What I’m into (January 2013)

I keep meaning to do a weekly Bits’n’Blogs post, and never getting round to it. And then I saw that the wonderful Leigh Kramer does a monthly ‘what I’m into’ post, and I thought that was a fab idea! So I’m linking up with her, and do take a while to look round her blog- she’s one of the nicest people in the blogosphere.


What I'm Into at HopefulLeigh


Best of the blogs

1. The Woman of my Dreams series – Why we shouldn’t listen to her voice. Loving this series by Alice Buckley on how to deal with the perfectionist lies in our head, and this one in particular knocked it out of the park.


2. There has been a recent flurry of posts on the issue of purity and sexuality.
These were the best three, showing complementary truths about the issue:
Why I believe in pre-marital virginity – Alastair Roberts (long, but very good)
Virginity: New and Improved! – Elizabeth Esther (critiquing the American purity ring etc culture)
I am damaged goods – Sarah Bessey at A Deeper Story. (So popular it crashed the site temporarily).


3. Real failure, or why all of it matters – Micha Boyett for A Deeper Church. Probably my favourite blog post this month, on loving God in the everyday.


4. Preach the Gospel, die and be forgotten – Dave Bish @ Bluefish. Loved this counter-cultural piece.


5. When I was held hostage : on gunmetal and grace – Cara @ Whimsy Smitten. This beautifully-written account has rattled round my head for ages.


6. 5 common responses when you say ‘I’ve got cancer’– Anthony Wilson’s ‘what not to say to cancer patients’ also rang true for my experience of chronic illness.


7. A Hundredfold – Sam Allberry. “Jesus is worth it” – Incredibly moving testimony on faith and sexuality.



1. Come Alive – Elora Ramirez. I love her writing on her blog, so I was excited to read her novel. It is written in a Young Adult genre style, which normally I don’t particularly like, but for some reason it really worked on this book. I read it in two days (unusual for me!) It is a gripping story about a teenage American girl who finds herself caught up in a sex trafficking ring. I thought I knew a fair amount about sex trafficking, and it is an issue I am passionate about, but this book made me realise that I still had some unhelpful myths about prostitution floating around my subconscious. This story has really made me think afresh about the issues. A must-read.


2. The Tiger’s Wife – Tea Obreht. I read this for a book club and was so glad, because I never would have picked it up. It’s probably the best book I’ve read since Suite Francaise, and I will be buying it to re-read it. The writing is so good, and the telling is just magical and haunting. Loved every word.



1. Lou Fellingham – Live is the best worship album of the last five years. SO many good songs. Our lunchtimes are a regular praise party…


2. Emeli Sande – Our Version of Events. I simply cannot write a blog post without this album on.


3. Colbie Caillat – Coco – like the female Jason Mraz. Gorgeous tunes and voice – this is happiness in a jar.


4: Brooke Fraser – Albertine. Love this worship leader’s folky, more mainstream album.


Kids’ books and music

1. Unique – Nick and Becky Drake. We are addicted to this. My (preschool) boy sings these songs in bed while he’s going to sleep. I love it because they are good worship songs for kids, but the quirky pop sound and good content means it also works for adults. One of the few children’s CDs that we all like to listen to: this is gold-dust. Buy it immediately.


2. Stories Jesus Told – Nick Butterworth. Brilliant, brilliant book for preschoolers on the parables. (Only quibble is the camel story – think they have missed the point there). But the rest are amazing, and have made me see the parables in a fresh light.


3. Psalms for young children – Marie-Helene Delval. Oh my. This book (recommended to me by Micha Boyett) is a total gem.



“Do you have a faith, Nurse Lee?”
“Not really: I’m Church of England.”
I’m late to the party, but I’m weeping my way through the first series of Call the Midwife and loving it.

Oo – and Miranda too! Hilariosity!


On writing

1. How do I decide? Traditional publishing vs self-publishing – Rachelle Gardner. I’m really excited about this whole ebook series by Literary Agent Rachelle Gardner. As someone who is considering self-publishing (more on that later!) this was an excellent resource. It does what it says on the tin – explores the pros and cons of traditional and self-publishing. It is slightly biased towards the traditional publishing (as you’d expect from a literary agent!) but overall it’s still quite balanced, and makes some excellent points.


2. What you write about doesn’t matter as much as you think – Jeff Goins

3. When I am not a product– Preston Yancey


4. 13 Blogging resolutions – Emily Wierenga


5. Why women look old. Why January is gloomy. Why the media push this guff. Thoughtful piece from the Guardian calling for better journalism.


ME and Disability News Links

1. Reviving the broken marionette – Maija Haavisto. I am working my way through this book at the moment. During my recent scary health crisis I found myself once again wanting to run the gamut of exploring experimental treatments for ME (pretty much all the treatments for ME are experimental, because there is so little research). One of my Twitter friends @DiamonDie asked if I’d read her book? I hadn’t, and this was the EXACT book I’d been looking for: an in-depth survey of all the possible pharmacological treatments, together with a summary of the research on its efficacy, possible side effects, and price range. Just brilliant. I’m working through it at the moment, so that I am better informed when I see my specialist. There is a free summary of it in ebook form here.


2. Tips for filling in your ESA50 application form (Diary of a Benefit Scrounger)


3. Blue Badges – the government announce that disabled parking badges will be available to those who can walk 50 metres or less (at present they are available to those who can walk 100 metres or less).


4. David 1, Goliath 0 – Latest (good) news on disability benefits (Diary of a Benefit Scrounger)

5. Brilliant myth-busting here: Skivers v strivers: the argument that pollutes people’s minds – Guardian

That’s it!

Over to you:

  • What have you been into this January?

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18 Responses to What I’m into (January 2013)

  1. michaboyett 4th February, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    Friend! I’m so honored for the link and your kind words. LOVE that you’re reading the Psalms for Children book. I’ve never heard of Brooke Fraser. Looking into her right now…

    • Tanya 5th February, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

      I love love love that psalms book – and my boy does too. His favourite at the moment is the one with the dove flying. My favourite is the deer panting.

      And Brooke Fraser has the most awesome voice – hope you like her!

      • Donna 14th February, 2013 at 8:57 am #

        Love that you’re talking about Brooke Fraser! She’s a fellow New Zealander 🙂

  2. Karmen White 3rd February, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    Hi Tanya,
    I have been playing my guitar quite a bit this January, I’m trying to learn some of Brooke Frasers songs. (I have ‘Albertine’ in my car, so I listen to it loads and I love it!)
    I will be looking to buy ‘Unique by Nick and Becky Drake’ ASAP 😀
    Thanks for letting us know what you’ve been up to,
    Love K x

    • Tanya 5th February, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      Hurrah – on many levels!

  3. HopefulLeigh 2nd February, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    Thank you so much for the kind words, Tanya. You are the sweetest and I’m so happy to see you participating in What I’m Into! It’s such a nice behind-the-scenes for blog readers.

    I haven’t seen anyone share Alastair Roberts’ piece yet so I’m looking forward to reading it later. I’m in the middle of polishing my piece on the matter. It’s so good to see people talking about sex and sexuality! Glad you read and enjoyed Elora’s book. I was amazed by it- the writing, the story, the fact that my friend wrote it! We’re going to have to bond over Call the Midwife, though you’ll be able to watch series 2 before I will. It’s so so so good.

    • Tanya 5th February, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      Thanks so much for taking the time to chat through these things with me! It’s such a great idea, and it does make for feeling like you’ve just sat down with a friend and caught up on things.

      One day… One day we shall sit in person and have hot chocolate and talk sexuality and Call the Midwife. #mighthappen??

      Sending you much love!

  4. Janice 2nd February, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    Wow. You read/listened to much more in January than I did, but I love the recommendations!

    I checked and all seven copies of The Tigers Wife are checked out of our library here, but I on the hold list now, so hopefully I’ll get to read it soon.

    I’ve got to check out all the kid’s stuff and I’m in the process of checking out the blog posts.

    And I’m also dying to hear about what you want to self-publish!

    • Tanya 5th February, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

      I got The Tigers Wife from the library but I’ve just ordered myself a copy because I will want to read it again. It’s so rare that I want to re-read a thing nowadays, that that’s a serious compliment.

  5. littlemisshugs 2nd February, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Thank you for this brilliant post, its so good to hear recommendations. Love Lou fellingham but haven’t got that cd. Definitely going to look out for one of the small person recommendations for my school friends daughters christening. Leaning towards the psalms one – where can I get it? They’re ‘not yet christians’ so hopefully will be better than more kids bibles.
    January for me has also been trying to keep the winter blues at Bay and lots of internet shopping especially cds. Particularly recommend Chris Tomlin’s new cd. Just February to get through then 2013 will begin

    • Tanya 5th February, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      If you’re in the UK, then book depository or amazon might be good for the psalms book. Not sure if the Christian bookstores have it, though I guess most would be able to get it in.

      And 🙁 to hear about the January blues. (And those feb and march ones. ) Sometimes just getting through is achievement enough.

  6. Mark Allman 2nd February, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Thats a lot in January!! 🙂

    • Tanya 5th February, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

      It’s the month after Christmas = lots of presents!

  7. Jillie 2nd February, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    Hi Tanya
    What did I do in January? Just tried to keep my head above water. I usually have depression in these late months of winter, so I’ve tried to make sure I have some outings planned with friends. Done a lot of reading. Watched funny sitcoms and movies. Napped, a lot.

    • Tanya 5th February, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

      Ach. winter and depression = cruel combination. Sometimes just getting through is achievement enough.
      Sending you much love. X


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