My brain is still on Christmas / Epiphany vacation but my fingers are typing their way into Friday and another episode of Seven Quick Takes. It’s official: we’re back into the swing of things and if you can’t get your act together to link up, it’s not because of the holidays, you’re just too dang busy.

seven quick takes friday 2

I’ve gone the random route with Quick Takes for a few weeks now, when historically, I’ve frequently used a theme to tie together all my takes. (A theme besides, ” My life is chaotic, unpredictable and slowly smothering me with mismatched socks and Ziploc bags I will eventually get around to washing out and reusing!”) Today I’m unifying! and reminding everyone why lots of reading doesn’t necessarily equal book reviews of quality or substance. (And I’m responsable for teaching my kids how to write a narration. Lord, hear our prayer.)

When I’m not over-sharing on social media and la blog, I read. Here’s some favorite books from the last year WITH LOTS OF AMAZON AFFILIATE LINKS THROWN IN. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO ACCIDENTALLY GIVE ME A TEENSY TINY PERCENTAGE OF YOUR AMAZON PURCHASE, THEN FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE DON’T CLICK ON ANYTHING! (If you want to know what I’m reading all the time you can follow me on Goodreads, although in preparing this post I realized I was saving my books in all the wrong categories. Clearly I should add a title on being technologically savy to my ‘To Read’ list.)

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I mentioned the The Power of Habit before, but besides making me reexamine my whole life and sulk, I found it a fascinating book. Coupled with reading The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How., I’m pretty sure I’m going to start going all tiger mom on my kids to help form them into the perfect adults I’m too old to become.

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Two of my favorite women, wildly different books, but both spoke to me and are encouraging me to be a better writer. Jen Fulwiler’s ‘Something Other Than God’ is engrossing, entertaining and appeals to people regardless of faith. Flannery O’Connor’s ‘Mystery and Manners’ reveals her wit, genius use of language and ability to weave The Truth into a story without beating morality and the Papacy over a reader’s head. I don’t need literary fame or a Ignatius Publishing deal, but I would love the ability to convey my thoughts in a way as captivating as these two.

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I’m going to read as many 20th century Catholic fiction books as I can this year because I just can’t get enough. To read the raw pain of O’Connor, the engaging narrative of Godden and the hilarity of Percy and yet come away with a feeling of something so much bigger than myself is intoxicating. I’m moving onto Waugh,  Greene and more Percy and I don’t even know where else. Hit me up with your favorite authors and titles because I’m getting my unofficial PhD in this stuff.

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I never read Ethan Frome in high school, picked it up for free on a whim this year and couldn’t put it down. I have a soft spot for books that show the consequences of bad decisions rather that celebrating them as some liberation from an antiquated belief system. I also finally read The Scarlet Pimpernel, enjoyed it, and thus completed my 9th grade English Literature credit.

What were you favorite reads of 2014? How are they influencing your reading choices for 2015? Do tell in the comments then link up and find out what the rest of the blogosphere has been up to this week.

Remember to use the url to your Quick Takes post and not your blogs url. Also remember to link back to this post. 


{SQT} All the Books, Written by Better People

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