What I am Into June 2013

So…I keep popping in on the “what you are into” link-up every month. I love it and feel like I get to know everyone just a little bit better. But I sure as heck am not going to do one. My tastes are a little….ahem….low brow, and I just did not need the entire internet to know how lame I was. But, you know, somebody picked the word “unashamed” this year, so at halfway through it is probably time I bite the bullet.


I teach “great literature” all freaking year, so when summer comes around I want my reading like I want my summer fruit pie topping, light and fluffy. I haven’t really been able to find exactly what I am looking for, suggestions are more than welcome.

Half the Church by Carolyn Curtis James: The subtitle is  Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women and that pretty much sums it up. The first half I was all “yeah, yeah, I already know this. The second half I was like Mind. Blown. felt…commisioned somehow.

Beach Road by James Patterson: Looking for a summer fluffy read. I like that it was written from multiple perspectives, some of whom lie. I hated the unneccessary twist/surprise/you think you know but you really have no idea ending. It made the first three-quarters of the book make very little sense. Dumb.

1st to Die by James Patterson: It is a series. I was hoping I would love it and have 12 more books to read. Alas, this was not the case. I will probably try one more, but again with the unnecessary twisted ending. This not as bad, but still…sigh.

Naked by David Sedaris: I am about half way through this and loving it. I like that every chapter can operate on its own. Plus, David Sedaris, two thumbs up.

Witches of East End by Melissa De La Cruz: Again, hoping for a light and fluffy read. It is okay, but I won’t be picking up the next one. Please, someone recommend something else and save me from myself.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides: I was supposed to like this. I was. But I didn’t. I just can’t like books where I am not rooting for anyone to succeed.

1000 Gifts by Anne Voskamp: I refused to pick this book up because “Abby does not read books with a bird’s nest on the cover.” Well, Abby is an idiot and should give books that everyone is telling me to try, a try. I am reading it slowly and savoring every word that has been so clearly perfectly chosen.

On the Netflix

Phineas and Ferb- Juliet is obsessed, so Priscilla is also. It is actually pretty entertaining. And I like the diversity of female characters.

Dawson’s Creek If you thought my summer-reading choices were bad, you should see my TV choices all year round. I am about 15 years late but I am digging it. I know it is ridiculous, that is the point. Also, I can write while it is on and still pay attention to both.

Eating and Drinking

Herbs de Provence- I put it on pork, chicken, roasted potatoes, my favorite has been fresh green beans with Herbs de Provence, olive oil, garlic, and sea salt. Delicious.

Williamson Brother’s Steak Sauce- Put it on steak, chicken, bread, your fingers, it is delicious.

Angry Orchard Ginger Cider- It is my summer go to. I used to hide loving hard ciders. No more. I love this one. The ginger cuts the sweet.

Ruby Red Summer Shiner- So yummy. Grapefruit. More Ginger. Even people who don’t love beer like this.

Tequila Sunrise Sangria- We had some people over and I made two kinds of sangria. The red was okay. But the white was awesome. I soaked raspberries and peaches in a mixture of tequilla, orange liquor, and sugar. Then I mixed that with Barefoot (do you know about this cheap delicious brand of wine?) Sauvignon Blanc, ginger ale, and a splash of orange juice. It is even better than you are imagining.

E-Courses I took

Story 101– Elora Ramirez teaches this course. I took it on a whim because Tanya Marlow was taking it and I needed her to be my friend. Also, because I was feeling stuck in my writing and needed a push somehow. It has been a balm to my soul and a kick in the ass all at the same time. I feel sorry for anyone who takes it ever again because I got the best group of ladies ever in my class. It has been glorious. I am very, very sad it is over.

Shalom Sessions– I was staring down the ending of Story 101 when Brandy Walker offered a sale on her Shalom Sessions, so I signed up. It was really great. I got a handle on some of my dreams, she forced allowed me to work through some of the blocks as to why I haven’t been taking that next step. I am about to roll out some exciting things, and I have my shalom session to thank.

What I have been Writing

I FINISHED MY BOOK! I have a completed first draft of my teaching memoirs. It needs a lot of edits, but I am letting it sit for a few days. I did that. I completed a book. If you want a sneak peek you can read my series What They Don’t Teach in Teacher School. So far we have How to Take Attendance and How to Talk about Your Butt.

I had two guest posts on two really hard subjects. I wrote about education, downward mobility, and where we draw the lines for D.L. Mayfield and I wrote about extreme poverty and why we think it is okay for us and not them for Live58.

I contributed to a book called Wild Goslings, a collection of essays about empowering our kids to chase after a wild and wonderful God. I wrote one about toddlers and the worship service, and another about the potential of teens. I cannot tell you how excited I am about sharing these with you all.

23 thoughts on “What I am Into June 2013

  1. I think we are secret best friends and never knew it. Barefoot wine? Barefoot Reisling!! $5-8 bucks for a huge yummy bottle. I have a glass (or two) nearly every night. I love hard cider. Must check out that kind. Have you ever tried a Pear or Apple ale? It’s like a cider, even tho it’s officially a beer? So yummy.

    My favorite part of P&F? Aside from the genius writing – is how much Candace loves her brothers and vice versa. I love that even though they fight, they play together and work together…so sweet. I’ve never seen Dawson’s Creek either. I’ve thought about watching it but thought it might be dated (although I just finished Boy Meets World so….) maybe I should try it. I wasn’t allowed to watch it the first time around, haha.

    Sorry, I can’t think of any fluffy books….my fluff is semi-cheesy Christian fiction. (But Swan House. For reals. Awesome.) Call the Midwife books are on my list to read. And Gone Girl was great, I thought. I even liked the ending, which apparantly was rare. Oh! Sophie Kinsella. Have you ever read her? Hilarious. She has a new one out. I haven’t read it yet, so if it sucks, don’t blame me, haha!!

    • I am so glad I am not the only one who is playing A LOT of P&F right now. But I wrote a book so that should make it okay! Dawson’s Creek IS dated and that makes it even better (the sound track, straight to my 8-12 grade heart!) And all Barefoot wine is good wine!

  2. Angry Orchard is my favorite. And I fell in love with the ginger flavor, first. Even my husband will drink it, and he doesn’t drink. (Until now, lol.) I have low alcohol tolerance, though, so it’s a rare treat.
    My kids watch P&F on loop; it’s especially a favorite of my 2 yr old. I just love the wit in all the song lyrics. You should check out the “Doof Daily” channel on youtube. Hilarious!
    I haven’t finished 1000 gifts yet. The first chapter pretty much shattered me. I’m taking it slow. Can’t wait for the Wild Goslings book. And also, congrats on finishing your book! 🙂

  3. Loving the light summer reading/TV. And the drink ideas–I’m filing those away. Congrats to you on finishing your book! What an accomplishment. 🙂

  4. Congratulations on the book Abby!! I want to reserve a copy.

    I have been reading the third book in a science fiction series that started with Ender’s Game. The second book is called Speaker of the Dead. It is fascinating how the story is about telling people’s stories and how the truth of them helps you to love and understand them. I think we should seek out people’s stories and connect with them that way. I look forward to your stories.

      • I loved Ender’s Game and read most, maybe all, of the sequels. Then I started reading about the author, Orson Scott Card. He is not only homophobic and against marriage equality, but way beyond the average homophobe. He makes the folks who just tell LGBT people they’re going to hell look good.

        Here’s a direct quote from this guy:

        ““How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.”

        Well, OK, lots of good books were written by creepy people, but OSC disrespects me and my family to the extreme, and I just can’t get into Ender anymore.

  5. Abby! Obvi I loved your guest post for ME. but the other one is genius–you manage to be funny about some very harsh things. i will be sharing with select people in my life.

    as far as books, i really think you should check out Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semples. it is my new favorite summer reader. so fast, so smart, so incredibly funny (she used to write for Arrested Development)–it’s the kind of book you could recommend to anyone. read it!

  6. Two really fluffy books that don’t make you feel like you wasted your time are “A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home” by Sue Halpern, and “A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet” by Sophie Hudson. Both are quick reads that will leave you thinking about them later.

  7. the way you talk about books makes me laugh and nod. I’m with you on the “light reading” issue. though I’m not a teacher, my degree(s) require some heavy reading that I would die without, but I too, want light and fluffy every now and then–but it’s hard to find the right balance. Have you read “The Night Circus”? it was recommended to me, and I totally rolled my eyes when I read the synopsis, but the writing is just brilliant. A gripping story without sacrificing good writing is a total win for me. (OK, but you didn’t like Marriage Plot??)

    I love ruby red, but had to get back on the gfree train. sigh. which makes me excited about that cider flavor? normally it’s too sweet for what I want to be a beer replacement (sigh) but that sounds like it could work!


    and congrats on finishing the book!! as a child from a line of teachers, I appreciate this kind of thing so very much. My dad is a cross between Jaime Escalante and Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting, my grandmother is a cross between Ms. Frizzle and Meryl Streep in Music of the heart, and my mom is just a magical teacher. They’ve all worked in both public and private schools, way low-income and affluent. the education world (particularly literacy) is dinner table talk for us. all that to say– I am excited for this book. Educators are the bomb.

    • Teaching well is teaching well is teaching well. Assessing the kids needs and meeting them. The ginger in the cider cuts the sweet for sure. And sadly I didn’t like the Marriage Plot. I wanted to, but by the end I wasn’t rooting for anyone and I need that in my literature.

  8. You’ve succeeded in making me look forward to our visit even more. Low brow, please. I’m very intrigued by the Ginger Cider. I’ve been on a Ginger kick ever since coming back from Africa and a friend mentioned there was some sort of Ginger Beer or Cider- wonder if this is the one she meant. I will need to try that sangria. Trade you a mug brownie, OK? I am amazed you finished your book so quickly. Talk about On Fire! Hope you did lots to celebrate.

    Glad you linked up with What I’m Into!

  9. Pingback: Lipstick, Cheese, Rejection: What I am into July 2013 | Accidental Devotional

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