Outlander: My New Fascination

Outlander: My New Fascination

I am ridiculously enthralled by Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I spent the majority of last year reading all eight books in the series so far and have been lucky enough to get to see the first eight episodes of the series on Starz. The story is about a nurse, Claire Randall , after the end of World War II, who travels through stones and ends up in Scotland the 1740’s, where she meets James Fraser.  Needless to say the story evolves and grows … I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read these books yet. The books are long and verbose, each probably averages 850 pages or so, but are so worth it. I’m anxious to read through them again, but for now I will step back and look forward to the next part of Season 1 on...

My Strengths

For almost the past two years at work we have been doing a devotional Monday mornings to start our week off right. The past few months we have been going through the book The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. This week we started a new one called StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, which was really interesting. There really isn’t a whole lot to the book itself, but where it gets you is with the online assessment that you take to find out what your top five strengths are. After taking the assessment and reading through the description in the book and the insights in the PDF, I thought that four out of the five were dead on. I’m not so sure about the fifth … 1. Empathy Empathy was listed as my top strength. I thought it was interesting to get this one after the really nice message one of my co-workers sent me on my birthday where she mentioned my being empathetic. Points that stand out from the insight: Want others to see the good qualities in one another and in situations Natural aptitude for overcoming difficulties Called upon to locate trouble, make needed repairs or implement solutions Ignore distractions Sense when a person can benefit from support, kind words or deeds Sympathetic to the idea that money cannot buy you contentment, peace or well-being Awareness and insights into the moods of individuals Rarely distance self from those who you sense need to be there for them What stands out the most to me in that list is the “awareness and insights into the moods...
“Until Tuesday”

“Until Tuesday”

Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him by Luis Carlos Montalván My rating: 5 of 5 stars I love a good book about a dog and “Until Tuesday” by Fmr. Capt. Luis Carlos Montalvan is just that. This autobiography is about Montalvan and his service dog, Tuesday. Tuesday came into Montalvan’s life after his PTSD and other injuries, as a result serving in the Iraq War, became too much for him to handle. Tuesday helps him overcome the challenges these things present Montalvan in his everyday life. It’s stories like these that remind me what a dog can do for a person and how much God has blessed us with these animals. Dogs are more than just “dogs”. They bring comfort, joy, laughter, smiles, entertainment, friendship, loyalty, peace, unconditional love and so much more. The best part about dogs is that they provide all of that but don’t ask for much in return. This book also revealed to me how much pain our veterans can go through. They deserve so much and don’t often get the recognition they deserve or help that they need, especially the wounded veterans. Montalvan struggled for years trying to get the right help he needed and it wasn’t readily available like it should have been. I hope that others will read this book and get something out of it like I...

“Little Black Dress”

Little Black Dress by Susan McBride Dates Read02/26/2012-02/28/2012 I really enjoyed “Little Black Dress” by Susan McBride. It was a quick, page-turning read. This story is about three women, two sisters and a daughter, and a little black dress. Each chapter alternates between Evie and Toni’s point-of-view. Evie’s point-of-view takes place during the 1960s, while Toni’s is current day. Evie’s sister, Annabelle, is the first of three women to experience the power of the dress, which when one of them puts it on, fits perfectly and shows them a brief vision of the future. This aspect of the story is somewhat reminiscent of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”. I think this book has a good message of forgiveness and being there for your family even if you have hesitations, fears or “better” things to do. Definitely check this book out if you get a...

“One Day”

One Day by David Nicholls Dates Read12/29/2011-01/14/2011 I would definitely call “One Day” one of my favorite books.  It was very well written and covers one day, July 15, in two peoples’ lives over the course of 20 years.  I found myself really enjoying the way Nicholls’ described what they were doing and how their emotions.  I am glad I didn’t read this book nearly as fast as I usually read books, because I think I absorbed it better. This book takes place in England.  It’s always entertaining to read books that take place over there because I learn all sorts of new words – next time I’ll make a list of these words and share them with you. Other than new, “British” words, I think there is a lot a reader can take away from this book.  What those things are, I might still be wrapping my brain around those. It’s definitely a book about appreciating who you have in your life and not taking them for granted; about living your life and making the most of it. I bought the movie version this morning and plan on watching it tonight.  I am anxious to see it and compare it to the book.  Hopefully, I won’t be disappointed!  I’ll keep you all updated on that. — I just watched the movie.  It was a very good adaptation of the book.  They didn’t change or leave out a whole lot, which is always good.  However, I think I got more out of it having read the book … having read more of the feelings/emotions of the characters throughout the...

“Something Borrowed”

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin Dates Read12/26/2011-12/28/2011 I knocked out “Something Borrowed” in about two days, but that could possibly be because of Christmas and my time off of work.  It was definitely an easy read and now I would be interested in seeing the movie.  It is always interesting to see how well a movie does in portraying the book; very rarely does that happen well. Anyway … “Something Borrowed” is about this girl, Rachel, who has an affair with her best friend’s (Darcy) fiance starting on her thirtieth birthday.  It is written from Rachel’s point-of-view and details her thoughts and feelings about the whole thing, and flashing back to events in the past that help explain her feelings toward Darcy. Overall, I don’t think I got much out of this book.  It was a light, easy read that doesn’t leave much of an impression.  I think I read books like that a lot, because I don’t always like to think while I am reading. I do think that I will check out some of Emily Giffin’s other...