I absolutely adore this book by Katherine Center! I love how it maintains a fun, lighthearted feel but also carries some weight. Though heartbreaking to read about a girl exactly my age hopeful to start her dreams of beginning her career after graduate school and getting engaged to her longterm boyfriend experience such a tragedy, it provides a lot of hope. Margaret demonstrates true strength as she heals not only physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. She reworks her goals and makes even better ones. Maybe she appreciates them more knowing what she had lost and what she had to do to get to the new places. The hospital setting gave a constant for most the story, and it all flowed so well. It kept me glued to the book in eager delight.
I received an advanced reading copy of As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner from BookishFirst in exchange for a review.
I really have enjoyed taking a trip through history by reading this book. Though I can’t imagine what experiencing the Spanish Flu epidemic 100 years ago, much less compounding those great losses with those of the war during the same period, I can relate to the three sisters’ life dilemmas. They go through tough experiences and loss, and they maintain a personal strength as well as a strong connection with their family.
At first glance, I dislike jumping between perspectives, especially when it goes beyond two (this one has four). Yet I find Meissner does a good job making each character clear and interlacing the perspectives to get the story’s full picture. Especially as the book progresses, I enjoy the distinct characters and their various ages.
This book gives a great glimpse into a tough part of history. I feel as though I have lived vicariously through this family and now have a greater understanding of the time and its turmoil as well as its blessings remaining in the ashes, as the girls learn.
I received a copy of These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart from Revell in exchange for a review.
This book with its Kentucky mountain fall picture on its cover arrived when I moved to Kentucky last autumn. Though the setting was more mountainous and backwoods than Bowling Green and further back in time, it provided a place and mood match. The story followed a city nurse midwife named Francine Howard as she finished her training to “catch babies” and Ben Locke, a man who returned from war unsure of what to do next.
Gabhart brought me into this mountain world and taught me about the midwife profession as well as the mountain lifestyle. The characters all held likable qualities, and I could relate to Francine’s internal struggle to determine where she belonged and where she wanted to live in the future. Francine also held admirable qualities to strive to do her best to complete the training as prescribed as well as to fully understand her patients. Overall, she showed strength in many ways as she handled birthing situations, a breakup with her fiancé and a new living and working environment. She held true to her values as she sought her direction for her next steps.
I enjoyed this book and also had the opportunity to meet Ann H. Gabhart at SOKY Book Fest this past weekend. She chatted with me for a while was really sweet. She signed my book, and I got one of her cozy mysteries to read next.
adventure, book, book review, books, characters, foundation, goals, Goodreads, healing, insight, life, loss, Nina George, progress, reading, results, routine, story, strategy, strength, structure, The Little Paris Bookshop, writing
Yesterday I finished reading Nina George’s novel The Little Paris Bookshop, and for the first time I gave fewer than three stars to a book on Goodreads. While the story had some insight into loss and the healing power of books, it had no strength. This came from a lack of structure. I pointed to Jean finding Manon, additionally letting go of his lost love in the process, as the overarching story goal. Yet even he didn’t seem to pursue that objective very strongly. He went on a mostly aimless adventure and made friends along the way. The added characters provided some color, but the lack of transition from scene to scene did not. Those poor people had no foundation upon which to stand.
This reminded me of how I ought to adjust the pursuit of some of my goals. Not having set times and strategies for tasks like job hunting and novel writing made it take even longer to get started, let alone see my desired progress. If I tightened my strategies with definitive times rather than as soon as I can, I could see better results. My high aims for my routine, my writing, my career and my life can stand better on a solid structure. It also would make it easier for others to grasp beneficial ideas and insight from my structure and what’s built into it.
I’m gazing at the sign hanging from the ceiling at Dunkin Donuts that reads: “pick up.” The pink background and white letters lend themselves to an innocently bright feel. Underneath it are cups displaying the sizes of the latte, espresso and cappuccino drinks. We all need a little “pick me up” on a regular basis, and the size can vary from person to person or even day to day.
Lately, coffee has served as a tremendous “pick me up” for me. Not only do I enjoy my quiet moments drinking coffee after breakfast, but I sip another cup later in the afternoon if my schedule permits. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but the slow drinking and the warmth provide such a comfort. Sometimes I muse that I would sit at a desk drinking coffee all day if I could. While I should watch the caffeine and acid levels from high coffee consumption, I’d say a vice could be much worse. Plus, I don’t drink a large every day. Sometimes I simply stick with a small dose.
My point is to find a “pick me up” and incorporate it into our schedule on some regular basis, even if it’s a weekly donut treat rather than a daily cup of coffee. I find that as my cup empties so does some of my anxiety. That makes the slowdown in my day worth it. I can continue from there to tackle the next items on my list with renewed strength as it fills my positive determination.
Let’s find a simple “pick me up” to keep us from hitting the ground. It can even vary from day to day or week to week depending on the amount of pressure needing decreased. The act of taking a moment from the regular productivity to enjoy a personalized detail makes it easier to progress the rest of the day.