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Reading feeds my soul and I’m rarely without a book. Or two. Or three.

 

Here’s what’s currently on my nightstand.

 

 

Our current book club selection. I enjoy Ann Patchett’s books, and family sagas are a favorite theme, so I’m looking forward to this one!

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve enjoyed Fredrick Backman’s other books, but this one is a slow start for me. Quirky characters yes, but a story I’m not quite invested in yet. But I won’t give up on it and will give my final thoughts when done!
 

 

 

 

 

I’m still reading this one in bits and pieces because I like to digest the concepts. I love Lysa TerKeurst’s writing because she’s so honest and vulnerable while taking a good hard look at life from a biblical perspective. Here, she tackles rejection. Who doesn’t need some help dealing with an experience we all face at one time or another?

 

 

 

 

This is what I’ve read.

 

 

A book club pick that looks at life inside the White House through the eyes of staff that have served our First Families. Fascinating insights and little known facts kept me reading!

 

 

 

A beautifully written story of the background and life of Camille Pissaro. A book club pick that’ll be certain to encourage lots of discussion about culture, customs, inspiration and the limitations placed on women in society.

 

 

 

 

 

Stunning prose on every page, this is a perfectly rendered story about a marriage told from the point of view of the husband and then the wife. The complexities of marriage and the secrets we keep are expertly explored in a book you’ll want to reread. This one stayed with me for days.

 

 

 

 

A fascinating read for those of us who are interested in women’s issues and were a little too young to have lived through the turbulent times that gave us the rights we enjoy today. And a stark reminder of the work yet to be done.

 

 

 

 

 

Picked this up at a used book store because the concept intrigued me. What do the books we read say about us? The book is clever and insightful. Worth a read.

 

 

 

 

Unique concept in design giving the reader the option of reading the same story from the perspective of two main characters, either in alternating chapters or in its entirety. Clearly part one of a series or trilogy. Oliver is a favorite author of young adult books and this one does not disappoint.

 

 

 

 

Book club choice. A Hitchcock-like mystery that’ll translate well to the screen. Not as suspenseful as I expected but a quick and enjoyable read.

 

 

 

 

A beautifully written, somewhat quiet, coming-of-age story set in the 1960s where the certainties of youthful perception are challenged during a summer of tragic events.

 

 

 

 

Written by one of my favorite authors, who effortlessly captures the complexities in human relationships. In this brief volume, a judge navigates the potential end of her marriage while making a life and death decision for a child, only to realize how our best intentions can be subject to regret in retrospect.

 

 

 

 

Even though this is one of the most awkward titles for a book, with more personal pronouns than should probably occur in any sentence, I did enjoy it. A quirky story, with a memorable cast of characters whose lives are linked by a young girl and the grandmother she adores. After the grandmother dies, the girl puts the pieces of everyone’s lives together when she finds the letters her grandmother left her. Clever and satisfying.

 

 

 

 

Compelling story of the journey to the 1936 Berlin Olympics for the American rowing crew that stunned the world. I couldn’t put this one down, even though I knew the outcome.

 

 

 

 

 

Winner of the National Book Award, a disturbing but engrossing story that follows the escape of a slave girl from a brutal life on a plantation in Georgia. The writing is stunning, the story harrowing. Halfway through but I need to take breaks because the story is so upsetting in places.

 

 

 

 

A multilayered story of identity and justice, following a young lawyer as she seeks to unravel the mysterious identify of an escaped slave girl who may have been the true artist of highly acclaimed paintings attributed to her mistress. Highly recommend, especially if you’re looking for a book club pick. Lots to discuss!

 

 

 

 

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A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the Lincoln presidency from the viewpoint of an African-American seamstress who become Mrs. Lincoln’s friend and confidante.

 

 

 

 

 

The Lake House

Mystery lovers rejoice! Another page turner from one of my new favorite authors. Perfect summer read. A book club pick.

 

 

 

 

 

Crazy Summer

I love reading middle grade and young adult fiction. This one was deeply satisfying with well-drawn characters. Took me back to the era of my childhood but from a completely different world view.

 

 

 

 

The Septembers of Shiraz

Gripping and powerful story of an Iranian family trying to remain hopeful and resourceful despite their fear for the welfare of a wrongly imprisoned family member.

 

 

 

 

The Gods of Guilt

Another book club pick. Enjoyable although a little predictable and didn’t love the main character. First time reading this author but would try another title.

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Potter

Nice to be back with old friends! A different reading experience since it’s in script form, but enjoyable nonetheless.

 

 

 

 

 

Art of Hearing

A beautiful multigenerational love story in which the consequences of choices and the inevitability of destiny intersect. This was a book that stayed with me for several days after I put it down.

 

 

 

 

 

Road to Character

Another book club pick, this non-fiction title examines the development of character by examining the lives and choices of several exemplary human beings who’ve made a difference in the world.

 

 

 

 

Secret Keeper

How did I not know about Kate Morton until recently? Slipped under my radar. But now I’m reading everything she’s written so far. Intriguing mystery with a twist that keeps you reading and guessing.

 

 

 

 

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New Adult Romance is a new genre for me and I’m loving it when it’s this well done. Makes me yearn for those college days when the future seemed within easy reach and full of possibilities. Not that it didn’t have its drama!

 

 

 

 

Maybe a Fox

Absolutely stunning middle reader penned by two friends about the bonds of love that endure beyond this world and in mysterious ways.

 

 

 

 

Miller's Valley

Anna Quindlen is one of my favorite authors because of her powers of observation and her ability to write characters of depth. This is a character-driven coming-of- age story with a satisfying ending.

 

 

 

 

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A middle reader from another favorite children’s author, this is a semi-biographical story of an unlikely friendship among three girls, each dealing with their own struggle.

 

 

 

 

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Excellent story with memorable characters, and about an aspect of WWII that I haven’t read much about; the aftermath of the atomic bombs told from the perspective of those who survived.

 

 

 

 

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For obvious reasons (see inaugural post!) I’m interested in learning more about cultivating creativity in middle age. Interestingly, this book was just released and I unknowingly titled my first post with a portion of this book title! Weird.

 

 

 

 

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Again, I ordered this to gain insight and information about this new endeavor and where it could lead. Read in small segments so I didn’t become overwhelmed with to-dos! Will be returning to it again and again.

 

 

 

 

Secret-Chord

I love books about biblical characters, and this one is about King David. Chosen by my book club, and written by a favorite author. I read it with my bible nearby to compare scripture with Brooks’ interpretation. Lots to discuss when my book club meets!

 

 

 

 

This father-daughter story recounts their life together during “The Streak” – consecutive nights when the father read aloud to his daughter for at least fifteen minutes before midnight. If you have kids and love to read, you can’t help but think “why didn’t I think of that?” At least I did!

 

 

 

 

Brain

Chosen to fulfill a continuing education requirement for my job, this was an interesting look at the neuroscience behind emotion. Since feelings are subjective and hard to measure, the experimental designs were intriguing. Also gave a framework for understanding emotional style by analyzing characteristics along a continuum.

 

 

 

 

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I chose this memoir after visiting the author’s blog. I resonated with the author’s experiences of divorce, remarriage, blended families, and achieving work-life balance. The author also wrote about her struggle with cancer and the unexpected adoption of three young children. Her writing is beautiful and she wrestles with her faith with honesty and vulnerability.

 

 

 

 

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Some good, biblically referenced information about the power of words and how to best use them. Helpful suggestions and guidelines, especially for those of us who are “talkers”!

 

 

 

 

Fabulous characters and real teenage struggle in the often unforgiving world of high school. YA but with strong crossover appeal to adults given the strong writing and honest portrayal of a time in our lives most remember well.

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