Getting to Know You

Getting to know more about you…..

It’s been a while since I’ve asked questions to get to know all you wonderful readers a little better. I’m coming up with some ideas for summer posts and what better way to help the juices flow than to learn more about you.

If we were having coffee (make mine a latte please), these are some questions I’d love to ask. Feel free to answer one, some, or all in the comments section. You rock.

1. What’s the best book you’ve read in the last six months?

Mine is, shocker, Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler. I haven’t finished it yet, but I already know it’s the best I’ve read in a long while.

2.what’s your go-to unwinding activity?

I make my cup of coffee (tea in the evening), curl up with a book (I LOVE mysteries) and veg out. Also, love reality tv like Cake Boss, the Voice, and Biggest Loser, anything on the food network. And walking. If I can go alone.

3. What’s a book you didn’t like? Especially if it’s a classic or one everyone else loved.

I hated Emma by Jane Austen. I love Jane, but man, it was like chewing broken glass to get through that. Emma. Gah.

4. Best vacation or trip ever. What was memorable about it?

Attics and I went to Rome for a week when I was newly pregnant with Maggie. It was amazing and the first time I’d been to Europe. We met Pope Benedict, so that was pretty memorable.

5. Name a book that’s stayed with you because it made a lasting impact.

This is a toughie because I have so many! Ill name two.

Lest Innocent Blood be Shed by Phillip Hallie.

It’s the story of a whole town of French hugenots who worked together and hid hundreds of Jewish children from the Nazis when France was occupied during world war II. it’s an amazing story.

My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

About a family who genetically engineered a child to be a match to their older, sick child. It’s a haunting story of family love, morality, and what it means to be free.

P.s., the movie sucked.

So, there’s mine. Now it’s your turn. I can’t wait to hear all your answers. If you ever come to Indy, I’ll buy you a coffee. Or tea. Or whiskey. Your call.

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  • schneiderjess

    1. Best Book in the last six months: The Long Loneliness.

    2. Unwinding: I play solitaire on the computer.

    3. A book I didn’t like? I really did not like To Kill a Mocking Bird. Everyone I know loves that book… it drives me crazy.

    4. Best vacation: We went to Baltimore and Ocean City one year and did nothing. It was great!

    5. Book with a lasting impact: Olga Trujillo: Sum of My Parts. She writes about her experience with abuse and Dissociative Identity Disorder. Powerful.

    • Sarah B.


      Long Loneliness is the best. I love DD. Thanks for replying!

  • Cristina

    What’s the best book you’ve read in the last six months? Church of Mercy by Pope Francis

    What’s your go-to unwinding activity? Reading and especially flipping through magazines – mind goes totally blank. Oh and road trips. The longer the trip the better because my mind can’t keep up with the usual narration of events, people and things that it usually does.

    What’s a book you didn’t like? Especially if it’s a classic or one everyone else loved. I didn’t like Pride and Prejudice. I know, stone me to death. I tried. Three times. And, well, meh. Did nothing for me. I think I’m the only one in the world.

    Best vacation or trip ever. What was memorable about it? So far, our trip to Lake George, which we are going to again this year. We relaxed, there were no smart phones and lots of walking and eating. We bought a packet where the activities were planned and so were the meals! But I’m going to Italy this week, so…there could be an overthrow.

    Name a book that’s stayed with you because it made a lasting impact. Hands down, The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. I read that over an afternoon and can’t get over it. I bring it up in most conversations!

    And yes, I will take tea, with whiskey. Because, I’m just not your run of the mill gal.

    • Sarah B.

      Tea with whiskey? Now that’s something new! I’ll have to try it sometime. I loved the great divorce too! And I really like Lake George too; my aunt and uncle live pretty close to the lake. Thanks for commenting!

  • Debbie Gaudino

    1. Best book in the Last Six Months: Evangelium Gaudium by Pope Francis
    2. Unwinding: Walking outdoors or surfing on Pinterest
    3. A book I didn’t like: Tess of the D’Urbivilles – Hated it, hated the movie. Still remember how tortured I was reading it in senior year of HS.
    4. Best Vacation: 10 Days in Rome with my husband in 2000 – went to a Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II and experienced a MAJOR conversion while we were there.
    5. Book with a Lasting Impact: The Fulfillment of All Desire by Ralph Martin – Istill go back and re-read this one. Gosh, I really wanna be a saint!

    • Sarah B.


      I too loved Rome so much. Hubby and I are “planning” to make it back there for our 20th anniversary. :)

  • callherhappy

    1. Obviously I liked SOTG, but I also really loved Princess Academy. It’s a YA book, but I just thought it was so charming!

    2. To unwind, I love to apply essential oils, watch baseball, and clear out my inbox 😉

    3. I didn’t HATE it, but I didn’t love P&P as much as the general public does.

    4. I spent the better part of a summer in Ireland – obviously memorable. But, I love thinking back on the times Mike and I went to Mackinac Island, MI before kids. We used to love going there and just lazily walking around the island.

    5. Lasting impact book. Geez. How about I just give you a list of my all time faves?

    The Giver

    Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    The Homeschool Experiment

    Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

    Princess Academy

    Pope Awesome and Other Stories

    The Great Gatsby

    • Sarah B.


      I love your list of books that stayed with you. I’m a Gatsby girl, and I loved Guernsey too.

  • joymhb

    1. What’s the best book you’ve read in the last six months?

    Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler, and Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa Jo Baker ~ both in the last month and I’m still riding the high.

    2.what’s your go-to unwinding activity?

    Old movies or a favorite book that I will re-read over and over

    3. What’s a book you didn’t like? Especially if it’s a classic or one everyone else loved.

    Love in the time of cholera ~ I tried but could not get into it and finally gave up.

    4. Best vacation or trip ever. What was memorable about it?

    Our honeymoon on Prince Edward’s Island was wonderful; beautiful and quiet quality time together after all the wedding craziness.

    5. Name a book that’s stayed with you because it made a lasting impact.

    Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris: my introduction to the idea of integrating the liturgical year into my daily/home life.

    • Sarah B.


      I LOVE old movies. Audrey Hepburn’s are my favorites. Sabrina is my all time. :)

  • Kat

    1. I did really love SOTG! I really liked The Giver which I had never read as a kid but I really like it and the movie is coming out in August I hope it doesn’t suck.

    2. Hmmm unwinding activity has to be blogging, reading blogs, of course watching bbc dramas or getting lost in a great book.

    3. I really didn’t like Gathering Blue which was the next book after The Giver but a different story line. It really fell short and was awful for me. Also, Siddartha which I had to read in high school oh and The Great Gatsby! I hated Gatsby in high school but maybe I should try and read it again, I don’t know for me it was pretty bad.

    4. I would have to say our honeymoon road trip we had. I was sick but it was so much fun to be in a car for 7hrs with each other trying to get to our destination without a map. One of the most memorable moments was when we had gotten lost for the umpteenth time and we were hungry so I decided to open a bag of chocolate kisses for us to snack on. Well I guess I was too zealous because as I opened the bag I pulled too hard and the bag made a popping noise and rained down kisses all over us and the car, lol! My DH still found kisses a year later under the seats :)

    5. Okay fiction book would be A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer. I read it in jr. High and it was something I could relate to at the time and made me feel less alone. Non-fiction would be Reed of God by Caryll Houselander.

    This was so much fun thanks for asking! If you ever come to SoCal I will so buy you coffee, tea or whiskey 😉

    • Sarah B.


      I LOVE The Giver. I’m also sad you don’t like Gatsby. You are about the fifth person who said that they loved Reed of God. I will have to check it out.

  • Jenn

    1. Best book? Probably Doc by Maria Doria Russell, also author of The Sparrow. It was a really good read, with interesting characters, and didn’t feel like a book written to be a screenplay, like so many are these days.

    2.Unwinding? Hot bath with red wine and dark chocolate and a movie while my husband watches our daughter.

    3. Book I Didn’t Like? Honestly, most current fiction annoys me. It’s mostly books that want to be movies with very little that is exploring writing itself as an art form.

    4. Best trip? Solo 3 month trip throughout Europe. So many memories. So many stories. It was the best, and I’m so proud of myself for doing it.

    5. Book that’s stayed? I try to read The Road by Cormac McCarthy once a year. It’s such a stripped down book, kind of Earnest Hemingway-like in its sparse language. That reflects the landscape the father and son move through. But as everything is stripped away, what remains, the love between the father and the son, the hope for the future, the goodness that the son carries with him. It’s salvation and light and I need to read this to remind myself of what really matters.

    • Sarah B.

      Jenn, you have got me super interested in The Road. I am going to check it out of the library. It sounds like the kind of book I’d just love. Thanks for replying!

      • Jenn

        Most of Cormac’s stuff is too gritty for me to enjoy, but The Road is something really different. There’s a stark and simple purity about it.

        I’d love to know what you think when you get a chance to read it!

  • monicaequippingcatholicfamilies

    1. Best Book in the last six months: 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr Michael Gaitley (he’s awesome!), Unbound by Neil Lozano. Down Right Good by Karen Kelly Boyce Sorry I couldn’t pick one. =)

    2. Unwinding: crafts, watching movies or “24”

    3. A book I didn’t like? The Stone Angel…in grade 12 English.

    4. Best vacation: Disney World

    5. Book with a lasting impact: I Believe in Love by Fr d’Elbee.

    • Sarah B.


      Disney is the best! I can’t wait to take the kids there. :)

  • Grace

    Well, since I live in Indy, how about I buy you a latte and we can argue about My Sister’s Keeper? Then we can break out wine.

    1. Best book: I’m working on writing a publication for work right now, so for the past six months, pretty much all of my reading has been new appellate cases from Indiana. Somehow I don’t think you were asking about my favorite Court of Appeals or Indiana Supreme Court opinion! (Though I do have an answer for that question. Ahem.) Dreadnaught (Robert K. Massie) was good, and I like naval history. Not exactly thrilling, except for the part where Virginia Woolf makes an appearance in the book. That part was epic. Mary, Queen of Scots (Antonia Fraser) was a good read. Next up is a Theodore Roosevelt biography.

    2. Unwinding activity: If I am wound up because of work stress, exercise. If it’s parenting related stress, then quiet time with a Star Trek episode or a sci-fi book. If it’s just morning relaxing, it’s my cup of coffee or tea with my husband.

    3. Books I hated that everyone else loves: In the classics genre, Catcher In The Rye, and The Great Gatsby. There’s just something about those books that makes we want to rip the pages to pieces, except I am a firm believer in respect towards all books. In the popular literature category, My Sister’s Keeper (ha! Sorry, Sarah). I dislike this one because I am a lawyer, and a guardian ad litem. There are so many things that are so very wrong about the law and lawyers and legal practice and guardian ad litem practice in that book that I actually hate it. It’s a fascinating topic, but it is so very wrong legally on so many levels.

    4. Best vacation: Without a doubt, the best vacation was Ireland, with my husband in 2011. It was amazing and wonderful for a wide variety of reasons (Ireland! Guinness! Fish and chips! Tea! Scones! Stone fences! Irish accents! Train rides! Hiking! Cliffs! Rolling green hills with surprise sheep around the corner! Castles!). Not the least of those reasons is that we came home with our Little Irish Souvenir, aka Lis, aka our daughter (see above: Guinness). There are many vacations that all vie closely for second place: our honeymoon in Colorado and the repeat visit to Colorado after I took the bar exam; South Korea; Europe (France, Germany, Luxembourg, Amsterdam); and Hawaii. I was a military brat, so I did A LOT of traveling.

    5. A book that’s stayed with me: If absolutely had to pick one, it would be Cordelia’s Honor (Lois McMaster Bujold). I love the entire series, but I think I love that one the best. My husband and I use it as a frame of reference for discussing all kinds of ethics issues, advances in technology, and so on. The others: three Jane Austen books (Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park); Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf); Frankenstein (Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley); LOTR trilogy (Tolkien); and Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare). I go back to these time and time again.

    • Sarah B.

      It’s basically shameful that we haven’t hung out! Let’s remedy this soon!

  • bonnieeng

    1 – SOTG. But I also really enjoyed The Hunger Games books and The Help.

    2 – blogging, pinterest, baking

    3 – I read Tess of the Dubervilles or whatever it’s called in college. I made myself finish it because it was a classic. I hated it.

    4 – Scottish honeymoon.

    5 – A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers.

    • Sarah B.

      Bonnie, I’d love to know more about Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I haven’t heard of it before!

  • Michelle @ Endless Strength

    1. What’s the best book you’ve read in the last six months?
    The best book(s) were the Divergent Trilogy. Excellent. I also read Son by Lois Lowry and I liked it, but found it a bit lacking as the culmination of the quartet. I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and plan to read another book by her, I enjoyed it so much. Okay….more than 1…sorry!! I haven’t read SOTG yet, but it’s on my list!

    2. what’s your go-to unwinding activity?
    Exercising — running or crossfit. I also enjoy laughing it up to Friends with my first-born daughter.

    3. What’s a book you didn’t like? Especially if it’s a classic or one everyone else loved.
    I didn’t like the 5th Harry Potter book (Order of the PHoenix??) I still have a hard time finishing it when re-reading with my kids. I just hate it.

    4. Best vacation or trip ever. What was memorable about it?

    Right now — our Disney trip last year. I look forward to going back and taking Vincent along, too. Probably in a couple of years. I really look forward to going back because once you do it the first time and see all the things you didn’t know — you can do it even better after that.

    5. The Hunger Games trilogy and the Divergent Trilogy: both series have stuck with me. Fatherless is another book that has. I have not been able to make it through Motherless and Childless (though I own both) and I’m not sure why, but there it is.

    • Sarah B.

      You know, I was wondering, Michelle, about the Divergent series. If it was worth checking out. I’ll have to get on the super long wait list from the library. Its funny that you didn’t like order of the phoenix; its one of my favs!

  • Ashley

    1- The Lorax. I’m really trying to get myself together enough to read more for myself, but haven’t really had anything I can’t put down lately. But I read The Lorax almost every day and it gives me a lot to ponder.

    2- Having a cup of coffee or beer or wine with no kiddos. Bonus points if the hubs is home to chat with.

    3- Walden by Thoreau. Only book I’ve ever been assigned that I didn’t finish (or at least skim!). Too much blabbering, though I suspect I might appreciate it more as an adult. My memories of it are so bad, though, that I don’t even want to try!

    4-Anything I did while I studied abroad in Southern France.

    5- The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. It’s one of those books I read over and over again and find new things to contemplate each time.

    • Sarah B.


      Haha, I love the Lorax! It’s such a cute story. I love coffee by myself. I downloaded the bean trees when it was 1.99 on Kindle, but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. Now I’m eager to start it.

  • Patty

    Hmmm let me think…
    1. I’m really into historical fiction. A good one I came across recently was “Sarah’s Key”…sad, but really good!
    2. My unwinding activity is a toss up between painting my nails (i’m known to change colors at least twice in a week:) or curling up with a good book, typically before going to bed, it just helps settle my brain and get my body ready for sleep.
    4. Hmm this is also a tough one because I’ve been able to do a lot of international traveling. Definitely a toss between WYD 2013 in Brazil…because we were able to stay in local folks homes, their community just adopted us and we really became a family; so sad when we left. Or the second one would be when I went to Ireland for 5 days right after I graduated college with my two best friends, so much fun, so many good memories!

    • Sarah B.


      Wow, WYD! That’s amazing. I’ve never been able to make it to one, but I just love the whole atmosphere around them. How memorable. What is Sarah’s Key about? Is it WWII? I’d love to hear more about what you liked about it.

  • Gina

    Best book: Harry Potter numero 6. I haven’t read much else all the way through, to be honest.
    Unwinding: reading blogs, reading HP, sewing, eating chocolate. (umm…so that’s not exactly healthy) Oh, and watching Doctor Who
    Best vacation ever? Hard one! I loved Italy, but that was technically not a vacation. Hawaii is pretty swell. But, the Redwoods are just amazing.

    • Sarah B.

      I love all the HP series. Sometimes I read them to “relax” because I’m so familiar with the storyline. I hope to see the Redwoods someday; its on my bucket list!

  • Emilee

    This is fun!!

    1. What’s the best book you’ve read in the last six months?
    Sadly I haven’t read much in the past 6 months thanks to work :-/ BUT… here’s some books I’ve read recently that I Loved:
    * Freud’s Mistress by Karen Mack
    *American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
    *The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

    2.what’s your go-to unwinding activity?
    At the end of the day… I really just like to come home, put on my sweatpants, and zone out to Netflix. Silly shows like 30 Rock, That 70’s Show, Big Bang Theory. Shows like Grey’s just give me anxiety if I watch too many episodes in a row!

    3. What’s a book you didn’t like? Especially if it’s a classic or one everyone else loved.
    I did not finish the sequel to the Devil Wears Prada. It was… just not good. Why mess with the original?

    4. Best vacation or trip ever. What was memorable about it?
    I’ve taken some really good vacations, but my most recent one (last week!) was awesome because it involved a spa day with my mom and a Springsteen concert with my dad.

    5. Name a book that’s stayed with you because it made a lasting impact.
    like you, most Jodi Picoult books stay with me. My Sister’s Keeper, Nineteen Minutes, The Storyteller… just so good. Oh, and The Help. And I really liked Faith by Jennifer Haigh!

    • Sarah B.


      I loved The Help and The Storyteller too! I haven’t read the fault in our stars but its my awesome 15 year old cousin’s favorite book, so I need to! Thanks for answering.

  • Pat

    Best book in past six months– Crooked Letter Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

    To unwind– I take a walk with my husband in the evening and then sit at the kitchen table and read the newspaper and watch some TV (often not really paying attention to it) and sort through mail and maybe have some tea.

    Best vacation– To Yellowstone with family

    Book I did not like– I guess I stop reading if I do not like it. I started the audio book of the The Lord of the Flies and stopped after one disc. I did not like it.

    Book that has stayed with me– The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg