Book Review · Books

The Alphabet Of Grief

img_2099Grief is not a topic out of popularity, but out of necessity. We don’t know when a friend, family member, spouse, or acquaintance is going to pass away. The Alphabet Of Grace is a small little book packed with lots of wisdom. Chaplain Andrea Raynor brings death and grief to our door in an easy to understand Guide. Her guide of sorts is broken down via the alphabet. Each letter stands for a topic having to do with grief and death. At the end of each short chapter is a meditation and an affirmation.

I have had family members pass away and close friends. Death is never easy to deal with. I still miss my grandparents and my one best friend, but I know they are now not in pain. Personally I don’t find comfort in going to their graves. Honestly cemeteries creep me out. One way I like to remember them is by going to a fave place they liked to eat, or enjoy a favorite pastime they had like watching baseball, or reading a book. We all deal with grief in different ways.

I’m so glad I requested to review this book from Blogging For Books. This book is not preachy, though it is consider Christian. It comes across like a warm blanket on a winter night that keeps you warm and feeling cozy. It’s comforting and yet educational at the same time. I got this book for free in exchange for my review from Blogging For Books. I highly recommend this title for anyone dealing with someone in the process of dying or have passed on. I wish I’d had this book back when my grandparents passed. It would have helped me get through a lot.

Book Review · Books

The Other Alcott

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Growing up I read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and of course saw the modern movie of it. This novel is about the life of Louisa May Alcott’s youngest sister, May. She is the fairest one of the family and loves to draw. When she gets a bad review of her artwork featured in Little Women, May decides to buckle down in seriousness regarding her artwork.

Follow May on her journey from struggling artist in Massachusetts to her move to London, France and back again to study art. May is torn between pursuing her artistic career or returning home to help Louisa care for their mother who is aging. Family duty or career advancement? No matter what year it is all of us have experienced the quandary of listening to a family member’s request or sticking to our own plans. It’s a tight rope that’s not easy to walk along.

This novel covers many topics from sibling rivalry to being a single woman on your own stuck in a man’s world, trying to be taken seriously. This book has great descriptions of France, London and Massachusetts. I am not the most educated when it comes to art and art terms, but this book gavies quite the primer. I enjoyed this novel. The only thing I didn’t like is that it’s, too long. If it was about half the length I think it might be more appealing.

I received my free ARC copy of The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper from TLC Book Tours for my personal review. If you are interested in learning more about May Alcott via this in depth historical novel click here to get this book from HarperCollins. If you are interested to learn more about Elise Hooper click here to connect with the author. Happy reading!

Book Review · Books

The Landscapes Of Anne Of Green Gables

img_2107.jpgWho can’t resist reading about one of your all time favorite places even if you have yet to actually visit? In second grade I got to watch, “Anne of Green Gables,” the Kevin Sullivan production. It was breathtaking and Megan Follows will forever be Anne to me. I have watched the new version on Netflix. I was very negative about there being a new one. I chanced and watched it. It’s easily as fantastic as the previous mini series, possibly even better. Gasp. Very sacreligious I know. When this title became a possible ARC I’d be alllwed to read I jumped at my opportunity.

This lovely book takes the reader on a visual delight of the many wonders of Prince Edward Island. The photos show the island at different seasons. This book also, talks about the author of Anne Of Green Gables,  Lucy Maude Montomgery otherwise known as L.M. Montgomery. If you like reading about your favorite author’s life then this book will leave you craving to read more about her. There are photos throughout of her and also, places on the island that inspired her novels.

If you are a big fan of Anne of Green Gables then this book will be a keeper once it comes out. The photos made me want to book my trip right away. It also, inspires one to want to learn more about L.M. Montgomery. I was provided this ARC for free via NetGalley in exchange for my review. Thank you NetGalley and Timber Press.

Book Review · Books

The Lives Of Desperate Girls

img_2094.jpgI didn’t think this book would impact me as deeply as it did. The Lives Of Desperate Girls by MacKenzie Common is a novel about friendship, love, trust and betrayal in a small Canadian town. Jenny is an inconspicuous teen whose life revolves around her childhood best friend Chloe. Chloe is the life of the party while Jenny is her quiet sidekick. Life is chugging along when one day Chloe goes missing. Jenny is determined to find her best friend. Three weeks after her disappearance there is a local murder of a different young woman. The crime is ugly, but it seems to Jenny that no one cares. This young woman was a Native. Is racism still alive and well? With the help of her new friend Tom, both he and Jenny go investigate what may have happened to Chloe, but to also, find out why the young Native woman was murdered. Jenny can’t understand why Chloe’s disappearance is considered top priority when a woman being found murdered gets pushed under the rug.

If you enjoy suspenseful and deep storytelling I highly recommend this novel. I couldn’t put this book down, you want to just keep finding out what happened to Chloe. I was not aware of the racism that exists in Canada between whites and Natives before reading this novel. I received my e-book ARC of The Lives Of Desperate Girls for free care of NetGalley in exchange for my reaction to this book. My reaction is it’s a must read. I think this book would make great required high school and college reading.

Book Review · Books

Love Big, Be Well

If you have been burnt by the church, Love Big, Be Well, just might restore your faith in the body of Christ (family of God) aka the church. This novel is the story of Pastor Jonas McAnn whose decided to get back into preaching after doing a stint working at an insurance company. He receives a letter from one of the churches he’s going to be interviewing at. He’s used to getting a long list of questions, but the letter he gets is down to earth and simple. Does he want to be Granby’s pastor? Pastor Jonas writes back. This starts a tradition of correspondence between himself and the congregation. Him and his wife decide to accept the pastorate at Granby Presbyterian. This novel is the correspondence over the years between Pastor Jonas and his new congregation.

Each chapter talks about different topics from Advent, to baptism, death, Christian conferences, friendship and a host of other topics. This novel isn’t preachy, it’s not superficial. This book is down to earth and meets you where you are at. You don’t have to be a believer to read this novel.

I received the e-book ARC of, Love Big, Be Well by Winn Collier from NetGalley in exchange for my honest assessment. This book reminded me a lot of the book, So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore,  by Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman. Both books are sweet and tackle tough topics in a nonpushy manner. If there is a church out there like the fictional Granby Presbyterian sign me up. I miss belonging to a church family like that.

Book Review · Books

Still Christian 

If you were a Christian young adult in the 1980’s this just might be the book for you. Pastor and teacher David Gushee talks about his faith journey in, Still Christian ,  from being a new believer in the summer of 78′ to his current life as a grandfather. Mr. Gushee describes what it’s like to be on the Southern Baptist side of the fence and the liberal side of the Christian fence. He has experienced both sides of Christiandom and come away still a believer. If you have attended an ultra conservative Christian college you may be able to relate to his experiences at both Union and Southern Baptist Theological seminaries, etc. Mr. Gushee discovered what it’s like when you stand by your convictions. Damned if you do and sometimes damned if you don’t. When the author took a stand with the LGBT community he found out how standing up for what you believe in can start you on a whole new spiritual journey than from where you started.

I received the ARC of, Still Christian,  from NetGalley in exchange for my honest assessment. I think I was the wrong age range to read this book. If I was ten years older than I might possibly might be able to relate to it more.

Book Review · Books

Something Beautiful Happened


If you have a grandparent still alive and willing to tell you their life story don’t hesitate to listen. If we don’t listen and write down the rich history we are provided it will be lost forever. Yvette thinks about all the times she could have spent time with her grandmother, but instead chose to do other things. There were so many more stories she could have heard, family history provided. Yvette didn’t even have to ask, her grandmother would have shared with her, but when you are young you think you have next time.

If you like to read about World War II, then I highly recommend, Something Beautiful Happened, by Yvette Manessis Corporon. This memoir is about the author’s search to find out the truth behind her grandmother’s story of helping save a Jewish family during the Holocaust on the small Greek island of Erikousa. Yvette grew up visiting the island and her grandmother during the summer, so she knew the island well. Her grandmother told her that the whole island kept this family a secret from the Nazi’s. Yvette decided she wanted to find the descendants of this family, to find out what had become of them.

Yvette’s journey takes many twists, turns, some of them heartbreaking, yet still rewarding. I’ve read countless memoirs on World War II, but this one packs an important punch.  Yvette writes in such a way  that you feel as though you are actually there on the island, at her grandmother’s house. I have never been interested in Greece before, but after reading this book I would like to go visit the island of Erikousa.

I was provided the e-book ARC of Something Beautiful Happened by Yvette Manessis Corporon for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This book was breathtaking.