Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

From Amazon: "A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years: his wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and his prized possession--a rare edition of Poe poems--has been stolen. Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly. Until a most unexpected occurrence gives him the chance to make his life over and see things anew.  

Gabrielle Zevin’s enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books--an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love."

Yo! Adrienne says: This book had me heading constantly looking up books that were referenced within the book itself; some were fictious but many were not and subsequently added to my "list". Definitely a quirky and interesting read. I say go for it.

One Plus One

From Amazon: "Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight in shining armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever. One Plus One is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again."

Yo! Adrienne says: Hands down one of my favorite authors. So did I like the book? Um. Yeah. Couldn't help but love Jess and slowly but surely come to fall for Ed too. I really enjoy how Moyes wraps up a book - it's never as I suspect. Another home run. Excellent summer (or anytime read).

From Amazon: "What happens to children who are robbed of family? Myrtle Rowley's first three children grew up without any knowledge of their mother after Myrtle was forced to give them up when they were still toddlers. Not only were the children deprived of contact with their mother, they also grew up devoid of any knowledge of each other after being placed in separate facilities. In this sequel to Whisper My Secret, award winning writer JB Rowley explores what happened to the three half-siblings she never knew. As one of the children of Myrtle’s second family, JB also offers a personal view of a mother making a new life without her first family. Although the devastating loss of her first three children remained with her, Myrtle became a caring and committed mother of seven more children living in near isolation in the Australian bush. This mother’s strength of character is matched in her first three children who survived and thrived despite being cheated of the nurturing that should have been their birthright. Their stories are sad, sometimes heartbreaking but ultimately courageous and inspiring."

Yo! Adrienne says: If you enjoy reading about real life struggles that women faced shortly after the turn of the 20th century then you will certainly find this a page turner. Whisper My Secret is the loose history of Myrtle Rowley's early life that her daughter, JB Rowley, pieced together after her mother's death. After publishing her mothers story, many inquired about Mytrtle's "second family", thus Mother of Ten. I was shocked for many reasons - the lack of support, the calculated loss of her children, and what life was like in the outback (I would never have survived!). I would not call this a light summer read but a good look at another's life struggles and triumph over adversity. The review from Amazon is from Mother of Ten.

Hinds Feet on High Places

From Amazon: "Much-Afraid had been in the service of the Chief Shepherd, whose great flocks were pastured down in the Valley of Humiliation. She lived with her friends and fellow workers Mercy and Peace in a tranquil little white cottage in the village of Much-Trembling. She loved her work and desired intensely to please the Chief Shepherd, but happy as she was in most ways, she was conscious of several things which hindered her in her work and caused her much secret distress and shame. Here is the allegorical tale of Much-Afraid, an every-woman searching for guidance from God to lead her to a higher place."

Yo Adrienne says: This was another of one of my book club reads. I was hesitant at first because of the allegory (I'm not very deep) but quickly found myself immersed. I did read this in small chunks (remember, I'm not very deep). This book is a beautiful reminder that our Father meets us wherever we are (rock bottom) and will guide us to high places.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

From Amazon: "1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.

At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.

An emotionally charged coming-of-age novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again."

Yo! Adrienne says: Wow. I loved this book. I read it over spring break and really could not put my kindle down. I even read in the car (I get motion sick but it was worth it). My library had an electronic version. Anyway you can get it do so. This is such a tender coming of age book. I could relate a bit to June - I was 14 in 1987 and remember many a health class addressing this "mysterious illness". Growing up in a smallish southern city I was a bit more sheltered than June but still could throw myself back to my early teen self. I think you will really enjoy this one.

From Amazon: "It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest."

Yo! Adrienne says: Goodness. The determination and obstacles that these young men had and endured just blows me away. Their maturity is hard for me to grasp. I just don't see 19 & 20 year olds with this kind of drive and direction these days. Do I sound old? I'm approaching 43 quickly and have finally strarted to put a demi-glaze in my hair (but not covering all the gray - I kinda like it - just don't want to look like my children's favorite great aunt) - does that make me an autority of the demise of our young people and breakdown in society? Probably not. But it's hard not to compare when you read this. I really enjoyed how the author focuses mainly on one character, Joe Rantz, but introduces you to many of the heros of that time. Yes, I said heros. These young men dug deep and gave much blood, sweat, and tears to their team, school, and country. This is definitely a favorite of mine. I plan to hang on to my copy for my sons to read when they are a bit older. It's a keeper.

From Amazon: "Gods and Kings is the story of King Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David. When his evil father plots to sacrifice him, Hezekiah's mother, Abijah, searches frantically for a way to save him. But only two men can help her, and neither of them seems trustworthy. In a time and place engulfed by violence, treachery, and infidelity to Yahweh, Abijah and her son must discover the one true Source of strength if they are to save themselves and their country. Book 1 of Chronicles of the Kings."

Yo! Adrienne says: There are 5 books in this series and I really love how the author brings the old testament to life. Those that are mentioned in the Bible were real people - I often forget that. They lived, loved, lost - just in a different environment than us. I would recommend this series (which I am working my way through) to anyone who wants the equivalent of a historical fiction to use as an aid to help them dig deeper in understand the OT.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

Happy TTPT.

On a Wednesday.

Sometimes that's just how we roll.

So sometime ago I read Wonder and *loved it*. It is such a beautiful book. I tried to search my blog for my original review but go sidetracked by this post. Oh that was ages ago ... I'm feeling a bit sentimental. Best get on the to the reviews lest I wipe out a box of kleenex!

The Julian Chapter was such an exciting find - it's an extension of Wonder and is from the perspective of Julian (the bully). You do need to read Wonder first in order to really 'get' Julian and to follow along. I love how the author decided to dig a bit deeper with this short story. It's so fascinating to remember that we all have a story that includes (as they say) good, bad, and ugly.

From Amazon: "Over 1 million people have read Wonder and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. Now readers will have a chance to hear from the book's most controversial character—Julian. 

From the very first day Auggie and Julian met in the pages of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wonder,it was clear they were never going to be friends, with Julian treating Auggie like he had the plague. And while Wonder told Auggie's story through six different viewpoints, Julian's perspective was never shared. Readers could only guess what he was thinking.
Until now. The Julian Chapter will finally reveal the bully's side of the story. Why is Julian so unkind to Auggie? And does he have a chance for redemption?"

Yo! Adrienne says: You don't want to miss these two books. Definitely a good summer read.

I think Jojo Moyes has become one of my favorite authors. No. She has become one of my favorites. The Ship of Brides is right on up there with all her other books - delicious. If you've been around here long enough you know I love WWII books. Well. I've got another for ya.

From Amazon: "1946. World War II has ended and all over the world, young women are beginning to fulfill the promises made to the men they wed in wartime. In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other war brides on an extraordinary voyage to England—aboard HMS Victoria, which still carries not just arms and aircraft but a thousand naval officers. Rules are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier’s captain down to the lowliest young deckhand. But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined despite the Navy’s ironclad sanctions. And for Frances Mackenzie, the complicated young woman whose past comes back to haunt her far from home, the journey will change her life in ways she never could have predicted—forever."

Yo! Adrienne says: Who knew this was happening?! I sure didn't know. This story was based on stories from actual war brides who crossed the ocean and shared their adventure. How far would you travel for love? If it was for my Rocky - to infinity and beyond ;-)

My book club read A Million Little Ways. Sadly I had a sick kiddo and couldn't make the  meeting but I did read the book.

From Amazon: "Do you desperately fear you have nothing to offer the world but secretly hope you're wrong? You were born to make art. You were made to live art. You might not see yourself as an artist, but you are--in so many unexpected ways. In what you create, whether poetry or pie, sculpture or sand castle, calligraphy or conversation. It's time to uncover the shape of your soul, turn down the voice of the inner critic, and move into the world with the courage to be who you most deeply are. 
Creating a life of meaning is not about finding that one great thing you were made to do, it's about knowing the one great God you were made to glorify--in a million little ways."

Yo! Adrienne says: At first I was a bit turned off when I read the title ... art? I'm not an artist. But then I jumped in and was pleasantly surprised. Art isn't just a drawing, painting, jewelry making ... and the list goes on. It's about tapping into your own gifts that our Creator has given us. Do you like to tell jokes? Bake cookies? Give hugs? We all have talents that bless others and in turn bless us. Take some time to read this book and begin discovering the million little ways that you have been made in His image.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Sorry folks.

Between Busch Garden field trips (that's educational right?), violin solos, end of the year picnics and tours of new schools I am a bit behind. You should see my house ...

Turn the page ... Tuesday should be up and running ... Wednesday.

I've have managed time to read (go me) and can't wait to share.

Monday, May 11, 2015


How did that happen? 

He's eleven. 

And that makes me ... lets not go there yet k?

And that handsome kitty - he's seventeen. 

Oh boy oh boy. My fellas are getting on up there. 

Anybody know how to hit pause? 

I kinda like right where we are thank you very much. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

From Amazon: "Brilliantly evoking the long-vanished world of masters and servants portrayed in Downton Abbeyand Upstairs, Downstairs, Margaret Powell’s classic memoir of her time in service, Below Stairs,is the remarkable true story of an indomitable woman who, though she served in the great houses of England, never stopped aiming high. Powell first arrived at the servants' entrance of one of those great houses in the 1920s.  As a kitchen maid – the lowest of the low – she entered an entirely new world; one of stoves to be blacked, vegetables to be scrubbed, mistresses to be appeased, and bootlaces to be ironed. Work started at 5.30am and went on until after dark. It was a far cry from her childhood on the beaches of Hove, where money and food were scarce, but warmth and laughter never were. Yet from the gentleman with a penchant for stroking the housemaids’ curlers, to raucous tea-dances with errand boys, to the heartbreaking story of Agnes the pregnant under-parlormaid, fired for being seduced by her mistress’s nephew, Margaret’s tales of her time in service are told with wit, warmth, and a sharp eye for the prejudices of her situation. Margaret Powell's true story of a life spent in service is a fascinating “downstairs” portrait of the glittering, long-gone worlds behind the closed doors of Downton Abbey and 165 Eaton Place."

Yo! Adrienne says: I have just begun watching Downton Abbey. I know. I am sooo behind. It's my reward for getting on the treadmill when I can't get outside and run. I just push my treadmill right up to the TV and stream an episode. It's beautiful. I actually read this book long before I began streaming DA but it was with the anticipation that I would someday actually begin the series. I really enjoyed Below Stairs and quite frankly can't imagine living the DA life or of those in this book. 

From Amazon: "I wonder this: If you take a woman and push her to the edge, how will she behave?" The question is posed by Jean, a photographer, who arrives on Smuttynose Island, off the coast of New Hampshire, to research a century-old crime. As she immerses herself in the details of the case--an outburst of passion that resulted in the deaths of two women--Jean herself enters precarious emotional territory. The suspicion that her husband is having an affair burgeons into jealousy and distrust, and ultimately propels Jean to the verge of actions she had not known herself capable of--actions with horrific consequences. Everywhere hailed for its beauty and power, The Weight of Water takes us on an unforgettable journey through the furthest extremes of emotion."

Yo! Adrienne: I"m a big Anita Shreve fan. I've read quite a few books of hers. The Weight of Water completely shocked me at the end. I did not see it coming. Any book like that gets a two thumbs up from me even if the ending made my heart ache and tears fill my eyes.

From Amazon: "All roads lead to home. It’s easy to go through life believing that we can satisfy our longing for home with a three-bedroom, two-bath slice of the American dream that we mortgage at 4 percent and pay for over the course of thirty years. But ultimately, in our deepest places, we’re really looking to belong and to be known. And what we sometimes miss in our search for the perfect spot to set up camp is that wherever we are on the long and winding road of life, God is at work in the journey, teaching us, shaping us, and refining us―sometimes through the most unlikely people and circumstances. In Home Is Where My People Are, Sophie Hudson takes readers on a delightfully quirky journey through the South, introducing them to an unforgettable cast of characters, places, and experiences. Along the way, she reflects on how God has used each of the stops along the road to impart timeless spiritual wisdom and truth. Nobody embodies the South like Sophie Hudson, and this nostalgic celebration of home is sure to make even those north of the Mason-Dixon line long to settle in on the front porch with a glass of sweet tea and reflect on all of the people in our lives who―related or not―have come to represent home. Because at the end of the day, it’s not the address on the front door or even the name on the mailbox that says home, but the people who live and laugh and love there, wherever there might happen to be."

Yo! Adrienne: Ya'll. I wish Sophie Hudson was my neighbor. She is so funny. I love her blog and her first book so when this one came out I had to read it right away. You will want to read this too. Don't wait.

From Amazon: "According to Pastor Mark Batterson in his book, The Circle Maker, “Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It’s a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us.” Do you ever sense that there’s far more to prayer, and to God’s vision for your life, than what you’re experiencing? It’s time you learned from the legend of Honi the Circle Maker―a man bold enough to draw a circle in the sand and not budge from inside it until God answered his prayers for his people. What impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around? Sharing inspiring stories from his own experiences as a circle maker, Mark Batterson will help you uncover your heart’s deepest desires and God-given dreams and unleash them through the kind of audacious prayer that God delights to answer."

Yo! Adrienne says: My neighbor lent me this book and it sat on my shelf for embarrassingly too long. Then one day I just decided it was time to read it. I really am in awe of what Mark Batterson has been able to do (Lord willing) in his community and how his church had grown. His writing is real (it's not all roses) and he is not afraid to share his doubts, lack of faith at times, and questioning of God's plan. He also does an amazing job of giving us insight into his prayer life and how that impacted his family and ministry. It's definitely a good read if you want to grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

Oh my. I have no idea why this took me so long to read The Language of Flowers. Sara told me to read it. So I did.

Amazon says: "The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness." 

Yo! Adrienne Says: Listen to Sara. Listen to me. If you haven't read it. Read it. ASAP. Wring your heart out good. 'Nuf said.

I {heart} Susanna Kearsley. I haven't read a book of hers that I haven't like. The Shadowy Horses didn't disappoint. 

From Amazon: "Archaeologist Verity Grey has been drawn to the dark legends of the Scottish Borderlands in search of the truth buried in a rocky field by the sea.
Her eccentric boss has spent his whole life searching for the resting place of the lost Ninth Roman Legion and is convinced he's finally found it—not because of any scientific evidence, but because a local boy has "seen" a Roman soldier walking in the fields, a ghostly sentinel who guards the bodies of his long-dead comrades.
Here on the windswept shores, Verity may find the answer to one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time. Or she may uncover secrets someone buried for a reason."

Yo! Adrienne says: If you are a sucker for historical fiction then any Susanna Kearlsey book is for you. The Shadowy Horses is a great place to start with this author (or any of her amazing books).

So I was lucky enough to haven another "girls weekend" with my sorority sisters and Carry on  Warrior came up. Turns out that one of my "sisters" had read the book and another had gone to high school with the author and her husband. 

It's ok - you can sing it.

"It's a small world after all ..."

Anywho - here's what Amazon has to say: "The inspiring and hilarious instant New York Times bestseller from the beloved parenting expert, public speaker, and founder of Momastery.com whose writing "is like a warm embrace" (FamilyCircle.com).

Glennon Doyle Melton’s hilarious and poignant reflections on our universal (yet often secret) experiences have inspired a social movement by reminding women that they’re not alone. In Carry On, Warrior, she shares her personal story in moving, refreshing, and laugh-out-loud-funny new essays and some of the best-loved material from Momastery.com. Her writing invites us to believe in ourselves, to be brave and kind, to let go of the idea of perfection, and to stop making motherhood, marriage, and friendship harder by pretending they’re not hard. In this one woman’s trying to love herself and others, readers will find a wise and witty friend who shows that we can build better lives in our hearts, homes, and communities."

Yo! Adrienne says: Goodness. Glennon is not afraid to share her heart. Life is 'brutiful" (brutal and beautiful). Her blog Monastery is one that I've added to my feeds. She is fresh and real and not afraid to share the broken beautiful bits of herself in hopes that she brings healing to others ... along with herself. She is brutiful.

I have read quite a few of Mitch Albom's books. I've liked them all. have a little faith one that sat on my shelf for far too long.

Amazon says: What if our beliefs were not what divided us, but what pulled us together In Have a Little Faith, Mitch Albom offers a beautifully written story of a remarkable eight-year journey between two worlds--two men, two faiths, two communities--that will inspire readers everywhere. Albom's first nonfiction book since Tuesdays with Morrie, Have a Little Faith begins with an unusual request: an eighty-two-year-old rabbi from Albom's old hometown asks him to deliver his eulogy. Feeling unworthy, Albom insists on understanding the man better, which throws him back into a world of faith he'd left years ago. Meanwhile, closer to his current home, Albom becomes involved with a Detroit pastor--a reformed drug dealer and convict--who preaches to the poor and homeless in a decaying church with a hole in its roof. Moving between their worlds, Christian and Jewish, African-American and white, impoverished and well-to-do, Albom observes how these very different men employ faith similarly in fighting for survival: the older, suburban rabbi embracing it as death approaches; the younger, inner-city pastor relying on it to keep himself and his church afloat. As America struggles with hard times and people turn more to their beliefs, Albom and the two men of God explore issues that perplex modern man: how to endure when difficult things happen; what heaven is; intermarriage; forgiveness; doubting God; and the importance of faith in trying times. Although the texts, prayers, and histories are different, Albom begins to recognize a striking unity between the two worlds--and indeed, between beliefs everywhere. In the end, as the rabbi nears death and a harsh winter threatens the pastor's wobbly church, Albom sadly fulfills the rabbi's last request and writes the eulogy. And he finally understands what both men had been teaching all along: the profound comfort of believing in something bigger than yourself.  Have a Little Faith is a book about a life's purpose; about losing belief and finding it again; about the divine spark inside us all. It is one man's journey, but it is everyone's story. Ten percent of the profits from this book will go to charity, including The Hole In The Roof Foundation, which helps refurbish places of worship that aid the homeless."

Yo! Adrienne says: This is a beautiful book. How often have we judged based on appearance or just made a snap judgement based on our own preconceived notions. I love how Mitch Albom admits his own weakness/misconceptions but is open to receiving something deeper. Add this book to your list. It will bless you for sure. Maybe it will light a fire that has been dim for some time.

The bible study I participated in has been studying "Return to Jerusalem". It has been challenging but also a great opportunity to dig in to the Old Testament. Lynn Austin's books have helped me bring the  lives of those we are studying to life.

Amazon says: Return to me: "After years of watching his children and grandchildren wander from their faith, Iddo's prayers are answered: King Cyrus is allowing God's chosen people to return to Jerusalem. Jubilant, he joyfully prepares for their departure, only to learn that his family, grown comfortable in the pagan culture of Babylon, wants to remain. 

Zechariah, Iddo's oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather's ancient beliefs and the comfort and success his father enjoys in Babylon. But he soon begins to hear the voice of God, encouraging him to return to the land given to his forefathers. 

Bringing to life the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah, Return to Me tells the compelling story of Iddo and Zechariah, the women who love them, and the faithful followers who struggle to rebuild their lives in obedience to the God who beckons them home."

Keepers of the Covenant: "In one life-changing moment, the lives of the exiles in Babylon are thrown into despair when a decree from the king's palace calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire in less than one year.

Ezra, a quiet but brilliant scholar, soon finds himself called upon to become the leader of his people. Forced to rally an army when all his training has been in the Torah, he struggles to bring hope in a time of utter despair, when dreams of the future--of family and love--seem impossible.

In Keepers of the Covenant, acclaimed novelist Lynn Austin weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God's unwavering love for His people. "

Yo! Adrienne Says: If you have ever tried to study the Old Testament and struggled - these books are for you. They help bring the main characters to life and help you understand the times and what their day to day lives were like. Certainly more akin to historical fiction but Ms. Austin is biblically accurate when it come to her main characters and scripture.