My Bookbag Overflows

Hey Fellow Book Enthusiasts ~

I've got a big ol' treasure trove for you today with dozens of links to page through!

  7 years of my favorite summer reads 

  Meet the author highlights  

  Online reads worth your time  

  Soon-to-hit-the-shelves volumes

Surviving Savannah
~  Patti Callahan
From the author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis {remember our Book Club?} comes a dual time line historical fiction classic.  

The 1838 sinking of the steamship Pulaski is center stage, even as we fast forward to present day 'when Savannah history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to guest-curate a new museum collection focusing on artifacts recovered from the steamship ... and her research leads her to the astounding history of a family of eleven who boarded the Pulaski together.'  

This is an extraordinary generational saga of trauma and resilience, as two women ask the question, 'how will we survive the surviving?'  Beautifully detailed and meticulously researched, this is one hefty beach read, a poignant page-turner.
Kindle - $9.99 
Hardcover - $19.99

You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters
~  Kate Murphy
There's plenty of truth to be found in this important read.  Of particular interest is the chapter, 'Listening to Opposing Views.'  In this endless season of political and pandemic unrest with all its disrespectful, volatile dialogue, this is must reading no matter how you lean.  

And the author's chapter on supporting others when they share their stories instead of constantly shifting the conversation to ourselves contains superb lessons for us all.
Kindle - $10.99
Hardcover - $14.99

Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church 
~  Rachel Held Evans 
After Rachel's untimely death, I felt a strong pull to read one of her books, to get to know this remarkable woman who struggled with the church and left her indelible mark on the next generation of seekers, the wounded, the marginalized.  This is a deeply powerful memoir, a stunningly penned 'road map back to church.'

Rachel was a lover of God, savvy and wise, with a superb gift of storytelling, her memory keen with an eye to detail; her observations, sharp and pointed; her humor, wry.  She wrestled with her own cynicism and pride and insecurities, she learned hard won lessons along the way and shared them freely.

I found myself challenged, convicted, and disturbed ... sometimes all in the same paragraph.  I'm guessing that some of her thoughts will leave you unsettled in your spirit, too.  You might embrace every word as your own ... or reject her viewpoint entirely.
Paperback  $11.46
Kindle $7.99 

Everything Happens For a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved
~  Kate Bowler
Stunning, raw, tragic, with wisps of humor and wisdom that refuse to be quenched, author Kate Bowler gently extends her hand to the reader as she walks through the valley of the shadow of searing loss and the unspeakable diagnosis of Stage IV cancer at the age of 35 ... in the midst of caring for those she adores, forging ahead with the beloved work she's been called to do, and wrestling with broken-hearted faith.

Sitting with her story is like curling up on the sofa crying with a beloved friend, captivated and mesmerized by the sound of her voice, the enormity of her sorrow, the interwoven hope.

And if that weren't enough, this Duke Divinity School professor tucks in Absolutely Never Say This To People Experiencing Terrible Times: A Short List and Give This A Go at the end of the book for all of us that might be prone to responding to tragedy by doing nothing ... or saying the most ridiculously hurtful things.
Meet the Author
Paperback - $14.38
Kindle - $12.99

Monticello: A Daughter and her Father; a Novel
~  Sally Cabot Gunning
I loved this novel ... complex and beautiful, detailed and mesmerizing.  You won't put it down.  I promise.

The author muses, 'I can't tell you how excited I am about this novel.  When I discovered a letter Martha Jefferson wrote to her father when she was fourteen, "I wish with all my heart all the poor Negroes were freed . . . " I knew I had to read more about her.  I poured through her letters to her father and his to her and realized that she and I had embarked on a similar mission: to figure out her father. This now meant, of course, that my new mission was to figure out Martha. The relationships between father and daughter, between daughter and husband, between daughter and children, complicated by the reappearance of an old love who haunts her conscience kept me happily awake over many long nights.'

*  I was excited to learn that the author lives two towns away from me. 
Meet the Author
Paperback - $15.99
Kindle - $8.99

The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in A World of Distraction
~  Adam McHugh
If you've been around here for awhile you'll fondly remember The Listening Life Book Club that kicked up some meaningful, life-altering discussions.  Click here to walk down memory lane to soak up the intriguing conversations we had.

McHugh's the kind of guide you'd choose if you're taking a long, winding journey to someplace unknown.  He's wise, he's got a keen sense of humor.  He knows where he's headed, because he's the first to admit the mistakes he's made in the past.  His subject matter is deep, yet engaging and readable.  He's got some crack-you-up anecdotes to share along the way {and his wry humor is even interlaced in the books's end notes}.

'The question that drives this book is, how would our relationships change, and how would we change, if we approached every situation with the intention of listening first?  What if we approached our relationship with God as listeners?  What if we viewed our relationship with nature as one of listening?  What if we approached our relationships using our ears rather than our mouths?  What if we sought to listen to our emotions before we preached to them?' 
Meet the Author
Paperback - $12.29
Kindle - $11.68

The Shell Seekers
~  Rosamunde Pilcher
This hefty gem was a real page-turner as reader joined author in looking back at the amazingly intricate Penelope and her turbulent life and heartbreaking loves.  By the end of the first page, I was hooked.  Really.  How often does that happen with a novel?

Set in the English countryside and by the sea, spanning three generations, the oft' times subtly stormy relationships that Penelope has with her children make for some fascinating reading. Throw some priceless artwork into the mix, add in a variety of interesting characters along the way, and this 530 page book was a wonderful escape, a splendid piece of fiction.
Paperback - $15.79
Kindle - $9.99


James Emery White

Stephanie Duncan Smith

Victor Moubarak

Ann Kroeker

Adam MacInnis

Anita Ojeda

Jennifer Harlan

{think Christmas shopping!}
Cheryl Smith

Anne Bogel

Kate Bowler

Emily Lex

Sarah Young

John Grisham

Patti Callahan

I'd love to hear what you've been paging through this summer.  Feel free to leave a link as you join the discussion so hundreds of other book connoisseurs can meet you!

And the grand announcement of our next Book Club selection is coming this week.  If you haven't subscribed, now's the time.  Click here so you won't miss a thing!

As ever, as an Amazon Affiliate, I may gain a small financial reimbursement if you make a purchase with the links in this post.  Thank you.

Stay cool with a good book ~

Anne  .  Lisa J  .  Richella  .  Lisa