From Amazon: "Brilliantly evoking the long-vanished world of masters and servants portrayed in Downton Abbeyand Upstairs, Downstairs, Margaret Powell’s classic memoir of her time in service, Below Stairs,is the remarkable true story of an indomitable woman who, though she served in the great houses of England, never stopped aiming high. Powell first arrived at the servants' entrance of one of those great houses in the 1920s. As a kitchen maid – the lowest of the low – she entered an entirely new world; one of stoves to be blacked, vegetables to be scrubbed, mistresses to be appeased, and bootlaces to be ironed. Work started at 5.30am and went on until after dark. It was a far cry from her childhood on the beaches of Hove, where money and food were scarce, but warmth and laughter never were. Yet from the gentleman with a penchant for stroking the housemaids’ curlers, to raucous tea-dances with errand boys, to the heartbreaking story of Agnes the pregnant under-parlormaid, fired for being seduced by her mistress’s nephew, Margaret’s tales of her time in service are told with wit, warmth, and a sharp eye for the prejudices of her situation. Margaret Powell's true story of a life spent in service is a fascinating “downstairs” portrait of the glittering, long-gone worlds behind the closed doors of Downton Abbey and 165 Eaton Place."
Yo! Adrienne says: I have just begun watching Downton Abbey. I know. I am sooo behind. It's my reward for getting on the treadmill when I can't get outside and run. I just push my treadmill right up to the TV and stream an episode. It's beautiful. I actually read this book long before I began streaming DA but it was with the anticipation that I would someday actually begin the series. I really enjoyed Below Stairs and quite frankly can't imagine living the DA life or of those in this book.
From Amazon: "I wonder this: If you take a woman and push her to the edge, how will she behave?" The question is posed by Jean, a photographer, who arrives on Smuttynose Island, off the coast of New Hampshire, to research a century-old crime. As she immerses herself in the details of the case--an outburst of passion that resulted in the deaths of two women--Jean herself enters precarious emotional territory. The suspicion that her husband is having an affair burgeons into jealousy and distrust, and ultimately propels Jean to the verge of actions she had not known herself capable of--actions with horrific consequences. Everywhere hailed for its beauty and power, The Weight of Water takes us on an unforgettable journey through the furthest extremes of emotion."
Yo! Adrienne: I"m a big Anita Shreve fan. I've read quite a few books of hers. The Weight of Water completely shocked me at the end. I did not see it coming. Any book like that gets a two thumbs up from me even if the ending made my heart ache and tears fill my eyes.
From Amazon: "All roads lead to home. It’s easy to go through life believing that we can satisfy our longing for home with a three-bedroom, two-bath slice of the American dream that we mortgage at 4 percent and pay for over the course of thirty years. But ultimately, in our deepest places, we’re really looking to belong and to be known. And what we sometimes miss in our search for the perfect spot to set up camp is that wherever we are on the long and winding road of life, God is at work in the journey, teaching us, shaping us, and refining us―sometimes through the most unlikely people and circumstances. In Home Is Where My People Are, Sophie Hudson takes readers on a delightfully quirky journey through the South, introducing them to an unforgettable cast of characters, places, and experiences. Along the way, she reflects on how God has used each of the stops along the road to impart timeless spiritual wisdom and truth. Nobody embodies the South like Sophie Hudson, and this nostalgic celebration of home is sure to make even those north of the Mason-Dixon line long to settle in on the front porch with a glass of sweet tea and reflect on all of the people in our lives who―related or not―have come to represent home. Because at the end of the day, it’s not the address on the front door or even the name on the mailbox that says home, but the people who live and laugh and love there, wherever there might happen to be."
Yo! Adrienne: Ya'll. I wish Sophie Hudson was my neighbor. She is so funny. I love her blog and her first book so when this one came out I had to read it right away. You will want to read this too. Don't wait.
From Amazon: "According to Pastor Mark Batterson in his book, The Circle Maker, “Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It’s a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us.” Do you ever sense that there’s far more to prayer, and to God’s vision for your life, than what you’re experiencing? It’s time you learned from the legend of Honi the Circle Maker―a man bold enough to draw a circle in the sand and not budge from inside it until God answered his prayers for his people. What impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around? Sharing inspiring stories from his own experiences as a circle maker, Mark Batterson will help you uncover your heart’s deepest desires and God-given dreams and unleash them through the kind of audacious prayer that God delights to answer."
Yo! Adrienne says: My neighbor lent me this book and it sat on my shelf for embarrassingly too long. Then one day I just decided it was time to read it. I really am in awe of what Mark Batterson has been able to do (Lord willing) in his community and how his church had grown. His writing is real (it's not all roses) and he is not afraid to share his doubts, lack of faith at times, and questioning of God's plan. He also does an amazing job of giving us insight into his prayer life and how that impacted his family and ministry. It's definitely a good read if you want to grow in your relationship with the Lord.