Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm in love with a Christmas book

...that I got for 5 dollars at a local dollar store

As a little girl, I loved Christmas anthology books. Nothing made me
happier on a December day than to snuggle up with a big, beautifully-illustrated book full of Christmas stories, songs and poems.
That's why I was so delighted to find this Christmas Treasury at a local dollar store for 5 dollars. I liked it so much, I bought three of them...one for me to read to my grandsons, one for two of my little nieces, and one for two little friends of the family.

Tom Newsom beautifully illustrates "The Night Before Christmas."

I love the fact that there are several songs in the book, complete with music.

The book includes several Victorian-style illustrations and poems as well.

Among the prettiest illustrations in the book are by an illustrator named Pat Thompson, about whom I was able to find frustratingly little online. Making it even more confusing is that there is also a children's illusrator named Pat Thomson...without the P. I'd love to know more about this artist.

Another lovely Pat Thompson illustration in the book's rendition of "The Nutcracker."

Another Pat Thompson illustration in "The Velveteen Rabbit."

Another by Pat Thompson

A Pat Thompson illustration in the Christmas Story

How about you? Do you have a favorite Christmas book? Let me know about it in my comments section!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Some great quotes about books and reading

My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter. -Thomas Helm

...When you sell a man a book you don't sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night - there's all heaven and earth in a book, a real book. -Christopher Morley

Resolve to edge in a little reading every day,
if it is but a single sentence. If you gain fifteen minutes a day, it will make itself felt at the end of the year.
— Horace Mann


Books fall open, you fall in. When you climb out again, you’re a bit larger than you used to be.
— Gregory Maguire

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
-Charles W. Eliot


Everywhere I have sought rest and not found it, except sitting in a corner by myself with a little book.
—Thomas a Kempis


When we read a story, we inhabit it. The covers of the book are like a roof and four walls. What is to happen next will take place within the four walls of the story. And this is possible because the story’s voice makes everything its own.
— John Berger

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Dawn Treader is Coming

I have to admit I haven't been thoroughly pleased with every aspect of the Narnia movies so far--although I have loved many other aspects of them.

The Chronicles of Narnia are some of my favorite books of all time, and I don't appreciate it when Hollywood plays fast and loose with them.

But I must say, if this trailer is any indication, the movie version of Voyage of the Dawn Treader looks pretty good! (hat tip to Robin Lee Hatcher)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Flashback: Who reads what?

The following was originally posted in April 2005, so the immediacy is lost on some of the references...but I think it's still a worthwhile read!

Curious about what famous people are reading?

Bloggers are always sharing what's on their bookshelf or nightstand. For example, I can tell you right now that author BJ Hoff is reading Richard Lederer's The Revenge of Anguished English; author Lisa Samson is reading Mary DeMuth's Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God; Joy of karagraphy is reading Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz.

Fiction freak me...or should I say, I...just finished Stephanie Grace Whitson's A Garden in Paris, and have just started Elizabeth Musser's The Dwelling Place.

One of my bookcases

What are celebs reading? Well, apparently quite a bit of obscure and little-known stuff, according to this year's just-released list of Who Reads What.

Former librarian Glenna Nowell of Maine puts the list together. She says, "There's such a diversity of books, and not well-known, not best sellers."

Except for Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which shows up on the reading lists of columnist Jay Ambrose, former presidential candidate Ralph Nader, and at least one other celebrity.

I remember reading In Style magazine not long ago and being a little surprised to find that Queen Latifah was reading a book by Joyce Meyer. The rapper-turned-actress told the same thing to Lifetime magazine: "I'm reading a book called MANAGING YOUR EMOTIONS by Joyce Meyer. Sometimes we swing back and forth between emotions. This book is about finding the middle ground. It's a Christian book, but it's great for everyone because it doesn't knock you over the head with ideology."

A few years ago, U2's Bono, after a conversation about faith with Oasis band member Noel Gallagher, sent Gallagher a copy of Philip Yancey's What's So Amazing about Grace?

Author Jeri Massi blogs today about the power of books--even fiction and "light" reading--to communicate ideas, good or bad, to the reader: "[T. S. Eliot] observes that through the gates of light reading, ideas contrary to the Scripture can be passed to the reader, who unsuspectingly imbibes them all. Eliot does not advocate the abandonment of fiction; rather, he advocates that readers recognize that fiction is a legitimate means of communicating ideas. There is no such thing as 'mere entertainment'. All media come to us with the values and point of view of their creators woven directly into them. No communication is really 'light' communication, though a discerning reader learns when to take communication lightly."

Author Liz Curtis Higgs told me in a recent interview that she started out writing nonfiction, and she doubted the power of fiction until she read Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series (also one of my personal favorites!).

After reading those books, Higgs says, "I got the power of Christian fiction. Up until then, I'd been a non-fiction writer with stories brewing inside me, but not convinced that you could really teach people and really move them spiritually through fiction."

Another of my bookshelves

No doubt about it; what you read affects who you are. The cliche "GIGO--Garbage In, Garbage Out"--is trite, but true.

So, what are YOU reading? :)

--originally posted April 2005

Monday, November 22, 2010

Flashback: Remembering the Bookmobile

(This was originally posted January 11, 2005, on my main blog)

When I was a junior high school student in Vidor, Texas during the late 60's, one of the highlights of my life was the arrival of the Bookmobile.

The Bookmobile was simply a trailer that would park next to the school. It was filled with brand-new paperback books, and at certain times, we students would be allowed to enter the Bookmobile, browse, and buy. Of course, we had been informed ahead of time, so we had had the chance to weasel some change from our parents.

I can remember, as a sixth-grader, entering an essay contest sponsored by our school newspaper, the Jolly Roger. The winner of the contest in each grade was to win five dollars to spend at the next appearance of the Bookmobile.

The subject was patriotism. I can remember painstakingly crafting my essay, filled with my heartfelt thoughts about loving my country.

I won. And you would have thought I had won the lottery. I will never forget entering the Bookmobile, filled with the heady aroma of new books, knowing that I would be able to buy a bunch of them (remember, most paperback books cost about 50 cents each at the time!). What a wonderful memory!

Debra is the one who put me in this reminiscing mood, with her post about what she's reading now. One of the authors she mentioned was Betty Cavanna, who was one of my favorites in my bookmobile days.

Other Bookmobile favorites of mine included Rosamond du Jardin, Mary Stolz and Elizabeth Enright.

When we lived in Vidor, we had just returned from Beirut, Lebanon, where I experienced my British phase (Enid Blyton, Noel Streatfield, E. Nesbit, etc). The Bookmobile marked the beginning of a new phase, but I never really left the first one. Throughout my life, cherished books and authors have stayed with me--either in the physical form of a book, or in my heart and mind.

The Internet is making it possible for me to become reacquainted with those hard to find books, and it's like re-discovering old friendships. In this day when life is moving so swiftly, it's sweetly comforting to pause and visit another time.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday Review of Books: Lightning, by Dean Koontz

Although I'm a huge fan of Dean Koontz, I always have to tag that statement with a little disclaimer.

I've actually had to stop reading some of Koontz' earlier books, thanks to gratuitous sex, profanity, and plots so bizarre as to be either too disturbing for me or on the other end of the scale, almost laughable (and not in a good way.)

However, I have to say that some of his later writings are among the best books I've ever read, combining suspense and sci-fi in highly entertaining fashion, and all from a world view with which I identify.

is one of those terrrific Dean Koontz books.

Knowing I need a real page-turner when I fly, I picked this up at my local library, and it didn't disappoint.

It all begins on the night of Laura Shane's birth, when a mysterious stranger ties up and detains the drunken doctor that was supposed to deliver her.

This handsome, blonde, blue-eyed stranger continues to make cameo appearances throughout Laura's life--always showing up just in time to prevent catastrophe.

The little girl comes to think of him as her Guardian...and she really needs one when she becomes orphaned and has to live in a home where the authorities turn a blind eye to the fact that the janitor is a pedophile obsessed with Laura.

Laura's childhood difficulties just end up making her a stronger person, though, and she's one of those classic Koontz heroines--beautiful but tough, likable and even admirable.

We're dying to discover who Laura's Guardian is just as much as she is...and when we do find out, it adds an even more intriguing and fascinating element to the story.

Lightning kept me involved, absorbed and entertained from beginning to end.

Although admittedly a fantastical tale, Koontz reins in his sometimes unbelievably crazy imagination just enough to make us believe in it and care about Laura and her Guardian through the very last page.

Click on the icon to participate in Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Rediscovering Beloved Books

I've blogged before about rediscovering two of my favorite childhood books--Red Knights from Hy Brasil (read about that here)and Auntie Robbo (read about that here).

Both were bought while my parents were missionaries in Beirut, Lebanon, in the mid-60s.

Red Knights from Hy Brasil, by Christine Savery, was the book that began my lifelong obsession with Ireland. It was somehow lost, and I found it again in 2003 through abebooks.com

The copy I found of Red Knights from Hy Brasil is exactly the same as my original one--but I find it fascinating that it was a Sunday School prize for a little boy in England

I still had my old copie of Auntie Robbo, but it was missing several pages, and I was able to find a copy of that online as well.

I thought I'd share some pictures of my beloved books, which I still re-read occasionally.

How about you? Have you been able to get copies of beloved books that had been lost to you? Tell me about it!
UPDATE: Read here about how my curiosity about the original owner of my copy of Red Knights from Hy Brasil turned up a true tale of murder in an English village)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Wonderful Book Shop

I've mentioned before that I love just about everything to do with books...including bookstores. Every once in a while, you stumble across a very special bookstore. I found one tonight in the charming little city of Georgetown, Texas.

It's called Book Pride. It's one of those charming book shops that beckons you inside and then makes you want to stay for hours.

All of the books are secondhand, and it's one of those where you can get store credit for bringing in more books.
The store is good-sized, and there is an expansive variety of genres and titles.

My mom was delighted that there was a generous selection of Christian fiction. She bought titles by Terri Blackstock, Liz Curtis Higgs and Linda Hall, and I suggested she pick up a trio of Rosamunde Pilcher books, including The Shell Seekers...an all-time favorite of mine.
The manager was friendly and helpful. Easy chairs were placed all around the store for convenient perusing...but above all, the books. Stacks and stacks and shelves and shelves of them...at prices far less than you'd normally pay.
If you're a book lover and you're ever in Georgetown, Texas, don't miss Book Pride. You'll want to hang out a while.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Flashback: The Transformation of an Exotic Dancer

How does a woman get to the point where she displays her unclothed body for money?

That was one of the questions that caused me to open Scars and Stilettos, by Harmony Dust...but from page one, I was grabbed by Harmony's beautiful writing and powerful true story.

Go here to read my January 2010 review of this amazing book.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Another fun book quiz!

This one's quick and easy...take it in my comments section or on your own blog!

You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?--I guess I don't know enough about the book...I've never read it or seen the movie, although I know it's about book burning and a group of people who memorize books. If the question is what book would I memorize, I think it would be Psalms or Isaiah from the Bible.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?--Oh, yeah, many. Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte was probably the first. The original "bad boy"!

The last book you bought is: I honestly don't remember. Probably something at the airport to read on a flight.

The last book you read: Summer's End, by Irish author Mary Ryan. Got it at the library. I can't recommend it to everyone, but it was very compelling.

What are you currently reading?--Nothing at the moment, believe it or not, because I'm supposed to be getting ready for my Texas trip! I WILL have to have something to read on the plane,though...preferably something very suspenseful and page-turning.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:

The Bible
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis

(Although it might be prudent to have The SAS Survival Handbook on hand!)


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Review of Books: Linda Hall's Sadie's Song

This book review was originally written in 2003 and posted on my now-defunct website. Sadie's Song is such a good book, though, that it's well-deserving of a second look...and actually, a first look by those of you who have never read it!

Here's my review:

How many times have you heard the cliche, "This book was so good I couldn't put it down," or "this is a real page-turner"? Well, I can truthfully say both about Sadie's Song by Linda Hall (Multnomah). I picked up the book when a power outage gave me some serious spare time, and I literally read it straight through, stopping only for a few short breaks for absolute necessities! Yes, Sadie's Song is that riveting.

I had enjoyed a few of Linda Hall's previous books, including Katheryn's Peace and Island of Refuge, noting that Hall's is a unique voice in Christian fiction.

Her style is realistic and matter-of-fact, yet powerful and even beautiful, drawing the reader in with characters so believable you half expect to get a phone call from one of them, and stories so compelling and intriguing, you can't rest until you've reached the end. And then, you're disappointed that the ride is over!

Sadie's Song is the story of Sadie Thornton-- an average, slightly overweight and disorganized but loving mom of five. To all outward appearances, despite a house that's too small and money that's too tight, Sadie has a fine life--a handsome, loving husband who is a pillar of his church, and five beautiful children.

But appearances can be deceiving, as we're about to find out.

The story opens with Sadie's church prayer chain requesting prayer for a little girl who has disappeared. The news of the missing girl shocks the Maine fishing village where Sadie lives, especially since it follows another recent missing child case that ended in tragedy.

The case of the missing little girl is woven throughout the story. But even as that case touches Sadie's life on several levels, we see her precarious existence begin to unravel. She must deal with her increasingly volatile husband as well as each of her children, who are acting out in various ways--particularly her violent five-year-old son.

Meantime, well-meaning church members have been misled about her situation, the mom of the missing girl wants to be her friend, and Sadie...who long ago sacrificed her significant musical talent for her husband...is hearing mysterious music that no one else seems to hear.

As we discover more about the domestic violence Sadie lives with, and the new suspicions that plague her, we find ourselves becoming ever more sympathetic and drawn to her.

Will Sadie have the courage to stand up to her husband and take control of her life? Will she re-embrace her long-abandoned musical talent? And most importantly, will she find that God has not deserted her?

These questions, interwoven with the mystery of the missing little girl, do indeed keep the pages turning.

Linda Hall belongs to an online message board frequented by Christian women, and she asked them for their personal stories of being abused by Christian husbands. This research, shocking and sad as it is, helps lend a tone of authenticity to this powerful tale.


Since writing Sadie's Song, Linda Hall has written several more excellent books, mainly focusing on mysteries and suspense. I've read every one I could get my hands on, and thoroughly enjoyed every one! Find out more about Linda and her books on her website.

I'm linking to Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books. Click on the icon to take part!


Friday, November 5, 2010

I love Andrew Peterson! Flashback to My Interviews about the Wingfeather Saga

...and his Wingfeather Saga sealed the deal

I first interviewed Andrew Peterson in April 2008, after reading On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. The funny, magical, adventurous tale captured me immediately, and I was excited to read the second book in the Wingfeather Saga, North! Or Be Eaten.

I wrote in April 2008:

My first clue that I was going to enjoy talking with Andrew Peterson--well, I guess really my third clue, with reading his book and hearing his children's CD being my first two--was listening to his voice message on his phone.

A clipped, rather formal British accent began:

"You have reached the voice mail of [Andrew with his real voice:] Andrew Peterson. [Back to the British accent] You can leave a message now or press one and let me tell you more things that you already know how to do."

Or, something to that effect. But leave it to this very imaginative and humorous man not to have your standard voice message on his phone.

Go here to read about North! Or Be Eaten.

Click here to read a one-minute review of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.

Oh, and Book 3 of the Wingfeather Saga is expected to be out in 2011.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Flashback: My interview with Noel Piper about Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God

"God uses the weak things"

"I think one of the reasons there are so many stories of people in the Bible is that we learn by seeing what happens in other people's lives. God could have just given us a book of teachings, but but he gave us a lot of people's stories."--
Noel Piper

In April 2005. I did a radio interview with Noel Piper about her book, Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God. I'm not a big reader of nonfiction, but I do love biographies. and this book adds a true spiritual dimension to the stories of these remarkable women.

Here's a re-posting:

CINDY: I recently read a book that both blessed me and really challenged me in my walk with Christ. That book was Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God, by Noel Piper. The book tells the stories of five Christian women who faced difficulty and sacrifice, and the amazing things that God did through them. And I'm delighted to have as my guest today the author of that book, Noel Piper. Noel, welcome to Weekend Rockford.

NOEL: Thank you, I'm glad to be here.

CINDY: I know that you are a pastor's wife, and that you are the wife of John Piper of Desiring God ministries. Noel, tell me a little about yourself and your family and your husband and your ministry.

NOEL: Well, we have five children--four grown-up boys who are all married, our youngest just got married this spring, and a nine-year-old daughter who I home school. She's at camp this week for the first time ever, so we have an empty house, unusually.(laughing)

We're at Bethlehem Baptist Church (Minneapolis, Minnesota), and we're celebrating our 25th anniversary this year of my husband being one of the pastors there, the preaching pastor.

CINDY: Noel, this book--I've got to tell you--it's just really impacted me. I remarked to myself that it's been a long, long time since I read a book that so impacted me spiritually, I've got to tell you that. I sat there reading just in awe and amazement--

NOEL: Well, that's a real answer to my prayers for what the book would be.

CINDY: Not only is it an entertaining book in its way, in the fact that it tells fascinating stories that you just want to keep reading, but it really impacted me because all of these women that you profile--Sarah Edwards, Lillias Trotter, Gladys Aylward, Esther Ahn Kim and Helen Roseveare--I had heard snippets about all of these women and read snippets about them, but reading their entire stories just honestly blew me away, they were so amazing.

What led you to write a book about Christian women of the past?

NOEL: For several years now I've been each year focusing on one woman that I would do research on and find her story to prepare to tell to the women at our church in a special summer Sunday School class. And then I find myself when I'm speaking at retreats, whatever the Biblical topic is I'm speaking about, one of the sessions would be, I would use one of these biographies as a lived-out example of what we were talking about.

Because I think one of the reasons there are so many stories of people in the Bible is that we learn by seeing what happens in other people's lives. God could have just given us a book of teachings, but but he gave us a lot of people's stories.

And so, there are people after the Bible as well--we can just look at the people next to us, for that matter, to see how God is working, and sometimes we can see it more clearly in somebody else's life than can in our own.

Sarah Edwards

CINDY: Let's just take a look at some of the women in particular. Sarah Edwards was the wife of Jonathan Edwards--best known, probably, for his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"--

NOEL: Ah, but so much more than that (laughing).

But so much more than that, you're right...and the profile you give of Sarah really gives us a lot of insight into Jonathan as well. This woman raised 11 children. She died at the age of 48, which is the age I am, which touched me right there. But one thing you point out, and I had heard this before, but the descendants of Jonathan and Sarah, according to a study that was done by a man comparing two different families--their descendants just did remarkable things. Can you kind of share that?

Well, I list here in the book, all the pastors, teachers, government officials, authors, missionaries "by the droves"--this was in 1900, so about 150 years after Sarah and Jonathan were living.

One biographer says, "Can there be any other mother in America who has contributed so much to America?" and I take that--not that I'll ever have as many descendants as Sarah Edwards, for one thing (chuckling)--but as an encouragement.

She was just drudging along every day, doing things that took a lot more effort for her to do than for me to do, and she had no way of knowing how God was going to use that in the lives of her children and on through the years.

Esther Ahn Kim

CINDY: One of the stories that impacted me the most, I think, was the one of Esther Ahn Kim, because she endured amazing amount of persecution that there's no way we as Americans could ever identify with. Tell us a little about her story.

She's Korean--she's dead now, but she lived at the time of the Japanese occupation of Korea. And the burning issue for Christians then was whether to bow at the Shinto shrines, which was required by the Japanese in their country. She refused, and she was a teacher in a school, so that made her a leader of sorts.

So she was imprisoned for six years. And one of the things that really struck me was how much Scripture she had just right at the tip of her mind's tongue to speak to herself--not time to pull a Bible out, or look up in a concordance, "Where's that verse about what?" And so, I think that's one of the powerful things about her story is the power of Scripture that is hidden away in our hearts.

One thing that I think we can all gain encouragement from is the fact that none of these women were really remarkable women in their own right--well, of course, Helen Roseveare was a doctor, but you know, most of them were just ordinary women.

Gladys Aylward, in fact was deemed too uneducated to be approved as a missionary by the China Inland Mission. Tell us a litte about Gladys; her story is amazing as well.

Gladys Aylward

NOEL: She was a parlour maid. She decided she felt God was calling her to China. She had about two cents and her Bible, not much more than that. But she said God said to her, "I'm the God of Nehemiah, I'm the God of Moses; if I can do for them, I can do for you." And so she just saved up her money and went to China on her own.

That is truly a story of how God uses the weak things. I really see that as a theme through this book.

They were women who didn't think of themselves as doing anything extraordinary. They were what 2nd Corinthians says "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." That would be a main theme of all these stories. It's God who is powerful.

CINDY: Absolutely...it was actually God doing these amazing things through these women.

What do you hope that we as Christians, and particularly Christian women, take away from reading the stories of these women?

NOEL: I'm glad there are five stories in this book, because I think it will be different for different women.

For someone who reads Gladys Aylward's story, it might be an encouragement that ou don't have to have a college degree in order for God to do great things.

For Sarah Edwards' story, it might be that you don't have to be away from home doing things out in the world; you can be doing the daily mundane things, wiping noses and dirty bottoms and whatever, and God is using you through that and doing His work through that.

For Helen Roseveare, who was a doctor in Congo, she felt inadequate almost entirely because she didn't feel like she was trained specifically for the kind of work she was called to do, but she saw God working through her weakness as well. She underwent terror and attack during the revolution that was happening there, and she saw God saying, "They're not attacking you, they're attacking Me."

So, each of these stories is for a different woman in a way, although I hope they're all for all of us.

CINDY: A couple of the things that I took away from the book was that every single one of these women--and it sounds so basic--but reading God's word and praying were just major in their lives...

Absolutely necessary.

CINDY: ...And then just the power of prayer in all of these women's lives, how they just relied on that so much.

NOEL: Here's another thing that I would hope women would see from this. What I see in my life and the women around me, is that the women who want to be the best mothers, the women who are most involved in ministry, are the ones for whom it is the very hardest to find the regular time in God's word and praying. And we are the ones who need it most--I mean, if it can be said anybody needs God more than somebody else. But here are women whose lives dictated against them having any time in God's word, and yet, it was crucial to them.


You may want to check out Noel's other books:

Treasuring God in Our Traditions

and a children's book, Most of All, God Loves You

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Take the quiz: What Kind of Book Person Are You?


This is my library...in my dreams! It's actually in Chateau de Groussay in France

This is actually a re-post from my other blog, Notes in the Key of Life, from July 2004, but it's a fun quiz and worth a repeat! Take the quiz on your blog and let me know in my comments section. P.S. Some of my answers are a bit out-dated because, sadly, I no longer work at a Christian radio station and get the joy of doing radio interviews with Christian authors!

I first saw this on a Christian blog, but for the life of me I couldn't remember which one...so I did a Google search and found it on a site called Collective Miscellany.

Since I am basically a TOTAL BOOK FREAK, I couldn't resist taking the quiz...I invite you to do so as well.

My choices are in bold-face.


What Kind of Book Person Are You?

1) What is your favorite type of bookstore?

A. A large chain that is well lit, stuffed full of books, and has a café.--OK, I know that's the prosaic answer, but the truth is, I really do love the comfort and organization of a nice bookstore. I was just in Barnes and Noble with my daughter yesterday, and it was so nice to be able to sit in a comfortable chair and read a book I actually had no intention of buying. Plus, there's a Starbucks in Barnes and Noble.

However, there should be an option D here: any bookstore that isn't pornographic or occultic. I love books so much that even the smell of them gives me comfort and joy.

And I do love Christian bookstores. I know there's a certain amount of "Christian commercialism" that turns some people off, but I enjoy being surrounded by Christian books and music. My favorite local one is pleasant and tastefully decorated, and usually seems to have what I'm looking for.

B. A dark, rather dusty, used bookstore full of mysterious and vaguely organized books.
C. A local independent bookstore that has books by local authors and coffee.

2) What would excite you more?

A. A brand new book by your favorite author. I think I would have to go with this one. I get excited about a new book from authors like Francine Rivers, Maeve Binchy and others, because they don't churn them out frequently. I devour a new Kinsey Millhone mystery from Sue Grafton; I've read the entire series so far. I would REALLY get excited if Rosamunde Pilcher wrote a new novel. Her "The Shell Seekers," "September" and "Homecoming" are among my favorite secular novels, but she takes her time in coming out with new ones.

B. Finding a classic you've been wanting to read.--It's relatively easy to find classics. I read "Gone With the Wind" when I was a teenager, and would like to own it and read it again...but it will be easy to find when I decide to do so. I did blog here last fall about finding a treasured childhood book on the internet. That was wonderful!
C. Receiving a free book from a friend in the mail.


3) What's your favorite format?

A. Novel--No doubt about it.
B. Short story
C. Poetry

4) Favorite format, part II.

A. Contemporary fiction.
B. Classic novels.
C. Genre (mystery, espionage, etc.)
I'd have to say all of the above! I honestly don't care that much about the setting or genre...it just has to be the kind of book that I enjoy so much that I'm reluctant to put it down for any reason. That's my real test of a terrific book!

5) Favorite format, part III (none of the above) Fiction or non?

A. Almost entirely fiction. Occasionally, a really good nonfiction book catches my eye...but I'm not big on self-help books. If I'm reading nonfiction, it will probably be a biography or something to do with history.
B. Almost entirely non-fiction.
C. A mix of both.


6) Does the design and condition of the book matter?

A. Yes, I love a well designed book and keep mine in mint condition.
B. No, the words are what matter.
C. Yes and no, I appreciate good design and treat my books with respect but I am not obsessive about it.

7) On average how many books do you read a month?

A. I am lucky to read one.
B. I am dedicated. I read 4 or 5. Although there HAVE been times when I've read 10 or more. Lack of time alone deters me from reading more. Also, I'm a very fast reader.
C. I am a fiend. I read 10 or more!

8) Do you prefer to own or borrow?

A. There is a particular joy in owning a book. I have a large library. Actually, I'm fortunate...thanks to my job, I'm able to get a lot of free books. However, I go through phases where I read library books like crazy. I prefer not to borrow from a friend, however, because (blush) I'm bad about returning books.
B. Why spend money when you can read it for free? I use the public library.
C. Different tools for different job. I do both.


9) Where do you get (the majority) your book news?

A. Newspapers.
B. Magazines.
D. Blogs.
--Again, all of the above, plus I receive catalogs from all the major Christian publishing houses.

10) Are books a professional obsession?

A. Yes, I work in the field (writer, reviewer, publisher, teacher, etc.).
B. No, I do it for fun.
C. Kinda, I write the occasional review but have a regular job outside of books.
--Again, all of the above. As part of my job, I review books and do author interviews, but that's just one aspect of my job. I review books on my blog sheerly for fun, and to let my readers know about terrific books.

How about you? :)


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