4 down, 21 to go

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015 in Reading Challenge | 4 comments

The Book Challenge Returns


I’ve actually read about 8 or 9 more books since I last posted this series in February, but time got away from me, and other lame excuses. If you’ll bear with me, I’ll try to catch up on the books I’ve read (and keep reading on my goal to finish 25 books this year that aren’t related to my work).

I explain the personal challenge here, but in a nutshell, I’ve challenged myself to read a variety of books this year, and post my reviews. So here goes with book #4.


Madeline L’Engle {Herself}

compiled by Carole F. Chase


Madeline L'EngleI loved this book. It’s a collection of snippets from Madeline L’Engle’s workshops and advice to writers. I didn’t read it in one sitting. Instead, I endeavored to read one passage at a time and reflect on her advice. It was too good, though, and I’d find that I had read 5 or 6 entries before realizing that my intent was to savor the book. Silly me. It’s just so rich, and speaks so very perfectly to my writer’s heart.

She offers the following advice about getting started, and I find I suffer from the same experience:

The hardest part is the first three sentences. Sitting down with pen and paper and just getting those first three sentences out. I sometimes have to write my way into something knowing that that first paragraph is just preliminary, but I have to write myself in. It’s like being in a cold lake and sometimes you have to go in toe by toe. Some of you can plunge in, but not always; you have to write your way into it. And then you’re swimming.





  1. I’ve found this writing advice to be true. Just sitting down and getting started is the hardest part. If you can get past that and get those first sentences out you’re on your way. I love this challenge you’ve given yourself. Most impressive. I’m a lapsed reader although I’m okay with it. I read a whole lot of blogs and manage about a book a month. Good luck with the rest of your list!

    • Thanks! I read a lot of blogs, too, though I admit I read as they appear in my feed, which means I don’t hit every one every time. I like the idea of a lapsed reader — trying to fix that here 🙂

  2. Years ago I found a fascinating book on my dad’s bookshelf about St. Francis. It was written by a woman and I believe translated into English. Seemed to be historical novel though I’m not a historic scholar on St. Francis. It made my European trip where we spent a day in Assissi so much more meaningful. I let a dear friend borrow it and it was accidently lost. She tried to find another one, but was unsuccessful.

    • Oh know…but you remember it. A good book stays with us !

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