I finished Crossing Myself by Greg Garrett, last night, and I know I'm going to have a terrible time reviewing it because the book is so meaningful that it hurts my head to think of distilling it down into a few paragraphs' worth of review. I'm considering just posting quotes -- nothing but quotes. Well, maybe a little bit of description, but I'll tell you about it a bit, right now. Greg Garrett is or was a tenured university professor at Baylor in Waco, Texas. He was successful in his teaching and in his published writing, but his private life was a disaster -- three divorces, two kids, often out of money and chronically depressed for over 20 years.
In 2002, he came this close to committing suicide but instead discovered the real meaning of faith and, while teaching at a Baptist university, began attending an Episcopal seminary. He talks about his life in those years, as he went from complete and utter mess to loving his life. This book is so cool. I ordered Crossing Myself from Paperback Swap because I've got another Garrett book for review, a recent release called No Idea. I can't wait to see what new things he has to say.
I heard the best story, yesterday. That's a photo of an iron-clad Confederate boat, at left. You'll understand why I chose that image, shortly. Kiddo has had to throw in the towel for the rest of the swim season because his shoulder injury was getting far too painful, so we were shopping for running shoes in Jackson. I figured if he's not going to have swimming to keep him in shape, we should train to run together (although you can imagine I'll never be able to run at the pace of a 6-foot, 17-year-old boy).
While we were shopping, we ran into one of my husband's work friends and he had a great story to tell. We'll call him Bob. Bob had to speak at a briefing, last week, and he and the other speakers went into it knowing the meeting was going to be extraordinarily dull. So, to ward off the boredom, they dared each other to insert some totally impossible word into their presentations. Bob was challenged to use the word "aluminum" in his part of the briefing. Aluminum, of course, was totally off-the-wall and plays no part in anything about which he was to speak, but he was determined to get that word in there and what he came up with was, "This is not an iron-clad plan. This is an aluminum-clad plan." After the presentation, the Big Boss came up to him and said, "What was the deal with the aluminum remark?" And, Bob went away with a really great story that made us laugh our socks off in the aisle of Academy Sporting Goods. I wouldn't mind hanging out with Bob. He is one great storyteller and an incredibly cheerful, upbeat guy.
I'm currently reading a bunch of books, as always. I sometimes wish I could reign in my ADD brain and focus on one book at a time, but I actually tried to finish up $20 Per Gallon and discovered that it's best taken in small chunks (at least for me). So, I'm back to reading 3-page bits and pieces. It's a good book. I'm particularly fascinated with the descriptions of the new South Korean city, Songdo, which is being built entirely as a compact, energy-efficient satellite city that sounds a lot more like the Jetsons' world than anything I would have expected to exist in my lifetime. I'm thinking the book is a good one for people who plan to do world-building in preparation for writing science fiction.
Milky Way Marmalade
Milky Way Marmaladeseems to be the book that I can't stop burying, lately -- the one that needs a neon flag attached. I may set it aside for a week or two because I've got quite a list of books that I feel obligated to finish before the end of the month, even though I only have one remaining tour. Or, maybe I'll just restart it. I apparently love weighing myself down with nonexistent obligations.
The Interrogative Moodlost me at the halfway point. A book composed entirely of questions is fun . . . to a point. And, halfway was it for me. I can imagine it would generate some great discussion -- say, if a group were to read it and each individual choose his or her favorite questions for everyone to answer. But, as far as reading the entire book, the problem is that there's no story and no particular direction. Its a totally random book with question after question, most of which are not interconnected, although sometimes he goes on for a while with a particular train of thought. It made my son and me laugh when we read it aloud (and blush when one or two of the questions were sex-based) but there's a limit to how far you can take the fun. It should be a board game, not a book, I guess.
The Maze Runneris still grabbing me but took second place while I finished up Crossing Myself, last night. It seems likely that it will be the next book finished, if only because just thinking about it makes me want to kick my husband off the futon and curl up with it. But, I have things to do, so he can stay there and play with his little toy (some electronic Applepod thingy).
As to the Roll Call mentioned in my subject line . . . there's another story. I had around 240 hits in 24 hours, just after posting the zombie book review and I made the assumption that maybe people were looking up the zombie book, but just to find out I went on one of my rare jaunts to StatCounter and discovered that my hits were all over the map, as far as the searches that led them to my blog. When I first put up my stat counter, I fussed over the numbers and wondered what I should do to change things to keep people coming back. And, then at some point I decided that numbers are meaningless and I'm not in this for anything other than a mode of expression. I'm not blogging for free books. I'm not blogging to make money. I just need an outlet to babble about the books I love and a place to write freely.
Yesterday, I made the near-fatal mistake of looking at keyword analysis and then from there I ended up looking at unique visitors vs. return visitors and found that my statistics show that people don't return to my blog. That isn't entirely borne out by the comments but I know that some people I used to think of as "old faithfuls" aren't returning to my blog as often as they used to and that bothers me. After looking at my stats, I was ready to stop blogging right at that moment, close up shop, hide my blog and disappear. But, then I remembered checking off Day by Day Armageddon, last week, and saying to myself, "4 down, 17 to go." All of which means, I still feel burdened by the books that have been sent to me but not yet read or reviewed, so I'll keep chugging away.
But, I'd like to know who is out there lurking. Readers like Google Reader distort statistics because people often read a post but don't click through to comment. I'm pretty sure the fact that 56 people follow me in that little Google Friend thing that you can't find unless you go to my "about" page says something; and, the others who use readers of various types are still there but not always commenting. Still, I'd like to know, so if you could step forward and comment -- just say, "I'm here," it would help ease my mind.
I'm off to get ready for my Bible study. My own reader is oppressively heavy, again, and this week my son is off for "intercession" so I'll be in and out a lot. Kiddo needs to be entertained or he'll spend all day shooting at bad guys and watching movies in the dark. I wish everyone a wonderful week. If I'm unable to comment on posts, it's a temporary thing. I'll be back next week. In addition to dealing with intercession entertainment, we've got the Poison Guy to look forward to and a carpet installation, mid-week. Kiddo has a doctor appointment and will still show up for swim practice, even if he's not swimming. I have photos to load to the swim blog and cleaning and paint touch-up to do in preparation for the carpet dudes. It's going to be a busy week. Happy reading!
Don't forget to tell me you're out there, please!! Happy Sunday!
Bookfool, feeling just a wee bit lonely
I read your blog every day. Hope you know that! Good idea for a roll-call. I should do one, myself. My comments have dropped considerably. Probably due to the lack of reviews and delay in responding to those who do take the time to comment. I. Need. More. Time!ReplyDelete
I'm reading! I have you in my Google Reader... I have too many blogs to try to literally visit each URL every day, but your posts are faithfully read! I'm always impressed by the amount of reading you accomplish and am frequently finding books for my GoodReads ToRead shelf.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Les. You're one of my "old faithfuls," actually -- old meaning relative to how long the blog has been active (although, if you're feeling like me, the book title I Feel Bad About My Neck is beginning to have real meaning). I appreciate you!!!!ReplyDelete
I need more time, too. I'm just about to head out the door; today, I'm in charge of food and drinks at Bible study, so I'll have to make several trips to the car and leave early.
I'm beginning to think about going back to the old fashioned way of doing things - actual blog hopping instead of a reader. I don't comment as much as I once did because of my reader and that bothers me.ReplyDelete
And you're one of my "old faithfuls," too. Don't quit blogging, PLEASE!!! Even if you slow down with your posting, don't give it up entirely. Nobody makes me laugh like you!ReplyDelete
I may be old(er?), but I'm definitely not all that faithful. Time for abundant commenting is not something I have, unfortunately. But I'm reading, so here I am standing up to be counted. Ugh, looking at stats is a dangerous (and usually depressing) thing for me, so I'm trying to wean myself off of looking at them. Ever. But it's hard!ReplyDelete
Hi - I'm Les's mom and I've been lurking for a long time, but will answer roll call today! I enjoy your blog even if I don't read many of the books.ReplyDelete
I'm here!! (Waves) I read you in my Reader though I am terrible about clicking through to comment. I'm terrible at commenting in general. I do enjoy reading so many blogs. Maybe that's partly why it gets hard to comment often, so much time is taken up with the reading of blogs, etc. Ah well! I am reading even if I don't stop by very often. Have a wonderful day!ReplyDelete
Hi Bookfool! I read your blog just about everyday too. Google reader is great, but like you mentioned, I'll often read through and then forget to comment later on. Boo to that! Miss Spooky sounds like quite the trooper!ReplyDelete
I try to drop in as frequently as possible--love your light, breezy style and the mix of photos, reviews, and views.ReplyDelete
Poor Miss Spooky--will she regain her sight? I sure hope so! Angus, Athena, and Fiona are saying kitty prayers for her.
I'm an old faithful reader, too, with emphasis on "old" as in getting elderly. Remember that some of us touch base with you on Facebook and thus may not spend as long here because we've been talking about Miss Spooky "over there" on Facebook. Never fear, my friend, you are loved and admired and read because you are an interesting person and a good writer, to boot.ReplyDelete
Giving cats medicine really is like doing an obstacle course in some respects. My dog takes his medicine much easier, although he still doesn't make it all that easy.ReplyDelete
Crossing Myself sounds like a powerful book.
I am sorry to hear your son's shoulder injury is preventing him from finishing out the season. Taking up running to keep in shape sounds like a great idea (not one I would ever take up, but good for others ;-)).
I am one of your 56 who subscribe to your blog through Google Reader and often read your posts that way. I am out here, even if you can't see me. :-)
Have a great week, Nancy!
I love your site! Although I'm not a frequent-flyer, I send all my friends your way. You're the best out there so keep it coming.
We need to challenge each other to insert some obscure word into our posts! That would be loads of fun!ReplyDelete
I know what you mean; I have trouble doing much more than reading and commenting at a few blogs, each day, myself. Thanks for coming out of the woodwork!!!
I've thought about doing that, too, but the nice thing about a reader is that you can set things so that even if you periodically mark everything as read, the reader will hold the old posts or you can "star" something you want to refer back to (I do that with recipes, in particular), so I wouldn't want to give up a reader completely. I do comment a bit less, though, probably because I'm trying to read everything.
I will probably eventually go to posting only on certain days, but don't worry. I'm not out of here, yet. And, thanks. That's the nicest thing you could have said to me. There's nothing I love more than knowing someone laughed because of me. :)
I try to blog-hop every Sunday, but I do better when I add your blog to my side panel. I'll try that and I'll stop in more often.ReplyDelete
I stay away from visitor counts and awards and all that stuff...I try to focus on the important things---making connections between readers.
Animals are MUCH more able to adapt than us humans. What is with that?ReplyDelete
Your cat is adorable, btw. reminds me of my black and white a long time ago. :)
Well, your little avatar is familiar so I know you've at least occasionally stopped by to say something! Thanks for speaking up. :) Yeah, looking at stats is not healthy. I've tried not to let numbers take on too much meaning but it's an effort, some days!
Hello there! It's nice to meet you!! I know we don't read many of the same books from Les's comments about what you send her. No biggie. We share a love of books. :)
Hiya! (waving back) It sounds like we all share the same problem: time crunch. I don't comment at your blog very often, either, although I love reading it. Thanks for taking the time to wave and thanks for the wishes. I hope you have a wonderful day, too!
You've actually commented quite a bit, so I knew you were out there. I'm really bad about reading and thinking, "I'll say something later," yep. Miss Spooky is definitely a trooper. She's still sleeping a great deal and not moving much, but I think she's made it clear she's not ready to kick the bucket!! She's so cool. LOL
Yay for my mom! I know she reads a bunch of the blogs I follow. Hi Mom! :)ReplyDelete
Why, thank you, dear. I'm particularly fond of the words "breezy style". LOL
I don't know if Spooky's going to get her sight back in that eye. It's not improving at all. The other eye was like that for about a day and then it started to drain off and looks normal, now, but this one is just not budging. She's getting around better, though, compensating for the lack of vision in that eye very nicely. So, I think she'll cope well -- although if she doesn't get her vision back, I won't ever let her outdoors again (at least without me sitting nearby) and I know she'll miss that. Thank Angus, Fiona and Athena for me. And, thanks for your prayers, too.
I know you're hanging around because you've made plenty of comments to that effect, both here and on Facebook and I thank you for that (and for all the nice things you just said). You look so terrific! I need to do whatever you're doing to lose weight. Are you walking?
Did they make you change your diet?
Cats certainly don't make it easy dosing them, that's for sure.
Crossing Myself is definitely powerful and it's also sometimes funny and sometimes a bit of a tearjerker. I love Greg Garrett's writing and I'm really, really looking forward to reading the other book on my stack!
Kiddo says he's not thrilled about the idea of running, but he didn't seem to protest the purchase of running shoes. Everyone loves a new pair of shoes. :) He's okay with finishing up with competitive swimming a little early. We left the decision to him and he's not upset; he seems a little relieved. It was just becoming too painful.
Thanks for standing up to be counted. I hope you have a terrific week, too!
Cindi, old pal old buddy!
Thank you. You do? How sweet! I haven't gotten your friend's book, yet, but I've been stalking the mailman. After reading part of it, I am really anxious to get my mitts on the real thing!!
You're in my Google Reader, although I don't always click over to comment. So many blogs, so little time...ReplyDelete
I made the mistake of inching over the 100 blogs mark. I find I struggle with keeping up if I have more than 100 blogs in the Reader.
I read, I just rarely comment! No time to click through. I need to pare down the reader but I find it hard to do. I find it really easy to get obsessed with my stats and do things to test why some posts get hits, etc. That's when I know it's time to back off.ReplyDelete
What a great idea! We could have loads of fun with that. Tortilla! Impecunious! Imbroglio! The harder the better. ;)
I think my life would be a little more sane if I could just pick out a single day to devote to blog-hopping. Great idea. Thanks for making an appearance. It's nice just knowing who is out there!
I'm not really big on numbers and awards, either. In fact, I wish BBAW didn't involve any awards because I know at least a few people who had hurt feelings over not being nominated for anything.
I think we could stand to learn a lesson from our pets. I'm amazed at how quickly my cat went from stumbling to jumping. It never occurred to her that she shouldn't keep trying!
Thank you! My kitty is such a sweetie and such a pretty beast. She's my first black and white. If they all have such nice personalities, I'm sticking with black and white!
Yeah, I'm bad about commenting at your blog, too. It seems we all could stand a few more hours in our day.
You might need to weed a bit! I've got quite a few blogs in my reader and every now and then I do weed out a few that I'd refer to as "non-responsive" blogs -- where the bloggers don't bother to reply at all. Obviously, I'm a bit of a chatterbox and like to converse. LOL
Actually, I don't think I could have even found the time to blog when I had two little boys, so I can certainly understand why you don't click through. It is very, very hard paring down the reader. I do it now and then but I only part with blogs that have owners who never bother to reply to comments. The conversation is a large part of the fun of blogging.
The stats -- I don't know why we worry about them, really. I used to and now I just try not to think about them at all. Obviously, I failed at that, last night! :)
Don't you dare stop blogging!!!! I'm not far enough away to be deterred from coming over there and giving you a good talking too! I'm an old faithful and I'm here all the time :) Though I understand your frustrations! You probably have a lot more subscribers than you think! My google reader says I have 46 subscribers, but I joined Feedburner which takes all of the feedreaders into account and learned I actually have 203 subscribers! But like you, I do this mostly for myself. Though it can be frustrating when no one reads :(ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear about the kiddo's shoulder. That's really sad :( Though it's good to hear that the two of y'all will get to run together!! I love seeing the two of y'all so close. Don't know if I've told you that before, but it's rare to see a mom and teen so close these days and that just makes me smile :)
Crossing Myself is totally NOT my normal kind of book. I'm normally not into spiritual memoirs, but darnitt if it's not the second one that you've added onto my wishlist Nancy! I got 90 Minutes in Heaven because of you and I think I'm going to want to read this one too. It sounds oh so good!
And look at sweet little Miss Spooky :) (I sort of went backwards commenting here ;) I love that picture of her. I'm glad to hear that she's on the mend even if she is giving you a fight with the medicine!! Hope she keeps getting better and better!
Good to hear that Miss Spooky is on the mend and adjusting to her disability! Don't envy you the job with the medicine!ReplyDelete
I'm here from Minneapolis, MN! I read you every day in my reader!ReplyDelete
I would love it if you'd show up to give me a good talking-to. :) How do you do the feedburner thing? I'm feeling like such a tech moron, lately. I want to add tabs to the top of my blog, but I haven't found the time to read up on them.
Kiddo is really quite happy with his decision to forego the rest of the swim season. You would love his attitude. We had kind of a family pow-wow and I asked him what he expected out of this swim season. He said he'd hoped that the pain would stay manageable through the state swim meet (we're missing the state meet in Biloxi, but he's going to go to MSU for a visit that Monday, so the timing worked out well). Since he was doubled over in pain at last week's meet, he said it was just time. The coach was great about it -- actually spent some time talking to him to make sure he understood that it was okay not to worry about points if he wanted to continue and to tell Kiddo he's been an excellent influence on his teammates, that he's the "most mature" swimmer on the team and how much he's appreciated him. Isn't that cool??
He's unsure about running but happily went along with buying the new running shoes (everyone loves new shoes!!). LOL Thanks for that comment about how close we are. I love it that I have a son who is willing to talk to me about absolutely *anything*. I'm going to miss him something awful when he goes off to college!!! But, I definitely will know I didn't shortchange him on my time and attention.
Oh, good, I'm glad you added Crossing Myself to your wish list. I think you'll enjoy it because the author is so down-to-earth, because he talks frankly about his depression and anger, and because he's very open about the good and bad of Christianity and how he ended up going from church-raised to agnostic to seminary. Also, he talks about writing and how we write from our own world view, which is a great chapter for any writer.
Cats are so feisty when it comes to medicine! Thanks. That's one of my favorite photos because it shows off her beautiful eyes (one of which is totally black, now -- I'm not holding out much hope, since that internal bleed isn't draining off, but you never know). She's showing improvement daily. At first, she stumbled and couldn't jump without incident. Now she's jumping all the time -- I woke up with a cat on my feet -- and she begged for a head rub, this morning. She had an IV at the kitty hospital, so there's a little shaved place on her bib, and the vet said she'll need to stay on some strong antibiotics for at least 4 weeks, but since she's acting so much more herself, I'm feeling very positive that she's going to be okay -- maybe one-eyed, but that's no biggie. She's compensating very, very well.
Is this the longest note you've ever seen, or what? I'd better shush. Thanks for your lengthy note, Chris. Love ya!!!
Thank you! I'm so impressed with my cat's ability to adapt. I don't think I'd adapt as quickly as she has to losing the sight in one eye. Getting spat upon is almost funny. She gets annoyed with me, stomps off, shakes herself and then comes right back because she's so sociable she can't stand the idea of staying away! LOL
Minneapolis!! Cool! Literally. ;) Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!
I think Kiddo is best out of swimming for the time being. Glad he's got a good attitude about it.ReplyDelete
Yay for Spooky for getting her moorings w/o the one eye. Hopefully it'll be short term.....and yay for you for getting even a bit of antibiotic down her. That is one difficult job.
I think it's best. He was just in too much pain. It's so nice that he has a great attitude; he could have been whiny and unhappy but he's chosen to just be happy that he got to swim at all during his senior year and is enjoying hanging out with his friends for the last couple of weeks, chatting with the coach, etc. I think he deserves a coolness award. LOL
Spooky is really getting visibly better, as far as coping with balance and perkiness level. Such a relief. Maybe we'll get lucky and the eye will improve after a couple weeks of antibiotics. If not, I'm happy. I'd rather have a one-eyed cat than a dead one, obviously!
I don't really remember how to do the feedburner thing Nancy :p Just go to feedburner.com and it should explain it to you. I don't remember it being too hard. But it gives you much more reliable stats!! I like it! I use statcounter like you for my more specific stats and I find that's a pretty good site for those types of stats. As for tabs, I can't help you there...I only know how to use tabs for wordpress...I'm a total dummy when it comes to blogger! That's the reason why I switched to Wordpress..I find it to be much more user friendly.ReplyDelete
Great news about kiddo. Glad to hear his spirits are up despite everything. And it's great to hear that he's going to take a look at MSU!! He must be excited!! I know it's gotta be rough on you knowing you're going to have an empty nest soon. You'll just have to pick up a new hobby ;) Maybe volunteer at his school as the school photographer! You'd get to be around the kids still.
Hope that the kitty stays on the mend, Nancy!! Glad to hear she's hopping around. Love ya back ;)
I shall give feedburner.com a go, thanks. Somewhere, SuziQ has given me some information about tabs but I'm going to have to dig for it when I'm ready to take the time (probably not this week, since Kiddo's home and we have Things To Do). Wordpress isn't as easy for photo loading; that's why I've stuck with blogger. I did set up a test blog to see if WP has improved in the last three years and it has, but it's just not as intuitive, IMHO.
Kiddo is a pretty terrific guy, if you ask me. Of course, I'm totally biased. Yeah, I think he's starting to get excited about looking ahead to college. I'm thinking I may spend that first year trying to tag along to wonderful places with my husband. I've been waiting my turn for eons. Then, maybe I'll settle down and get a job or go back to school. Who knows. I'm trying to look at the empty nest as an open door, although I do know I'm going to miss Kiddo like crazy. He's just a really great guy to hang out with; we have a good rapport.
This has been a banner day for kitty! I'm so pleased to see her energy level picking up!! She's just back from a visit to her bowls. Ewww, tuna breath! :)
So when you do feedburner it asks something like "do you want to burn a new feed?" and that scares me. That doesn't make my current subscribers go away, does it?ReplyDelete
I don't know. I just signed up for the feedburner thing and that kind of freaked me out, too. Actually, I'm not sure how I answered! LOL I hope it doesn't. I really can't imagine that it would clear out other feeds, though. That would be too awful for words. When I was signing up, I must admit I felt a little like a blind person running my hands against a moss-coated wall whilst sliding around on ice, if you know what I mean. No idea what I was doing.
aluminum linoleum aluminum linoleam aluminum linoleum... Were you aware that this is just as hard to type three times as to say it three times? (I'm HEEEEEEeerrrRRRRRrreeee.) guess what strangeness the word verification wants me to type? glyhxnno. and no, have not had any intoxicating beverages to day. But I'm here and I read every post. stop worrying about it and I won't worry over at my blog. Deal?ReplyDelete
Could you just ditch the boat and move in next door to me? Obviously, we need each other. Plus, some aluminum and linoleum and possibly an alcoholic beverage or two (although -- you'll love this -- I just requested a book about why Christians shouldn't drink alcohol to try to blend in . . . sounds interesting, yes?). Glyhxnno sounds like an excellent new word. I think we should come up with a definition.
I'm still reading! Not every day but as often as I have time!ReplyDelete
Thanks for stepping forward to say so. I love your avatar. My favorite colors!!
Glyhxnno is the sound of a Christian hiccupping when drinking alcohol while trying to 'fit in'. (WHAT?!?!)ReplyDelete
I read everything you write, even if it's years later because I, too, am behind on my Google Reader. I'm HERE!!!!ReplyDelete
ROTFLMAO!!!! Good one.
Aw, thanks. Everything? Doesn't that make you dizzy or overwhelm you? LOL
I emptied my Google Reader on Tuesday night and just kept trying to read the posts all day. I couldn't keep up with them! By the end of the day, I was 100 posts behind!!! I think there might be some mega-multi-posting bloggers I need to eliminate. I tend not to read those who post too frequently because I'm intimidated by quantity.
Hi! I'm here and I read your blog every day. Please stay - we would miss you. :(ReplyDelete
Oh, good! Then my once a week posting will keep you coming back for more. :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for raising your hand. I think I can safely say I'm feeling the bloggy love and I'm not going to disappear. For now. :)
Are you talking to me or your mom? LOL I've commented too much and can't figure out what we were talking about, if you're responding to me.
With 45 comments, no wonder you're lost! I was responding to your response to Lexi about "mega-multi-posing bloggers." :)ReplyDelete
Okay, I get it now! LOL Yeah, 45 comments . . . bit much to wade through. Yes, it's easy to keep up with you and I kind of prefer lighter posting. J. Kaye is a perfect example of heavy posters. I love her to death, but I cannot freaking keep up with her, so I've discovered that her posts are usually the first to go. If I'm trying to catch up, I go to the heavy bloggers and empty their files first, just to ease my mind. For that reason, I try not to post too much, myself. I don't want to make anyone lose their mind. But, I often have a list of things I want to post about.