My First (Self-help book) Love

Do you remember your first self-help book? 

Mine was How Full is your Bucket? by Tom Rath. 

I read it at the tender age of 13 and it is the reason I love self-help books so much today. 

The book teaches you how it truly is the everyday interactions with those around you that determines how you respond to the good and bad circumstances of life.  

  1. Every positive interaction adds a drop to your bucket. 
  2. Every negative interaction dips (takes away) from your bucket. 

Looking back now, nothing Rath discussed was earth shattering, but it was presented in such a unique way that I was fascinated. 

Plus, Rath had 40+ years of research from Gallup Polls and his stories were mesmerizing. 

Did I mention that he gave readers access to his Strength Finders test?

What about the cool resources to help implement the new information?

This nerdy chick, way back when, fell in love with self-help books and I’m still a bit starry eyed today. 

If you want to wax nostalgic with me, give the book a read (it’s on hold for me at the library).

And if you want me to wax nostalgic with you, let me know the title of your first self-help book. 

The Giver

The Giver is a wonderful book. It’s a must read for kids and parents alike. 

I remember when it was part of the curriculum for our 5th grade class (at least I think it was 5th grade?).

A few years ago, The Giver was adapted into a movie and it really does the book justice. 

What intrigues me most about the story is how it approaches history and its affect on community. 

A world without color, without memory of the past, is unfathomable to me. 

A world without deep feelings and emotions sounds like a great idea, but it strips us of what it means to be human. 

These are not easy topics for a young adult fiction book to tackle!

Lois Lowry’s ability as an author to talk about tough, complex issues in a way that kids can understand amazes me. 

To watch Jonas, filled with the hopeful optimism of youth, bring history back to his world was an exciting journey to see on screen–just as much as it was to read!

I highly recommend the book and the movie. Just be prepared afterwards to think about the world and your part in it. 

I walked away with the same sense of awe after reading the book as I did when I watched the movie. 

Reading and Hope

There’s a little girl who comes to Thursday Night Lights who has captured my heart. 

We’ve talked about Joan before (I’ve changed her name) but seeing her this week gave me an idea…

She’s out of school for the summer, so I know Joan spends most of her time alone. 

Several weeks ago, I was given some books by a friend who moved back to Shreveport, Louisiana. Many of them were young adult fiction books. 

I asked Joan if she likes to read and she does! Next Thursday I’m bringing her a few books. 

Joan’s 11, which is around the time my own love of reading took off. I bet Joan will have the same experience. 

No matter how bleak the circumstances, the settings of a good book draw you in.

 I’m not recommending reading as a method of escapism, but more as a method of seeing that there’s a world beyond your circumstances. 

Imagination is a powerful force. 

My hope for Joan is that she doesn’t look at her circumstances and think, “This is it.”

Obviously, a relationship with Jesus is what Joan really needs. And I plan on talking with her more about that. 

I just remember how much reading impacted my life as a child. 

If you live in the Tulsa area and have some books you’d like to see go to a good cause, I have some friends who would greatly appreciate your generosity. 

Winter’s Bone

“I’d be lost without the weight of you two on my back.”

Ree Dolly is 17 and responsible for her younger brothers and her mentally ill mama. 

Her daddy, Jessup Dolly, skipped bail and can’t be found. 

As part of his bond money, Jessup put up their homestead as collateral, which means Ree has to find him. 

The setting is the Ozarks. 

Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. 

It’s not a young adult read, so don’t give it to a kid, but I highly, highly recommend it. 

I wasn’t sure why it felt familiar to me until I read the interview with Daniel Woodrell at the end of the book. 

If you enjoy works by William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor, you will like Winter’s Bone. 

The story doesn’t shy away from the cold, hard facts. Nothing is white washed. 

Maybe this sounds weird, but the rhythm of the story draws you in…

Not every book does that to me. I almost skipped church because I didn’t want to stop reading. 

The movie is also really good. 

My library addiction

I have an addiction…

The public library.

There. I said it.

Any excuse to go to the library gets me excited.

The librarians probably dread to see my name on the hold shelf because that means I will most definitely call them to see if my materials have arrived.

Before I hit up Red Box, I go to the library.

If I fall in love with the music in a movie, I go to the library.

And now my new habit of being a total fan girl that makes me want to see every movie my favorite actors/actresses have ever been in…

Not to mention all of my leadership stalking (we’ve talked about this before) that causes me to hit up YouTube to check out all of a leader’s public talks and the library to check out all of their books…

Sigh. 

At least library materials are free, right? Because I just can’t stay away.

Plus, libraries are just cool places to hang out. Did I mention that most libraries now sell coffee? 

You guys think I’m exaggerating about my library addiction, but I go to the library 3-4 days a week.

Here’s my question to you: 

Are there any local places you enjoy hanging out?

 

Summer Reading

 

It’s summer reading time! 

My friend Mary gave me 2 sacks full of novels (and a few nonfiction books as well) so I am ready for some serious fun reading.

Even when I wasn’t a student, I mostly read fiction in the summer. There’s something about summer that makes me not want to read anything heavy. 

Am I the only one that feels this way?

I thought it would be fun to get some recommendations (you know, in case I’m able to finish all the books on my bottom book shelf). 


  1. What are some books on your summer reading list?
  2. Any of them graphic novels? I’m trying to give that genre a chance, so I’ve read a couple this year.
  3. What about nonfiction? Have any good nonfiction reads you think I should throw on my summer reading list?
  4. Any of your favorite authors releasing books this summer? Any that you’ve already pre-ordered?
  5. Are you participating in the local library’s summer reading program?

 

 

 

 

The Color of Grace

The Color of Grace by Bethany Haley Williams is a great book. 

Be warned: It’s intense and some of the stories are tough. 

Bethany is the founder of Exile International. 

She works with former child soldiers to overcome their grief and trauma using art therapy. 

These kids, despite their pasts, are full of hope, a hope that what’s in front of them is better than anything in their pasts. 

These kids love God and thank Him everyday–even though many are orphans living in an impoverished area. 

I walked away from the book totally wrecked…

The redemptive power of Jesus Christ is much more powerful than what we see and hear about in the West. 

There is no difference between the Jesus of the developing world and the Jesus of the West. 

Only a difference in the mindsets of the people. 

 I encourage you to check out The Color of Grace. 

Just be prepared for your perspective to shift.