Category Archives: Joy of Reading

What’s On Your Nightstand: January 2013

Another year of happy reading!

What I finished reading this month:

  1. #110 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern This book starts with intriguing mystery, combined with a fascinating world of circus and magic and ends with no definite answer or ending, which is how it gives the illusion of a wonderful novel. But illusion is exactly that; illusion. The writer is very good at playing with words and making them sound delicious, however, which kept me believing that there’s a certain ending I was wishing for. But in the end, I closed the book without knowing what that certain last page would feel like.
  2. #111 Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis Mommy is a fixer of boo-boos and mender of broken hearts and so is our God except He is a thousand times better plus He is a healer and all-powerful. This book is so powerful, motivating and empowering and changes you to look at life differently. Loved author’s precious heart that loves and obeys God and she is mature and wise beyond her age.
  3. #112 The Wooing of Jane Grey by C.E. Hilbert I was quite bored with this book and I’m glad I’m done. :-(

What I’m reading currently:

What I’m planning to read next:


What’s On Your Nightstand: November 2012

What I finished reading this month:

  1. #104One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp I picked this book partly because of a review I’ve read and partly because of its pretty book cover. And I’m so glad I did because this book has blessed me so much in so many ways that I can’t even begin to describe. I cried so many times and often I felt God speaking directly to me in such timely manners. At times, He would use the exact words that I was using earlier that day to answer my questions or reassure my thoughts (all through Voskamp book, of course. ^^). I’m still processing this book although I’ve finished reading it a long ago because it contains so many things to think about and ponder. The best thing I got out of this book is the fact that thanksgiving has become a major part of my faith now and I found that it is indeed God’s will for me to do so. ( “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) Loved this book!
  2. #105 The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian This is my third The Power of Praying series book and as usual, Stormie always gives me something to think about and pray about and they are always very timely as well.
  3. #106 I’m Glad You Asked by Ken Boa and Larry Moody I read this book as part of our small group discussion and I enjoyed more than I thought I would. The book covers few hard questions that people ask the most about Christianity and it provides some interesting perspectives as well as few practical ways to answer those questions.
  4. #107 Matched by Ally Condie The Hunger Games meets the Bachelor? :-)
  5. #108 The Bungalow by Sarah Jio This book contained many interesting elements (WWII, Tahiti, murder, love story, etc.) but didn’t leave much room for my imagination. The ending was too predictable and I read it till the end just to finish it, fully knowing how the story is going to end. A bit disappointing since I was looking forward to another book by the author, The Violets of March.
  6. #109 The Girl Giant by Kristen den Hartog I cried and my heart ached for the little “giant” girl. In a way, we all want to be loved by someone no matter how we look and the reality of judgemental nature of human beings saddened me. An interesting book and even more interesting how the author decided to write a book about a giant girl after seeing an old photo of a giant Jewish girl.

30 Days of Thanksgiving:Day 18

Day 18: The Essenes of Thanksgiving

“When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the Lord, as prescribed by David king of Israel. With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: “He is good;his love toward Israel endures forever.” And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.” (Ezra 3:10-13)
I give you thanks, Lord, with shouts of joy, with music, with dancing, with tears, with lifted hands and with prayers. You are good.

30 Days of Thanksgiving:Day 8-15

My sweet precious mother-in-law is visiting us right now and she has been such a blessing for the past few days as usual. One thing I love the most about her visits with us is watching her and Bella baking all sorts of things; bread, cookies, pies, muffins, etc. And yes, right at this moment, they are baking some pumpkin pies and a whole wheat bread together, giggling and laughing and talking about all sorts of silly things.

What precious memories they are making together and knowing that Bella will look back and remember and treasure those sweet moments with her nana DO makes my heart full. So I captured the moments in my little camera to freeze them forever in my head and be thankful for ever.

Day 8: The Circle of Faith, Love and Gratitude

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.” (2 Thessalonians 1:3)

Day 9: Grandma’s Cookie Jar

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” (Philippians 1:3)

Day 10: Our Strength Comes From The Lord

“I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.” (Psalm 18:1-3)

Day 11: A Legacy to Extend

“I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my
Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and,I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this  reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” (2 Timothy 1:3-6)

Day 12: Water Droplets

“…And I shall go about Thine altar, O Lord, that I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Thy wonders (miracles).” (Psalms 26:6-7)

Day 13: Unshakable Gratitude

“Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” (Hebrews 12:28)

Day 14: An Orphan Tradition

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)

Day 15: God’s “People Gifts”

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” (Philippians 1:3)

What’s On Your Nightstand: July 2012

So I’ve missed past few months’ What’s On Your Nightstand posts and decided that that’s enough! :-)

What I finished reading this month:

  1. #89 Spiritual Common Sense: 77 Guiding Principles for a More Meaningful Life by Bill Halamandaris A friend of mine whom I have much respect for wrote this book and it was very sweet and brought me many good memories.
  2. #90 Being Good to Your Husband on Purpose by Becky Hunter This is a wonderful book written by Becky Hunter, a wife of a pastor. I originally read this book since I was attending her 4 week Bible study on being good to your husband on purpose and though many things in the book are not new to me, it still gave me few new perspectives I didn’t think about before. It really helped me to think myself as a God’s gift to my husband and being good to him on purpose for God.
  3. #91 The Help by Kathryn Stockett  Loved the book and the movie!
  4. #92 Bossypants by Tina Fey I always liked Tina Fey for some reason that I don’t even know. I enjoyed the book and many parts were quite funny, too. However, now that I got to know her a bit better, I know that I don’t agree with many things with her. But she still is funny!
  5. #93 On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep by Garry Ezzo and Robert Bucknam This book came back to me at a very critical time and my life literally had changed and improved! :-) I know this is a bit controversial book (I didn’t know this when I read it for my first child about four years ago but apparently many dislikes this book. I for one, have no problem letting my child cry a bit in the beginning before falling asleep and don’t think that causes a lifetime of trauma or separation anxiety, but that’s just me.) but with any parenting book, you take what works for you and you don’t have to agree or follow everything it says in the book.
  6. #94 On Becoming Babywise: Parenting Your Pre-Toddler 5 to 12 Months by Garry Ezzo and Robert Bucknam I always learn something new from Dr. Ezzo’s book and this was not an exception. I loved the point about ‘not giving a child freedom that you eventually have to take it away’ because that means you have to correct and re-teach the child at later time and who has time for that?! So true!
  7. #95 The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman LOVE! Simple as that. It doesn’t matter how many times you read it because you always take away something new.
  8. #96 Please Look After Mother by Kyung-Sook Shin A bit depressing but I can relate many sentiments in this book as a Korean.
  9. #97 Snow Angel by Jamie Carie A good book to pass time…
  10. #98 About that night by Julie James No good.
  11. #99 Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings I enjoyed this book a lot. What an interesting way to ‘re-read’ the story of Ruth. *^^*
  12. #100 The Selection by Kiera Cass A combination of the Hunger Game and Bachelor. Enough said. :-)
  13. #101 An Unlikely Suitor by Nancy Moser I noramlly like Nancy Moser’s novels but I was a bit bored by this book.
  14. #102 The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Kalssen I’ve always loved Julie Klassen novels because I always learn something and she does so much research on the vacation of the main character. This one was of course on a housemaid and boy the things I learned! I felt like I was reading Downton Abbey with a twist.
  15. #103 The Dawn of a Dream by Ann Shorey I didn’t enjoy this book. :-( It was  interesting to read about the process of becoming a teacher and how married women could not teach in the 19th century but I found myself being bored by every little details of each class, each semester and back and forth trips home as if I was reading a diary of some sort. Plus, I was a bit frustrated by the main character for she was rather snappy, judgemental, impatient and showed many qualities that I didn’t find admirable.

What I’m reading currently:

What I’m planning to read next:

What’s On Your Nightstand: January 2012

My last What’s On Your Nightstand post was for the month of August last year and as we all know, another year had begun and January is almost gone already! So what happened you might ask? Well…this (see below photo) happened and I’m so proud! :-) I loved every minute that I spent with her and no regrets on not reading much at all!

My Chloe bear @ 3 months

But now that things have somewhat settled down and the holidays are all over, I’m ready to get back to reading again!

What I finished reading this month:

  1. #86 Little Girls Can Be Mean by Michelle Anthony M.A. Ph.D. and Reyna Lindert Ph.D. Little girls can be mean for sure and this book gave me some insights to “reality.” I’m a bit scared for my girls since times are so different from when I was growing up, especially in another country. But at the same time, I wouldn’t draw too much attention and take things ‘too seriously’ as in this book. After all, kids will be kids and we all turned out to be just fine. :-)
  2. #87 Safe Heaven by Nicholas Sparks This was no Notebook but Nicholas Sparks still the same…
  3. #88 Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin I watched a movie called Something Borrowed that was based on one of Giffin’s novels so I thought I’d read her other novels. But I must say I was not impressed with this one at all since it left me with nothing after I was done reading. I’m not sure about picking up another one of her novels for now….

What I’m reading currently:

What I’m planning to read next:

Product The Journal of Best Practices

Product How It All Began

Product Bossypants

I’m participating in What’s On Your Nightstand , which is a way to connect with other bloggers and share my ”reading list” and reading habits of mine monthly from 5 Minutes for Books.  What’s On Your Nightstand happens on the FOURTH Tuesday of every month.

#85 Bible Basics: Why Trust the Bible

This full-color book gives answers to the following claims by critics:

  • The Gospels were written long after Jesus lived by people who weren’t eyewitnesses.
  • The stories about Jesus’ life and death were not handed down reliably and not recorded accurately.
  • The Bible is full of textual errors, as proven by the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • The New Testament wasn’t finalized until hundreds of years after Jesus and his disciples, so there could have been many other “Gospels” accepted and later rejected — in addition to the four Gospels found in the Bible today.
  • The originals of the Bible are lost, therefore we have no way of knowing what it actually said.
  • The Bible was edited by people who had an “agenda” and changed many teachings.
  • The chapter titles are How We Got the Bible; Dead Sea Scrolls; 100 Proofs for the Bible; Why Trust the Bible; 100 Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus; and the Gospels “Lost” & Found.

We just finished this book in our small Bible study group. It’s a good book that provides basic information on the credibility of the Bible and is a great starting point of researching further.

#84 Made To Crave

Made to Crave is the missing link between a woman’s desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment necessary to make that happen. The reality is we were made to crave. Craving isn’t a bad thing. But we must realize God created us to crave more of him. Many of us have misplaced that craving by overindulging in physical pleasures instead of lasting spiritual satisfaction. If you are struggling with unhealthy eating habits, you can break the ‘I’ll start again Monday’ cycle, and start feeling good about yourself
today. Learn to stop beating yourself up over the numbers on the scale. Discover that your weight loss struggle isn’t a curse but rather a blessing in the making, and replace justifications that lead to diet failure with empowering go-to scripts that lead to victory. You can reach your healthy weight goal — and grow closer to God in the process. This is not a how-to book. This is not the latest and greatest dieting plan. This book is the necessary companion for you to use alongside whatever healthy lifestyle plan you choose. This is a book and Bible study to help you find the ‘want to’ in making healthy lifestyle choices.

This is my first book of Lysa Terkeurst’s books that I’ve read though I listened to her many time on the radio and read her blog before. I found out about this book through one of the What’s On Your Nightstand? blogs and I thought it might be interesting to read. I’m not trying to lose weight right now (hello, preggie!) or have an eating problem. But like many women out there, I’d love to lose few pounds (well, mostly like 30 lbs or more when this baby comes out of me!) and be healthy.

No, this book doesn’t offer eating or exercise plans like many other weight-loss help books or even tell you how to go about at it. But what it tells you is where to start, why to do it and how to remain a healthy lifestyle with the help of God. It focuses more on mental war many of us go through with weight and healthy lifestyle and whom to hang on to, which I think is the most important thing in life, period!

#83 The Last Time I Saw Paris

May 1940. Fleeing a glamorous Manhattan life built on lies, Claire Harris arrives in Paris with a romantic vision of starting anew. But she didn’t anticipate the sight of Nazi soldiers marching under the Arc de Triomphe. Her plans smashed by the German occupation, the once- privileged socialite’s only option is to take a job in a flower shop under the tutelage of a sophisticated Parisian florist. In exchange for false identity papers, Claire agrees to aid the French Resistance. Despite the ever-present danger, she comes to love the enduring beauty of the City of Light, exploring it in the company of Thomas Grey, a mysterious Englishman working with the Resistance. Claire’s bravery and intelligence make her a valuable operative, and slowly her values shift as she witnesses the courageous spirit of the Parisians. But deception and betrayal force her to flee once again-this time to fight for the man she loves and what she knows is right-praying she has the heart and determination to survive long enough to one day see Paris again.

I’m getting more and more interested in historic fiction and since I very much enjoyed reading about French revolution not long ago, I thought I’d give this book a go. It’s hard to imagine living in a war-time and going through what people went through daily and to think what I read in this book actually happened, if not worse, gave me chills. I cried with Claire character many time in this book and feared and cheered for her throughout. Somehow, I knew how the story would end but I wasn’t disappointed at all but rather relieved. I thought Sheene did a wonderful job writing her first novel.


#82 Thirteen Reasons Why

When Clay Jenson plays the casette tapes he received in a mysterious package, he’s surprised to hear the voice of dead classmate Hannah Baker. He’s one of 13 people who receive Hannah’s story, which details the circumstances that led to her suicide. Clay spends the rest of the day and long into the night listening to Hannah’s voice and going to the locations she wants him to visit. The text alternates, sometimes quickly, between Hannah’s voice (italicized) and Clay’s thoughts as he listens to her words, which illuminate betrayals and secrets that demonstrate the consequences of even small actions. Hannah, herself, is not free from guilt, her own inaction having played a part in an accidental auto death and a rape. The message about how we treat one another, although sometimes heavy, makes for compelling reading. <source: Booklist>

I wouldn’t want to be in Clay Jensen’s shoes….

One’s mind is such a mysterious place and one will never know why people make the decisions the way they do, especially when it comes to a hard and heavy subject like suicide. To be honest, I didn’t sympathize with Hannah’s character much and all I could think of is how foolish her decision to end her life was. But then, I’m not a teenager (hormonal, confused, uncertain, lost between “safely” guarded childhood and reality, etc.) and am smart and old enough to know that my identity lies with God (not that it is easy but at least I know and try!).

Asher indeed gave me a lot to think about and to be sensitive to what others might go through however small they seem. And I pray that my child will grow up to be a godly girl so that she can stand firm against lies and temptation of the world with God’s help.

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