My favorite story

Holy Week has always been the time when I try to tackle a difficult book — by that, I mean a book that I can’t read in my usual pace. I choose this time because I don’t have to go to work from Thursday to Sunday, and being Catholic, I don’t make plans those days because it’s always been filled with family and Church traditions. I always dream of finishing at least two hard to read books during my Holy Week break but I almost always end up reading only one because the break is filled with activities.

This Holy Week is no different, and I meant to try to get a chunk off reading my first non-fiction book that I’ve picked up again after a long time (Come Be My Light by Mother Teresa). I’ve barely gotten 1/4 of it and I know for sure that it will take some time for me to read it because I’ve been distracted by other books. On the up side, I’ve finished three of my Required Reading books for this month, and there’s a very good chance I’ll probably finish the fourth within the month. Yay me, right?

But I digress. I’ve read a lot of books this year and the past year since last Holy Week. I’ve marveled at so many good stories, gushed at so many good novels. I’ve shrugged at not so good ones, I’ve wrinkled my nose at some and I’ve vowed to forget the others I really didn’t like. I remember gasping at the books that blew my mind, telling everyone to read it because it was just oh-so-awesome.

But you know what I realized this Holy Week? There is one story that still beats all the other ones I’ve read in my lifetime, and it’s one that I knew by heart ever since I was old enough to understand it. Sometimes, I think I know it so much, I’ve heard about it so much that it becomes too familiar and it doesn’t have that much effect on me as it always should. I’ve never made it a secret that I am a devout Catholic in this blog, and I think it pretty much shows in how I review some of the books I’ve read. Sometimes, though, I think with all the books I’ve read, I tend to forget the One story that really matters. All those stories tend to overshadow the story of all stories, the one that is not really just a story, but one I believe with all my heart and soul to be the truth.

This Holy Week reminded me of my favorite (true) story, the one that has put me where I am right now, the one that reminds me of who I am and whose I am. This story has everything that I’ve ever really wanted: conflict, drama, betrayal, action. There’s even a bit of romance, but not the kind of romance that I usually read, but a bigger kind, the one that encompasses a bigger kind of love that I can’t fathom sometimes. I don’t think there’s much witty humor, but there is so much JOY at the end of the story, that it beats all the shallow laughter I get from the witty banter I have read. This is the story of ALL stories, and one that makes my heart beat faster and harder, never fails to drive me to tears and always, always makes me thankful and wanting to live better in the end.

It’s the story that I relive every Holy Week. The one story that really matters, the one worth more than 5 stars. :) And this one just always blows my mind (and my heart) every time I hear it and relive it.

And may that never change. May Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection never fail to make me stop, never fail to take my breath away and remind me of the great love He had for me (and for you) every time I (we) remember.

Happy Easter, everyone. :)

Required Reading: April

Wow, look at where March went. My favorite month always ends too soon.

However, that means it’s time for another Required Reading post. :) Once again, here are the rules (one day I will make a separate page for this):

  • The books should be read within the specified month
  • These books should be in my TBR and not yet to be acquired
  • These books cannot be used for any other reading challenges I am participating in.

But first, how did I do for March?

Despite my busy-ness for March (you would not believe how much we raaaaageeeed! at work the past month), I was able to do a bit better for this mini-challenge. I think I was more than determined to get through all the books? That, and I find that I had a lot of waiting time during the past month, especially when you had to sit for six hours straight in the salon chair for a hair rebond treatment). Here are the books I finished and reviewed:

  • The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell – such a fun read. :) I love Damien.
  • Storm Front by Jim Butcher – another book with such a fun hero voice. Finished this one real quick while waiting for my hair to dry before my birthday party. :D
  • Being Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram – not exactly what I expected, but still enjoyable.

I still didn’t get to finish all four books for March, but I’m halfway through the last book (A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly) now and that’s so much better than how I did last February. :)

I think my problem with the books I pick for this challenge is I always pick books in print. I can usually juggle reading two books at a time if one of them is an ebook. However, 3 out of 4 books I chose are in print, and I find it hard to read two print books at the same time. That, and March had two releases I was really excited about, books that made me drop everything else I was reading just so I can read them. But still, it’s a pretty good month, IMHO.

Now for my Required Reading for April!

Required Reading: AprilThe month of April usually means two things for me: the start of summer and Holy Week. Last year’s Holy Week barely touched April, but this year, Holy Week is right smack in the middle of the month. I usually go offline during that week and pick a slightly difficult book to read because not being online means I have more time to tackle a hard-to-read book.

I would pick summery books this month, but Holy Week has more bearing for me than that, so this month’s Required Reading theme is all about faith.

This is a pretty varied selection of books. Ted Dekker is usually a pretty fast (although far from light) read. I was browsing through The Screwtape Letters and it’s a short book, but knowing Lewis, it’s not going to be an easy read, either. Losing Faith is YA Contemporary, which should be a welcome break, and I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while now. The hardest, I think, would be Mother Teresa’s book. It’s my first non-fiction for a while, and I have a feeling I will cry with this book. I think I’ll reserve this one for Holy Week, when I’m offline.

I’m actually quite excited to tackle these books. :) I’m sure it won’t be easy, but if there was anything I learned about my faith in the past years, I know it’s been anything but. :)

What about you? Any specific books you’ve lined up for this month?