Reading Challenge Book 19 – Stolen Innocence

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 19 of 50

Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs written by Elissa Wall with Lisa Pulitzer. It’s not easy to listen to these type of stories because there are so many emotions a person can have as they listen. Elissa Wall is the younger sister of Rebecca Musser the author of book 17 on my list. They both grew up in the FLDS and left under the “Prophet” Warren Jeffs. She was forced to marry her first cousin at the age of 14 years old. When she finally left she was encouraged to press charges against Warren Jeff and her now ex-husband for what happened to her during her marriage.

It’s easy to judge the people who come from the FLDS and it’s easy to judge if you never take the time to truly understand. After listening to two books from two women from the same family it sounds like they all had this natural drive to know more. If I understand correctly out of all their sibling meaning same mother and father I think there are only two left in FLDS which are their younger sisters. The boys were all pretty much forced out over time – actually there is one other sister that was also married to Rulon Jeffs (Warren’s Father). I do not know if she ever left or not and there were 14 kids all together from their mother and father. I won’t go into a lot of details but the amount of lost their mother has gone through is unimaginable. Elissa and Rebecca share how they had seen their mother one last time and since these books were written in 2008 and 2014 we are left to assume that is still the case. A mother who was born and raised in this community she could not walk away. Their father was not born and raised but came in with his first wife. There family has a lot of heartache and issues without the help of the prophet.

I think it safe to say that Warren Jeffs is a narcissist and if he wouldn’t of tried to destroy so many lives he may still be in his position and doing even more harm. I know that there are still people to this day that are still following him even though he is in jail. It breaks my heart that there are so may women who still believe in what they have been taught despite all they have seen. I do admire that Elissa got to a point where she would no longer take the abuse she got from her “husband”. She also tells how the only reason why she did not leave sooner was so she could be near her mother and sisters. This book covered the court case in Utah and Elissa was a leading witness to the whole case. During this case Warren Jeffs had three attorneys and I’m curious to know more about the woman on his legal team. He decided to represent himself in Texas. I can’t imagine it’s easy to represent someone like Warren as you are provided with multiple evidence of the crimes he is saying he is not guilty.

As of right now I don’t have any more books from any members that left FLDS. I know there are videos I could watch talking more about what happened. I started to watch one video Preaching: Evil A Wife on the Run with Warren Jeffs. This features a wife he married after his father died her name is Naomi and if you read Rebecca’s book you learn about Naomi and I am pretty sure I know why Warren married her in secrets and chose her to go into hiding. He used her to tell the people he was suppose to be the next prophet despite him not being the oldest of Rulon children.

Disclaimer: I couldn’t find a number 19 photo on Pexels because all the picture that came up has something to do with COVID.

Reading Challenge Book 18 – Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 18 of 50

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance written by Angela Duckworth. I was listening to a sermon the other day when the pastor began to talk about this book Grit. If I remember correctly back in 2020 or early 2021 I was making up a reading challenge list for myself. I was looking at other peoples book list online and I think I remember seeing this book on a list. I went to a Goodwill Outlet and found a hard copy of the book. I picked it up to add to my reading list. I am about 90% sure that I ended up getting rid of the book when I was moving again because I didn’t think I would ever get to it and to be honest I didn’t really know what the book was about. I just picked it up because I saw the title on a list and so happened to find a copy for cheap. Now fast forward to 2022 and since the title came up again I decided to check it out.

I picked up the audiobook on Libby and finished in a few days. I found the topic interesting and glad I finally “read” it. I have always struggled with the general idea of intelligence. I thought the only way to measure a person intelligence was how well they did at school. I remember a fellow classmate who I went to school with since Elementary age, his name was Matt (he passed away a few years ago). He was this red headed boy who I believed was a genius, he was in a lot of advanced classes and he was always winning some reward. I remember we were in class together our last year of high school and he was talking to his friends. He went off about how he doesn’t understand why everyone thinks he is so smart. I remember thinking to myself all the reasons why I thought that all those years I have been in class with him. Now that I’m older I think it’s interesting that he felt that way and I honestly think he meant it when he said he didn’t understand. When I was in college I learned about multiple intelligence theory and I was immetelly intrigue. I have always thought I was stupid due to the fact I did not do well in school. I won’t go into a lot of details but the reality is I wasn’t stupid just lazy. I did not care enough to do what I needed to do to get high grades. I did what I had to to get a passing (sometime barely passing) grades.

The books talks about people who have grits and people who do not. Just because someone is smart does not mean they have grits. This made me think of a handful of people who I know who have high IQ’s and they were doing things below their potential. If I go with this theory then it makes since – they don’t have the grits to do other things. Ok I keep saying the word grit but not really explaining it. The general idea is a person who does not give up no matter what happens along the way. A person is more likely to be successful not because of how smart they are but how much they keep pressing forward. She shares multiple stories of people who did not give up on a dream just because they were faced with a set back or a challenge. She developed a way to measure a person grits and when she was first developing this concept she gave the test to students at West Point. They found they knew who would and would not make it to the end of the training due to this test or survey she handed out. I know on some level I don’t have a lot of grits but I want to start. I am tired of living the way I am and I know that if I want to see change I have to start pushing myself.

She talks about a concept about fixed mindset vs. growth mindset. This was developed by another person and I found the book she quoted from at a yard sale this past weekend. I plan on reading it because I found this topic interesting. I want to set a good example for my kids and since this is the way I am working on myself during this crazy time in my life. I know I have to stop giving up on something before I even start. I have to work on being a more grit-ful (made up word) person. I believe with the little glimpse to the concept fixed mindset vs. growth mindset; that I am a person with a fixed mindset and I don’t like that. I want to change that which is why I want to read more about it. I want my kids to always want to try new things and no matter what happens they continue to try. There are people who seem to have a natural ability but that is the exception not the rule.

Reading Challenge Book 17 – The Witness Wore Red

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 17 of 50

The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice written by Rebecca Musser with M. Bridget Cook. I believe at the end of 2018 I picked up a book called “Breaking Free: How I Escaped My Father-Warren Jeffs-Polygamy, and the FLDS Cult” written by Rachel Jeffs. I forget the reasoning behind it but this was the start of me watching clips and reading up about the story of Warren Jeffs. I went through a phase where I started to look into multiple cults such as NXIVM and the People Temple movement. I don’t like to read a lot of stories with graphic details about people doing things to other people. I don’t read about real life murders nor watch shows that talk about that. I have a few family members who love to watch those kind of stories. I even have to be careful watching certain shows due to the psychology behind it such as Criminal Minds. I made the mistake of staying in the room when someone watched a few episode of Criminal Minds and it messed with my head for a LONG time. I couldn’t see the one actor in any other roles without thinking about the story line. Anyway I am getting way off topic.

I’m sorry but this is my life right now but I heard about this book from a vlog – the woman went through a stage of reading books about the FLDS. I follow someone on YouTube who left the FLDS at 18 but he didn’t have any of these type of experiences that you read in these books. I listened to the book on Libby and I found it interesting. What I liked about the this book is how you got to hear a different side of what happened in Texas when they did the “raid” back in 2008. I won’t go into a lot of details but the author was married at the age of 19 to the prophet who was in his 80’s. She tells her story and why she decided to leave. The biggest thing is because she was married to the prophet she got to see the ins and outs of everything. She also had a lot of interaction with the son of the prophet who took over once he died. The son was Warren Jeffs and with every different sources I have read/listen too has said the same thing – things got weird and strike once he took over. I don’t really remember much from the 2008 raid but I do remember seeing things in the news about children being separated from their mothers and I thought that was crazy. The book gives you the ins of what was going on during those time and why things played out the way they did. She played a part in these big cases.

Now this may not make much sense if you haven’t read this book but when I was listening to it I felt something was off about her brother and the man she ended up marrying (they later got a divorce). If I remember correctly the brother was forced out due to his safety and the guy she married left with her. The two guys both grew up in this environment and even though they were not living that lifestyle it felt that their attitude and behavior still lined up with what they were taught. Men are taught that women do not have a voice, they have to keep sweet, and they are pretty much property. I wonder what ever happened to the brother but I did see he wrote a book that he self-published saying how his sister book was false. It’s no longer available and I read some of the reviews and it sounds like he was treating his sister the way she would of been treated if he was still apart of the FLDS. He was trying to discredit her and saying she made it all up. I read that he didn’t even finish her book but he wrote a book to discredit it…? Other members of FLDS did the same thing especially during the raid and trails of the men. Her now ex-husband seemed like he wanted to have multiple wives or at least have other choices. He also treated her a certain way when she was trying to help the officers in Texas.

Her sister wrote a book about her experience and I plan on listening to it. I am not sure when I’ll get to it but it’s been added to my “want to read” list on GoodRead. I’m afraid her book might be a little more graphic on what happened to her since I kind of gathered her experience was a little more traumatic than the author of this book mostly because she was married to a younger (but older man).

Reading Challenge Book 15 – Just Mercy

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 15 of 50

Just Mercy written by Bryan Stevenson. My best friend also spends a lot of her time reading multiple books. We typically don’t read the same things and rarely do we ask each other to read a book. I don’t think I have ever asked her to read a book or suggested one. I can think of three books she has asked me to consider reading. I started two of the three books but never finished them. She asked me recently to read this book and since it was available on Libby I was open to listening to the book. I would not of chose it on my own and I think this was a suggestion on one of the vlogs I watch and had no interest. I am learning that this topic has become near and dear to my best friend. We have not connect yet about this book but I know at some point we will discuss it the next time we talk on the phone.

I can understand the important and need for men and women like Bryan Stevenson. Bryan is a lawyer and this book was written by him to share his story of how he began to fight for people who are placed in incarceration. Primarily those who were put on death row. We need people who is passionate about this topic and who are willing to fight for people who can’t fight for themselves. I won’t give anything away just in case you want to read the book and there is a movie. I am not sure if the movie is about the whole book or about one of the key cases he talks about in the book. I watched the trailer just to see and I can tell the first interaction was dramatize for the movie. I personally am not passionate about this topic but I can appreciate those who are passionate. I can honestly say I do not know what I’m passionate about but it’s books like these that I need to expose myself to from time to time. You never know what might draw you in and spark a desire to learn more.

There were a few stories that got my blood boiling but then again if it involves a child then I am going to react. I’m a mother of six kids and there are certain things that make me angry when I read/listen/watch. There are certain movies and episodes I can’t watch without having some kind of reaction to it because I now see life through the lens of a mother. I remember watching an episode of In Plain Sight where a woman gave birth to a son and the Marshell’s found the baby in the hotel room alone. The mother was planning on selling the baby and I just given birth to my first son. Needless to say I was crying and snuggling my child. It is easy to ignore these issues but I think we should educate ourselves in multiple things. I may of not wanted to read this book but I appreciate having some information about the injustice that has happened over the years and still happening. I was sharing some of the book with my husband and I said something about the system is broken but he pointed out that the system is run by people. We often fail to remember that and if we can change the people who are running it then we will see real change.

One last thing – I do believe we should NEVER put children in the same prison with grown men. I am surprise how often this happens and that was one of the things that made me angry.

Reading Challenge Book 14 – The Art of Thinking Clearly

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 14 of 50

The Art of Thinking Clearly written by Rolf Dobelli. I am going to be straight with you but the only reason why I listened to this book was because my husband brought a hard copy of the book. I wanted to be able to talk to him since I have never really shown a lot of interest in what books he chooses to read. This book had short chapters and it is the type of book that should be read. I do have a hard copy I could grab and look over – I may look at it some day to re-read a few chapters. The authors has some pretty strong belief and you can tell as you read this book. There was a lot of interesting points but I feel on some level there is always more ways to see each point. Then again it also depends on what you believe and how you interrupt the world. If you are believer of God then you may not like his view on certains points he makes throughout the book.

I cannot give you an example but I will say there was a few times as I listened that I could understand why this book is an interest to my husband. The funny thing is we did end up talking and he said that he felt that he could of written a book like this one. I told him then he should do it because I often hear him point out how he has been saying x, y, and z over the years. I also told him he should write a book on how to not be a good boss. I hope one day he does finally decide to write a book because he is pretty wise in many areas of life and he often notices things that a lot of people may not notice. I have always told him that he has a way of explaining things that drawn people into the conversation. I am not going to say if you should or should not read this book. I personally would of never picked this book – mostly because I don’t think I would of ever heard of this book if it wasn’t for my husband. It’s a little outdated since it was written in 2013 and it was interesting to listen to certain parts after experiencing things throughout the pandemic. My husband did say it would be interesting to see what he has to say about a few of the points he made after the last two years.

Reading Challenge Book 13 – The Lazy Genius Way

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 13 of 50

The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done by Kendra Adachi. I picked this book because it was talked about on a vlog and it was available on Libby. It was an easy listen and I for the most part listened to this at a normal speed. I found a lot of the suggestion was very practical. One suggestion I thought was clever but due to the way I do laundry it is not applicable at this time. I wrote a post titled Laundry Rules and I admitted that I never really learned how to do laundry. I mix all our clothes and do not separate by color, delicates, etc. One of my rules is, I do not wash my clothes with towels and sheets. Kendra suggestion instead of separating the clothes with like items but focus on one area of the home. You wash the clothes by rooms. Example: If I would keep my kids clothes in their room. I would wash a load of just Y’s clothes so I could put them away at the same time. I would wash the boys clothes together and put them away. This eliminates having to go to multiple places as you put clothes away.

One other thing I found intriguing was sticking to a set of ingredients you use and only making meals based off those items. Planning, shopping, and cooking is one of the most stressful things in my life. The rise of prices makes it even harder to meal plan and trying to not be completely reliable on processed food. I know we will be entering a seasons that I won’t be able to do a lot of the cooking I enjoy doing but it’s only for a short time. I love when I can use the ingredients I buy for one recipe and use the rest for another recipe. There was a time in my life that I didn’t really care much if I wasted something. It was the way of life but now I hate when I discovered something in the fridge that I never got to and have to throw it away. Typically if this happens it’s because I didn’t realize how much time has passed since the last time I used that item.

If you would like to have some practical ways to life I would recommend listening/reading this book. I believe there is a podcast but I don’t know if I’ll listen. I have a handful of podcast I am working on at this time. There are some things I felt like I already knew but sometimes it’s nice to hear it from another person. According to the GoodRead app I am one book behind my reading schedule but I’m working on a few audiobooks and one was picked because my husband got a hard copy and was planning on reading it. My husband enjoys to read but doesn’t do it often, I have never shown interest in what he choose to read. I figured it would be nice to be able to talk to him about the book once he finished it (which he did while he was traveling).

Reading Challenge Book 6 – Top Secret Twenty-One

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 6 of 50

Top Secret Twenty-One – written by Janet Evanovich. I took a long break from listening to an audiobook because I could easily finish this series in a few days if I let myself. It’s a fun listen and you come to enjoy the characters. If I was honest I am tired of the the two love interest. I guess on some level I feel that neither of them will really work with the way she wants to live her life, then again the one who doesn’t want to get married may be the best choice for her lifestyle. I know that if they would completely cut the ties between the other interest he would find someone else and that would be the end of that story line.

The grandmother never disappoints and I wouldn’t mind watching her on the screen in a TV show. I have noticed that the sister kind of disappeared all together but she doesn’t really add a lot to the story line so that makes sense why we haven’t heard about her in a while. I wonder if the author could do a storyline with her sisters ex-husband to kind of bring that story full circle and maybe there could be a happier ending for the sister. It’s just a random thought and I am curious to see what else she adds to storyline with the last seven books that I haven’t read. I am starting to fall behind in my reading and I really need to finish a few of my books that I am really close to being done but I am physically reading them so I have to have time to read. Don’t get me wrong I waste a lot of time so I could have them done by now.

Reading Challenge Book 3 – Notorious Nineteen

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 3 of 50

Notorious Nineteen written by Janet Evanovich – The longer you read the series you know that there are a few things that always happens – no one should give Stephanie a car, fat is the worse thing you can saw to Lula, viewing are always interesting when grandma is around, the EYE is a thing or maybe it’s not, and ironing is never a good sign. I love when a series has been around long enough and this applies to TV shows; the writers can start to have some fun with the writing. Now there are times shows take it too far but if a show is not trying to make it just like real life. The audience can come to appreciate them taking some liberties. I personally don’t know much about Tiki’s but the one in this story is pretty entertaining but it only works because you have gotten used to weird behaviors throughout the series. Things always just happens to Stephanie and she is just taking one day at a time.

There are times I get bored with the love interest in this series but I read the author said she doesn’t want to tie Stephanie down. I get that but there is only so much you can do. I don’t think I can say I’m for either love interest – one makes more sense then the other just because of her life choices. I do appreciate that the author shows Stephanie is very vulnerable states because she may be a bounty hunter; she is face with some pretty crappy situations and only a sane person can handle so much. I forget which book I was on when it finally hit me that I have been expose to these characters before I listened to book 20. Evanovich first book was turned into a movie and I watched it randomly. I forget what triggered that memory and once I realized that I went back and re-watched it. The book was a lot more graphic than the movie and I was actually a little concern about some of the things that happen in the first few books. I wasn’t sure if I would want to continue, but I have learned you shouldn’t judge a book/show by the first episode/book.

I have said this already but this is a fun listen/read. I wouldn’t mind seeing this series as a TV Show and I read some articles back in 2019 that they were making a deal. Then 2020 happened and I haven’t found any new information.

What series do you enjoy reading?
How did you come across the Stephanie Plum series?
Have you heard about a TV Show deal?
What books are on your list for 2022?

Reading Challenge Book 1 – The Goblet of Fire

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 1 of 50

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling – this would be my second time listening to the book on audio but my third time “reading” this story. I physically read the book the first time but listened to the book back in 2018/2019 and again in 2021/2022. It’s amazing how much I have forgotten as I listened to this book once again. The small details and side stories that I didn’t remember and how it really adds to a deeper appreciation. I would not call myself a super fan but I do enjoy this series. The details that she has in all the books and how she links them together shows how much she really knew this world she has created. I’m pretty sure most people who read a book series and have fallen in love with the characters, storylines, and details wish they could created such a world.

I would like to write a few books one day but mostly non-fiction. I do have an idea for a fiction story that I started to work on years ago but lost all my work due to a computer crash. This was before I had a million ways of backing it up. I remember a lot of the details I had figured out but there were a few things I could not remember and I haven’t taken the time to refigure it out. I do find myself thinking about this story again and coming up with new ideas. I really should start to write them down so if I do ever get to a point of writing this book I won’t have to worry about forgetting anything. I know there are a handful of things before I could even consider writing a book. I also know there are a few things I want to add to the book due to who I am basing the characters on that I have very little inside information. This would take a good amount of time which is another reason why I haven’t started. I remember when I was in high school we had to write a first chapter of a book and I based it on mid-evil times but I do not know how to write in the language so it would be very hard to pursue the story line I have had in my head for almost 20 years. Then again I don’t keep up with a lot of mid-evil stories lines that are written now or shows based off those times. I wouldn’t be surprise if my idea wasn’t already out there.

What would you write about?
What would need to happen in your life for you to take the steps to writing a story?
What’s your favorite thing about the wonderful world of Harry Potter?

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