Category Archives: Books

book review || the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society

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This book is pure delight. It is set in England and the little island of Guernsey, right after the end of World War 2. The main character is Juliet, a writer, who receives a letter from a man named Dawsey who lives on Guernsey. He asks a literary favor of her and so begins their correspondence. Enter many other creative and lively characters, their letters, their lives, and their literary society, and you have the perfect setting for a story that is witty, romantic, heartbreaking, and engaging in all its dimensions.

The author’s descriptions are magic. I felt transported to every field, cottage, town, city, or ocean view described. The island of Guernsey has now been officially added to my travel list! Set between England and France in the midst of the English Channel, can you imagine how lovely it would be? Just the name itself is appealing.

The characters absolutely endear themselves to you. Whether you instantly fall in love with them or you come to disdain them, they form one of the most delightful groups of people you’d ever come to meet. They are so well written, each one unique in their own way, and everyone of them causing you to wish that they were real and you could go spend a month traipsing around Guernsey with them.

The based-off-of-historical-facts bits and pieces that are shared are sobering, just being reminded of the devastating affects of that war. The sweet side of those facts is being reminded of the unbreakable bond that tragedy unites amongst friends, family, and even total strangers. Beauty wrought from pain.

You must add this title to your book list, friends. It is one of those I’m eager to read again, and can’t wait to share with my girl when she grows older.  It’s just lovely.

Link: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 

 

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a book list

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I’ve been filling up my book list for 2015. I love that never-ending list of book titles I’m always adding new discoveries to. It’s exciting to know that there’s always another good read waiting, eager for its pages to be cracked opened and its contents to be enjoyed.

A good book is, truly, a good friend. It’s comfortable and welcoming. It sparks creativity and imagination and deep thought. It’s inspiring, encouraging, and full of fascinating characters, profound lives, or thoughtful wisdom. It is a lovely place to escape into.

My love of reading faded for a while a couple years ago, but last year it came back, with an even healthier appetite than before. I read with a pencil or pen in hand to underline that which encourages me, challenges me, teaches me, inspires me, or pricks my creativity. What a gift to be able to read and learn!

A couple things to note with my list here: I clearly love Biographies & Memoirs. I will continually be adding to it, I’ve no doubt, especially when you lovelies heed this next point. I welcome any suggestions! I could use a couple more “light reading” books. And I hope to be able, after I finish a book, to share with you all my thoughts on why I chose to read that book and what my conclusion of the book was after turning the last page.

Bring on the rainy days and cups of toasty beverages. It’s time to read.

Biographies & Memoirs

01 || 41: A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush  02 || Walt Disney: An American Original by Bob Thomas         03 || My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme  04 || These Few Precious Days: The Final Days of Jack with Jackie by Christopher Anderson  05 || Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life by Lisa Chaney  06 || Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste by Luke Barr  07 || Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir by Carolyn Weber  08 || Jean Arthur: The Actress Nobody Knew by John Oller  09 || Running Away to Home by Jennifer Wilson  10 || Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life by Louis Zamperini & David Rensin  11 || Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart

Heart & Mind

01 || Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts & Our Minds by Jen Wilkin                      02 || True Beauty by Carolyn Mahaney & Nicole Mahaney Whitacre  03 || The Things of Earth: Treasuring God by Enjoying His Gifts by Joe Rigney  04 || Mom Enough: The Fearless Mother’s Heart & Hope by various contributors  05 || Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms by Gloria Furman  06 || The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness: The Path to True Christian Joy by Timothy Keller  07 || Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp

Various

01 || Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark  02 || The Book Thief by Markus Zusak  03 || Major Pettigrews Last Stand: A Novel by Helen Simonson  04 || The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

What books are you darlings looking forward to diving into this year? I am eager to hear!

holiday reads

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I am a book lover always and at Christmas time, with the coziness of the Christmas lights glow and tunes on in the background, snuggling up with a good read and a peppermint hot chocolate is one of the best ways to spend a wintry evening. There are the wonderful Christmas classics that you crack out every December and then there are the favorites that may only have a small tie to Christmas in the writing, but for you, they are the perfect read for this time of year.

I gathered up a few of my favorites, and Little’s as well, to share with you lovelies, for yourselves and for your families; and I’d love if y’all shared with me, too!

1. ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

2. Bear Stays Up for Christmas

3. The Story of Holly & Ivy

4. The Polar Express

5. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

6. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 

7. A Christmas Carol

8. Little Women

9. Pride & Prejudice

10. Sense & Sensibility

11. Anne Of Green Gables

Links for each book: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 //

a book club?

BookClubSuggestions

It seems that book clubs have become much more popular over the past few years, or maybe I’m just far behind in noticing. I’m not part of a technical “book club” at this point, but one of my closest friends and I have been reading through books together over the past year and half-ish. We live in different cities, but we email one another every two weeks with the chapter we’ve read. I love it. It’s encouraging, it’s enjoyable, and it’s so neat to see what we’ve each picked up, some similar, some different. I enjoy how reading through a book with someone else challenges my thinking in different ways and pushes me to be more aware in my reading.

Have any of you ever been a part of a book club? Has it been enjoyable for you? I tend to prefer smaller groups of people, just for intimacies sake; but I also think there would be advantages and fun aspects of a larger group of people. The various thoughts, learnings, opinions, or questions could fill hours of conversation, I’ve no doubt! Regardless of size, you have the opportunity to try different types of books, enjoy lively discussion and thoughtful conversation and swap questions and ideas that are spurred on by a novel, a biography, a heart encouraging book, a creative cookbook, historical fiction or fact, or any other volume that catches your fancy.

I like to imagine welcoming my book club members into my countryside cottage in England, my loft in New York City, or my seaside bungalow in Seattle, serve up big pots of coffee and tea, and enter into laughter-filled, lively, and clever discussion whilst enjoying slices of some sort of indulgent cake. Ahh, daydreams, aren’t they fun?

What about you lovelies? Does this type of thing appeal to you? I’m truly curious. If you have ever been/are now/would like to someday be a part of a book club, what do you think of them? What’s your favorite part and what books would you put on the list?

The amount of literature we have at our fingertips is delightfully overwhelming and cracking open a new book accompanied by friends can be a sweet way to enjoy it!

Book Love

A good new book is a favorite thing of mine. Some of the most delightful moments in the world, in my mind, involve snuggling down with a good read or walking the aisles of a cozy bookstore making a mental list of titles I’d like to crack open. I thought I’d share a few books that I’m reading at the present and a few new titles that I’m anxious to dig into soon.

I typically have 3-5 books going at one time. I like having a variety.

Books I’m Currently Reading:

  • Fit to Burst by Rachel Jankovic. This is a perfect companion for any mother. It’s short chapters are filled with encouragement, humor, exhortation, and gospel-centered practical wisdom. And it is all written by a mom of six kids who is in the trenches of motherhood right along with us. Every chapter I read I think, “exactly”, “yep”, or “that’s true”, about 150 times.
  • Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O’Reilly. I have had this one sitting on my nightstand for several months now and was finally able to pick it up last week. I’m still in the beginning chapters, but I really enjoy the way O’Reilly writes this book. He shares the details of those days in a relatable way, helping the reader to picture all that was going on at that time, the depth of what Lincoln was going through, and the courageous leader that he was.
  • Desiring God by John Piper. This book is older than me, but John Piper’s writing, wisdom, and passion for God is an encouragement and inspiration to believers forever. I read a paragraph or two of this book and spend the entire rest of the day thinking about just that one snippet. The Lord’s goodness and grace is lifted high in the testimony and writing of John Piper. I am grateful the Lord has blessed our world with men like him to learn from.
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. Literally just started this one. It’s moving a bit slower since I’m reading the Lincoln book as well, but I can’t wait to get further into it as all I’ve heard about it is that it’s amazing. I am anxious to learn more about this inspiring, faithful man of God.
  • Pleasing People: How not to be an approval junkie by Lou Priolo. This book could literally be called Pleasing People: How not to be Jenny Coobs. Every single chapter I read is like reading my thoughts. Approval, people-pleasing, fear of man — this has been a life-long struggle for me. Reading this book has been a tool of sanctification in my life. Helping me to see my deeply rooted pride and my love for the approval of man, rather than God. My J and I are reading through this book together and it is wonderful. Is it hard to come to grips with how far-reaching this sinful struggle is in my life? Absolutely. But it is far more wonderful to be filled with the hope that comes from knowing the Lord is working in me to make me more like Himself, and to experience the freedom that is found when my sin is no longer holding me in bondage.

Books I Want to Read Next:

And the list will always continue to grow. What great new reads have you come across recently?

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A blessing of a new book

I came across this blog yesterday. When I read the excerpt from Gloria Furman’s new book, Glimpses of Grace:Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home, I was anxious to read the entirety of it. It was like reading a personal journal entry. I was encouraged, challenged, and thankful for her humble honesty in just those couple paragraphs. So today, I sat down at the computer and 2 minutes later Amazon confirmed my newest book purchase was made. 

I am so grateful to have women who I can learn from and be encouraged by through their writing. How kind the Lord is to gift people in specific ways to glorify Him and bless others. 

As an added bonus, if you order before 11:59pm on June 7th, you will also receive an ebook version of Glimpses of Grace and a free version of the ESV Study Bible Online. Two generously added gifts!

I look forward to that Amazon box arriving!