An Attitude of Gratitude (Week 1)

Last week, I mentioned that I wanted to start a gratitude series, where I would be able to take time every week to reflect on the good in my life. Welcome to the first installment!


The day I graduated with my M.A. in English, I told my husband that I wanted my first act as a graduate to be visiting my local, public library, so I could apply for my very own library card. Even though I have studied literature for several years, I have rarely found time to read for pleasure. Finally, I was going to be able to make my own reading lists! However, when we got to the library, it was closed. Ha, just my luck. But ya know, I persevered and went again the following week.

I haven’t had a public library card since elementary school. I remember going there often with my mom and picking out picture books. One of our absolute favorites was a book called A Five-Dog Night. If I remember correctly, it’s about a grumpy old man that an old woman befriends. She happens to measure the temperature by how many dogs she snuggles in her bed every night. Now that I’m talking about the plot, it sounds a little creepy, but I promise it was a cute, heartwarming story, but I digress.

Over these last couple months, I’ve checked out a few books.

Image result for mosquitoland       Image result for we were liars       Image result for the light between oceans

Image result for the light we cannot see       Image result for the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society

I truly can’t explain how much I have loved this summer post graduation. I feel undeniably free. Perhaps that is why I haven’t been blogging as much. I have enjoyed living with very few responsibilities. Life has been relaxing, especially when I’m in the arms of a good book.

That is why this week I’m most grateful for my library card. I’m reminded of Ray Bradbury’s admiration for libraries and his belief that those who have access to a library have access to a free education.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!


T. Shaw

Nobody cares about your dreams…

“Nobody cares about your dreams as much as you do.” – Rachel Hollis

If you’ve read my blog post about podcasts I’m currently listening to, then you know Rachel Hollis is currently an influential figure in my life.

I recently pre-ordered her new book, Girl, Wash Your Face, and I cannot wait for it to arrive this February! Each chapter begins with a lie she once believed such as, “I’ll start tomorrow, I’m a bad mom, or I need a drink.”

Although Rachel and I are at completely different points in our lives, her quote about dreams resonated with me.

Her point is that we cannot depend on people out in the business world, our spouses, significant others, friends, or even our moms to love our dreams as much as we do. Don’t get her wrong, she encourages people to find support in others, but sometimes our dreams will cause us to walk alone.

My dream is to become a published author. I know that as I pursue this goal, there will be several close friends and family members that will have my back, but I’m also growing more and more aware that most of the physical work will be accomplished on my own.

Except, I’m never truly alone. I know my writing ability is a gift from God, and my confidence is in Him. This past summer, I recognized that when I’m prompted to speak, I regularly pull a Moses.

Then Moses said to the LORD, ‘O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”

How I love God’s response…

“So the LORD said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”

If you know the whole story, Moses manages to squeeze in one more “send someone else,” and the Lord directs Aaron to help Moses.

I can definitely relate with Moses’ lack of confidence, but I’m also aware that God empowers and uses the weak.


T. Shaw

P.S My posting schedule was supposed to be Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, but that lasted a week. I’ll be posting when I can.




Winter Break

This cold has made me a bad human. I meant to have a productive winter break, but I’ve been getting lost in YouTube land and watching too many episodes of Naked and Afraid.

Now it’s time to get back on track! I’ll be starting school on January 10th, which also happens to be my wedding anniversary.

I intend to complete one chapter for my thesis before school starts. This is pretty much equivalent to a 20 page paper. Right now, I’ve got about 3 pages.

I also need to pick up my books for the class I’m taking this spring, British Literature Post-1800. My professor is focusing on works by C.S Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, and J.R.R Tolkien.

My reading list includes,

I haven’t read any of these books, so I’m pretty excited! I will be reviewing/sharing insights from these works as I read them over the course of the semester.

I’ve decided to post every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from now on. 🙂 Maybe a little more.

Till next time!


Blogmas Day 21: Books I’ve Read in 2017

Happy Blogmas Day 21!

I’m listing the books I read during 2017. (This is more for my remembrance.)

As stated in my “About Me,” I’m getting my MA in English with an emphasis in literature. So, these books were chosen by my professors. I enjoyed all but one.

  1. Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen
  2. The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
  3. Daughter of Fortune – Isabel Allende
  4. Portrait in Sepia – Isabel Allende
  5. Lady Audley’s Secret – Mary Elizabeth Bradden
  6. Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
  7. North & South – Elizabeth Gaskell
  8. Snow Country – Yasunari Kawabata
  9. The Vicar of Wakefield – Oliver Goldsmith
  10. Waiting – Ha Jin
  11. Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus – Mary Shelley
  12. The Death of Ivan Ilyich – Leo Tolstoy
  13. A Sentimental Journey – Laurence Sterne
  14. Chronicles Volume 1 – Bob Dylan
  15. Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson
  16. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself – Frederick Douglass
  17. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
  18. Clotel; or, The President’s Daughter – William Wells Brown
  19. Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House – Elizabeth Keckley
  20. Pudd’nhead Wilson – Mark Twain
  21. Conjure Tales – Charles W. Chesnett
  22. A Mercy – Toni Morrison

From this list I will make three recommendations.

My favorite book from Topics in British Literature is

Image result for north and south elizabeth gaskell

This book is very similar to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; it emphasizes love and misunderstanding. Gaskell’s writing is also influenced by the Industrial Revolution as she addresses the struggles between masters and the working class.

My top pick in World Literature is

Image result for waiting ha jin

This story’s setting takes place in China during the Cultural Revolution. The main protagonist, Lin Kong, is married to a traditional Chinese woman he has never loved. Lin’s job allows him to work and live in the city without his wife. Ultimately, he begins to develop feelings for another woman. Lin struggles to decide if he should end his marriage, which causes both women to perpetually wait.

My recommendation from American Literature Pre-1900 is

Image result for pudd'nhead wilson

This book begins with Roxy, a slave, who switches her baby with her white master’s son. Ultimately, the book culminates with a murder trial, which the town nut solves. Each chapter begins with a good bit of humor that had me laughing out loud.

There ya have it folks! Have a very merry night.
Tomorrow, I plan on sharing my goals for 2018. 🙂