Saturday, January 9, 2010

An Exciting Win for my Son

Yesterday in the mail I received Draw 50 Mythical Creatures by Lee J. Ames which was a win from Karen at Bookin' with Bingo.

I had told my son (and Karen) when this came in the mail it would be his and he was so excited. My son loves to draw and this would be something different for him to learn how to do since he usually draws cartoon people and cars.

When I opened it he was standing right next to me with anticipation. Within minutes he had come back with his first drawing. Here is a sample of what he learned to do from the book. Thanks Bingo for this giveaway!

Favorite Genres

Everyone has a favorite genre of book. You know...the type of book that you gravitate to again and again. The type of book when reading through reviews on other's book blogs you will read word for word rather then just skimming for the final rating. The type of book that you reach for over and over on the library shelves.

My favorite genre is memoirs. It didn't always use to be my favorite and in 6 months it might be something different but for now it's memoirs. I love reading what other people have done with their life and why they have chosen to take the path they are on. I love reading about how someone who was raised in poverty and depravity went on to turn their life around and do something good for themselves and others.

Inching up in second place is historical fiction. This is kind of funny coming from someone who constantly fell asleep in history class becuase it was so boring. Or maybe it was because history was right after lunch- I can't remember!

Historical fiction is fun to read because you are still getting your "fiction fix"- your escape, but you are also learning something in the process. I have learned so much about my country, the times, the culture and the lifestyle of my ancestors by reading historical fiction.

Third favorite genre would have to be books about different cultures. Again, it's all about learning more about my brothers and sisters around the world. What makes us different and what makes us the same.

I'm interested in your opinion. What is your favorite genre and why?

The Year of Living Biblically Review

Last week I went to the library to pick up a few audiobooks to start my Audio Book Challenge 2010 with. While there I also picked up the book The Year of Living Biblically One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs.

Raised in a secular family but increasingly interested in the relevance of faith in our modern world, A.J Jacobs decides to dive in headfirst and attempt to obey the Bible as literally as possible for one full year. He vows to follow the Ten Commandments. To be fruitful and multiply. To love his neighbor. But also to obey the hundreds of less publicized rules: to avoid wearing clothes of mixed fibers; to play a ten-string harp; to stone adulterers.

The resulting spiritual journey is at once funny and profound, reverant and irreverant, personal and universal, and will make you see history's most influential book with new eyes. The Year of Living Biblically will charm readers both secular and religious. It is part CliffNotes to the Bible, part memoir and part looks into worlds unimaginable. Thou shalt not be able to put it down.

I will admit when I picked this book up I was skeptical of it being a funny book. First off, my sense of humor is a little different and I don't find things to usually be laugh out loud funny. Secondly, being a deeply religious person I find religious to be a serious topic and not one to be taken lightly.

However I will have to admit this book had me hooting and holding my sides. A. J Jacobs writes with a refreshingly honest look at his own agnostic background and the skepticism of his life changing during his year of reading the Bible. He first spends some time reading the Bible, writing down laws and commands from the Bible - over 700 of them- and gets to work trying to find the meaning of the law and following it as literally as possible.

His wife is a little more tolerant of his project then I would be but even she has her limits. One scene from the book that still cracks me up comes to mind. One of the laws the author is trying to follow is the original menstruation law that cites you should not touch a woman for 1 week following her cycle because she is considered unclean.

Leviticus 15:20 goes even farther in saying "everything upon which she lies during her impurity shall be unclean; everything also upon which she sits shall be unclean."
One afternoon A. J Jacobs comes home to sit in his favorite chair and his why informs him he might not want to sit there since she has sat on it. Okay, he moves to sit on another chair. "Sat in that one too," says Julie. "And the ones in the kitchen. And the couch in the office." High five to this enterprising woman!

Filled with entertaining and educational moments this book doesn't quite produce the spiritual awakening that I had hoped the author would find at the end of his year-long quest but this self proclaimed agnostic still gets the right idea. It's not always about which religious sect you belong to, or which way laws you follow to the letter or not. Sometimes it's about the joy in knowing their is a higher power and a higher purpose to your life.


Natasha at Maw Books Blog is hosting this year's Bloggiesta. The Bloggiesta which runs from January 8th-10th is a challenge to clean up your book blog, do all those things you've been putting off for months and learn some new things as well.

Being a new book blogger I thought signing up for the Bloggiesta would be an awesome time to jump in with both feet and see what I could do. I have already spent a total of about 6 hours on this challenge and have to date completed 8 mini challenges. Some successfully, and some not so successfully (my flavicon still has not shown up so I'll have to try this one again.) I feel like the more I know, the more I know I don't know. If that makes any sense!

Hopefully today will be another productive day!