Tag Archives: Pope Francis

WWW Wednesday, 15-April-2020

15 Apr

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: Solid hold on White Oleander by Janet Fitch. I’ve lost the hold on the ebook again. I own a physical copy of this book so I think I might visit it in that medium. The platform I’m using to get it as an ebook tends to have long wait times so I’d rather move to another platform where ebooks are more readily available.
I don’t think I’ve been alone in the car for a week so The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz is still where it was before. I’ll try to find some excuses to drive, but I don’t foresee that happening much.
I pushed my reading buddy to have our second meeting on The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern yesterday. I’m flying through this book and dragging her to keep up with me. I think we’ll get through it super fast since we’re both on lockdown right now and reading fantasy is a great way to escape reality.
I started on The Alice Network by Kate Quinn but have put it on hold because a more pressing hold came in. I was enjoying it a lot before I stopped so I hope to get back to it soon and keep moving forward.
That pressing hold was A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold on audio. My whole book club is fighting for a few copies of this one so I wanted to start it as soon as I could and start making my way through so someone else can get this copy before our meeting next month. It’s a hard book to read/listen to but also very interesting and well written. I think we’ll have a great discussion about it.
I switched my ebook to The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel. This is available on a platform that’s easier to use with my slow ebook-reading habit. I’ve just started and it’s not a long book but it will probably take me a while still.
Just to make this list longer, I started a new physical book as well. My logic is to read through my autographed books since I don’t like those leaving the house and I’m a bit homebound at the moment. I picked up Moby-Duck by Donovan Hohn. I’m interested to see if I can fly through this one or if I need to switch to fiction to keep myself going for a while. Maybe I’ll switch back and forth.

Recently finished: I was able to finish Cuando era puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago Friday morning. It was a great way to start off my Friday! It always feels great to finish my Spanish language read for the year. I was able to write up a review and get that posted on Monday. I gave it Four out of Five Stars.
I also read a short book, Pope Francis Speaks to Our Hearts. It was a collection of quotes from early in his papacy and a nice light thing to get into over Easter weekend. I gave it Three out of Five Stars and posted a review yesterday.

I also reviewed The Girl in Green by Derek B. Miller last week. I’m still not sure if this book fell flat for me or if I had unrealistic expectations because of the author’s other books. Either way, I gave it Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: With how long my current reading list is, I’m not looking ahead. It’s too daunting.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Pope Francis Speaks to Our Hearts (3/5)

14 Apr

I’ve had this book on my shelves for seven years. I always meant to get to it and never did. It was a gift from a friend for Christmas and I think I got it because I’m her only Catholic friend. It’s a short book and I always meant to pick it up but never did. I thought Easter weekend during a pandemic might be a good time to have some words of faith in mind.

Cover image via Goodreads

Pope Francis Speaks to Our Hearts: Words of Challenge and Hope by The Word Among Us Press

Summary from Goodreads:

The short excerpts in this book, taken from Pope Francis homilies and addresses since becoming pope, reflect his warm pastoral style and cover themes that we can expect to hear from him again and again: the mercy of God, the scandal of poverty, the need to come out of ourselves to evangelize, the call to unity in the Church, and the challenge to become true disciples of Jesus and not part-time Christians. This book will both challenge Catholics and fill them with the hope that Gods’ mercy endures forever.

I think I picked the right time to meditate over this book. I’ve been struggling with feelings of hopelessness and isolation during the pandemic that have brought me to tears more than once and having the Pope’s motivating words to help me feel grounded, even for a short while, was great. It was especially perfect to read this on Good Friday and Holy Saturday because a few of the excerpts were from Easter homilies and were very relevant to what I was hearing in church on those days.

I don’t normally share quotes from books, but there was one quote that I really liked and I sent it to a non-Catholic Christian friend who swims with me because I think we needed to hear it.

Remain steadfast in the journey of faith, with firm hope in the Lord. This is the secret of our journey! He gives us the courage to swim against the tide… to go against the current; this is good for the heart, but we need courage to swim against the tide. Jesus gives us this courage!

Though this book was published seven years ago, it seemed very timely with the state of the world today. There is a lot of fear among us all and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s faith has been shaken by the situation. It was a nice little re-set for me to put in perspective that there is always suffering and darkness in the world that we have to overcome; COVID is just the one we’re fighting now.

I know one of the things that’s unique about my faith is that Catholics pray often for the intercession of the Virgin Mary. There was a section of the book where Pope Francis talked about why we do this and how to do it which I found insightful. (For a more ‘official’ explanation of this, please read here, complete with Joker meme).

I didn’t have a particular part of the book I disliked, but I had some issues with when it was published. The book came out in September of 2013. Pope Francis became Pope in March 2013. That wasn’t a lot of time for his homilies and writings to be collected and put into a book so I see this as a rush job and not a good representation of his words. That’s the only reason I give it a low rating. I think something published now or in the future could be more inclusive of his words and give a better idea of his thoughts and messages.

The book is divided into different themes or overall messages and the quotes are grouped around these themes which I liked. Francis has received a lot of praise for being very focused on the poor and for being a humble man and I think these early words of his share that sentiment. It’s refreshing and grounding.

Writer’s Takeaway: There isn’t much of a parallel between this book and what I plan to write and publish. The biggest thing I can take from this as a writer is to look at context. The quotes are well pulled and give a solid idea of what Pope Francis was saying or trying to say. However, the timing of the publication doesn’t give a lot of his messages as Pope, more so in his position as a Cardinal and beforehand so the title seems a bit misleading.

A great book to escape to right before Easter. Three out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Recently Added to my To-Read List

10 Jan

I had to go really far back in my blog to find the last time I did one of these posts! Like always, let me know if I’ve got a dud or a winner. I love to hear from you all.

  1. The Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. If I saw this book on my ‘Recommended for You’ list one more time, I was going to scream. So I added it. The story follows a strange girl living in Prague who’s swept into a strange tale involving the devil. Yes, the description is vague, but I’ll still read it.
  2. Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. I was talking to a friend about book series and he said that this is the only one he’s ever read. So I’m intrigued. It’s a series of Christian books about those left behind after the apocalypse.
  3. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. I just finished reading On Writing and in it, King recommends that all fledgling writers read this book. I bow to the King in this matter
  4. Pope Francis Speaks to our Hearts. This was a small gift from a friend around the holidays. I got it because I was the only Catholic besides my husband and he got the book on beer. It’s a lot of short quotes from Francis (which might be a little mature into his term, but hey).
  5. The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley. A friend of mine commented on Goodreads that she couldn’t put this book down because it was so good. I hope I feel the same. Grey is an old man who has shut himself off from the world. His new caretaker pushes him to interact with the world he’s missing instead of living the rest of his life in the walls of his home. I recommended this one for my book club, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it’s picked.
  6. Everything is Connected by Keri Smith. This was a gift from SG at our NaNoel party. I love postcards and this book is a series of postcards, much like the author’s other work, “Wreck This Book.”
  7. Fiction Writer’s Workshop by Josip Novakovich. This was a gift from Nicole at our holiday party. It’s a guide that can be used to play a workshop or to workshop alone. I’ll see which one I feel like doing, haha.

There you go! Have you read any of these? Any of them sound exciting or terrible? Let me know, Reader!

Until next time, write on.