Books Read in September 2016

I read two (rather lengthy) books in September.

Books Read in September 2016

Image by Hermann (2014) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

The books were part of the “Mark of the Lion” trilogy by Francine Rivers. And they were good, so very, very good!

The first book, A Voice in the Wind, introduces several important characters: Hadassah, Marcus, Atretes, Julia and several lesser characters. As the story continues the characters become woven into each other lives and affect each other in very profound ways. The second book, Echo in the Darkness, continues the story of three of the characters. However, I don’t want to give anything away so I won’t tell you who they are!

The stories themselves are set during the time when the temple of Jerusalem is destroyed. And, yes, the story (both of them) is Christian but not in an “in your face” way. As you get to know the characters, their faith (or lack thereof) fits in perfectly. It is just a part of who they are.

I have to say, the character development in both books is amazing. They seem so real and the reader is pulled so completely into the action you feel like you are really present and a part of their lives. I have read a lot of books with well-developed characters but these books have the best character development I’ve ever encountered. Seriously.

Both books are long (700+ pages!) but you hardly notice. I read Echo in the Darkness in two days! It is an easy read but also gives you something to think about. Between the two books, Rivers writes about issues such as slavery, abortion, euthanasia, promiscuity, and faith; topics that are still timely in our own day. And, she does so in such a sensitive, natural way. She doesn’t preach, give simplistic answers, or tells you what to think. She just lets the characters live their lives and the reader gets a bird’s-eye view.

If you are looking for a really, really good read, I highly recommend you read these books. Do start with A Voice in the Wind, though. Echo in the Darkness won’t make a lot of sense if you read it first, although you could, I guess.

The third book in the series is As Sure as the Dawn and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

If you do read the books, do tell me what you think. 🙂

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My Experience with LinkedIn

A few weeks ago, I shared my struggles with social media and my new plan going forward. I decided that I was going to spend a month focused on LinkedIn.

Image by PeteLinforth (2016) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Image by PeteLinforth (2016) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Well, a month has passed and I can say that the experience was successful, albeit, not perfect. Here are a few things about my experience:

1. I way underestimated the time I would have. As some of you may know, I home school my son and he started 6th grade this year. He has the most work he has had so far and it is demanding a lot more time from me than I expected.

Still, on average, I was able to sign into LinkedIn about 3-4 times a week for about 10 minutes so so. That’s not too bad given the fact that I wasn’t on LinkedIn at all for a very long time!

2. I made a few unexpected connections. I only have 59 connections so far but this is about 15 more than I had before this experiment. 🙂 I took a chance and invited a few well-known people to connect and they all said yes. This may date me but one cool connection I made is with Anson Williams. If you are familiar with the long running TV series Happy Days, Williams played Potsie. He is now also a noted director and businessman.

3. The groups are better I expected. There are a lot of groups to choose from but rather than join one a day, I decided just to join four new ones. I wasn’t expecting much engagement but I figured I’d give it a try. Well, I discovered that I enjoy the groups a lot. The ones I’ve joined aren’t crazy active but they are steady and useful. I do need to get more personally active with posting and I am hoping to start doing that soon.

4. I have more to learn about LinkedIn. One of the things I learned this month is that you can post articles directly into LinkedIn. It is like a built-in blog system. I want to experiment with it and write a few blog posts there. It will be interesting to see how it compares with my blog here.

As I spend more time there, I’m sure I will discover new ways of using LinkedIn. By the way, feel free to send me an invite to connect!

VERDICT: Success! I will definitely continue my presence on LinkedIn and hopefully be valuable, contributing member of this social platform.

Now, I have to decide on the next social media platform where I will spend some time. Part of me thinks it should be Facebook but I shiver at the thought. I do spend some time there for personally connecting with family and friends, and I have a neglected page for my personal blog; however, the thought of using Facebook for business purposes make me shiver. Silly, I know. It is one of the most popular social networking sites and I feel like I SHOULD be on Facebook rather than WANT to be on Facebook.

Another social media website I am considering is Goodreads. I have heard a lot of good things about Goodreads and it is definitely up my alley. 🙂 Additionally, because it is a social media site for book lovers, I will absolutely have the chance to connect with other authors. So, in the end, I will sign up with Goodreads. I will let you know how it goes next month.

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Misused Words: Past vs Passed

The English language can be so confusing. Past and passed are words that are easily mixed, especially in writing.

Misused words: Past and passed

However, the quickest way to remember how to use the two words is this: Past is used as a noun, adjective, adverb, or preposition. Passed is used as a verb.

For example: I don’t like to think about my past. (Noun)

For example: Joan read two books this past week. (Adjective)

For example: The editor ran past and almost knocked me over. (Adverb)

For example: We will leave when it is half past the hour. (Preposition)

For example: My son passed the history test. (Verb)

If you are not sure which word to use, simply ask yourself, “is the word passed (past) being used as a verb? If so, you know to use passed. If it isn’t, you know to use past.

For a printable cheat sheet of this post, click here. (No opt-in required.)

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