Summer Reading Challenge Update – August 21st

We’re doing a reading challenge here at Teish Knits this summer, and it’s not too late to join in! You can download the challenge prompt list and bookmarks here. This is a strictly fun, no pressure challenge, so you can interpret the prompts as broadly as you like, and choose to do fewer of them if reading 13 books this summer seems too overwhelming. Every Tuesday, I’ll be sharing my own progress here on the blog, and I hope you’ll stop by and comment either on the blog or social media and let me know what you’re reading!

An e-book.

I finished reading The Powers of the Earth by Travis J I Corcoran last night, but I couldn’t write up my review last night because I was still internally screaming over the massive cliffhanger! The second book is already out, so there’s no wait to start the second book in the Aristillus series.

The Powers of the Earth is not for everyone. I was intrigued when I heard it compared to Atlas Shrugged and the concept of a moon colony further piqued my interest. There’s a lot of discussion among characters and even internal debate on topics like economics, politics, ethics, and even a bit of religion. While that sort of thing isn’t to everyone’s taste, I’m fascinated by the topics myself. I tend to lean rather libertarian myself, so I didn’t mind the inclusion of that in the book, and I appreciated that there were some of the tougher points, and some of the potential problems with that ideolgy explored in the context of the story. No system is perfect, and that’s true even in the Aristillus moon colony!

I’m a sci-fi geek at heart, and that was part of the appeal of The Powers of the Earth. I found the setting of a moon colony to be interesting reading, and I honestly wouldn’t have minded delving a little deeper into it. Admittedly, when I first came across the talking dogs, I was beginning to wonder what I had picked up. The dogs were the results of genetic engineering who have an interesting history of their own. I quickly grew to like the characters, and the interesting point of view they brought to the story. The inclusion of an AI is another good twist and I’m still not sure what to make of this particular AI. I guess I’ll have to read book 2 to figure it out!

There are interesting characters in The Powers of the Earth, and while the idea of a Moon or Mars colony clashing with Earth isn’t exactly new, I enjoy the premise and this is a slightly different take on it. It’s a long book, but that’s not necessarily a problem! The cliffhanger means that you will want to have the second book, Causes of Separation, on hand. (There’s no book 3 out at this point, so if the second one ends on a cliffhanger, then I’m really sunk!) There is some strong language in the book, so I would not recommend it for kids and younger teens. In a book dealing with an invasion, there will be some violence, but it’s not particularly graphic. If you’d like a nice long read, and you don’t mind sci-fi books that like to dive into the philosophical, then The Powers of the Earth is worth a look.

Summer Reading Challenge Update – August 5th

We’re doing a reading challenge here at Teish Knits this summer, and it’s not too late to join in! You can download the challenge prompt list and bookmarks here. This is a strictly fun, no pressure challenge, so you can interpret the prompts as broadly as you like, and choose to do fewer of them if reading 13 books this summer seems too overwhelming. Every Tuesday, I’ll be sharing my own progress here on the blog, and I hope you’ll stop by and comment either on the blog or social media and let me know what you’re reading!

A book about health.

Adrenal fatigue is a term I’ve heard pop up over the past few years, and my interest was rather piqued. A number of books on the topic were mentioned, but with a title like Tired of Being Tired, I wanted to pick up Dr. Jesse Lynn Hanley’s book and see if there was anything that might be helpful to me.

The checklist quiz at the beginning of the book did “diagnose” me with significant adrenal fatigue. While I’m still not 100% convinced of validity of the checklist results, I do know that I need to start paying more attention to my health. With 40 waving at me from July 2020, I know that my body just can’t handle some of the things it used to when I was 25 years younger. Relying on way too much caffeine and sugar just to get through my day may have “worked” back then, but I think most of us would agree that it’s not a desirable or sustainable lifestyle. If nothing else, Tired of Being Tired has been a bit of a reality check for me.

The dietary advice in the book is fairly sensible, and not anything to out there. Other advice about exercise, rest, supplements, deep breathing, and such are also pretty sensible, and mostly the sort of thing that I know I should be doing already. I did appreciate the integration of both physical health, and mental/emotional health into the equation laid out in Tired of Being Tired. I tend to think that one of the key things missing in healthcare today is this integration of looking at all sides of health because they are truly interconnected. The book isn’t written from a Christian perspective, but there are comments from patients of Dr. Hanley’s who reference things like praying, and gratitude towards God as some of the things they practice that improve their health. So, while some of the mental or spiritual suggestions in the book may not be ones you’re comfortable trying, you can still find plenty of content that may be helpful.

While much of the content is about things I’m aware I should be doing already, and pretty common sense, it was not a bad reminder that I need to prioritize some of these things better for the sake of my own health. I’ve even taken up biking around my driveway as a result of the gentle nudge from reading Tired of Being Tired. It may seem a bit strange for a grown woman to ride a circle around her front yard on a bicycle, but I enjoy it, and it gives me a few minutes of exercise, fresh air, and sunshine for the day. It’s also why I’ve given up my 16-32 oz per day coffee habit. (Yes, it’s still tough, and I still miss coffee. I do allow myself just one cup on the weekend so that I’m less tempted to give in during the week!) If you’re feeling on the edge of burned out, or past that point, this book could be a helpful guide. As always, please consult your practitioner for medical advice regarding your health concerns.

Summer Reading Challenge Update – July 24th

We’re doing a reading challenge here at Teish Knits this summer, and it’s not too late to join in! You can download the challenge prompt list and bookmarks here. This is a strictly fun, no pressure challenge, so you can interpret the prompts as broadly as you like, and choose to do fewer of them if reading 13 books this summer seems too overwhelming. Every Tuesday, I’ll be sharing my own progress here on the blog, and I hope you’ll stop by and comment either on the blog or social media and let me know what you’re reading!

I’m a day late and a book short on this week’s update. Actually, I’m in the middle of three books, but I didn’t finish any of them this week so reviews will have to wait. Here’s what I’m reading though…

Getting old is a pain in the neck–an actual pain in the neck. Our weekend temperatures were more suited to Mt. Doom than Maine, with Saturday hitting 100. For a place that has snow on the ground half of the year, that’s more heat than we can reasonably handle. We spent two nights camping out in the living room because it has a window AC unit. There was a day when I could sleep on the floor and my spine didn’t even notice the difference. Those days are obviously behind me!

I’m going to put a warm rice pack on my sore neck while I keep reading, and I’ll have a review of at least one of these books for you next week! In the meantime, let me know what you’ve been reading this week either in the comments or on social media.

Summer Reading Challenge Update – July 16th

We’re doing a reading challenge here at Teish Knits this summer, and it’s not too late to join in! You can download the challenge prompt list and bookmarks here. This is a strictly fun, no pressure challenge, so you can interpret the prompts as broadly as you like, and choose to do fewer of them if reading 13 books this summer seems too overwhelming. Every Tuesday, I’ll be sharing my own progress here on the blog, and I hope you’ll stop by and comment either on the blog or social media and let me know what you’re reading!

An Audiobook.

I’ve listened to Churched by Matthew Paul Turner before, but I decided that I wanted to give this one a re-listen for a few reasons. I was raised Baptist-ish, and while not strictly fundamentalist, the influences were there. That means that while my experiences weren’t to the same extreme as Matthew’s, I can identify with a few things, and I definitely know a few folks who would be nodding through most of the book. There are complaints that it comes across as too snarky, or irreverent. I don’t have that opinion, but keep that in mind when deciding whether this book is one you want to add to your reading list.

While a good deal of the stories Matthew shares in Churched made me chuckle, some left me with a bit to ponder. The chapter when Matthew is witnessing door-to-door and meets a Catholic lady who isn’t exactly what he expected from a Catholic was one that stands out to me, and the other is when he has a conversation with his dad about an unsaved acquaintance. There are some poignant truths amidst snark. I think the final chapter is relatable to a lot of individuals who aren’t completely sure what to make of the theology and church traditions they grew up in, and haven’t quite figured out where they fit in the denominational scheme of things. I’m one of those people.

I think Churched is probably one of those books that you either really like, or really don’t. It’s under 5 hours long, and read by the author. Other formats of the book are available if your interest is piqued, but you don’t care for the audiobook format.

So, what are you reading (or listening to!) this week? Let me know in the comments or on social media with the hashtag #teishknitsreadingchallenge

Summer Reading Challenge – July 9th Update

We’re doing a reading challenge here at Teish Knits this summer, and it’s not too late to join in! You can download the challenge prompt list and bookmarks here. This is a strictly fun, no pressure challenge, so you can interpret the prompts as broadly as you like, and choose to do fewer of them if reading 13 books this summer seems too overwhelming. Every Tuesday, I’ll be sharing my own progress here on the blog, and I hope you’ll stop by and comment either on the blog or social media and let me know what you’re reading!

A favorite the you want to re-read.

I read The Kobayashi Maru as a teen. I’ve gone through phases of reading Star Trek books off and on since then, but this book remains one of my favorites. I enjoyed how they walked through four different main characters and their very different approaches to the famous (or infamous) Kobayashi Maru simulation found in Star Trek lore.

The Kobayashi Maru is a short read, but just what I wanted while I relaxed in the AC with some iced tea over the weekend. If you’re not at all familiar with, or a fan of Star Trek, this book likely won’t appeal to you, as it won’t make much sense without the context of the show and movies. It’s not what most would consider fine literature, but it’s a fun, interesting book featuring some of my favorite fictional characters. You’ll have to find a copy used if you want the print version, but you can also find it in e-book format.

This isn’t exactly related to the Summer Reading Challenge, but I got my print copies of Heroes of the Realm in the mail today! I’ve long enjoyed reading the works of other authors included in the anthology, and it still seems a little surreal that I have a story published in the same book as their work. Not to mention the beautiful cover art by Kirk DouPonce. It’s been such fun to experience every step of the process from editorial notes, to getting my first galley proofs, to holding the book in my hands. The editor, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, further convinced me that editors are some of the heroes of the publishing industry. And I don’t think anyone could overstate just how much Rebecca and Scott Minor have done for the Christian speculative fiction writers and readers out there. All this to say, the people involved in publishing this book are people I admire and respect, and I’ll never stop being thankful that I got to be a little part of such a special project.

Summer Reading Challenge – July 2nd Update

Note: I received an ARC copy of Paranormia from the publisher. All opinions expressed are completely my own, and I received no monetary compensation in exchange for featuring it on my blog. As always, I’d never recommend a book to my readers that I didn’t genuinely enjoy reading myself!

We’re doing a reading challenge here at Teish Knits this summer, and it’s not too late to join in! You can download the challenge prompt list and bookmarks here. This is a strictly fun, no pressure challenge, so you can interpret the prompts as broadly as you like, and choose to do fewer of them if reading 13 books this summer seems too overwhelming. Every Tuesday, I’ll be sharing my own progress here on the blog, and I hope you’ll stop by and comment either on the blog or social media and let me know what you’re reading!

A book with a pretty cover.

I had no idea what book might fill this prompt when I added it to the Summer Reading Challenge list, but as soon as I saw the cover to Paul Regnier’s Paranormia, I knew this book was it! Urban fantasy is not a genre that I tend to read, but given how much I enjoyed Paul’s Space Drifters series, I was willing to give it a try.

Paranormia has a blend of humor and drama that kept me turning pages to the very end. I had to find out what happened to Chris! My favorite character was Finchelus, but since I don’t want to give anything away, you’ll need to read the book to figure out why. Themes of spiritual battles can be hard to write well. While the humor kept the story from getting too dark, it did make me think a bit about what might be going on outside of what we see in our day to day lives. It also brought home how we never know the effects of some of the seemingly-small things that we do.

A classic you haven’t read, but always wanted to.

I watched the BBC’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy adaptation when I was a kid. I watched the movie version when it came out years later, but never actually read any of the books. It might be a bit of a stretch to call The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy a classic, given that it was published in the 70s. We’re allowed to interpret the prompts for the reading challenge broadly, so I’m going with it!

I found reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to be somewhat random and disconnected. Typically, this would be the sort of thing that would make me stop reading a book, but it was done in such a way that it was amusing and I wanted to keep reading to find out how, or even if the dots connected in the end. Arthur Dent asking whether there’s any tea on the spaceship is still my favorite quote! (Though 42 is a close second.) I’m not sure yet whether I’ll read the rest of the books in the series.

So, what has everyone else read this week? Let me know in the comments, or on social media!

Summer Reading Challenge – June 25th Update

We’re doing a reading challenge here at Teish Knits this summer, and it’s not too late to join in! You can download the challenge prompt list and bookmarks here. This is a strictly fun, no pressure challenge, so you can interpret the prompts as broadly as you like, and choose to do fewer of them if reading 13 books this summer seems too overwhelming. Every Tuesday, I’ll be sharing my own progress here on the blog, and I hope you’ll stop by and comment either on the blog or social media and let me know what you’re reading!

A newly-released book

Guess what book came out last week! I’ve been waiting for Shattered Honor to release since it was announced, and it didn’t take me long to finish reading the third book in the Shadows of War series by Anne Wheeler. (This book is the reason I included the newly-released prompt in the reading challenge!)

If you have not read the first two books in the series, go read them first. This is definitely a series that I recommend reading in order. I loved the flip in perspective in Shattered Honor, because it gave me a fuller picture of the story. As they say, history is written by the winning side, and I think it’s interesting to read a series that explores both sides of a conflict in this way. I wasn’t sure what I’d think about a book that didn’t feature Avery as the main character like the first two books, but I quickly became absorbed in the stories of the characters who took starring roles in this one. (I may have cried a bit at the end. You’ll have to read it for yourself to find out why, because I’m not giving away any spoilers!)

I’d classify Shattered Honor as fairly clean adult space opera. Because the characters are dealing with war, espionage, being captured by the enemy, and such, there are some heavy themes. Some characters are interrogated and treated horribly in the course of this. I would not say that there is any overly graphic violence in the books, but these are disturbing topics, and they should be. The level to which it was discussed was appropriate to the story. I’d tend to say that it’s fine for older teens based on things that I read as an older teen, but as always, I recommend reading the book for yourself before deciding whether it’s appropriate for your teen.

I’ve nearly finished reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and I’ll be discussing that book, and Paul Regnier’s Paranormia next week. Let me know what you’re reading, and don’t forget to stop by again next Tuesday for another update!

Summer Reading Challenge – June 18th Update

We’re doing a reading challenge here at Teish Knits this summer, and it’s not too late to join in! You can download the challenge prompt list and bookmarks here. This is a strictly fun, no pressure challenge, so you can interpret the prompts as broadly as you like, and choose to do fewer of them if reading 13 books this summer seems too overwhelming. Every Tuesday, I’ll be sharing my own progress here on the blog, and I hope you’ll stop by and comment either on the blog or social media and let me know what you’re reading!

A book related to your career or goals.

How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson is one of those books that I read a number of years ago, but never really tried out the advice. (I’m not the only one who does that, right?) I found myself needing to outline the novella that I’m writing for Camp NaNo next month, and I decided to read through the book again and give it a try. I’ve read the Oxygen series that Randy co-authored and enjoyed the writing style, so I decided to give his Snowflake Method a try.

Two great things about this book is that it’s short and it’s not boring! Sometimes practical books are long, and hard to stick with. How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method isn’t a regular how-to book, it’s a how-to book written as a story. The story itself was creative and interesting enough to keep me engaged. Since the story is set at a writing conference where the main character is learning the method herself, it almost felt like I was sitting in on a class. The format didn’t just give me the principles, it also demonstrated a new writer, like myself, applying them to her own writing. The end of the book has a nice summary of the method so that you don’t have to go back through the book to remember the instructions for each step of the process.

I’ve been working through the method for the story I’m writing next month, and I can already see how this method has helped me get a stronger plot and stronger characters in place, even before I start writing. I’m excited to see what writing the story using this instead of my usual index card or traditional outline will be like! While there’s no method that’s just right for everyone, the Snowflake Method is worth checking out.

I’m also nearly finished reading Paul Reigner’s Paranormia, and I’ll be sharing about that in my Tuesday update once it releases!

Shattered Honor Blog Tour!

I discovered Anne Wheeler’s books through a speculative fiction writer’s group that I’m part of, and I’m so excited that I get to be part of the blog tour for the release of her third book, Shattered Honor!

Anne was kind enough to offer a little sneak peek at an excerpt for my readers:

It was strange how many people thought the desert was always hot. Windhaven, closer to the Haederan equator than even his thin blood would prefer, was cold in the winter, especially at night. Especially after . . . Well, wasn’t that why he was home? To forget what had happened? Forgetting apparently wasn’t as easy as it used to be, since he’d been watching the sun rise above the faraway mountains for more than an hour now, unable to sleep. The only thing he’d forgotten over the past years was who he really was.

If the glass running from the floor all the way to the flat roof had been thinner, he might have heard the goldcrests perched in the cacti on the other side. Four more alighted on the arm of one giant cactus to peck at it as he leaned his forehead against the window to watch. They would kill the plant sooner or later, but they meant no harm. They just didn’t know any better. How could they? Maybe if he reached a hand out, he could touch their feathers through the glass . . . take some of their innocence for himself.

“Hello there,” he said to the fat one sitting closest to him. The gold-feathered wren chirped silently, accusingly, then flew off in its never-ending search for water. Like it knew what kind of man was speaking to it. Like it saw all the things he’d done. Things he couldn’t think about now. His misplaced loyalties. The blood on his hands. He couldn’t blame the bird for staying away, just like he couldn’t blame the Holy One for deserting him.

Shattered Honor

Space opera will always be my first love when it comes to science fiction, and Anne has done a wonderful job with this series. I was interested as soon as I found out there was a princess who is also a pilot in the books. Asrian Skies did not disappoint, and neither did the sequel, Unbroken Fire. I can’t wait to dive into Shattered Honor, and I’ve already pre-ordered it so I can start reading on release day, which is June 18th. This is the book I’m reading for the “newly released” prompt in the Teish Knits Summer Reading Challenge, and I actually included that prompt with Shattered Honor in mind!

Do you know what’s even better than a summer book release from one of your favorite authors? A giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks Anne for sharing an excerpt and the giveaway with the Teish Knits readers! Anyone that hasn’t read the first two books yet still has time to binge read them this weekend so you can dive right into Shattered Honor with me on June 18th!

Summer Reading Challenge – June 11th Update

We’re doing a reading challenge here at Teish Knits this summer, and it’s not too late to join in! You can download the challenge prompt list and bookmarks here. This is a strictly fun, no pressure challenge, so you can interpret the prompts as broadly as you like, and choose to do fewer of them if reading 13 books this summer seems too overwhelming. Every Tuesday, I’ll be sharing my own progress here on the blog, and I hope you’ll stop by and comment either on the blog or social media and let me know what you’re reading!

A memoir or biography

I read The Sky Below by Scott Parazynski with Susy Flory for this reading prompt. If you can read the Kindle version on a color screen tablet, then go with the Kindle version. I’ve never read a book with embedded video, and it blew my mind when I watched a shuttle launch in the middle of a chapter!

The book itself is a fascinating look at a truly accomplished individual. I was only a few chapters into the book when I observed to my husband, “Reading this makes me realize that I’m the most boring person on Earth.” Seriously though, Scott Parazynski’s career is impressive on its own, but add to that the other fantastic experiences he’s had, and it makes for a book that I couldn’t put down. The last few words will stick with me for quite some time:

The summits and calderas and skywalks and other bold life challenges are out there, waiting for you to dust off your dream. Everything is possible until proven impossible, and then you just need to become more creative. The sky is not the limit. And it never will be.

Scott Parazynski

The Sky Below would absolutely appeal to anyone who enjoys reading astronaut memoirs, but I think it would appeal to a wider audience as well. Readers interested in mountain climbing would likely enjoy the read, given how much of that is included in the book. It’s a good length, and held my interest from start to finish. The kindle in motion version is a must though! You don’t want to miss the videos!

I’m currently reading the book that will check the box for the book with a pretty cover prompt, but since it’s an ARC for a book that will be releasing later this month, I’m not going to say more… yet. It’s definitely outside of my usual genre choice for reading, but it’s also by an author who’s books I’ve always enjoyed. I have to admit, I’m rather enjoying the ride! I’ll share more about it once the book releases, so keep following along on my Tuesday reading challenge updates!

What about you? What are you reading this week?