In previous blogs, I’ve shared some fun reads with you and I’ve been reading a few as the summer season is starting. I love Amazon Kindle, including their Kindle Unlimited option. No, this isn’t a paid promotion. 🙂 I really do recommend their subscription as a way for bookworms to read. 20 book checkouts and 3 magazines subscriptions are allowed at one time. Borrowing is unlimited, so once you’re finished with a book, you can return it and select a new one. There are several authors that write exclusively for Kindle, and their books are well-written, thought provoking, and entertaining. We always hear the downside of technology, but I think this is one of the positives. Click HERE to subscribe and for more information.
Mental Health Awareness
May is Mental Health Awareness month. Millions of people suffer from anxiety and depression, and for some it can be very debilitating. The stigma associated with mental health prevent many from seeking professional help. My beautiful and brave friend, C.K. Tuttle, wrote an intimate memoir in order to help break the stigma of bipolar disorder, chronic depression, postpartum depression, and debilitating anxiety . Finding Beauty in My Brokenness is her personal journey that so many people, including myself, can relate to.
C.K. is a wonderful wife, mom, daughter, friend and advocate of mental health. Her love for the Lord shines through in all she does, and her book, Finding Beauty in My Brokenness, is no exception. Her story is encouraging and provides hope for those that struggle or have a close relationship to someone struggling with mental health.
Title: Finding Beauty in My Brokenness Author: C.K. Tuttle Publisher: Westbow Press Publication Date: November 2021 ClickHEREto visit the author’s website and purchase the book.
Laura Story’s new book, So Long, Normal, is for those that struggle with always searching for life to be without hardships and disruptions. In the past I have probably created additional stress just by trying to not create ANY stress! Story delves into God’s word to answer why life here on earth will be imperfect and why we crave routine without unwanted disruptions. I learned so much about why we struggle and how to prevent ourselves from becoming overwhelmed by situations out of our control.
Story is a wife, mom author, bible study leader, worship pastor, and an award-wining music artist who understands when life is disrupted in ways we don’t want. Her husband, who was also her high school sweetheart, was diagnosed with a brain tumor after their first year of marriage. She shares their personal story and how God has worked through her ministry to provide comfort to others. Click HERE to visit her website, listen to her podcast, read her bio and shop.
Ella’s Book Nook #2!
Ella has been reading and listening to her books so much! We signed up for the reading program at the public library, which is a great way to encourage reading during break. She wrote the paragraphs below, with mom editing. 😉 She does a great job, and I’m happy to share her reviews with you.
Title: Kit: An American Girl Author: Valerie Tripp Narrator: Therese Plummer Publication Date: January 2007 Click HERE for additional details.
I have been reading Kit’sStory Collection (discs 1-7). There is a added disc because the stories are so long, but my opinion is that it’s a great book. I like when Kit gives the little homeless kid her old coat. It just shows kindness and caring. (Mom’s note: Ella has been listening to the Kit collection and really enjoys it. The audio for American Girl books are usually good. We usually borrow them from the library, but they are also available on Amazon Audible.)
Title: Farmer Boy Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder Publisher: HarperCollins Publication Date: 1953 Click HERE for additional details.
I also have been reading Farmer Boy with my class. It’s also a great book. I like when Alice covered the splotch of black paint on the guest area wallpaper. It also showed kindness. I give this book a 10/10, it is a great book and I love the ending.
Title: Little House on the Prairie Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder Publisher: HarperOne Publication Date: September 2010 (Anniversary Edition) Click HERE to for additional information.
I love Little House on the Prairie. I love traveling and adventuring. Little House is a fun book to read, but sadly I have not finished it yet. I would like to read more. I can’t wait to finish it.
Title: Inside Out and Back Again Author: Thanhha Lai Publisher: HarperCollins Publication Date: 277 pages Click HERE for additional information.
I read Inside Out and Back Again this last month. It’s a good book although it has some words that are from a different country, which is ok because I got 10/10 on my reading score for it. I would give it a 8/10 on it, fun to read but long sentences.
What I’m liking this month…
Joe and I are going on a mini road trip this weekend and we usually listen to podcasts or audiobooks when we are in the car. I found an Amazon Audible original drama based on a true story from 1980’s Hollywood titled The Miranda Obsession and written by famous playwright Jen Silverman. Rachel Brosnahan ( lead actress in TheMarvelous Mrs. Maisel) stars as Miranda alongside Josh Groban and Milo Ventimiglia (Gilmore Girls, This is Us). The drama has great reviews and I’m looking forward to listening. Click HERE to listen.
From the producers:
Imagine a 1980s world of sumptuous hotel rooms, restaurants, New York City penthouses, and the powerful men who move easily between these pinnacles of luxury. They are music producers, rock stars, writers, and restaurateurs. They are household names like Billy Joel, Art Garfunkel, Eric Clapton, and Sting. And yet, each man has an entire aspect to his life that he doesn’t talk about publicly—his depression, his rocky marriage, his feelings of shame and failure, his private loss of faith. And now: The phone rings. Imagine the woman who has each of these men at her beck and call. Late at night, on the other end of the line, she projects a confidence and glamour that immediately disarms them. They don’t know her, but she intimately understands the feelings they’ve never articulated to anybody else, and she muses—low and soft, never making them feel uncomfortable—on what it means that they feel this way, and why. When these men talk to Miranda, they never feel alone. And when she talks to them, she feels alive. Before long, they’re giving her insider tidbits—on new mergers, movies, albums, restaurants—and she’s collecting this information like the currency it is. Then she vanishes, sometimes for weeks at a time, while they wait on edge for her to call again.
Her name is Miranda Grosvenor, and the telephone persona that she has invented—a desirable, connected, compassionate, power player—is the person she lives to be. But who is Miranda, really? As the relationships between Miranda and the famous men she calls escalate, it becomes clear that Miranda may not be who she says she is and that her game is no longer a game at all.
Jessica Biel of 7th Heaven fame stars in Hulu’s new drama, Candy, based on the true story of two 1980’s Texas housewives and the murder that ensued from a love affair. The book that inspired the drama, Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs, is written by journalists Jim Atkinson and John Bloom. I’ve started reading the true crime novel and it’s very well done. Jessica Biel never seems to disappoint and so I’m looking forward to her new drama.
Click HERE for additional information about the book.
I love to give beautiful editions of books as gifts and the blog, beautifulbooks.info, makes it easy to see what special editions are out on shelves and about to be released. Books are organized by author, artist and genre. Click HERE to visit the site.
Mother’s Day is approaching and I wanted to post a blog in honor of mothers. Whether you are anxiously awaiting to be a mom, new to the season of motherhood, or have been traveling this journey for a long time, this blog is for you. I mentioned in my previous post that The Quirky Bookworm blog was my mother’s idea. My mom always encouraged my love of reading and she is one of the reason’s I’m a librarian today. For those that are new to the blog and don’t know me personally, I worked as an academic librarian at a community college located in Dallas County until 2021. I’m now working as a law librarian for Tarrant County.
I always had a book in my hands wherever I went, and in my mom’s jewelry box after her passing I found a miniature copy of this photo. It was her favorite of me. My mom was a stunning woman, inside and out. I’m so honored to share some of her favorite authors with you, as well as a few of her favorite things. Happy Mother’s Day, dear readers, and as always, happy reading.
My mother’s favorite authors Click on the author’s name below to visit their website and to purchase their books.
Devotionals My mom loved devotionals and would always give them as gifts to family members and friends.
Sara Young, author of the best-selling devotionals Jesus Calling and Jesus Always. Sign up on the website for a free subscription of the Jesus Calling magazine to be delivered to your home, listen to the podcast and watch inspirational videos.
My mom always attended Women of Faith conferences when I was growing up. Her favorite speakers were Patsy Clairmont, Luci Swindoll and Thelma Wells. Click HERE to visit the Women of Faith website. Attend classes online for a monthly subscription and purchase electronic resources on over 100 topics regarding women’s spiritual, emotional and mental health.
My mom owned the Women of Faith Daily Devotional. Click HERE to purchase. Books that were popular (and some of her favorites) when my mom attended the Women of Faith conferences in the 90’s are available on Amazon to purchase as an audiobook (available through the Audible app), or to be delivered to your home in print: Outrageous Joy,We Brake for Joy, The Joyful Journey, andExtravagant Grace.
Christian Fiction My mom loved to read Christian fiction that provided hope for everyday life. Click on the author’s name to visit their website and for links to purchase their books.
Mitch Albom One of my mom’s favorite books was Tuesdays with Morrie, which is a non-fiction work written by Albom that chronicled his time with his college professor whom also served as a personal mentor. He found Morrie, the professor, twenty years after graduation and spent time with him weekly in his study. Tuesdays with Morrie describes the profound impact Morrie had on Albom’s life. Albom primarily writes Christian fiction. He’s a #1 NYT best-selling author. Tuesdays with Morrie is the #1 best-selling memoir of all time.
Melody Carlson My mom introduced me to Melody Carlson when I was a teenager and then she started reading Carlson’s adult series. She writes chick-lit, romance and historical fiction. Carlson received the Romantic Times Career Achievement award and has sold over 7 million copies of her novels. Her novel, All Summer Long, was adapted into a Hallmark film in 2019. Additional works are currently being developed for TV and film.
Robin Jones Gunn is famous for her Christy Miller series (inspired by teenage girls she was mentoring in the church youth group), Sisterchicks series for adult women and The Father Christmas novellas that were adapted into the widely acclaimed Hallmark movie trilogy. During a difficult time in my life I read her non-fiction book, Victim of Grace, and her writing really spoke to me. She has blessed millions of women around the world with her honesty and transparency. Visit her website to purchase books, learn more about her inspiration for writing and to read her blog.
I know many of you that are reading this are familiar with Karen Kingsbury as the #1 NYT best-selling author of the Baxter series, which will be airing as a TV series soon. (Fun fact: Roma Downey of Touched by an Angel fame is the producer.) My mom loved her books and was an avid reader of series, as you can tell by now, more so than I am. She loved family series, including the famous Baxter series.
Kingsbury wanted to give up on writing to become a prosecutor, until a college professor told her to stick with journalism, and hired her to work for the newspaper. Kingsbury’s husband came into her life after graduation and led her to the Lord. He encouraged her to write while staying home with their newborn son. She wrote true crime for awhile until she read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, which changed her life. She just knew God placed the same calling on her heart for ministry and writing. She submitted her first Christian novel, Where Yesterday Lives, to Multnomah Publishers in 1996 and has been writing inspirational fiction ever since. Visit the author’s website to learn more about Kingsbury, her best-selling novels and TV movies/series.
Christian Non-Fiction My mom was an avid reader of Christian/inspirational non-fiction. She found peace in reading works that provided encouragement and wisdom. Some of her favorite authors were also speakers and she would watch them on TV or listen on the radio. My mom had a genuine love for the Lord, and this is shown by how she loved her family, friends, and what she spent time studying.
Randy Alcorn is the author of the bestselling book and study guide, Heaven, and the founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries. His ministry focuses on teaching biblical truths and reaching out to people that need assistance the most. He is the author of over 50 books that teach biblical wisdom. Visit the author’s website to read the blog, purchase materials from the online bookstore and to learn more about Eternal Perspective Ministries.
My mom loved Brene Brown, the internationally famous speaker, researcher and writer of Daring Greatly fame. She would call me and ask if I had read her latest book or watched the streaming TV specials. She found all of her works so encouraging, especially during the last few years of her life. Brown has spent two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy. She lives in Houston, Texas with her family and is a research professor at the University of Houston. Her latest work is Atlas of the Heart, which is also now streaming as a limited series on HBO. Visit the author’s website to learn more about her works, research, links to her podcasts, articles, news, and much more.
Linda Dillow wrote Calm my Anxious Heart and it was one of my mom’s favorites. She gave me her copy which I dearly cherish. Dillow is a talented writer who has helped millions of women through writing and speaking at women’s conferences around the globe. She now resides in Colorado after spending 17 years overseas.
I don’t think this blog post would be complete without mentioning Tony Dungy, America’s beloved coach that led the Indianapolis Colts to win the Super Bowl in February 2007. For those that don’t know, my mom was originally from Indianapolis and was a fan of the Colts. She loved watching Dungy speak on TV and read several of his books. Dungy is retired from coaching and is currently an analyst for NBC’s Football Night in America. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016. Visit the author’s website to read the blog, purchase books and to listen to the podcast.
My mom loved Elisabeth Elliot. She was a missionary and critically acclaimed author and speaker. She ministered to the Amazonian jungle of Ecuador tribe, Auca, even after they killed her husband in 1956 while he was attempting to make contact with the members. For more information on Elliot, click here to visit the official website.
From the publisher: Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative, chaplain of theNBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and author of over 100 books, booklets and Bible studies. The first African American to earn a doctorate of theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, he has been named one of the 12 Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World by Baylor University.
Dr. Evans holds the honor of writing and publishing the first full-Bible commentary and study Bible by an African American.
His radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on more than 1,400 US outlets daily and in more than 130 countries.
Click here to learn more information about the pastor and author.
Liz Curtis Higgs, author of the best-selling series, Bad Girls of the Bible, is known for her storytelling, speaking and writing. She was an award-winning contributor for Today’s Christian Woman magazine, has spoken at over 1,500 women’s conferences around the globe and spent a decade as a popular radio personality. Her heart is women’s ministry. She spoke at Women of Faith for years, which is where my mom first heard of her. She followed her writings and teachings for decades. Visit the author’s website to purchase books, read her blog, listen to her podcast and read about upcoming events.
From the publisher: In just under two decades of writing, Max Lucado has accomplished more than most writers hope for in a lifetime. Most of his books have appeared on one or more best seller lists, including those published by the “New York Times,” “USA Today,” “Publishers Weekly,” and the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA). Aside from hardcover books, Lucado’s writings have also been published as children’s books, videos, CD-ROMs, DVDs, music CDs, mass paperback booklets, apparel, giftware, bookmarks, calendars, study Bibles, workbooks, curricula, and plush products. In spring 2003, Hallmark/Dayspring Cards launched a new gift card line featuring excerpts from Lucado’s writings–and has already sold more than one million cards.
From the publisher: Priscilla Shirer is a wife and mom first, but put a Bible in her hand and a message in her heart, and you’ll see why thousands meet God in powerful, personal ways at her conferences and through her books and Bible studies.
She and her husband, Jerry, lead Going Beyond Ministries through which they provide spiritual support and resources to the body of Christ. They count it as their greatest privilege to serve every denomination and culture across the spectrum of the church.
From the publisher: Dr. Charles Stanley is senior pastor of First Baptist Churchin Atlanta, Georgia. He is the author of numerous books, including The Blessings of Brokenness and other titles in the popular A Touch of His… devotional series. His popular radio and TV program In Touch is heard and seen worldwide.
From the publisher: Charles R. Swindoll is the founder and senior pastor–teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. But Chuck’s listening audience extends far beyond a local church body, as Insight for Living airs on major Christian radio markets around the world. Chuck’s extensive writing ministry has also served the body of Christ worldwide, and his leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped prepare and equip a new generation of men and women for ministry. Chuck and his wife, Cynthia, his partner in life and ministry, have four grown children, ten grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. To visit the official website, click here.
From the publisher: On a hot July afternoon, Joni Eareckson Tada’s life was dramatically altered in a split second. A reckless dive into shallow water took an athletic young woman from health and success to life as a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. In the forty-five years since the release of this book–which has more than five million copies in print in over forty languages–Joni’s earnest struggle to find hope has resonated with millions of readers around the world. The hard-earned truths she shares in this special edition reveal the power of God’s love to transform, as well as the triumph of faith over pain and suffering.
Joni’s message has inspired people facing all types of challenges, helping them overcome their own limitations with a determined smile. In this updated edition, you will discover how to stay satisfied in God through disappointment and affliction. Filled with practical insights, Joni will help you find hope in every hardship.
This commemorative 45th anniversary edition features updated photos, as well as an all-new afterword in which Joni describes her current battle against two different cancers, her daily struggle with chronic pain, and the joys of leading a global outreach to people living with disability.
Click here to purchase Joni’s book and click here to visit the official website of Joni and Friends.
Lysa TerKeurst From the publisher: Lysa TerKeurst is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the author of more than twenty-five books, including It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way and the #1 New York Times bestsellers Forgiving What You Can’t Forget and Uninvited. She writes from her family’s farm table and lives in North Carolina. Connect with her at www.LysaTerKeurst.com or on social media @LysaTerKeurst.
Ann Voskamp is wife of one good farmer, mama to a seven exuberant kids, and author of the four New York Times Bestsellers, The Broken Way, The Greatest Gift, Unwrapping The Greatest Gift, and One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, a New York Times 67 week bestseller which has sold more than 1.5 million copies, and is translated into more than 20 languages.
Named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the church today, and a partner with Compassion International as a global advocate for needy children, Ann’s a regular loser of library books, usually has a sink full of soaking pots, sees empty laundry baskets rarer than a blue moon, and believes that the sky and fresh mercy over the farm is large and all is grace. Her blog, one of the Top 10 Christian blogs on the web, has become a daily well for the weary and soul-thirsty: www.annvoskamp.com.
Philip Yancey is the author of over 30 books, including his bestseller, What’s So Amazing About Grace? Click here to purchase and click here to visit the author’s website.
In the process of writing and editing this blog, I decided it just couldn’t be complete without sharing books that my mom introduced me to as a child. My mom would take me to the public library and I would spend hours reading, especially in my later years of elementary school. I always found comfort in a book. I think many authors do, which is why I love reading about them so much. There is something wonderful about quieting your mind from worries of life and getting lost in a book. I spent hours reading children’s series: Nancy Drew, Boxcar Children, Trixie Belden, Little House on the Prairie and Ramona are amongst my favorites.
I remember being in 4th grade and asking the teacher if I could borrow her copy of Harriet the Spy to take home and read. It’s still one of my favorites. I just loved the quirky character of Harriet. I would bring home my literature textbook from grades 4-12 (yes, even in HS) and read all of the short stories and excerpts from novels. I would read about the authors and their bibliography, which were always included before the author’s written works. I love authors and am ever so thankful for their ability to tell a good story.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery-click here to visit the official website. Anne with an “E”-available to watch on Netflix-click here for more information.
Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter-click here to visit the official website. This is one of my favorites. I still have the copy from childhood.
The Berenstain Bears’ by Stan and Jan Berenstain-click here to visit the official website.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell-click here to purchase.
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner-click here to visit the official website.
The Borrowers by Mary Norton-click here to purchase.
The Diary of Anne Frank-click here to visit the official website.
Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel-click here to purchase.
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting-click here to purchase.
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan-click here to purchase.
The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss-click here to purchase.
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame-click here to purchase.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott-click here to visit the official site and click here to purchase. Little Women was a favorite of my mom’s. My mom and I saw the Little Women movie starring Emma Watson at the theater. It’s one of my favorite memories with her. If you live in Texas and haven’t been to the Alamo Theater and Draft House, you should! The food is amazing! My mom loved the whole experience and I’m glad I have that memory of her.
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder-click here to visit the official website to purchase books, read more about Laura, keep up to date with the TV cast, and sign up for the newsletter. I used to watch Little House on the Prairie with my mom. It was one of her favorite TV shows.
The Annotated Secret by Frances Hodgson Burnett-click here to purchase.
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams-click here to purchase.
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin-click here to purchase.
My Mom’s Favorite Things
Favorite Scent: Amazing Grace by Philosophy-click HERE to visit the official website.
Favorite Leggings: Lauren Conrad @ Kohl’s-click HERE to purchase.
Favorite Teddy Bears: Bearington Bears- click HERE to visit the official website.
Favorite Makeup: Clinique-click HERE to visit the official website.
Favorite Dresses: Amazon maxi dresses (I love them too and always get compliments)-click HERE to purchase.
Favorite Nail Polish: OPI red shades-click HERE to visit and purchase.