Thursday, January 12, 2023

Porch #74 * For All You Dedicated Book Lovers

 PORCH
a soft place to land
a calm weekend haven
a gentle pause from life's busyness
so we may experience
the tender lovingkindness of Jesus
as we do life together
in community

image creator

Books are the quietest & most constant of friends; they are the most accessible & wisest of counselors, & the most patient of teachers.
Charles Elliot

Dedicated readers usually have plenty of books to be read (TBR).  Some volumes have been hanging around for decades and others may have been waiting their turn for less than a month.  

My random collection contains vintage books that were Mom's as a young girl, surprise treasures from Little Libraries, public library checkouts and giveaways, oldies but goodies off the free books cart at church, and thoughtful gifts received along the way.  

For the first time ever, I've frozen my rather lengthy library request list so I can focus on specific books that I've been wanting to pick up.  Here they are, listed room by room where they've been residing in my house, whispering, 'pick me, pick me!'

✅ = finished!  Feel free to check back through the month and hold me accountable in the comment section, OK?  You'll keep me from getting side-tracked.

Living Room Coffee Table 
The Stories We Tell: Every Piece of Your Story Matters  ✅ 
Joanna Gaines (2022)
'I hope for both of us that when fear does come rushing in, we'll be wise enough to question what's behind it.  And whether it's shame, uncertainty, or a sense of unworthiness, we'll remember that, as powerful as those emotions are, we are not powerless to them.  They are ours to hold and to own and to wrestle to the ground.  Even when they look and act and sound like protection, they are what keep us from living life with our whole hearts.'
(43)

Bedroom Desk 
Jayber Crow: A Novel  😕
Wendell Berry (2001)
Ever since I skimmed Michele Morin's superb insights and in-depth discussions of this acclaimed novel, I knew that someday I'd read it for myself.  Half a decade later, here I go.

Guest Bedroom Bookcase 
Pollyanna  ✅ 
Eleanor Porter (1913)
It's kind of awesome, the feel of my Mom's fragile, tattered childhood book is in my hands.  And that finally, all these years later, I will join that little nine year old in gently paging through this faded pink hardcover classic.

The inside cover is inscribed in pencil
Elsie Negris, October 1939

Kids' Room Cabinet 
Wuthering Heights  😕
Emily Bronte (1847)
Could it be that in all my years I've never read through an Emily Bronte work?  Another family heirloom, fragile and stained by time, awaits my long overdue attention.

The Loft Bookcase 
The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society  ✅
Henri Nouwen (1979)
'He is called to be a wounded healer.  The one who must look after his own wounds but at the same time be prepared to heal the wounds of others ...A Christian community is therefore a healing community not because wounds are cured and pains are alleviated, but because wouns and pains become openings or occasions for a new vision.'
(94)

The Nest Bookcase
Pursuing God's Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups  ✅
Ruth Haley Barton (2012)
'Yes, there will be some new steps to learn, some new things to practice.  Feel free to do something before you do everything: pick the one thing you can do, and do it with all your heart.  God faithfully comes into any bit of space we create for him, and pretty soon the one thing you do before you do everything leads to another thing and another, until you find that leadership is not the burden it once was.  It is a dance in which God leads and you follow.  It is a wave that God sends, and you ride it.  It is the breath of God, and you are the feather that floats upon it.  It is a wind of the Spirit that blows, and you lift your sail to catch it.  It is a powerful current that is already flowing, and you are in that flow.'
(16)

My Kindle
Prayer 101: Experiencing the Heart of God  ✅
Warren Wiersbe (2016)
'In Prayer 101, Dr. Warren Wiersbe addresses our deepest questions about prayer and gives us practical tools for incorporating prayer into our lives.  He explores God’s will, how our relationships with God and others affect our prayers, and what it means to pray for our enemies.  Throughout this deeply spiritual book, Dr. Wiersbe points us away from legalism and toward joy as we practice the daily rhythm of conversation with God.'

+ 49 Kindle samples collected along the way

📚

READING & WRITING & JOURNALING 
Ligonier Ministries

Molly O'Brien

Livian Yeh

Richard Foster

Lindsey Weishar

Michelle Watson

📚

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 
KINDLE DEALS
Every Breath
Nicholas Sparks
$2.99


Sarah Young
$2.99

I want to hear all about your TBR stacks.  Who?  What?  Where?  When?
Linda

P.S.#1
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P.S.#2
linking with Anne Paula & Jeanne & DonnaRichella & Lisa

P.S.#3
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44 comments:

  1. I would love to rewind the clock and experience Jayber afresh all over again. I keep toying with the notion of another online book club featuring a favorite by Wallace Stegner. Do you know Crossing to Safety?
    As for me, I just finished Richard Foster’s newest: Learning Humility and have begun volume 3 of Crossway’s CS Lewis bio.

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    1. As always, you offer a wealth of deep reading, Michele. Thank you for pointing us in an edifying direction.
      🧭

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  2. I have most of my books in my room now, which is great (but also a constant reminder of the ones I have not read, LOL!). I am doing an Instagram challenge to read 23 of my own books in 2023. I read 48 last year for another challenge (but have probably bought that many from book sells, or ones I have found in Little Free Libraries). So, I am working on some ARCs and then going to dive into my 23, plus I am trying to read ones that have been on my Goodreads TBR forever, and mixing in some from my Kindle. Good luck with all these!

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    1. Oh I love that idea of a 23 in 2023 challenge mixed in with other reading goals! Sounds like you've got a solid pathway forwards. You're inspiring me! I hope you'll be posting on your literary journey in the days ahead.
      🏆

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  3. Thank you, Linda, for reminding us to take stock of the contents of our bookshelves and finally read those works we have promised ourselves that we would, or to take the plunge and accessorize our shelves with wonderful reads yet to be discovered by our hungering hearts and minds. I never did read Pollyanna, and I definitely need to delve into the words of Henry Nouwen and Barton. As the year is still young, I have plenty of time to change course and direction. Blessings to you!

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    1. I like what you said, 'the year is still young,' Martha. Maybe some of us will choose new ways to select books, try a new genre, or expand the time we give them. All I know is that I want to read more and yet not feel pressured in the process.
      👓

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  4. I love how these are popping up from different rooms in your home! You know, I don't think I've ever read "Pollyanna" and I don't know why. When I was a kid it was my favorite movie. When we played "movie" I always played Jane Wyman but somehow I absorbed that "glad game" practice even as an eight year-old!

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    1. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say that they 'always played Jane Wyman,' Jeanie! You made me smile big with that one!
      😊

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  5. I enjoy seeing what others are reading. I tried to clean out my book shelves over the holidays. It is so hard to part with any. I pull one out, read a chapter and decide I don't want to give it up. :-)

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    1. You're right, sometimes a chapter lets us know that this one's a keeper. Exactly, Debbie!
      😉

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  6. I always appreciate your book recommendations, Linda! I bought Wierbe's book on prayer, Nouwen's audiobook, and Starling's book was free in my audible library. Thanks again and happy reading!

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    1. Oh I'm glad you found some goodies here this weekend, Lisa. Enjoy every page!
      📚

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  7. I love Pollyanna's story and it's especially touching to me that you have a copy your mom's hands have handled. I love Joanna Gaines' quote. Her book sounds really good. Love and blessings to you, Linda!

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    1. It's interesting how many of us are mentioning Pollyanna this weekend. In a way, I'm surprised ... maybe we're looking for a simpler, more joyful way of seeing the world ...
      🌚

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  8. Love how you designated the books by their location. very clever. Right now I have a stack of books by Evelyn Underhill as I am walking with her this year. Would love to reread Wurthering Heights! that is a great idea.

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    1. I know, sometimes I just want to sit with one writer for awhile. I get that.
      ✍️

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  9. I read Wuthering Heights for the first time ever a few years ago. I read and enjoyed the Gaines' first book but have not looked into this one. How neat to have a book your mom read as a child.

    I just finished Seasons of Sorrow: The Pain of Loss and the Comfort of God by Tim Challies, written the first year after his 20-year-old son unexpectedly died. One of my top 12 from last year was an Advent book, Heaven and Nature Sing by Hannah Anderson.

    I do a similar thing with my reading--I have books in different places. Right now I am reading Writing for the Soul by Jerry Jenkins on my Kindle. I'm listening to the audiobook of Pilgrim's Regress by C. S. Lewis (not a cozy book, but it's making me think). I just started Hannah Anderson's All That's Good (I liked her writing in her Advent book so well that I wanted to read more from her). I usually have a Christian fiction book going but have not chosen the next one yet. I have a plethora to choose from, both in paperback and my Kindle. I'm on a quest to read the Dickens books that I haven't read yet. I think I have four to go and will read at least one this year.

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    1. Barbara, hi! I was hoping you'd be here this weekend because you're such a well-read, voracious reader! I'm amazed at how many books you read each month, the number of reviews you write. That you can enjoy reading more than one at a time is something I'm simply not able to do.

      I've had my eye on Tim Challies' Season of Sorrow. Sadly, I know of too many families where tragedy has hit a young adult. Our families are never the same. Thanks for the nudge to put this closer to the top of my TBR list.

      Have a cozy weekend with your book pile, friend. Thanks for adding so much to the discussion!

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  10. When we moved I really limited myself as to how many books I would bring with me, and how many books I'd leave at "home" to collect later. As a result my physical TBR stack is much smaller, and I'm turning more to the many books on my Kindle that I still need to read. (I hope you enjoy Wuthering Heights, but I hated it! LOL) Visiting from Sweet Tea monthly.

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    1. Kym, I hear you about limiting the number of books we take with us when we move. I must have given away half of what I owned. It was hard but I knew I didn't have room at the time. But I did keep the ones that had become like BFF. And I'm so glad I did.
      💙

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  11. My eyes are always bigger than my time. I keep picking up books from library or kindle when I also have a ton on my bookshelf (that is running out of space) waiting for me to read.

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    1. 'My eyes are always bigger than my time.'

      For sure! No truer words have been spoken. But I'm thinking less screen time would free up more hours for me than I realize.
      ðŸĪŠ

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  12. Thank you for the recommends, Linda. Jayber Crow is on my library-list. You've prompted me to move it to the top. My TBR list is long, but no TBR stack of Christian books sits at the ready right now. Must change that! One recent read: 12 Faithful Women (2020), edited by Melissa Kruger and Kristen Wetherell. Such inspiring stories! Some of the women I'd never heard of before. Another recent and worthwile read: Satisfy My Thirsty Soul by Linda Dillow (2007, 2021), a journey into intimacy with God through worship as it's meant to be. The ten-week Bible study at the back of the book intrigues me. When I finish my current study, this is what I'll pursue next. P.S. Love the idea of a book cart at church! We need a place to share with others the books we can let go!

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    1. Not a week goes by that I don't see someone near that book cart. A superb resource, especially if it's tended and updated regularly.

      Thanks for sharing some your book reads and soon-to-be reads. So helpful and inspiring, Nancy.
      💞

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  13. I love how you have a TBR book in every corner of your house!

    I receive an e-reader a couple of years ago so now I borrow e-books from my library which limits the hold list to a maximum of 10 e-books!

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  14. I've had it goal to read and finish what is on my shelf, and then I just take a browse through my library....and good intentions gone. :) You've inspired me! Although, I really want to read Joanna Gaine's book and just might check if I can put a hold on it at the library...too many squirrels when it comes to books!

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    1. Squirrels. That's cute!

      And yes, my good intentions are often fleeting. But we keep on trying, right?!
      ðŸŋ️

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  15. I listened to Jayber Crow on audio and really loved it. Slow, gentle story of a man over his lifetime. I read Polyanna as a kid. Maybe I should do a reread!

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    1. Stacie, hi! A slow, gentle story sounds just perfect right about now, doesn't it. Jayber is patiently waiting his turn over on the dresser.
      ðŸĪ 

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  16. I loved Joanna Gaines' book, Linda. It took me a little while to get into my copy from the library, but it grew on me to the point that I want to get my own copy so I can read it again and mark it all up! Thanks to your recommendation, I've been reading books by Suzanne Woods Fisher ... I'm on the last book in the Three Sisters Island series right now and I'm really enjoying it.

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    1. Hey Lois! 4 generations of our family loved Suzanne's Amish series. So good! And yes, Joanna's memoir is like a long, leisurely visit over many cups of tea. Her musings on responding to vulnerability and fear will hit home with many of us. You're right, it's the kind of volume you want to make your own with margin jottings, highlighting, and underlining.

      Happy reading, friend. May 2023 give us many volumes to share.

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  17. I'm always intrigued what others are reading. You tend to the similar tastes as I do. As others mentioned, I am also trying to finish some books on my bookshelf that are gathering dust. However, I am beginning the year with Priscilla Shirer's The Resolution for Women and I'm finding it's the perfect read for right now. I also always have a fiction book going and happen to be in the middle of Allie Pleiter's book, Knit or Dye Trying.

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    1. Don't you just love when you pick up a new book and find it's the perfect fit for where you are right now? It's like coming home at the end of a long day and finding rest. Serendipity at its best.
      ðŸĄ

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  18. Wuthering Heights was a difficult read because I rarely read books where I dislike the main characters so strongly! But maybe that was the point because it was a great character study on greed, hate, pride, selfishness, and ultimately, sin. So it was a great read overall. Pollyanna is on my TBR for this year too! I enjoyed Jayber Crow a lot, but Hannah Coulter still remains by favorite Port Williams character and book! Happy reading! I linked my favorite 2022 books, if interested!

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    1. That's a really good point, Elena. If I don't like the characters, it'll be harder to ease into. I haven't started it yet (got sidetracked!) but if Wuthering doesn't work for me in 50 pages, back on the shelf she'll go.
      ðŸĪ·‍♀️

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  19. What a powerful selection of books you are prioritizing to read next, Linda! Some are familiar to me but others are not. The quote at the top of your post is so true for me too. Books have been SUCH a constant source of SO many good things in my life. Thanks for sharing your love of books with us.

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    1. I can't wait to see what you're reading as you head into this new year, Lisa. Your choices always intrigue me, and more often than not, we're kind of in sync. Love that.
      😉

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  20. Visiting with you on your porch today. It really is a soft place to land. I appreciate when you share book recommendations. My TBR stack is growing. I consider myself a book nerd. But lately I'm in a reading slump. I always appreciate you sharing here with Sweet Tea & Friends.

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    1. I know, don't you just love talking books with like-minded people?! I hope you find the perfect book for this wintery weekend in your TBR stack. Be good to yourself, friend ...
      ❄️

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  21. I'm rather embarrassed about my TBR stack because there are so many books. This includes books on my Kindle. I will name just a few from the locations they can be found .On my living room bookshelf Little Men and Jo' s Boys both by Louisa May Alcott, On my Kindle Emma by Jane Austen, The Promises of God by R.C. Sproul, In my bedroom there are several books I don't know the titles of and in my closet I have a couple to read. But wait there's more! Just kidding but believe me, I have enough books to last me a year . I'm currently reading The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. This is my first time reading anything by him. I'm participating in a winter reading challenges with friends so I hope to be putting dents in my reading. If only I would ignore those free ebooks from The Fussy Librarian emails!

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    1. I like that you're reading the classics, Regina. I feel like this is something I've missed out on over the years. Maybe this year I'll look backward at those old reads ... they must be classic for a reason, right?
      ðŸĪ·‍♀️

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  22. Come now, my friend. You don't expect us to believe this is a complete TBR list, lol. I'm currently reading Little Women for the first time in a bookclub, which has been a very fun experience. I'm also reading a Pepper Basham rom-com. She is a new-to-me Christian author and I'm enjoying her light-hearted romances very much.
    Next up is Amanda Dykes' newest, All the Lost Places. I love her writing and like to read them when I have time to stop and savor her story.

    There are a good many classics I've never read. After my Little Women experience (I read one chapter per day), I've decided I'm going to continue that tradition with classic literature throughout this year.

    Oh, and on my audible, I'm listening to What Cannot Be Lost by Melissa Zaldivar (you may find this one worth your attention), Confessions by St Augustine, and Shattered Silence by Margaret Daley. I listen mostly when I'm on my elliptical. It helps pass the time and push through the pain, lol

    And now I must apologize because you didn't ask what I was reading, but rather what was in my TBR stack. Between physical books and my Kindle, I would take up too much of your bandwidth if I answered.

    I always enjoy your posts about books, Linda! Have a blessed week!

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    1. You can take up as much bandwidth as you'd like, friend. I love seeing all that you're reading or hope to read. I can't wait to hear more about the classic literature you page through as the year unfolds.
      📚

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