Author Archives: Beth

3 Things I Learned, Summer 2018

Linking up with Emily Freeman to share what we’ve learned.

Even good stress can take it’s toll.

This has been a stressful summer. Mostly good stress.  Graduation hoopla.  Wedding bells.  Lots of good stuff.

I’ve learned I need time off to prepare and recuperate from the big events.  I don’t have the physical and social energy to go 24/7 without some down time.

Middle grade novels are good reads when you’re stressed, because they’re easy to follow.  I shared a list of my favorites here.

I crank up my list making when I’m stressed. It’s a survival strategy that serves me well.

(Note: this post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you, a percentage of your purchase goes to support this site.)

Home organization and financial peace are connected.  Who knew?

I signed up for Rosemarie’s Budget Boot Camp and learned that disorganization can cause you to overspend.  This is a truth that seems so obvious once you have it pointed out.

Rosemarie hits a very pressing problem:  everyone’s too busy to budget.

So, how is this program different from other budgeting programs? First of all, it’s not just about budget. It’s about looking at the whole picture–you’re net worth as well as home organization. Because a lack of home organization is causing you to spend more than you should.

Not being focused on your goals is causing you to spend money on things you want less at the expense of things you want more.

It necessitates a shift in thought, too, from a scarcity mentality to an abundance mentality.

Rosemarie’s story is compelling.  Her advice is actionable.

In depth Bible Studies are one of my favorite ways to learn. 

When we lived in Mexico, I did Beth Moore Bible Studies with a group.  I loved doing them, especially the homework.  Homework has rarely been a problem for me.  Housework is a different story.

This summer, I had a Priscilla Shirer workbook dropped in my lap.  The study is Discerning the Voice of God.

It’s so good to be soaking up truth again in this format.

In this study, I’ve been reminded that God reveals Himself in his own timing. It’s his job to reveal his message. It’s our job to listen and obey. We can’t demand to know when we want to know.

I’ve done this study without the watching the video sessions.  It works. You can still learn a lot.  But, it’s nice to have the video sessions as well.

That’s why I’m excited about the free video sessions for Beth Moore’s study called The Quest.

FREE!!  Video sessions for Beth Moore’s study: The Quest.  For a limited time only. After September, they will be available to purchase.

Join me in the journey for a more intimate relationship with God.  Order the workbook here.

  Buy now from Amazon

I love learning new things.

What have you learned this summer?



Please follow and like us:

Five Minute Friday: Thirteen

Happy, Friday to you!

Linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community.

Today’s word prompt is thirteen.

I admit I was stumped.  I thought about turning thirteen, the unique teen years and the privilege of parenting teenagers.  Our youngest graduated from high school in June.  He’s 18, so technically we’re not done with teenagers.  But, in the eyes of the law, we’re parents of adults.  Four of them.  Plus two daughters-in-law.

It feels different, being on the other side of parenting teens.


What can I say to parents of teens that are in the thick of it?  There are no guarantees that things will turn out okay.  The fears are real.

Hang in there.

Don’t lose heart.

Stay close to Jesus.

Look for some prayer partners.

Extend lots of grace– to yourself and to them.


Enjoy the moment.

Trust God.

Cut the cord.  Give them space to be who they are.

Require them to make contributions to the family and the church.

Trust them with responsibility.

Driving and dating are challenging.

A history of expecting obedience helps a lot.

Good communication takes work.  Keep growing.  It’s a lifetime challenge.


That’s all I’ve got.  God is faithful.  The journey is good.

Please follow and like us:

When the world stopped spinning I got dizzy

“I grew up transient, with change as my constant. I lived a privileged life in many ways, and benefited from a plethora of experiences denied many of my more settled peers. In fact, I felt competent to handle most of what my spinning world threw my way. It was when the world stopped spinning that I got dizzy.” Dr. Rachel Cason

I resonate with Rachel’s words, because her experience mirrors mine.

I’ve lived on the East Coast, the West Coast and the Mid-West.

I’ve lived in the Middle-East, the Far East and Mexico.

My nomadic life began before I was old enough to decide and continued when it  was my turn to choose.  I developed coping skills for transition, not for rootedness.

And now, my world has stopped spinning.

I have unexplained confusion in my life. This is why I write. To untangle it.

One thing I’ve come to believe to my core is the critical importance of community for emotional health.

Maybe for the nomad it looks different.  Maybe for the nomad it becomes more challenging to find people who understand you.

There’s two different ways to incorporate healthy community into your life:  find it and create it.

Two essential elements that both require initiative. In general, they are not going to fall in our laps.

What are some tips for finding community?

Be patient.

Looking for community can be hard. You can feel uncomfortable, awkward, on unfamiliar ground. It might take time to build relationships and bridges. You might feel like people don’t really “get” you.

Trust takes time to develop. New communities don’t look like old communities.

Contribute. Participate. Even when it’s awkward and uncomfortable.

Accept the limitations and imperfections of new communities.

Take advantage of reunions with old communities, but don’t compare. Every community has it’s own personality and timeline.

How about creating community?

We start creating community when we meet someone for coffee or dinner, when we invite them over and even when we bump into them by chance at the store and stop to catch up. Those are the seeds.

But, it can grow to form a group. It could become a party, a retreat, a tradition. It could develop a purpose and a mission. When we start to do life with other people, we create community.

Community is built on individual relationships. Brick by brick. One by one. So strong communities are built on the foundation of strong relationships.

Friends that will help you when you are in trouble, when you need help.

Friends who will listen. Friends who will accept you for who you are, warts and all. Friends who are faithful.

These are the elements for building community.

It doesn’t hurt to have two or three tribes. It’s probably necessary to have overlapping community.

With the internet, it’s easier than ever to find your people, but maybe harder than ever to establish and maintain real relationships.

What truths have you discovered while finding or creating community?

You might also like:  3 Ways Global Nomads Find Community and the search for community as told in metaphor.





Please follow and like us:

Awesome Middle Grade Novels Adults Will Love

I’ve been trying to figure out why I’ve been drawn to middle grade novels recently.

I believe there are multiple reasons, but the primary one boils down to one word: stress.

Middle grade novels offers an easy read.  The plot and characters are not complex.

Nevertheless, they take on some of the weightier issues of life.  Some do it incredibly well.

The middle grades are a great age for shaping opinions, values, attitudes and beliefs.

With my new interest in this genre, I read my first Harry Potter book.  I didn’t include it in this list because a) why would Harry Potter books need more press?  and b) although I can understand the cult following, I’ve read better middle grade.

Linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy’s Quick Lit.

On to the books!

(Note: This post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you a percentage of your purchase goes to support this site.)

  Buy now from Amazon

The War That Saved My Life  by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

“Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.

So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?” — from GoodReads

Great story.

  Buy now from Amazon

Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt

“In this companion novel to The Wednesday Wars, Doug struggles to be more than the “skinny thug” that some people think him to be. He finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer, who gives him the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Schmidt expertly weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery in a story teeming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival.”– from Amazon

Excellent book. LOVED it. 

Deals with so many important themes.

Abusive parent. War veterans. Learning disabilities. Young love. Poverty. Predjudice.

There’s just so much there. And the story is so satisfying.

You know how it is? When a story is satisfying? When all the right people win in the end and the rest get what they deserve?

  Buy now from Amazon

Rain, Reign by Ann M. Martin

“Rose Howard has Asperger’s syndrome, and an obsession with homonyms (even her name is a homonym). She gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Rain was a lost dog Rose’s father brought home. Rose and Rain are practically inseparable. And they are often home alone, as Rose’s father spends most evenings at a bar, and doesn’t have much patience for his special-needs daughter.

Just as a storm hits town, Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. Rose will find Rain, but so will Rain’s original owners.” — from GoodReads

Good story. The characters were believable and endearing. It was a good, inside look at autism. You couldn’t help but root for the heroine.
If that story doesn’t create empathy, I don’t know what will.

  Buy now from Amazon

The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech

It deals with the joy and pain and challenges of fostering parenting.

A childless couple wake up one day to find a strange boy on their porch. Although there’s no way to contact his parents, they learn that he’s been left there on purpose.

This novel explores what it’s like to love a child that’s not yours, the heartache it brings and why you should do it anyway.

  Buy now from Amazon

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

5 Stars!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this whimsical story. (That’s a lotta love.)  I’m thinking about reading it to the teens in my carpool, since I don’t have any little kids to read it too.  I’ll be giving it to my nieces and nephews, too, when I get the chance.

Four motherless girls on vacation with their father.  Their romps with pets, neighbors and each other:  a simple, but satisfying plot.

I loved the uplifting, engaging characters.  Real heroes.  Great values.   Whimsical.

  Buy now from Amazon

The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

What if you lived in a small kingdom where the prince chooses his bride from the graduates of the Princess Academy?

What if you had the chance for an education that would never be possible otherwise?

I loved this middle grade novel for telling a tale of what could be, the power of knowledge, friendships and courage.

One of my favorite parts of Princess Academy was how they snuck in principles of Commerce and Negotiation. It was fun how that played out.

There were a few weird and whimsical twists, but every fairy tale needs a little magic.

 Buy now from Amazon
The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had by Kirsten Levine

“The last thing Harry ‘Dit’ Sims expects when Emma Walker comes to town is to become friends. Proper -talking, brainy Emma doesn’t play baseball or fish too well, but she sure makes Dit think, especially about the differences between black and white. But soon Dit is thinking about a whole lot more when the town barber, who is black, is put on trial for a terrible crime. Together Dit and Emma come up with a daring plan to save him from the unthinkable. Set in 1917 and inspired by the author’s true family history, this is the poignant story of a remarkable friendship and the perils of small-town justice.”– from GoodReads

Alabama in 1917.  A friendship between a white boy and a black girl.  What could go wrong?

I loved the details of this time period.  Add that to a good plot and likable characters and we have a winner.

  Buy now from Amazon

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

“Fantastic creatures, heroic deeds, epic battles in the war between good and evil, and unforgettable adventures come together in this world where magic meets reality, which has been enchanting readers of all ages for over sixty years. The Chronicles of Narnia has transcended the fantasy genre to become a part of the canon of classic literature.”– from GoodReads

In my opinion, it doesn’t get any better than Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia for middle grade.

Not only middle grade, but Narnia appeals to every age.

Lewis tells compelling stories with an amazing economy of words.  He weaves timeless truths into  tales that highlight the classic conflict between good and evil.

I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Have you read any middle grade novels that you loved?  Let me know in comments. 


Please follow and like us:

Five Minute Friday: Done

It’s been a long week.  I’m tired. It’s difficult to string words together.

I’m grateful, though, that hard work this week resulted in hitting a business goal I’ve been working on for two and half months.

I have trouble with follow through.  I have trouble finishing.  That’s why it feels so good to be done.

Linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday Community.  This week’s five minute free write is on the word prompt done.


It feels good to accomplish a difficult goal.

To have worked hard and really pushed yourself and reached the peak.

Because it’s easier to give up. To not follow through. To give valid excuses for not winning.

It’s hard to stay the course. To press on toward the goal.

At least, for me it is.

That’s why it feels good to be done. To know you’ve worked through the messy middle and planted that flag.

Don’t lose heart.

You’ve got this.


Please follow and like us:

5 Gifts to Help Your Kids Grow Spiritually

The day before my youngest turned 18 I found out I was going to be a grandma.

It seemed fitting.

The end of an era. The beginning of an era.

My son and daughter-in-law are having a girl.

My grand-daughter is going to need some presents from her grandparents. Every Christmas and birthday for the next 18 years. That’s thirty-six special occasions. What if end up with 4 grandkids or ten?

That’s 360 gift giving opportunities.

What can I give her that’s meaningful? That will encourage her spiritual life? There’s a lot of negative influences on kids today.

A customer at the bookstore today told me her mother passed away. Her mother was a regular customer at the store. She bought a Seaside Bible with a zipper for each grandchild when they turned 7. Now that she was gone, her daughter was carrying on the tradition for the grandchildren who were turning 7.

I like that.

I like that it has meaning, that everyone knows and that the tradition continues after Grandma’s gone.

I like that she had an age picked out.

I like that they all got the same thing.

There’s something comforting about traditions.

(Note: This post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you, a percentage of your purchase will go to support this site.)

I want my grandkids to know God and love Him.

I will be giving books. That’s what I do.

Which ones will I give?

I don’t know for sure, but right now here’s my top picks for each age group:

Ages 0-4

Buy now from Amazon

The Beginner’s Bible

The Beginner’s Bible has become a classic. It’s simple. It’s great for reading aloud, which of course, is the only option at this age.  It stays faithful to the biblical text.

Ages 4-8

Buy now from Amazon

The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

I recommend the Jesus Storybook Bible with one caveat. Okay, maybe two.

First of all, I don’t care for the illustrations, but that’s a personal preference.

Secondly, and more importantly, I feel the author has taken some artistic liberties that have resulted in some minor inaccuracies in the stories compared to the Bible.

In spite of that, I feel this book accomplishes something I’ve never seen before in a Bible storybook. Instead of recounting disjointed, individual stories from the Bible, it weaves the big themes of the Bible into the individual accounts.

The plan of salvation and the incarnation of Jesus is highlighted and put into simple language for children.

Tying together a unifying theme of the Bible is huge.

If children can grasp these critical concepts, it’s a gigantic leap forward in their spiritual growth and understanding. Effective communication of these truths is priceless.

Ages 6-9

NIRV Adventure Bible

The New International Readers Version is written at a third grade reading level. It uses an easier vocabulary.

I tell customers that if they are planning to memorize verses from it or follow along in church with the pastor, they should be aware that it won’t line up exactly with the NIV.

But, for beginning or struggling readers, this version could be helpful.  Alongside the entire text of the Bible are explanations and commentary to help kids understand the Bible.

Ages 9-12

Buy now from Amazon

Buy now from Amazon

The NIV Adventure Bible

This Bible contains the entire text of the New International Version Bible.  It includes explanations and commentary geared toward 9 to 12 year olds.

The snap closure protects pages and comes in a boys edition and a girl’s edition.

Ages 13 and up

Buy now from Amazon

Buy now from Amazon

Jesus Calling  by Sarah Young

Jesus Calling is a daily devotional written from the perspective of Jesus talking to you.

There is a teen edition of Jesus Calling, but I give teens the original version which they can go through year after year.

I wrote about the secret of the success of Jesus Calling here.

So, those are my top picks for helping kids grow spiritually.

Which resources would you recommend?

Please follow and like us:

Five Minute Friday: Vacation Envy

I’ve been MIA from Five Minute Friday due to our youngest son’s high school graduation, our middle son’s wedding an a half century celebration for my husband.

Good stress.

This week’s word prompt is a good reminder to me to be thankful.  Gratitude is a habit that can be developed and can be lost.

Linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community to write on the word prompt vacation.


Boatloads of articles have been written on the impact of social media on our society.

There’s nothing like scrolling through exotic vacation pictures to stir up feelings of envy.

And, yet, that’s not the intent.  Friends aren’t trying to make you envious.  They’re just sharing the joy.

Which brings me to the struggle of contentment.  Is it okay that someone else has something that you don’t?  Can you still be content with your life?  Or do you want someone else’s?  Can you see the blessings you have without comparing them to others?

Can you develop a attitude of gratitude that allows you to rejoice with those who are joyful?  Even if it isn’t you?

It’s a mindset that can be groomed, with supernatural help.


Please follow and like us:

Three Things I’ve Learned, Spring 2018

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, just do one thing.

That’s all you can do well, anyway. Just focus on that one thing. Get it done. Do it well. Move on to the next one thing.

Find a dress for the wedding.

Design the grad party invitations.

Clean out under the sink.

It sounds simple but it’s not.

Overwhelm can paralyze me.

It’s hard to keep going with the next one thing.

I know I can do harder things in the morning. I know I have more will power then. I know I have less decision fatigue.

For me, it’s important to schedule the harder things in the morning. Whatever takes less will power I can do in the afternoon and evening.

At some point, I also have to decide that I’m done for the day. That it’s okay to read a book or watch a show, without guilt. There’s a continual pressure to get more done. It’s hard to let go.

It’s easy to panic. It’s hard to trust.

When you boss yourself, you are the boss and the employee. Sometimes it’s easier to call out directives if you’re not the one who needs to follow through. Make the tough decisions, let someone else carry it out. But, when you boss yourself, you have to give the tough order and you have to implement it.

I am still trying to find my voice.

It’s been a long process.

I like the image of throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks.  So far, most of it has fallen to the floor.

That’s okay.  I’m (mostly) enjoying the process.

I’ve tried my hand at fiction.

I like the idea of telling parables.

I’m trying to follow the curiosity.

I try to be disciplined, whether I’m feeling inspired or not.

It’s easy to get discouraged by the numbers.

So many online gurus promise shortcuts.  They want sell you on an easier path to success than the one they traveled.  I truly believe you can stand on others’ shoulders, learn from others’ mistakes, benefit from a proven path.

What I don’t believe is that you can short circuit the struggle.

I think the discipline and resolve gained from failures and false starts is what builds the muscle needed for success.

It would be like cutting a butterfly out of his chrysalis.  He needs the struggle of breaking free to strengthen his wings to soar.

If anything short circuits that struggle, the butterfly is left weak and damaged, not ready for flight.

It took Jeanne Birdsall 20 years to write the Penderwicks series.

I am so in love with the Penderwick kids.  I love the way Jeanne Birdsall is able to capture the wonder and magic of childhood.

After listening to this interview with Sarah Mackenzie, I know why.  She’s still in touch with the magic and wonder of her own childhood.

What a gift.

She also spends a lot of time getting to know her characters before she can write a compelling novel.

Exceptional work takes exceptional work.  Twenty years worth.

What an inspiration.

After a couple of false starts, I’ve re-launched my email list.

Sign up in the sidebar of my home page to get weekly round ups and behind the scenes news as well as occasional deals that I love.

What have you learned this Spring?

Three Things I’ve Learned Winter 2018

Please follow and like us:

Five Minute Friday: Secret

Happy Friday!

Hope your week was fantastic and your weekend is even better.

Countdown at our house to the last day of school.  Our youngest graduates from high school next month, so we’re ending an era.

Linking up again with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community.  This week’s five minute writing prompt is secret.


I can’t remember where I read recently that everyone has three lives:  their public life, their private life and their secret life.

Naturally, it’s easy to think about the secret life being where we harbor the dark secret sins of the heart and mind.

But, it’s also where the unknown victories are won.  Where the resolve begins.  Where the convictions are.

It’s the surrender that no one knows about.  The prying loose of those clenched fingers and giving up control.

It’s the peace that passes understanding, deep in the soul.

It’s the confirmation that we are not alone:  that God is with us and He has a plan.

Not all secrets are dark.  Some are wonderful.

But, every one of them affects our public and private life.  They give us the spring in our step, the whistle on our lips or the scowl on our brow and down turned eyes.

Even if no one knows, we know. And it permeates everything.


P.S.  New on the blog:  What I’m Reading, May 2018, seven book reviews of last month’s books.

Please follow and like us:

What I’m Reading, May 2018

Spring is finally here, welcome but long in coming.

This has been a great month for reading.

Linking up my May reviews at Modern Mrs Darcy this month.

On to the books!

Saving My Assassin by Virginia Prodan

Buy now from Amazon

” ‘I should be dead. Buried in an unmarked grave in Romania. Obviously, I am not. God had other plans.’

At just under five feet tall, Virginia Prodan was no match for the towering 6′ 10″ gun-wielding assassin the Romanian government sent to her office to take her life. It was not the first time her life had been threatened–nor would it be the last.

As a young attorney under Nicolae Ceausescu’s brutal communist regime, Virginia had spent her entire life searching for the truth. When she finally found it in the pages of the most forbidden book in all of Romania, Virginia accepted the divine call to defend fellow followers of Christ against unjust persecution in an otherwise ungodly land.

For this act of treason, she was kidnapped, beaten, tortured, placed under house arrest, and came within seconds of being executed under the orders of Ceausescu himself. How Virginia not only managed to elude her enemies time and again, but how she also helped expose the appalling secret that would ultimately lead to the demise of Ceausescu’s evil empire is one of the most extraordinary stories ever told.

A must-read for all generations, Saving My Assassin is the unforgettable account of one woman’s search for truth, her defiance in the face of evil, and a surprise encounter that proves without a shadow of a doubt that nothing is impossible with God.” — from Amazon

I read I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe

Buy now from Amazon

“Rosetta doesn’t want her new husband, Jeremiah, to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they’ll be able to afford their own farm someday. When Jeremiah leaves, Rosetta decides her true place is by his side, no matter what that means, and follows him into war.

Rich with historical details and inspired by the many women who fought in the Civil War while disguised as men, I Shall Be Near To You is a courageous adventure, a woman’s search for meaning and individuality, and a poignant story of enduring love.

I liked learning about a piece of little known history during the Civil War. It’s hard to even imagine life in those circumstances.”– from Amazon

I wasn’t expecting the story to go the way it did, so I’m feeling a little ambivalent about the whole book.

I can’t say I loved it wholesale. It was well written and it’s always good to imagine a life that’s totally different from your own.

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Buy now from Amazon

“A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about a girl in Sudan in 2008 and a boy in Sudan in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.was good, just like everyone said it was.”– from Amazon

It was much shorter than I expected.

Again, it’s good to imagine what someone else’s life is like.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Hurston

Buy now from Amazon

“One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.”– from Amazon

It’s kind of a Huck Finn story, except for adults, not for kids.

There’s a lot of vernacular.

It was published in 1937.

That’s before World War II.

I’m still not sure what I think about it. It’s definitely not one of my favorites. As far as showing a slice of culture, I think it’s a better story than The Great Gatsby.

The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall

Buy now from Amazon

“The finale you’ve all been waiting for: The Penderwicks at Last is the final, flawless installment in the modern classic series from National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Jeanne Birdsall!

It’s summertime, and eleven-year-old Lydia is dancing at the bus stop, waiting for big sister Batty to get home from college.

This is a very important dance and a very important wait because the two youngest sisters are about to arrive home to find out that the Penderwicks will all be returning to Arundel this summer, the place where it all began. And better still is the occasion: a good old-fashioned, homemade-by-Penderwicks wedding.”– from Amazon

I just love the Penderwicks. I love seeing happy, healthy kids who pursue their interests. The Penderwick kids are characters that you love to love.

Jeanne Birdsall is a master at capturing all the best parts of growing up.

This book comes full circle, with lots of fun throwback references.

Timeless.  Wholesome. Satisfying.

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrick Backman

Buy now from Amazon

“A little book with a big heart!

From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove,My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here comes an exquisitely moving portrait of an elderly man’s struggle to hold on to his most precious memories, and his family’s efforts to care for him even as they must find a way to let go.

With all the same charm of his bestselling full-length novels, here Fredrik Backman once again reveals his unrivaled understanding of human nature and deep compassion for people in difficult circumstances. This is a tiny gem with a message you’ll treasure for a lifetime.”– from GoodReads

It’s called a novella, but it was even shorter than I expected.

It’s a beautiful, literary expression of the aging mind.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Buy now from Amazon

“Robinson Crusoe is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published on 25 April 1719. The first edition credited the work’s protagonist Robinson Crusoe as its author, leading many readers to believe he was a real person and the book a travelogue of true incidents. Epistolary, confessional, and didactic in form, the book is presented as an autobiography of the title character (whose birth name is Robinson Kreutznaer)—a castaway who spends twenty-eight years on a remote tropical desert island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers, before ultimately being rescued. The story has since been thought to be based on the life of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway who lived for four years on a Pacific island called “Más a Tierra”, now part of Chile, which was renamed Robinson Crusoe Island in 1966, but various literary sources have also been suggested.”– from Amazon

I was impressed by the spiritual themes explored in this book that you don’t see in modern literature.  That is our culture’s loss.

Full disclosure: I only read the last half of the book, but I read it out loud to my 18 year old, who’s graduating from high school next month. It marks the end of an era.

Our first grandbaby is due in October, so I’m looking forward to starting a new era: reading aloud to my grandkids.

Have you read any of these books?  What did you think?

In case you missed it, here’s three things I learned this spring and what I read in April.





Please follow and like us: