Midweek Mix-Up #12: World War II, Pessimism, and Free History Videos

Hello! How has your last week treated you? In today’s midweek mix-up, I’m sharing some of the interesting and slightly mismatched things I’ve come across this week.

Reading this week:

I’ve had a very interesting week when it comes to books. Part of my work right now has been on the computer, so I’ve been listening to an audio book while I did that. Also, I got sucked into a historical novel, and I had a fantasy going for school . . . and somehow I ended up reading all three simultaneously!

The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom

The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom
Progress: Finished.

The Hiding Place never fails to challenge and encourage me. Through faith, hope, and perseverance, Corrie shares snapshots of her early life, the events leading up to their family taking in Jews to hide them from the Germans, and eventually her arrest and imprisonment. This book was written to remember her father and sister Betsy, but it is so much more. Her faith in God brought her through many trials, and over and over God is shown faithful through her life. This is also a powerful picture of what life was like under the Nazi regime, and how people lived and worked in their concentration camps. I’ll be writing a review of this soon, which will be on the website after a while.

The Gammage Cup, by Carol Kendall

The Gammage Cup, by Carol Kendall
Progress: Finished.

The Gammage Cup is one of the most fun fantasy books I’ve ever read. One morning, Muggles wakes up and sees a fire on the mountain. There shouldn’t be fire on the mountain, but there is and soon it becomes apparent that the whole countryside is in great danger of the Hairless Ones—their enemies of the past—even though there is hardly anyone who believes in the old stories anymore. I love this story, not only for its depth of characters and well-planned plot, but because of the humor and ingenuity presented through the story. I’ll be writing a review of this, as well.

Elsie’s Girlhood, by Martha Finley

Elsie’s Girlhood (the Elsie Dinsmore series, book 3), by Martha Finley
Progress: Finished.

I finished Elsie’s Holidays at Roselands quite a while ago now, and had this one on my Kindle waiting to be read, but for some reason I never started it until the end of last week. I had figured this was going to be one of the more boring books—after she gets married it’s more interesting for a book or so—but I had forgotten about the plot twist half-way through this book! So Tuesday, while waiting for internet pages to load, I read bits and snatches—and then couldn’t wait any longer, so I finished the remaining three chapters that night.

Elsie’s Girlhood is basically the story of her late teenage years, when everyone wanted to marry her. It also contains the story of Mr. Dinsmore marrying one of Elsie’s best friends. I loved the ending of the story—it was very sweet. My review of this story will be on the website eventually.

A Different Kind of Courage, by Sarah Holman

A Different Kind of Courage, by Sarah Holman
Progress: 18% (last week: 16%)

I’m not quite sure how I managed to forget about this one until now—maybe all those other books were too distracting—but I’m back to it now, and still really enjoying it.

New books this week:

Ian and the Gigantic Leafy Obstacle, by Sheila MillerOne of my favorite childhood stories.
When Ian finds a tree across his road, he prays and God answers his prayer in a surprising way.

Sojourner Truth: American Abolitionist, by W. Terry Whalin
A biography of the famous anti-slavery, women’s rights speaker who was herself born in slavery.

The Lantern Bearers, by Rosemary Sutcliff
After escaping from the Saxons who took him as a slave, Aquila joins Ambrosius, king of Britain, and battles not only the Saxons but his own anger and hatred.

Dolphin Adventure, by Wayne GroverGreat early reader story!
As Wayne was diving, he was approached by a family of dolphins who needed a fishhook removed from the baby’s tail.

You Are There Bible Adventures, by Paul J. Loth and Rick IncrocciBible stories in a truly fun setting!
Choose-your-own-adventure books about Bible stories.

Looks like we’re sharing quite a few books for young children this week! Here are more great preschooler books to check out.

This week’s blog post roundup:

When Your Well is Dry…Building Your Creativity Muscles from the Source (Writer’s Alley) — This is a highly inspiring post! The Lord had great plans for Bezalel, and He definitely equipped him with the tools to complete that—and if He can do that for Bezalel, can’t He also do that for us? Definitely worth a read.

Why I Choose to Be Public About My Faith (Michele Cushatt) — This is a question I, too, have struggled with, but I believe I agree with Michele. I hate hiding, and don’t want to put up a false front. On the other hand, I do not want to be offensive to other people. For myself, I’ve decided that I’m going to talk about Jesus because He is such a big part of my life and identity. If you do not agree with me, feel free to leave. It’s your choice. I’m planning to read Donald Miller’s post soon.

Season 5, Episode 1: Escape the Overwhelm [Podcast] (Michael Hyatt) — Great podcast on momentum and how to focus on the things that matter most.

Season 5, Episode 2: Nature’s Calling [Podcast] (Michael Hyatt) — Fascinating statistics! Maybe this is why I took a thirty-minute bike ride last Sunday? And why my mind feels clearer after a walk? (Not that I do it much!) Good tips; I’ll be thinking about this for a while.

Season 5, Episode 3: How to Wreck Your Future [Podcast] (Michael Hyatt) — The thoughts here hit home for me in some respects. If you want to hear a good talk on pessimism, and what it does to you as a person and your chances at success, listen to this. It’s worth every minute.

Nurturing Your Creativity by Norma Gail (Seriously Write) — Wonderful, wonderful tips. Turning “what-if” into something helpful.

Sneaky Ways to Write More Each Day (Seekerville) — Fun, fun, fun. Even though it’s titled “sneaky”, it isn’t—but it does have some sound tried-and-true suggestions and ideas.

Summer Reading List for Preteen Girls (Hip Homeschool Moms) — I’ve read a good number of the books here, and can highly recommend them.

You Don’t Learn to Write… (Just the Write Escape) — Chautona’s posts are always such fun. She also shares some valuable thoughts on occasion.

The World’s Most Expensive Book (AbeBooks) — Who knew that a psalm book would one day be one of the world’s most expensive books?

Resource of the week:

Free History Videos for Kids (Brookdale House)

This is almost an exhaustive list. There are video galleries for Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern history, all totaling to almost 400 videos total. That’s a lot! These cover a lot of ground, too—check out the lists here.