Weekly Wrap-up, the inaugural edition

I’m starting a new feature at Suzy & Spice. I read a lot, and I usually find an abundance of things I’m eager to share. I hope you find something you like each week. This week’s offering includes books, tech tips, writing lessons, Olympians and more.

Enjoy the first edition of Weekly Wrap-up, and please join in the fun by sharing your comments below.

I realized yesterday that I’m reading books concurrently in three formats:

  • The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (Audible.com version, narrated by the wonderful [and recently departed] Edward Hermann). It’s about the University of Washington’s 1936 Olympic rowing team. Fascinating, engrossing, inspiring. This book was recommended by an author friend of mine, Conrad Wesselhoeft, who might be just a little biased – he grew up in Seattle. He recommended it after I told him I was reading Unbroken, also about a 1936 Olympian (another excellent read).
  • Swimming by Nicola Keegan (Kindle version on my iPad). This is the February pick for my local book group. Ironic – it’s a novel about an Olympic swimmer (but I didn’t pick it). We meet Tuesday, and I’m way behind (I should be reading instead of writing, eh?). So far this book hasn’t grabbed me, although it begins with narration by an infant, so at least it’s not boring.
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (hard copy checked out from the county library). Yes, the horror novelist is teaching me how to write good. Conrad recommended the audio version of this book, too, but my 30-day trial of Audible allows only one free book and since this one was in the library, I took it. This book is humorous, insightful and honest. (I used to devour Stephen King books, after being totally creeped out by my first one, The Shining, in 11th grade. I haven’t read one since Misery.)
  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (Kindle for iPad, $2.99). I have a battered old paperback copy of this, somewhere, but seem to have misplaced it or loaned it out. I’m involved in a weekly reading group that’s discussing the book, so I decided to buy the Kindle version. So very worth it, although I would say the same about all of Lewis’ books, as he’s my favorite author.
  • I’m not counting the books I’m reading for: small group and a class at church. Those books are just one chapter every week or two. (But they’re hard copies, and they’re both good. I’ll tell you about them someday.)

As regular readers here know, I recently completed a seven-day blogfest, the Your Turn Challenge (here are my 7 posts). Now there’s a Facebook page, lots of the 600 bloggers have continued “shipping” every day, and I’ve made some neat new friends. They inspire, encourage and inform me, including:

  • This podcast from Andy Stitt on SEO, Google Analytics and Google webmaster tools. (If you blog or have a website, you know.)
  • Tara Sophia Mohr eloquently expresses some things I knew deep inside but haven’t been able to express. Here, she tells us to Give It Words.
  • And, hey, look at this! Someone else has been inspired by an Olympic rower. (This one is still alive.) Read about Robin Thomas’ brush with greatness.
  • James Schmeling gives me a glimpse into a world I wasn’t aware of. In his world of “academic intrapreneurship,” his institution helps teach and train veterans and their families. This idea is intriguing, and something I want to know more about.
  • I have much more. Much more. But this is a lot already, so I’ll leave you to ponder the lesson in this delightful piece by Elissa Joy Watts on waiting until it’s right. (And, wouldn’t you know, she has written about a book that I’m now dying to read. But I’ll save that for later.)

I hope you’ve enjoyed the first edition of Weekly Wrap-up. Please tell me what parts of it you liked, or maybe didn’t like. Let’s swap stories.

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6 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap-up, the inaugural edition

  • Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    Swimming…this one is not grabbing. I seem to get bogged down in all the “showing” as we call it in our classrooms. Need her to just tell parts of the narrative.

    Enjoyed your post!

  • Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 7:14 am

    It certainly is a unique writing style! I don’t recall reading a book in which all the quotes are in italics rather than quotation marks. At first I thought that would change when the baby grew up and began speaking real words out loud, but apparently not. It is a bit confusing at times and rather off-putting, as I’m used to italics denoting thoughts rather than spoken words.

    Thank you for your opinion – at least I know I’m not alone!

  • Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Thank you for the mention, Suzy. But thanks, also, for sharing what you’re reading. This is a great idea. I’ve wondered about the Stephen King book. I think I’ll get it now. Although I should stop with the reading and move to the writing :-).

  • Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Ha! I know what you mean about the reading getting in the way of the writing. I’m not one to “read” by audiobook, but with my friend’s recommendation I’ve given it another try, and since I’m trapped on the treadmill by dark winter days, it seems to be working out. It actually makes the time go by faster. I had been listening to podcasts during treadmill time, but this has been a pleasant change. Thanks for your comment. Do check out “On Writing.”

  • Monday, February 2, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Suzy, can you believe I am in the middle of reading “The Screwtape Letters” for the first time? I honestly didn’t think I was going to like it much after the first few pages, but the more I read, the more I realized how relevant and timely it is–to my life and to the world today.

  • Monday, February 2, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    That’s great to know! I’m glad you kept going after a not-so-great first impression. I think it’s relevant for all times. There’s a similar book by Randy Alcorn, and I suspect he was influenced by “Screwtape.” It’s called “Lord Foulgrin’s Letters” and is a more modern take on the same thing. A really good read, too.

    Thanks for stopping by to “talk books.” One of my favorite subjects!

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