June Reads…

June Reads…

Hey everyone!

This month’s reading list is a little ambitious but I’m going to try and push it and get through all of these titles! Happy reading!

 

The Mothers: Brit Bennett

Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.

“All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.”

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever

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I started to read these a while ago, got sidetracked and put. it to the side. I’m currently reading this one and it’s pretty good. 

*****

Opposite of Always: Justin A. Reynolds

Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.

He almost made valedictorian.

He almost made varsity.

He almost got the girl . . .

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.

But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do—and let go—to save the people he loves.

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I was browsing in the bookstore and the cover jumped out to me. After reading the synopsis, I was intrigued. Looking forward to getting to this title.

*****

Let Me Hear a Rhyme: Tiffany D. Jackson

In this standalone novel, Tiffany D. Jackson tells the story of three Brooklyn teens who plot to turn their murdered friend into a major rap star by pretending he is still alive.

Biggie Smalls was right. Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are okay letting their best friend Steph’s tracks lie forgotten in his bedroom after he’s killed—not when his beats could turn any Bed-Stuy corner into a celebration, not after years of having each other’s backs.

Enlisting the help of Steph’s younger sister, Jasmine, Quadir and Jarrell come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: The Architect. Soon, everyone in Brooklyn is dancing to Steph’s voice. But then his mixtape catches the attention of a hotheaded music rep and—with just hours on the clock—the trio must race to prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.

Now, as the pressure—and danger—of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, together they need to decide what they stand for before they lose everything they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.

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I have loved each of this author’s previous works, so once I saw this on the shelf I had to purchase it. I’m hoping it is as quick and as pleasant to read as the others.
******

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Lysa TerKeurst

New York Times  bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst unveils her heart amid shattering circumstances and shows readers how to live assured when life doesn’t turn out like they expected.

What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention hurtful, and His promises doubtful?

Life often looks so very different than we hoped or expected. Some events may simply catch us off guard for a moment, but others shatter us completely. We feel disappointed and disillusioned, and we quietly start to wonder about the reality of God’s goodness.

Lysa TerKeurst understands this deeply. But she’s also discovered that our disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God. In It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa invites us into her own journey of faith and, with grit, vulnerability, and honest humor, helps us to:

* Stop being pulled into the anxiety of disappointment by discovering how to better process unmet expectations and other painful situations.
* Train ourselves to recognize the three strategies of the enemy so we can stand strong and persevere through unsettling relationships and uncertain outcomes.
* Discover the secret of being steadfast and not panicking when God actually does give us more than we can handle.
* Shift our suspicion that God is cruel or unfair to the biblical assurance that God is protecting and preparing us.
* Know how to encourage a friend and help her navigate hard realities with real help from God’s truth

[It's Not Supposed to Be This Way (Signed Book) by Lysa TerKeurst

I purchased this one on a whim. It spoke to me at the moment. As I like to have something faith-based in addition to the bible in my monthly rotation, I figured I’d give this one a try.

******

Defending Jacob: William Landay

Award-winning author William Landay has written the consummate novel of an embattled family in crisis – a suspenseful, character-driven mystery that is also a spellbinding tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying speed at which our lives can spin out of control.

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

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A co-worker of mine gathered a bunch of us at work who share a love for reading, a started a little book club. This month we start with this book, Sounds interesting. Not normally a genre I often gravitate too but I’m interested to read something with a group of people and engage in some meaningful conversation! 🙂

That’s it for this month! What are you guys reading this month? I need suggestions for July!

( all synopsis’ from goodreads.com I do not own any of them)

xoxo

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May Reads…

May Reads…

Hey guys!

I’ve been grappling with what I want to read this month as it appears that there is barely any free time at my grasp this month! Your girl is booked and busy! Work and weddings, bridal showers and other celebrations leaves little to no time for leisurely afternoons curled up with a good book, which is why I’ve chosen only 2 books and a couple months of Essence and Ebony magazines to focus on. Here’s what I chose…

  1. An American Marriage: By Tayari Jones

    Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together
    An American Marriage
  2. Life Is _____.: God’s Illogical Love Will Change Your Existence – By: Judah Smith

    Life is ____.  How would you finish that sentence?
    Judah Smith believes Jesus shows us how to live life to the fullest. In this follow-up to his New York Times and USA Today bestseller Jesus Is ____, Judah completes the new sentence again and again, revealing how·      Life is to be loved and to love.
  3. ·      Life is to trust God in every moment.
  4. ·      Life is to be at peace with God and yourself.
  5. ·      Life is to enjoy God.
  6. Judah writes as a friend, welcoming new believers, lifelong followers of Jesus, and even the merely curious. He shows us the love of God that defies human logic and the life that God intends for us to have in the here and now. With excitement and humor, Judah looks at the stories in the Bible from his unique angle and shows how life is all about loving God and loving others
    Life Is _____.: God's Illogical Love Will Change Your Existence

That’s all I’m reading this month y’all! What are you reading this month? I need some suggestions for June!

xoxo
©justlovethemanyway
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What I’ve Read So Far This Year!

What I’ve Read So Far This Year!

Hey guys

I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of reading since the onset of 2016! I thought I would share with you what I’ve read so far and what I’m currently reading!

  1. Where We Belong: By Emily Giffin

Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six year old television producer, living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and satisfying relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door . . . only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had sealed off forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s perfectly constructed world—and her very identity—will be shaken to its core, resurrecting ghosts and memories of a passionate young love affair that threaten everything that has come to define her.

For the precocious and determined Kirby, the encounter will spur a process of discovery that ushers her across the threshold of adulthood, forcing her to re-evaluate her family and future in a wise and bittersweet light. As the two women embark on a journey to find the one thing missing in their lives, each will come to recognize that where we belong is often where we least expect to find ourselves—a place that we may have willed ourselves to forget, but that the heart remembers forever

Where We Belong

What a fantastic read! I always enjoy everything that Emily Giffin writes. This book was a fresh outlook on an adoption story! 4 out of 5 stars!

2. Everything, Everything:By Nicola Yoon

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Okay guys! I absolutely loved this book! It was a super quick read as it is a Young Adult Fiction Novel . It seemed pretty predictable at the beginning but when the plot finally wraps up…. wow! I don’t want to give anything away but if you are looking for a quick read ( like you could probably read this in a couple of hours) pick this one up!

3. We Were Liars : By  E. Lockhart

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

This is probably the worst book  I have ever read…. ever! It’s plot is as vague as it’s description. I picked up this book to read because it was so raved about on Goodreads, Amazon, Booktube… just about everywhere. It was awful. Please avoid at all costs!! ( lol)

We Were Liars
So Incredibly Boring!

4. Church Of Lies : By Flora Jessop 

“My name is Flora Jessop. I’ve been called apostate, vigilante, and crazy bitch, and maybe I am. But some people call me a hero, and I’d like to think they’re right too. If I am a hero, maybe it’s because every time I can play a part in saving a child or a woman from a life of servitude and degradation, I’m saving a little piece of me, too.

I was one of twenty-eight children born to my dad and his three wives. Indoctrinated to believe that the outside world was evil, and that I resided among the righteous, I was destined to marry a man chosen for me by the Prophet. I would then live in harmony with my sister-wives, bear many children, and obey and serve my future husband in this life and throughout eternity. But my innocence didn’t last long. While still a child, I understood that the church of the righteous was nothing but a church of lies.

When I was eight years old my father sexually molested me for the first time, raping me when I was twelve. I tried to kill myself. Beaten, molested, taunted, and abused by family members alleging they only wanted to save my soul became a daily routine, I ran from this abuse more than once in my early teens–even attempting to cross the desert on foot. My family hunted me down. I thought government agencies would provide me safety if I reported my father. Instead, police and social services colluded with the FLDS to return me to my family and I ended up back inside polygamy, right where I started.”

Flora goes on from there to tell the dramatic true story of how she ultimately escaped and has been fighting against frustrating obstacles with hard fought successes in rescuing women and children from the FLDS. It’s a story you can’t put down.

I don’t know why I am so intrigued by the stories of the people who lived an FDLS lifestyle and have escaped the horrors that many of them endured. I really liked this book, because it was a true redemption story. It gave good background on the FDLS lifestyle and how difficult life could be for those who chose to leave. Check it out!

Church of Lies

5. Room: By Emma Donoghue

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

I had this book on my bookshelf collecting dust for YEARS ( literally 5 years). Then the major motion picture came out and was getting rave reviews. But I don’t like to watch a movie adaptation of a book without reading the book first , so I did. Honestly, it was just okay for me. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t spectacular to me. The story is vaguely reminiscent of the true story of the Cleveland kidnapping of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.( Amanda Berry also had a child by her kidnapper just as the main woman in this story did) I must admit reading the story from a child’s point of view at times was a little disturbing.  I have yet to watch the movie. I am interested to see how the screenplay writers and director bring this story to life.

Room

6. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person: By Shonda Rimes 

The mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life―and how it can change yours, too.

With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the uber-talented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No.

And there was the side-benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear.

Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed―and the result was nothing short of transformative. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life―and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes

What a great read! I absolutely love Shonda Rimes and was super interested to see what her “Year of Yes” entailed. This book actually caused me to look at my life and set my own “Year of Yes” goals ( read here) This is a great book! It’s also super funny! If you like her shows, you will definitely enjoy this book!

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

What have you been reading so far this year?
Let me know!!

xoxo

2016 TBR List!

2016 TBR List!

Hey guys!

So it’s that time of year again. The time where I make a TBR ( to be read) list and fail shamelessly at accomplishing it!! But I’m going to try it again! Last year I set a reading goal of 25 books and  I surpassed that I read 38! But.. of the 10 books I had on my TBR list, I read a grand total of……. ( drum-roll please….) 3! Side note: One was a devotional that I am currently reading for the next forty days and the other is on my dresser waiting to be picked up next 😛

So this year I decided to narrow it down to 5 books that I absolutely must get through this year, thus leaving plenty of room for randomly wonderful reads.

So the five books I have chosen as my must reads are:

  1. Room: By Emma Donoghue ( Now a major motion picture) The synopsis of this book is as follows:

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

This book has been collecting dust on my bookshelf since 2010….. ( yes 2010) I loved the premise of the story when I initially picked it up but you know how book life goes(lol)  I got sidetracked. I really want to see the movie but I always like to read the book prior to. So here I go. I hope to read this by February( but don’t hold me to that :P)

Room

2. And The Mountains Echoed: By Khaled Hosseini. ( Author of “The Kite Runner”)  I had picked up this book right after its release in 2013 as I have loved all of this authors previous works. I had initially started it and somehow it got lost by the wayside. This year will be the year I actually complete it!  The synopsis of this book is as follows:

Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most.

Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

And the Mountains Echoed

3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings: Maya Angelou. This book is a re-read for me. I read this book as a young girl ( probably about 10) before I could really internalize the message she was trying to deliver. I think It’s a fine time for a re-read! The synopsis of this book is as follows:

Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

4. The Illegal: By Lawrence Hill. I bought this book at the tail end of 2015. I loved Lawrence Hills other works and He’s Canadian and currently lives in my city! So why now support local talent!!  The synopsis of this  book is as follows:

All Keita has ever wanted to do is to run. Running means respect and wealth at home. His native Zantoroland, a fictionalized country whose tyrants are eerily familiar, turns out the fastest marathoners on earth. But after his journalist father is killed for his outspoken political views, Keita must flee to the wealthy nation of Freedom State—a country engaged in a crackdown on all undocumented people.

There, Keita becomes a part of the new underground. He learns what it means to live as an illegal: surfacing to earn cash prizes by running local races and assessing whether the people he meets will be kind or turn him in. As the authorities seek to arrest Keita, he strives to elude capture and ransom his sister, who has been kidnapped.

Set in an imagined country bearing a striking resemblance to our own, this tension-filled novel casts its eye on race, human potential, and what it means to belong.

The Illegal

5: Troublemaker:Surviving Hollywood and Scientology: By Leah Remini. I want to read this simply because I am intrigued, curious and want to know what finally made her walk about from that religion..

The outspoken actress, talk show host, and reality television star offers up a no-holds-barred memoir, including an eye-opening insider account of her tumultuous and heart-wrenching thirty-year-plus association with the Church of Scientology.

Leah Remini has never been the type to hold her tongue. That willingness to speak her mind, stand her ground, and rattle the occasional cage has enabled this tough-talking girl from Brooklyn to forge an enduring and successful career in Hollywood. But being a troublemaker has come at a cost.

That was never more evident than in 2013, when Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. Now, in this frank, funny, poignant memoir, the former King of Queens star opens up about that experience for the first time, revealing the in-depth details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices.

Indoctrinated into the church as a child while living with her mother and sister in New York, Remini eventually moved to Los Angeles, where her dreams of becoming an actress and advancing Scientology’s causes grew increasingly intertwined. As an adult, she found the success she’d worked so hard for, and with it a prominent place in the hierarchy of celebrity Scientologists alongside people such as Tom Cruise, Scientology’s most high-profile adherent. Remini spent time directly with Cruise and was included among the guests at his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes.

But when she began to raise questions about some of the church’s actions, she found herself a target. In the end, she was declared by the church to be a threat to their organization and therefore a “Suppressive Person,” and as a result, all of her fellow parishioners—including members of her own family—were told to disconnect from her. Forever.

Bold, brash, and bravely confessional, Troublemaker chronicles Leah Remini’s remarkable journey toward emotional and spiritual freedom, both for herself and for her family. This is a memoir designed to reveal the hard-won truths of a life lived honestly—from an author unafraid of the consequences

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology

I have to order this online because It is not sold in Canada. It does not adhere to Canadian defamation policies my local bookstore told me. Perhaps a quick drive to Buffalo ( I only live about 45 minutes from the border) at some point this year.

Finally, I found this handy dandy little 2016 Reading challenge list that looks like fun and will totally help me stay on track and complete my TBR! I’m going to print these out and put them in a jar and anytime I finish a book I will draw out my challenge for my next read!

Here’s wishing you a successful reading year! What are you planning on reading this year? Let me know!!!!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

 

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Xoxo

 

I’m In a Reading Slump This Week…..

Hey Guys!

This week was a big ole reading fail!! I started a bunch of books but couldn’t get invested in any of them. I had a lot going on this week. One of my dear friends went into labour and that consumed all of my time.( Welcome baby Dina Rose ❤ ) Plus, the weather has been really wonky and has been causing me to have excruciating migraines. Migraines= No reading! 😦  

So there is really nothing to report. I’m almost finished “The Good Sister” by Jamie Kain. It’s a pretty dark read. There seems to be a plot twist coming up or something. I’ll let you know. 🙂

The Good Sister

I tried picking up  “Secret of a Thousand Beauties” and I put it right down. Just wasn’t interested. I may pick it back up again at some point in the future because the plot line really did intrigue me.

Secret of a Thousand Beauties

I read a couple of pages of “The Children’s Crusade” by Ann Packer. So far so good! I think that’s the only book I’m going to try to finish this week. It’s a long weekend here in Ontario Canada  and I’ll be going out-of-town ,catching up with friends and family, so from Thursday to Monday I don’t foresee much reading happening ( LOL 🙂 )

We are back on our weekly devotional. We played catchup reading about Lot’s Wife, Rebekah and Rachel.( funny enough; Rebecca and Rachel are the names of my devotional reading buddies! Hey y’all! 🙂 ) This week we are studying the life and story of Leah!

Have a beautiful reading week!

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: My book choices were really deep this week….

Wednesday Weekly Reads: My book choices were really deep this week….

Hi guys!

Your girl is under the weather today ( spring allergies kicking my butt 😦 ) so I’m going to try to be as quick as possible.

I had to stop reading “Hold Still” by Nina Lacour. I just couldn’t get into it. It kind of put me in the mind of two books I had previously read ( Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and I Was Here by Gayle Forman. )  as all three novels deal with suicide. I guess I was just over that particular plot line. It’s a library book, but I still have 2 weeks left with it. I may give it another chance.

Next I picked up “Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church”  by Lauren Drain. This is a memoir about a girl leaving the church and sharing her regrets about some of the acts she committed while being a member. Here is a synopsis of the book from http://www.amazon.com

You’ve likely heard of the Westboro Baptist Church. Perhaps you’ve seen their pickets on the news, the members holding signs with messages that are too offensive to copy here, protesting at events such as the funerals of soldiers, the 9-year old victim of the recent Tucson shooting, and Elizabeth Edwards, all in front of their grieving families. The WBC is fervently anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and anti- practically everything and everyone. And they aren’t going anywhere: in March, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the WBC’s right to picket funerals.

Since no organized religion will claim affiliation with the WBC, it’s perhaps more accurate to think of them as a cult. Lauren Drain was thrust into that cult at the age of 15, and then spat back out again seven years later. BANISHED is the first look inside the organization, as well as a fascinating story of adaptation and perseverance.

Lauren spent her early years enjoying a normal life with her family in Florida. But when her formerly liberal and secular father set out to produce a documentary about the WBC, his detached interest gradually evolved into fascination, and he moved the entire family to Kansas to join the church and live on their compound. Over the next seven years, Lauren fully assimilated their extreme beliefs, and became a member of the church and an active and vocal picketer. But as she matured and began to challenge some of the church’s tenets, she was unceremoniously cast out from the church and permanently cut off from her family and from everyone else she knew and loved. BANISHED is the story of Lauren’s fight to find herself amidst dramatic changes in a world of extremists and a life in exile.

I remember watching the documentary “The Most Hated Family in America” which gives details about the church and what It stands for, and it crushed me! It was so disturbing to see people distorting the word of God and giving a false appearance of what true Christianity is about. So when I saw this book at the library, I had to read it and hear about it from the inside. It was an ok read. It does seem that she hasn’t become used to “life on the outside” and what that entails. I wish she would have waited a few years before writing this memoir.

It was just ok…

Next, a book that I  mentioned in a previous blog ( https://justlovethemanyway.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/wednesday-weekly-reads-success/) was released. That book was,”Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland” by Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. This is the memoir of the other two Cleveland kidnapping survivors(Michelle Knight released her memoir, “Finding Me” last year) I finished this book in a day and a car ride. It was pretty parallel in content to Michelle’s book. This book really made me count my blessings that I was not a victim such a heinous crime. I pray these ladies one day truly find peace.

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I suggest that you read these books in succession. Powerful stories of strength and resilience.

We took a break from our group devotional,”Women of the Bible” We will be back on it come Monday 🙂

This week, I have already started “The Good Sister” by Jamie Kain. The synopsis of this book is as follows:

The Kinsey sisters live in an unconventional world. Their parents are former flower-children who still don’t believe in rules. Their small, Northern California town is filled with free spirits and damaged souls seeking refuge from the real world. Without the anchor of authority, the three girls are adrift and have only each other to rely on.

Rachel is wild. Asha is lost. Sarah, the good sister, is the glue that holds them together. But the forces of a mysterious fate have taken Sarah’s life in a sudden and puzzling accident, sending her already fractured family into a tailspin of grief and confusion. Asha has questions. Rachel has secrets. And Sarah, waking up in the afterlife, must piece together how she got there.

Jamie Kain brings us The Good Sister, a stunning debut young adult novel about love in all its joyful, painful, exhilarating manifestations, and about the ties that bind us together, in life and beyond.

The Good Sister

So far so good! I should finish this by tonight or tomorrow, ( Its a quick read) I really liked not having a reading goal last week and seeing where the reading fairy led me ( LOL) However there are two books that I have to return to the library soon that I would like to try to read. One of them is “The Children’s Crusade” by Ann Packer ( a book I’ve had my eye on for a while)

Bill Blair finds the land by accident, three wooded acres in a rustic community south of San Francisco. The year is 1954, long before anyone will call this area Silicon Valley. Struck by a vision of the family he has yet to create, Bill buys the property on a whim. In Penny Greenway he finds a suitable wife, a woman whose yearning attitude toward life seems compelling and answerable, and they marry and have four children. Yet Penny is a mercurial housewife, at a time when women chafed at the conventions imposed on them. She finds salvation in art, but the cost is high.

Thirty years later, the three oldest Blair children, adults now and still living near the family home, are disrupted by the return of the youngest, whose sudden presence and all-too-familiar troubles force a reckoning with who they are, separately and together, and set off a struggle over the family’s future. One by one, the siblings take turns telling the story–Robert, a doctor like their father; Rebecca, a psychiatrist; Ryan, a schoolteacher; and James, the malcontent, the problem child, the only one who hasn’t settled down-their narratives interwoven with portraits of the family at crucial points in their history. ( goodreads.com)

Also, I would like to try to read “Secret of a Thousand Beauties” , which was a  random pick ( honestly the cover intrigued me, it reminded me of “Memoirs of a Geisha” )

Secret of a Thousand Beauties

Set against the vibrant and intrigue-laden backdrop of 1930s China, Mingmei Yip’s enthralling novel explores one woman’s defiant pursuit of independence.

Spring Swallow was promised in marriage while still in her mother’s belly. When the groom dies before a wedding can take place, seventeen-year-old Spring Swallow is ordered to become a ghost bride to appease his spirit. Under her in-laws’ protection, she will be little more than a servant, unable to know real love or bear children. Refusing to accept her fate as a “bad-luck woman,” Spring Swallow flees on her wedding day.

In the city of Soochow, Spring Swallow joins a community of renowned embroiderers. The women work for Aunty Peony, whose exquisite stitching once earned her the Emperor’s love. But when Aunty Peony agrees to replicate a famous painting–a lucrative assignment that will take a year to complete–betrayal and jealousy emerges within the group. Spring Swallow becomes entangled in each woman’s story of heartbreak, even while she embarks on a dangerous affair with a young revolutionary. On a journey that leads from the remote hillsides around Soochow to cosmopolitan Peking, Spring Swallow draws on the secret techniques learned from Aunty Peony and her own indomitable strength, determined to forge a life that is truly her own. ( goodreads.com)

Let’s see how much I accomplish this week. The weather is finally amazing and I love to be outdoors and active! To read or not to read…… 🙂 Enjoy whatever you are reading this week!

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: April 29th 2015h

Wednesday Weekly Reads: April 29th 2015h

Hey Y’all

I’m tired guys lol. Its been a busy one! So let me do a quick wrap up!

This week I finished up  “I Love, I Hate, I Miss my Sister” by Amelie Sarn. I literally read this book in 90 minutes (It was just 150 pages). It didn’t love the writing of this book. I found the plot to be very monotonous ( Muslim girl ridiculed for her religious beliefs and choice of religious covering vs Muslim girl seen as not being “modest” enough.) It was just “meh”. I wouldn’t necessarily suggest this book to anyone to read.

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It was just “ok”

I finished up my study on “Lot’s Wife” from my group devotional! Interesting read!  It puts a true spin on the saying, “curiosity killed the  cat”  I really enjoyed the prayer at the end of this study. It reads:

Lord, You call me to live in a world without embracing the ways of the world. Help me to live in a way that preserves my freedom to follow you wherever and however you lead. If i should leave behind a monument, may it be a reminder to others of faith and not foolishness! ( excerpt from the “Women of the Bible devotional)

I tried to read “Coaltown Jesus” by Ron Koertge and I just couldn’t get in to the story because it was written entirely in prose. ( kind of like an Ellen Hopkins novel) Just not my cup of tea.

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Lastly, I started Hold Still” by Nina LaCour” and honestly I’m only a few pages in so I don’t have much to reportI’m going to try and finish this one up and give an honest report next week!

Next week I’m just going read whatever I want. I’m not going to set any goals. I’m  just going to go with the flow and read whatever comes my way. I’ve got a ton of pretty interesting library books to tackle!

Happy reading!

xoxo