January 24, 2015

Why Your Weirdness is Wonderful

I thought this was a unique and interesting take on how being the odd one out is actually the most awesome thing ever.

I did not know this was a Christian-based book when I requested it from NetGalley, but it was not overpowering.  There is a lot about God, but there is also a lot that doesn't mention God at all.  It is sprinkled throughout to say, You are totally loved and adored and your quirks are actually God handing you some pretty incredible strengths.  Quirks as strengths?  I thought they were weaknesses!  

Wallin gives steps on how to stop thinking of our weird quirks as weaknesses and start realizing they are strengths.  She even says how "overthinking" (admittedly a quality of mine, too) can actually be turned into a strength once you start thinking of it as "full thinking".  She says, 

"Thought of one way, full thinking is a hurtful quality; thought of from God's viewpoint, it's a gift that helps others understand more about god, the world, and themselves. It is not in spite of her thinking but because she is able to mull over ideas well that God empowers her with insight, humor, and hope that the world needs.  Put simply, when God's heart powers her thinking or any of her other quirks, peoples' lives get uncaged."

That is a pretty awesome viewpoint.  I have always considered (and been told) that thinking too much was a weakness.  I did not know how to keep it from spiraling out of control, either.  But when I changed the way I thought about it, it became a positive force in my life.  I am still working on it, but it is helping me to realize potential in myself that had long lay dormant.  This is the same skill that helps me to be so empathetic and that helps me to find the right words to comfort others.  It is the same skill that helped me work with children and their families and figure out how best to reach each child.  Turned around, you realize it doesn't have to be a weakness at all.  

So basically, Wallin is saying:
Do not fall into the trap of believing that you are not awesome.  When God was handing out aspects of his image to each of us, he didn't make any duds, he didn't say, 'Oh, this one I'm just going to make a bunch of mistakes on.'  If we are all designed in God's image, then we all have aspects that God has, too.  The trick is to look at our weirdness as wonderful instead of as embarrassing or faulty.  God will use our perfectionism, our ability to make others laugh, our way with writing, our love of children, our positions of power, our egos or our insecurities, our desire to fit in or to stand out- he can use these if we allow him to instead of trying to suppress these quirks in ourselves.  

"We've got to get curious, get moving, and get digging in order to find the treasures in ourselves."

January 23, 2015

Blogger Shout-Outs #22 - Blogging Styles, Tracy Chevalier, and Goodnight Moon

This week I found, once again, tons of good posts!
You all blow my mind!

What shout-outs are you going to check out?


1. Ti's review of Colum McCann's TransAtlantic.

2. Leah's love letter to The Great Gatsby.

3. Luanne's review of John Vaillant's The Jaguar Children.

4. April's rant on the offensiveness of Adam by Ariel Schrag

5. Caro's review of Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own by Kate Bolick @ A Girl That Likes Books.

6. Review of The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar @ Bermudaonion's Weblog.

7. Sarah's review of City of Liars & Thieves by Eve Karlin.

8. Lit Nerd's review of Tracy Chevalier's Burning Bright.

9. Michelle's review of The Pearl That Broke It's Shell by Nadia Hashimi @ That's What She Read.


1. All My Issues with the "Goodnight Moon" Bedroom @ The Ugly Volvo - pretty funny take on what you notice about children's books after you've read them 100 times.

2. Because there can never be enough posts on pointers for authors sending bloggers review requests, here is one from Traveling with T.  The PDF madness has to stop, I agree!

3. Savvy Working Gal discusses Reading to Understand Life's Transitions, as a guest on Mom's Small Victories.

4. In which Tanya Patrice respectfully disagrees with the notion Audiobooks should not be counted as Books Read.  You can see my opinion in her comments, as well.

5. Florinda re-iterates that your blogging style is a personal choice.



1. The Estella Society is having a Valentine's Readalong of Geek Love!

2. A Bookish Girl is having a readalong for Death Comes to Pemberley.


1. Jennifer of The Relentless Reader is having a four-book ARC Giveaway.

2. Anita discusses ARC Overload and has a giveaway for The Secret of Magic.

3. Silver's Reviews is giving away a copy of Lost and Found in Prague by Kelly Jones.

appetite for violets book cover

4. Vera is giving away a copy of An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey, as well as a copy of In His Keeping by Maya Banks.

5. Review and Giveaway of My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga @ The Midnight's Garden.

6. Emma @ Words and Peace is giving away Journeys Through France and Life: A Memoir of Discovery by Glenda de Vaney.


7. Shelf Addiction is turning 3! In celebration, Tamara is giving away a $30 Amazon Gift Card.

8. A Bookworm's World has 2 giveaways - Plus One by Christopher Noxon, and Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm.

In no particular order

Bermudaonion (Kathy)   Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves)
Irene McKenna   Tanya Patrice
Anita LeBeau   Jennifer Hartling
Tanya M.   Athira/Aths
Leah @ Books Speak Volumes   Belle Wong
Caro G.   Ryan
Caspette   Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired
Lisa Sheppard   Michelle @ That's What She Read
Tasha B.   Shannon @ River City Reading
Violet Crush   Emma @ Words and Peace
Tif Talks Books   Heidi
Freda Mans   Fictional 100/Lucy


The top six (6) winners at the end of the year will receive bookish swag!

1. Belle Wong
2. Irene McKenna
3. Bermudaonion (Kathy)
4. Tasha B.
5. Freda Mans
6. Anita LeBeau
7. Ryan

YOU! Could be on this list and win for 2015!
Leave comments, win prizes as thanks!

January 22, 2015

What Do You Think?: Story Must-Haves

What are your story "must-haves"?

Personally, mine are twofold.  First, I need to be pulled into the world of the story I am reading.  Whether it is Hogwarts, the Roaring 20s, or a bed in breakfast in a sleepy coastal town in Maine, I need to feel transported there.  I need to feel in the midst of what’s going on. 
Secondly, I need to care about the characters.  Whether they are funny, or clever, or witty, or compassionate, or mourning, or the underdog, I need to care about what happens to them.  If I don’t care whether the protagonist has something happy happen to them or is shot in the face, there is a serious disconnect!
I really like the plot to move at a pretty good clip, but if I have these other two elements, I will be okay with it taking a little longer to get the story going.

What about you?  Share in the comments!

January 20, 2015

Cover Discover: Words on Top of People

 Cover Discover is a feature about books that share similar features on their covers, both frontlist and backlist, and then there is a poll on which covers are your favorites!  The poll is at the bottom of the post and next week I will have the results from the poll!

Here are the results from last week's poll for Flowers.
Favorite Overall Group: FIRST GROUP
Favorite Individual Book Cover
TIE! Random Acts of Kindness by Lisa Verge Higgins and Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
Second Place
TIE AGAIN! Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris and Forget-Me-Nots by Amy Brecount White

This week: Words on Top of People

I kind of love there's so many that it's an actual thing.


January 19, 2015

What I'm Reading This Week - 1.19.15

This week I read a lot a lot a lot.  

And I'm reading a lot a lot a lot of books at the same time.  I always read at least 5-6 but right now whoosh so many.  I just can't wait to start things and I get too excited to wait.  I'm like a kid sometimes - where is my ability to wait?  

I finished reading The Pearl this week and I also read a cute little book from the library.  I started a couple of new review books that are going really well and I read a lot in all of my other books I have going.  

At the bottom I added a lot of the review books I need to start next.  Are you reviewing any of them as well?  Or have reviewed?

Here is how my week's been----


The Pearl by John Steinbeck
*For The Classics Club*
Pages Read This Week: 70
Thoughts: I still haven't figured out my thoughts on this one.  The ending was just..so...
Yeah, I can't put it into words yet.


Haiku U: From Aristotle to Zola, 100 Great Books in 17 Syllables by David M. Bader
*For Fun from the Library*
Pages Read: Not counting since it was 3 lines a page
Thoughts: This book was a little unbalanced, but mostly laugh out loud funny.  Review to come because it's too fun not to share!

House of Odd by Dean Koontz
*Just Because/Library Loot*
Pages Read: 216
Thoughts: Creepy and I liked the way the mystery was solved, but the cell phone bit was lame.

Stained by Ella James
*Just for Fun*
Read This Week: 50-100%
Pages Read: 127
Thoughts: Stained was one of those books where I just had to know how it ended and raced toward it, but once I found out the conclusion, I didn't much care.  I don't know what that means - did I enjoy it or not?


Mindspeak (Mindspeak #1) by Heather Sunseri
*For Fun*
Thoughts: I was already hedging because it was slow and the writing is rudimentary (like an E4 tornado? Really?) Then I noticed I somehow skipped 60 pages in the book on my phone, and it took me 15 pages to notice. That's how much was exactly the same. How can it not really make any difference when you skip a quarter of the book?!? I think I will move on now.



Beginner's Guide to Abstract Art by Laura Reiter
*For Review from Net Galley*
On pg. 15 of 73
Read This week: 15
Thoughts: I can't wait to try all the different techniques.

1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die by Mimi Sheraton
Goodreads Link
*For Review* *For Travel the World in Books Foodie February*
On pg. 50 of 1,008
Pages Read This Week: 50
Thoughts: I've read through British & Irish cuisine and now I'm on to French.

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
*For Review from Publisher and Edelweiss*
Read This Week: 12-46%
Pages Read: 87
Thoughts: Well that section broke my heart!  I'm rooting for Addie.

The Last Breath by Kimberly Belle
*For Review from Harlequin*
This Week: 0-7%
Pages Read: 28
Thoughts: Belle writes very beautifully. I keep highlighting passages!

Good Catholics: The Battle Over Abortion in the Catholic Church by Patricia Miller
Goodreads Link
*For Review from Edelweiss*
This Week: 0-4%
Pages Read This Week: 14
Thoughts: I've been interested in this subject for a while, being both Catholic and pro-choice.  The first part is a lot about the history of how contraception and the Church became two sides of a coin, as well as some history on the first theologians to challenge this dogma in the 1960s.  Lots of good information I did not know.

From the TBR Pile(s):

The Wonder of Ordinary Magic by Lilli Jougren Day
*Just for Fun*
So Far: 27-43%
Pages Read: 40
Thoughts: Bobby, the guy in the coma, is my favorite character.  I hope he pulls out of this!

The Three by Sarah Lotz
*Just for Fun*
On pg. 125 of 467
Pages Read This Week: 44
Thoughts: Enter the religious nut bag's doomday theory.  I don't know why I thought the doomsdayer would be someone other than the pastor.  

Savage Girl: A Novel by Jean Zimmerman
*Just for Fun*
On pg. 134 of 402
Pages Read This Week: 46
Thoughts: It is interesting again!  Glad I stuck with it.


The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
*Travel the World in Books January Readalong*
On pg.159 of 546
Pages Read This Week: 58
Thoughts: I'm totally behind in the readalong but I am not going to freak since I've read it before.  I am enjoying the discussions, though, and seeing how everyone else reacts to things that happen and what they think of certain characters, like Nathan.

Be Safe I Love You by Cara Hoffman
Goodreads Link
*Postcard Mailbox Book Club*
On pg. 46 of 289
Pages Read This Week: 21
Thoughts: The pace is slow but I do like that Hoffman doesn't throw everything at you at once, which is how PTSD actually develops.  Realistic.


Total Books Currently Reading: 10
Total Books Read in 2015: 6
Pages Read This Update: 816
Total Pages Read in 2015: 1638



~What are you reading right now?  
~What did you just finish?  
~What book are you looking forward to reading next?  
Share in the comments!!!