Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Friday, March 30, 2018

5 Books I Want to Read: Girls

I keep a wish list on Goodreads called "want to read". Currently, it's up to 3050. It's definitely time for a purge, but I just keep adding more and more books to it.

I also have several stacks of books tucked against walls throughout my house. Each is probably at least 3 feet high of books I haven't read yet. I periodically go through my list and purge it, but it still is not slowing down. Nor are the books that keep appearing on my Kindle. They're all still on my wish list, I just haven't gotten to them yet.

Each month I highlight 5 books I want to read. I don't set out to plan themes, but somehow patterns creep into my viewing.

I am a woman. I believe in the strength of women. I have three sisters, all of whom are amazing, strong and resilient women. We were raised by a strong mother, as well as a father who believed that we could do and be anything we wanted. Together, they raised us to be independent and educated and responsible for our own happiness and success.

I love stories about sisters and girlfriends. I relish books about strong women. Stories of women and their resilience during hard times. Stories about women and their accomplishments in this world. I really like books that show girls of all ages that they can do and be anything they want. So, this month my list ended up being all about Girls.

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Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this debut novel reveals a story of love, redemption, and secrets that were hidden for decades.

New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.

The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall


In 1949, dutiful and ambitious Charlotte's dream of a career in advertising is shattered when her father demands she help out with the family business. Meanwhile, Charlotte is swept into the glamorous world of the Miss Subways beauty contest, which promises irresistible opportunities with its Park Avenue luster and local fame status. But when her new friend—the intriguing and gorgeous fellow-participant Rose—does something unforgivable, Charlotte must make a heart-wrenching decision that will change the lives of those around her forever.

Nearly 70 years later, outspoken advertising executive Olivia is pitching the NYC subways account in a last ditch effort to save her job at an advertising agency. When the charismatic boss she’s secretly in love with pits her against her misogynistic nemesis, Olivia’s urgent search for the winning strategy leads her to the historic Miss Subways campaign. As the pitch date closes in on her, Olivia finds herself dealing with a broken heart, an unlikely new love interest, and an unexpected personal connection to Miss Subways that could save her job—and her future.

The Subway Girls is the charming story of two strong women, a generation apart, who find themselves up against the same eternal struggle to find an impossible balance between love, happiness, and ambition.

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore

The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger

The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives...

The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan


Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural, and societal change, The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of "civilized society." In the end, each will come to realize that her salvation, if not survival, lies with the other.

1878 Paris. Following their father's sudden death, the van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where for a scant seventeen francs a week, she will be trained to enter the famous ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola's naturalist masterpiece L'Assommoir.

Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modeling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. There she meets a wealthy male patron of the ballet, but might the assistance he offers come with strings attached? Meanwhile Antoinette, derailed by her love for the dangerous Émile Abadie, must choose between honest labor and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde.

Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural, and societal change, The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of "civilized society." In the end, each will come to realize that her salvation, if not survival, lies with the other.

Modern Girls by Jennifer S. Brown

In 1935, Dottie Krasinsky is the epitome of the modern girl. A bookkeeper in Midtown Manhattan, Dottie steals kisses from her steady beau, meets her girlfriends for drinks, and eyes the latest fashions. Yet at heart, she is a dutiful daughter, living with her Yiddish-speaking parents on the Lower East Side. So when, after a single careless night, she finds herself in a family way by a charismatic but unsuitable man, she is desperate: unwed, unsure, and running out of options.

After the birth of five children—and twenty years as a housewife—Dottie’s immigrant mother, Rose, is itching to return to the social activism she embraced as a young woman. With strikes and breadlines at home and National Socialism rising in Europe, there is much more important work to do than cooking and cleaning. So when she realizes that she, too, is pregnant, she struggles to reconcile her longings with her faith.

As mother and daughter wrestle with unthinkable choices, they are forced to confront their beliefs, the changing world, and the fact that their lives will never again be the same…

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What about you? What books are on your "want to read/wish" list?

5 Books I want to Read is a monthly meme started by Stephanie at Layered Pages. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their wish lists look like, you can do that here: A Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesThe Maiden's CourtFlashlight Commentary and A Literary Vacation.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

#CoverCrush: chemistry lessons


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


How could you not like this cover? The colors are bright and vivid. The heart-shaped drops splashing into the pink liquid. The faded elemental table. I think it's a YA-themed novel, but I have no idea what it is about. I could theorize that it's likely a romance, probably between some science-loving teens? Who knows. I'd pick it up simply because of this cover. So clever.

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's CourtFlashlight CommentaryA Bookaholic SwedeLayered Pages, A Literary Vacation, Of Quills and Vellum.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Weekend Reflections 3/24

Looking outside...it's clear and currently 45. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. It feels warm. We had a lot of rain this week.

Listening...to The Artist and a friend watching Pacific Rim before The Doctor takes them to see Pacfic Rim Uprising later this afternoon.

Loving...listening to the laughter and conversation in my living room right now.

Thinking...that I need to transfer some laundry over.

In my kitchen...Crio Bru. We're grilling for dinner tonight.

Wearing...black and white striped skirt, lime green t-shirt, bare feet.

Reading...I'm still working on Daughters of the Night Sky by Aimie Runyan.

Today...there are marches going on all over this great country. We are fortunate that we have the right to express ourselves and I'm grateful to see that, for the most part, they have been peaceful. I wish that we could have actual, honest discussions about how to go about changing things so that everyone is content, instead of talking over each other. Maybe that will come.

Quoting...“If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary - the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.” ― R.J. Palacio, Wonder

Feeling...tired, but then I'm always tired. 

I've seen some author posts over the past couple of months that have left me thoughtful. Not that my opinion matters or that anyone really reads these reflections. I've seen several posts where authors lament the fact that people don't buy their ebooks because readers think ebooks shouldn't cost as much as print books do. The posts go on to talk about how authors deserve to be paid for their work or break down how much it costs them per hour to write or the publishing percentages, etc. That they don't get rich from writing and they really don't get rich from writing if people don't buy their books. 

I read another post this week lamenting that people don't review books when they read them and how unfair that is to authors.

I can see their points, but these posts border on extremely entitled and even petulant. Yes, reviews are important to you and probably to your publisher. Yes, everyone wants to get kudos and hear that what they have written is amazing. But, to expect that the people who read your book will review it is unrealistic. Especially because the average reader isn't always aware that they can review books. Most just read because they like to read. You might not want to admit it, but most readers aren't thinking about you as a person either. You're a name on a book. And if they like your book, they might buy more. They are not thinking that it's their responsibility to get the word out that you even have a book out there. They just want to read. Be glad they want to read. And if they happen to leave a positive review some place? Be grateful.

It might also be time to do some actual educating instead of complaining. In your author's notes at the end of your book? Put something in there that reminds the reader that if they enjoyed the book, you'd love it if they left a review on Goodreads or Amazon or whatever site is your favorite. In your social media posts, do some kind educating to remind readers that they can leave reviews. Don't demand them and criticize and complain that they're not being left.

To expect and even demand that people review or buy your books is incredibly entitled. We have libraries for a reason. And people who purchase print books and balk at paying the same price for an ebook? That is called reality. A print book you can hold. It's tangible. It is actually your possession. And best of all? You can share it with other people. Which really does benefit authors because word of mouth is huge. An ebook? No matter how well written it is, an ebook is a glorified PDF document. It is not your actual possession no matter how much you paid for it, because it is at the mercy of The Cloud. And? You can't share them. With few exceptions, you can't let someone else borrow it and share the joy of reading. So yes, there are many of us who have a limit as to what we will spend on an ebook, since most of us aren't financially well off either. Because of that? Some of us don't go to the theater every time a new film is released, but we'll buy it on Blu-Ray or DVD or even digital download. Not all of us see it in the theater AND buy our own copy.  

And while you may lament that you can't make a living simply from your writing, the rest of us lament that we often can't make a living by what we do either. We're not deliberately refusing to buy your books. Many of us don't have the extra money to buy books or go to the theater either. Stop making it about you. As with reviewing, most readers aren't thinking of you as a person. They are not thinking, "Wow, I'd better buy this book so that the author can make some money." They're thinking, "This book looks interesting. I wonder if I can afford it this week? Maybe my library has it."

When I see these kinds of posts whether on blogs or Facebook, I take note. My fellow bloggers take note. Whiny, petulant authors don't go on my reading list. Authors who complain that people don't buy their books, don't go on my reading list. Just like authors who complain about negative reviews or criticize and go after reviewers who don't like their books don't go on my reading list. Entitlement pisses me off.

We as readers are grateful for all of those who write. Who take their time and talents to create something we can enjoy. When we can, we purchase your books. When we can't, we borrow them from someone who has or we get them from our libraries. But we read them. And we remember that we liked them and so when a new one comes out, maybe we can buy that one. Or maybe we'll remember that the author of that book pitched a fit and complained about the readers who didn't buy it last time.

Planning...this next week. It's Spring Break.

Gratitude...for the sunshine today. That my family is all together this afternoon. That The Artist's friend fits in well with us. That the Doctor is an awesome father and willing to take them to see the movie this afternoon.

From my world... 



Cookie Butter. Oh. My. Goodness. Whoever invented this and said, "Hey, lets take those yummy Biscoff cookies and mix them up and make them into butter." You? You are my favorite person this week. Seriously. 

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Thursday, March 22, 2018

#CoverCrush: the recipe box


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


I have a box of recipes. I have cookbooks and folders on my computer full of recipes. But, the ones that are tried and true; the ones I go back to time and time again, are in a recipe box that sits on a baker's rack in my kitchen. 

I loved the title of the book and the cover is just gorgeous and something I can totally relate to as someone who loves to cook and bake. Looking out the kitchen window, you can spy two people. Who are they? Did one of them leave the kitchen to walk outside? What is their story?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's CourtFlashlight CommentaryA Bookaholic Swede, Layered PagesA Literary Vacation.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

#CoverCrush: The Hundred Gifts


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


I love stacked packages about as much as I love stacked tea cups. And these are wrapped in brown string. How charming is that? The colors are muted but happy and there are flowers in the background. What are the gifts? Are they tangible gifts you could unwrap or are they gifts from the heart? What is the story?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's CourtFlashlight CommentaryA Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesA Literary Vacation, Of Quills and Vellum.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Daughters of the Night Sky...Spotlight

About the book:
A novel—inspired by the most celebrated regiment in the Red Army—about a woman’s sacrifice, courage, and love in a time of war.

Russia, 1941. Katya Ivanova is a young pilot in a far-flung military academy in the Ural Mountains. From childhood, she’s dreamed of taking to the skies to escape her bleak mountain life. With the Nazis on the march across Europe, she is called on to use her wings to serve her country in its darkest hour. Not even the entreaties of her new husband—a sensitive artist who fears for her safety—can dissuade her from doing her part as a proud daughter of Russia.

After years of arduous training, Katya is assigned to the 588th Night Bomber Regiment—one of the only Soviet air units comprised entirely of women. The Germans quickly learn to fear nocturnal raids by the daring fliers they call “Night Witches.” But the brutal campaign will exact a bitter toll on Katya and her sisters-in-arms. When the smoke of war clears, nothing will ever be the same—and one of Russia’s most decorated military heroines will face the most agonizing choice of all.

About the author:
Aimie K. Runyan writes to celebrate history’s unsung heroines. She is the author of two previous historical novels: Promised to the Crown and Duty to the Crown, and hard at work on novel #4. She is active as an educator and a speaker in the writing community and beyond. She lives in Colorado with her wonderful husband and two (usually) adorable children. To learn more about Aimie and her work, please visit her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks to Novel Expressions for the opportunity to spotlight this novel. Look for my review later this week.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Weekend Reflections 3/10

Looking outside...it's sunny and about 52. It's gorgeous and warm with a clear blue sky.

Listening...to the distiller. The Artist is on his computer. The Boy and the Doctor are working on the car.

Loving...blue sky and sunshine.

Thinking...that I need to transfer laundry.

In my kitchen...Chick-Fil-A at the moment, because The Boy and I had to go out to Harbor Freight to get a tool needed to fix the car. 

Can I just say how much I hate the smell of Harbor Freight? It's the same smell as in the tire place and it makes me nauseous. The Boy could have stayed all day. I don't get it.

Wearing...denim skirt, short sleeved white t-shirt and green cardigan, but I was too warm with the cardigan, so I took it off.

Reading...I need to finish Daughters of the Night Sky by Aimie Runyan for a post that will go up on Monday.

Today...this is The Artist's final play performance. So we are all going.

Quoting..."Amazing things happen when women help other women." -- Kasia Gospos 

Feeling...thoughtful. I saw an article yesterday about a young woman at BYU who had an assignment to do a guerrilla art project (public) and chose to do something that highlighted the fact that women are underrepresented on the BYU campus (for example, of 110 buildings, only 3 are named after women). The one statue that features a woman, is part of a family unit with a father and child.

I found her project fantastic and her comments thoughtful. The goal was to get people to ask questions and boy did they. But more than that, many were vitriolic and critical and assuming that she was criticizing motherhood, because the sign on the statue said, "women are more than mothers". Other signs said, "Where is the building named after me?"

In an interview, this girl dared to say, "'When you are acknowledging that women do other things aside from motherhood, you're not degrading motherhood. You're saying women can be more than one thing. They can wear many hats,' said Adams." I absolutely agree with her statement.

But like we tend to do in the church, we get judgmental and defensive. And so, in comments on FB, she was being criticized and lectured about the important role that mothers play. A role that she never put down or disagreed with.

No where in this girl's statements or signs did she put down any woman or any role taken by a woman. She just pointed out that women have not been recognized for the influence they have had on BYU, where so many men had. She pointed out that women are accomplished and deserve recognition. She didn't leave out the women who stay home to raise their children.

Why is it that if a woman has a career in addition to being a mother, she is looked at as not being a good mother, by people in the church? Why is it that if a woman has only ever been a mother who stays home, she is often defensive about her role?

I don't get it. Truly, I don't. Women being recognized or acknowledged takes nothing away from motherhood. We can have more than one role or title. One woman's accomplishments don't diminish another's. A woman who has been a stay at home mom for 30 years is no less than the woman who has had a business career for 30 years.

I am so tired of the whole right and wrong thing. There is no true right or wrong in politics. There are differences of belief and opinion. There is no right or wrong in what role a woman takes in life. I have had a career. I have been a stay at home mom. I have worked outside my home and sent my kids to daycare. I've been there for all of it. I don't look at any one of those seasons as better than the others. I certainly don't think I am better than someone who has had different experiences than mine.

Why are we threatened by outspoken women? Especially from a religious standpoint? Seriously? Why? I see it at church so often. With too many men in leadership, they just want you to do your jobs and not rock any boats. Others might ask for your opinion, but what they really want is for you to just agree with them. They don't know how to take a woman who is assertive and not afraid to speak up for herself or her organization. Other men get it and I have appreciated the times I have worked with those men and was never made to feel less or that I should keep silent.

And then, we have the catfighting. The mom wars that cross all lines, religious or otherwise. We are patronizing to the woman who isn't married, or who can't have children. We judge the woman who works outside her home and feel so superior because we stay at home with our children and are raising better children than she is. We work outside our homes and feel so much more enlightened than the poor woman who has never gotten her education or had a job.

We are women. We are women who are marching against misogyny and who are standing up to sexual harassment, but who can't find it in ourselves to support each other in the day to day.

Seriously. Get off your high horses. You're going to fall off at some point anyway. You're no better than I am and I'm no better than you are. We just live different lives and have different views. You're not wrong and I'm not wrong. But, we are women. We need to support each other instead of judging. We need to look at a situation and say, "Hmmm. Interesting. I'm not sure I completely agree with that statement, but IT'S NOT A JUDGMENT AGAINST ME, it's just someone else's opinion" and leave it.

I am so grateful to have been raised by parents who taught me that I could be and do anything I wanted. That I was responsible for my own happiness. My father raised me and my sisters to be independent. He encouraged and supported my mother in her endeavors and choices. I married a man who is the same way. Who treats me as his equal, his partner. Who encourages me and finds joy in my accomplishments and successes and doesn't feel threatened because of them. I find joy in motherhood. I find joy in womanhood. I find joy in working with my husband to build our practice and I find joy in being with my children. I found joy in my life when I was single and nearly 30 and not sure that I would ever marry.

I have struggled with jealousy. I think we all do. I have struggled with my own self-worth. I think we all do. I struggle daily with comparing myself to others and believing I come up short. I am working on all of these things. I am also trying to be better at showing happiness and enthusiasm for the successes of the women around me. I am working at being supportive and encouraging when I can and helpful if necessary.

It was International Woman's Day this week. There is so much out there about awareness and recognizing women. How about we start right where we are? Are you on Facebook or sitting in front of a keyboard? Drop a comment of encouragement to another woman. Give a kudos or a congratulations if someone has something to celebrate or has accomplished? Ignore a post that might make you feel threatened. I guarantee that it is not directed at you.

Be these women, all of whom were sitting in LAX waiting for a plane. And instead of judging a young mother, they all helped her. As the author of the post said, "It occurred to me that a circle of women, with a mission, can save the world. I will never forget that moment." Let your mission be to help and encourage other women. It's going to be mine.

Be kind. Do good. Love is a verb.

Planning...this week. I get to have the delightful opportunity for a colonoscopy. Not looking forward to it, honestly.

Gratitude...for a father who wasn't afraid of strong women, who recognized their strength and contributions to the world. For my husband, who thinks I'm better than I do and who appreciates my strengths instead of being threatened by then.

From my world... 


My favorite way to use essential oils is by roller bottle. I had a mess of roller bottles floating around my purse and I found this awesome case. It holds 12 and is small enough to fit in my purse. Is it the cutest?

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

#CoverCrush: Recipe for a Happy Life


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


A starfish, coral and a book. The perfect day at the beach or the perfect memory. If the ocean is included in some format, then it is a happy life indeed. Who is searching for a happy life? What is their story?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's CourtFlashlight CommentaryA Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesA Literary Vacation, Of Quills and Vellum.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Books I Have Forgotten

Each month I revisit some of my past reviews. One of the reasons I started this book blog was to remember what books I have read. My memory isn't the greatest anymore and I found that I would read a book and then not remember if I liked it or what it was even about.

Maybe one of these will prompt you to seek out an older, but amazing book. Or, if you've read one of these and your review was different, please share!

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The Sweetest Thing by Elizabeth Musser
4/5 Stars
6/2011

"This is a compelling, rich novel. The secondary characters add as much color and richness to the story as the primary ones. With the alternating first-person perspectives of Dobbs and Perri we learn about friendship and love; misunderstandings and making up; and loss and grief and anger. Most importantly, we learn how life changing a bosom friendship can be.

This is a beautiful story for anyone who values friendship. "

I wish I remembered more about this one.


Spring for Susannah 
by Catherine Richmond
6/2011
3/5 Stars

"I've seen all kinds of rave reviews about Spring for Susannah and I had terrific hopes for it. This is not quite your typical mail-order bride scenario. Shy Susannah isn't sure what to expect when she accepts the offer to marry Jesse Mason and join him in Dakota territory. Raised to believe a woman should keep her thoughts and opinions to herself, she is unprepared to fall in love with a man who encourages her to be strong and to think for herself. Through trials and tragedies Susannah begins to blossom and it's wonderful to see her become a strong, independent woman.

I thought it refreshing that the story had a more intimate, romantic element that isn't usually found in historical Christian novels. There was nothing overtly graphic or inappropriate, but there is clear indication that Jesse and Susannah are a married couple who are attracted to each other and who enjoy marital relations.

I did struggle with the story when Jesse suddenly leaves in search of work. Susannah comes into her own but the story kinds of shuffles along and I found the ending somewhat abrupt. Still, overall, an enjoyable, easy read and a good debut novel from an author who I think will only get better."

I have no memory of this one.


A Lancaster County Christmas by Susanne Woods Fisher
9/2011
3/5 Stars

"A sweet Christmas novella set in Amish country and I enjoyed learning more about Sol and Mattie Riehl, characters from her Lancaster County Secrets series. Mattie adores her son, but longs for a houseful of children. Jaime longs for a photography career while her husband is happy as a small town teacher. A winter storm brings Jaime and her husband to Mattie and Sol's for Christmas. While the two couples come from very different worlds, they find that there are always lessons to be learned from one another.

I've enjoyed everything I've read by Suzanne Woods Fisher and I had high hopes for this novel as well. Unfortunately, I didn't like Jaime at all. I found her to be a whiny, selfish girl and even when she comes to the predictable epiphany and realizes that her selfish behavior is driving away her husband, I still didn't like her. I did enjoy the interactions between the two couples, one being very Amish and the other very English. Thoughtful conversations and understandings occur as Mattie and Jaime, especially, learn life lessons from each other. "

Bummer that I didn't like this one. No memory of it either.

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What about you? What are some of the books you've read in previous years?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

#CoverCrush: The Sweetness of Forgetting


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


This is gorgeous. A pink and purple sunset. A table, set next to a lake. Soft lights, warm air. A perfect evening supper. Where is this? For whom is this table set? Who will sit down and enjoy a pleasant repast? What is their story?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's CourtFlashlight CommentaryA Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesA Literary Vacation, Of Quills & Vellum.