Second, but by no means second place

Long books are almost always worth the time and energy investment. When a plot and its characters are thick and meaty, readers reap rich rewards from the time given to them.

Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone is no exception to this truth. The length is long; the characters are complex; the plot twists and turns and pays rich dividends.

It would be easy to say this is another Young Adult work that places exceptional teens on a quest to save civilization and equate it to the Harry Potter, Divergent, or Maze Runner franchises. The author plans additional books and my guess is that the movie rights will be purchased at some point.

It is much more than that, though. It is steeped in West African mythology and hums with an energy beyond the other series mentioned. The primary characters are young and work as a group, but there is nothing easy or light about their group dynamic. The complexity of the characters and their cultural dilemma means there are few truly likable characters, yet Children is full of characters who are admirable. Strong. Loyal. Determined.


And as much as I loved the novel itself, the author’s note at the end of the book brought me to tears. Please don’t read it prematurely, but please do read it. We can learn much from fiction if we will allow it into our hearts.

First finished 2019

When I’m listening to an audiobook, the end sometimes creeps up on me. That is definitely the case for the first book I finished in 2019. Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile’s recent bestseller The Road Back to You has been keeping me company in the car recently. I’m a sucker for anything that delves into the human spirit and helps us understand its nature. In Myers-Briggs world, I’m an ENFP. My Clifton Strengths are Ideation, Communication, Includer, Positivity, and Connectedness. Zodiac-wise, I’m a Pisces unless you go with the hoopla from a couple of years ago, and then I’m an Aquarius.

When I started hearing people talk about the enneagram a year or so ago, I wanted to find out more. It’s a bit more complex than some other systems and even the online screenings often say, “you could be . . . but you may be. . .” and advise you to do some reading and try to discern a bit more on your own.

And so I did.

The Road Back to You is an easy-to-read introduction to all things enneagram. It shares some history, tells the author’s journey of finding it at a time of spiritual emptiness, and gives an overview of the nine basic classifications of human nature, or “types,” in enneagram speak. One online assessment said I was a 2. Or maybe a 7. Or maybe even a 9. After listening to the book, I am fairly certain that I am a 2 with a 3 wing. No, that doesn’t mean that I can fly (I wish! Does that mean I really am an Aquarius? Ha!) It means that my basic nature is that of The Helper, but I lean pretty heavily into being The Achiever.

Well. No surprise about that achieving part. I still have to be intentional about not lapsing into overachiever mode.

So if you like to learn about yourself and others and have some time, I recommend adding this to your reading list. There is also a wealth of material online if that’s your preferred method of acquiring information.

Happy reading, y’all!

A Goal for 2019

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

It’s no secret that I have struggled in writing consistently for several years. I have also struggled with reading in ways that feed my soul rather than reading because of an assignment. Because my brain still needs the presence of words in my life, that often translates into substituting scrolling and posting for real reading and writing, and this year I would like to make some changes with that.

I’ve set a goal to read at least one book per month for myself this year. Not a work-related read or a grad school-related read, but something just because I want to read it.

That will start with finishing up some books I already have in progress.

  1. Children of Blood and BoneI have been reading this off and on for several months. It’s captivating and intriguing and I love the ongoing conflict among the characters. I am 72 chapters into its 85 chapters and want to finish. It’s the first in a planned series, so I want to be ready when the next one is published
  2. Curvy Yoga: I have been following the work of Anna Guest-Jelley for several years and was thrilled when she published her book. I see a lot of myself in her story, but in true Lisa non-fiction fashion, when I got toward the end of the book I stalled out and felt more excited about the next thing. I don’t want to be that person. I want to be the person who finishes books even when they are not story-related.
  3. Becoming:  This was a Christmas gift from my son Caleb so of course I dove right in. I’ve found Michelle Obama to be an engaging writing and since she is only four years older than I am, the cultural events of her life resonate with me. However, it is very different to read about the life of an African-American female growing up in Chicago as opposed to my experience as a white female growing up in a small town in the Bible Belt. This is what I love about reading, though. It allows you to begin to understand life through others’ eyes.
  4. The Road Back to You:  OK. To be honest, I’m listening to this. I usually have an audiobook going in the car and since I don’t have many long drives, it takes me a while to finish things. If you’ve heard of the Enneagram and would like to know, this is a great book. I’m a sucker for all things self-discovery and this is a good one. I’m a 2w3 in enneagram-speak. I’d love to hear your number when you know it.

So what is the goal? It has multiple parts. I want to read more, write more, and scroll less. As I read, I will use the blog to share what I’m reading. This is partly for accountability and partly to meet the writing goal. Both of these will take up time, meaning I will scroll less.

When I finish one of these, the next book I want to read is Every Body Yogapartly because it’s been on my list for a while, but also because I’m attending two workshops with the author next month. I’ll be writing here about what I’m reading and how it’s progressing, so you’re welcome to join me. I’d love to hear about your reading adventures; feel free to leave questions if you have them.

Happy reading!

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