A new year means you just might be hunting for a new journal. Some journals offer plain blank pages to write whatever you want, but this upcoming journal by Jess Conte offers something better. She provides a wide range of different writing prompts from writing about your childhood, to filling out a never have I ever page, to narrowing down which foods you can’t stand, etc. Sprinkled throughout this journal Jess also offers both heart and health check in pages to gauge how you might be holding up on a particular day.
This journal I feel gives a wide range of different writing prompts. Some were fairly traditional and others were a nice surprise. The one thing that was missing, in my opinion, is more Christian faith content. Jess does have micro spots of a sentence here or there, but there are no Bible verses, prayers, etc. Maybe this journal is more for a general audience rather than a faith based one. Either audience I think would appreciate this journal. I believe Jess captures a writer’s full portrait so to speak with covering so many different topics within this journal.
I received my complimentary copy of Day By Day: A Guided Journal by Jess Conte from EllieClaire.com, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc to provide my honest feedback. Thoughts expressed are my own and of my own choice. Keep an eye out for this pretty soon to be released journal.
Shari went on a year long journey of asking 50 of her friends to meet her for a friendship date so that she could share with them how they’ve impacted, inspired and changed her life. Each chapter is of each friend she met with whether it was for bunch, lunch, dinner or drinks. Most of the chapters showcase a picture of that particular friend at the beginning of the chapter. One theme I noticed is that each of Shari’s friends glow through their photos.
This idea intrigues me. It’s a neat way to show your friends how much they mean to you and how they have impacted your life. How often do we truly take the time to express how much a friendship means to us?
Do you have 50, 25, 15, 10, or 5 friends that you would ask to do this flow challenge with? I know for me personally I have a fairly decent number of friends. Who would you pick?
For 2023 I want to do this friendship flow challenge. All I have to do is choose how many friends I want to include and start scheduling my virtual friendship dates.
I received my complimentary copy of The 50/50 Friendship Flow by Shari Leid from Capucia, LLC, care of Pacific And Court in exchange for my honest review. Views expressed are my own and of my own will. This book would make a wonderful gift to give a Bestie, a sibling, a parent or family member. Let’s keep the friendship flow going.
Yes, I dared use the matriarch of all swear words, but sadly I feel in this instance it perfectly describes what’s happened and is happening. The world is being held in abject TERROR over a virus. Yes, there is a risk with ANY virus. This particular one has been showcased through MSM as THE one we all need to fear.
What scares me worse than Rona? What scares me worse than a touted deadly virus is how the whole song and dance is ripping us ALL apart mentally. Can you truly go out into society and act just like you did prior to 2020? Personally no I can’t. I may appear that I am, but mentally I’m going over that I’m not to touch my face and as soon as my rear gets home I need to wash my hands.
I know masks are a hot topic. Either viewpoint you’re damned socially. What people aren’t thinking of is how it started out as merely wearing one for 2 weeks which stretched to much longer to the point of making us feel that if we weren’t wearing one it was like we’d forgotten to put on our underwear. Social conditioning is a sly beast and we’ve all been had. I like to breathe fresh air and not take back in my stinky breath from wearing a mask or what feels more like a muzzle.
Haven’t you noticed how this whole event has divided us whether it’s between family members, friends, significant others, etc? We’ve allowed this to break apart our families, friendships, etc. It’s transformed some of us into elitists and others of us into rebels. A line has been drawn.
Wether or not you view what’s unfolding before us as the End Times, can you sense how world events are escalating at a more rapid rate? Things are turning topsy turvy and it’s a lot to take in. So thankful I don’t own a TV. No news propaganda needed in my home.
You may not agree with one word I’ve typed. That’s ok. I know this post may cost me friendships, but I felt it was time to broach the true result of Rona. It’s psychologically changing us. We’ve been conditioned on so many different levels. The saddest thing is people’s legit fear of hugging someone. The elites have accomplished morphing us into good little slaves to their propaganda. For the good of everyone, but how much longer do you think our ‘freedom’ will last before they unleash their next bag of tricks to reach their end game?
Would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment below. Looking forward to dialoging with you.
**DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a medical or psychology professional. This post is strictly my own views**
The title sucked me in and the contents through me out of my comfort zone like a touch down in a football game. This book dropped me headlong into what it’s like to be a black woman in the black church. I’m as much of a white girl as you can get, so this was a cultural journey I got to experience through the eyes of Candice.
The author was raised by her single mom. Though they didn’t always see eye to eye they still loved each other throughout their disagreements and tears. When suddenly Candice’s mom passes she discovers just how toxic the church can be when she was needing her church family the most.
This book is Candice’s faith journey, her experience of the being raised in the black church and how it shaped her. Not only does Candice share about how she’s come into her own faith, but how stepping outside the spiritual system she was raised in has helped her grow in ways she wasn’t expecting.
I’ll be honest. I facilitated between agreeing one moment and the next trying to not be horrified. I have had my own outside of the box journey and dipped my toe in areas of spirituality that I’ve skedaddled from in abject fear and repentance. We won’t know otherwise unless we explore. It’s not easy to decide to journey to what can be viewed as the wrong side of the spiritual tracks.
I received my complimentary digital copy of Red Lip Theology by Candice Marie Benbow from Convergent Books, care of NetGalley. The views shared are mine and fully my choice. If you are looking for a book on faith that will challenge your old school ways then I recommend checking out this upcoming 2022 title. I think I’m still mentally processing all I’ve read. Thank you for being bold when others would rather you be silent. Thank you Candice.
Some books burrow a place into your soul. Carry The Dog has done just that. The last page has been read and my brain is reeling from this novel. This novel is NOT for kids or teens. If you are sensitive to dark topics then you may want to proceed with caution. It’s dark. Pitch black, can’t see ANYTHING in front of your face. The only thing you can do is listen to the main character, Bea’s thoughts.
How do you survivea childhood overshadowed bya famous mother? To have a parent whose loved and hated by society for producing what she considers art? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what if that perspective is twisted and marred?
Bea is on the cusp of the big 60 and her childhood that she thought was ‘normal’ keeps throwing her flashbacks. She’s trying to survive. One cig and drink at a time. Thankfully she has her younger sister, of sorts, Echo to keep her grounded.
When Bea’s ex tries to worm her into agreeing to allow someone to do a documentary on her mom she’s confronted with a past she’s trying forget. How does one process trauma? She thought ignoring it would make it disappear, but when Bea tries to confront her aging father, she realizes sometimes you’ve just got to dive into the pig sty and face crap head-on.
This novel tackles the intricacies of family on a whole different level. What is a family? Can a fractured one be pieced back together? Is it possible to pick up the shards of a disassociated self and make her whole again? How does our own perception morph between childhood and adulthood?
I received a complimentary physical and digital copy of Carry The Dog by Stephanie Gangi care of Algonquin Books and NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own volition. Thank you Stephanie, Algonquin Books and NetGalley. This novel is Gone Girl level on the psychological front. I almost couldn’t stomach it, but I’m glad I did.
Recently one of my best friends shared she was going to do a 90 day social media detox. I thought that sounded like a great idea. A month detox is good, but a 3 month detox sounded epic. If you can change a habit within twenty something days, then you could really change a habit in a big way after 90.
It’s weird to be off the grid minus Good Reads and blogging. It feels like I’ve entered my own private cave and all the worldly noise is gone. It will be interesting to see if anyone directly contacts me. I highly doubt it. That fact alone speaks volumes about social media. It’s a communication crutch. Yes, it’s easy to update multiple people all at once, but is it truly personable and do people truly bare their soul online? Only the occasional person does.
I’m excited to see how many books I can finish by the end of the year. I doubt I will reach my goal of 100, but that’s ok. I just want to enjoy reading for once.
Rica’s life draws you in from the very start. This memoir is poetic, dreamlike, yet hard hitting in spots. Rica shares her life with you: the good, the bad, the hopeful, the shocking. Her home life growing up isn’t the greatest unless she’s at her grandparent’s house. At a young age she meets a cute guy who she marries young. Here is her ticket to a better life. After a few years and they’ve got two little boys: KJ and Sym. The latter is a wrecking ball of anger that is hard to keep at bay.
Rica tries church to see if adding this social element will help her family. For awhile things seem to improve. The boys start to get used to going and her husband seems to be settling in. That is until the one time he seems to disappear after they are all situated in their pew.
When Rica’s husband gets verbally abusive towards their son that is her last straw. The family she’s tried her darnedest to keep in tact is having a monumental shift. No more house or life like she’s known. The boys aren’t too thrilled with the life changes, but it is what it is.
Following Rica on her journey to find herself and place after all she’s been through is insightful. It’s hard to put down her story. Rica is inspiring. She writes as though you are sitting across from her over coffee and she’s sharing her deep soul with you.
I received my complimentary digital copy of Petals of Rain by Rica Keenum from The Book Reality Experience care of NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own choice.
If you are a girlie girl then this book cover is going to make your heart happy. Pink everywhere. I haven’t liked pink since the first grade, but it’s starting to grow on me.
Kelsey talks candidly about how growing up in the evangelical world there are silent expectations. If you are a perfectionist then this is a challenging combo. You may feel the need to measure up culturally and spiritually. Is this realistic? It’s not. It causes anxiety and stress. Kelsey tries to measure up, but never feels arrived.
College felt like it would be a fresh new beginning. Being away from home can make you feel all grownup. That is until Kelsey discovers partying. As a perfectionist she does it with abandon.
When Kelsey Mets Chris at college she knows there is something special about him. There is something forbidden. He is a PK, adored by his family and church. He was Mr. Christian popularity. Everything seemed all sparkly, until Kelsey realized the underbelly wasn’t all charm.
Growing up in the evangelical world, a woman has her place. Kelsey wasn’t raised to speak up. Things aren’t that bad she reasons. Abuse only counts if it’s just physical. Kelsey dives deep into what it was like to be in a toxic relationship.
I received my complimentary copy of Over It by Kelsey Grimm from Worthy Publishing. The views are mine and of my own will. I’ll confess at first I felt like this book came across a tad spiritually fluffy, but not to worry there is spiritual meat in this memoir. I commend Kelsey for opening up about her experience. If the topics of toxic and abusive relationships are triggering then I caution you as you read this book. Kelsey is a survivor and an inspiration. Thank you Kelsey.
Christianity can scream for perfection, especially when it comes to women having to come across perfect in their looks, life and schedule. I’ll confess. I like to look at the author photo. I wasn’t disappointed. The author, Mary Katherine is stunning. Honestly I was afraid I was in for one of those cheesy, feel good Christian books. I wasn’t wrong. MK’s book is one of those such books, but it’s not all warm fuzzies and hot cocoa.
MK tackles some deep topics. There are topics that I can really relate to. The chapter on growing up and wanting to be accepted and be friends with a particular girl at school, well I’ve been there and got burnt as well. Going to church and not being in the mood to go? Yes, I am guilty of that more times than I can count. But you know what? I miss that family atmosphere. Yes, there is always going to be church drama. Imperfect people crammed into one building all trying to learn about God, Christ and the Holy Spirit that equals a recipe for spiritual/faith drama.
I loved Holy Hot Mess. MK never is condescending or uppity, she gets right across from us and shares her heart, soul and some extra leftovers because she doesn’t want any of her readers to be left hungry or left out. She is funny, serious, vulnerable and most important readable. She doesn’t dumb down the tough subjects, but her writing is conversational, personable and memorable.
I received my complimentary copy of Holy Hot Mess by Mary Katherine Backstrom from Worthy Publishing. Views are my own and my own choice. I am so thankful I got to read this book. I love getting to discover new favorite authors. Thank you Worthy and thank you MK. I can’t wait to go read more of your books.
Currently in the world, peace seems like the last thing that’s a possibility. We’re dealing with a world wide pandemic, there are raging fires and earthquakes that feel like they are just ramping up for a big one. Life feels like we are stuck on mental rollercoaster mode and we just want to get off this trying ride.
I admit I was a tad skeptical on the topic of being peaceful on purpose. How is that remotely possible? Christian or not. It sounds too pie in the sky and wishy washy. I’m sure lots of readers may be rolling their eyes. It’s understandable. Times aren’t exactly screaming peace.
Joel’s book is short with a powerful point. God is in control. We may be not be able to see the bigger picture or outcome, but He is in control. Not that we shouldn’t be responsible or accountable for our actions, but knowing He does have us in the palm of His hand should be comforting. We try to hold tight control to so much. That stubbornness just gives us more frustration and anxiety. Do we need more of both when times are already nuts? No. We need less.
I received my complimentary copy of Peaceful On Purpose by Joel Osteen from FaithWords in exchange for my honest review that is fully mine. This book was definitely thought provoking and even though the topic is very Christianese, it’s even more relevant for today.