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You're Going to Be Okay... A Sneak Peek

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 

Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List  a glimpse into what I am reading currently

Current book:

You're Going to Be Okay: Encouraging Truth Your Heart Needs to Hear, Especially on the Hard Days

Holley Gerth

You're Going to Be Okay  By Holley Gerth  a Saturday Sneak Peek on Reading List

Sneak Peek:

"Here is why you are irreplaceable: because you are made in the image of the God who created the universe, and there is a part of who he is that gets shown only through who you are. Sometimes that happens through our strengths. But sometimes it's through our cracks that his light shines the brightest."  p 24

Thank you to A Daily Rhythm for inspiring Reading List's Saturday Sneak Peek link up!

Here are some rules if you decide to join in:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so we can all add your book to our To-Be-Read lists!

This particular link up will be open for a month, so stop by often to share a new sneak peek, and grow your own TBR list!

Marissa at Reading List

Linking up with these fun hops: WomenLove Bakes Good CakesThe Jenny EvolutionLearning From Each OtherDance With Jesus

Cozy book hop

Cozy Reading Spot #120 Take 2

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Welcome to Cozy Reading Spot! 

This is your chance to share your posts, and then grab your favorite drink to curl up with and read other's posts.  You are welcome to share posts that tell us what has been on your heart, mind and bookshelves - yes that means just about anything goes.  As book lovers, we love to read, so share something for us to read today!

Last Week's Features

Marissa's Favorite

My personal favorite this week was from Mandy on Worshipful Living.  I've been following her adoption story for a while now, and she has done an amazing job of sharing her heart. How Adoption Has Helped Sanctify Me, is a great sharing of her current heart in the process. 

Most Popular

This week's most popular post is from Cathy on Thoughts on Books. She shares her thoughts and favorite parts of John Piper's Bloodline which looks into the question, Is Interracial Marriage of God?

A Repeat?

Does this page look like a repeat to you?  Since lase week was Thanksgiving, The Cozy Reading Spot stayed opened all week, and will continue through this weekend like normal.  This way, all of us can link up with new posts as we want because I know holidays throw off my writing schedule.  So if you linked up last week, leave a new link, if you didn't get around to it last week, welcome back.  Stop by and check out some other posts, say hi to some new friends, and soak in some cozy reading time!

Please link up all you've got!  

This is an open link up, not just a book link up...

There are just a few small requests I have. 
  • Please link to a direct post, and not just your home page (I will use my discretion on leaving links up that do not follow this as the idea is to link to your blog posts...).
  • I wish I didn't have to say this, but please keep it clean. I know books can range the gamut on adult content, but please keep your review and images clean for this one. This does apply for all types of posts, this is an open link up, so you do not have to leave a book review, or book related post - just link up something that share what you've been writing on your blog... only keep it clean
  • Try to stop by another link and say hi. I know we are all busy blogging, reading and writing, not mention living our lives and keeping up with responsibilities - however, what makes link up so fun is having new people visit your blog!  So spread the love and hop to at least one link for each link you leave.
  • Please include a link back to the hop in your post - the button codes are part of the flair page, but a text hyperlink is just as good! This simply allows others to join in the fun, and isn't that the whole point?                                         

Of course, this is a Hop - so hop around and check out the rest of the book lovers and writers and get to know someone!  Building community is the joy of blogging, right?

And on that note - send out a quick tweet to invite all your friends to the hop real quick - Tweet This!

Cozy Reading Spot  {Reading List}

** If you're reading this from your email, click over and join us!  Reading List

The fine print: Please understand that by linking up with the Cozy Reading Spot, you are agreeing to allow Reading List to feature you in a future post.  That includes a link to your post, and a picture you've used on that post.  You are also allowing Reading List to share any post you link up with pinterest, facebook, twitter and/or google+.  Also, by posting in this hop, you are allowing your email address to be used for a weekly reminder of the hop - your email will not be used for any other purpose, period.

See where I link up!


The Best Yes: a Book Review

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

The Best Yes

Lysa TerKeurst

Every year it seems that there are a couple of books that are written by some well received bloggers and motivational speakers that sweep through the Christian blogging world.  Have you noticed that?

In fact some of my favorite all time motivational books came from these "pop up" authors: Women Living Well, Desperate, Unglued... just to name a few.

It would make sense then that I always pick up these books quickly, but the opposite was true in the past two years.  For the most part, these blogging authors have promo-ed books, looked for beta groups to review it, and I've just not felt a draw to them.  As a result these books were put on my to read list and just sat there. So this year I've tried to pick them up, like You're Going to Be Okay and today's feature, The Best Yes.

I cannot even begin to name all the blogging buddies I have who have recommended these books.  So I was looking forward to some well put together motivational reads.

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKerKeurst  a Book Review on Reading List

Story Overview 

Lysa TerKeurst shares her personal struggle over when to say yes and when to say no in The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands **.  She speaks honestly on the struggle she has, as well as the struggle she has seen many other women have when it comes to keeping a balance on personal commitments in order to allow space for God to give each of us a chance to partake in a Best Yes opportunity.

Lysa speaks to timely issues with the power of social media and comparison driving many women to say yes to more and more commitments simply to appear to be good Christian women. And yet more and more women are complaining of being overwhelmed, stressed and depressed. She includes step by step questions and habits to form in order to critically analyze each opportunity as it arises so we can yes to the best options and no to those that simply are not the best for us. 

The book is full of humorous stories, practical concepts and encouragement for women who are struggling to find the balance between servant of God and people pleaser.

Personal Likes

I have always enjoyed Lysa's writing style.  She writes as though she knows you and is sharing her heart, struggles and stories just with you.  As a result there are many real life stories that will bring a smile to your face, if not make you laugh out loud.

There were many great points she made about even if an opportunity is good, that doesn't mean we need to say yes to it. I know in my circle of Christian friends, this is an issue. We all want to be doing great things for the Kingdom, but our lives are busy and we don't know which ones to say yes to without cramming our schedules so full we can't breathe. So for that, it was nice to hear another's heart on the topic.

The Best Yes Quote on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

This book was way too long for the premise.  She made her point well in the first few chapters, and then it felt like it was on repeat. Yes there were minor differences, but overall the point of each chapter felt the same. In fact there are some summaries and outlines at the end of the book that were just as insightful as the whole book, so if you're tight on time, maybe just cheat, and get the "answers" in the back of the book, you know like grade school math.

While the overall message of being strict about when to say yes is a universal skill we need as Christians, this book had a very small audience - middle to upper class women; I could probably get even more specific and say thirty to forty something mothers. In a way that select audience result in some parts of the book reading as a little elitist, which is hard to say for a Christian author I respect, but something was off in this book in the way it was focused.  Probably because it didn't need to be so long, and when we use more words simply to reach a word count we are bound to put out the wrong message. 

Reasons to Read

For those Christian moms who really do feel over extended in an attempt to please people this is the perfect book, especially if you are okay with skimming parts where it gets repetitive. 

Reading List Rating

I can only give this book a three heart rating.  I enjoyed the tone and humor. The wisdom in the overall message is amazing. However I will not read this book again, and I'm being very selective about who I suggest this to in my friend circle.

My Suggested Audience

As I mentioned above, this one seems to have a very specific audience: Christian women, mostly moms, in their thirty's and forty's who are feeling overextended in their obligations. Those women who are focused on people pleasing instead of serving the Lord who tests our hearts. 

My attitude of love must trump my activity every time. #TheBestYes @LysaTerKeurst @Reading_List1

How full is your schedule? Do you say yes to every opportunity that comes your way to please the person asking? If you are able to keep a balance over your commitments, how do you do it!?  

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. 

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

Linking up with these fun hops:

Wise-Woman-Builds While I'm Waiting...The Princess & Her CowboysBes of BabyPat and CandyThe Felicity Jar WomenLove Bakes Good CakesThe Jenny EvolutionLearning From Each OtherDance With Jesus


20 Great Books to Give to Kids in 2015

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

20 Great Books to Give to Kids 

Gift options for kids of all ages

A few years ago a friend of mine shared with me how she keeps her gift giving under control for her kids.  They follow the four gift rule: one that is wanted, one that is needed, one to wear, one to read. She shared this bit of wisdom in my mom's group, and many of us younger moms (at the time) adopted it quickly. So I guess, it should have been no surprise when a few of my close friends asked me recently what books they should get for their kids this Christmas. To be honest, I did not know where to start!  There are just so many great options.  Since I know them, I catered the options to their kids.

20 Great Books to Give to Kids:  Christmas Gifts to Read   A Children's Corner Feature on Reading List

However, there are some books that I am pretty sure would be major hits with all kids.  So today I am going to share my current top 20 to give as gifts. There are some that are great for toddlers and pre-readers, some that a great for emergent readers and early readers, as well as some chapter books for the more versed kids.  

Let's not delay any longer, here's my top 20 for 2015! (**The following images are affiliate links, please consider supporting Reading List)

  1.     Press Here by Herve Tullet is a fun interactive book perfect for kids 3 and up - or any kid that enjoys playing with their books and listening to stories at the same time.
  2.    The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak is the best read aloud book, period. It would be the perfect gift for toddlers and preschoolers, but I have to add I've seen many elementary kids rolling on the floor laughing to this one.
  3.    The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt is simply funny - it's funny to read, it's funny to hear, and it inspires kids to be creative with their crayons. This is a great choice for preschoolers and elementary kids.
  4.    The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams is simply a classic and every child should have this story.  The story of how toys become real touches kids and allows empathy to develop. This one is perfect for any child.
  5.    The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch is an adorable story of a princess who finds a way to save herself while teaching girls that courage is within us, not based on our appearance. This is a great book for primary/elementary grade girls
  6.    A Giraffe and a Half by Shel Silverstein is the newest collection of poems. Again, shouldn't all kids have at least one Silverstein book on their bookshelf?
  7.    Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viost is simply a classic. Alexander is silly to read about, yet full of lessons for kids and adults alike. This is perfect for children of all ages.
  8.   Corduroy by Don Freeman is also a story that is simply adorable as this toy bear tries to make himself whole in order to be chosen by a little girl as her own toy, of course he learns a bigger lesson of friendship in the end.  This classic story is perfect for kids three to ten, and can be treasured for years after that 
  9.    The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner is a wonderful series for those kids who are ready to read chapter books on their own.  The mysteries are fun and engaging adventures without being overly scary.
  10.    Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown is a fun book, almost a graphic novel for the perfect stepping stone from early readers to chapter books. I would recommend this one for second graders and up, and there are more in the series!
  11.    American Girl series - Alright so this is a big vague, but all the girls are fun, and tell amazing historical fiction.  Any of these series would be a great gift for young girls seven and up. 
  12.    The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis is another series that is a classic and needs to be on every child's bookshelf.  The fantasy series is perfect for solid readers who are interested in chapter books, probably ages eight and up.
  13.    Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene is a great series for mystery fans. These classics are best for strong readers, probably ten and up.
  14.    The Hardy Boys Mysteries by Franklin W Dixon is a great series for mystery fans. These classics are for strong readers, probably ten and up
  15.    History theme books by James Weber - these are an odd choice for me, as they are all digital books, but they are also a great find for those kids who are into history and non-fiction. These books give great outlines and basic facts surround different historical periods. These are for your older kids, probably thirteen and up.
  16.    1st Look & Find books - another cheater here, as there are so many options when it comes to these engaging books that ask kids to search through the pictures. This is a great opportunity to find your kids favorite character as so many are featured in these fun books.
  17.    Mandala Coloring Book for Kids - These coloring books are all the rage for adults, but there are still fun options for the kiddos too! Get one for you and for your kid to spend time coloring together.
  18.    The Lion Guard by Walt Disney Company is a brand new story to compliment a new movie and series on Disney Channel.  The story is cute and fun for young children.
  19.   Do you want to build a snowman? by Calliope Glass is just a fun interactive story that I mentioned earlier this year.  I highly recommend it to those with young Frozen fans. 
  20.  >  Guess Who Books - Another bunch of books that allow you to find your child's favorite character and indulge a little.  These fun books play off of the peek-a-boo game to help pull young kids into books

I guess technically that is more than 20 books, as there are quite a few series in there...  What can I say - there are just so many great choices!

Looking for #giftstheycanread - Check out my top 20 for 2015. #FourGiftRule #BooksforKids #Christmasgiftideas @Reading_List1

The Four Gift Rule for Christmas

To be honest, I wish that I could actually sit down with you, ask a few questions and give you a personalized list... I know there are more I could add... And I'm sure you have a few you could add!

What would you add to this list?  What kind of books do your kids enjoy most? Do you follow the four gift rule?

I'd love to hear from you, leave a comment with your thoughts, or answers!

Marissa  Writing at Reading List

Linking up with these fun hops:

PhotobucketMummascribblesMummascribbles WomenLove Bakes Good CakesThe Jenny EvolutionLearning From Each OtherDance With Jesus

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