Category Archives: Reading

What’s on My Nightstand

Whats on My NightstandAfter reading this blog  What’s on My Nightstand? | Karen Barnett {Plus a Giveaway!} by my friend Karen Barnett I decided to try my hand at a similar blog myself. I actually have two bookcases, overflowing with my to-read books. One of the rules in our house is that before it finds a permanent spot one of us (my husband or I) have to read it. Well since we seem to not be able to stop buying more books this leads to a big stack up of to-read material.

Here’s what’s currently on my nightstand:

My Kindle, I keep my kindle close at hand even when I’m not currently reading any Kindle titles.

I picked up Sorting the Beef from the Bull, from our local library. My goal is to finish it by the library board meeting this coming Tues. Our board approves a selection of science, religious and educational titles each month as part of a legacy gift that was given to the library, this book was one of those selections.

I’ve been working my way through, Lord Foulgrins Letter. The problem is that the book doesn’t make very good night time reading because it is very dark and serious in parts. The parts of the book with the characters are compelling but very short compared to the letters from Lord Foulgrin. The letter are basically about how Satan wants to destroy people’s lives, not exactly what I want to read before I go to sleep.

50 Literature Ideas you really need to know, is a book that I have been slowly digesting for a while. Its a great book for understanding the types of literature you read, but it’s like a textbook-lite so its not a speed reading sort of thing.

I have a goal to read all of the Newbery Award books and last year I began, Onion John. The problem is that I don’t really find it compelling or interesting so I pretty much abandoned it. I’m going to have to finish it eventually though to complete my Newbery goal.

And finally Forgiven and Set Free, is a Bible study my mom suggested to me. It’s about recovering from abortion, but is really good for understanding the grief that losing a child (abortion, miscarriage, still-birth) causes a women. I started reading it because I was interested in women’s ministry and understanding this complex issue is helpful in ministry.


Drop Everything and Read 2016

deardayD.E.A.R Day is coming up tomorrow April 12th. Drop Everything and Read is a celebration of author Beverly Cleary’s Birthday.  To celebrate you simply pick a time (at least 30 mins), pick a book, and just read. It’s the perfect holiday if you ask me.

Other Ideas for Celebrating:

  • Read a book by Beverly Cleary, like Ramona Quimby, Age 8, the inspiration for D.E.A.R day. Challenge yourself to start and finish it in one day.
  • Go to the library and read there. Our library has lots of comfortable reading areas. Find a book on the shelf and sit down and read. If you like the book check it out.
  • Read a book that ties into a favorite TV. For kids read an Arthur book, like Arthur’s New Puppy or Curious George. For adults try something like this Downtown Abby inspired novel or George RR Martins A Game of Thorns.
  • Watch an interview with one of your favorite authors. Check out this great list from Reading Rockets. Then read a book by that author.
  • Do a book craft with your kids.
  • Lastly, you could to wear it. Wear a fun t-shirt, do your nail literary style (I have lots of great ideas on this pin board,) wear a vintage library button, something to say “I’m Love Reading!” I will be wearing Jamberry “Word to the Wise” nail wraps.

Bonus: Watch the Oregon Public Broadcasting special on Beverly Cleary.



Another Big Year for Pocket

I’ve raved about the Pocket app before. It is absolutely the best way to save articles to read later. In the digital age this becomes more and more important as so much of our information is found in blogs and online articles. Again for 2015 I was in the top 5% of users by reading 600,141 words the equivalent of about reading 13 Books. Check out my year in Pocket.

Because I also have Pocket connected to Degreed it tracks the number of articles I read and gives me points for reading. So far I have read a total of 1,527 articles. Degreed is a great tool for keeping track of your continuing education, because education doesn’t stop when you graduate. (In fact in my business of websites and content it’s a must to keep learning and discovering better ways of doing things.) They call themselves “The Lifelong Learning Platform.” “Individuals and organizations use Degreed to find, track and recognize ALL learning.” I love anything that encourages reading as life long learning. Check out Degreed here and Pocket here and join me in the digital age of reading and learning.

Pocket: Or the Other 849,361 Words I Read in 2014

pocket 2014

I first brought up Pocket last year in my post. It’s a very useful app for saving articles and reading them later. In fact I enjoy the Pocket layout better than the original blog in many cases. I love that I can use it anywhere, and that it downloads the articles on my android so I can read them even when I don’t have wi-fi. This year Pocket sent me a notice saying I was in the top 5% of users and a link to this awesome year in review.


You read 849,361 words in Pocket in 2014. That’s practically 18 books, which earns you a spot in this year’s Top 5% of readers!” That would be another 410 articles added to last years 407.

Brought to you by the letter ‘S’

Even though I read through each blog twice before I post sometimes mistakes slip through. This is a posting I wrote for a previous blog about one of my most common errors. Hope you enjoy. Remember to share a joke with someone today because April is National Humor Month.

by Arwen McGilvra on Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 10:26am

“In a relationship sometimes you wake up one day and realize that you don’t know the person any more, that you’ve drifted apart. You’re not sure how it happened, but suddenly you feel different. And when you’re honest with yourself you know it really wasn’t all that sudden. But you don’t know how it started.

And so it is with my complicated relationship with the letter ‘S’. I don’t know when it began, but the letter ‘S’ and I have grown apart. I didn’t even know it. In fact I would have gone on thinking everything was alright if my husband hadn’t pointed it out to me. And when I had to look at it straight in the mouth I saw the terrible truth; in almost every blog I’d written for months I’d left off the ‘s’ at the end of words.

Oh ‘S’ how could this have happened? Where did we go wrong? It’s not like I hate you or anything. I just sometimes find you inconvenient. When I’m typing I guess I’m just thinking faster than I can type, and you just get left behind. Don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s me.

Really ‘S’ could we work this out? Oh, don’t look at me like that. I didn’t do it to purposely hurt you. It’s not like I’m going to cut you out of my life. In fact sometimes I use one ‘s’ too many. Doesn’t that help make up for some of the times I’ve left you out.

Now, don’t glare at me. I know I’ve used you wrongly. Isn’t there any room in your heart for forgiveness?

Okay, I can’t talk to you when you’re like this. If you want to work things out you know where to find me. I really thought you could be more mature about this. That’ right walk away. I don’t need you anyway. I can do it without you. Will ee whoe writing uffer more.”