Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

From Amazon: "From the moment it opens—on a rocky patch of Italian coastline, circa 1962, when a daydreaming young innkeeper looks out over the water and spies a mysterious woman approaching him on a boat—Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to the back lots of contemporary Hollywood, Beautiful Ruins is gloriously inventive and constantly surprising—a story of flawed yet fascinating people navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams."

Yo! Adrienne says: I really enjoyed how this book carried you along modern day Hollywood (and all it's disfunction) to the 60's (and all it's disfunction ... some things never change). One thing that was constant, the longing to be seen. To be someone that people recognize, admire and don't forget. Wanting to make your mark on the world. I also got a kick out of one of the main characters attempt at looking young despite being an elderly gentleman. Think couple in bathtubs commercial and lots of plastic surgery. One often wonders if he's smiling or grimacing ... it's hard to tell - ha! This was an enjoyable read that I would recommend.

From Amazon: "Almost 2 million people have read the New York Times bestseller Wonder and fallen in love with Auggie Pullman. Last year readers were given a special look at another side of his story with The Julian Chapter, and now they'll get a peek at Auggie's life before Beecher Prep, with an exclusive new short story told entirely from the point of view of Christopher, Auggie's oldest friend.

Christopher was Auggie's best friend from the time they were babies until his family moved away; he was there through all of Auggie's surgeries and heartbreaks, through bad times and good—like Star Wars marathons and dreams of traveling to Pluto together.  Alternating between childhood flashbacks and the present day, an especially bad day for Christopher, Pluto is the story of two boys grown apart learning that good friendships are worth a little extra effort."

Yo! Adrienne says: The last of my Wonder books. I think I have said this before, I wish I could have read all the of the short stories after having read Wonder. They are so well written and really explore the emotions/reactions we have to people who are different than us. Again, our desire to be seen is such a craving for us, isn't it? If you haven't read Wonder, do so and then top it off with all of the vignettes. Great reads.

From Amazon: "A modern love story, I Regret Everything confronts the oceanic uncertainty of what it means to be alive, and in love. Jeremy Best, a Manhattan-based trusts and estates lawyer, leads a second life as published poet Jinx Bell.  To his boss’s daughter, Spaulding Simonson, at 33 years old, Jeremy is already halfway to dead.  When Spaulding, an aspiring 19-year-old writer, discovers Mr. Best’s alter poetic ego, the two become bound by a devotion to poetry, and an awareness that time in this world is limited.  Their budding relationship strikes at the universality of love and loss, as Jeremy and Spaulding confront their vulnerabilities, revealing themselves to one another and the world for the very first time.

A skilled satirist with a talent for biting humor, Greenland creates fully realized characters that quickly reveal themselves as complex renderings of the human condition – at its very best, and utter worst. I Regret Everything explores happiness and heartache with a healthy dose of skepticism, and an understanding that the reality of love encompasses life, death, iambic pentameter, regret, trusts and estates."

Yo! Adrienne says: Well. Somehow I was drawn to this book, bought it and proceeded to shelve it. When I went to pull it down I had no recollection of who, what, or why ... and I certainly wondered why. How could  I have been remotely interested in a book that has a 30+ man involved with a 19 year old! Had I lost my mind (this kind of story line usually turns me off). I decided that since I had actually purchased this book (I  hardly ever buy books anymore) it must have been recommened by someone who's opinion I respect. So, I began. Well. Wow. I loved how this love story evolves and quite honesty, isn't wrapped up nicely with a bow on top. You will just have to read it to see what I mean. It's definitely worth it.

From Amazon: "Are you wondering what saying yes to following Jesus really means? Do you want to know more about Christianity but you’re not sure what, or how, to ask? Are you just beginning in a new faith in Jesus Christ?

Then Start Here.

Written by two authors who also know what it’s like to seek God, Start Here answers questions such as:

If God is real, now what?
What is the relationship between God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit?
What does the church have to do with my life and my faith?
Why did Jesus have to die?
Isn’t grace too good to be true?
Can I accept that Jesus is the way to God?
Following Jesus isn’t about rules—it’s all about relationship. So start here to find practical help and encouraging stories about what authentic Christianity looks like. Welcome to the journey of a lifetime."

Yo! Adrienne says: I actually received this book for free from the author (I won a give away along with many others). My opinion is my own. I love this book. I have given it away to so many people. Those who are finding their way/questioning Christianity and to those who have been believers for some time. It's a beautifully written book sharing the stories of many who struggled to find peace but finally did in Jesus. I highly recommend.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion

From Amazon: "Mrs. Sookie Poole of Point Clear, Alabama, has just married off the last of her daughters and is looking forward to relaxing and perhaps traveling with her husband, Earle. The only thing left to contend with is her mother, the formidable Lenore Simmons Krackenberry. Lenore may be a lot of fun for other people, but is, for the most part, an overbearing presence for her daughter. Then one day, quite by accident, Sookie discovers a secret about her mother’s past that knocks her for a loop and suddenly calls into question everything she ever thought she knew about herself, her family, and her future. Sookie begins a search for answers that takes her to California, the Midwest, and back in time, to the 1940s, when an irrepressible woman named Fritzi takes on the job of running her family’s filling station. Soon truck drivers are changing their routes to fill up at the All-Girl Filling Station. Then, Fritzi sees an opportunity for an even more groundbreaking adventure. As Sookie learns about the adventures of the girls at the All-Girl Filling Station, she finds herself with new inspiration for her own life. Fabulous, fun-filled, spanning decades and generations, and centered on a little-known aspect of America’s twentieth-century story, The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion is another irresistible novel by the remarkable Fannie Flagg."

Yo! Adrienne Says: I thought this book was a hoot. Definitely an easy and enjoyable read. Add this to your list dear readers ...

The Shoemaker's Wife

From Amazon: "The fateful first meeting of Enza and Ciro takes place amid the haunting majesty of the Italian Alps at the turn of the last century. Still teenagers, they are separated when Ciro is banished from his village and sent to hide in New York's Little Italy, apprenticed to a shoemaker, leaving a bereft Enza behind. But when her own family faces disaster, she, too, is forced to emigrate to America. Though destiny will reunite the star-crossed lovers, it will, just as abruptly, separate them once again - sending Ciro off to serve in World War I, while Enza is drawn into the glamorous world of the opera . . . and into the life of the international singing sensation Enrico Caruso. Still, Enza and Ciro have been touched by fate - and, ultimately, the power of their love will change their lives forever. A riveting historical epic of love and family, war and loss, risk and destiny, inspired by the author's own family history, The Shoemaker's Wife is the novel Adriana Trigiani was born to write."

Yo! Adrienne says: Love at first sight? Tragedy? Destiny? This book as it all ... and I loved every bit of it. Another one to put in the pile if you haven't read it already.

If you have been following along you might remember that I have been working my way through this translated short stories book. The latest being Kyara. This nugget was a fascinating look into the world of women's fashion. The main characters were a beautiful boutique owner and one of her clothing suppliers. Like the other stories in The Stationmaster there is no real plot - just a story of someones life. They are interesting reads that offer a bit of insight into the Japanese culture. If you liked reading outside of your "comfort zone" I suggest this collection for a bit of interest. 

Mere Christianity

From Amazon: In 1943 Great Britain, when hope and the moral fabric of society were threatened by the relentless inhumanity of global war, an Oxford don was invited to give a series of radio lectures addressing the central issues of Christianity. Over half a century after the original lectures, the topic retains it urgency. Expanded into book form, Mere Christianity never flinches as it sets out a rational basis for Christianity and builds an edifice of compassionate morality atop this foundation. As Mr. Lewis clearly demonstrates, Christianity is not a religion of flitting angels and blind faith, but of free will, an innate sense of justice and the grace of God. "

Yo! Adrienne says: My book club "Wine Women and the Word" took the summer to read this and discuss last month. I had never read C.S. Lewis aside from "The Chronicles" and was excited and nervous to delve in. I really, really loved this book. I think it is perfect to read wether you have been a Christian for as long as you can remember or just curious/questioning. Lewis is so matter of fact and I  relate to that. He just states it as it is without any fluff. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

From Amazon: "Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .
A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?  
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.  
But who did what?
Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.
New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive."

Yo! Adrienne says: I ~loved~ this book. Stop whatever you are reading right now and pick this one up. 
Same author of What Alice Forgot ( and for the life of me I cannot find that review on my blog) which is also a must.read.right.now book. So, do yourself a favor - read both. Now.

From Amazon: "Over 2 million people have read the New York Times bestseller Wonder and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. Readers have also been given a special look at another side of Auggie's story with The Julian Chapter and a peek at his life before Beecher Prep in Pluto. In Shingaling, the third Wonder Story, they'll read about life as a fifth grader at Beecher Prep through the eyes of Charlotte, the girl who had been chosen to be Auggie's "welcome" buddy. Readers will not only learn more about Charlotte and her budding friendship with reader-favorite, Summer (they solve a mystery together), but how the girls at Beecher Prep react to Auggie attending their school for the first time, and how Charlotte came to write the precept she used at the end of Wonder, "It's not enough to be friendly. You have to be a friend.""

Yo! Adrienne says: I really liked this "extra" Wonder story. Maybe because I can remember (somewhat) what it was like to be a young girl and trying to fit in. It was fun to read about their dance instructor and see how the girls began to mature and build a relationship with each other. This all centered around a specific dance. As they say - music moves the soul ... so just shing-a-ling baby. 

From Amazon: "September 3, 1940. Ten peculiar children flee an army of deadly monsters. And only one person can help them—but she’s trapped in the body of a bird. The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience."

Yo! Adrienne says: Well. I enjoyed this book but liked book one better. Does that mean I won't be picking up a copy of book three come Sept. 22nd? Fingers crossed my library will have the an electronic version since it has one and two. If you haven't read these yet I'd suggest waiting until you can read them all through. I think I struggled a bit because I forgot quite a bit from book one. It was 2012 when I read it after all ;-) I am eagerly awaiting to see how this all turns out. It's a creative story and the vintage photographs add a unique edge to the book.

From Amazon: "This powerful dramatization of King Hezekiah's life and faith surges forward. Chronicles of the Kings book 2."

Yo! Adrienne says: I am really enjoying working my way through this series. Old Testament isn't always easy to read much less understand. Austin's writing brings to life what I would otherwise glaze over (or fall asleep while trying to read). 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

From Amazon: "A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years: his wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and his prized possession--a rare edition of Poe poems--has been stolen. Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly. Until a most unexpected occurrence gives him the chance to make his life over and see things anew.  

Gabrielle Zevin’s enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books--an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love."

Yo! Adrienne says: This book had me heading constantly looking up books that were referenced within the book itself; some were fictious but many were not and subsequently added to my "list". Definitely a quirky and interesting read. I say go for it.

One Plus One

From Amazon: "Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight in shining armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever. One Plus One is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again."

Yo! Adrienne says: Hands down one of my favorite authors. So did I like the book? Um. Yeah. Couldn't help but love Jess and slowly but surely come to fall for Ed too. I really enjoy how Moyes wraps up a book - it's never as I suspect. Another home run. Excellent summer (or anytime read).

From Amazon: "What happens to children who are robbed of family? Myrtle Rowley's first three children grew up without any knowledge of their mother after Myrtle was forced to give them up when they were still toddlers. Not only were the children deprived of contact with their mother, they also grew up devoid of any knowledge of each other after being placed in separate facilities. In this sequel to Whisper My Secret, award winning writer JB Rowley explores what happened to the three half-siblings she never knew. As one of the children of Myrtle’s second family, JB also offers a personal view of a mother making a new life without her first family. Although the devastating loss of her first three children remained with her, Myrtle became a caring and committed mother of seven more children living in near isolation in the Australian bush. This mother’s strength of character is matched in her first three children who survived and thrived despite being cheated of the nurturing that should have been their birthright. Their stories are sad, sometimes heartbreaking but ultimately courageous and inspiring."

Yo! Adrienne says: If you enjoy reading about real life struggles that women faced shortly after the turn of the 20th century then you will certainly find this a page turner. Whisper My Secret is the loose history of Myrtle Rowley's early life that her daughter, JB Rowley, pieced together after her mother's death. After publishing her mothers story, many inquired about Mytrtle's "second family", thus Mother of Ten. I was shocked for many reasons - the lack of support, the calculated loss of her children, and what life was like in the outback (I would never have survived!). I would not call this a light summer read but a good look at another's life struggles and triumph over adversity. The review from Amazon is from Mother of Ten.

Hinds Feet on High Places

From Amazon: "Much-Afraid had been in the service of the Chief Shepherd, whose great flocks were pastured down in the Valley of Humiliation. She lived with her friends and fellow workers Mercy and Peace in a tranquil little white cottage in the village of Much-Trembling. She loved her work and desired intensely to please the Chief Shepherd, but happy as she was in most ways, she was conscious of several things which hindered her in her work and caused her much secret distress and shame. Here is the allegorical tale of Much-Afraid, an every-woman searching for guidance from God to lead her to a higher place."

Yo Adrienne says: This was another of one of my book club reads. I was hesitant at first because of the allegory (I'm not very deep) but quickly found myself immersed. I did read this in small chunks (remember, I'm not very deep). This book is a beautiful reminder that our Father meets us wherever we are (rock bottom) and will guide us to high places.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

From Amazon: "1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.

At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.

An emotionally charged coming-of-age novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again."

Yo! Adrienne says: Wow. I loved this book. I read it over spring break and really could not put my kindle down. I even read in the car (I get motion sick but it was worth it). My library had an electronic version. Anyway you can get it do so. This is such a tender coming of age book. I could relate a bit to June - I was 14 in 1987 and remember many a health class addressing this "mysterious illness". Growing up in a smallish southern city I was a bit more sheltered than June but still could throw myself back to my early teen self. I think you will really enjoy this one.

From Amazon: "It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest."

Yo! Adrienne says: Goodness. The determination and obstacles that these young men had and endured just blows me away. Their maturity is hard for me to grasp. I just don't see 19 & 20 year olds with this kind of drive and direction these days. Do I sound old? I'm approaching 43 quickly and have finally strarted to put a demi-glaze in my hair (but not covering all the gray - I kinda like it - just don't want to look like my children's favorite great aunt) - does that make me an autority of the demise of our young people and breakdown in society? Probably not. But it's hard not to compare when you read this. I really enjoyed how the author focuses mainly on one character, Joe Rantz, but introduces you to many of the heros of that time. Yes, I said heros. These young men dug deep and gave much blood, sweat, and tears to their team, school, and country. This is definitely a favorite of mine. I plan to hang on to my copy for my sons to read when they are a bit older. It's a keeper.

From Amazon: "Gods and Kings is the story of King Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David. When his evil father plots to sacrifice him, Hezekiah's mother, Abijah, searches frantically for a way to save him. But only two men can help her, and neither of them seems trustworthy. In a time and place engulfed by violence, treachery, and infidelity to Yahweh, Abijah and her son must discover the one true Source of strength if they are to save themselves and their country. Book 1 of Chronicles of the Kings."

Yo! Adrienne says: There are 5 books in this series and I really love how the author brings the old testament to life. Those that are mentioned in the Bible were real people - I often forget that. They lived, loved, lost - just in a different environment than us. I would recommend this series (which I am working my way through) to anyone who wants the equivalent of a historical fiction to use as an aid to help them dig deeper in understand the OT.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

Happy TTPT.

On a Wednesday.

Sometimes that's just how we roll.

So sometime ago I read Wonder and *loved it*. It is such a beautiful book. I tried to search my blog for my original review but go sidetracked by this post. Oh that was ages ago ... I'm feeling a bit sentimental. Best get on the to the reviews lest I wipe out a box of kleenex!

The Julian Chapter was such an exciting find - it's an extension of Wonder and is from the perspective of Julian (the bully). You do need to read Wonder first in order to really 'get' Julian and to follow along. I love how the author decided to dig a bit deeper with this short story. It's so fascinating to remember that we all have a story that includes (as they say) good, bad, and ugly.

From Amazon: "Over 1 million people have read Wonder and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. Now readers will have a chance to hear from the book's most controversial character—Julian. 

From the very first day Auggie and Julian met in the pages of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wonder,it was clear they were never going to be friends, with Julian treating Auggie like he had the plague. And while Wonder told Auggie's story through six different viewpoints, Julian's perspective was never shared. Readers could only guess what he was thinking.
Until now. The Julian Chapter will finally reveal the bully's side of the story. Why is Julian so unkind to Auggie? And does he have a chance for redemption?"

Yo! Adrienne says: You don't want to miss these two books. Definitely a good summer read.

I think Jojo Moyes has become one of my favorite authors. No. She has become one of my favorites. The Ship of Brides is right on up there with all her other books - delicious. If you've been around here long enough you know I love WWII books. Well. I've got another for ya.

From Amazon: "1946. World War II has ended and all over the world, young women are beginning to fulfill the promises made to the men they wed in wartime. In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other war brides on an extraordinary voyage to England—aboard HMS Victoria, which still carries not just arms and aircraft but a thousand naval officers. Rules are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier’s captain down to the lowliest young deckhand. But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined despite the Navy’s ironclad sanctions. And for Frances Mackenzie, the complicated young woman whose past comes back to haunt her far from home, the journey will change her life in ways she never could have predicted—forever."

Yo! Adrienne says: Who knew this was happening?! I sure didn't know. This story was based on stories from actual war brides who crossed the ocean and shared their adventure. How far would you travel for love? If it was for my Rocky - to infinity and beyond ;-)

My book club read A Million Little Ways. Sadly I had a sick kiddo and couldn't make the  meeting but I did read the book.

From Amazon: "Do you desperately fear you have nothing to offer the world but secretly hope you're wrong? You were born to make art. You were made to live art. You might not see yourself as an artist, but you are--in so many unexpected ways. In what you create, whether poetry or pie, sculpture or sand castle, calligraphy or conversation. It's time to uncover the shape of your soul, turn down the voice of the inner critic, and move into the world with the courage to be who you most deeply are. 
Creating a life of meaning is not about finding that one great thing you were made to do, it's about knowing the one great God you were made to glorify--in a million little ways."

Yo! Adrienne says: At first I was a bit turned off when I read the title ... art? I'm not an artist. But then I jumped in and was pleasantly surprised. Art isn't just a drawing, painting, jewelry making ... and the list goes on. It's about tapping into your own gifts that our Creator has given us. Do you like to tell jokes? Bake cookies? Give hugs? We all have talents that bless others and in turn bless us. Take some time to read this book and begin discovering the million little ways that you have been made in His image.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Sorry folks.

Between Busch Garden field trips (that's educational right?), violin solos, end of the year picnics and tours of new schools I am a bit behind. You should see my house ...

Turn the page ... Tuesday should be up and running ... Wednesday.

I've have managed time to read (go me) and can't wait to share.