Friday, March 29, 2013

March Reading Challenge.... conquered!

Im a sleep-deprived, stay at home mum. My brain doesn't seem to work very well these days. I forget names and details, i just don't concentrate long enough to process things properly.
I love reading, but can count on my hands the number of books i have finished since i had kids,  7 years ago! I try to read and end up falling asleep, i know cos i often wake myself up with my loud snoring :) I want to start using my brain, because they say 'Use it or Lose it', and I don't think I have all that much left to loose. I set myself the goal to read and finish 3 books over March, and I did it. I may have fallen asleep a few times, but i completed not just 3, but 4 books. I must say, Im very pleased with myself, well done Bec and well done brain! The books I read are pictured above, i'll tell you a little bit about each one and what I thought of it... ohhh Bec's Book Club!!!  Now i just have to try and remember what they were about....   

The first book I read was a book i borrowed from the church library. I don't usually look in the church library, however i was forced out of the service one Sunday evening by a very noisy Elias and found myself there looking at books. It was a good read. It's a biography written by Don Piper, a pastor who was killed instantly in a car accident. While he was lying dead in his car, another pastor (who he didnt know) felt that he had to be there with him praying. He prayed for 90 minutes and Don (the dead guy) actually came back to life! It really made me realise afresh the power of prayer!! During these 90 minutes Don was at heaven's gates. He tells about the indescribable feeling of bliss he felt while there and the amazing heavenly sounds. It sounds amazing. I wont tell you all about it so I don't ruin it for you :) Only 2 chapters of the book are about his heavenly experience, the majority of the book retells  his recovery, it was long and painful as he had been so badly injured in the accident. It tells of his resentment, about having to come back to earth, and how he deals with his anger and depression throughout the whole healing process. His life  totally changed that day the truck crossed into his lane and crushed his car, but God had a plan for his life and now uses him to help people in ways he would never have been able to before. It's a great read. It taught me not to underestimate the power of prayer, and really got me thinking about Heaven. I cant wait to hear those heavenly sounds of praise he talks about :)

The next book I read was The Shunning. I was at Koorong looking for a book and this one was $7 compared to the others which were around $20, so this was the one! Plus, I seem to be drawn towards stories involving the Amish. I think it's because Mum use to make Amish bread when i was little and it was yummy ;) I really enjoyed this book, however I kept getting so frustrated.  The book was about Katie's constant struggle to do the right thing in the eyes of her family, Amish community and Amish laws, while everything within her was screaming out to do the opposite. She wanted to sing and make music, but this was forbidden.  I was frustrated along with Katie, just cos the laws were so unreasonable!! Once again I cant say too much... but in the end she goes and gets herself Shunned by the Amish. She is pretty much cut off from them, for 3 weeks, with the hope that she will come to her senses and repent and go on living the Amish life. It was awful, not even her own family were allowed to talk to her, or eat with her... i cried! In the last chapter, a major unexpected event occurred and then the book just finished. The rest of the book had been so predictable and then wham, something exciting and life changing happened and the book ended... I was disgusted and threw the book to the floor!! There had to be another book, so I googled it and there is!!! Another 2 in fact!! SO the book has redeemed itself and i will endeavor to read the next one SOON!! Anyway, I have not mentioned the main storyline, so you will have to read it for yourself and let me now what you think :)

This next beautiful book was leant to me by my lovely friend Grace. It's all about natural light photography and is filled with so many inspiring images. The writer, Elizabeth Messina, explains the images and how she achieved them, giving lots of tips. She is very talented!!! I love photography so much! I have so much to learn and so much practice to do if im every going to produce some amazing photos. My heart is there and i wonder if my eye and skill will ever be there too... I HOPE SO!!!

My 4th and final book for March was 'The Mother's Group'. Id never heard of it until I was at Meika's last week and she had just finished it, so she passed it on to me. The only thing she told me is that the story is broken up into 5 chapters, one for each of the members of the Mother's Group, and that it is very sad! AND SAD IT WAS! I knew there was an event that happened which was sad ,so i was waiting for it, wondering when it was about to strike!! The funny thing is that when it actually happened i wasn't expecting it  :) I really enjoyed this book. It follows the lives and stories of 5 ladies who all have a baby and join a Mothers Group, they are all so different and yet brought together through the birth of their first baby. Some of the character's i liked and had sympathy for, some i really disliked!!  I simply LOVED how you gained a different perspective on each of the characters in each new chapter, as each chapter was told from a different members  point of view. The author was so clever! I also  just love the little sub-plots that were inter-twining themselves in and out of the story line throughout the book. I must say, im not used to reading a book with language in it... at first i was like, WHAT!! There isnt a heap, and mainly in the first chapter told by Ginie.  I recommend you read this book, it is so real and eye opening when it comes to motherhood. I couldn't put it down and when i wasnt reading it I found myself thinking about the characters, you feel like you know them as they have shared their inner thoughts with you. I loved it!

There you have it, my 4 books for March!! I think just writing this blog has stretched my brain...
Stay tuned, who knows what I will read in April :)