Book Review · Books

Becoming Mrs. Lewis

I haven’t read the whole Chronicles Of Narnia series. Yes, it’s a shame since it was one of the earliest series my mom would start to read to me as a little girl. As an adult I had heard bits and pieces about C.S. Lewis and his marriage, but until I read this stunning historical novel about his wife, Joy Davidman I had no idea all it entailed.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis sucked me into Joy’s 1950’s world of New York. She was married to Bill with two little boys. Her and her husband were both writers. Bill was an alcoholic and a cheater. Joy was miserable, but did her best to try and keep the peace at home.

One day Joy has a spiritual conversation of sorts. She decides to write to C.S. Lewis some of her spiritual, Christian questions. She had read one of this books and thought he may be able to provide her some insight. This brings to life a correspondence between them that gets intense. Bill starts to get concerned, but when Joy’s health goes down hill she is told she must get away to rest. Of course Joy decides to go to the UK, to C.S. Lewis, to finally meet the man, the myth, the legend. Will meeting her new friend be all she hopes it to be? Will Joy and C.S. Lewis’ friendship blossom, or will the reality of being in person dampen their connection?

This novel is the best love story I’ve read in a long time. I’m not into romance novels, but this one is sweetly written, magical, suspenseful and leaves you feeling stunned after the last page. If you are a fan of C.S. Lewis and want to read a historical novel that will keep you reading nonstop, and it’s over 400 pages, then I highly recommend this beautiful novel.

I received a complimentary copy of Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan care of TLC Book Tours from Thomas Nelson. The opinions in this review are strictly my own. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this amazing book grab a copy from Amazon and check out more about the author, Patti Callahan. To get a sneak peak of the audio clips of chapters one and two: https://soundcloud.com/harperaudio_us/sets/becoming-mrs-lewis

Book Review · Books

(Extra) Ordinary (Women)

If you need a book to inspire you to press on and not give up your dreams then I highly recommend the upcoming release: (Extra) Ordinary (Women) by Kristen Bartzokis. This slim volume showcases the stories of 10 ladies from different walks of life who overcame a variety of life challenges to become the successful women they are. Each women’s story is in depth and encouraging. I like that at the end of each chapter is a link to where you can help support causes that each lady supports.

This little book was a treat from page one. Each story held something I could relate to. Each chapter had tough parts to read. These women have been through life events that would cause the average woman to crumble, but they each soldiered on.

I received a complimentary ARC of (Extra) Ordinary (Women) by Kristen Bartzokis from KiCam Projects. The opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. If you enjoy reading about women who have overcame adversity then you’ll want to add this to your personal library.

Book Review · Books

The Stranger Game

Rebecca and her boyfriend were attempting to take a break from each other when one day he goes missing. Ezra doesn’t give any inkling as to where he’s gone, or why. Rebecca gets concerned as the days turn into weeks. In the midst of trying to locate her ex boyfriend she meets a dashing man named Carey. How Rebecca meets Carey is a tricky situation. Carey was playing the stranger game and Rebecca is fooled at first.

The stranger game is where you follow a stranger without them discovering you following them. Pretty much stalking.

The game was starting to get more intense with local home break ins happening. Rebecca realizes this game is getting dangerous when she witnesses the game turning sinister. After this incident Carey disappears as well. Will she find Ezra? Why did Carey disappear all of a sudden? Is the stranger game all that it appears to be?

This book took quite awhile to get into. Honestly, it’s categorized as suspense, but I didn’t find it that suspenseful. If you are into low key suspense then I would recommend this book. This novel does a good job of discussing the topic of human nature and the turn it takes when we turn people watching into a game that can turn ugly.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Stranger Game by Peter Gadol from Hanover Square Press/HarperCollins through TLC Book Tours. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. To grab a copy off Amazon click here and to find out more about the author, Peter Gadol here’s his website.

Book Review · Books

Lifesaving For Beginners

Death is not an easy topic to talk about. Reasons for someone passing are varied and the effects of it last a life time. Author, Anne Edelstein, takes us on her journey through dealing with the unexpected death of her mom, who she longed affection from, but who gave it sparingly. Anne’s memoir is dark, raw, contemplative and wistful. Her extended family has dealt with death by suicide and the effects of not knowing the why still haunt her as Anne is trying to come to terms with her mom’s passing.

This memoir touches on the topics of death, family, siblings, mental illness, cancer, marriage, religion, children and legacy. Mrs. Edelstein weaves in the topic of swimming and how her love of swimming at her family’s favorite pond in Maine during the summer helped her connect with her mom through her act of swimming.

I received a complimentary copy of Lifesaving For Beginners by Anne Edelstein from Red Hen Press through TLC Book Tours. Opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. If you enjoy memoirs that bring you out of your comfort zone then I highly recommend this short book. If interested click here for Amazon and here to check out Mrs. Edelstein’s website.

Book Review · Books

The Girl In Building C

I can’t fathom being 16 and stuck living in a sanatorium with tuberculosis. Marilyn Barnes lived this reality in the 1940’s, during WWII. Marilyn lived with having different treatments and having strict bed rest. Getting letters from family and friends kept her spirits up and the different roommates she had throughout her stay at Ah-Gwanghwamun-ching State Sanatorium in MN. The Girl In Building C is the collection of her letters and photos from her three year stint at the sanatorium.

Only select activities were allowed. Marilyn’s life mainly consisted of reading, naps, and writing letters. She was only allowed certain privileges till her tests came back negative for tuberculosis and even then it was baby steps to doing normal things like going to the restroom. I love resting, napping and reading in bed, but what would my view be of it if that was my life for 3 years? Can you fathom not being allowed outside for months, or to even just walk around in the building? I always thought that expressions from the 50’s was a tad exaggerated in movies, but Marilyn’s hearty use of words and/or expressions like: swell, kids, gee, folks was fascinating. I didn’t realize those were from the 1940’s.

This book was educational. The procedures and surgeries that Marilyn endured boggle my mind. The mid 1940’s was not that long ago. Can you imagine having ribs removed?

This review is for an ARC of The Girl In Building C edited by Mary Krugerud from Edelweiss Plus care of the Minnesota Historical Society Press and is my unbiased, honest opinion. If you enjoy reading nonfiction that is in letter format you won’t be able to put this book down. If you enjoy researching different ailments then this book is a must read, though if you tend to be a hypochondriac or a vivid imagination then I might caution you.

Personal

Jesus Was A Saint

My job entails talking with people for my whole work shift. I am a people person, but being an empath makes it hard sometimes with all the range of emotions coming through my phone. I’ve gotten a thicker skin than I used to have, but when people get rude with me I react by getting teary vs getting firm back.

I was sitting at work the other day and thinking about how Jesus truly was a saint for the patience he had with humanity while living physically on earth with us. Having patience with people’s attitude is not easy. Sometimes if I get upset my voice gets wavery which is hard to disguise. I am a naturally happy person, but being social for my job nonstop is draining.

I have become quite the introvert over the years and my current job has increased that part of me on weekends so I can recharge for the upcoming week. I recharge by reading and mentally recharging. I do best hanging out one on one or in a small group. I don’t do big groups and I abhor sitting at a table in the middle of a restaurant. I feel overly vulnerable being in the middle of a room like that.

Is it easy to be nice 24/7? Nope. It’s very challenging, though being courteous isn’t hard. Sometimes it feels like society as a whole is depressed and negative. It makes it tough as an empath to feel that negative energy off and on all day. Can any of you relate?

Book Review · Books

Pull It Off

The cover is colorful. Julianna Zobrist loves color. Her picture on the front of her book makes me think of Lady GaGa due to the creative outfit she’s wearing. Her memoir Pull It Off is a short book filled with how we view our identity shapes us and our confidence.

She is not preachy, but Julianna shows through Biblical scripture our identity is in Christ. Julianna doesn’t harp on us being perfect, but on learning to accept our imperfections and allowing God to work through that. She provides stories from her life and what it’s like to be married to her professional baseball player husband.

This memoir was light hearted with nuggets of Biblical truth sprinkled in. Julianna is not your typical Christian living genre type author. She thinks and expresses herself outside the box. The chapter where Julianna describes how her home is decorated made me sit in awe. Think of Candy Land throwing up decorations all over her home. Yes, it’s that colorful and fun. The allegory about the dandelion at the end was emotionally powerful.

I received a complementary copy of Pull It Off by Julianna Zobrist from Faith Words. Opinions expressed in this review are my own. If you love Christian books that are helpful, but not bossy in tone then you may enjoy this book. I hope Julianna will write more books.