Dear Mr. Knightly

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A book in letters, what a treat. This is a retelling of a classic so I shouldn’t have been surprised by the end, but I don’t know the original so it was a delight.

I loved the classic setting. Sam, Alex, Father John (a Catholic priest portrayed well is always a treat), Kyle, the Muirs … they were a delight.

I loved Sam’s love for the classics and wish I shared them, but alas I love a good modern retelling!! I also loved the connection and stories from children in foster care. They felt real and honest.

“You’re know and loved, my dear girl. You always were.”


Strike Me Down

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Mindy Mejia was on What Should I Read Next with Anne Bogel this week. Her book and one of her favorites when right on my TBR at the top!

I love mysteries but don’t read enough of them … this one is good. About a gym and an accountant, which I didn’t realize was such a dangerous job!

It’s witty, smart, twisty, and full of angst – the best kind of thriller!

“I’m done putting up walls. I’m done hiding behind my job. I’m not letting anyone cast me aside and make me believe I deserve it.”


Mother, May I

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This book is just might be full of triggers if you’ve got a young child – so beware. One moment she’s watching her teenage daughter’s rehearsal with her baby son in the carrier next to her on the floor, the next she looks down and he’s replaced with a note. Her whole work shifts off the axis. The following few days Bree moves between being “Bree” and “Elizabeth” as she begins the fight for her son’s life.

There are so many things to talk about with this book. Consent, consequences, family, and whatnot all means 30 years later when only one party has paid the price.

I listened to this on audio because I almost exclusively listen to Joshilyn’s books because she reads them herself and she’s an amazing vocal performance.

Note: “If you ever want to see your baby again, you’ll do as I say.”


People We Meet on Vacation

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What a delight! Alex and Poppy are a delight in this book. I loved following their friendship over the previous 12 years through their summer trips.

The chapters alternate between the current summer trip and their previous 12 years. I loved hearing their story this way and it was easy to follow.

It was also nice to read a book about vacations when we can’t go on too many!

“What’s the point? I mean, don’t you ever feel like that? Like, I worked so hard, did every single thing right – so I could get my dream job. And I actually got it. I work at one of the top travel magazines! I have a nice apartment! And I can take cabs without worrying too much about what that money should go to, and despite all that – I’m not happy.”


Is It Any Wonder

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This is the second in Courtney Walsh’s “Nantucket” series that’s not really a series – the characters in the previous book make two small appearances that if they’d been left out the book would be just the same. These just take place in the same place. Still a delightful book though!

I was a little skeptical when they kissed only 60% of the way through and seemed so happy for the next 25% of the book! Cody and Louisa have known each other since they were babies – and even share the same birth day (wrote it out like that since they have the same birth day and year) – their parents were best friends until they were 18 and their whole world changed.

The story is about love and redemption and forgiveness. At first they all forgive too slowly – and then in the end one person is forgiven so quickly. I think that’s how the Lord wants it to be, but it unsettled me a bit. Probably good that it did – it means I’ve still got room to grow in the way I forgive others.

“It was as if Louisa needed to be successful on behalf of all women who weren’t being taken seriously in the professional world. Women who were deemed too funny or cute or quirky or whimsical. Women with their heads in the clouds, who loved adventure. Women with boyfriends who didn’t believe in them.”


No Offense

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The second in this Little Bridge Island series is sweet and full of all kinds of bookish fun. The main character is a librarian and she falls for the island’s sheriff. A few people from book 1 show up but you don’t need to have read it to like this one.

There’s one open door scene that’s pretty tame but otherwise the book goodness in this story makes it for a compelling read. There’s also a bit of a mystery … more than one actually!

“All it takes to get someone to love reading is finding them the right book – a book that can even change their life.”


All That Really Matters

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What a delight!! An author I love reviewed this last week and then I got it from the library when it came out on Tuesday.

It was a delight. A Social Media Influencer seeks out a “mission” to expand her platform. What she gets is more than she ever imagined. The young adults change her in ways she couldn’t have predicted and she changes them too.

Her ideas for classes are fun. Her relationship with the director starts off a bit rocky but is a delightful Christian love story in the end.

After starting it I realized this author wrote one of my top books from 2020 … and she’s done it again. The way she brings in fostering and adoption are quite moving.

“Because no matter how I try to spin it or pretty it up, the truth is getting more and more difficult to disguise: Though I was one of the most liked personas on the internet, I was likely one of the most lonely, too.”


No Judgements

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A delightful, super quick read. Bree has run away after a terrible event to a small island in the Florida Keys where she vacationed as a kid.

Even though the book takes place during a hurricane I still want to go there to visit. The people were delightful!

Drew goes from no one to nemesis to in love with her. I appreciated how confident she was and how it came out in more ways than her relationship. She has a real love for pets too (which while I don’t, I can appreciate).

It’s got one small open door scene, but is otherwise an easy read!

“I was wondering when you were going to ask. What’s the trouble exactly? You don’t trust me not to drop you? Or you’re afraid of falling even more deeply and irrevocably in love with me than you already are?”


The Heart of the Mission

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I’d like to say that the author is a good friend of mine – a long time work friend of mine anyway. This book is the best primer in evangelization that I’ve read, ever! Cande lays out a plan that is simple, not quite easy – but simple enough. Be in relationship with the Lord. Be in relationship with people. Listen to their story, share your own story.

It’s simple – not quite easy. It’s so hard actually. The hardest – and something I feel like I’m failing at every day. How do I share the thing that is the most fundamental to who I am in a way that invites others in? Practice and humility while also not using a script or being overly confident that I know what’s best for everyone.

I can’t wait to have Cande speak at an event I’m hosting in a few months – praying it will be convicting for everyone who attends so we can spread the beauty of the Lord’s story.

“Evangelization isn’t about memorizing all the right Bible verses or knowing all the right theological answers. At its heart, evangelization is just sharing the story of Jesus and how His story gave your life hope.”


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

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Anne Bogel recommended this on her podcast months before it was published. Then it was a Book of the Month selection in October and I had to get it. I chose it for my next book club read because I knew it was going to be worth a discussion.

Addie has sold her soul to the devil in exchange for immortality and freedom. She doesn’t know what she’s asking for – as most of us don’t when we pray to God or anyone other spirit. She gets freedoms and also invisibility. She belongs to no one except herself.

The book brings up two big questions to me. First, what does it mean to love? Second, how does one love if they aren’t free? I used about a hundred book darts, and I can’t wait to discuss this!

“By the time the clerk find the cloths, a ghost of a girl on the changing room floor, she won’t remember whose they are, and Addie will be gone, from sign and mind and memory.”