Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Waiting Place by Eileen Button

A collection of essays describing the beauty and humor that can be found in what often feels like a most useless state—The Waiting Place.

We all spend precious time just waiting. We wait in traffic, grocery store lines, and carpool circles. We wait to grow up, for true love, and for our children to be born. We even wait to die. But amazing things can happen if we open our eyes in The Waiting Place and peer into its dusty corners. Sometimes relationships are built, faith is discovered, dreams are (slowly) realized, and our hearts are expanded.

With humor and heart-breaking candor, Eileen Button breathes life into stagnant and, at times, difficult spaces. Throughout this collection of essays she contends that The Waiting Place can be a most miraculous place—a place where beauty can be experienced, the sacred can be realized, and God can be found working in the midst of it all.


Again, as with the previous book, I love that I don't have to worry about having to put the book down and then forget where I was at, or have to reread the chapters again.

It's small enough and written in such a way that I can pick it up and set it down as needed but not feel like I've lost anything along the way.

For me, I will say that the most captivating part of the book is that Eileen writes as if she was talking to you in person, as if she was sitting down across the table for a cup of coffee or tea and telling you about her experiences, her waiting places, what happened, how she got there and how she got through it.

The waiting place is something I think we are all very familiar with, that moment in time where we are left feeling that we can't move forward and can't move backward and don't know what to do, left helpless and with no control over what is happening around us. 

From the book I have learned that Eileen is actually a lot like I am and I suspect like many others out there.  She shares her moments of waiting, what she observed, what she took from it, what she thought and how she laughed or cried or worked through it.

Thank you Eileen for such a great book, I really enjoyed this one :)

Disclaimer:  I received this book for review from BookSneeze.  All my views are my own.

Untamed by Lisa Harper

How the Wild Side of Jesus Frees Us to Live and Love with Abandon
Written by Lisa Harper

Through a powerful blend of storytelling and biblical insights, Lisa Harper invites you to engage with the Jesus of the gospels, a person so provocative that no one left an encounter with Him unchanged. Pharisees fumed, paralytics turned cartwheels, and pariahs found love and acceptance.

Come meet the Jesus who is both safe and strong—and learn how this radical Redeemer can liberate you to live and love with abandon.

Includes questions for group discussion or personal reflection.


There is a very deep yearning inside me to be closer to Jesus, to have that unwavering Faith which I so envy in others.  I think it's one of the reasons why the Amish are so fascinating to me, I want to be like them in that relationship with Jesus.

I couldn't have asked for a better book when it comes to helping me along this journey.

The book includes personal testimony from the author’s life and from other people. She uses anecdotes to get the point across, lessons to help us understand and she links it to our normal lives which I absolutely love.  Another one of the things that drew me to it, are the discussion questions at the end of each chapter which include Scriptural references.

Every chapter starts with "Our Savior is......." and I just think that is the cutest thing ever.   For example...."Our Savior is Wildly Compelling........His character enchants, subdues, overwhelms--and with the irresistible impulse of its own sacred attraction it draws your spirit right up to Him - Charles Spurgeon".

You find snippets like these littered throughout the book.  Honestly, I'm a busy mom and I don't have time to sit down with a big book, I am constantly being interrupted by one of the kids or by the time I get around to reading, I'm exhausted and just want to go to sleep, so I found this book was perfect for me to carry around and be able to get through a quick Chapter without having to stop and come back to it later.

If you're looking for a book to nourish your soul, to give you back the faith that you so long for, this is it.  What a wonderful read :)

Disclaimer:  I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.  All my views and opinions are mine alone.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wishes & Stitches by Rachael Herron

Pub. Date: October 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback , 400pp

Available here:
Barnes & Noble

You can find Rachael Herron on Facebook
It has always been Naomi Fontaine’s dream to practice small-town medicine—an ambition that brought her to Cypress Hollow, the charming, tight-knit community her late friend, knitting guru Eliza Carpenter, loved so well. But no matter how hard she tries, Naomi can’t seem to fit in here. Then rugged Rig Keller moves in to take over half of Naomi’s medical practice, and instantly charms everyone in town . . . including Naomi. Rig saw what a broken relationship did to his brother, and has no interest whatsoever in getting serious. But the temptation to play doctor with his new partner is just too strong to resist. Any chance they might have of being truly knit together by love, however, depends entirely on what secrets they are willing to reveal . . . and on Rig’s willingness to risk his heart and Naomi’s desire to open hers completely.

I LOVED this book, no, I really loved this book.

To be perfectly honest, the very first thing that caught my attention was the cover because I love yarn and I love crocheting and knitting, so the cover itself was a like a huge red flag for me, just waving and saying read me read me.  And read it I did.

The minute this book arrived in the mail, I immediately set aside all my other reads and began this one.

It spoke my language, the language of a knitter, stitches and patterns and needles and the joys of casting on and seeing something emerge.

But it wasn't just the knitting anecdotes in the beginning of each chapter that kept me smiling, it was the story itself.

Naomi and Rig, the main characters and then all the others, Rig's family Jake who has recently lost his wife, his son Milo and their dad Frank....Naomi's family, her mother who she doesn't really get along with and her sister Anna who is kind of the black sheep of the family.

You get to really dig into the family history here and you start loving these characters from the get go, it's like following them on a daily journey from the minute they get up to the minute they head to bed.  You start loving their work, the small town they live in and it really gives you the feeling of small town living, the fact that everyone seems to know each other and how someone coming for the first time may feel like the outsider, the one cast aside and talked about.

Watching Naomi and Rig's love develop was so sweet but I think one of the characters I actually most loved and began to really feel for was Anna.  She shows up out of nowhere, pregnant and needing a place to stay, it's like she's the inconvenience in Naomi's life but soon they all begin to understand just how much they love each other and what family means.  I love the fact that we also get to enjoy Jake and Anna's friendship.

All in all this book ended way too soon for me, I wanted it to keep going and going and going and I'm dying to know what comes next for them all.  I only hope that the author graces us with another story follow up to Naomi and Rig and Jake and Anna and even Frank and Shirley.

Like I said, I couldn't put this book down and now that it's over I am left with a bitter sweet feeling, loving what I read but wanting more and I think for me that is the sign of a good author.

This was my first Rachael Herron book but by golly, I'm going to be hunting down her other ones and reading them too, not just because I love the author but the covers themselves are too pretty to pass up.

The book was provided by Harper Collins for review purposes. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Displaced Persons by Ghita Schwarz

In May 1945, Pavel Mandl, a Polish Jew recently liberated from a concentration camp, finds himself among similarly displaced persons gathered in the Allied occupation zones of a defeated Germany. Possessing little besides a map, a few tins of food, and a talent for black-market trading, he must scrape together a new life in a chaotic community of refugees, civilians, and soldiers. With fellow refugees Fela, a young widow, and Chaim, a resourceful teenager with impressive smuggling skills, Pavel establishes a makeshift family, as together they face an uncertain future. Eventually the trio immigrates to the United States, where they grapple with past traumas that arise again in the everyday moments of lives no longer dominated by the need to endure, fight, hide, or escape.
Ghita Schwarz’s Displaced Persons is an astonishing novel of grief, anger, and survival that examines the landscape of liberation and reveals the interior despairs and joys of immigrants shaped by war and trauma.

  About Ghita Schwarz

Ghita Schwarz is a civil rights lawyer specializing in immigrants’ rights. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Displaced Persons was a finalist for the Foundation for Jewish Culture’s Goldberg Prize for Outstanding Fiction.
Visit Gita at her website,


I'll start by saying that I find the cover to be one of the prettiest and most eye appealing I have ever come across.  Then I will tell you that when I first read the summary for the book, I knew it was one I not only was interested in but couldn't wait to get my hands on.

And now I will tell you that it wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but not in a bad way.

I will say that it was a difficult book to read at times almost too intense, it made me want to put it down and take a deep breath, but it also made me want to stop and thank the Lord for being blessed, for never having to endure what the survivors have.

The author did a brilliant job of bringing us into the story, of taking us down this path, of focusing on what happens AFTER the war, after the heartache and the pain.  I think it's easy to forget about the "after" but often there is so much more to the usual survivor stories.

Like I said, it was an intense book to read.  Some may find it too serious, others may find it just up their alley.  I'm sort of in between, I enjoyed it but I don't think I want to read something similar too soon :)

 TLC Book Tours provided a proof copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are mine alone.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Call me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (August 30, 2011)

R.S.V.P. to the most riotous wedding of the year!

Lucy Jorik’s the daughter of a former U.S. president.
Meg Koranda’s the offspring of legends.
One of them is about to marry Mr. Irresistible—Ted Beaudine—the favorite son of Wynette, Texas.
The other is determined to save her friend from a mess of heartache.

Meg knows breaking up her best friend’s wedding is the right thing to do, but no one else agrees. Faster than Lucy can say “I don’t,” Meg’s the most hated woman in town—and stuck there with a dead car, an empty wallet, and a very angry bridegroom. Broke, stranded, without her famous parents watching her back, Meg believes she can survive by her own wits. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? She’ll lose her heart to Mr. Irresistible?

Not likely. Not likely at all.

About Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of our biggest women’s fiction stars soaring onto the New York Times bestseller list with Dream a Little Dream. She’s the only four-time recipient of Romance Writer’s of America’s prestigious Favorite Book of the Year Award. Susan delights fans by touching hearts as well as funny bones with her wonderfully whimsical and modern fairy tales. A resident of the Chicago suburbs, she is also a wife and mother of two grown sons.

Visit Susan at her website,, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

My Thoughts:

I have always enjoyed Susan Elizabeth Phillips, she is one of my favorite writers so I knew that this book would be a good read.

I would venture to say that the book is predictable but then again I think many are, especially the cutesy romantic ones like this.  But it doesn't stop me from still reading and enjoying the story, and enjoy it I did.  It was sort of like watching one of those romantic comedy movies on TV.

I liked the main character Meg, I enjoyed seeing her thrown into this crazy chaos and trying to get through it with literally no one by her side.

Don't know how much more I can say about it, other than it's a cute, fun read and if you like chick lit, you'll definitely enjoy this one. :)

 TLC Book Tours provided a proof copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are mine alone.


I love reading and I love reviewing, but it bogs down my main blog a lot and it tends to turn it into something I don't like.

So in an effort to continue both my usual day to day blogging and also book reviewing, I've decided to start this blog in order to keep all my book reviews in one place.

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.  ~Chinese Proverb