Remember How I Started A Literary Society?

(Those specks in the picture are crumbs on the table.  I didn't clean it before I staged this pic, and it's too late now. It's been that kind of morning.)

I have no idea where the phrase originated, but I'll go ahead and say that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.  I opened my eyes with a scowl on my face, shuffled into the bathroom to fix my makeup, and shuffled upstairs for some coffee.  I would like to say that I am feeling slightly better now, but as I sit here assessing, I'm not sure if that's accurate.  On a day like this, you break out every item that normally makes you smile (light the candles - check), snuggle a couple children, and just make it through.

3rd Literary Society Meeting

You also go the path of least resistance when writing an old-fashioned blog post, and share what you did yesterday - which for me, was our third literary society meeting! In case you missed it, last fall I started a literary society, not to be confused with a book club.  Book clubs have everyone reading the same book - literary societies get together and talk about books in general.  Books that are our favorites, books we are reading lately, recommendations - anything goes.

Our society meets every other month, and last night was our largest meeting with eleven people!  I was hoping we could get a circular table, but instead we were seated at a long table, so I floated between sides to make sure to talk with everyone.  As usual, it was so fun!  We talk about a myriad of books, but these are the ones that made it onto my to-read shelf on Goodreads.

Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
The Power Of One by Bryce Courtenay
The Story Of The World - Vol. One

Have you read any of these?

My Non-Goalish Reading Goal

Now I'll go ahead and just tell you what I am currently reading, though I first want to step back and remind you how last year I set goals to be more purposeful about what I was reading.  

Yeah, that didn't go so well.  

I didn't stick to my categories at all through the year, and I swiftly decided that no such goals would be made for 2017.  Along with my growing annoyance with words like "purposeful" and "intentional" (because they are so overused these days), 2016 led me to a conclusion - not everything has to be intentional.  Why are we wearing ourselves out by having a plan for every little area of our lives?  Doesn't that suck some of the fun out of it?  For me, it does.  I am perfectly fine not being intentional with certain areas of my life and just going with the flow.  I'll save my intentionality stress for things that matter more than what books I read.

This year I've decided to read things that are currently interesting to me, and forget about categories.  I think I will get more out of my reading if it's something that's currently relevant in my life, and I'll probably read more books this way as well because I won't be forcing myself through something I'm not enjoying.  No intentional reading here this year.

However, all that is not to say that I won't still have some sort of theme to my reading, based on my interests, and one of my unofficial, interest-based goals is to read more about the Cold War.  I've always found the idea of the Cold War fascinating, and last year when we saw Bridge of Spies, it sparked my interest to learn more.  I know the basics of what the tension was about, but I don't know many specifics.  How did it start?  How and when did we realize that we were in a Cold War with Russia? What did people think about it?  What was it like living during the Cold War?

So what I'm currently reading: A Brief History Of The Cold War by Lee Edwards.  The title makes it sound terribly dry, but it's well done in my opinion.  It's a straight-up history, but written in an engaging way, and I'm learning a lot.

Next up in the Cold War queue:

Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy 
The Tunnels by Greg Mitchell
Deep Undercover by Jack Barsky
Killing Reagan by Bill O'Reilly

I've asked around, and most people have no suggestion for me - but hey, there is no harm in trying again!  Do you have any recommendations for books that have to do with the Cold War?  I'd love to add more fiction to the list.

So what are you all reading lately?  

On the queue for the rest of my day?  I'm off to finish my coffee, read between taking care of children, eat my chocolate croissant (are you aware that yesterday was croissant day?), and fold a ton of laundry for the pregnancy resource center.  Oh yes, and Derek and I have a long overdue date tonight (I think I'm going to try to talk him into bowling)!

Old School Blogger Shoutout

I'm not sure if these bloggers would technically describe themselves as "old school" - but I am, because I feel like they have a spirit of the old school about them.  Their posts, though sometimes more on the professional side of blogging, are not cold and impersonal, and through reading their blogs I feel like I have gotten to know them!  They are two of my favorites to read, and these ladies are so sweet and always respond to comments via email, if not by reciprocating the commenting on my blog.

Rebecca from Caravan Sonnet - Rebecca is just a sweetheart, and has so many insights into walking with the Lord through the trials of life.  She is also having an anniversary giveaway that ends TODAY, so get yourself over there and scroll down to find that post!

Elizabeth from Teaching Sam And Scout - Elizabeth used to blog at E, Myself, And I, but switched to Teaching Sam And Scout a couple years ago...her blog is focused on her job as a teacher, but I feel that she has done a good job of keeping the personal touch too.  Her links and likes posts are my go-to for keeping up on whatever is popular in blogland.  She does the leg work so I don't have to.

What I'm Drinking: Coffee.  Just coffee.  With whipped cream.  I'm hoping it's enough to break me out of my funk.

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Elisha said...

Oh man I love the idea of starting a literary society!! <3 So tempted to put a shoutout on FB and try. :)

Hope your date night was fun!!

Elizabeth said...

I feel ashamed to say I have SEEN both Far from the Madding Crowd and The Power of One, but have not read the books. Thomas Hardy is a bit depressing for me. I read Tess of the D'Urbervilles in college and when Far From the Madding Crowd came on, I somehow knew it was the same author. I would love to be in a literary society OR book club. I've been requesting that our small group choose a book to discuss other than the Bible, but we haven't gotten around to it yet. Russia just celebrated the anniversary of the lifting of the siege of Leningrad. If you can stomach it, that's also a fascinating period to read about. Russian people have seen many times of upheaval! Or maybe you should tackle Perestroika next. I'm reading a mixture of fluffy Christian fiction, slightly less fluffy novels by Grace Livingston Hill, a few about women's health and fitness, and a few about decluttering. I also like biographies and history, like you. Oh, for Cold War, try "How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed." It's not really about politics, more about how people lived during that time period.

Gina said...

No, Cold War recommendations here either. I usually am reading a WWII book, but maybe I should venture into the Cold War sometime in the future too. On my list of books to read next is a Man Called Ove and Missional Motherhood. You need to write a post on how you find time to read while having 4 kids Baby #3 is almost here and I am scared I will never be able to read again.

Caravan Sonnet said...

I was reading along and wishing that I lived closer- because I would seriously LOVE to join your literary society and then I got to the end of the post and my mouth dropped open. SERIOUSLY?!? You are THE sweetest!! Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words and your encouragement!!

OH and I loved Bridge of Spies too!! As a former history teacher I want to have a great list of books for you to read but you are listing the ones that I would suggest. I did come across this article this summer (you may have seen it?) I have read some of these but can't speak to them all. Don't know if this is helpful or not?

Thank you AGAIN. SERIOUSLY. You truly encouraged me today!!

Blessings, Rebecca :)

Michelle said...

Oh man, the funks! I've had a lot of them lately. I hope you've pulled out of it. I am IN LOVE with your literary society idea. I wish we lived in the same town so I could go! I love what you said about intentional reading. I can't do that. I just read whatever I'm in the mood for, or it will feel like assigned high school reading all over again. Also, I'm going to have to read that book. I'm embarrassed by how little I know about the Cold War, and I adore history.

Natalie@She Builds Her Home said...

I agree with you on the intentionality. I went through a time where I also felt the pressure to be so intentional about every single thing and it ended up just adding way more stress! I am saving it for things like being intentional with my Bible study and walk with God and spending one on one time with my kids, etc. Things like reading should just be fun ;)

Whitney @ Journey Mercies said...

I love what you say about books - it's a huge source of pleasure in my life, and I feel that as a working-pregnant-mom, I can read what I want, not what I should. That said...I AM trying to get through the nearly-100 unread books I own - either getting rid of them, or actually reading them. The self-discipline is good for me. :) I'm reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, about aging and care for the dying. I'm thankful my parents aren't there yet, but it's so thought-provoking for me as an RN and daughter (and granddaughter!).

Callie said...

You should! That's how I ended up starting one, just asking on Facebook!

Callie said...

Oh, thanks for the Cold War recommendations! I am going to check those out!

Callie said...

That would be a good post topic. I will see if I can put something together, but the short answer - nap times and before bed! I just squeeze it in on the margins. :-)

Callie said...

Oh, I would love to have you in our society! Oh, distance... ;-) I am going to check out that article, thank you!

Callie said...

Yes, exactly! Why assign myself reading and suck the fun out of it? I think this week is looking up as far as getting out of my funk, I hope you are pulling through too!

Callie said...

Yes, that's exactly it! I'll save being intentional for the things that actually matter...not that reading doesn't matter, but I naturally circle around to more substantive things anyway without giving myself the extra pressure!

Callie said...

Yes! If I have a book goal, that is it. It's kind of embarrassing, how susceptible I am to buying new books, and there is not enough time to keep up on them all!

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