Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

The title of this week’s book is A Family Shaped by Grace – How to Get Along with the People Who matter Most by Gary Morland. You may have heard of Gary’s daughters:  Myquillyn Smith (aka The Nester) and Emily P. Freeman. Both of his daughters have written books and they encouraged their dad to do the same. Though they admitted they thought they would have to write it for him! But he did it, and did it well.

The author, Gary, gets into some nitty gritty details of his life that lets us get a feel for just how far he has come before writing this book. So when he shares with us that grace and forgiveness can and should happen in our lives, he’s the first to admit it didn’t come naturally for him, but it can be done.  As his daughters put it, “This unlikely story of grace and forgiveness will help cast a hopeful vision for you if you’re desperate for some accessible encouragement and practical advice. Dad’s gentle instruction will be a kind companion for you in the midst of your own difficult family relationships.”

Throughout Gary’s story, he speaks of a man name Harold that came along side of him and modeled and mentored to his life what he never received at home – how to live kindly. By reading this book, it’s as if we are able to sit along side of Harold’s teaching, too. Gary shares some deep things he had to go through while he was learning the art of grace and forgiveness towards others. And not just that, but to himself as well. Couldn’t we all use a pinch of grace and a spoonful of forgiveness?

Whether you are in the midst of a huge crisis or storm with a family member… or several, I believe this book will equip you (and me, too) to be able to take a difficult situation and learn to diffuse it. It can teach us how our reaction to things can sometimes be the calm the tension needs.

It is well worth the read for anyone who has family (most of us, right?!) or have a rocky relationship you’d love to see mended.  I hope you will put it on your list to take to your reading corner!

So what are you reading this summer? Are you planning on joining me for the Read through the Classics? I think I’m going to start with “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. I was going to go alphabetically off of the Barnes and Noble Classics List, but I have a couple classics here (or like this one, on my daughter’s shelf from high school!). I will start soon, but won’t start with the first review until the fourth Wednesday of August. There’s time to dig through your shelves, pick one up at a library book sale, download from the internet or check it out at the library. Let me know in the comments if you’re going to join me. OR – if you have a suggestion for the next book!

Grab an iced tea and a book – it’s the first day of summer…woohoooooo!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for my honest review.

Affiliate Links: I often offer affiliate links to the products I recommend. Should you choose to buy through my link, I will receive a small commission which helps to pay for this site. I thank you for your support.

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

I so wanted to get this book loaded for last Wednesday, but I did not. I had to keep putting it down. Not because it was a bad book. No way. It was because I had to use another kleenex and get myself together. Folks, this book…oh my, this book. If you have parents (don’t we all?), or are close to your grandparents or aunts and uncles, then you have probably seen or are seeing them age. If you have unfortunately lost a parent, you will be able to identify with most, if not all, of this book. The title is As My Parents Age Reflections on Life, Love and Change by Cynthia Ruchti. 

Oh. My. Word!

I have been the caregiver or helped my husband be the caregiver for our four parents and my grandmother on my mom’s side. I can tell you that I found myself shaking my head throughout this book. The author has done a great job of sharing all about this season of life from not only her perspective, but the words and thoughts from many other people she spoke to about this subject. The book is very well put together. There is so much information in this 285 page book. So much encouragement, too.

Although I lost my mom the day after Thanksgiving in 2016, (the last of our parents), I found comfort in the words that Cynthia wrote. Where I was feeling guilt, I feel the burden lifting. Where I was angry at myself for things I should have said or done, I’m feeling grace. And peace. Though the book is written primarily for those going through this season of caregiving, I was still able to come away with many nuggets of wisdom from it. I think anyone going through their parents aging or who have gone through it will be blessed and encouraged by this book.

Take a look…I think I marked a lot of spots I want to remember or share with someone!

 

 

 

 

 

There are so many great points in the book, I know I won’t be giving too much away by sharing some of the comments that resonated with me, such as:

“Take a few moments now – the elusive ‘later’ grows more elusive as time passes – to consider how you and your parents would answer the question, ‘At this season of life, what matters most to us as individuals and as a family?'”

I can tell you from experience, when you wait “until the time is right” to have the discussion of what your parents’ wishes are, it could be too late. My dad died 16 days after turning 58 years old. We never had a chance to discuss what he wanted for his burial or memorial service. Because of that, I did persist with my mom and her mom until they conceded and made their funeral arrangements. However, we did not discuss what her wishes were if she would have a stroke at 71 years old and never went back to her condo. She lived almost eight years in a nursing home because she needed total care. I physically could not care for her, but that didn’t help keep the guilt away.

“Don’t cast me off in old age. Don’t abandon me when my strength is used up!” Psalm 71:9 (CEB) I made sure my grandma and then my mom knew they weren’t cast off though they were in the nursing home. Can you imagine the feeling of full life, then left alone in a facility? I witnessed many people in the home our parents were in that never had visitors. I had friends of my mom say they just couldn’t visit her anymore it made them so sad to see her like that. Yet, when two of our neighbors from where I grew up came to visit (which they did several times a year) it made my mom’s weeks…weeks! I would hear her tell me over and over about all the things they talked about. It’s not about us – it’s about them.

I so highly recommend this book to any of you who are breathing and have an aging parent or two, a grandparent, or even an aunt or uncle that is still around. This book is for you. It is such a helpful book on guiding you along this often long and difficult road of caregiving. Whether you are a full-time caregiver or your loved one is being cared for in a facility, this book encourages you in this heartbreaking but unavoidable season of our lives. Get one for yourself and maybe a sibling or friend going through this. I promise, this book delivers.

But you might want to include a box of tissues with the book.

Jus’ sayin!

Blessings,

 

 

 

If you would like to purchase a book or two, it is officially released as of this week! YAY! Please click below to order one from Amazon.

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for my honest review.

Affiliate Links: I do offer affiliate links to the products I recommend. Should you choose to buy through my link, I will receive a small commission which helps to pay for this site. I thank you for your support.

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesday!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Can you believe today is the last day of May already? This year seems to be flying by! I’ve been working through the pile on my reading corner stack only to find I’m adding more! I picked up a few last week at The Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference. I’ll be digging into a couple of those real quick!

I’ve decided I’m going to add more to my reading corner stack and it’s some reading I have been wanting to do. Then I thought about it on my couple hour drive home last week and thought I’d offer it out to you as well. Beginning in August, I’m going to read through the classics. At my age, I don’t remember too much of what I read back in High School (if any of them) and I thought it would be a great challenge. Each month I will pick a classic to read for the month. Then on the last Whatcha Readin’ Wednesday, I’ll write about my thoughts on it. I’d love for some of you to read along, or chime in if you read it before, and have some fun! I’ll even take suggestions of which of the classics to read the next month. I picked up a list a while back at the library of the top 100 classics. I’ve set my goal to read ’em! Will you be joining me?

Back to the current book I have for today, or should I say books?!

I re-read the first book in this series recently and it brought back the good memory from when I first read it. The book is Sisterchicks on the Loose by Robin Jones Gunn. I read this book back when it first came out in 2003. Robin Jones Gunn is the author of several of the popular teen (and up) series: The Christy Miller Series, The Sierra Jensen Series, Christy & Todd: The College Years, The Katie Weldon Series and the new Christy and Todd: the Married Years. Our daughter loved all of them while she was growing up, so when Author Gunn started one for adult ladies, I thought I would give them a try. I remember back then getting the new book in the series as soon as my bookstore had it! I couldn’t wait to dig into the adventures the ladies would be into next.

What I like about the series is the fact that you can read them as a stand alone book should you not be able to get the next one. Although you will find a name of a character here and there from another book, you need not read the other book first.

The titles are: Sisterchicks on the Loose, Sisterchicks do the Hula, Sisterchicks in Sombreros, Sisterchicks Down Under, Sisterchicks Say Ooh La La!, Sisterchicks in Gondolas and Sisterchicks Go Brit!

I would tell you if you are looking for some light summer reading, this series is a must! It will keep you laughing and wondering what zany things will happen next. What I found most amazing is that some of the situations in the books were similar to escapades in my own life with my own personal sisterchicks!

I hope you’ll give them a read while sitting pool or beachside this summer!

Let me know in the comments if you would like to join me in the Classics Challenge. I’ll be announcing which book I will start with soon. Confession: I need to raid my daughter’s stash and see what she has compared to mine and make my choice!

Find a sunny spot, grab a glass of Iced Sweet Tea and open up a book!

Enjoy!

If your library doesn’t have them, you can click here to purchase them on Amazon:

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links in my posts. If you click on the link and purchase, it will not cost you anything more than the price of your book. I, however, will receive a very small commission to help with the cost of this website. For your support, I thank you!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

It’s book review day – that means Wednesday on this blog! I am sharing a book today that I read last summer while I was on the Launch Team for it. I recently went back through it and thought I would share it with you. If you or someone you know suffers through the angst of depression, this book should be a must purchase on your list.

While having experience with depression myself, I find it difficult to read some of the books out there on the shelves that people have written on the subject. I was definitely a little apprehensive when approached to be on the Launch Team for this book because of my mixed feelings of previous books I’ve read that left me…well, maybe a little depressed.

Yet, I’m pleased to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The amount of compassion that Dr. Bengtson showers throughout this book is amazing. But it would be hard not to understand why. Though she is a board certified neuropsychologist and highly trained and specializes in brain-behavior relations, she found herself being diagnosed by the very thing she diagnosis tons of patients throughout the year. But to quote her, “yet all my education and experience didn’t protect me from succumbing to this devastating condition myself.”

To say that you have a Dr. writing a book that can help you is one thing. But to have a Dr. that has the true compassion because she has lived it and understands is a totally different prospect. To be able to have a Dr. that can help you see improvement and give you direction with tried and true life experience is a breath of fresh air.

Her writing is very easy to understand. She doesn’t talk over your head, but rather writes as if she is sitting across the table with you, holding your hand and wanting you to get better. I have listened to many of her speeches online and you can feel her desire for your wellness come through each and every word she says.

I hope it’s a book that you will either get for yourself or for someone you love who could use the help in their health.

Reading for health!

 

 

 

Please click on the Amazon link below to purchase Dr. Bengtson’s book.

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links in my posts. If you click on the link and purchase, it will not cost you anything more than the price of your book. I, however, will receive a very small commission to help with the cost of this website. For your support, I thank you!

I received a PDF form of this book for my honest review of the book. All opinions of this book are mine.

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Wednesday is here again. Today I am sharing a book a little different than the Fiction I usually share. But, I do like to share whatever I’m reading or have read in my comfy pink chair!

Today’s book is The Cheese Trap by Dr. Neal D. Barnard, MD, FACC. I have read a couple of other books by Dr. Barnard and had the privilege of seeing him at a lecture at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. I’ve never been a fan of meat ever since I was a little kid and over the last several years, I have eaten less and less of it. But I’ve been getting tired of some long-time stomach issues that I just couldn’t pinpoint what any of them were caused by. So I began to do what is called “the elimination diet.” You go to a simple diet and then little by little add back items until you see if anything triggers those same results.

Low and behold, animal products were showing a real problem. So, I have given up meat – no problem with that, since I wasn’t a fan to begin with! I gave up milk, sour cream, yogurt. Not too much of an issue…I am used to it now. But I could not give up cheese. Well, until I read this book.

When I read that most of the issues I have had and still had after giving up meat were likely related to cheese, I decided to see if there was any credence to his points.

And…

There truly was for me. The migraines are gone. The congestion is gone. The sharp shooting pains in my stomach and intestines are gone. And the “quick” exit to the bathroom after eating it has gone away. All because of cheese! Who knew! I have eaten cheese my whole life. Who would have thought I would suffer with these things for many years all because of cheese. I still shake my head at the relief I’ve had. I can’t believe how much better I feel.

Cheese is quite an addictive food industry made product. With the amount of salt (and other stuff) that goes into cheese, it’s no wonder we have all become cheese-heads, whether or not you live in Wisconsin!  The government has their hand in on this too, but you can read all about it in the book.

As with all of Dr. Barnard’s books, he spends a lot of time on research through his nonprofit Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. I appreciate his due diligence before reporting the facts to us. He is a New York Times bestselling author and I have enjoyed his books and their clear presentation of information.

I would say whether you are looking to rid yourself of nagging health issues, lose weight or be a well informed consumer, Dr. Barnard’s newest book is a great read.

Here’s to health!

If you’d like to order a copy to read, please feel free to click on the Amazon link below. I appreciate your support!

 

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links in my posts. If you click on the link and purchase, it will not cost you anything more than the price of your book. I, however, will receive a very small commission to help with the cost of this website. For your support, I thank you!

 

 

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

It’s Wednesday – so it’s book review day! This week I’m sharing the second book in the Christiansen Family Series. This week’s title is It Had to be You by Susan May Warren. 

This story is about child number two, Eden Christiansen. Eden is a reporter living in Minneapolis, a little away from the family. However, she feels very stuck in her life. She is wanting something more. And boy does she get it!

I can’t help but tell you that I am a fan of Susan May Warren’s writing, so it would be hard for me to tell you that her stories are not enjoyable to read! She captures you right from the beginning and draws you into all the family drama! You want to…no NEED to find out what happens next! For me that is a good book.

In this story, with her brothers very into Hockey, one being a Pro,  Eden just may find herself mixed up with her own personal Hockey Love!

Another book to add to your reading corner stack on the table! Definitely a good book.

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

You can click on the link below to purchase the book through Amazon. Thank you for your support.

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links in my posts. If you click on the link and purchase, it will not cost you anything more than the price of your book. I, however, will receive a very small commission to help with the cost of this website. For your support, I thank you!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

It’s Wednesday again, dear reading buddies, and time for this week’s book review. I actually bought this book on Saturday at a mini writing conference I was attending, then read it on Sunday. Yep – it was a “cannot put it down” type of book! It’s from the Love Inspired/Suspense Books. I was excited to meet the author on Saturday and found out she lives just a few minutes away from me! How fun is that?! The book this week is Hidden Legacy written by Lynn Huggins Blackburn. This book is her second book and you can bet I will be getting the first one!

On with the book…

The book starts off perfectly drawing you in with the heroine, Caroline Harrison, walking into her ransacked home carrying a 16-month-old son in her arms. As she scans the room, she hears a sound in the back alerting her that someone is indeed still in the house. The scene continues on as Caroline begins the nerve-wracking attempt to get out before the intruder hears her inside. The author has written this for us as the reader so clearly, you feel you are watching her do this. And you even feel her anxiety of fumbling for keys in bag, trying to close the door quietly, etc. It definitely got my attention!

The book continues on with this type of pull with some twists and turns that you don’t see coming! Add in a little flame from high school that returns home to care for his ailing parents – who just so happens to be assigned to her case…and you can’t put the book down! You think you know what is going to happen, well, and then it doesn’t.

All in all, I believe this book is very well written. It is easy to read with great description that you truly do feel you are watching a movie. It is not hard to read and I found nothing that tripped me up in her style. It pulled me in right on the first page and wouldn’t let go of my attention all throughout the book. I like those kinds of books! What about you?

I highly recommend this book and hope you add it to your list of books to read soon!

Keep on readin’!

 

 

 

If you just can’t wait to get to the bookstore…please feel free to click below on the Amazon link:

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links in my posts. If you click on the link and purchase, it will not cost you anything more than the price of your book. I, however, will receive a very small commission to help with the cost of this website. For your support, I thank you!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

It’s Wednesday again, and this week I’d like to share a book that is part of a six part series by Susan May Warren. I will try to keep them in order rather than switch them around like I did with Lynette’s series! Susie May’s first book in the Christiansen Family novels is Take a Chance on Me. 

I really like how the author starts each of the books with a letter from the mother in the series to one of her children. It gives you the hint of whom the book will mostly be about. Each letter is like a sweet love letter to that child. I liked that!

Book one is about Darek, the oldest Christiansen child. The story takes place in Deep Haven, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Christiansen own a summer campgrounds, Evergreen Resort, on Evergreen Lake. It has been in the family since the early nineteen hundreds. Derek is quite the catch, but since the tragic death of his wife, nobody has shown any interest. He’s quite bitter and angry and keeps to himself. He has a little boy he calls Tiger and that is who he focuses his attention on. He is the only child of the six who helps out with the Resort.

Then there is Ivy, the new attorney in town. She loves the small town community and decides to go to the local VFW for the Deep Haven Emergency Services annual charity auction for something to do. She quickly realizes the auction is for the eligible bachelors in town. She meets a nice couple as she goes in and they invite her to come with them as they fill her in on the auction. She asks her new friend, Noelle, if she should bid on the guy on the stage, but Noelle tells her to save her money for Owen Christiansen – the local celebrity, wild-boy, pro-hockey playing brother of the Christiansen clan. Ivy thinks that maybe she should bid on somebody since that might be a way to be shown around her new town – of one day!  When she heard his name called, she got ready to bid. But she noticed that nobody was bidding on him. She felt bad for him and yelled out $500. She glanced over to Noelle and she informed Ivy she had just bought his brother, Darek. Owen hadn’t shown up and someone talked Darek into going up on the stage. A decision he quickly regretted. The look on everyone’s eyes told her she must have bought the pariah of Deep Haven. Then Noelle said, “Brace yourself, honey. You’ve just purchased the most ineligible eligible bachelor in town.”

Although a friendship began, you wonder what will happen when the truth comes out that Ivy was the attorney that crafted a plea bargain a couple years ago for a local guy, Jensen Atwood, to keep him out of jail. Long-time rivalry between Darek and Jensen through their school years and their fight to win Felicity’s heart has never ended even though Darek won the girl. But oh the tension when Darek realizes that it was Ivy that let his wife’s murderer out. Though not an actual murder, that’s how Darek feels.

The roller coaster ride of excitement in this book of nearly 400 pages doesn’t end with this book! And for that I’m happy! Each of the books will center on one of the six Christiansen children, yet each of the books carry on a little more of the previous book! It is definitely a well crafted reading series. I highly recommend it.

Come join the Christiansen fan club!

 

 

 

If you would like to purchase the book, click the Amazon link below to do so.

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links on my site. If you purchase through my links, there is no additional cost to you, but I will receive a nominal commission. I thank you for your support.

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

I chose this week’s book, well, because it’s about cooking! And since I love to cook, I wanted to read a fun story about cooking and chefs and all things food related. I have to say this book most certainly delivered up a delicious story! The book is Dining with Joy A Lowcountry Novel by Rachel Hauck. This is the first book I have read by Rachel and I will definitely be reading more. Her story pulled me in at the get go and continued throughout the book.

The story is set in the Low Country of South Carolina and I love it over there by the coast. The story is about Joy Ballard, the host of Dining with Joy. Or rather, she became the host of the show when the host of Dining with Charles passed away. Charles was her dad. Joy had been the associate producer on the show. She knew her dad loved sharing all of his cooking creations with America, but the business and production side of the show was not his cup of tea. She wasn’t that interested in doing the cooking show – that was daddy’s love, definitely not hers. Definitely.

But she agreed to do it.

And then along comes a competition…a challenge. “Someone” is trying to prove Joy is a fake. A fraud in the kitchen. She has to do the competition or everyone will think she doesn’t know her way around a kitchen.

When things couldn’t get any busier or frustrating, along comes a man named Luke Redmond. He has a lot of baggage of his own. Not to mention, he owned a restaurant in Manhattan which he just recently lost to bankruptcy.

A little “simmering” started to happen and I’m not talking about the kind in a big pot on the stove!

I highly recommend this book. Definitely a fun read if you love cooking, Low Country Carolina and mismatched love interests!

 

 

 

If you’d like to order this book, click the link below to order it on Amazon.

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links on my site. If you purchase through my links, there is no additional cost to you, but I will receive a nominal commission. I thank you for your support.

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

It’s Wednesday again and time to share what I’ve read lately. I am still waiting for you to comment in the section below to give me ideas for new books to read, ya know!

This week’s book is one from a couple months ago. I was chosen to be on this launch team as well and it was another timely book for me. The book is: Worth Living by Mary DeMuth. I have read other books by Mary and have enjoyed them, so I thought this would probably be good as well. It was better than good! Because of my life of bullying by those close to me, my worthiness in my own eyes has been low or better described as non-existent. And Mary can relate to those feelings because of the things she endured during her childhood.

I started the book wanting to read quick to do the review. I had to stop myself at one point and start over. This time with pen in hand and read it more like a text book. I could never lend this particular book to anyone as I have underlined, made notes in the margin and even put my initials next to issues I think were mine as well as the author’s. The byline of this book – “how God’s wild love for you makes you worthy” is a phrase I wish I would have grasped a long time ago. Had I been able to see my worth in His eyes rather than those whose acceptance I so greatly desired, I know things would have been a whole lot different for me. And a whole lot better.

From Mary: “We battle unworthiness nearly every day, and in that struggle, we build walls of protection, ways of coping, patterns of thinking. These old walls must fall away for us to understand our worth in an entirely new light.”

What about you, do you see your worth in the words, acceptance or adoration of others around you? As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that working for ya?” I recommend this book for anyone struggling to feel worthy. Maybe for yourself or someone you love.

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

If you’d like to purchase a copy for yourself or someone you love, click the Amazon link below.

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for my honest review.

Affiliate Links: I do offer affiliate links to the products I recommend. Should you choose to buy through my link, I will receive a small commission which helps to pay for this site. I thank you for your support.