Sunday, 30 November 2014

Christmas Reading

A question ...
     ... when do you start reading Christmas books?

I started today. Some years I start earlier, and others never before December 1st.

This year my first book for the Christmas season is The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson.

Are there books that you read every year?
Hmm ... I think I might do a Christmas reading series. Want to join me?
Please tell me your favourite Christmas books - I might just add them to my list for this year, or they could already be a favourite of mine!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Books on the Bookshelf

So many people aren't interested in reading any more and that includes children.
My childhood was filled with books, and as many of you know I am still passionate about reading and frequently my posts on this blog are, in fact, about books.

Recently I was talking with a friend of mine who is a teacher and very much interested in literacy in children today. We had a very interesting discussion about the role books played in our growing up, including the types of books we each read and how we accessed them.

So I thought I would share some of my thoughts about how books have shaped my life.

I've always had access to books. We had a family shelf with books that had been given to us and bought by my parents - new and second had from Op Shops. They weren't always used for reading - sometimes a pile of them formed a stool to sit on or we would make them into the wall of a cubby house (large hardbacks were particularly good).

I remember my first school reader - it was about a fire station. I was so upset because the book had no words and I had already learned how to read before starting school (thanks Mum).

We were also given at least 1 book for each birthday and Christmas, so our piles of books grew and Dad kept making more bookshelves to house our growing collections. Novels, biographies and all sorts of non-fiction made up the books we had to choose from.

Family holidays meant travel, so books were also provided for us to read in the car. My grandparents also had books for us to read when we visited. I can still hear my grandmother's voice when I read Mr Bell's Fix-It Shop.

Trips to the town library were a common event - my brother, sister and I would ride our bikes down the street and get our fill of as many books as we could carry - my favourites were Baby Sitters Club series and a biography about Nancy Wake.

Travel was more extensive during my teen years as we had moved to Western Australia and summers frequently meant a road trip across the Nullabour Plain - 5 days in the car each way. Space was limited, so there were some favourite series that ended up coming along and being read each way. As soon as possible when we made it to Victoria we would head for the Op Shops to stock up on more books.

Books that were studied at school were a bit hit and miss - some were really interesting, others I wish I had never read because they were about awful topics that should not be forced on anyone.

However, in spite of that, I still read ... a lot!!

These were my bookshelves a few years ago. Now books are double stacked on many shelves and I have boxes of books that just don't fit. Mostly I buy my own books these days, although I do still get books sometimes for Christmas and birthdays.

One thing about my shelves and the books on them is that I frequently loan books to my family and friends. Growing up I often borrowed books from other people - family and friends. However these days when e-books are so popular, this practice of sharing books is becoming a memory, not common practice.

I think this is one of the sad things about technology. We can't share e-books with each other. All you can do is recommend them to your friends. Sure, they would have been more convenient when we travelled - we could have had more choices. But some of the books we bought half way through our trip were given to my cousins so that they could read them.

So what's your book story?
How did you have books available to you?

Perhaps a Butterfly ...

Monday, 3 November 2014

ACRBA Tour - Her Tycoon Hero by Narelle Atkins

3 - 7 November 2014
is introducing

Her Tycoon Hero

Heartsong Presents

About the Book

Cassie Beaumont Believes in Second Chances 

Set on proving to everyone that she's no longer a party girl, Cassie is focused on her career as an event planner. But her dad's top executive, Ryan Mitchell, proves to be a handsome distraction. Especially when someone from Cassie's wild past tries to get her tangled in the life she's worked hard to escape.
Ryan is taken with his boss's beautiful daughter. But having been fooled by a brother who ran in her same circles, he is slow to trust. When Cassie's newfound faith works its way into his heart, Ryan soon finds he wants to claim both her faith and Cassie as his own.

About the Author

NARELLE ATKINS writes contemporary inspirational romance and lives in Canberra, Australia. She sold her debut novel, set in Australia, to Harlequin's Love Inspired Heartsong Presents line in a six-book contract. She is also a member of International Christian Fiction Writers group blog.

Narelle is a co-founder with Jenny Blake of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance (ACRBA).

Her debut book, Falling for the Farmer, will be a February 2014 release, followed by The Nurse's Perfect Match in May 2014 andThe Doctor's Return in August 2014.
Twitter: @NarelleAtkins

My Thoughts:

Narelle has written another nice Australian book.
One of the really good things about it is that one of the main characters is able to overcome their struggles with alcohol and does not give in to temptation.
My one concern is that Cassie's friend says nothing to her about dating a non-Christian. While some 'evangelism dating' works, most of the time the Christian will either walk away from their faith or end up being miserable in a marriage where their partner does not become a Christian.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Introvert in Me

One of the worst things about being an introvert is that the negative voices in your head are generally the loudest, so you hear them the most and start believing what they are saying.

To counteract this an introvert needs a really good group of friends who will allow them to be themselves, while also pulling you out of yourself and your own head.

So really one of the absolutely worst things for an introvert is not to have a few close friends. It doesn't need to be many, because that would be too much for this introvert, but the friends that are there need to be aware that they are going to need to be the ones to initiate things, pull the introvert into their circle and find ways to keep them there.

I am one of these people.

And lately it has been the internal thoughts that have been taking over ... and most of them have been negative. As much as I try to stop those thoughts as they surface, there have been an overwhelming abundance of them of late.

Some of these thoughts have made it onto this blog, but not many - some because the issues are too sensitive to share, or just because I am trying my hardest to not let these negative thoughts take over my life.

Part of the problem and the source of some negative thoughts is the lack of friendship I have been experiencing. There are many reasons for this, some my fault, but most are not.

So if you are reading this, know me, and live anywhere near me, think about how you might be able to get into my life more, and help me get my thoughts off the negative and onto something else.