Reading Challenge

2 down, 23 to go

Posted by on Feb 5, 2015 in Reading Challenge | 14 comments

I just finished the second book in my ambitious plan to read 25 books this year (for pleasure — I have other reading to do, too).

I read a book about science that surprised me. I totally thought I was going to read one of Stephen Hawking’s books, maybe The History of Time. But that’d be cheating since I already read that. Ha! But let’s be honest — I was struggling with this. So how did I end up completing this part of the challenge early when I was balking?

Check out Nikola Tesla: IMagination and the Man Who Invented the 20th Century by Sean Patrick.


Luck. I happened to be looking for some books for my kindle and ran across this particular one that was free. I didn’t even choose it because it was free — I chose it because it was about Nikola Tesla.

I wanted to read about putting my already wild head of hair to the test in one of those Tesla coil thingies that makes you a ball of static.

I’m sure some scientist reading this is having conniptions over my terminology. Enjoy. Most of it is me being annoying.

But Tesla — what an interesting guy! Admittedly, all the talk about generators and alternating current and such went over my head, what I did take away was his fearlessness in tackling creative endeavors. The book talked about electricity, but it was much more. He really believed in himself. He had extraordinary vision, and it was coupled with a commitment to hard work.

I have to say that I admire that about Tesla, and one more thing: He approached all of this with an incredible personal sense of integrity.

The book is a quick read, quite inspirational! I recommend it!

One thumb up (I didn’t give it two because it was lite on the science — but to be fair, it was less about science and more about motivation). While I wouldn’t mind playing with some static electricity for the fun of it, this book has given me some excellent food for thought about my own creative process and my desire to share my work.

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1 down, 24 to go

Posted by on Feb 1, 2015 in Reading Challenge | 12 comments

I just finished the first book in my ambitious plan to read 25 books this year (for pleasure — I have other reading to do, too).

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 12.29.58 AM

Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card grabbed my attention and held it throughout the story. And now, I’m stuck, because it’s a series with two other books available, and it’s going to get in my way of getting through the rest of my list. I must stay focused. I must get the next book.

You may know Card from Ender’s Game, which I read years ago, but my favorite of his novels is Enchantment. I loved the premise of Sleeping Beauty’s story being bridged with reality/modern times. The hipster gene that runs through me was pleased to know I was familiar with this book long before Disney’s knock-off Enchanted, and the subsequent hit, Once Upon a Time.

Card is a terrific storyteller, but he really nails characters and their relationships.

The sci-fi in Pathfinder is not too over-the-top — once you get past the colonization of the human species and time travel. It’s good. And plausible, which is what makes any story, sci-fi or not, compelling.

But I go back to the characters and their relationships. This is my favorite quote from the novel, a piece I highlighted early, and drives the characters’ motivation throughout:

Children wait to learn if their love is true by seeing how long it lasts; adults make their love true by never wavering from their commitment.

I give it two thumbs up!

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my personal reading challenge

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in good for the soul, Reading Challenge | 43 comments


There was a time in my life when I was reading 2-3 books a week. For pleasure.

That didn’t include the reading I had to do for work or school, which was often pleasurable, but not necessarily.

And then something happened, and I quit reading for pleasure. Other things required my attention, and I still had to read for work, so I kind of let that go. I’m knocking that out right now. I still have a lot of reading to do for work, some of it is good and fun, but most is very dry and academic.

I’m reclaiming my love of literature!

Right here! Right now!

I plan to read 25 books in what remains of 2015. That’s about a book every couple of weeks or so. Very do-able. In fact, some of you might think I’m low-balling based on my previous habits. Nope. I’m setting a goal I can handle, but there’s a twist. I’m going to qualify the books.

1. A totally gratuitous and vapid book that I’ll forget the moment I set it down after finishing it.
2. A biography.
3. A history book. Preferably American history because I’m weak there. The Catholic Drinkie’s Guide to Home-Brewed Evangelization by Sarah Vabulas
4. A book about music. The Inextinguishable Symphony by Martin Goldsmith
5. A book about an artist.
6. A book of poetry.
7. A book about prayer.
8. A science-fiction novel. Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card
9. A book about Catholic theology.
10. A book about writing. Madeline L’Engle {Herself} compiled by Carole F. Chase
11. A classic.
12. A New York Times best-seller.
13. A book in Spanish.
14. A romance.
15. A murder mystery.
16. A book about a Saint.
17. A book BY a Saint.
18. A book by a friend. A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac by Margaret Rose Really
19. A book about photography.
20. A book about science. Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man Who Invented the 20th Century by Sean Patrick
21. A book with a pretty cover. Yes, I’m going to judge it.
22. A book with an ugly cover. I’ll stay open minded.
23. A banned book. Hey. It’s me we’re talking about here.
24. A book that’s been sitting on my bookshelf, unread, for years.
25. A book you recommend.

I’ll come back here and review the book, and cross it off the list. Let’s see how far I can get. 🙂

Don’t forget to leave me recommendations in the comments. And of course, you’re invited to play along with me!

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