Fiction

Glass Sword: A Sneak Peek

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 



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





Current book:

Glass Sword

Victora Aveyard


Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard a Sneak Peek on Reading List





Sneak Peek:

"They stand over the cargo piles, rifles in hand, guarding the crates.   But guarding them from who?   'Don't look at them," Gisa mutters, grabbing onto my sleeve. She tugs me along,eager to get away from the blue soliders. One in particular watches us go, his eyes narrowed."  p 67








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

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:



Marissa writes book reviews for a variety of genres and  shares thoughts on motherhood & life on Reading List. She loves to see what others are reading to grow her to-read list.  Marissa also enjoys photography and a new journal to fill. 

Bloglovin' ~~ Subscribe ~~ Goodreads



Alyssa reads a variety of genres and writes about it at Sunrise Avenue. She is always looking for new bookish friends and recs'! Besides reading, Alyssa loves to bake and anything Doctor Who.


Twitter ~~ Google + ~~ Instagram ~~ Pinterest
Bloglovin' ~~ Subscribe ~~ Goodreads 





Here are some rules if you decide to join in:


• Pick up whatever book you are reading (non-fiction, fiction, children's... really the sky is the limit)
• Open to any page you have already read
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page - make it interesting without flipping to a ton of different pages. 
 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  http://forfunreadinglist.blogspot.com











Linking up with these fun hops:

Book review

Persuasion: A Book Review

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Persuasion

Martina Boone

There is something about a book series that attracts me.  When I read a book that has solid characters, I don't want to let go of them after just a few hundred pages.  I want to know more.  Plus a series guarantees me a few more books to read where I will already have a vested interest in at least a couple of the characters.

The Heirs of Watson Island has become one of those series. While the story is a few steps outside of my regular story selections, it has been different enough to intrigue me.  If you missed it, stop by my review of Compulsion, book one in the series, then check out my review of this second book in the series below.




Persuasion by Martina Boone  a Book Review on Reading List





Story Overview 

Persuasion** is the second book in Martina Boone's series, The Heirs of Watson Island.  This book continues to follow Barrie Watson, Eight Beaufort and their families as Barrie uncovers more and more of the secrets her mother kept from her.  While the continued story line about the new restaurant experience was a nice continuance from the first book, the bulk of the action surrounds a new character, Jeremiah.  

Jeremiah is not the typical character as he is fueled by a horrible vengeance. It takes most of the book to understand what his motives are, but it's clear from his introduction, he is not to be trusted. 

The story pulls on historical aspects of the Civil War, slavery and privateers - so you can imagine how many twists you will encounter in the pages of this southern gothic novel!

Personal Likes

I really enjoyed getting to Eight's back story in this second book.  Since Eight has lived his whole life on his family's plantation and in their small southern town he was easy to type-cast in the first book.  While Boone did allude to more, it finally comes up in this second book. We learn more about his life, and the life of his father, Seven - who had big dreams for his son before the family "gift" gets passed on to Eight.  It was also very nice to get more details on how the Beaufort gift works because in the first book that was not very clear... in fact it was just creepy at times. In fact the more details shared in this second book, the more I understood why the Beauforts were so popular in town.

This second book was mostly transitional - so there were a few more details explained, but more questions asked.  And that is a good thing, as now I want to read the final book... even if the story seems very strange to me right now.


Persuasion by Martina Boone a Book Review on Reading List



Personal Dislikes

I had some major issues with the twists surrounding Jeremiah, especially in the beginning.  Yes, his story is what made up the majority of the driving plot for this transitional book in the series, but it was completely out of left field from the first book. It felt like an experiment from Boone or an editor to show more of the mystic culture that dominates the three families of Watson Island.

Barrie was a little more annoying in her narration of the story. I have a feeling that was intentional as the Watson "gift" is weighing heavily on her throughout the story. However, she whined a ton - all the little things seemed like the end of the world - again this is expected to a certain extent with the teen lit/teen lead character... but it was a little over the top for Barrie, at least in comparison to the previous book. And have I mentioned I have three kids?  I do not need whining in my books!

And then there was the whole flashback scene (don't worry I won't spoil it)... Yes there are some simply awful truths about how slaves were treated in the deep south, and yes that does set up Jeremiah's actions, but again, it came completely out of left field!  What did that have to do with anything from book one?  Either there is a major need for a tie in for book three, or this book was not really needed and the series should have only been two books long.  Then again, I haven't read book three yet - it comes out in late 2016.

Reasons to Read

There are a few of you who are thinking, this is about magic, mysticism, voodoo - and for that reason I will not read it.  And to be honest, I think that is a wise decision, for many of you.  Because your morals are set in a strong faith.  Then there are others of you who are curious about how other cultures play into our society, our world. How different traditions, even religions, impact different people - these details are interesting to you because there are many different people in the world, and while we might never cross paths with some, we just might come in contact with someone who has a completely different value set - in fact, we might have to build a relationship with this unknown person who is full of a different religion, moral standard.

While this is a piece of fiction, and should be treated as such, there is something to be said about reading a book that shows off a new side of the culture you live in.  So if the history of the South, the religion of voodoo, or the strangeness of voodoo might be something that could cross your path, maybe you could consider reading this book.

Or maybe, you just enjoy a good story that is full of twists, magic, and characters that are developing in a way that might capture your attention for book three. Of course, if you read book one, Compulsion, then you might want to read this one just because.



Reading List Rating

Three heart rating on Reading List

I can only give this book a three heart rating.  I wanted so much more out of a transitional book in a series, but it felt like a forced story to meet a contract, or a deadline.  





My Suggested Audience

I would only suggest this book to those who have read the first book.  It is not a great stand alone, and as of right now, I have no clue how much of it is needed to understand book three.  It is suggested for a teenage audience, and I would have add that the audience should be ready to read mature subject matter - especially when it comes to the history of the south, the Civil War, and slavery.  Plus there is the magic/voodoo subject matter that parents would want to be aware of. 



At what age should parents allow their kids to pick out their own fiction books? #Parenting #Reading @Reading_List1



Would you allow your teenager to read a fictional book even if the subject matter was one you didn't agree with?  At what age will you trust your child to pick out his own books completely on his own?


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.







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activity

Explore Outer Space with Your Kids Through These Classics

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Magic School Bus

Will Take Your Child to Outer Space

I mentioned last week how we have an in between reader (able to fly through early readers, not quite ready for traditional chapter books/novels).  So we have started the quest for good options, and I'd like to share another one of our favorites. 

We really love The Magic School Bus.  It is enough fiction that it keeps the youngest kiddos entertained while planting solid seeds of information that we can expand upon if anyone wants to know more.  Plus, the dialogue bubbles of the different characters add a level of difficulty in the steps needed for more reading comprehension skills.  Not to mention the fact sections in the back. 

Recently outer space has held the attention of our boys.  The pattern of the moon's surface, the way stars are visible some nights but not other nights. They have been memorizing the names of the planets, dwarf planets, the moons of planets and more! 


Exploring the Solar System Featuring The Magic School Bus



Luckily for me, as I am not really the one to pull out tons of non-fiction books and make them understandable for young minds, The Magic School Bus has a plethora of options for learning more about Space.  While these books are doing a marvelous job of setting up some basic facts, it is helping me know what points to expand upon in helping grow their minds.

We have been enjoying the fact that there are more hours of the night during the winter season, and can sneak in some time outside to glimpse more of the stars. It truly helps keep their interest in space, planets, the sun and the moon.  

Another big bonus is the option to watch the Magic School Bus.  This is where Youtube and I are best friends - when I can pull up a teaching tool for my kids, and they see it as a special treat, well that and Netflix.  The only downside to watching is that I now get requests to do voices while reading... let me just say, I am not going to make any money on my voice impersonations - EVER!





The Magic School Bus: Outer Space 

  1. ** In The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System, Ms. Frizle's class is supposed to go to the planetarium... but, of course, they end up on a wild adventure that immerses the kids into science. 
  2. ** Space Explorers is an early chapter book (around the early 2nd-grade level) that lets you discover the differences between Earth and the other planets - particularly Mars. 
  3. ** Magic School Bus Takes a Moonwalk is another early reader book (its considered a level 2, so late kindergarten/early 1st-grade level) that takes you on an extraordinary adventure to the moon. 
  4. ** The Magic School Bus Presents Our Solar System is a great resource for those kids who are interested in learning even more about the solar system.  It is very similar to children's non-fiction books with some extras from the Magic School Bus cast. This is a tool that is perfect for 1st-3rd graders (especially for reading level and comprehension), but younger kids could easily gain from this one as well. 


If your kiddos are at all interested in any aspect of space, I suggest requesting some of these books from your local library and then soaking in the wonder of the universe with them. 



Are your kids interested in the solar system? Check out these great #resources on outer space! @Reading_List1


Check out these great ideas for bringing these Space concepts to life





Are your kids into the stars, the moon, and outer space?  Have you introduced your kids to The Magic School bus?



Marissa @ Reading List




**If you are considering buying any of these books, or another book for that matter, consider clicking on one of these Amazon links. As my affiliate links, you will be supporting Reading List while doing your shopping!  Thank you for your support.


***By Scott Kelly (Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth) [Public domain]

Christian

Cold Shot: A Sneak Peek

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 



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





Current book:

Cold Shot

Dani Pettrey



Cold Shot by Dani Pettery  A Sneak Peek on Reading List




Sneak Peek:

"God called husabnds to love their wives like the church- that he believed he could do- but he couldn't lead his wife while still struggling with his own demons. Until he conquered them, he couldn't move forward. And he certainly wasn't into casual dating and must definitely not with an amazing woman like Finley Scott." location 1017







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

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:



Marissa writes book reviews for a variety of genres and  shares thoughts on motherhood & life on Reading List. She loves to see what others are reading to grow her to-read list.  Marissa also enjoys photography and a new journal to fill. 

Bloglovin' ~~ Subscribe ~~ Goodreads



Alyssa reads a variety of genres and writes about it at Sunrise Avenue. She is always looking for new bookish friends and recs'! Besides reading, Alyssa loves to bake and anything Doctor Who.


Twitter ~~ Google + ~~ Instagram ~~ Pinterest
Bloglovin' ~~ Subscribe ~~ Goodreads 





Here are some rules if you decide to join in:


• Pick up whatever book you are reading (non-fiction, fiction, children's... really the sky is the limit)
• Open to any page you have already read
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page - make it interesting without flipping to a ton of different pages. 
 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  http://forfunreadinglist.blogspot.com











Linking up with these fun hops:

book reflection

Making Room for God Space

Friday, February 19, 2016

Making Room for God Space

Practical steps to evangelizing in today's society


Have you ever had to walk by a screaming street evangelist? You know, the person, or people, shouting at everyone about their sinful ways and how everyone is doomed to an eternity in the fiery pits of hell. Or some kind of equally shocking and troubling message.  Often they have pamphlets full of nightmare-inducing images or are holding a disturbing sign. While I was in college for my undergrad degree, there was a man who infamously stood, or rather paced, a small area in the center of campus yelling his religion. The vast majority of students kept in ear buds pumping music at full volume to drown him out while they walked right on by; others, like me, would take serious detours whenever possible to completely avoid the area.

Making Room for God Space   on Reading List


Even as a firm believer at the time, his technique embarrassed me. I was embarrassed for myself, for him, and for those who did not believe and now saw religion through his invasive approach. While the point - attempting to save souls from eternal damnation -was one I agreed with, the method was an automatic turn off to too many. And for some, it left a horrible taste for all believers, no matter what.

It does not surprise me that many people end up with the idea that religion is something they will avoid at all costs because of such encounters.

As you can guess my days of undergrad are long gone. I am more comfortable in my beliefs. I doubt I would avoid such an outspoken evangelist now.  But the question now is, if we, as believers, need to avoid the invasive, hit-them-over-the-head-with-scary-truth method, what should we do?

Maybe we can just pray for not-yet-saved souls. We know prayer is powerful. We know that our God can do anything. We know that God is the one that changes hearts and people.  So why even bother actively pursuing not-yet believers? (Mark 11:24)

"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations…” Matthew 28:19
We have been charged to take an active role in guiding all people back to their Creator God. However, I know many, myself included, who are just not sure how to even take a single step towards going and making disciples.

Since we know this is a command from our Lord Jesus Christ, then we have to find ways to obey. Let's check out this idea of how to take one step at a time in obedience.

Ravi Zacharias said, “We must learn to find the back door to people’s hearts because the front door is heavily guarded.” It is probably fair to say that the front door is heavily guarded because of experiences like the screaming evangelist, or the long lists of to-dos from a person’s childhood church, or even the lists of do not's.  The thing is if we get caught up in trying to accommodate for all the what ifs we will never do anything - we won’t be active. The weight of the what ifs will paralyze us, so we have to give the uncertainties of future possibilities over to our God and take a step in faith.


Making Room for God Space   on Reading List


This place of knowing is where I sat for a while.  I knew I needed to be intentional, and active, but how does one reach out to those who have put up walls? How do we actually and practically take a step in obedience to this command of leading people to Christ?

Through an incredibly innovative, and spirit-inspired, writer, I learned about allowing for God space in my life every single day. In Doug Pollock’s God Space, he points out that “God Space begins where the natural gives way to the supernatural.” (p 16)

What is the natural?

It is the go to for the majority of people in a given circumstance - at least for this purpose, it is best to think of it that way.

Alright, no problem, I thought, I can totally do that. I am a people watcher and a thinker by nature. I started watching and thinking.  Do you know what I discovered?

My life was full of believers.  Sure they were all at different stages of belief, but they were believers.  I had put together a little world for my family that consisted of safe people for my kids, and in the process, I had  all but cut out every chance of interacting with the natural of our society. (Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having a safe place for your kids, but there comes a time when you have to step into the world - go and make...)

Step one in actively reaching out to make disciples means you, and I, have to search out people in every area of your life who are not-yet believers - meaning they do not know God or are not saved (depending on your personal lingo).  If you are like me, and unsure what areas there even are in your life, think your family (start with your immediate family and work out to distant relatives), think friends (actual friends you see, or could make a point of seeing as well as all those “friends” you’ve picked on social media), think work (for those who are stay at home mamas, or work at home mamas - think of those other moms you see pushing strollers in the park), think school (yours if you are in classes of any kind, and your kids’).  Just start breaking down your areas of life.  And if, like me, you cannot think of a single person you can name as a not-yet-believer, pray that God will show you one.(Take your time here, pray, listen) Once you have your list, actual names here, start praying- for them, for you, for your time with them, for God Space.

Since we know that God hears, listens and responds to our prayers, as you are faithful with step one, you will start to receive opportunities to enter the “back door” of these people’s hearts so you can plant or water the seeds of faith. (Matthew 7:7 & 1 Corinthians 3:6-9)

Here’s where it gets tricky. How do we even start to move towards that back door?

The first practical step is to schedule your life to allow for interactions with the people on your list. Call up those friends and schedule coffee dates. Plan on going to the park during peak hours and then say hi to those other mamas you see often. Call that aunt or cousin you only see once during the holidays just to say hi. Do not plan on saying anything drastic. Just be open to having a real conversation about something they are comfortable with.

The second practical step would be to start asking wondering questions as applicable. Wondering questions are a result of engaging a person in a conversation they are interested in, and then really listening. Doug Pollock calls this “Spirit-led listening”, because while you are listening to your not-yet-believing friend, the Spirit will start pointing out aspects of what they are saying that will alert you to the deep need inside of them to be found in their Creator. But instead of shouting at them about the state of their soul, you can ask a wondering question that will make them start wondering about real answers - you will simply scatter a seed or water a seed that God placed in their heart.





So now you are probably thinking, this is all great Marissa, but how does that look? And how exactly am I suppose to take those steps?

Well, first might I suggest getting your hands on God Space?  Each chapter will walk you through how to pursue the people in your life, how to engage them in real conversations, and how to ask wondering questions without getting that door slammed in your face.

If you are still willing to hear how this form of going and making disciples is playing out in my life and on Reading List, join us next week.



We know that God is the one that changes hearts and people.  So why even bother actively pursuing not-yet believers? @Reading_List1





How do you feel about the doomsday evangelizing that most Americans know? Are you curious about wondering questions? Does this sound like a form of actively reaching out that you could do?


Marissa @ Reading List


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





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