I sometimes find book reviews more frustrating or annoying than helpful.
I used to not even be one to read the synopsis of a book on the back cover. If I wanted to read a book, I would read the book from front to back and did not care for any pre-spoilers. The author, the name of the book, and the cover were enough for me to know whether or not I wanted to read the book and if I wanted to read the book then who cares what other's opinions of the book is or what the synopsis says. I don't want spoilers and synopsis' always tended to say to much in my opinion.
When I was younger we used to get a Christian book magazine in the mail occasionally and the books would always have a tiny little blurb. I would go through the magazine, and since I knew I couldn't buy all the books, I would just read the blurb. I became convinced after reading enough of the blurbs that all Christian historical fiction had a similar story line and ending, but that is beside the point. I decided I no longer needed to read the book after I had read the blurb because I now knew basically what was going to happen.
Reviews often times aggravate me in a different way then the synopsis.
Sometimes a review can be genuinely helpful. In which case it should tell me if the book is well written or not, or if the content is appropriate or if it is PG13 and why. Book reviews do have the ability to give me helpful information in deciding whether or not I want to read the book for myself. However, I am often more frustrated then helped and this is why.
Some book reviews are just full of hatred and venting. Beside the fact that the reviewer probably did not read the book in the way that the author intended the book to be read in the first place, they go on and on about how much they hated the book and also possibly the author. It is ok to dislike a book or disagree with the message the author is giving, but there is a polite way to say it and there is an impolite way to say it. Moreover, if you are really truly disturbed by a book, most likely no one is forcing you to finish it, so put it down and find a book you will truly enjoy and can speak positively about. Life is too short to be reading books you absolutely hate.
Some book reviews are full of spoilers. Some reviewers find it necessary to give an essay length synopsis of a book and by the time I reach the end of the review, I feel like I have no interest in reading the book myself. Unless the express purpose of the review is for allowing the audience to know what the book is about without having to read it their self then I would recommend not giving away all the details of the book.
Sometimes reviews give irrelevant information. The reviewer states they disliked this or that about the book even though the problem they address really is completely irrelevant. It's as if the reviewer believes they could have written that book better than the author, so they decide the author shouldn't have written this or should I have said this instead. The author can choose to write the book however she/he chooses to write it. We, as a reader, do not get to choose how the author decides to write the story.
Lastly, sometimes book reviews are just depressing. I have read book reviews of books I have already read and know I love just for the fun of reading others opinions. But to my great horror, I discover not everyone loves the book. Lets take, for example, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, one of my favorite authors and favorite classics and one that almost everyone knows. I love the book and I love the talent that the author portrays in writing that book. I can try to understand if someone finds the book a bit slow or boring or just not their genre, but when the reviewer can't even acknowledge the author's talent and, in fact, shoots down all classics, that is just depressing. Classics may not be your favorite genre, Pride and Prejudice may not be your favorite book, but there is a reason why certain books are still being read today an why they are called classics. You may not prefer the style or the content, but there should at least be an acknowledgement of that persons gift and talent.
I realize that my opinion of book reviews (or synopsis) may not be a popular opinion. Maybe I am even missing the whole point of a book review. What are your thoughts on book reviews? Do you like to read them before reading a book or do you find them unhelpful? What kind of review do you find helpful and what are the things that drive you crazy? I would love to hear other's thoughts. Do you know of a website or blog that does helpfully informative book reviews? If so, please share with me.
Back in the day when I was young and single and still in college I used to go to coffee shops a lot to study, read, write, or just spend time with a friend.
Ok, I confess, I made myself sound really old with that opening sentence. In all honesty that season of my life is really not that far past.
Since moving to Israel we have had to be much more careful about how we spend our money, so sitting in a coffee shop is not an option on a regular basis.
However, I was realizing the other day, just how much I miss spending time in a coffee shop. At first I thought cutting that out of my life was just cutting away a frivolous and bad habit and figured that would be the hardest part about not going. Bad habits are hard to quit.
But now that it has been a few months, I realize I still miss coffee shops. And not because it was a bad habit, though maybe it was that too, but because I really enjoyed coffee shops and miss spending time there.
I miss the atmosphere of a cozy coffee shop; others around me studying studiously, working, or catching up with a friend; the feeling of being around others, but not the need to talk with them.
I miss buying a latte or other drink not made by myself; sipping quietly on a hot drink with beautiful art displayed; my fingers warmed by the mug.
I miss catching up with a friend over a cup of coffee; or running into a friend at the local coffee shop that all your friends are likely to go to.
I miss being greeted by a barista who knows me and we chat a little bit about life.
I have heard some people say they can't concentrate in a coffee shop because there is too much going on; too much to distract them. Maybe its because I grew up in a big family that makes noise less of a distraction to me. But I think I find that sometimes being by myself in quiet is almost more distracting then being around the noise of others.
Its almost as if a coffee shop motivates me to actually buckle down and get something done, while being by myself gives me the opportunity to watch another western show.
Do you like coffee shops? Do you like them as a place to go and study, read, or write? Or do you see a coffee shop as a place to catch up with a friend over a hot drink?
So many years have slipped away
Since last I beheld your face,
Since last I heard your laugh,
Since last I laughed at your outrageous joke.
So many years have slipped by
Since last I heard your songs of praise to God
And listened to you strum your guitar.
Although sometimes I play an audio
Of your song
And I cry all over again;
Fresh tears of sadness
Because I miss that voice so much.
So many years have come and gone
And so many tears, too,
And so many things have taken place.
Every time something exciting happens in my life
I always think how much I wish
I could tell you all about it.
But I have lived now
More of my life without you
Than with you
And that makes me kind of sad
Even though I know
It is the way it was meant to be.
I was listening to a song today
And it was written by a girl
Who was grieving the loss of her brother,
And of course it made me think of you.
I was that girl, too, grieving the loss of her brother
And I am still that girl and I still grieve.
Grieving looks different now
And I don't usually just sit down to have a cry
Or else I cry of other things instead,
But my heart will always miss you.
When I take the time to stop and think
Then my heart aches
Because there will always be something missing
And that something is you.
You will always be missed
Deep down in my heart,
And yet I know that I will be ok
And it's ok to miss you now
Because someday we will be
Together once again;
Not here, but there.
I was realizing the other day that I do not have a very adventurous spirit unless someone else pulls me into the adventure.
Most of the adventures I have taken are because of friends and family who have pushed or pulled me along.
I like the idea of being adventurous kind of like, I like the idea of farming or ranching. I read about it in books or I see pictures and it sounds exciting, looks beautiful, or is said to be fun, so I want to do it, too.
I love the idea of exploring and discovering new places. I love the idea of visiting places I have never been to before. I love seeing God's beautiful creation and being in awe of his wonderful artwork on display throughout the world.
But when it comes down to it, I am a homebody at heart. I love to be at home surrounded by the ones I love in my own cozy kitchen.
I am not very daring and I am not very adventurous. I don't generally go seeking adventure on my own. And if I do seek an adventure probably it is going to be something like, "Lets go for a walk down the road that we always walk down."
It has been a little over three months now since Tyler and I first arrived in Israel. And I can assure you that I would never have come here on my own. I would never even have dreamed of coming here on my own.
But I am grateful to be married to a man who is willing to take a big leap of faith, and pull me along in his adventures. Because of God and Tyler I get to explore a different country and a different land; a different culture and different foods.
I may not be very adventurous on my own, but I do love having friends and family and a husband who is willing to pull me along and help me discover new things. Sometimes I go into it kicking and screaming, but in the end I truly am grateful for the experience (ok most of the time I am).
How about you? Are you a homebody or do you like to get out and explore, take chances, and see the world?
Today is a gusty windy sort of day. Fall seems to have swept through the city of Jerusalem overnight.
Its a lovely day to curl up with a book and read or else get some words written. I think I will do both.
I go through phases of wanting to read a lot or wanting to write a lot. If I have my nose stuck in a book it is hard to write my own. But when I have finished a good book and don't know yet which book to pick up next, I find myself renewed in energy for writing my own story.
Today my husband is home studying, since he has no classes on Sunday. It is always nice to have him in the house with me even if we are both concentrated on our own project.
The door is partially open to let in fresh air and a gentle breeze. Classical music is playing in the background. I don't know about you, but I love having classical music playing while I write.
I kept on thinking that something seemed to be missing to my day. I finally realized that I was missing a nice cup of hot cocoa. But that will have to come later after we go to the store and buy some chocolate and milk.
It also is a good day for an apple crisp. Apples are sitting in the fridge just waiting to be sliced and baked.
And while we are on the topic of good fall foods and drinks, I think a cool windy day like today calls for a nice bowl of soup.
How has your day started? What are you looking forward to experiencing today?
Hello lovely readers,
I realize there may be people who read my blog who I don't really know and who don't really know me. So I thought I would do a little bit of a fun post and share some things about myself.
However, if I don't know you, but you enjoy reading my blog, please stop being a 'mystery reader' and leave me a comment. I would love to get to know my readers. Leave a comment and share a little bit about yourself or shoot me an email from the 'contact me' page. Or follow me on social media (links above).
Ten Hopefully Interesting Facts about myself.
1. I am left handed, but use a computer mouse (or whatever it is called on a laptop) with my right hand.
2. I am the middle child, but oldest daughter in a family of nine kids with four older brothers and four younger sisters. How many siblings do you have?
3. I am working on writing two different contemporary fiction novels. Do you write and if so what?
4. I hated math growing up and it took me about 3 to 4 years to get through Algebra 1 in high school.
5. I was homeschooled. You?
6. My first date was not with the first man who asked me out, however, you could say that I asked out the first and only man I ever dated and am now married to.
7. Growing up I refused to read anything Jane Austen, So I didn't read any of her books until my third or fourth year in college and now I love all things Jane Austen.
8. I have still not read all of the Narnia series, but I have read all of The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis.
9. When I was a child I wouldn't read Winnie the Pooh because I thought it was childish. Now that I am an adult, I love Winnie the Pooh.
10. I really love playing volleyball. What is your favorite sport?
Who are you? How did you discover my blog? What are some interesting facts about yourself? Do you have a blog of your own? Leave a comment or connect through social media. I would love to get to know my readers!
Also two of the above sisters have their own blogs. Lydia at Childlike Wonder and Elisabeth at Ruhamah and the Spikenard
While the world is just waking up on one side, the world is finally starting to get sleepy on the other.
My computer reminds me that it is 7:44am back in my old home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The sun is just rising, life is just starting to bustle, the day is finally starting and people are preparing for work or school or other daily life.
But here in Israel the time is 3:44pm and the sun is already starting to dip beyond the buildings. It's still busy out, but people are starting to go home from a full day of work. Dinner will be eaten in a couple hours, breakfast long being over.
Last night Tyler and I attended a young adults Bible study at our church. We started attending this Bible study almost from the first of arriving in Jerusalem and it has become one of our favorite parts of the week, especially for myself. I, being an introvert, can really struggle to make good connections with people if it is in a large group atmosphere. So although church service on Saturday can be a good way to connect it is a much larger group than Thursday night and thus, much harder to connect.
On Thursday night we usually go to the Bible Study a little early and help finish preparing a meal, which is always so delicious. But it is also a great place to start in meeting new people. What better place to meet friends than in a kitchen anyway? Then when we sit down for the meal, there is even more opportunity to get to know someone. Sitting between two strangers, you can either eat awkwardly and ignore them or you can break into conversation and break the ice, making a new friend.
But another thing that I love about this Bible study is that I am beginning to make friends from all over the world because of it. There are so many people who are here in Israel volunteering for a ministry or organization, here for schooling like my husband, or here on tour. And I get to meet so many of these young people as they join the Bible study. I now have friends from Poland, Romania, Germany, Holland, Honduras, China, Portugal, Brazil, u.s.a. and the list goes on.
The sad thing is that sometimes it feels like I am finally starting to connect with someone or become friends when I hear that they are already leaving. Whether or not I will meet them again on this earth or not, I don't know. But the beauty of it all is that if we ever want to visit one of these countries we now have a friend there. Also, it is beautiful, too, just to simply have friends all over the world!