Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wish Her Safe At Home

Wish Her Safe at HomeWish Her Safe at Home by Stephen Benatar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book left me confused, questioning reality, and just a little bit shaken. This story is how a woman slowly loses her sanity (or maybe she never had it) told in first person. Rather interesting at how quickly the mind twisted actual events. It was sometimes hard to determine what the real situation was and what was delusional... and then at the very end it all came unraveled. There was a very formal feel to the writing at times. I'm not sure if that was intended to portray the first person character as being out of time and place (and there fore out of reality). I wouldn't call the book laugh out loud humor, but I did enjoy some of the satire and the ironic timing of the plot. Definitely an interesting read.

Synopsis: Rachel Waring is deliriously happy. Out of nowhere, a great-aunt leaves her a Georgian mansion in another city—and she sheds her old life without delay. Gone is her dull administrative job, her mousy wardrobe, her downer of a roommate. She will live as a woman of leisure, devoted to beauty, creativity, expression, and love. Once installed in her new quarters, Rachel plants a garden, takes up writing, and impresses everyone she meets with her extraordinary optimism. But as Rachel sings and jokes the days away, her new neighbors begin to wonder if she might be taking her transformation just a bit too far.

Recommended Reading:
Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson
Fortunes of War by Olivia Manning
The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
Skylark by Dezso Kosztolanyi
Wise Children by Angela Carter
Everything Flows by Vasily Grossman

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Good Dream

The Good DreamThe Good Dream by Donna VanLiere
My rating: 5 of 5 stars! I loved this book. Told from multiple view points, the language is simple, the descriptions are minimal, but yet it's a richly told story with character and emotion. The plot was a little shallow, but the story moved along at a good pace. I really enjoyed this book and couldn't read fast enough.

Synopsis: Tennessee, 1950:  Still single and in her early thirties, Ivorie Walker is considered an old maid; a label she takes with good humor and a grain of salt. But when her mother dies, leaving her to live alone in the house she grew up in, to work the farm she was raised to take care of, she finds herself lost in a kind of loneliness she hadn't expected.  After years of rebuffing the advances of imperfect, yet eligible bachelors from her small town, Ivorie is without companionship with more love in her heart and time on her hands than she knows what to do with.  But her life soon changes when a feral, dirty-faced boy who has been sneaking onto her land to steal from her garden comes into her life.  Even though he runs back into the hills as quickly as he arrives, she's determined to find out who he is because something about the young boy haunts her. What would make him desperate enough to steal and eat from her garden?  But what she can't imagine is what the boy faces, each day and night, in the filthy lean-to hut miles up in the hills. Who is he? How did he come to live in the hills? Where did he come from? And, more importantly, can she save him? As Ivorie steps out of her comfort zone to uncover the answers, she unleashes a firestorm in the town-a community that would rather let secrets stay that way.

Recommended Reading:
Coming Up For Air by Patti Callahan Henry
Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick
The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner
Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews
Clair de Lune by Jetta Carleton
Picture This by Jacqueline Sheehan

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hiding From Love

Hiding from Love: How to Change the Withdrawal Patterns That Isolate and Imprison YouHiding from Love: How to Change the Withdrawal Patterns That Isolate and Imprison You by John Sims Townsend
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that's hard to review. This book took me on an emotional journey from the start. There were literally weeks where I couldn't read because I was overwhelmed with discovery, with letting go, with recognizing the parts of me that were injured, that were broken, the parts that needed LOVE.

God set me on this journey last summer when He put the desire for marriage, for a committed companionship, onto my heart. I've spent much of that wondering why. Why would He bring me to this and I would still be alone? Why would He bring me here and not bring my intended spouse here as well? Crazy, but Here is not the end of my journey. Here is where I have the desire to fill God's plans for me, to fix the brokenness... to not just accept God and His love, but to be able to accept another choosing me.

I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with relationships, anyone who wants a relationship, and anyone who is in a relationship.

Synopsis: When you experience emotional injury, fear, shame, or pride your first impulse is to hide the hurting parts of yourself from God, others, even yourself. Often you've learned these hiding patterns during childhood to protect yourself in a threatening environment. The problem is that when you hide your injuries and frailties, you isolate yourself from the very things you need in order to heal and mature. What served as protection for a child becomes a prison to an adult. In Hiding from Love, Dr. John Townsend helps you to explore thoroughly the hiding patterns you've developed and guides you toward the healing grace and truth that God has built into safe, connected relationships with himself and others. You'll discover: The difference between 'good' and 'bad' hiding, Why you hide the broken parts of your soul from the God who can heal them, How to be free to make mistakes without fear of exposing your failures and imperfections, How to obtain the joy and wholeness God intends you to have through healthy bonding with others. Hiding from Love will take you on a journey of discovery toward healing, connected relationships, and a new freedom and joy in living.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Oh My My

I don't even know what to say... I have read one book. ONE. since the beginning of July. It wasn't a long book. It was emotionally intense and at times painful... but you'll hear about that in the review later. For now, let's continue on about how much I suck, shall we? Yes. Let's do.

I feel like I can't my feet under me. I don't sleep. I eat, I run, I start projects and don't finish them, I spend far too much time on FaceBook doing nothing. Right now my only real comfort is at church. Which brings me back full circle to starting projects and not finishing them...

Sigh. I can't focus on reading. I'd rather RUN than read a book. Anyone who knows me knows how Cah-ray-zee that idea even is.

But that's where I am right now.

I'm having a hard time embracing it.

So over the rest of the year, I'm just going with it. Kind of. I'm making more of an effort to focus... but if I feel like running, I'm gonna run.

So dare I even try to set a goal? Sure. Everyone needs a point to measure failure, right? Right.

So far I have read 23 books of 50. That means I'm roughly 25% behind in my reading. So here's the goal: Read one book every 10 days. That's it. That is the best I can do.

2013 has been a huge disappointment all the way around. It's been a bad luck year here. I'm really hoping I make it through and 2014 will be oh-so-much better.