It’s been a while since I could participate in Mailbox Monday! With the library being closed, moving, and just the way life was, I did not receive any new books for several weeks (and honestly that is not a bad thing). This weekend I visited my parents, and apparently when the mail rains, it pours! Three books in the mail this week, plus a handful of related goodies from an Instagram giveaway that I won. Farther down I’m including a picture of the cookbooks I currently have checked out from the library, then highlighting a few ebooks I recently agreed to read and review.
Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
In the Mail
Never Say Goodbye by Sarah Grace Grzy – Contemporary Christian Fiction
Tyler Collens has seen grief and loss in his years of experience as a paramedic—but he never expected it to touch his life in such a personal way. The death of his wife eighteen months ago shook his steady world and changed him in more ways than he can count. Time and routine have steadied his feet, and he looks toward the future as he raises his infant daughter—but the past has a tighter grip on him than he knows. Alyvia Emmerson has never been certain of who she is or where she belongs. Her dad’s abandonment as a teen broke a fragile piece of her heart, but ten years later, she has moved on. Living on her own, she at last has a project to devote herself to: revitalizing a shabby bookstore. But she didn’t count on her dream job revealing the shattered pieces of herself she thought mended long ago.
I have already mentioned this book in several other posts (often in lists of what I want to read next), and I am SO glad that it finally arrived! I can’t wait to dive in and see if the story inside is as beautiful as the cover.
Wedding Score by Amanda Tero – Contemporary Christian Fiction Novella
Most girls dream of their wedding days. Except me. I’m too busy practicing piano and being the live soundtrack for everyone else’s weddings to think about my own. I’ve survived most of my twenties with harmonious chords and pleasant days. So why is it that now, at twenty-seven, a discordant feeling presents itself? Is there a solid solution to loneliness when there is absolutely no potential husband on the horizon?
When Wedding Score was first published, I received a digital copy from the author as thanks for posting about the book on Instagram. The story of a late-20s single Christian pianist struggling with her singleness and working through it in a way that glorifies God while being honest with her feelings resonates with me so much. I gave it four stars (my review here) and intend to re-read it soon, now that I have a physical copy!
Journey to Love: Marie’s Journey, 1901 by Amanda Tero – Christian Historical Fiction Novella
Now orphaned, Marie is swept miles away from the only life she knew to be sheltered by unknown guardians. Caught in the challenges of a new life, she cannot prevent changes from happening, but she can keep the Bowles and their friends at arm's length. Or can she? While things appear to transition smoothly on the outside, Marie struggles against the turmoil she faces on the inside. She sees something in the Bowles and her new friends that she had never experienced before...but should she trust what the preacher is teaching when it goes against everything she had accepted as truth? Is God really a God of love? If He is, then is Marie willing to accept it? Follow Marie as she begins the journey to love.
This book has been on my periphery for a while. It may have to wait a little while to fit into my reading schedule, but I’m excited to see how it is!
Genreflecting: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests by Cynthia Orr – Nonfiction, Library Science/Reader’s Advisory?
For readers' advisory librarians with patrons looking for their next great read, professors teaching readers' advisory service, or even enthusiastic readers who prefer to help themselves, Genreflecting: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests serves all of their needs. A new introductory section covering the role of readers' advisory service in the library and the basics of readers' advisory service is followed by chapters that list best-known titles organized by subgenres, identifying popular genres, describing their characteristics, and explaining their appeal. This seventh edition expands on the previous with chapters on nonfiction, mainstream fiction, and women's lives; as well as on emerging genres and formats such as urban lit, graphic novels, and Christian fiction. The expanded coverage makes the book an ideal text and resource for students in library school classes on readers' advisory service or introduction to genres as well as to trainers working with new library staff.
This may be more of a resource than a “sit down and read” book. A former library manager recommended that I check it out in order to become better at Reader’s Advisory (which is essentially answering the question “what should I read?” in the best way for the individual asking).
Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews Edwards – Nonfiction, Memoir
With this second memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, Andrews picks up the story with her arrival in Hollywood and her phenomenal rise to fame in her earliest films--Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Andrews describes her years in the film industry -- from the incredible highs to the challenging lows. Not only does she discuss her work in now-classic films and her collaborations with giants of cinema and television, she also unveils her personal story of adjusting to a new and often daunting world, dealing with the demands of unimaginable success, being a new mother, the end of her first marriage, embracing two stepchildren, adopting two more children, and falling in love with the brilliant and mercurial Blake Edwards. The pair worked together in numerous films, including Victor/Victoria, the gender-bending comedy that garnered multiple Oscar nominations. Cowritten with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and told with Andrews's trademark charm and candor, Home Work takes us on a rare and intimate journey into an extraordinary life that is funny, heartrending, and inspiring.
I may not keep up with film nearly as much as I do with literature – in fact, the very thought is laughable – but I admire Julie Andrews, so her new memoir caught my attention. I’m trying to read a larger variety of nonfiction this year, so this fits in perfectly. I’m currently a few chapters in, and her knack for storytelling is evident as my attention is held just as well when she discusses mundane events as when she talks about truly extraordinary moments.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins – Young Adult Dystopian/Fantasy Fiction
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute. The odds are against him. He's been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined -- every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute... and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.
I’ve actually had this one checked out for about two weeks now, and I just finished it a few days ago. The book packs a solid punch, but it’s taking some time to get my thoughts together. Hopefully I’ll have a full post about it in the (not too distant) future.
I am not going to talk about each of these, but I did want to mention that I am running a bit wild with checking out cookbooks at the moment, and there is no end in sight! Moving means a new kitchen, ripe for new recipes and exciting foods.
Life on Mission @ Work by Tyler Edwards – Nonfiction, Christian Living
Many of us spend a large portion of our waking hours at work. For some, it’s hard to find time for anything else. How do we follow Jesus AND deal with the demands of our job? What if we stopped viewing our work as an obstacle and started seeing it as an opportunity? Could our relationship with Jesus change the way we view, value, and behave at work? Life on Mission at Work is focused on practical ways we can turn our work into our mission field, where our occupation becomes our opportunity to glorify God and share His love and grace with others.
My review of this short book should be up very soon!
Immersed in West Africa by Terry Lister – Nonfiction, Travelogue
From harrowing experiences with border police, to day-long travel on crowded mini-buses, Lister’s accounts of daily life shed light on the real side of Africa, and are sure to both entertain and educate you. Travel is the best educator and Lister shows us that while Africa is still the brunt of many jokes and misconceptions, it is more than worth the visit. If you are someone who’s been a bit afraid to travel into Africa beyond the big tours, this book will inspire you to step out with courage and faith. While your experience will be your own, it is one guaranteed to inspire and motivate you to be the best version of yourself.
This review is due up in July, and I’m looking forward to exploring Africa with this author!
Are there any new-to-you books you would like to talk about? Leave a comment so we can check them out. Don’t forget to hop over to the Mailbox Monday page for more bookish discussions!
I hope today kicks off a good week for you all, Readers.
Until the next chapter,