Tag Archives: CMS

Summer Reading List Reviewed

I like to take the summer off from doing book reviews so I can read whatever I want. Granted, many of the books I review are books I want to read anyway, but it’s nice to be able to read without a deadline looming over me or the constant questions in the back of my mind as I read (What do I like (or not) about this book? Why?) That said, I can’t resist posting about what I did read (I did a bunch of mini-reviews last summer, too).

This summer I read quite a few books, though not as many as I would’ve liked. I did stay on track to read 24 books in 2013. I got sidetracked by crocheting. Usually that’s a cool-weather hobby, but it carried over into summer this year. Instead of reading my Kindle the other night, I made a cover for it.


 That’s only one example. I’ve just had an insatiable need to create pretty things.

Anyway, here’s what I read (mostly in the order I read them in):

Stretch Marks

Stretch Marks: A Novel by Kimberly Stuart
This one wasn’t exactly a summer read—I read it in May when we were on our way home from Ohio. It was a quick, enjoyable read about a twenty-something girl who finds herself navigating a rocky relationship with her mother in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy. Of course there was some romance thrown in—with someone other than her live-in boyfriend who doesn’t “believe in marriage.”

redeeming love

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
This book ruined all other Christian fiction for me. Seriously—if this book supposedly changed the direction of Christian publishing, why on earth is there so much crap out there? No offense to Christian fiction authors (especially the good ones), but why aren’t more Christian books this good? Even after I finished it, this gold-rush era retelling of Gomer and Hosea haunted me for a good part of the summer. It wasn’t just a good story—it showed me the depth of love and forgiveness God has for us despite our near-constant rebellion. This is a must read. Seriously—stop reading my blog and go read it. Now.

Stopping Words that Hurt

Stopping Words that Hurt by Dr. Michael Sedler
I broke my no-book-reviews-in-the-summer rule for this one. Not because of the writing (it’s not awful, but not fantastic, either), but because of the subject—how to stop what Sedler calls “evil reports” (what you’d probably call gossip). It was a problem I was struggling with, and I wanted to know what to do. This was a great resource. You can read the whole review here.

A Heart DeceivedA Heart Deceived by Michelle Griep
Miri Brayden, who depends on her brother for support while also hiding the fact that he’s losing his mind, takes in Ethan Goodwin, a man she doesn’t know is running from the law, and life takes some unexpected turns. This was one of the best books I’ve read in a few years.

The Subversive Copyeditor

The Subversive Copyeditor by Carol Fisher Saller
Rather than focus on only the nuts and bolts of copyediting, Saller, who edits the monthly Q & A  for Chicago University Press, focuses on the relationships by addressing the most common conflicts copyeditors encounter while editing. She also offers some great practical “best practices” when it comes to managing email, tracking projects, and making changes to a draft. That said, I was reading the Kindle edition of the book and was surprised by the mistakes and bad formatting—extra spaces, words run together, misplaced side bars, and typos. A little disappointing for a book about editing . . .

No Safe Harbor

No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig
I read this book thinking it would would be a great cure for my “book hangover” when I finished reading A Heart Deceived. The main character, Cara Hamilton, an Irish girl with no other family keeping her in Ireland, moves to New York in an effort to find her brother, whom she believed dead until he sent her a letter. But when she arrives, he’s nowhere to be found and she has to find a job and a place to live. Unbeknownst to her, she’s not the only one looking for her brother and the others searching for him plan to use her and do whatever it takes to find him. It was a good story, but I felt like there was something not quite right about the story. I still haven’t been able to put my finger on it.

The Total Money Makeover

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
This book got me excited about attacking our student loans and car payment with “gazelle intensity,” as Dave Ramsey calls it. The Total Money Makeover is Dave Ramsey’s step-by-step plan for getting rid of debt and building wealth. My favorite part was the numerous testimonies from people who have followed his plan and experienced real life change—what an inspiration to follow through! I’m sure I’ll post more about the process as we continue to pay down our loans and plan for the future.

There were a few books on my list that I didn’t get to—The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Developmental Editing by Scott Norton, but I’ll get there eventually.

Writing Tip Wednesday #18: The E’s Have It

Eiffel Tower Kimberly VardemanHave you ever wondered how to spell fiancé? fiancée? I didn’t learn the difference until I got married. And what about blonde? Or blond? I had to research that one for this post—I had no idea.

It all boils down to the same thing—the words are French, and they have gender. If you know Spanish, it’s like the difference between loca and loco.

“Fiancé” and “blond” are the masculine forms of the words. “Fiancée” and “blonde” are the feminine forms. The masculine forms can be used to refer to males and females, and the feminine forms refer only to females.

In American English, as a noun, “blond” is used for males and “blonde” is used for females. As an adjective, “blond” is most common, though you can add the “e” and use it to describe females.

Now you know.

(And in case it’s bugging you—Chicago style would not put an apostrophe in “E’s” in my title. I added it for clarity.)

Photo credit: Kimberly Vardeman via Flikr

Writing Tip Wednesday: A Few Title Capitalization Rules

This month’s tip comes from something I learned at work when we were running a bulletin blurb for a new kids’ ministry coordinator.

Are you supposed to capitalize job titles? The church had been doing it for years, but I wasn’t so sure that was correct, so I pulled out my favorite book in the world, the 15th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style (okay, so it’s probably not my favorite book, but I do spend a lot of time with it), and learned a few things . . .

When a title (civil, military, religious, and professional) comes immediately before a person’s name (and is used as part of their name), it should be capitalized and usually replaces the person’s first name.

For example:
We really enjoyed Pastor Johnson’s sermon on Easter.
The family was disappointed with Judge Nelson’s decision.

When a person’s title follows their name or is used in place of their name, it is usually lowercased.

For example:
Joseph Andrews, the president of the company, called a mandatory meeting for all staff members.
Marcia Smith, the company’s communication director, disagreed with the graphic designer.

Sometimes, when titles are used in “formal contexts as opposed to running text,” they are capitalized.

For example:
(In the front of a book) I’d like to thank the following people:
Mike Jones, Developmental Editor at ABC Publishing
Rita Hanson, Fourth Grade Teacher at Washington Elementary
Megan Miller, Office Assistant at Apex Windows

If a title is used before a personal name as a “descriptive tag,” it should be lowercased.

For example:
He gave her a book by the poet Neruda.
Mary sent a letter to the Minnesota governor Mark Dayton.

This information was taken from The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition (8.21–8.23).

Really, I Enjoy This.

Is it sad that I read the CMS Q&A for entertainment purposes? And now I’m on the mailing list, so every month, I get a list of the new questions and answers. It’s like Christmas.

I’m sorry, but it really should be just one space.

And not everything should be capitalized.