Literary Pursuits – August 2015

I had a lot of free time this month, due to the kids spending mornings at VBS one week and another week of all-day day-camp. My desk never got organized (a project I’ve been meaning to do since last January) and I wasn’t as diligent as I should have been with my business management, but I got a fair amount of reading and a whole lot of writing done, so I’m going to call it time well spent.

What I’m Reading

I finished Revolutionary Mothers, as well as The House of the Seven Gables. I also read The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman for my book club. I gave my thoughts on the first two books last month, so I won’t repeat them here. The Light Between Oceans was OK. I liked it at first, but as it went on I began to lose interest. I didn’t really care for most of the characters, except for one relatively minor character who was extraordinarily well written. The book deals honestly with a difficult situation that has no good answers, but I thought it could have been a little less tragic. Looking for another classic to read on my phone after I finished The House of the Seven Gables, I found The Evil Clergyman by H.P. Lovecraft, not realizing it was a short story that I would read through in a few minutes. I found it strange, to say the least.

I only managed to listen to the first two of the three short stories included in Stephen King’s audiobook Blood and Smoke before it expired and disappeared from my phone. I enjoyed them, but I don’t think it’s wise to listen to Stephen King reading one of his own stories aloud while I’m driving along dark roads, alone in my car. He scared the crap out of me.

The kids and I finished listening to the first audiobook in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, the one called The Mysterious Howling. Spencer was a huge fan, Naomi wasn’t. We convinced her to give the second audiobook in the series a try (The Hidden Gallery) and see if she liked it better. She did, and now we’ve finished listening to that one as well as the third book (The Unseen Guest). We just started the fourth book in the series, The Interrupted Tale. Both kids are hooked, and Spencer has mentioned that he wished we could have the actual books at home as part of our collection. I’ll probably make that happen.

Trinity and the Kingdom by Jurgen Moltmann. Slow going, but fascinating! Moltmann speaks of the love of God in a way that I’ve never considered before. Furthermore, the love that he speaks of absolutely precludes divine justification of the many atrocities and abuses that have been and are still being done in God’s name, which is a subject in which I’m passionately interested. I’m on page 61 out of 222.

Ronia the Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren. We’ve only got one chapter left. The kids have listened politely, but I don’t think they connect with this book the way I did when I was growing up. Perhaps it’s because I was a little older when I read it. More likely, they don’t have the same needs I had as a kid. I hated being a kid, and I loved stories that involved kids going off on their own and living independently of adults, which is a major theme in this book. My kids seem to like the adults who run their lives, so I suppose I should consider their lack of interest in this book a good thing. We’re on page 170 out of 176.

What I’m Writing

Novel: It was a record-breaking month! I wrote 15,830 words, bringing my word count up to 62,861. I doubt I’ll be able to keep up that pace, but I think it’s very likely I’ll finish my rough draft before the end of the calendar year, which is my goal.

Sermons: I wrote two new ones last month, with two more coming up.

Blog: I’ve been keeping up with my weekly publication schedule (although I’m running a little late with today’s), so this is my fourth post since last month’s check in.

How has your writing been going over the summer? Read any good books you’d like to recommend? Please share in the comments!


Literary Pursuits – August 2015 — 2 Comments

  1. I have a hard time with many of the book club type selections. After dealing with human angst at work all week I find escapist reading more enjoyable. I am currently on the last of the Harry Potter series having re-read the set over the last 2 weeks or so. Every time I read them I notice something different- this time I was very tuned in to the morality of the characters and the struggles they had with being’good all the time’.
    For classic recommendations- The Secret Garden and the Little Princess have always been favorites of mine- set in England. On the same theme- I loved Joan Aiken – The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and Nightbirds on Nantucket. For True classics I loved Swiss Family Robinson. The vocabulary is actually very advanced but I read it to Tim when he was about that age and he loved it too. I remember 20000 Leagues under the Sea fondly as well. Black Beauty was pretty cool too. I

  2. I don’t mind human angst in a book, but there can be too much of it. I reread Harry Potter a few years ago, and now I’m trying to get the kids interested. They’ve seen the first few movies, though, and found Lupin’s werewolf scary, so now they’re scared of the whole thing. Some of the others you mentioned are on my list for the kids, too. (I loved Sara Crewe, which was later expanded into the Little Princess, when I was growing up. Again a child operating as a little adult.) We have a few you mentioned at home already, which I’ll offer as choices on Saturday, when they have to pick a new bedtime book.

    Thanks for the recommendations!