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Thursday

The Cozy Reading Spot #149

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!




June's Reading List Freebie

I was going to hold off on this freebie until next month, and add in a few extras, but I couldn't come up with an idea for June... so this month's freebie is for the families with younger kids.  This is a scavenger hunt guide for those outdoor activities you want to take the kids on. Whether it's camping, hiking, biking, or any other time spent outside, just print off a copy of this for each of your kiddos, and have them find each thing on the sheet. Maybe have prizes for those who get it done first? Or find all the objects?  This is a great way to stretch kids during family BBQs and events!

Remember, you will receive these in your weekly email for the link up. So if you are not getting that email sign up!  You just have to leave your email in that annoying pop-up...  Or shoot me an email and I'll add you to the list (my email can be found at the bottom of this page).  Thanks again for being part of the community. 

Freebie for The Cozy Reading Spot - June 2016

**** This is the last week for the Scavenger Hunt - if you did not receive it, shoot me an email (the link is at the bottom of the page)****  More importantly, next week I will release the updated version of the Blog Scheduler that was released in January!!  You will not want to miss this as we move into the second half of 2016!!!  ****






Last Week's Features

Marissa's Favorite

My favorite link from last week was from Maple Brown Sugar: What Would We Do Without John Hughes?  I was a huge fan of some his movies, but not all... However he did make a huge impact on the '80s culture.  This is a fun read if you want something fun and lighthearted!









Most Popular

The most popular link from last week was by Suzanna from Wonder-filled Days: Learning Made Fun. She sharing the wonderful book by Theodore Gray, The Elements... if you have school aged kids you will probably want to check this one out... and file it away if you don't have school aged kids yet!










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 wish I didn't have to say this, but please keep it clean. I know books & posts can range the gamut on adult content, but please keep your posts and images clean for this one. 
  • 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 the 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?                    




Join #TheCozyReadingSpot - share your posts & find new friends! #BloggingFun @Reading_List1













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!


Wednesday

All Things Books: June Collection

All Things Books

June Collection


"If you look after Goodness and Truth, Beauty will take care of itself." Eric Gill

I am not much of a country girl.  We live very close to a good sized city, granted not a huge one, but still, this probably makes me a city girl. Being in the dirt is not really my thing.  Sure I can handle a walking trail hike, and I enjoy watching the clouds in the sky. But getting my hands messy, well it is not really my thing - yes I do have boys, and yes I make exceptions as I am a mom...   This year I agreed to plant a flower garden, from seeds.  My boys and I turned over soil, dug out spots for seeds, covered it all with fresh dirt and mulch, and have been watering & weeding faithfully.  We are focused on the truth that seeds need nutrients from the soil, water, and sun.  Just this week the beauty of beautiful blooms have been our reward.  It is a wonderful lesson for my kids and for me...



All Things Books  June Collection




Summer has officially begun, and with it, we have enjoyed quite a bit of heat - have you?  So far we have avoided getting sunburns, and that is quite a feat I feel!  I am still working on a personal project, which has kept me quieter over here.  Hopefully, I'll get a few more posts schedule in the next few days so July has a little more to do over here!   Also, I would like to invite all of you reading to leave your own writings and posts with me over on The Cozy Reading Spot.  I stop by each link and love seeing what you all are up to!

As I have been sharing each month this year, I have been finding some awesome articles on books, reading, literature and anything that has to do with books.  So in case you are wanting some quick reads, some new perspectives or even just some new suggestions for books to read, I would love to share them with you.




June's Collection

  1. Many of you have said you just do not have the time to read too many books, and want recommendations on really important, influential books.  Well here is a great list of Ten books that have "Hugely Impacted the Western World."
  2. While I'll admit, it is hard to find good fiction to read, here is a wonderful reminder of why filling our shelves with non-fiction might not be the best option... Balance is the key to everything! What Science is Saying About Fiction Readers
  3. For all of you fairy tale lovers, why not pick your next book from this great list of retellings?  Compare and contrast your favorites!  Granted this is a little out-dated, but still, there are so many options!  162 Retellings of Classics
  4. For those of you who might just border on being annoying with your grammatical fixes... that totally includes me...  this is a fun chart of the actual meaning of many words that we colloquially use incorrectly!
  5. If you have a kid who is currently reading, but the interest is starting to fade, this article from Reading Rainbow has some great suggestions!
  6. I'm torn on this list of 26 Contemporary Books That Should Be Taught in High School - What are your thoughts?
  7. This is a great list of read-alouds for preschoolers and kindergartners!


All Things Books  June Collection








I hope you found a thing or two from that list that caught your eye, maybe you could reserve a book at your library, or add to your Goodreads to-read list. There are also a few great articles to remind you just how great reading is!   If you want some encouragement as you find books you love, please join our group on Goodreads, we'd love to be there as you fall in love with books.  Please consider seeing yourself as a lover of books, and join in the goal of finding a book you love each month this year...  That means now you only have to read 6 books!  


"If you look after goodness and truth, beauty will take care of itself." #EricGill  #AllThingsBooks @Reading_List1

What was your favorite from the round-up?  What would you add?  Is there something you want to see in July's round-up?



Leave me a note about anything to do with your book choices from June!


Marissa @ Reading List



**If you have a great resource for a book, a genre, or anything to do with books, let me know!  You are always welcome to share your posts on Thursdays here, but if you want to point me to a great resource, leave a comment, or shoot me a note.  I love hearing from you!






Check out these great blogs where I'm sharing this!

Tuesday

Fast-Pitch Love Book Blitz

Monday

Baby Steps Toward Intentional Goal-Setting

Goals with Grace

Baby Steps toward Intentional Goal-Setting


I am a planner...  I think it is part of being an introvert.

Sitting with a blank piece of paper, or calendar, writing down lists of to-dos, wishes, dreams... whatever comes to mind, that is fun, that planning part.  The beginning of each week, when I get to plan out the schedule, it is often the highlight of the day.  I know that sounds sadder than it really is.

Do you know what I am saying?

If so, then I would guess, like me, you also love to read articles about how to organize your life and become the most productive you. Finding your mission statement, then pinpointing your goals, followed by the steps it will take to get you there.

It always sounds so great.  And the writers always make it sound like if I just write down my dreams, then my goals, then my mission statement... THEN I will be able to put together a concise list of actions to make it happen.  And of course, the end result would be a productive, happy me!

But, if you are like me, when it comes time to work the steps, coming up with a mission statement is too hard.  So I move on.

I keep wishing I could be more productive and focused... it's a wishy-washy cycle that usually leaves me very emotional.

Anyone else?

Well, when my blogging friend, Victoria, told me she was putting together a kit to help kick start women into taking action with their goals, I wanted to be part of it.  You see, Victoria is a mom, and a blogger with a busy life, just like me.  Yet she seems calm and focused, more often than not.  Any secrets she can share, I wanted them.

Goals with Grace is a goal planning kit that will help you intentionally put together a plan to reach the goals you have.  And the best part is it is completely personalizable to you and your life, right where you are, today.



The Premium Edition is what I am working my way through, and I really love it.  Victoria has videos, where she talks you through each step, and printable worksheets to guide your thoughts as you focus in on the action steps you need to take in order to reach your goals.

If you are curious, here is Victoria's inspiration for putting this amazing tool together for all of us.




"I am so tired of being so tired! I'm tired of spinning my wheels and not actually accomplishing anything.  I'm tired of feeling like a failure!" And then I heard it... You are not a failure. You are My beloved.  "But God why is this so hard?!?!? Why can't I get anything done?"


I'll admit, I have felt that way before... and I know many mamas who would agree.  If you are one of them, then maybe take a moment and really consider this tool.




Alright, so if you decide you want to check this out, here is what you get!




WHAT YOU WILL LEARN IN GOALS WITH GRACE
  • What is truly important to you in this season
  • Identify your roles and responsibilities
  • Define what your purpose is
  • Create and evaluate goals that align towards your priorities
  • Create a plan of action to complete your goals
  • Accountability tools
  • Evaluations to help you accomplish your goals
  • and so much more!







If you have any questions or concerns, just let me know.  If I remember correctly, you can even get the first chapter free to try it out...











Saturday

The Winner's Kiss... A Sneak Peek

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 



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





Current book:

The Winner's Kiss

Marie Rutkoski



The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski a Sneak Peek on Reading List



Goodreads Summary:

Some kisses come at a price.
War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.
At least, that’s what he thinks.
In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.
But no one gets what they want just by wishing.
As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?



Sneak Peek:

"As he spoke, it occured to her, that maybe he, too, felt like two people, that maybe everyone does, and that its not a question of whether one's damaged, but of how easily or not that damage is seen."  p 146







Initial Thoughts

Oh my, this series...  Arin and Kestrel... these two have transported me to their world so completely, and these books were the perfect way to start my summer reading!  Their love story isn't as all-encompassing as some are from this genre, which gave plenty of space in the book for descriptions of them as individuals who have brains and truly think about their feelings and futures - refreshing!




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

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:


Marissa @ Reading List

Marissa, writes book reviews from 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 @ Sunrise Avenue

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 


Karen @ Dino Hero Mommy

Karen is a reading teacher who loves to listen to books as she commutes to and from work. She prefers crime thrillers and mysteries but enjoys a good book from any genre. She blogs about her life as a wife and mom at Dino Hero Mommy.






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, check them out!

Thursday

The Cozy Reading Spot #148

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!




June's Reading List Freebie

I was going to hold off on this freebie until next month, and add in a few extras, but I couldn't come up with an idea for June... so this month's freebie is for the families with younger kids.  This is a scavenger hunt guide for those outdoor activities you want to take the kids on. Whether it's camping, hiking, biking, or any other time spent outside, just print off a copy of this for each of your kiddos, and have them find each thing on the sheet. Maybe have prizes for those who get it done first? Or find all the objects?  This is a great way to stretch kids during family BBQs and events!

Remember, you will receive these in your weekly email for the link up. So if you are not getting that email sign up!  You just have to leave your email in that annoying pop-up...  Or shoot me an email and I'll add you to the list (my email can be found at the bottom of this page).  Thanks again for being part of the community. 

Freebie for The Cozy Reading Spot - June 2016




Last Week's Features

Marissa's Favorite

My favorite link from last week was from Raising Samuels: Forbrain - Sound for Life. I had never heard of this product, but could see how great it could be to help with speech and memory work!  









Most Popular

The most popular link from last week was by Sarah from At Fourth Ave: My Top 5 Historical Fiction Novels.  It's a popular genre, and it seems many of you were all about checking out some new suggestions! 









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 wish I didn't have to say this, but please keep it clean. I know books & posts can range the gamut on adult content, but please keep your posts and images clean for this one. 
  • 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 the 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?                    




Join #TheCozyReadingSpot - share your posts & find new friends! #BloggingFun @Reading_List1













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!


Wednesday

Read Fiction to Remember the Nature of Romance

Read Fiction to Remember the Nature of Romance

A Hope Undaunted: A Novel (Winds of Change)

Julie Lessman

Everywhere there are stories of romance. Even ads capitalize on romance and especially physical attraction.  I would even go so far as to suggest, most romance stories focus so much on the physical side that sometimes the idea that there is more to romance is forgotten.

But there is more to romance than the physical - right?

I know that the more I see violence and stories of the bad in humanity, I long to hear about the good in humanity.  Since the news does not often balance this out, I search for it in books - stories that authors create based on the full nature of humanity, with both good and bad in each character. Stories that really show the true nature of love and romance.

While there are so many genres out there, Christian Historical Fiction & Romance often fills this need for me.  To be completely honest I do not want to pick up a book that preaches at me, especially in fiction.  Rather, I look for a book that shows people who are simply trying to live their lives the best way they know how, even when it is messy and they make mistakes.

And that is exactly what I was looking for in Julie Lessman's A Hope Undaunted.




A Hope Undaunted a Book Review on Reading List





Story Overview 


Katie O'Connor is on the verge of starting her life, having just finished up school as the 1920's race to completion. She plans on going to law school with her boyfriend, Jack - who is exactly the type of man she wants to spend her life and career with. When her childhood nemesis, Cluny McGee, returns home for the summer of 1929, her life views are challenged, and she just might change her dreams.

The O'Connor family is a large, tight-knit Irish family who knows the value of hard work. They make family a priority, which is good because as the historical events of 1929 derail their careers in many ways, the support of family will hold them together.

Personal Likes


Luke, Betty, and Parker made this story interesting. Maybe it was their distance from the O'Connor family, but they added some much-needed flavor to this story.  Luke especially adds so much dynamic. While stories that follow families are often entertaining, this family needed Luke to spice it up some. Granted, he is by no means perfect, which only makes him more interesting.

I also just really enjoyed the fact that each member of the family was unique, while still being family. The marriages of Patrick & Marcy, and Collin & Faith were also very important to the flow of the story. They both could have been their own books.  The example of faith as the cornerstone is evident in how healthy their marriages were.



A Hope Undaunted a Book Review on Reading List



Personal Dislikes


My biggest dislike was the number of characters. This is clearly the beginning of a series of stand-alone books if I had to guess.  There are so many characters and Lessman spends time on many of them, which of course means the intro takes up most of the book. Granted, the family is the foundation of this story, but still it took too long.  Katie and Luke's story is so complex, especially with Betty, Gabe and well, a surprise character at the end... that the multi-layer story of Collin and Faith was a distraction.

I was also not a fan of the 3rd person narrative that bounced from character to character. Again, there were just too many characters!  All of their plots were intertwined, but it was a lot to keep straight.

Another small point, that might not bother everyone, and really didn't bother me, but surprised me, was the amount of sexual discussions in this book. Granted it was all tasteful, and mostly revolved around marriage and the need to be faithful, but for a Christian Fiction, I was a little surprised.


Reading List Rating


I can only give this book a three heart rating.  It was just too much.  While it was well written, and for some, this might be a perfect read, for me, I was left wanting. 





My Suggested Audience

I suggest an adult audience, as I am sure that was Lessman's goal while writing this.   This is a serious look into what marriage, romance, and love should look like in a Christian home, and what happens when those in relationships do not focus on God, communication, and respect. While the readability is easy, the topics are heavy and deserve a mature reader. Or a reader who needs to see the consequences of stubborn people in relationships.






Wondering Questions to Consider

When reading books like this, it is important to ponder what the author is trying to say about society.  Are we all rushing into relationships that fit the mold of what our career dreams are? Do we take the time to really communicate with the person we claim to love, or be interested in?  Can a couple respect the sacred vows of marriage, or is it just done as the next step in a relationship?



Are you a fan of the 1920's? Looking for a romantic historical fiction?  You might really enjoy this! @Reading_List1



What do you look for in Historical Fiction/Romance novels? How do you feel a marriage should look like? 



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.

**** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, BethanyHouse. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”





Check out where I am sharing this post!


Saturday

Flawed... Saturday Sneak Peek

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 



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





Current book:

Flawed

Cecelia Ahern



Flawed a Sneak Peek on Reading List



Goodreads Summary:


You will be punished…

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found flawed.

In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.



Sneak Peek:


"I've learned that to be courageous is to feel fear within, every step of the way. Courage does not take over, it fights and struggles through every word you say and every step you take. It's a battle or a dance as to whether to let it pervade. It takes courage to overcome, but it takes extreme fear to be courageous."  p 107







Initial Thoughts

Oh my, this is going to be my favorite book of the year, maybe in the past few years even.  Even only half way through and I love it, the complexity, the society, the social commentary that is echoing our world today... I could go on and on... 




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

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:


Marissa @ Reading List

Marissa, writes book reviews from 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 @ Sunrise Avenue

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 


Karen @ Dino Hero Mommy

Karen is a reading teacher who loves to listen to books as she commutes to and from work. She prefers crime thrillers and mysteries but enjoys a good book from any genre. She blogs about her life as a wife and mom at Dino Hero Mommy.






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, check them out!

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