Jefferson's DaughtersThe Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America, by Caterhine Kerrison, Non-fiction, 2018

 

Not only do you learn about Thomas Jefferson, you learn what it meant to be a privileged white woman in the formative years of America as well as in European circles.  Details about etiquette, clothing, social 

acceptance and expectation.  Every part of this very human story is laced with transporting details that places you in another time and place. 

The Place of Help by Oswald Chambers, Devotional, 1936 (originally)

 


I have come away with new understandings of the Garden, Gethsemene, the Cross, Redemption Life, and so much  more.  For timely principles that never need to be updated, this is devotional reading that always takes you deeper. .

The Library Bookby Susan Orlean, Nonfiction, 2019

 

This is one of the most detailed, interesting, complicated, informative, and well-organized nonfiction books I have read.  The story reviews the historical tragedy of the fire that destroyed the  Los Angeles Library and 700,000 books in 1986.  This book has made me even more anxious to return to my local library to be mesmerzed by the rows of books and the millions of hours of reading enjoyment I can enjoy.

A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War:  How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18, by Joseph Loconte, Nonfiction, 2015

 

While this book shares details about the friendship between Tolkien and Lewis, it goes farther with how World War I informed the writing of both men.  He takes the camaraderie of men and war and demonstrates where it shows up in the friendships in the worlds of Hobbits and Narnia.  If you have read the Fellowship of the Ring books and traveled to the  world of Narnia, this ibook is for you.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan, Historical Fiction, 2018

 

While Patti Callahan was not the first to fall in love with C. S. Lewis writings nor the first to try to write about his American wife, Joy Davidman; she was the first to tell the story from Mrs. Lewis' perspective. This  was more than a love story, it was a marriage of mind and soul as well.  If you are a lover of C. S. Lewis, don’t miss this read!

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes, Fiction, 2016

 

Julian Fellowes (author of Downton Abbey) writes another story of inheritance interrupted, secrets, family dysfunction, marriage based on social standing, and the stark division between the upstairs family and downstairs servants. .

The Housemaid's Daughter by Barbara Mutch , Fiction, 2010

 

Story once again uncovers the perspectives, emotions, and divisions that result from a forced view about humanity that God never intended. Told through Ada, daughter of a housemaid in South Africa, the story helps you experience the injustice of Apartheid.  History tells one story, but people take the story deeper.  .

The Gown by Jennifer Robson , Historical Fiction, 2018

 

This is the story about making the wedding gown for Princess Elizabeth who became Queen Elizabeth.  It is told from three perspectives and two time periods. The contemporary story starts in Toronto, Canada with the the box that "Gran" left her granddaughter containing exquisite hand embroidery.  It sends granddaughter  Heather on a journey to piece together the unknown story of her grandmother’s part in making the gown.  The historical story comes from two seamstresses who worked fpr Hartwell's in post-war Britain.  .Fascinating in every way.   

The Remarkable Ordinary  by Frederick Buechner --Devotional Memoir, 2018

Notable American writer, Pulitzer Prize finalist, Presbyterian minister, novelist, essayist, and theologian; Fredeerick Buechner wirtes part memoir and part spiritual formation, Buechner asks us to listen to our life as he shares  his stories.to help us understand why ordinary life is an  extraordinary gift.

 

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith, Fiction, 1943

Francie Nolan is every girl with dreams, but because she lived in Brooklyn in the 1900’s before the first World War, it is a story that captures the American Dream in its early, hopeful, and undefiled innocence.  It is the story of family and struggles and coming together and losing so much you think you can’t survive even when you know you will. 

Chasing Vines by Beth Moore, Devotional/Christian Living, 2020

From a trip to Tuscany with her daughters, Beth fell in love with vineyards and connected her new love to Jesus' teaching about vine-life..  Divided into sections about The Vineyard, The Vinedresser, The Vine, The Fruit, The Harvest; I learned more about God’s way of growing and how organic it can become if we allow the Vinedresser free control. 

Counted with the Stars by Connilyn Cossette, Biblical Fiction, 2016

Egyptian Kiya throws her survival into the hads of the Jewish people after experiencing the terrors of the plagues. We follow her nail-biting escape and embracing the God of the Jews.  Check out books 2 and 3 if you enjoy her storytelling.  

Life Without Lack by Dallas Willard. Spiritual Formation,  2018. Spiritual formation writer/teacher,, Dallas Willard, takes “I shall not want” literally to remind us what must happen before “a life without lack” can become a reality. 

Pharaoh's Daughter by Mesu Andrews, Biblical Fiction, 2015. 

Mesu Andrews.tells the story of Moses from the perspective of Pharaoh's daughter who found him in the Nile and raised him as her own.  She fills in gaps with her own, satisfying what-if details along with some fascinating details from the biblical genealogy.

 

By the Waters of Babylon by Mesu Andrews, Biblical Fiction, 2018.

When an Israelite woman is captured by a Scythian prince during the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, both of their lives are changed forever. This is a love story, a story of systemic revenge, a story of destruction and loss as well as a story of  hope for rebuilding.

7 Habbits of the Helping Heart, How to Live Out Your Faith and Care for the Poor, by John Christopher Frame, Christian Living, 2021

John Frame uses first person responses from his interanational encounters to help us see how impossible it is to treat any form of poverty by generalization.  A companion study guide gives thoughtful questions and suggests practical ways to act on the 7 habits. 

7 Days to Upping Your Prayer Life, Loving Others, and Having More Joy by John Christopher Frame, Christian Living, 2021

This short but effective devotional guide/journal helps identify the connection between gratitude, humility, empathy, compassion generosity, holiness, and hope.  A short devotional, reflective questions, scripture to read, a sample prayer and a focused action. helps you do more than just think about of these issues.