Midweek Mix-Up #13: Romania, Adoniram Judson, and Tools for Writers

Well, midweek mix-up is a bit late this week. I’ve had a full schedule lately uploading new book reviews, enjoying spring time, and writing the September newsletter. Here I am now, with a few more books for you to peruse!

Reading this week:

Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand

Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand
Progress: Finished!

Oh, this book. I love it, and at the same time I hate it. It’s…powerful. Through Richard’s eyes, we see the harsh reality of what it means for many Christians in restricted nations to never be able to know—from one day to the next—what their future is going to look like. What it’s like to always hide—even from your own pastor at times!—that you’re a believer. Richard suffered much under the Communists—when the USSR had control of Romania—and while he doesn’t go into a lot of detail, he shares enough that you can understand where he’s coming from.

This book was great for me to hear, although I hated hearing it the whole way through—the picture it showed me was not pretty at all. It showed me the ugly apathy in my own life, and challenged me more than I ever remember being challenged before. Even though I may never read or listen to a recording of this book again, it’s given me a lot of food for thought—I’ll not be forgetting its message any time soon.

A Different Kind of Courage, by Sarah Holman

A Different Kind of Courage by Sarah Holman
Progress: Finished!

I loved this story! Being both a bit of a history nut (thanks, Mom), and a lover of good historical fiction, I was really looking forward to reading this story. I’ve read other books by Sarah before—and loved every single one of them—and this one didn’t disappoint me at all.

Through the eyes of William, we are shown the conflict that would have arisen between families and friends when the American Revolution got underway. I loved seeing that the historical facts didn’t override the story—especially considering how much research went into this book to make it what it is today. William’s story is very relatable—trying to follow God’s will and yet stay in the good graces of everyone else is a struggle I can understand all too well. I also loved the slight romance through the story—it was there, but not overdone. If you want a fascinating perspective of the American Revolution, this is a great resource. (I’ll be writing a full review of A Different Kind of Courage soon, to post on the website.)

Adoniram Judson, Bound for Burma by Janet and Geoff Benge

Adoniram Judson: Bound for Burma by Janet & Geoff Benge
Progress: 95%

This is another great book in the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series. I love how it shows the early life of Adoniram—how he struggled to please his preacher father at times, how he became a Deist for a while (until he heard his Deist friend dying and realized this wasn’t what he thought it was!), and much more. The last part is very sad—because of the poor living conditions in Burma, many of his friends died, and he lost both his first and second wives to sickness and bad diets. Overall, this is a great story, one that would to go along well with any Church history or missionary course. (I’ll be writing a review of this to go on the website soon, too.)

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
Progress: Chapter 10 of 25

While uploading books this week, I noticed that Mom mentioned this book in a review—but she hadn’t reviewed it yet! So since it’s really good, I’m re-reading it with the goal of reviewing it when I’m done. Not a hard job!

Twelve-year-old Matt is in charge of keeping the cabin tidy and ready for his father to bring his mother and siblings out to their new land. Then his gun is stolen, a bear destroys all food supplies when he forgets to properly bar the door, and he is attacked by some swarming bees. How is he going to survive long enough for his father to get back? This is quite the fun adventure story!

New reviews this week:

Granny Han’s Breakfast by Sheila Groves — Wonderful book about faith in God.
When all her money is stolen, Granny must trust God to supply her needs, which He does abundantly.

There’s an Owl in the Shower by Jean Craighead George
While Borden’s dad is out of work because logging has been halted, Borden finds a baby owl in need of help and they raise it.

Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express by Margaret K. Wetterer
When a storm causes a train to crash into a creek, Kate must go for help for the men who were on it.

Flame Over Tara by Madeleine Polland — Great story about St. Patrick.
When Patrick brings the gospel to Ireland, he must win the approval of the High King, Leary, in order for his mission to succeed.

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey — Favorite childhood story!
Sal and her mother go picking blueberries, and Little Bear and his mother go eating blueberries, on the same hill.

This week’s blog post roundup:

15 Productivity Hacks For Procrastinators (Lifehack) — Good, solid tips. Very helpful article!

Conventions and Obligatory Scenes (Steven Pressfield Online) — This post is writer’s gold. Seriously. It’s a bit on the long side, but worth while reading. (You can see a video version here, if you wish.)

Free Music & Background Sound Resources for Writers (Raychel Rose) — Great sites listed here. Good resource to bookmark and go back to later.

The Next Chapter: I’m No Longer Writing Twice Per Week. Here’s Why (James Clear) — Interesting. I’m enjoying a twice-per-week rhythm, but I enjoy seeing others’ thoughts on how they do their blogging, too.

5 Criteria for Selecting Read-Aloud Books for Children (Year Round Homeschooling) — Good tips for homeschool mothers here!

This week’s resource:

The Story Grid: A Five Part Video Series on the Craft of Story Editing

This is a superb resource for writers! In five fairly short episodes, Shawn Coyne shares his methods for editing. He shows you how to break your story up into bite-sized chunks, see the big picture of where your story is headed, and figure out the loop-holes without feeling overwhelmed at the size of your story.

This series was so good I stopped teaching writing to my brother for a little bit, so he could have the chance to go through this as well.

Note: There are some words used that I don’t consider appropriate, and the story they use as an example isn’t one I’d normally read. Be warned!

What have you been reading lately?