Tuesday, March 14, 2017

6 Books * Taking a Breather From the Break

The sweeping winds howl outside, ferocious rain pelting against rattling windows as stormy gusts make their wild presence known.  As winter makes its noisy exit, I'm more than happy to crack open the ol' laptop and cast my blogging break to the side, ready to chat books with you once again.

My fingers are eagerly renewing their acquaintance with the keyboard which has been quite idle for weeks now.  Celebrating the beginning of my 10th year of blogging by taking a break from its familiar cadence has been a breathe of fresh air, a needed grace.

Yes, abundance comes to call when we get courageous enough to do life unplugged, gently laying aside the comfort zone that our online travels provide, and freeing ourselves up to discover what awaits unhindered when we're finally untethered from our beloved screens.













One sweet benefit of ratcheting back our online hours is that we can lend fuller attention to volumes gathered here and there that have been patiently whispering, 'pick me, pick me.'  This, the priceless gift of paper and ink, a gathering of stories and adventures and invitations begging to be welcomed and embraced.

Books make the finest companions, don't they?  Always ready and waiting whenever we choose to spend time in their presence, yet without fierce demand on our energies.  Quiet company on long late evenings or a needed distraction during spare moments grabbed here and there.

Like these ...

Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path
Erin Loechner
Coffee table book? Memoir? Workbook?

When Erin hits the publish button on her blog, I'm there.  Even if she's penning observations about shoes or smoothies or children's clothes ... it matters not to me because her writing style is so winsome and her words captivating.  I find slow and gentle oh so very appealing.

She writes, 'This book is a work of creative nonfiction.  This means I can write a true story about my life but still throw a dinner party and invite those whose names might have been changed.'

Photos, snapshots, space for you to jot your thoughts, sidebar treats.  This lifestyle volume is a lovely treat.


Shelly Miller
No doubt, Shelly's book will remain one of my top favorites this year.  This is a gentle invitation to sabbath loveliness, not sabbath legalism.  Shelly weaves her compelling discoveries with the stories of women she's connected with along the way.  It's a slow, thoughtful read that will leave you yearning to establish this grace into your own life's rhythm, one paragraph, one chapter at a time.

Loved this spiritual invitation, Shelly's soothing style, her godly wisdom.  Absolutely.  A fabulous personal treasure ... or an important discussion starter.


A Fall of Marigolds & Lady in Waiting
Susan Meissner
If your book club hasn't met Susan, let me be the first to introduce her.  Her well crafted storylines weave themselves together over great spans of time.  These are pages you just can't put down.

Marigolds features a beautiful fragile scarf that unites the stories of two women in NYC ... one in 1911, the other in 2011.  These are stories of tragedy and fire and bodies falling from buildings ... life permanently altered for women who've loved and lost, slowly making their way to the other side of grief.

And Lady features a 1600's bejeweled ring worn by royalty, the name 'Jane' inscribed on the band's smooth inner surface that finds its way into the hands of a modern day 'Jane' even as her marriage hits rock bottom.

Just superb.  Plan on savoring this author's stories late into the wee hours.


Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living
Tsh Oxenreider
Get ready to roll up your sleeves with this spiral bound hardcover or perhaps just skim through for creative homemaking ideas.  Sublime photos ... and scads of charts, inventories, templates, worksheets, checklists, and tips fill Tsh's motivating pages.

This is a treat for any homemaker who wants inspiration, reflective questions, and a clear guide forward.


The Ultimate Guide to Sea Glass: Beach Comber's Edition: Finding, Collecting, Identifying, and Using the Ocean's Most Beautiful Stones
Mary Beth Beuke
Here's a gift for all you beach scavengers who can't wait another day til you hit the shorelines again.  This huge, hefty book is a treasure trove of gorgeous images of my favorite frosted collectible ... and fascinating stories on how the ocean's magnificent pounding waves turn discarded glass into rare, stunning finds.

*

I'm curious ... 
what's on your 'to-read' pile these days?



*

to be one of the 1st to know when I return in April

*

connecting with Anne & Holley

50 comments:

  1. Hi Linda - I've actually never read Erin Loechner, on her blog or anywhere, but I have heard of this book and it sounds like a very timely and good one. I'm also interested in Susan Meissner: I wonder if she might be a good choice by someone (read: me) who likes Kate Morton. The books you describe sound appealing.

    One book I'm also in the middle of is Never Unfriended by Lisa-Jo Baker. She is part of (in)courage and on a whim I applied to be on her book launch team. It's more like a book launch MOB (200+) but I'm enoying the book and it feels timely too. Only problem: as a team member living outside the US I only got a pdf, not a hard copy -so it's a little difficult to snuggle up by the fireplace and read it; but that's a small problem.. Winter is great reading time, I find.

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    1. I'm with you, Jeannie ... it's hard to cuddle up with PDF!

      ;-}

      I'm a Kate Morton fan {The Lake House!!} so I'm going to step out on faith and promise that Susan's books will be worth your time.

      Thanks for kicking off our discussion today. I just love talking books, don't you?

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  2. I read Fall of Marigolds a few years ago but kind of forgot about her other books. I'll have to add Lady in Waiting to my list. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. It's a treat to read several of one author's books one right after the other. Kind of like investing in a new friend, isn't it ...

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  3. As always, Linda, you offer up some great reads. I'm really in need of the Organized Simplicity book these days. My life, since becoming an empty-nester, feels a bit like it's unraveling in some ways--organization-wise, that is. So good to hear from you and I'm sorry I've not stopped by more often lately. I just feel a bit overwhelmed by all that is pulling at me lately. Hugs and love to you, my friend!

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    1. Trusting for His peace to sweep over you right in the midst of the unraveling, the overwhelm, the demands, dear Beth ...

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  4. I just finished Charis by Preston Sprinkle. Up next is "Divine Direction" by Groeschel. I also have Hope Heals by Wolf; Don't Waste Your Life by Piper; The Meaning of Marriage by Keller; and several others. I need a break to read!

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    1. Sounds like these books will be fine companions for you as you continue to mend, Bill!

      Can't keep a good man down ...

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  5. You speak wisdom here, my friend! If we do not care for the well within us and refill it with the richness of time away, time in the words of other authors, ears tuning more closely to the Lord's, and the simple pleasures of resting, how can we possibly have our words bring life?!!

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    1. Yeah, I've learned the hard way what it costs to let the well run dry. Never going back there again, for sure!

      You hear my heart, Pam, and I am grateful.

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  6. Linda,

    Glad to see you back! My bookclub read Fall of Marigolds this fall and I really liked her writing style. I will check out her other book. Thanks for the suggestion!

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    1. mmm ... now that I think of it, you were the ONE that told me about Marigolds, yes?

      It's not the first time and it won't be the last that you lead me to another great author, another must-read.

      I'd give you a hug, except you might catch this flu bug.

      *sigh*

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  7. "Books make the finest companions, don't they?" Yes, that's true. As Groucho Marx said, "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it is too dark to read."

    I am just putting the finishing touches on my latest humourous book. Will let you know when it's ready.

    God bless.

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    1. Ah ... you and Groucho. Two peas in a pod.

      Reminds me of your last post, Victor. Who says I don't have a sense of humor?

      ;-}

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  8. Yes, abundance comes to call when we get courageous enough to do life unplugged...love that line Linda. So true that it can be courageous to unplug when hours have gone into being plugged in! And thank you for these book recommendations. I'm off to Chasing Slow right after I finish here! Right now my readings are mainly required books for a coaching certification I am completing. And a self-published title, The Bend, by my blogging friend, Terri Tiffany. Supporting and journeying with authors on this platform is fun and rewarding!

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    1. Lynn, I'd love to hear your take on Chasing Slow. And congrats on pursuing the coaching certification. It'll pay off in ways that you can't imagine ...

      Keep me posted, ok? I'm cheering you on!

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  9. Welcome back, Linda! I'm glad you're refreshed from being unplugged for some weeks. I hope you are getting adjusted to your job. As always, a great selection of books. I was intrigued by the sea glass photos and what stories they can tell when I checked out Amazon's preview. I have been reading mostly fiction. I loved Gina Holmes' Crossing Oceans and am just about to begin her Wings of Glass. Love and hugs to you!

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    1. Well, thanks, Trudy! These have been mostly quiet weeks, an unexpected stillness which I'm guessing I needed more than busyness.

      He knows what we need, doesn't He ...

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  10. So glad you've been enjoying your break and hope your weather will be turning spring-like very soon :) I have Shelly Miller's book, have heard great things and am looking forward to diving in. I'm a big Sherlock fan and have been reading the original works over the last several months as time allows. And still working through Jerry Bridges The Discipline of Grace which I HIGHLY recommend. Thanks for helping to increase my "want to read" list - blessings on your week, friend!

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    1. I've got a feeling that Shelly and you will fit together like a hand in a glove. Let me know!

      I love playing matchmaker with friends and books ...

      ;-}

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  11. Thanks for all the recommendations, Linda, and for taking the time to stop by my blog today. I have responded!
    What am I reading? I'm actually re-reading a wonderful novel by Glynn Young called "Dancing Priest." I can't recommend it highly enough. I'm still working my way through "The Listening Life" and will soon be taking on "Katharina and Martin" by Michelle DeRusha. I would sure love it, too, if your readers would check out my Christian themed novels at www.gladetrilogy.wix.com/theglade.
    Blessings to you!

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    1. Dear Readers - Check out Martha's work!

      'Spending the summer at Grandpa Will’s farm with his family is the last thing ten-year-old Davy Murray wants. How will he survive without his friends, the pool, and his computer? There isn’t even a television at Grandpa’s house! Doesn’t anyone see how miserable he will be?

      In his frustration, Davy turns his anger on his mother, Kate, his sister, Anna, and, especially, his step-father, Jim. Davy is determined to make their summer as dismal and disappointing as he believes his will be. But, then, Davy has a most surprising and unexpected encounter . . . one which will change his heart, and his world, forever. Let the 'Glade Trilogy' and 'Adventures in the Glade' draw you in.'

      http://gladetrilogy.wixsite.com/theglade

      ;-}

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  12. More compelling finds to offer. I always find at least one to add to the list from your book recommendations, Linda. I just wish I I could find sea glass on our beaches :( I'm most drawn to Chasing Slow. Even title is inviting.

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    1. I'm with you, wishing to trip over more of that elusive sea glass, Debby!

      I'd love to hear what you think about Chasing Slow ... I think we're all yearning to head in that direction ... maybe wondering who we'd be if we said, 'yes, please.'

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  13. It's lovely to see you back here, Linda. I'm glad you feel refreshed by your break and that it has given you more time for other things. Thanks for sharing this great selection of books. I've been struggling to find much time for reading over the last few weeks, but I have made it to chapter 2 of "The Listening Life" and I am loving it so far!

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    1. Looks like you're in good company with The Listening Life ... see what Martha said just a few comments ago! And I'm super excited because author Adam McHugh is updating his 1st book, Introverts in the Church, which should be out later this year.

      Introverts is one of my all time favorites. YAY!

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  14. Welcome back from your blog break... glad to hear you all survived the ferocious storm headed up the coastline! And good books are always a joy to find, especially when the wind is roaring, and the day is a stormy one. I enjoyed your recommendations and have made note of them. I'm going to visit Erin's blog, I love meeting new bloggers :) Sorry that I can't add any recommendations for a book to you, I haven't had much time to read lately :) Maybe someday that will change! Hugs to you today :)

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    1. Hope you'll enjoy your visit to Erin's as much as I do. She's my blogging-breath-of-fresh-air!

      And yep, I've been enjoying leaving a VERY light online footprint this month ... and will be fading away again til April. I needed the quiet.

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  15. Looks like I have 6 new books to add to my list.

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  16. It was good to see a post from you in my inbox, Linda. I'm glad you are enjoying a slower pace with blogging right now ... abundance does call beyond the screens, doesn't it? I have "Chasing Slow" on hold at the library and think I need to delve a little deeper at Erin's blog. I recently started "When Breath Becomes Air" ... I know a blogger friend recommended it, but I can't remember who. :-)

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    1. Yeah, I'm at that place where sometimes 'I can't remember who,' too! Oh to be more purposeful so I can thank the one who sent me that book or recommended a new site to check out.

      ;-}

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  17. I love your book list. I have Shelley Miller's book but have not cracked it open yet. I just finished Jennie Allens' book, Nothing to Prove and loved it. I also usually have a fiction book going. My favorite authors are Lisa Wingate and Rachel Hauck.

    Hope you are doing well. I have missed you!

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    1. Hi Mary! It's been fun to pop back on the scene this week to say 'hi,' to visit here and there. It's good to be away, it's good to return, it's good to head out the door again.

      Does that make any sense?

      ;-}

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  18. these all sound so worthwhile. I love sea glass too! have a beautiful weekend!

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    1. Oh, I'd love to see the beauties you've collected in South Africa, Jandi! Would you consider doing a post?

      Please???

      ;-}

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  19. 10 Years! Good gracious, Linda. Good for you! :) Thanks for sharing the books, I haven't read any of these, but I've been hearing about a couple of them. Think I may need to check them out. :) -- And, the sea glass one--how fun. I love sea glass. -- Glad you're back, Linda. Hope you had a relaxing break. :) ((Hug))

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    1. Oh, I'd love to hear about the sea glass you've scooped up along the way, Brenda. I was just telling Jandi that I'd love to see what she's collected. Would you think about doing a post, too?

      ;-}

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  20. Always love your book reviews. I came away with a text to a friend to try one and one to order for myself. A win!! Thank You!
    Blessings!

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    1. Oh I love that you've texted a friend! Yep, a win / win!

      Always glad you're here, Lulu ...

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  21. Congratulations on your 10th year of blogging! What a milestone. I'd never heard of that book Chasing Slow. What a powerful oxymoron that title is! Love it and the other book ideas I see here.

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    1. Looks like Chasing Slow is the winner this month. Erin's not only a designer and a writer but a game-changing influencer, too.

      You, too, friend ...

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  22. I really enjoyed Chasing Slow too!

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  23. I haven't read those, but they will have to wait. I just bought a few books yesterday.... :)

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    1. Oh ... I hope you'll be sharing your new finds, Sarah!

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  24. Hi Linda,
    It seems as if it's been a while since we've visited with your blog break and my travels, but I'm excited to read some of these recommendations! I just subscribed to Shelly Miller's blog and I really love her photos of London so I'm sure I would enjoy her book too. Hope all is well as you step back into your counseling shoes! :) xoxo

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    1. Well, welcome back, Valerie! I can't wait to hear your stories and see your photos ... you've got the most winsome way of taking us alongside.

      You're going to love Shelly Miller's writing and photography, too. I've been blessed in recent months in hearing her heart and seeing life through her lens.

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  25. Linda,
    Glad you're back...Thanks for the book reads :-) I'm reading Sacred Rhythms by R. H. Barton and The Deeper Journey by Robert Mulholland (which I think you would like). Blessings :-)

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    1. I'm a huge Ruth Haley Barton fan. I own every book she's ever written ... her perspective on women in ministry, the practice of spiritual disciplines, and leadership development have made all the difference in the world to me, personally and professionally.

      I highly recommend.

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda