Monday, April 23, 2018

Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L`Engle)

Reread April 23, 2018
This is the third time reading this book. We did it for book club this month in conjunction with the new movie coming out. I haven`t seen the movie yet. I plan to. In the meantime, I have to say that every time I read this book I appreciate it a little bit more. It wasn`t a huge hit with our grade three students. They thought it was kind of boring. It got low ratings from all but one student (a science crazy student). 

I think there`s a lot more in this book than I even realize so far. I`m looking forward to reading it again one day!

March 15, 2015
There are so many awesome themes in this book. We read it with our grade three book club. I was a little leery to read it with them. I wasn't sure they were old enough. I can't remember how old I was when I first read A Wrinkle in Time, but I do remember that I didn't really understand it and didn't enjoy it that much. When our book club met, after reading it, I was pleasantly surprised with the number of children who read it. Not only that, we had an amazing discussion. Lesson learned. Don't underestimate!

It was a great introduction to science fiction. 

Themes: love, courage, working together, being proud to be yourself, individuality, love conquers all and more.

Later we watched the movie as well. That is an intense movie. It made me want to read the book again!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Gone Without a Trace (Mary Torjussen)

Gone Without A Trace

Every week I have my students write down the name of the book they're reading this week (an attempt at getting them in the habit of IMWAYR). I often tell them about the book I'm reading. I had just started this one on the weekend so on Monday I told them a little about it: A husband (he was actually a boyfriend...but I told them he was a husband...) disappears. I told them how everything about him was gone: her number in his phone, his email address in her contacts. Everything that was his was gone and all that was hers was put back where it was before he moved in. She tried calling him at work - but he no longer worked there. She called his mother - but she had moved. I was definitely hooked by the story line. My class was definitely hooked. They asked me if they could read it too.


As the story wears on, you wonder if it was the MIL. You wonder about the people she works with. There are a few people I had my eyes on as the guilty ones. Boy was I wrong. In the end, as the story unfolds, it turns out SHE is abusive and he left to protect himself. I can't tell my students about how it ends. It was so surprising - and so dysfunctional! I'm going to have to make something up to tell my students.

This book was picked for the community book club that I joined a few months ago. It definitely made for a good discussion!

Goodreads says:

GONE WITHOUT A TRACE by Mary Torjussen is a chilling, twisty, compulsive thriller about a woman whose boyfriend has vanished. Fans of I LET YOU GO and THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN will be gripped.

No one ever disappears completely...

You leave for work one morning.

Another day in your normal life.

Until you come home to discover that your boyfriend has gone.
His belongings have disappeared.
He hasn't been at work for weeks.
It's as if he never existed.

But that's not possible, is it?

And there is worse still to come.

Because just as you are searching for him
someone is also watching you.

Monday, April 9, 2018


Theatre Calgary is doing The Secret Garden, so I'd like to read this and then see the play.

The Secret Garden

This month my book club is reading Gone Without a Trade. Oh my goodness!! It's a total page-turner! It's full of suspense.

Gone Without A Trace

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Daring Greatly (Brené Brown)

Reread March 27, 2018
I listened to the audio tape while driving back from Kelowna. Often when I read, I like to make connections to my studies of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I kept thinking, as I was listening, that this all relates to many lessons I have heard and studied about hope. Then, at the end, she talked about the connections to hope. 

This is a great book: well worth re-reading again.

Originally read June 29, 2016
My sister-in-law has talked a lot about this author and then I started noticing her name pop up in all sorts of different places.  The admiration is well deserved. She definitely has some good stuff in this book. It is the kind of book I should read and re-read. I bought this one because I found a book study group that was discussing it over three months. We went to the discussions. It really held me to think a little deeper about the concepts. 

Great quotes:

P. 8 Connection is why we're here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it's what gives purpose an meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering."

"P. 25 Lynne Twist (The Soul of Money): For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is "I didn't get enough sleep." The next one us "I don't have enough time." Whether true or not...We spend most of our days.....worrying we don't have enough....this internal scarcity...lives at the very heart of our jealousies, or greed, our greed, our prejudices, and our arguments with life."

P. 53 Trust is a product of vulnerability that grows over time an requires work, attention, and full engagement. Trust isn't a grand gesture-it's a a marble collection.

P. 113 Masks make us feel safer even when they become suffocating. Armour makes us feel stronger even when we grow weary from dragging the weight around. The irony is that when we're standing across from someone who is hidden or shielded by masks and armour, we feel frustrated and disconnected. That's the paradox here: vulnerability is the last thing I want you to see in me, but the first thing I look for in you. 

P. 133 Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good (Cribbed from Voltaire). A twenty minute wake that I do us better than the four-mike run that I don't do. The imperfect book that gets published us better than the perfect book that never leaves my computer. The dinner party of take-out Chinese food is better than the elegant dinner that I never host.

P. 137 There's a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. - Leonard Cohen

P. 231 ....fitting in and belonging are not the same thing. In fact, fitting in is one of the greatest barriers to belonging. Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be in order to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand doesn't require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are. 

P. 243 Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do us just show up.

Goodreads Summary:

Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” —Theodore Roosevelt

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.

In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. The book that Dr. Brown’s many fans have been waiting for, Daring Greatly will spark a new spirit of truth—and trust—in our organizations, families, schools, and communities.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Sworn Virgin (Kristopher Dukes)


I really reveled in the theme of a woman not just falling to societal expectations, but instead doing what she needed to do to not just survive, but to live.

I enjoyed the twists and turns to the story. They definitely kept me reading. I was also taken by the seriousness with which oaths are taken.

On Goodreads the author shared how she came up with the idea for the book.

Years ago, I read an article in The New York Times about the last remaining sworn virgins in the mountains of Albania. Immediately, the basic conflict of "The Sworn Virgin," based on the true tradition, popped into my mind: What happens when you must choose between your love, or your life?

I began researching the culture of the Albanian mountains, learning how traveling into the mountains in 1910, from a Western point of view, was like traveling back thousands of years in time. Understanding the rules of Eleanora's world shaped the context of the characters, and how Eleanora could be true to her time -- but a rebel, as well.

Goodreads says:

What would you do if your father was suddenly and mysteriously murdered, leaving you alone in 1910s Albania?

When 18-year-old Diana’s father is mysteriously shot dead in the cobblestone streets of 1910s Albania, Diana must abandon her dream of studying art in Italy as she struggles to survive in a remote mountain village with her stepmother Mirlinda. 

Nearing starvation, Mirlinda secretly sells Diana into marriage with Edi, the cruel heir of a powerful clan. Rather than lose her freedom, Diana swears to remain a virgin for the rest of her life, a tradition that gives her the right to live as a man: she is now head of her household, can work for a living and carry a gun. She may participate in the vengeful blood feuds that consume the mountain tribes, but she may not be killed—unless she forsakes her vow. 

When an ill stranger stumbles into her life, she nurses him back to health, saving his life but risking her own when she falls in love with him. . .

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

419 (Will Ferguson)


I really enjoyed this book. It was fun to read a book set in the city I live in! The story is quite compelling. It makes me crazy to hear of people who get sucked into online scams. It was interesting to read the story from all sides. In the end, the women prevail. Only right! :)

Goodreads says:

A car tumbles down a snowy ravine. Accident or suicide?

On the other side of the world, a young woman walks out of a sandstorm in sub-Saharan Africa. In the labyrinth of the Niger Delta, a young boy learns to survive by navigating through the gas flares and oil spills of a ruined landscape. In the seething heat of Lagos City, a criminal cartel scours the internet looking for victims.

Lives intersect, worlds collide, a family falls apart. And it all begins with a single email: “Dear Sir, I am the son of an exiled Nigerian diplomat, and I need your help ...”

419 takes readers behind the scene of the world’s most insidious internet scam. When Laura’s father gets caught up in one such swindle and pays with his life, she is forced to leave the comfort of North America to make a journey deep into the dangerous back streets and alleyways of the Lagos underworld to confront her father’s killer. What she finds there will change her life forever...

Monday, March 19, 2018


Yesterday I started 419...and I'm half way finished. It's definitely a 'can't put it down' type of book. I also love it because it's set in Calgary.


I finally got this audio book (okay....I should add again....I started it before but didn't finish). It'll be perfect for my drive to Kelowna for Spring Break. Will start it on Saturday.


And, I'm almost finished Once We Were Brothers.


And I just discovered this one on the LDS tools app! I have been listening to it while I'm on the treadmill. Loving it!