Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Bookbag . . . and Share-Your-Link!

'Decades had passed and I was three thousand miles away, but I felt like I had been lifted up and whisked back to that time and place, back to the scenario of walking into the library with my mother.  

Nothing had changed - there was the same soft tsk-tsk-tsk of pencil on paper, and the muffled murmuring from patrons at the tables in the center of the room, and the creak and groan of book carts, and the occasional papery clunk of a book dropped on a desk.'
Page 11


This is the place where we make room
for each other to unpack our bookbags!

Bloggers, I'd love for you to include the link to 
your recent book post in the comments!  
I'm curious / nosy / fascinated as to what y'all 
are paging through.


- Barbara Bradley Hagerty -

Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife
Barbara Bradley Hagerty
Don't let the title throw you.  This is in no way a scientific tome, but a lovely exploration of the opportunities that midlife opens to all from 40 - 65.  I was delighted to see that I still fit the category.

If you like Brene Brown, you'll like Barbara Hagerty, that compelling combination of astute researcher and delightful storyteller.  Expect to toss that whole mid-life crisis mindset to the wind, and be challenged to live with purpose, challenge your brain to work smarter, and invest fresh energy into your relationships even as you're open to reinventing your professional work.

Two quotes I've tucked in my pocket ...
'Your thinking, your approach to triumphs and defeats, joys and pain and losses, the stuff no one escapes - that calibrates one's happiness.'

'How will I use these glorious days remaining to me?'
Kindle - $11.99
Paperback - $10.87

The Library Book
Susan Orlean
A book for all true library aficionados.  From the author's own personal investigation of the disastrous 1986 L.A. Public Library fire, to the joys of books, the life of librarians, the quirkiness of those who hang out in these beloved public buildings, the behind the scenes ins and outs of the magical world of books that have captured the essence of who we are ... this is a must read for your book club.

If the library's long been your best, safest friend ... if you crave the scent, the touch, the heft of a much-borrowed book in your hands, this one's for you, friend.
Kindle - $14.99
Hardcover - $17.98

Taste and See: Discovering God among Butchers, Bakers, & Fresh Food Makers
Margaret Feinberg
Margaret's approach to life and God's Word and all things culinary is refreshing, winsome, a breath of fresh air.  If you're a foodie, you'll find her book will nurture something deep in your soul.  Meanwhile, pack your bag and go exploring olive orchards, Texas butchers, and descend 410 feet into a salt mine.  Along the way you'll discover the delights of fish and figs and bread, some fun new recipes ... and the depths of God's Word for today's day and culture.

Here's a great little interview with Margaret on the secret spirituality of food.

This book would be a delightful boost to a waning devotional time ... and there's even a DVD series for small groups that would spark interest in the connection between God's Word and the delicious creation He's given us to enjoy.
Kindle - $7.99
Paperback - $11.55
6 Session DVD & Leader Guide {video notes, group discussion questions, personal study & reflection materials} - $24.87

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love 
Dani Shapiro
You will not put this down.  Promise.  Author Shapiro grabs hold of readers and takes us on a whirlwind exploration into the world of secrets, paternity, the destruction and reimagination of her entire heritage and how she views her identity.  Along the way, she leads the reader through the murkiness of DNA testing, artificial insemination, medical ethics and the rapid development of technology.

A gripping, fascinating read for your book club, sure to spark some important dialogue.
Kindle - $3.99!!
Hardcover - $16.48

The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life 
Joshua Becker
Joshua's a low-pressure, guilt-free, minimalist guide, taking the reader through one project, one room at a time, step by step, inviting you to a simpler, less stress lifestyle.  I do love this book because I've seen the impact of minimizing possessions in my own life and home ... the endless collectibles, the boring tchotchkes, the clothes you never reach for, the junk that seems to multiply overnight.

Truth is you do end up feeling freer and lighter and less encumbered and stressed out.  Absolutely.

Unexpected bonuses of this book include a minimalism maintenance guide, a discussion on downsizing your home, and living a more purposeful life once our possessions aren't running the show.

'Sometimes we think we're honoring our departed loved ones by keeping their stuff, but let's ask ourselves if they would want us to be burdened by their belongings. Doubtful.  The best way to honor those who loved us is to live our best life possible, not to be weighted down by their things.'

Enough said.
Kindle - $11.99
Hardcover - $13.51

Dear Jesus: Seeking His Light in Your Life
Sarah Young
I've been a huge Jesus Calling fan for years ... personally, in my own devotional times, but also for use at the end of counseling sessions.  Sarah's soothing words point directly to the Lover of our souls and have a beautifully calming, recalibrating effect on anxious hearts.

I love this newer volume, Dear Jesus, even more!  The aqua and gold colors are soothing to the eye, and the author inserts complete Scripture verses into each of the 120 daily dialogues with Jesus, not just the reference, which makes it perfect for spending 5 minutes quietly meditating on specific Scripture verses after you read the day's offering.

I'm guessing this is my third go round on this, my favorite devotional of all time ... and I've used dozens of books along the way.  This little gem is just the right size to fit in your bag or keep on your guest room nightstand.  A super graduation or birthday gift.

And look at the Kindle price.  Yes, please!
Kindle - $5.99!!
Hardcover - $14.48


Sharalee Armitage Howard

Anne Bogel

Self-Development Secrets

A bookstore owner was in the hospital.
So his competitors came and kept his shop open.
Allison Klein

Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: 
A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God
Sarah Bessey

The Next Right Thing: 
A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions
Check out Emily's cool pre-order bonus
Emily P. Freeman

Glorious Weakness: Discovering God In All We Lack
Alia Joy

The Last Year of the War
Susan Meissner

The book is riveting ... the videos, stunning ... and the conversations around our virtual table have been heartfelt, sometimes quite 'fervent,' and deeply thought-provoking.  It's not too late to join the party ... grab your Kindle edition and join right on in.  

Every person who leaves a comment {limit 2 per post!} on any of the four Book Club posts will be eligible for a $25 Amazon gift card.  {U.S. only ... and please be sure your comment links to your contact info.}  The winner will be announced a few days after our final March 14th discussion.  

Start right here.

Bloggers, I'd love you to share the link to your latest book-related post with my readers in the comment section!  Please be sure to catch their bookish eye with a quick overview or a highlight or two ... 

Dear book lovers, please encourage these writers by visiting their sites ... and tell them Linda sent you!  

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. . . and you can subscribe right here



book prices were accurate 
at time this post was published


sharing good reads with
Anne  .  Mary  .  Kelly  .  Sue  .  Diane


  1. The Minimalist Home was really good. Please allow me to share 4 quotes beyond the excellent one in this post (of and if you want my hint on the best part of the book, it's chapter 9):

    Page 31: "Becoming minimalist modeled for my children the beliefs that personal belongings are not the key to happiness, that security is found in character, and that the pursuit of happiness runs on a different road than the pursuit of possessions."
    Page 120: "Just because you have the space doesn't mean you have to fill it with stuff."
    Page 150: "Francine Jay says minimizing can cause us to recognize and get rid of our "Fantasy self" - an identity that we tried to create by buying stuff that never really fit us."
    Page 155-156: "Expect this stage of minimizing to stir up emotions and recall memories both sweet and bittersweet...Don't back away from the emotions. Work your way through them. This might be just the opportunity you need to process the past and position yourself better for the future."

    1. Jonathan, hi! How'd I know you'd be the first one at the party?!


      Good point that we just don't do this for ourselves, but to model for our children what matters most in life ... those precious things that define the heart, not the money in our wallets.

      For sure, the minimizing journey stirs up all kinds of emotions and memories.
      And what better time than now to deal with what's gone before so we can truly focus on what God has for us in the future.

      And, thanks to your unknowing prompt, here's my August 2011 post, Are You Living In a Fantasy World?

      Talk about dusty archives, huh?


    2. From a different point of view in the family, if I didn't keep everything I keep, Jonathan wouldn't have been able to borrow the Disney mobile that was over his crib 35 years ago, to use for his new son! So some of us are helping our children bring wonderful memories and love to the next generation!

    3. Great throw back post. And yes, the chimes to When You Wish Upon a Star have played for a new generation.
      I liked his comment that keeping less is different from keeping none. It's good to keep some mementos. We both have hand-knit blankets that our grandmothers made for us...what wonderful memories.

    4. Marilyn ... I'm left wondering what other goodies are stashed away for the kiddos!


  2. I loved the Introvert Love of Books illustrations. So true! And Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife by Barbara Bradley Hagerty sound right up my alley. I wrapped up my reading for the last month here ear the end of this post:

    1. DEAR READERS - Barbara is a prolific reader and the links at the end of her post lead to very thorough, comprehensive reviews. Do check her out!


  3. No links to share but your first recommended book has my attention. I've been reading a lot of fiction because it takes me out of my head and I don't have to think too much ;) But that first one sounds like a good fit for me at this time. Thank you!

    1. And sometimes that's exactly what we need, yes? A bit of an escape, a journey to another place.

      Enjoy ...

  4. As you know, I read pretty widely based on my interest as well as books that I have read as a part of the Tyndale Blogger Grid. Books in recent weeks include: Becoming Mrs. Lewis, Taste and See, The Third Jihad, The Louder Song, Becoming Gertrude, and White Light on the Mountain. I inevitably will be reading a section of the Bible, a book that inspires/informs, a novel, and something historical at the same time during different parts of my day. Here are a few of the links to books I have reviewed online:,,,

    1. DEAR READERS - For a superb review of Margaret Feinberg's Taste and See, check out Pam's link ... the third one above. Outstanding, as ever. Also, don't miss her review of The Louder Song. I'm thinking we need to do a bit more lamenting ...

      Please do visit my mentor!

  5. I've been reading Kevin Wilson's trilogy (Bomber Boys, Men Of Air, and Journey's End) that chronicles Bomber Command of the Roayl Air Force from 1943-45.

    He uses many first-person accounts, some taken from the diaries of men who died. And of those who flew the night bombers against Germany, nearly half DID die.

    The airfields from which they flew are now nearly all given back to farming, and are only visible as crop-traces from the air. If you'd like to see one, Skipton-on-Swale, here's a link to Bing Maps; the former airfield is the 'A' shape

    A poem, for them.

    A quiet field in Lincolnshire
    whose breezes make a grass-wave
    betrays little of the former year
    when there was everything to save.
    They flew from this very ground
    from runways now bare crop-trace
    and only half came back around;
    did they think survival grace?
    Or was the burden of the living
    the memory of the lost?
    They volunteered, and in this giving
    did we ask too high a cost?
    In the night they brought the flames
    to wreck a madman's will; do you know their names?

    1. I appreciate you taking me out of my usual genres, enlarging my borders, friend.

      Let the poetry continue ...

  6. Thanks so much for all these marvelous recommendations, Linda! Sorry, no links to share at the moment, but I'll try to chime in next time around.

    1. You know you're always welcome just to come by and spend some time. No need to deliver a thing, friend!


  7. You've packed so much goodness into one singular post, Linda! I love it! And I'm drawn to several of the books and articles you've shared with us, but especially the minimalist book and the Tim Challies article!

    I recently did a book review and giveaway on my blog - It truly was a pleasure to read and offered many new and amazing insights that an old dog like me truly benefitted from and enjoyed!

    1. DEAR READER - Beth's THE #1 Christ-centered Marriage Blogger around ... and one of the only bloggers I've actually met in person. Love her, love her work. Be sure to check her out!

      P.S., Beth ... you're hardly an old dog!!


  8. I went snooping around Amazon to try to figure out why Barbara Bradley Hagerty's name sounds so familiar. It must be something I read a long time ago.
    And I ordered Alia's book just today, and am so excited to get more of her lovely writing.
    I'll share a link to my review of Valerie Shepard's compilation of letters and journals from her parents: Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. What a beautiful volume it is in every way imaginable...

    1. DEAR READER - Michele is known for her stellar writing and comprehensive reviews. She's a wise and godly woman with quite a following. I highly recommend her blog to you ...

  9. Books and more books! Oh what a reader's dream. I am reading The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman currently as a member of her launch team. It's everything the podcast is and more. I know you will love it.

    I have had my eye on Taste and See and am hoping that my small group of Bible study ladies will consider it when we are ready to do a study again. Anything about middle age sounds good and of course, I love digging into good fiction. Thanks for the list.

    1. I can't wait to read your review on Emily's book, Mary. I've printed out every single one of her weekly podcasts ... they reside in a huge white looseleaf notebook by my bed.

      Such inspiration, yes?!!

  10. The Library Book is amazing and a must read!! Susan even came and did a reading to benefit the rebuild of our library. Excellent author!!

    1. Valerie, hi! So good to hear from you again! I love that Susan came to visit to help rebuild the library. That you, as a long time librarian, say she's an excellent author is high praise.

      I hope you are well in the midst of all that follows the trauma of a library fire ...

  11. So many books. So little time to read them all.

    God bless.

  12. There's such a wealth of information here, Linda. :) I, too, love the Sarah Young devotions. I enjoyed the Introvert's love of books illustrations. So many made me smile and nod. :) Especially the one about reading fiction to escape the real world. I'm probably not as into books as you are, but I do love to read. One of my granddaughters asked me Sunday if I've ever learned to knit. I told her how when I was young an older woman thought I should learn to crochet, so she taught me. I made one piece, but I never continued. I told my granddaughter, "I'd rather pick up a book and read!" :) Love and blessings to you!

    1. Yeah, there's alot to smile over and nod at as we wander each other's shelves and hear stories of what's keeping us entertained and taught as we make our way through the winter, friend!

      And I do fully understand your crocheting story. I think I've been there, done that ...


  13. Thanks for sharing these recommendations, Linda! I especially like the sound of The Library Book and Dear Jesus. I'm enjoying reading Becoming Mrs Lewis too. I'm just over halfway so haven't managed to contribute to the discussion yet but it has been interesting to read people's comments.
    A book I shared about recently is Remarkable Hope by Shauna Letellier: (The giveaway in the post has closed now.)

    1. Please feel free to drop by for the final Book Club gathering, Lesley! You don't have to have read a certain amount ... or anything at all ... to join in! I'd love to hear your thoughts. We'll be up and running some time tomorrow.

      DEAR READER - If you're feeling a bit hopeless, be sure to read Lesley's review. Good stuff!

  14. Loving this!

    I saw The Library Book at a bookstore one day and it sounds so intriguing. I'm not a history person, but the story sounds so good. Should I go for it??

    Taste and See sounds lovely!

    I have the Minimalist Home ready to read in my book bin right after I finish The Next Right Thing (which is fabulous!) and Wild Hope (by M.E. Weyerbacher)!

    I haven't done a book post lately but some of my favorites are here:

    1. I love your enthusiasm and I'm glad you're here, Becky!


      Your Amazon Shop is so fun! Is it difficult to set up? Do tell ...

  15. I do love Brene Brown so I'll have to look into Barbara Hagerty! Thanks for the recommendation, Linda. I know I can trust your finds.

    My latest book recommendations:

    1. DEAR READER - Lisa does super informative book posts, beautifully done! I'm headed over to her place right now ...

  16. I used Sarah Young's 'Jesus Calling' as my daily devotional last year. Her devotionals are great.

    1. She put out one of those perpetual calendars ... wonderful encouragement front and center on desk or counter!

  17. I love this list and how you describe each book. Just back from vacation so trying to catch up on my reading today and really enjoyed this post, Thanks

    1. Oh I'm so glad you stopped by, Jean! Welcome back from your journey ...