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The Bookshelf is an actively growing list of books that will change and morph over time. Please add your favorites in the comments below! I’m always looking for my next favorite book to add to the Quiet Hollow Bookshelf.
The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold
This will temporarily be a rather strange review. I haven’t finished reading this book! But I can’t wait to share it with you. It came highly recommended, so I decided to give it a try. After reading many excellently written Christian novels by Lynn Austin and others, I was doubtful. I’m about 19 chapters in; I can tell you this is one of the richest, most meaningful books on aging I’ve ever read. The beautifully developed characters and historically correct backstory bring to life a sweet friendship between a woman beginning her life as an adult and the other nearing death. It’s mostly real, humorous, and endearing, with enough of life’s hard challenges to keep you reading and caring.
After finishing this wonderful story, I will return with my final words of review. It won’t be long from now. Again, I wanted to get this title and author to you a.s.a.p. so you could get into this story too.
Eve’s Daughters by Lynn Austin
This might be my favorite Lynn Austin book. Her characters are always deeply developed and believable, and the life events are real. This book spans four generations and two continents while having flashbacks (each character’s story) that are grounded in 1980. I had a special connection to the youngest daughter as we were born in the same year and could relate to the roots in Germany because of our time there. The hardships hurt but have great value, and there is always so much good, so many life lessons, and a thread of faith that is inspiring and not superficial. I loved this book! (And by the way…we’re all Eve’s Daughters 😊)
Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin
Chasing Shadows is set in WWII Netherlands and centers on the lives of three women in totally different situations and life challenges. All three are affected by the events surrounding the Nazi invasion but none so severely as the young Jewish mother Miriam. Once again Lynn Austin creates a living scenario of action, love, danger, and faith in an historically correct background. This is an excellent book.
The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers
Francine Rivers fans will love her new book set in Gold Rush California. Her adventurous and determined main character Kathryn Walsh adjusts to life in the small mountain town of Calvada, California after growing up in high society Boston. Kathryn faces many wild obstacles but learns a lot a long the way and has a creative way of resolving things. I loved this character! Francine Rivers is another extremely talented writer of historical Christian fiction. The Lady’s Mine is a great read!
If I Were You by Lynn Austin
I just finished this Lynn Austin novel set mainly in WWII England, but it slides over to the States after the War. The Audible version of If I Were You was read by an excellent narrator. The British accents added so much to the storyline, including class differences, the horrors of war, struggling to redefine individual purpose, and what faith means in the middle of such a tumultuous time. The author expertly weaves the story back and forth through a three-decade time setting, culminating in the U.S. in the year I was born…1950. I’m becoming a huge Lynn Austin fan. And this is another perfect walking book; it kept me getting up and dressed to get out on the trail! (The link is to the Audible version but hardback, paperback, and Kindle versions are also available.)
The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers
This wonderful, inspirational, well-written fictional narrative is called “A Redemptive, Character-Driven, Contemporary Christian Fiction Romance Novel.” I listened to The Masterpiece during my morning walks, and the book helped motivate me to get outside and exercise! The characters were believable, and endearing, and even though, through foreshadowing, I guessed that two main characters would eventually get together, I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns that brought them to that place. I highly recommend The Masterpiece.
Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation by Jen Schmidt
If your heart is looking forward to connecting with people after this big ‘social break’, here’s a great book to inspire you with new ideas for gently hosting again. Based on a biblical hospitality model, this fun book puts hosting in the ministry category as a way to share yourself and bless others in the process. I LOVE this book and have taken several of Jen Schmidt’s points to heart. As a social introvert (why I’m a blogger!),, this changed my perspective on entertaining. I write about all of this in a recent post called How to be a Stress-Free Happy Hostess.
Nanaville by Anna Quindlen
This little book came highly recommended by one of my sweet grandma friends. I’ve just started it, but wanted to add it here because it looks so good! Until I have my own words to review, here’s a recommendation from Amazon. “In this wise and endearing book, former New York Times columnist Quindlen . . . addresses the subject of grandparenting, sharing her own experiences and advice. . . .
The book is filled with Quindlen’s playful sense of humor (if her baby daughter had wanted to sleep upside down “like a bat,” she would have let her), along with thoughtful reflections on how parenting and grandparenting have changed (for instance, fathers are more involved, there’s a lot more baby gear to buy, and more people are living long enough to become grandparents). This heartfelt and delightful work will especially appeal to readers already living within their own versions of Nanaville.”—Publishers Weekly
Sophie’s Heart by Lori Wick
My new favorite is Lori Wick! A sweet story that got me hooked soon and then needed a non-stop reading session to get to the happy ending. Challenges involving language, a sudden death, and patience make for a real-life narrative that entertains, and builds your faith but isn’t so painful you want to put it down.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
An all-time favorite is now a movie. Read the book and then log in to Netflix! Set in WWII on a German-occupied island, a wonderful cast of characters brings forth a lovely story. Perfect for you if you love books!
How Not to Look Old by Charla Krupp
An amazing resource for those of us who do not want to look older than we have to! Fun suggestions to keep our youth in the ‘eye of the beholder’ and our hearts. My copy is marked up, dog-eared, and tagged throughout. Check out my post about this very topic! Three Tips to Not Look Old
The Princess by Lori Wick
A sweet love story that emerges from a modern-day arranged marriage. Light and happy read with well-developed characters.
Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power Dr. Lisa Mosconi
Brain Food is a comprehensive scientific study focusing on the connection between nutrition and brain health. Dr. Lisa Mosconi, a neuroscientist researching Alzheimer’s and other age-related cognitive abnormalities, presents her findings and suggests effective foods and diets. Of particular interest to me was the connection between menopause and Alzheimer’s. Easy to read and hopeful!
The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Serena Ball, MS, RDN, and Deanna Segrave-Daly, RDN
A great companion cookbook for Brain Food. Tasty, healthy recipes are easy to prepare. The Salmon Skillet Supper was delectable, I’ve marked several others to try!
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