which she was in the middle of reading at the time, to get her sister free. That really tickled me since I’m in the process of reading that book right now as well. 🙂 Imagine that, right?

Corrie ten Boom: Her Life, Her Faith wasn’t written by Corrie, instead it was a quick (the book is around 220 pages, not long for such a jam packed life!) overview of her whole life and how unknowingly she was prepared by God for what would be happening to her next, in every stage of her journey.

After I finished Corrie ten Boom: Her Life, Her Faith, I decided to read a book suggested to me by Hosanna, one of my friends who I’m getting to stay with for a month. (Also a kindred spirit when it comes to reading amazing books. 🙂

Castaway Kid…How do I describe it? I don’t want to call it delightful or wonderful because it’s sad and heart-pulling. It’s about a boy who was put in a children’s home at age three, and all the things he had to work through to end up the successful and Christ-centered man he is now. Since this book was written by the (now grown up) boy himself, it makes it so real. It was published in 2012, which means the story isn’t an old one.

It was extremely intriguing and kept my attention the whole time. (I started it last night and finished it this morning. It’s 272 pages long.) He tells his story in such a way that the reader can feel his emotions and glimpse his trials, yet it doesn’t feel like a ‘poor pitiful me’ story in the least bit. Some authors just make me feel as if they are begging for someone to whine to, but instead, I felt like this author knew his story could help others, and therefore he was sharing it. I really recommend this book. (Although with discretion of course, and it’s not for everyone.)

He also knew how to add humor to some of the situations and the story ends on a happy note. I enjoyed it a lot and wouldn’t be surprised if I read it again in the future. 🙂 Thanks, Hosanna, for recommending it to me!

What have y’all been reading recently? 

All About Europe :)

Good morning, people! After I’m done writing this post, I’m going to be (hopefully!) going back and answering all y’alls lovely comments. I’ve enjoyed reading them as they come in on my phone, but I haven’t set aside time (until now) to get caught up on them.

Someone asked a few days ago where all in Europe we’re going to be going… So, I thought that would be a great thing to post about today. Now, these plans are all subject to change, but Lord willing, here’s where we’ll be going. 🙂

Austria
Holland
England
Germany,
France
and Switzerland

I’m really excited about this, folks! We’ve been wanting to go over there for years now (we have friends over there, my dad was stationed in England, which is actually where he became a Christian, and plus… HISTORY!), and it’s great to finally have the trip coming together!

We have a business convention in Austria, which is actually why the trip was planned in the first place. That’s where we will fly to. And we are flying out of England. What happens in-between I’m really not sure about yet, except (hang on tight here, I might just explode with happiness!), except… WEAREPLANNINGONGOINGTOTHEBEJE!!! I can’t even tell y’all how much of a dream come true this is for me. Oh, and in case you needed that slower: We. Are. Planning. On. Going. To. The. Beje. Which is The Hiding Place.

If any of you have read Corrie ten Boom books, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I began devouring her books at around the age of 10 and pretty much continued doing so until I’d read all her books I could find. Most of them twice. Some of them a lot more then that. My oldest sister is even named Betsie after Betsie ten Boom.

If anyone were to ask me growing up where was one of the places I wanted to visit most, I would have probably answered The Hiding Place, or possibly the Swiss Alps (because of this book). Now I just might have the chance to go to both places in one month! EEEEK!

So yes, I could continue gushing, but I think I’ll save that for another day. 🙂 Before I go though, I have some questions for y’all:

What are some of your favorite books (fiction and non-fiction) that either take place in Europe or are about European history? I’d be delighted if y’all could give me some recommendations! I really studied up on WW2 and Pearl Harbor before visiting there last year, and it made it so much more meaningful. I want to try and do the same with Europe.

Also, have y’all been to Europe? What was your favorite place to visit? If you haven’t been there, where would you like to visit?