Simple Joy Saturday #51

Simple Joy Saturday #51

In 2019, I am posting a roundup of “simple joys” on the last Saturday of every month. Feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments!


February 2019

Enjoyable Reads:

I kindly ask you to click the link above and review the flowchart at the beginning of the post.  It may change your life.

  • The Time Machine by H.G.Wells

I continued reading (or, more accurately, listening to) books on the 100 Books Bucket List.  Out of the 5 books I completed in February, The Time Machine is the only book that I can recommend.


Forgive me for including two grammar-related resources, but if you consider yourself a snoot (syntax nudnik of our time), you will love Garner’s hefty handbook, which cheekily explains every grammar error you could ever encounter.

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One-Word Book Summaries: July 2018

One-Word Book Summaries: July 2018

“It is likely I will die next to a pile of things I was meaning to read.”

– Lemony Snicket

8 - Read

Without intention, July became a month of books.   Here are my one-word summaries of the sixteen books I read in July.

Books for Grad School:

C.S. Lewis

  • Mere Christianity: Theology
  • Out of the Silent Planet: Extraterrestrial
  • Perelandra: Parallels
  • That Hideous Strength: Propaganda
  • Prince Caspian: Courage
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:  Adventure
  • The Silver Chair: Enchantment
  • The Last Battle: Hope
  • The Abolition of Man: Insight

Audiobooks for Fun:

Meg Cabot

  • Big Boned: Comedy

Pam Muñoz Ryan

  • Esperanza Rising: Awareness

Anne Tyler

  • A Spool of Blue Thread: Family

Natalie Babbit

  • Tuck Everlasting: Imagination

William P. Young

  • The Shack: Heresy

Howard Pyle

  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood: Pleasure

Debbie Macomber

  • The Last One Home: Opportunity





Simple Joy Saturday #38

Simple Joy Saturday #38

On Saturday I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week.  Please feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments section!

simple joy saturday logo from kats9lifes

Maybe I should quit claiming that I share my simple joys every week.

Image result for aint nobody got time for that gif

July 14 – 20

1. Walking

Walking with friends at the outdoor mall.  Walking with Mom in Old Salem.  Walking with an audiobook around the neighborhood.  I just love the sunshine and movement!

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Simple Joy Saturday #37

Simple Joy Saturday #37

Every Saturday I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week.  These posts may grow or change as time passes.  Please feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments section!

simple joy saturday logo from kats9lifes

1. Village Juice Company and the friends who love it as much as I do

2. The Chronicles of Narnia

Who would have thought that I would get to read children’s fiction in grad school?!  Here’s one of my new favorite quotes from The Magician’s Nephew:

“‘But do not be cast down,’ said Aslan, still speaking to the Beasts.  ‘Evil will come of that evil, but it is still a long way off, and I will see to it that the worst falls upon myself.”

3.  Goggles and a new swimsuit

This week I learned that the right equipment can make all the difference.

Simple Joy Saturday #2

Simple Joy Saturday #2

Every Saturday, I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week. These posts may grow or evolve as time passes. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!

1. The Kindle App

Current favorite: the Ivy Malone Series



2. This shipment I received from Blind Spot Nutbutters



3. Hanging out with college friends

Since I don’t have any photos of us hanging out this week, here is a link to the bad lip reading video that we laughed over.


What were the simple joys in your life this week?

Top Ten Tuesday: Banned Books Week

Top Ten Tuesday: Banned Books Week


Everyone who loves reading has done it.  We stay up well past the time that we should go to bed just so that we can enjoy one more chapter of our current book. Sometimes these books are stealthily hidden beneath blankets and read with flashlights so that parents will not know what we are reading.

This week, the American Library Association is honoring “banned books,” which are books that have been outlawed for various reasons including language, morality, religion, and illustrations. In my opinion, every book worth reading has been banned for some unnecessary reason.  Also, banning books only serves to stimulate a child’s curiosity and build their desire to read the book.

Below are my favorite banned books, the reason that they were banned, and why I loved them.

  1. The Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum – People claim that it supports pessimism and has no literary value. I love The Wizard of Oz because it taught me how to think imaginatively and beyond concrete reality.
  2. The Bad Beginning, by Lemony Snicket – I will be the first to admit that Snicket’s books are disturbing.  However, Snicket is one of my favorite authors because of his unique tales and unprecedented vocabulary-teaching ability.  Besides, Snicket is not even a real person, so can we blame him for being bizarre?
  3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain – Mark Twain has been called racist, and there is foul language in the book.  Nonetheless, this classic tale teaches history and loyalty.
  4. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor – Some parents do not like that the series includes “coming of age” topics and homosexuality.  I loved the series because I could relate to Alice as a teenage girl.  Yes, the book did include “secular” content, but we live in a secular world.  As Christians, we should be in the world;  we should know what is happening around us.  However, we are not of the world, and we will not agree with everything that the world promotes.
  5. The Giver, by Lois Lowry – The Giver includes violent misdeeds such as euthanasia and infanticide.  However, it is also a story of love, breaking the status quo, and bravery.
  6. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George – Violence and offensive language are the two main reasons that certain adults have tried to censor Julie of the Wolves.  I appreciate Julie’s bravery, the story’s adventure, and George’s attention to culture.
  7. A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein – Silverstein tends to be sarcastic and sassy.  One of his poems says, “If you have to dry the dishes, And you drop one on the floor, Maybe they won’t let you Dry the dishes anymore.”  Parents saw this as promoting disrespect and disobedience.  I happen to love Silverstien’s dry humor.

  8. The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis – After reading this book, parents worry that their children will become disobedient and mischievous for the sake of adventure.  Christians also criticize Lewis for animalizing Christ.  On the contrary, Lewis wrote Narnia as a metaphor of Christ’s suffering, not a sacrilegious attack.
  9. If I Ran the Zoo, by Dr. Seuss – The country’s view of ethnicity was vastly different in the 1950s when Dr. Seuss wrote this book.  That is why he included the line about helpers who “all wear their eyes at a slant.”  My family spent quite a lot of time at a few different zoos when I was younger.  Basically, my brother is Gerald McGrew.
  10. Junie B. Jones, by Barbara Park – Like so many other child heroes, Junie tends to be bratty, disobedient, and rude. However, these well-intentioned books simply seek to tell the story of childhood from the perspective of a first-grade girl.  Let’s be honest–what child isn’t bratty, disobedient, and rude at times?  The key is that parents should use the book as a way to discuss proper behavior with children.


Top Ten Tuesday: A Book A Year

Top Ten Tuesday: A Book A Year


Children are made readers in the laps of their parents.

-Emilie Buchwald

The truth is, I cannot remember a time before books were part of my life. My mom was an avid reader, and we made weekly trips to the library to fulfill her passion for books.  She would always let my brother and I choose a few books to peruse throughout the week, and she would read them to us over and over again. By the age of 5, I had my own library card (and my own overdue book fines).

Summer is approaching, and children will be spending more time at home.  No matter how old your child is, there are dozens of age-appropriate books that they will enjoy. Below, you will find a list of ten books corresponding with a child’s age.

Read to your children every day, and teach your children to read to themselves. Studious readers become sensational leaders.

Top 10 Books Every Child Should Read

1. Newborn: White on Black, Tana Hoban

2. One-year-old: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle

3. Two-years-old: Corduroy, Don Freeman

4. Three-years-old: If You Give a Pig a Pancake, Laura Numeroff

5. Four-years-old: I Can Read With My Eyes Shut, Dr. Seuss

6. Five-years-old: You are Special, Max Lucado

7. Six-years-old:  13 Words, Lemony Snicket

8. Seven-years-old:  No Longer a Nobody, Matilda Nordtvedt

9. Eight-years-old: Encyclopedia Brown, Donald, J. Sobol

10. Nine-years-old: Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein