Bomb Shelter [Book Review] and I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet [Book Review] #Essay #Memoir #MentalHealth

May 13, 2022

Two Memoirs/Essays: Bomb Shelter and I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet #MentalHealthWeek

Memoir Reviews (collage of two covers)

Two reviews today!

My favorite memoirs/essays are ones where I can glean something useful for my own life….where I can make a connection….where I can acquire insight and understanding of particular challenges and struggles. I think these two titles are perfect for sharing during May’s focus on Mental Health Awareness. While one (I Haven’t Learned That Yet) mentions faith, both are poignant, transparent, and honest reflections on life’s challenges.

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.

Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives by Mary Laura Philpott

Bomb Shelter by Mary Laura Philpott (cover) Image: yellow text and a large turtle against a pinkish red background

Genre: Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Essay, Self-Help, Self-Reflection, Anxiety, Humor

My Summary:

Mary Laura Philpott is a self-proclaimed “optimistic worrier” or “anxious optimist.” This tendency intensified when she became a parent and believed that if she cared enough, she could keep her loved ones safe. One day, her teenage son experienced a seizure and she began to worry about what else could happen? How do you keep going and continue loving and caring when you don’t know what will happen next?

My Thoughts:

I imagine most of us have experienced that feeling of helplessness and anxiety and worry over the ones for whom we are responsible. I know I have. In fact, if you are a fan of the NBC drama This is Us, a scene in one episode touched me profoundly. Randall is at the cabin working and has visions/imaginary conversations with Jack about his anger toward Rebecca for keeping the truth about his bio father from him…..Jack encourages Randall to see the situation from Rebecca’s perspective. Through the window, Randall glimpses a frantic Rebecca closing and locking all the windows and doors in an effort to keep her family safe. So moving. A perfect picture of how I felt as a parent of a growing family…..so many worries and dangers to keep at bay.

“It’s true. There will always be threats lurking under the water where we play, danger hiding in the attic and rolling down the street on heavy wheels, unexpected explosions in our brains and our hearts and the sky. There will always be bombs, and we will never be able to save everyone we care about. To know that and to try anyway is to be fully alive. The closest thing to shelter we can offer anyone is LOVE, as deep and wide and as in as many forms as we can give it.

Philpott shares honestly how her anxiety was triggered as a parent. Isn’t it helpful knowing others have felt the same? Experienced the same? I think the book is relatable for parents or anyone who experiences episodes of anxiety or worry.

Philpott’s writing style and reflections are conversational, engaging, mostly light-hearted, and sprinkled with humor.

Recommended for anyone who experiences anxiety and/or worries.

Content Considerations: epilepsy, anxiety

My Rating: 4 Stars.

A multicolored sparkly starA multicolored sparkly starA multicolored sparkly starA multicolored sparkly star


I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working by Shauna Niequist

I Guess I Haven't Learned That Yet by Shauna Niequist (cover) Image: colorful text against a white background

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Essays, Self-Help, Self-Reflection, Grief, Faith, New Beginnings

My Summary:

Shauna Niequist’s carefully and thoughtfully cultivated life as she knows it falls apart after her fortieth birthday. What do you do when your entire life has revolved around your father’s church and your life-long, close-knit community of family and friends all collapse when your father is accused of inappropriate behaviors at his mega-church and resigns (not detailed). What happens when the happy and secure life in the mid-west you’ve dreamed of and carefully built falls apart around you? Well….you might move to Manhattan and rethink everything.

My Thoughts:

I suspect most of us can relate to a life that isn’t at all what we expected or dreamed about. We may face unexpected financial problems, toxic relationships, family disappointments, broken friendships, health concerns, etc. What then? What happens when all you want to do is quit? Does everything fall apart or can we learn to live in a new way, make adjustments, gain new perspectives, forgive, show compassion, navigate heartbreak and grief, and accept unknowns? Can we rebuild, refocus, and retool?

“…Life is…interconnected and multifaceted. We carry around our whole selves…our past and our parents, our loves and our limitations our dreams and our grocery lists, and our wounds.”

I need to note:

  • Not all of us have the option of relocating and starting a new life, have access to vacation homes, or can take a year off work to pull ourselves together. Nevertheless, she has some good things to share!
  • Some readers are frustrated that Niequest never shares the nature of the issue with her father and the church that motivated her memoir. Her intentional vagueness is out of respect for her father’s privacy….and really the issue is her dad’s to write about….she’s sharing how her life changed and how she adjusted to those changes as a result of what happened. I had followed the news story when it came out, so her vagueness didn’t bother me. He’s easy to google if you’re interested (Bill Hybels).

Recommended for anyone who is facing a life change.

My Rating:  4 Stars

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Meet the Authors, Mary Laura Philpott and Shauna Niequist

Author Mary Laura PhilpottMary Laura Philpott is the author of I Miss You When I Blink, the nationally bestselling memoir-in-essays, as well as Bomb Shelter, forthcoming in 2022. Her writing has been featured frequently by The New York Times and also appears in such outlets as The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Paris Review Daily, O The Oprah Magazine, and Real Simple. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

For more information, visit http://www.MaryLauraPhilpott.com

Author Shauna NiequistShauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, Bread & Wine, Savor, and Present Over Perfect.

She is married to Aaron, and they live in Manhattan with their sons, Henry & Mac.

Shauna is a bookworm, a beach bum, and a passionate gatherer of people, especially around the table.



QOTD:

Do you love memoirs? Are these titles on your TBR or have you read one or both?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

The Guide to Gratitude [Online Course Preview] #MentalHealth #GuestPost

May 11, 2022

What tops YOUR gratitude list?
Do you keep a gratitude journal?

  • A baby’s first smile just for you
  • Spring flowers in every bold and gentle color
  • Gentle rain that covers the earth like a blessing

Guest Post: The Guide to Gratitude by Jake Kneeland

The Guide to Gratitude: Change Your Perspective, Change Your Life (Image: white text over a mountain vista)

 Self Help, Mental Health, Online Course

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links

The Guide To Gratitude

Are You Feeling Completely Overwhelmed?

We’ve all been there. After all…life is BUSY.

We run to and from school, work, our families, friends, and repeat it the very next day. If we even come close to a moment with ourselves four other things seem to come up that need our attention. No wonder we’re so anxious all the time! Every day can begin to feel like one endless loop and before we know it – months, even years, pass by. How do we change this? A simple shift in perspective.

The Guide To Gratitude is just that – a roadmap to help you identify the moments we take for granted – and start to appreciate them deeply.

Gratitude Reciprocates

What we put out into the world – whether it be kindness, energy, compassion, positivity, or something negative – is what we draw to ourselves. When we show more appreciation we create an abundance of things to cherish in life. When we are able to show more, we are able to receive more – gratitude reciprocates.

“The depth of our joy can be measured by the height of our gratitude.”
~Jake Kneeland

Step-By-Step

The Guide To Gratitude is a practical step-by-step framework to get you back to you. It will help you identify, focus on, and deeply appreciate the best parts of life – the moments in between.

Once you grab the Guide you not only get a video introduction and the full online course, but you also receive Jake’s Mental Health Toolkit and Daily Affirmation Guide for FREE!

Let’s begin to deeply appreciate the simple gifts of everyday life. After all – we only have one go at this thing. Make It Count!

Order the Gratitude Course here

Related: The Seven Day Gratitude Challenge

The 7 Day Gratitude Challenge by Jake Kneeland (cover) a person sits on a boulder overlooking a valley surrounded by mountains

Meet the Author, Jake Kneeland

Author Jake Kneeland

Jake Kneeland was born and raised in rural South Dakota where he learned to embrace the little things and simple pleasures in life. Through his travels, Jake has cultivated a passion for deep conversations and identifying what energizes others. That passion has led to a greater understanding of time and the importance of who we surround ourselves with. Jake believes that when we simplify the events, circumstances, and people in our lives we form a deeper level of appreciation for those very things. The little things in life become the big things.

When he’s not spending time with those closest to him you can find Jake enjoying his two passion projects – itsjustjake.com and The Little Things Podcast.

***Full Disclosure: There is a family connection and Jake is my (second) cousin.



Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

These Precious Days [Book Review]

March 11, 2022

These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

These Precious Days by Ann Patchett (cover) Image: a watercolor picture of a small dog lying on top of a soft chair or sofa

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Essay Collection, Reflection

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

These Precious Days is a collection of personal essays and reflections from popular author, Ann Patchett. These essays explore home, family and fathers, marriage, friendships, meaning and purpose, love and death, life decisions, and writing.

“…find joy…and make good use of the days we have”

My Thoughts:

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

December 16,  2021

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
#throwbackthursday

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb (cover) Image: black text over a large yellow box of tissue against a blue background

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Psychology, Therapy, Mental Health

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a compelling memoir that explores therapy, Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Humorous, thought-provoking, and candid…

Lori Gottlieb, a psychotherapist and national advice columnist, shares a behind-the-scenes look into her work as a therapist. She also shares what it was like when she sought out therapy for herself.

“Most of what we say to ourselves we’d never say to people we love or care about, like our friends or children. In therapy, we learn to pay close attention to those voices in our heads so that we can learn a better way to communicate with ourselves.”

Exploring mental health, finding meaning in life, and repairing broken relationships…

Continue here for my full review of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone…



QOTD:

Have you read Maybe You Should Talk to Someone or is it on your TBR?

 

The Stranger in the Lifeboat [Book Review]

December 3, 2021

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom (cover) Image: white and red text on a dark blue background....small image of people in a red boat against a sinking white sun

Genre/Categories: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Reflection, Survival

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

What if?

What if we called on God for help and God appeared?

What then?

After a catastrophic ship explosion, a desperate group of individuals struggle to survive on a lifeboat. One of them claims to be “the Lord.” Will he help them? Save them? How will the individuals in the group react? Will they believe him? One of the passengers, Benji, keeps a journal documenting each day, reflecting on his guilt over the accident, and expressing his love for his wife. This journal is found a year later on the abandoned and empty lifeboat. This journal affects the man who found it in profound ways.

My Thoughts:

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Joyful [Book Review] #WhatsOnYourBookshelfChallenge

October 22, 2021

Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee

Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee (cover) Image: black text over a large orange frozen ice cream bar against a white background

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Self Help, Home Design, Aesthetics, Reflection

Today I’m reviewing a book that’s been on my (virtual) bookshelf for some time. I’m linking up with Deb @ Deb’s World and Sue, Donna, and Jo for the October installment of #WhatsOnYourBookShelfChallenge .

Whats On Your Bookshelf Challenge

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Does the outer world of design affect our inner joy? Do our outward surroundings promote joy? The author explores the principles of psychology, visual and sensory input, and design to discuss how they might promote personal joy. Ten aesthetics that affect joy are addressed in depth and she reveals “a distinct connection between the feeling of joy and the tangible qualities of the world around us”: Energy, Abundance, Freedom, Harmony, Play, Surprise, Transcendence, Magic, Celebration, and Renewal. In addition, the author provides sample worksheets for making our own spaces more joyful.

Key Concepts:

(more…)

Tell Me More [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

December 10, 2020

Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan
#throwbackthursday

Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan (cover) black and white text over a multicolored background

Genre/Categories: Memoir, Biographical, Humor, Self Help

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m eager to share my review of the compelling Tell Me More: Stories About the Ten Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“In these various personal essays, popular author Kelly Corrigan explores the power of words to make a difference in our lives. Throughout the engaging and thoughtful collection of stories, there runs a theme of grief as she learns to accept the loss of her father and best friend. Each chapter includes humorous, insightful, and poignant reflections revolving around the roles she plays as a parent, a spouse, a survivor, a daughter, a sibling, a seeker, and a best friend.”

Friendly, engaging, thought-provoking, reflective…

Continue here for my full review of Tell Me More ….



QOTD:

Have you read Tell Me More or is it on your TBR?
Have you read other books by Kelly Corrigan?

What is Your Reading Style?

 

November 20, 2020

Let’s Talk About the Reading Life!

What is your reading style (Image: someone is choosing a book from library shelves)

I’m in the mood to talk about reading today!

Knowing ourselves as readers leads to a more satisfying reading life.
Enjoy this reading video I saw on Facebook.

Are you a Supply or Demand Reader?

a girl pulling a wagonful of books

An episode of What Should I Read Next podcast discussed “supply” and “demand” reading styles. Supply readers love reading but they usually only read when they have great books in front of them (e.g. if a book catches your eye in the checkout line). Demand readers love reading and read everything…..the cereal box if that’s all that’s available. Demand readers deliberately search out and plan their next reads; whereas, supply readers will read when a book title presents itself and they think “Oh, I’ve heard the buzz about this and I think I’ll read it.” Or maybe they have received a book as a gift. Both types of readers love to read. I’m a definite demand reader….I aggressively search out my next book and don’t wait for it to make itself known to me. Are you a supply reader or demand reader?

What is your Reading Personality?

I did a DNA test and I found out I'm 100% bookworm

I took a quiz on the Modern Mrs. Darcey website and found out that I’m a “social” reader. I love to talk about the book I’ve just read, talk about my favorite books, or talk about what you’re reading. Most of the time, my preferred conversation starter is “What book are you reading?” This blog gives me a perfect platform to talk about the books I love.

If you’re curious about your reading personality, take this short quiz.

Are you a Genre Snob?

Don't you love it when a book kidnaps you?

Davida over at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Blog asked her readers this question recently and my immediate response was, “Yes! I think I am!” The more I read, the more I know what I like to read and I’ve grown in my ability to skip genres I don’t enjoy. Does this make me a snob or just a smart reader? I think knowing what you like and don’t like leads to a more satisfactory reading life and if this defines me as a snob I guess I’ll accept the label. However, what I don’t accept is putting down the reading choices of others….so if Genre Snob involves putting you down for your genre choice, I’m not a Genre Snob in this respect.

My favorite genres/categories: literary fiction, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, gentle mysteries, multigenerational and multilayered family drama, books about books or bookshops, (non-celebrity) memoirs and biographies, narrative nonfiction, and Middle Grade. My favorite themes include reconciliation, second chances, a hopeful future, resilience, courage, friendship, forgiveness, and found family.

Do you have Reading Preferences?

A book fort made of sheets and filled with stacks of books

Do you have a favorite reading spot or location? Does your reading involve a favorite drink or snack? Do you need it quiet or do you listen to music? Do you always read at a certain time of the day?

I can read anywhere! Quiet or noisy. TV on or off. At home or sitting in my car in a parking lot. Eating or not eating. If I’m drinking anything, it’s a Diet Dr. Pepper. I slightly prefer reading late at night when I know I won’t be interrupted and I can completely lose myself in the book, but you will find me reading at any time during the day. Perks of retirement! Some readers set aside a certain block of time every day for reading. Others read (listen) during their commute or on their lunch break. Whatever works for you is the only preference that matters.

Do you prefer Print (physical or e-reader) or Audio?

When I've had enough of reality, I just open a book

This is probably the only area in my reading life where I have a STRONG preference! Audio can either enhance your reading experience or detract from it.  Honestly, I have a difficult time with audiobooks and they are not my preferred reading format. My mind tends to wander. My favorite time to listen to audio is when I’m driving or walking. I’m also sensitive to the quality of the performance. I can think of a couple of audiobooks that had cringeworthy performers and I forced myself to finish those books. I usually listen at 1.25. I have found that the trick for audio is to start at normal speed until you get your bearings in the story and then increase the speed. Listening at a faster speed from the very beginning sometimes affects comprehension and your ability to get into the story. It takes me longer to read a book on audio than in print. Audio often puts me to sleep and then I have to backtrack to find my place. With print, I often scan a section or page, but that’s difficult to do on audio. Audio is great for commuters and readers who are washing dishes or folding laundry or exercising!

Are you a Rereader?

once upon a time there was a girl who really loved books. It was me. The end.

Some readers reread their favorite book every year! I’m usually not a rereader because of too many new books on my TBR. When I put a book on my lifetime favorites list, it’s probably one that I wouldn’t mind rereading.

Rereading makes me nervous….what if I don’t like it as much the second time? This happened to me with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I enjoyed the reread but I just didn’t love it in the same way I did the first time. One book I did enjoy rereading was The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman. It’s a novella, so I read it three times in a row one afternoon. During the first read, I was preoccupied with the outcome of the story (the plot) and sort of devoured it. As soon as I finished, I immediately turned to the first page and reread it slowly to focus on Backman’s craftmanship. Then I read it a third time for good measure! I think I’m more tempted to reread because of the author rather than the content of the book. Some authors have more to offer than can be appreciated in one reading. Do you reread?

Are you a DNFer or a Finisher?

I disappear into books. What's your superpower?

I wrote an entire post on the DNF topic here.

I fall into the DNF (did not finish, set it aside) camp and I promise that it gets easier with practice!

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Have you experienced a Reading Slump?

She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live. ~Annie Dillard

You might be in a reading slump when you have difficulty finding a book that holds your interest, or you start multiple books without finishing them, or you spin your wheels trying to decide what to read next. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a true reading slump. For me, it would be like not wanting to breathe. If I find myself thinking I might be burning out and sliding toward a slump, I turn to Middle Grade! MG books are usually quick one day reads and have hopeful themes. Other readers report that what helps them in a reading slump is to reread their favorite book or switch genres or read short stories. Have you experienced a slump? Do you have a tip for dealing with a reading slump?

Do you often have Book Hangovers?

I finished my book and I don't know what to do with myself (a cat laying its head on a book)

I think book hangovers can contribute to reading slumps. A book hangover occurs when you can’t stop thinking about the last book you read or it was so good that nothing else compares. Book Hangovers help me determine my five star reads and add to my lifetime favorites list! I love Book Hangovers! Books this year that have given me a book hangover include Hamnet, The Girl With the Louding Voice, and Transcendent Kingdom. I haven’t yet finished The Choice by Edith Eger, but I already know it will give me a book hangover! What is the last book that gave you a book hangover?

Do you have a TBR List or are you a Mood Reader?

a black and white cat sleeps on a tall stack of colorful books

During the early months of the pandemic, I became more of a mood reader than I’ve ever been. Normally, I think I’m BOTH! Each season and each month, I make a list of a few books I’d like to tackle. This gives me some structure, but it also leaves plenty of room for mood reading or FOMO (fear of missing out)! If I don’t complete my TBR (to-be-read list), it’s no big deal. Sometimes I find that I simply don’t want to read the book anyway or I just put it onto the next month’s TBR. The only MUST READS I have are review commitments. I push myself in a timely manner to read those by their pub dates. Otherwise, I need my freedom! I actually like to think of my TBR as a possibilities list or a shopping list! A TBR keeps me from starting from scratch in the search for my next read or from the panic of thinking I have nothing to read! I wrote an entire post on “How I Choose My Next Read” here.

Do you set Reading Goals or Track your reading?

I've invented a new sport. It's called extreme reading and I'm a black belt (image of a man sitting reading with feet soaking on a bucket of water

I set a reasonable yearly reading goal on Goodreads each year. I set it at a reasonable number so that I never feel stressed about it. I can also raise or lower the goal number during the year. I love using Goodreads to track my reading because I can organize my reading by shelves and also write a review (optional) so that I remember and have a record of the book I’ve read. I like being able to pull up my Goodreads app when I’m with friends (to add a book rec) or while shopping. Check out my Goodreads shelves here and let’s be friends! I wrote a post about using Goodreads here. In addition to Goodreads, I also keep an Excel Spreadsheet 1) as a backup, 2) to track additional data, and 3) because I’m a nerd!

FAQ: How do readers read so much?

I spent my life folded between the pages of books (words surrounded with a border of flowers)

This is a question I often see asked and these are the most common responses: 1) schedule a time in your day to read, 2) people make time for the things they really want to do, and 3) take advantage of every minute! One of the reasons I enjoy reading on the Kindle is that I have the Kindle app on my phone and carry my entire library with me in my back pocket! In a pre-Covid time, if I were in a long line at the grocery store or Target, I would pull out my phone and read! Waiting rooms? Perfect for reading! Traffic? An audiobook to the rescue! Bath time for littles (who need a bit of supervision) equals reading time! Ditto for park excursions! Washing dishes or other household or yard chores are perfect opportunities for audiobooks! When my children were in middle school and old enough to go on rides by themselves at Disneyland, where was I? On a bench reading of course (along with a check-in time!). Taking advantage of all the little minutes adds up to significant reading time throughout the year. What tips do you have for making time to read?

Thank you to ShelleyRae @ Book’d Out for reminding me that one can always opt to do “less housework”!

I was going to clean the house, but then I realised.l..this book isn't going to read itself (Image: a young woman sits on the floor leaning against a cabinet reading a book)

What is Your Reading Style?

a woman lies reading on a tropical beach

Know you know all about my reading life! Have you determined your reading style? Do we share any preferences?



QOTD:

I’d love to hear about your reading life!



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or the WP follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

November 19, 2020

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
#throwbackthursday

the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (cover) Image: purple and blue text on a light background with two small figures walking and a road in the distance

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Life Reflection, Quirky Character

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m thrilled to share my review of the popular The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce…a reflection on life.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

In this well-loved story…

“Harold Fry is recently retired and lives in a small English village with his wife. After a long marriage, they have their differences but have settled into an amicable, predictable, and manageable daily routine. One day, a letter arrives for Harold from a woman (former co worker) that he hasn’t heard from in twenty years. Queenie is writing from a hospice to say goodbye. In the process of mailing his reply, Harold decides that he must deliver his message in person and decides to walk. As Harold impulsively sets out on his quest, he figures out the logistics of the six hundred mile journey as he goes. On the way he meets interesting people, finds plenty of time to reflect back on his life, and confronts some unsettling thoughts and feelings that he has buried.”

Shoe held together with duct tape

Continue here for my full review of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry ….



QOTD:

Have you read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry or is it on your TBR?

The Deal of a Lifetime [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

June 11, 2020

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman
#throwbackthursday

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m sharing my review of a favorite adult fairy tale, The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman….poignant, thought-provoking, and reflective.

Fredrik Backman is an auto-buy author for me, and I’m a Backman completist!

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman (cover) Image: a blue suitcase sits against a wall on a wooden floor, a straw hat is propped on one corner of the suitcase and a white bunny (stuffed) lies on the floor in front of the suitcase

Genre/Categories:  literary fiction, contemporary fiction, adult fairy tale, ambition, self-reflection, end of life

My Summary:

“In true Backman style, The Deal of a Lifetime is an intricately woven story (novella) of an unlovable, complex, and flawed character whom we begin to understand and care about as he faces the end of his life. Written as the last message from father to son and told like a fairy tale for adults, it’s a story of a legacy, ambition and success at all costs, fear of failure, the meaning of life, the commodity of time, an accounting of one’s life, and a father/son relationship. I hesitate to give details of the plot in this summary because I don’t want to spoil your read. Briefly, it’s the story of a successful and famous man in the mid-years of his life counting the personal cost of his achievements and striking a last deal to make things right.”

For those who collect opening lines….these are stellar!

“…I’ve killed a person. That’s not how fairy tales usually begin, I know. But I took a life. Does it make a difference if you know whose it was…..Does it make a difference if I killed a good person? A loved person? A valuable life?”  ~Backman’s opening lines

A reflective read for those who appreciate the beauty of short stories and for readers who might enjoy a thoughtful adult fairy tale about the purpose and meaning of life …..

Continue here for my full review of The Deal of a Lifetime which includes a set of discussion questions for your book club!

QOTD: Have you read The Deal of a Lifetime or is it on your TBR?